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ASUS Maximus VII Impact Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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The ASUS Maximus VII Impact motherboard is among ASUS' ROG (Republic of Gamers) board offerings in their Intel Z97 Express product line. The board builds on the strengths of its predecessor with the a similar layout and add-in card design implementation. ASUS augmented the new version of the board with an updated chipset and as well as additional support for the latest hard drive and audio technologies. The Maximus VII Impact has a premium price of $239.99 for its small status, but come packed full for features and power to more than justify the cost.

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Courtesy of ASUS

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Courtesy of ASUS

ASUS did not pull any punches in designing the Maximus VII Impact board, integrating a similar 8-phase digital power system as found on the Maximus VII Formula ATX board. The power system combines 60A-rated BlackWing chokes, NexFET MOSFETs with a 90% efficiency rating, and 10k Japanese-source Black Metallic capacitors onto an upright board to minimize the footprint of those components. Additionally, ASUS integrated their updated SupremeFX Impact II audio system for superior audio fidelity using the included SupremeVX Impact II add-in card.

Continue reading our review of the ASUS Maximus VII Impact motherboard!

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Courtesy of ASUS

The Maximus VII Impact contains the following features integrated into its design: four SATA 3 ports; an M.2 (NGFF) 10 Gb/s port integrated into the ASUS mPCIe Combo IV card; an Intel I218-V GigE NIC; an AzureWave (Broadcomm chipset) 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth controller integrated into the ASUS mPCIe Combo VI card; one PCI-Express Gen3 x16 slot; 2-digit diagnostic LED display; on-board power, reset, CMOS clear, Keybot, MemOK!, BIOS Flashback, ROG Connect, and Sonic SoundStage buttons; Impact CoolHub fan header add-in card; OC Panel support; SupremeFX Impact II audio solution add-in card; and USB 2.0 and 3.0 port support.

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Courtesy of ASUS

Technical Specifications (taken from the ASUS website)

CPU Intel® Socket 1150 for the 5th/New 4th/4th Generation Core™ i7/Core™ i5/Core™ i3/Pentium®/Celeron® Processors
Supports Intel® 22 nm CPU
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0

* The Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 support depends on the CPU types.
* Refer to www.asus.com for CPU support list

Chipset Intel® Z97
Memory 2 x DIMM, Max. 16GB, DDR3 3300(O.C.) / 3200(O.C.) / 3100(O.C.) / 3000(O.C.) / 2933(O.C.) / 2800(O.C.) / 2666(O.C.) / 2600(O.C.) / 2500(O.C.) / 2400(O.C.) / 2200(O.C.) / 2133(O.C.) / 2000(O.C.) / 1866(O.C.) / 1800(O.C.) / 1600 / 1333 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

* Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs.
** Refer to www.asus.com for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).

Graphic Integrated Graphics Processor- Intel® HD Graphics support
Multi-VGA output support : HDMI/DisplayPort ports
- Supports HDMI with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
- Supports DisplayPort with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz
Maximum shared memory of 512 MB
Supports Intel® InTru™ 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology, Insider™
DP 1.2 Multi-Stream Transport compliant, supports DP 1.2 monitor daisy chain up to 3 displays
Expansion Slots 1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 *1
1 x mini-PCIe 2.0 x1 *2

*1: The M.2 slot shares bandwidth with PCIe 3.0/2.0 X16 slot. Bandwidth on the PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 slot becomes x8 when M.2 device is inserted.
*2: The mini-PCIe slot is pre-installed with a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module on mPCIe Combo IV expansion card.

Storage Intel® Z97 chipset:
4 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode)
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology, Intel® Rapid Start Technology, Intel® Smart Connect Technology *3
*3: The functions support depends on the CPU types.

PCI Express gen 3.0: *1
1 x M.2 Socket 3 on mPCIe Combo IV expansion card(s), black, *4 with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode)
Support M.2 Type 2242/2260/2280/22110 SSD card (up to 110mm in length), support PCI express 3.0 x4 standard
*1: The M.2 slot shares bandwidth with PCIe 3.0/2.0 X16 slot. Bandwidth on the PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 slot becomes x8 when M.2 device is inserted.
*4: M.2 slot supports PCIE mode storage device only.

LAN Intel® I218V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s), featuring GAMEFIRST III
Intel® LAN- Dual interconnect between the Integrated LAN controller and Physical Layer (PHY)
Anti-surge LANGuard
Wireless Data Network Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac *5
Supports dual band frequency 2.4/5 GHz
Support ASUS Wi-Fi Go! Utility

*5: The module is pre-installed on mPCIe Combo IV expansion card.

Bluetooth Bluetooth V4.0
Audio ROG SupremeFX Impact II 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC *6
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature:
- SupremeFX Shielding™ Technology
- ELNA premium audio capacitors
- Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection
- DTS Connect
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
- Sonic SoundStage
- Sonic SenseAmp
- Sonic Studio
- Sonic Radar II

*6: 8-channel audio output is supported by jack-retasking using a chassis with HD audio module in the front panel.

USB Ports Intel® Z97 chipset: *7
6 x USB 3.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
Intel® Z97 chipset: *8
6 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, black, 2 at mid-board)

*7: Support ASUS USB 3.0 Boost, UASP standard on the Intel native USB 3.0 is only supported under WindowsR 8.1/8.
*8: 2 x USB2.0 ports at mid-board (USB1213) shares with ROG extension (ROG_EXT) port.

