ASUS Maximus VII Hero Preview
Published: 28th April 2014 | Source: ASUS |
There is no doubt that whilst the regular Z97s might be the overall volume sellers because of the pre-built system market, the majority of motherboards that ASUS sell separately come from their Republic of Gamers range. Until the last generation these were broadly split into three main types. The Gene, for those who want an iTX board; the Extreme for everyone who was determined to have the very best regardless of cost; and the Formula for everyone else.
With the release of the Z87 Maximus VI Hero ASUS brought a new variation to the marketplace. Tightly focussed upon the needs of gamers the Hero proved extremely popular and so it's no surprise to see it return as an option on the Maximus VII. Indeed the Formula and the Extreme have, for the moment at least, seemingly been replaced by the Maximus VII Ranger, which is aimed at the gamer on a budget, and today's preview model the Maximus VII Hero which has all the bells and whistles a gamer could need, without piling on frivolous features for the sake of it.
With such a tight focus, and a rumoured £200 price tag, the Hero could be exactly that. So let's delve into what's on offer.
ASUS have helpfully compared the Maximus VII Hero to their preceding Maximus VI Hero, which was certainly one of the better Z87 motherboards around. By putting the major changes in red it allows at 'at a glance' checklist of what is new. Which, as you can see by casting your eyes through the list, is support for the forthcoming 5th Generation Intel CPUs, higher memory overclocking (up from 3000MHz to 3200MHz), improved network hardware and configuration and superior audio options.
Everything else has, as you'd expect, been tweaked and refined with more upto-date ROG Gamefirst and better fan control options, alongside the M.2 Socket 3 support. Surely you're gagging to see how it looks, so let's move on to the board itself.