Computex 2014: ASUS ROG Maximus VII Impact

Subject: Motherboards | June 2, 2014 - 08:29 PM |
Tagged: ROG, mITX, Maximus VII Impact, Intel Z97, haswell, computex 2014, asus

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Courtesy of ASUS

Today, ASUS announced a new edition to their Z97-based ROG line of boards, the Maximus VII Impact. This mini-ITX board carries many of the Intel Z97 enhancements of its fellow ROG boards, as well as a few secrets of its own. Don't let looks deceive you, a heart of a champion beats in the Maximus VII Impact's small silicon footprint.

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Courtesy of ASUS

ASUS went back to the drawing board with their ROG Impact-based design, striving to deliver an mini-ITX form factor product that does not compromise on features, performance, overclocking potential, or CPU cooler compatibility. The result was the re-engineered ROG Maximus VII Impact, featuring unprecedented compatibility with a wide range of both CPU coolers and PCI-Express expansion cards. Powering the board is the Impact Power II power card, featuring the same digital power circuitry found on the full-sized ROG ATX boards. The Impact Power II PCB is mounted vertically to maximize the board's space use. Also integrated into the board is the Impact CooolHub, an optional add-on card containing two additional 4-pin fan headers as well as an LN2 header. The board also comes with the mPCIe Combo IV card, supporting 802.11ac wireless operation, as well as M.2 SSDs operating at up to 20Gbps, utilizing bandwidth up to PCIe x4 speeds.

Like other ROG Z97-based offerings, the Maximus VII Impact board comes standard with its own version of the SupremeFX 2014 audio subsystem - the SupremeFX Impact II audio card. Additionally, the board offers full compatibility with the soon-to-be-released Intel Devil's Canyon-based CPUs with enhanced tuning capabilities.

ASUS has not yet announced price or availability specifics for the ROG Maximus VII Impact, but expects the board to be available for purchase at North American-based retailers by Q3 2014.

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Source: ASUS
June 3, 2014 | 11:38 AM - Posted by Levalis (not verified)

It's a really sad move that they would include a M.2 slot with PCIe x4 (20 Gbps) in this ITX board, but cripple the Z97I-Plus to M.2 PCIe x2 (10 Gbps).
The only real feature of the Z97 chipset is arguably M.2 and SATA-Express support, but yeah let's cut the bandwidth in half for the only port where you could reasonably expect to not have your SSD bottlenecked...

June 4, 2014 | 06:07 PM - Posted by vext (not verified)

My take is that the ASUS inclusion on a x4 M.2 slot is a complete fast reaction to ASROCK's innovation in the space. ASUS included it in the LAST board they are releasing to market with the Z97 Chipset. Their complete line is announced now and the Vii Impact is the only board delayed beyond July. Looks like they're scrambling.

If you think about it the x4 M.2 in this configuration ONLY makes sense in the ROG line on the Vii Impact because its presence prevents any SLI usage on any non PLX board... except of course for boards with only one PCIe slot in the first place!

I was kinda surprised ASROCK did not put their Ultra M.2 x4 slot on their Z97 ITX board. In that regard I'm happy ASUS did it! I just wish it was releasing in July with the rest.

My feeling - get the ASROCK extreme9 - Ultra m.2 + PLX for SLI = best solution IMHO

June 6, 2014 | 02:37 AM - Posted by Levalis (not verified)

On these boards, the M.2 slot is PCIe gen 2.0, so it it coming from the "up to" 8 PCIe gen 2.0 lanes of the Z97 PCH, not from the CPU itself (which is PCIe gen 3.0) from my understanding. But you're probably right, ASUS probably saw what the competition was doing and iterated quickly on their Z97 offering.

June 3, 2014 | 11:41 AM - Posted by Levalis (not verified)

"[...] the Maximus VII Formula board comes standard with its own version of the SupremeFX 2014 audio subsystem" : did you mean the Maximus VII Impact ?

June 4, 2014 | 07:54 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Thanks for the heads up, this has been fixed...

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