As part of the ASUS ROG Press Conference today here at Computex, ASUS has announced two of the anticipated members of the Z97 ROG lineup along with an unexpected new ROG entry into the AMD APU market.  The Maximus VII Formula and Maximus VII Impact are Z97 versions of their Z87 brethren, using the enhancements that Z97 brings such as SATA Express, M.2 and lower DPC Latency.

The Formula use the full cover body plate similar to the previous version, although it is more styled in the power delivery heatsink area while still containing a combination air/water cooler.  In order to reinforce structural rigidity, the rear of the motherboard also has a full cover body plate affixed at nine points around the motherboard.

The Maximus VII Formula uses dual SATAe (one from the chipset, one from an ASMedia controller) as well as ASUS’ mPCIe Combo III on the rear IO to give access to an mPCIe slot and an M.2 (x2 and SATA) slot.  The power delivery is using higher specification components to the standard channel range, and the central element of the motherboard lights up when in use.  Audio is from the SupremeFX solution, which uses SenseAmp to automatically adjust for headphones up to 600 ohms.

The Maximus VII Impact builds on the VI Impact which we reviewed earlier this year and rewarded with good reason.  The new version comes with an updated power delivery daughterboard (Impact Power II), an updated audio daughterboard (SupremeFX Impact II), and mPCIe Combo IV with 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.0.

The new features include M.2 x4 as part of mPCIe Combo IV, which given the nature of the Impact and the array of extra features I would assume, like the Extreme6, this comes from the CPU.  That would mean the PCIe 3.0 slot would reduce to x8, but as shown on the Extreme6 review, for single card gaming at 1080p, gaming frame rates reduce by sub-1%.  It does mean that four lanes are unused however, which might not be ideal.  Another new feature is the Impact CoolHub, a card connected to the motherboard with two 4-pin fan headers as well as an LN2 header for extreme overclockers.  The Maximus VI Impact was a favorite among DRAM enthusiasts and holds several records for DRAM clocking, so these users should appreciate the additional features.

The odd ball of the announcements is the ROG Crossblade Ranger.  The last time ASUS designed an ROG AMD motherboard was the Crosshair IV Formula-Z for AM3+, and AMD APU enthusiasts have been requesting something similar to the Maximus series on the AMD side.  The Crossblade Ranger takes a lot of cues from the Maximus VII range, especially in terms of color scheme, software, audio features and Ethernet.

The styling mimics that of the Maximus VII Ranger (one could assume that the chipset heatsink is the same due to the motif), using sharp angular edges in typical ROG style.  Due to the AMD nature of the motherboard I would assume that there is no SLI, but there is SupremeFX audio, 8 SATA ports, Keybot, Slow Mode, LN2 Mode, voltage check points, and even an Intel NIC.  Yes, an Intel NIC on an AMD motherboard.

The Formula and Crossblade Ranger are expected in late July, with the Impact in Q3.  Pricing will be determined closer to the launch date.

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  • Aikouka - Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - link

    As an owner of the Formula VI, that's what it looks like! It also appears that they finally got the hint that people that spend $300 on a motherboard don't want generic, white retaining tabs (memory, PCI-E, etc.)!
  • Myk SilentShadow - Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - link

    Crosshair V Formula-Z :p

    There should be SLI, AMD boards I have seen from ASUS feature both SLI and CFX. You seem surprised there is an Intel NIC on the Crossblade Ranger, why not? the CHVF and CHVF-Z both have Intel NIC's on them too.
  • DnaAngel - Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - link

    There is a reason we haven't seen any updates to the AMD platform. The main reason for this, is they haven't changed the chipset in over 3 years (990 FX/9 Series). Can only do so much to their current platform other then aesthetics etc. Sata Express, M.2 etc is not supported by the 9 series chipset from AMD, so you won't see them. It's not looking like they will be updating anything anytime soon, since they have seized and discontinued all production in their Desktop CPU market in an attempt to avoid total bankruptcy. The only thing AMD will be focusing on atleast for the next 3-5 years, will be APU's, Desktop GPU's and some server CPU's.

    As far as the rest of it is concerned, I hope Sata Express is coming to the X99 boards, as I am looking to upgrade to the new 8 Core Haswell-E, DD4 RAM and hopefully by then Rampage V Black Edition will be out...
  • Parastic Filth - Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - link

    I wouldn't say AMD is heading toward bankruptcy so soon, they are just heading toward more lucrative green pastures in developing countries, by providing a cheaper alternative, rather than pacing themselves in a "dead end" saber rattling battle with Intel. In all actuality, the OC and intense gaming PC customer base is rather small demographic when you compare it to all of the console gamers ( who AMD has surprisingly supplied the chip-sets for both newer consoles) and the Facebookers. Personally, I think it's a fairly smart move on AMD's part and I willing to bet that Intel will focus their efforts in that direction in the future. Bad news for everyone that likes the monster truck Goliath builds like myself, but good news for AMD shareholders like myself as well; in the end I'll take the money.
  • danjw - Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - link

    I think Ian made a mistake regarding the Impact. With no PCIe 2.0 slots on the board, I don't know why they would use the processor 3.0 lanes for the M.2 port. It seems to me to a a non sequitur.
  • R3MF - Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - link

    shame the FM2+ board didn't have an M.2 slot, Kaveri after all has 24x PCIe 3.0 lanes on the APU...

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