At first glance, the ASUS Z97 Pro is one loaded product; SATA Express, M.2, a robust VRM, and a plethora of exclusive ASUS features reside side by side at $187.99. Its glamorous heat sinks make you wish manufacturers made more champagne colored accessories, and that's coming from someone who doesn't care for gold anywhere, except in a safe or on a beautiful woman (or man if you prefer).
I will take a jump straight to the circuit level and show you how ASUS is able to expand the standard Z97 PCH bandwidth into enough lanes to support all these features, as well as explain the limitations that come with the expansion and how ASUS has dealt with some of them.
The ASUS Z97 Pro doesn't seem like it hides many secrets, but little anomalies arise while investigating the hardware, and those hold the key to understanding certain features. I will also cover exclusive ASUS features like 5-Way Optimization and TPU/EPU, as well as give you an in-depth look at overclocking this motherboard.
The ASUS Z97 Pro features six fan headers, five of which can be controlled in the UEFI and can operate in either DC (3-pin) or PWM (4-pin) modes. ASUS says the CPU fan header can change its mode from 3 to 4 pin (DC mode to PWM mode) automatically, which is a nice feature. The CPU_OPT fan header has no control.
PRICING: You can find the ASUS Z97 Pro for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The ASUS Z97 Pro retails for $209.99 at Amazon.
Canada: The ASUS Z97 Pro retails for CDN$263.22 at Amazon Canada.