The time of Z97 is almost upon us, for another set of high end Z97 motherboards have been revealed recently, this time it’s from Asus. The first three Asus ROG Z97 motherboards recently leaked are the Asus Maximus VII Gene, Asus ROG Maximus VII Hero and the Asus Maximus VII Ranger (a new name in the ROG family). Wait wait wait, we are missing some ROG boards. Where are the Z97I Maximus VII Impact, Maximus VII Extreme and Formula? Well I guess they are going to be revealed on a later date. Meanwhile, checkout their respective features below.
UPDATE 2: Asus Maximus VII Z97 Motherboards Now Available – See Specs, Price and Where to Buy
UPDATE: Asus Z97 and H97 Full Range Motherboards Now Official – See Features and Specifications
ROG Z97 Asus Maximus VII Hero
The upcoming Asus Maximus VII Hero sports a new ROG design which can be seen from its redesigned heatsinks, but it still has the Red and Black color scheme. It features an Intel Socket LGA1150 that is said to support Haswell, Haswell Refresh, Devil’s Canyon and 5th Generation Broadwell processors.
Based from the leaked picture alone, the Asus ROG Maximus VII Hero has 4x DDR3 DIMM slots, 8x SATA 6GB/s ports, 3x PCIE 3.0 x16 slots, 3x PCIE 3.0 x1 slots, an M.2 PCIE slot for NGFF SSD and other stuff that we usually see on an ROG motherboard. It draws its power from an 8pin power connector and a 24pin ATX power connector. The board will most probably have the latest DiGi+ VRM design and lots of overclocking features.
The Asus Maximus VII Hero also features SupremeFX Audio processor with EMI shielding (the red LED line), Intel Ethernet, LANGuard, GameFirst III, Sonic Radar II, KeyBot, TrueVolt USB and Gamer’s Guardian – features that many gamers would find very handy when gaming.
ROG Z97 Asus Maximus VII Gene
Based on the Asus ROG Gene’s predecessor, we already have an idea what the Asus Maximus VII Gene is all about and its capabilities. More or less it has the same specs and feature as the Maximus VII Hero. It has 8x SATA 6GB/s port, 4x DDR3 DIMM slots, OC buttons and features, 2x PCIE 3.0 x16 slots and a PCIE 3.0 x4 slot, an M.2 PCIE slot for NGFF SSD and other I/O ports.
I’m not seeing the SupremeFX chip or the red LED path like in the Maximus VII Hero. But the Maximus VII Gene is using an add-in sound card like in the Maximus VI Impact. Take a good look at the pictures and it does have an add-in sound card. I also don’t see the mPCIE Combo add-in card. But it looks like there is a space above the DirectKey and Clear CMOS buttons for it. I’m not sure if the M.2 PCIE slot will be integrated on the board itself but there seem to be a slot right in the middle of the two PCIE 3.0 x16. I guess that the M.2 slot. If that’s the case we might be seeing new features in mPCIE Combo III.
ROG Z97 Asus Maximus VII Ranger
Finally we have the Asus Maximus VII Ranger, a new name in the ROG series. It looks like the Ranger is a trim down version of the Maximus VII Hero. It only has 6x SATA 6GB/s ports, 3x PCIE 3.0 x16 slots, 3x PCIE 3.0 x1 slots, an M.2 PCIE slot and other features for overclocking. This motherboard is probably the cheapest amongst the ROG Z97 lineup. I bet the Maximus VII Gene or the Maximus VII Impact (if there is one) would be priced higher than this board.
The Missing ROG Z97 Motherboards
I’m not convinced that these three are the only Asus ROG Z97 motherboards. I’m expecting to see two or three more boards; these includes the Maximus VII Impact (the mini ITX variant or Z97I variant), the Maximus VII Extreme for extreme overclockers and the Maximus VII Formula with an integrated CrossChill hybrid air and water cooling for the MOSFETs and Chokes. Hopefully they will be revealed soon as well.
In the meantime, the three ROG Z97 motherboards shown above are expected to be officially released next month. By then we will have their official manufacturer’s suggested retail prices and reviews.
You might also want to see the Entire MSI Z97 Gaming Motherboard lineup Revealed – From Full ATX to Mini-ITX, Plus an H97 Gaming Motherboard