ROG Exclusive Features SupremeFX Impact II
Impact CoolHub
mPCIe Combo IV (mPCIe/M.2 combo card)
Impact Power II:
- 8 + 2 phase power design
- NexFET™ Power Block MOSFET
- 60A BlackWing Chokes
- 10K Black Metallic Capacitors
Mem TweakIt
ROG Extreme OC kit:
- LN2 Mode *9
ProbeIt
KeyBot
- CPU Level Up
- XMP
- Direct Key
UEFI BIOS features:
- GPU.DIMM Post
- Tweakers' Paradise
- ROG SSD Secure Erase
- Graphic Card Information Preview
ROG RAMDisk
GameFirst III
Extreme Tweaker

*9: 1 x LN2 mode header and CHAFAN_2/3 locate on Impact CoolHub card.

Special Features 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5
- Whole system optimization with a single click! 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ Power Control, Fan Xpert 2, and Turbo App together, providing better CPU performance, efficient power saving, precise digital power control, whole system cooling and even tailor your own app usages.
Gamer's Guardian:
- ESD Guards on LAN, Audio, KBMS and USB3.0/2.0 ports
- DRAM Overcurrent Protection
- 10K Black Metallic Capacitors
- Stainless Steel Back I/O
ASUS Wi-Fi GO!
- Wi-Fi GO! Function: Cloud GO!, Remote Desktop, Remote Keyboard & Mouse, File Transfer
- Wi-Fi GO! & NFC Remote app for portable smartphone/tablet, supporting iOS 7 & Android 4.0 systems
ASUS Exclusive Features:
- USB BIOS Flashback
- AI Suite 3
- Ai Charger
- USB Charger+
- USB 3.0 Boost
- Disk Unlocker
ASUS EZ DIY:
- ASUS O.C. Profile
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- ASUS USB BIOS Flashback
- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode
- Push Notice
ASUS Q-Design:
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-Cable
- ASUS Q-Code
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
- ASUS Q-DIMM
Overclocking Protection:
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Media Streamer
Turbo App
Operating System Support Windows® 8.1 x86 / x64
Windows® 8 x86 / x64
Windows® 7 x86 / x64
Back I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
4 x USB 3.0 (blue)
4 x USB 2.0 (one port can be switched to ROG Connect)
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
3 x Audio jack(s)
1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
1 x ROG Connect On/ Off switch(es)
1 x Q-Code LED
1 x Sonic SoundStage button
1 x KeyBot button
Internal I/O Ports 1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s)
1 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x TPM connector(s)
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s)
3 x Chassis Fan connector(s) *9
1 x 8-pin EATX 12 V Power connector
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP) *10
1 x System panel(s)
10 x ProbeIt Measurement Points
1 x LN2 Mode header(s)*9
1 x Power-on button(s)
1 x Reset button(s)
1 x mPCIe Combo IV connector(s)
1 x LN2 Mode jumper(s)
1 x ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header(s)
1 x Impact CoolHub connector(s)
1 x SupremeFX Impact II connector(s)

*9: 1 x LN2 mode header and CHAFAN_2/3 locate on Impact CoolHub card.
*10: AAFP header locates on the SupremeFX Impact II card.

Accessories User's manual
1 x ASUS Q-Cable
1 x SupremeFX Impact II audio card(s)
1 x Optional 4-in-1 washers for CPU cooler backplate
I/O Shield
4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x ASUS 2T2R dual band Wi-Fi moving antennas (Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compliant)
1 x 12 in 1 ROG Cable Label(s)
1 x mPCIe Combo IV card(s) with dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth v4.0 module
1 x Impact CoolHub card(s)
BIOS 64Mb UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.7, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.8, ACPI5.0 Multi-Language BIOS
Manageability WfM2.0, DMI2.7, WOL by PME, PXE
Support Disc Drivers
ROG GameFirst III
ROG RAMDisk
ROG CPU-Z
ROG Mem TweakIt
Kaspersky® Anti-Virus
DAEMON Tools Pro Standard
ASUS WebStorage
Home Cloud
ASUS Utilities
Form Factor Mini ITX Form Factor
6.7 inch x 6.7 inch ( 17 cm x 17 cm )

 


December 4, 2014 | 11:40 AM - Posted by madhatter256 (not verified)

First I heard about the Intel NiC using up CPU threads for networking... Did you use the driver from the DVD or Intel's site or the first version of the drivers?

December 4, 2014 | 11:52 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Driver from the DVD was used for testing...

December 6, 2014 | 08:00 PM - Posted by Derek F (not verified)

The cooler is too big. It's bigger than the board....

December 9, 2014 | 08:16 AM - Posted by Steve Hall (not verified)

Well, after watching the latest podcast#328 mentioning this review, I had too see it for myself. Holy Boulder Dam.. that cooler!!! HAHAHAHA Priceless - Sorry, but I can't help myself. Good review. Tis a really nice board. And yeah, I really enjoy the podcasts guys!

December 10, 2014 | 08:16 AM - Posted by Oliver (not verified)

Hmm, i got this motherboard in a bundle deal.

One thing they have cheaped out on is the fan control. The z97i plus gets pwm controllers and this is stuck with DC chassis fan controllers, albeit one more, which so far seem to be forcing a case fan to run at 100%...
the ai suite is confusing and has dll exceptions.

I had some issue installing a cooler, if you have an itx case which allows tower coolers it's ideal but for performance low profile coolers you will struggle. Just about got the silverstone aro06 installed.

March 14, 2015 | 12:22 AM - Posted by MajorDizaster (not verified)

So, are you supposed to replace the screws on the CPU Power Daughter card heat sinks with longer screws to mount it to a case? Or do you only need to use the two free mounting holes?

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