Asus is set to continue its motherboard momentum with the introduction of the Z97 boards.
Asus is all set to launch six new motherboards in the Z97 line. The Z97 boards will likely make their debut as soon as Intel launches the Broadwell line of processors. Broadwell CPUs will be pin compatible with Haswell, which sees the Z97 series retaining the LGA1150 socket.
The first board in Asus’ Z97 series is the Maximus VII Hero. The board features an 8 pin connector for the CPU and a 24 pin ATX connector located next to the four DDR3 DIMM slots that power the rest of the motherboard. The Maximus VII Hero has overclock buttons on the board and comes with three PCI-e 3.0 x16 slots ((x16/x16/x8), three PCI-e 3.0 (x1) and a M.2 PCIe SSD interface. The board also features 8 SATA 6 GB/s ports, a USB 3.0 header and retains the same black on red color scheme that we’ve seen in the last generation Maximus series.
Next motherboard in the Z97 series is the Maximus VII Gene, which has an M-ATX form factor. The board comes with the same features as the Maximus VII hero, but has two PCI-e 3.0 x16 slots to account for the smaller size. Asus is set to launch a third variant in the Maximus series which will be called the Maximus VII Ranger. This motherboard will be a mid-range offering in Asus’ Maximus line of motherboards.
Asus is also tweaking its products in the durability line. The Z97 Sabertooth Mark I will feature TUF Fortifier shielding which protects the board from damage as well as maximize cooling. The board has similar thermal armor plating over its surface which is similar to what we’ve seen with the Sabertooth Z77 and Sabertooth Z87.
Finally, there is the Z97 Deluxe, which has gotten a much-needed design refresh. The last model featured a bright gold design motif which drew a lot of ire from users. This time around, Asus is sticking with a softer gold tone for the design of the board. The motherboard itself features a 16 Phase DIGI+ VRM, four DDR3 DIMM slots, three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, six SATA 6 Gb/s, one SATA-Express, one M.2 connector, 8-channel HD audio, dual gigabit-Ethernet, WLAN, and USB 3.0 ports.
Asus is also working on a Z97-WS board that is designed for workstations. There isn’t any information available on this board, but it is likely that the manufacturer will showcase all these motherboards at Computex.
Source: Sina Weibo