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ASUS Intel Z87 Motherboard Lineup Preview

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction

Today, ASUS introduces their Intel Z87-based motherboard lineup with board refreshes across all of their product lines: ASUS (mainstream), Republic of Gamers (ROG), The Ultimate Force (TUF), and Workstation (WS). With the exception of their TUF and ROG board lines, ASUS decided to introduce a new and improved color scheme for their boards - black and gold. The motherboard surfaces are black with gold colored heat sinks. While black and gold may not seem like the best match-up, don't judge the boards until you have seen them first hand - the black and gold go very well together.

ROG Motherboards

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ASUS Maximus VI Gene
Courtesy of ASUS

Their ROG line will include the Maximus VI Extreme, the Maximus VI Formula, the Maximus VI Gene, and the Maximus VI Hero. All ROG boards feature the standard red and black color scheme common to that brand. Additionally, ASUS includes SupremeFX audio standard with all ROG boards and their Sonic Radar on-screen overlay technology. Sonic Radar is an in-game overlay that can be used to accurately pinpoint game-based sound sources. For powering these boards, ASUS includes 60amp-rated blackwing chokes and NexFET MOSFETS with 90% power efficiency operation. Use of these power components was seen to reduce on-board temperatures in the ASUS labs by as much as 5 degrees Celcius.

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ASUS Maximus VI Extreme
Courtesy of ASUS

ASUS upped the ante even more with their Maximus VI Extreme board by including the ASUS OC Panel. This panel includes a display and can be mounted in a 5.25" drive bay or used externally for real time voltage and temperature monitoring as well as tweaking of various frequency and voltage BIOS settings. The ASUS OC Panel is supported on all ROG boards and will be available for after-market purchase for the non-Extreme boards.

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ASUS Maximus VI Hero
Courtesy of ASUS

The Maximus VI Hero motherboard is the newest member of the ROG line, branded as a more affordable solution for the gamer. This board is marketed as a head-to-head competitor for MSI's MPOWER board.

Continue reading our preview of the ASUS Z87 motherboard lineup!

TUF Motherboards

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ASUS Sabertooth Z87
Courtesy of ASUS

The ASUS TUF line includes two boards, the Sabertooth Z87 and the Gryphon Z87. The Gryphon is ASUS' micro-ATX introduction to this line, bringing the power and reliability of the TUF series to a smaller footprint. The Sabertooth ships standard with the full board ASUS Armor overlay as well as the Fortifier full-board backplate. Notice that ASUS does include a fan with Armor overlay, just to the left of the CPU socket. The Fortifier backplate offers increase support to minimize board bending-related stress. While the Gryphon board does not come standard with the ASUS Armor or Fortifier, ASUS does offer a Gryphon Armor Kit that can be purchase as an after-market add-on.

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ASUS Gryphon Z87
Courtesy of ASUS

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ASUS Gryphon Armor Kit
Courtesy of ASUS

May 16, 2013 | 02:51 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Been upgrading to a new Sabertooth every 2nd year. Love them so much, will continue the trend this year! Will look fantastic in my Corsair C70 Green case.

May 16, 2013 | 07:17 AM - Posted by Justin 150 (not verified)

z87 black and gold is very nice. I like ASUS boards generally so if they bring out a MATX version would definitely consider it

May 16, 2013 | 08:10 AM - Posted by Alexw585

I'm considering selling my current i7-3770K with a P8Z77-V board to upgrade to Haskell. I know the difference isn't huge but the additional SATA6 support, Wireless 802.11ac, and what looks like Thunderbolt to me, this new line up from Asus may be reason enough.

May 16, 2013 | 08:14 AM - Posted by raxx (not verified)

I could be wrong, but I don't think there is a Maximus VI Formula. I think the Hero replaces that board. I don't see a picture of that board on any site.

"Their ROG line will include the Maximus VI Extreme, the Maximus VI Formula, the Maximus VI Gene, and the Maximus VI Hero."

May 16, 2013 | 09:08 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

There is a Maximus VI Formula as part of the line-up, ASUS did not provide pre-release photos of the board at this time though.  The Hero board is not meant to replace any of the existing ROG products (SKUs) but is an additional entry to better compete with the MSI MPOWER line of boards...

May 16, 2013 | 10:36 AM - Posted by raxx (not verified)

Oh ok! Damn you, Asus!

May 16, 2013 | 09:48 AM - Posted by grommet

I am currently using a 3770K on a Z77 Sabertooth which I have been very happy with. If I were going to upgrade to Haswell (which I haven't decided on yet) I would likely continue with the Sabertooth line.

May 16, 2013 | 05:15 PM - Posted by Ss3trnks2

Anyone know if there are any rumors or speculation about an ROG Mini-ITX board?

May 16, 2013 | 10:34 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

I can neither confirm nor deny that rumor.  You will have to wait and see...

May 16, 2013 | 07:08 PM - Posted by HottyRat (not verified)

ASUS said that there would be more than four ROG-series motherboards, so a mini-ITX board is likely to come.

May 17, 2013 | 09:50 AM - Posted by OctaveanActually (not verified)

Some of these Asus Z87 motherboards have what look like Thunderbolt "TB_Header".

Since Asus never released support via their ThunderboltEX add-in card to their supported Z77 motherboards with Thunderbolt "TB_Header" why are they bothering with it on Z87 boards now,...?

I heard that Asus couldn't get Intel certification for their ThunderboltEX card / "TB_Header" implementation which is why the add-in cards never went up for sale.

What on earth would be different now?

The Asus ThunderboltEX add-in card was supposed to be available at or near the release date of Ivy Bridge desktop processors. We are now on the cusp of Haswell release,....

May 17, 2013 | 11:43 PM - Posted by John Blanton (not verified)

On the Asus ROG site they have pictures of a black and gold Z87 mini itx motherboard that still has the VRM riser card. It's coming and I can't wait, guess my next build is going to be Haswell. :)

June 24, 2013 | 07:42 PM - Posted by 55aaa (not verified)

I like all your reviews
my question is
can I purchase a ASUS Z87-A Z87 and still use a 3770
processor
thk you

July 2, 2013 | 08:44 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Only Haswell processor on z87. Its a different socket.

July 3, 2013 | 05:48 AM - Posted by DRiVER_helsinki (not verified)

unfortunately when something else is doin the work for the player,
its like cheat.
Manufacturers invent and build what looks cools and sells.
Asus sure sense this has risk to get ban -but before such happens it has sold a lot.
Luckily they didnt (yet) make external version out of this -which is plugged in between your headphone wire and computer. -because those cant be detected by punkbuster,
like many such recoil-removing mouses where scripts are uploaded onto mouse, and dont use/ need any software/process inside the operating system.

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