bit-tech.net

Z97 Close Up: Asus ROG boards

Moving swiftly on and we already knew Asus is expanding its ROG range yet again, this time aiming even lower than the Maximus VII Hero with the Maximus VII Ranger.

Z97 Close Up: Gigabyte and Asus ROG boards  Z97 Close Up: Asus ROG boards Z97 Close Up: Gigabyte and Asus ROG boards  Z97 Close Up: Asus ROG boards

Side by side, the boards actually look very similar, although as we reported in our Asus event article, the Hero will be illuminated and also offer enhanced components and other features.

Z97 Close Up: Gigabyte and Asus ROG boards  Z97 Close Up: Asus ROG boards Z97 Close Up: Gigabyte and Asus ROG boards  Z97 Close Up: Asus ROG boards

Z97 Close Up: Gigabyte and Asus ROG boards  Z97 Close Up: Asus ROG boards Z97 Close Up: Gigabyte and Asus ROG boards  Z97 Close Up: Asus ROG boards

Even so, if you're after some ROG factor for your system, Asus is looking to offer it below £130, which is unheard of, even for the micro-ATX Maximus Gene, which usually retailed for £10-20 more than this.

Z97 Close Up: Gigabyte and Asus ROG boards  Z97 Close Up: Asus ROG boards Z97 Close Up: Gigabyte and Asus ROG boards  Z97 Close Up: Asus ROG boards

You could question whether this reduces the premium factor of ROG, but Asus is still keeping the Maximus Formula and Extreme lines, and these are still the die-hard ROG boards that offer the top-end components and features as well as third party support for full-cover waterblocks (in addition to the Formula's built-in waterblocks of course) - something the Hero, for the moment, lacks.

Z97 Close Up: Gigabyte and Asus ROG boards  Z97 Close Up: Asus ROG boards Z97 Close Up: Gigabyte and Asus ROG boards  Z97 Close Up: Asus ROG boards

As you'd expect, there are power and reset buttons on the Ranger, plus an LED POST code readout. However, there's no SATA Express - that's not a Ranger-specific omission, though, as all the Maximus VII boards will apparently lack the feature in favour of M.2, so as to support devices that already exist.

Will your next upgrade be a shiny new Z97 board? Let us know what you think in the forums.

Related Reading

ASUS Z97 Motherboards Preview
MSI teases Gaming 3, Gaming 5 and Gaming 7 motherboards
Intel Core i3-4130 (Haswell) Review
Intel Core i5-4670K (Haswell) CPU Review