ASUS Z87 Motherboards Roundup – Maximus VI Extreme, Z87 Sabertooth, Z87 Deluxe
Intel’s Haswell launch is just around the corner and so far we know almost every bit of details about the upcoming Z87 motherboards that would support them. Today, we will be looking at ASUS Z87 motherboards which feature the ROG, TUF and Classic series boards.
ASUS Z87 Motherboards Roundup
Republic of Gamers or ROG in short is the flagship series in the ASUS Z87 motherboards lineup. They come with in a red and black design scheme and are loaded with features for both enthusiasts and overclockers. Following are the full details on ASUS Z87 Motherboards “ROG” lineup:
- ASUS ROG Maximus VI Hero
- ASUS ROG Maximus VI Gene
- ASUS ROG Maximus VI Extreme
ASUS Maximus VI Extreme
The ASUS Maximus VI Extreme comes with the red and black theme design and the latest LGA 1150 socket to support the upcoming Haswell processors.The CPU is powered by 8+4 Pin connectors while an additional six pin connector provides extra power to PCI-e GPUs. Expansion slots include five PCI-e 3.0 x16 and a PCIe 3.0 x4 slot, also an mPCIe combo slot is located near the I/O panel on the motherboard. A total of 10 SATA 3 ports offer storage, a large heatsink covers the nearby Lynx point PCH and the board has several overclocking options near the DDR3 DIMM slots such as Voltage measurement points, On/Off and Clear CMOS swtiches. There’s the ROG connect, USB Charger and flashback switches on the I/O panel and a Direct Key for fast boot is located on the PCB.
The motherboard ships with a mPCIe compatible adapter that offers Dual band WiFi 802.11 and Bluetooth v4.0. Additionally the board is bundled with the ASUS ROG OC Panel which is a realtime monitoring and tuning device.
ASUS Maximus VI Hero
The Maximus VI Hero is a cut down version of the Extreme featuring a similar design but only three PCI-e 3.0 x16 slot and three PCI-e 3.0 x1 slots. For storage there’s 8 SATA 3 ports while the CPU is powered through a single 8-Pin connector. Overclocking features remain the same but the CPU nor the PCI-e GPUs are provided extra power to additional ports. There is however an addition of several I/O ports which include GameFirst II “Intel Ethernet”, USB Charger + USB Flash back switches, SupremeFX core for 8.1 Channel high definition audio. Storage includes 8 SATA 6 GB/s, 8 USB 3.0 ports and 6 USB 2.0 ports.
ASUS Maximus VI Gene
Next up is the Maximus VI Gene which is the M-ATX board made for overclockers. It maybe small but it retains the overclocking features of the flagship Extreme motherboard, comes with two PCI-e 3.0 x16 and a PCI-e 3.0 x4 slot while storage includes 8 SATA 3 Ports. There are several I/O options an the addition of THX audio within the backpanel ports. There are a total of 8 USB 2.0 and 8 USB 3.0 ports that the board offers along with the mPCIe combo adapter device we mentioned above.
The TUF “The Ultimate Force” series includes two motherboards, the Z87 Sabertooth and the newly introduced Z87 Gryphon:
- ASUS Z87 Sabertooth
- ASUS Z87 Gryphon
ASUS Z87 Sabertooth
ASUS Z87 motherboards lineup would also include the monster Z87 Sabertooth packed inside its TUF third generation thermal armor. The TUF Thermal heatsink makes use of air cooling through a single fan that will push cool air to the internal electrical components. The TUF thermal armor is also located on the rear side of the board maximizing cooling performance and prevents the board from bending.
Expansion slots include two PCI-e 3.0 x16 and three PCI-e 3.0 x1 slots while storage include 6 SATA 3 and 2 SATA 3 GB/s ports. The motherboard retains its Sabertooth color theme for the PCH and overall heatsink design.
ASUS Z87 Gryphon
Coming to the Z87 Gryphon, the motherboard that was teased months back is also a M-ATX board that makes use of socket LGA 1150 and retains a design theme similar to its bigger brother aka the Z87 Sabertooth. The Z87 Gryphon features an 8 Phase VRM, two PCI-e 3.0 x16 slots, two PCI-e 3.0 x1 slots, 6 SATA 3 ports for storage and features such as TUF components and TUF Thermal radar to ensure the best stability.
The Z87 Gryphon also comes bundled with the ASUS’s Thermal TUF armor which can be equipped on both front and rear ends of the motherboard.
The Classic series in ASUS Z87 motherboards are getting a new look and consist of eight new products which are mentioned below:
- ASUS Z87-C
- ASUS Z87-A
- ASUS Z87-Plus
- ASUS Z87-Pro
- ASUS Z87-Deluxe
- ASUS Z87-WS
- ASUS Z87-ITX
As you might note, ASUS has dropped their Blue color theme and went with Golden with their Z87 products. An explanation behind this change in color scheme can be found here.
ASUS Z87 WS:
The ASUS Z87 WS (Workstation) is the most feature loaded board in the classic series that makes use of a 12 Phase VRM. It has a tri-phase heatsink cooling design which are interconnected via heatpipe while the chipset has its separate cooling heatink. The CPU socket is powered through Dual 8-Pin connectors, Power On/Off and Clear CMOS swtiches are located at the bottom of the board while EPU/TPU notches are located near the four DIMM slots. A 6-Pin power connector adds additional power to the four PCI-e 3.0 x16 expansion slots, there are two PCI-e 3.0 x1 slots on the motherboard too.
Storage is offered through 6 native SATA 6 GB/s and four SATA 3 GB/s ports, an mSATA slot is located near them. The motherboard offers 8 USB 3.0 and 6 USB 2.0 ports along with Dual Gigabit Ethernet LAN and an 7.1 Channel audio interface.
ASUS Z87 Deluxe:
While the workstation side is covered by the Z87-WS, the consumer side would be covered by the high-end Z87 Deluxe motherboard. It features a 16 Phase VRM covered by tri-phase heatpipe cooling and powered by an 8-Pin connector. The motherboard makes use of the ASUS’s Dual Intelligent Processors Gen IV design which features higher quality components. Four DDR3 DIMM slots offer O.C 2600+ MHz memory support with upto 32 Gigabyte capacity.
Expansion slots include three PCI-e 3.0 x16 and four PCI-e 3.0 x1 slot. A PLX chip can be found hear the expansion slots which provides more PCI Express lanes in addition to those offered by the CPU. For storage, the board comes with 6 SATA 6 GB/s and 4 SATA 3 GB/s ports and upto 8 USB 3.0 ports. The Z87 Deluxe also offers WiFi AC 802.11, Wi-Fi GO, DIGI+ VRM and several other ASUS exclusive features.
ASUS Z87i-Deluxe M-ITX
The most interesting product in the ASUS Z87 motherboards lineup is their Z87i-Deluxe which is a M-ITX board that makes use of an VRM board similar to the P8Z77i-Deluxe that packs 10 VRM phases. It comes with 6 SATA ports, a PCI-e 3.0 x16 slot, two DDR3 DIMM slots and several ports on the I/O backpanel. Pricing for the ASUS Z87 motherboards were not mentioned but their launch is expected on June 3rd.
The other four boards which include the ASUS Z87-C, ASUS Z87-A, ASUS Z87-Plus, ASUS Z87-Pro can be seen below, its worth nothing that moving from Pro to C are basically cut down versions of the Z87 Deluxe itself so we are looking at fewer PCI-e slots, lower SATA ports and a few features missing here and there.