Introduction of the ASUS ROG Maximus VII Formula
It feels like it has been ages since we've had a chance to check out a Republic of Gamers based motherboard. We checked through the motherboard category, and it looks like our last victim was the Z87 based ASUS ROG Maximus VI Impact from the latter half of August of last year. It came as no surprise that we absolutely loved the board, as it showed us exactly what ASUS is capable of doing, even when giving the tiny platform that is Mini-ITX.
Today we're kicking it up a notch. Not only are we dealing with a board that is based on the Z97 chipset (the one that replaced the Z87 platform), but we're also dealing with a larger sized ATX motherboard. We've had a chance to look at a few Z97 motherboards from ASUS, and we actually have a couple more to look at over the coming weeks.
The ROG name has always meant performance, and we're sure that today isn't going to be any different with the Z97 based Maximus VII Formula. Performance is the name of the game, and it's an area that ASUS tends to do very well in when it comes to the ROG line of products, whether they are motherboards or video cards.
If the past has taught us anything about ROG based motherboards, it's that we're probably dealing with quite a large bundle. So, let's leave it all here, and move forward to see just what ASUS is bringing to the table with the Republic of Gamers Maximus VII Formula Z97 motherboard.
Package - What comes inside the box
Looking at the front of the box, you can see we've got an awesome box design based on the popular game, Watch Dogs. We've got the ROG branding across the top, and the model is indicated in the middle, along with mention that a copy of Watch Dogs is included inside. Across the bottom, you can see some rating information in regards to the game. Below that is the normal array of logos, including support for SLI, CrossFire, 4K, and Windows 8.1.
Upon opening the front of the box, we get our first look at the motherboard. We must admit, we were immediately taken back by just how cool it looks; we'll take a closer look at it in just a moment. While the right hand side gives us a look at the motherboard, you can see the left hand side explains some of the major features that are offered. Starting from the top, first we have the cooling solution that supports both liquid and air cooling. With the help of barbs, which aren't included, you can make use of water cooling to cool the MOSFET area. Looking to the right of this, we have the KeyBot interface software that offers the ability to upgrade your system at the push of a key, via the built-in microprocessor.
Moving down, you can see a big push on the audio features that bring Supreme FX Formula 2014 to the table. Sonic Studio is offered, which brings virtual surround sound; Sonic Soundstage offers hardware level audio profiles, and the Sonic SenseAmp auto detects headphones, and helps optimize the audio for them. Finally, the last features pushed are the networking options, which include Intel Ethernet, LANGuard for surge protection, and support for the GameFirst III software to help optimize networking performance.
After turning the box over, you can see some of the highlights on the board, which include the mPCIe Combo III card, Extreme Engine Digi+ III, SATA Express, and ROG Armor. Below that, you can see the main specifications, and get a look at the I/O panel. We won't go into much detail here, as we'll cover this in greater detail on the next page.
Moving into the box, you can see we've got a fair bit going on. Starting from the top, we've got our User Guide, Driver CD, and a sign that can be hung from your door knob. Moving across, we've got our I/O backplate, along with some EZ Connectors, and a small SLI bridge. In the middle, we've got a bunch of stickers that can be used to label your hard drives, and the right hand side sees a total of eight SATA III cables. The main part of the bundle finishes off with a card that gives us the ability to download a full version copy of Watch Dogs.
Outside of all that, we've also got the MPCIE Combo III card, and an antenna that goes with it for the wireless networking feature. Via this Combo card, we've got a pre-fitted mPCIe card that offers us 802.11ac Wi-Fi, along with support for Bluetooth 4.0. On the other side, we've got a M.2 slot for the latest in storage technology.
PRICING: You can find the ASUS ROG Maximus VII Formula 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 ROG Maximus VII Formula retails for $339.99 at Amazon.