Asus has presented its entire motherboard family based on the Intel Z87 chipset and while we recognize a lot of the product names and the functions; there are plenty of news. Among other they have a gold inspired color theme on the standard series and 802.11ac Wifi in the top models.
Asus entry level boards are simply called Z87 and will get a new look compared to older entry level cards. Gone is the blue and black themes we have grown accustomed to, and instead Asus has gone for a tested color combination of black circuit boards and gold-painted details. Everything from heatsinks to expansion slots are colored gold/yellow and the theme is used by the whole series of LGA1150 motherboards.
Asus initially reveals five models of the Z87 series: Z87-C, Z87-A, Z87-PLUS, Z87-PRO and top model Z87-DELUXE. the latter comes with the most extra functions. This includes 16 phase power supply, ten SATA 6.0 Gbps ports, eight USB 3.0 ports, dual GigaBit Ethernet, DisplayPort and HDMI outputs, and a dedicated 802.11ac Wifi module. This is paired with Asus new UEFI and overclocking functions like double LEDs for troubleshooting, clear CMOS, Start and Reset buttons on-board.
|Z87 Plus||Z87 Pro|
The board also have features that automatically detects when you leave the computer and puts the system into sleep mode without cutting of any downloads or such. At the same time Asus have presented new possibilities for users to control their system via tablets and phones, and storing data in the cloud.
|Z87 Sabertooth||Z87 Griphon|
Asus TUF (The Ultimate Force) returns with two new models; the classic Z87 Sabertooth in a traditional ATX format and the first microATX motherboard of the TUF series, Asus Z87 Gryphon. The theme here is more military inspired with black, grey and brown details. The board also has the characteristic cover for protecting circuits and make overall cooling more efficient. The boards sport 8 phase power supply, but due to the different sizes connectivity varies a bit.
The standard sports eight SATA 6.0 Gbps and another eight USB 3.0 ports, and 8 channel sound processor, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs and three PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots for graphics cards. The smaller Gryphon also has three PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, but has to settle for six SATA 6,0 Gbps ports and four USB 3.0 ports. Video is output through DVI and HDMI.
|Maximus VI Hero||Maximus VI Gene|
Asus Z87 Republic of Gamers is still made for gamers and enthusiasts with a large focus on overclocking and performance. Three models are apart of the new series, Asus Maximus VI Hero, Maximus VI Gene, and Maximus VI Extreme.
Maximus Hero is the introduction model with 12 phase power supply, SupremeFX sound processor with 115db SNR ratio and technology to show on screen where different sounds originate; functions that the microATX model Maximus IV Gene inherits and adds to with support for NGFF SSD and a dedicated network processor. Gene is nearly identical to Hero, but with two PCI Expres 3.0 X16 slots in single X16 mode or double X8 mode. We also have a mPCI Express card for 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth.
|Maximus VI Extreme|
The flagship of the Republic of Gamers series for Z87 is Maximus VI Extreme, and it comes with 12 phase power supply that is found in Hero and Gene. Much of the focus is on expansion and Maximus VI Extreme comes with four PCI Express 3.0 X16, where two can run in X16 mode and four slots can run in X8 mode. On top of these there is one PCI Express 2.0 X16 slot in X4 and a physical PCI Express 2.0 X4 slot.
Extreme also offers more connectivity than its siblings, with dual Gigabit Ethernet, ten SATA 6 Gbps, eight USB 3.0 and a mPCI Express card with 802.11ac Wifi and Bluetooth. Asus has also introduced a new accessory, OC Panel. It is an evolved version of previous overclocking accessories from the ROG series in the form of a module that mounts into a 5.25″ slot or sits by itself on the desk and can be used to monitor voltages, temperatures and frequencies.
All of Asus Z87 boards will be available at the launch of Intel Haswell in early June. There are no exact prices, but it would be reasonable to assume the boards will inherit the prices from the Z77 launch.