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Asus Releases its ROG Maximus VII Formula Motherboard

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 19 comments

The Asus ROG Maximus VII Formula is a new flagship motherboard.

The Asus ROG division is launching its Maximus VII Formula motherboard. This is the flagship Z97 motherboard from the ROG series of products, and comes with quite the hardware to back up that status.

Let's start with the basics. On the motherboard you will find an LGA1150 socket, which has support for not only Haswell and Haswell refresh processors, but also officially has support for the upcoming Intel Broadwell processors. At last, Broadwell support in LGA1150 sockets is confirmed. It was already safe to assume so, but it is nice to see it being indirectly confirmed.

Wired to the CPU socket are four DDR3 memory slots, as well as two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot (which only has wiring for four lanes), as well as three PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots. Storage connectivity is handled by six native SATA3 (6 Gb/s) ports, as well as two SATA-Express ports, which also function as four SATA3 ports if unused. And there is an M.2 socket.

When looking at the board, the first thing you will notice, aside from the black and red color scheme, is the so-called thermal armor. This armor around the motherboard is meant to keep the temperatures in check, and as a bonus, this board also has built-in liquid cooling support for the VRM circuitry. You don't need to use it, but adding it to your water loop can be very cool. Asus calls this liquid cooling support CrossChill Hybrid cooling.

Regarding Asus features, the motherboard comes with the SupremeFX audio, the Digi+ III VRM circuitry, and Asus's Q-Slot, which makes securing or releasing a graphics card just a little easier.

The motherboard will come out in two flavors: a standard version, and a version that comes bundled with a Watch_Dogs download code. Pricing is set at $319 and $369, respectively, so if you want the Watch_Dogs game either get it through here if there's a good deal, or buy it separately.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

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  • 5 Hide
    Shneiky , July 21, 2014 2:46 PM
    That is one sexy motherboard.
  • 0 Hide
    Bondfc11 , July 21, 2014 2:59 PM
    Agree - WANT!
  • 2 Hide
    thefiend1 , July 21, 2014 3:46 PM
    I would love to see the same design/effort put into a Micro-ATX board.
  • Add your comment Display all 19 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    Mac266 , July 21, 2014 4:07 PM
    Overclockers can win this through the ROG OC Showdown
  • 3 Hide
    RedJaron , July 21, 2014 4:20 PM
    Honest question: can someone explain the point of the "thermal armor" to me? It looks like a good way to trap heat from the board so it can cook itself. If you're worried about waste heat from a GPU heating up the mboard, why not just restrict the "armor" to the PCIe slots?
  • 3 Hide
    Mac266 , July 21, 2014 5:48 PM
    Quote:
    Honest question: can someone explain the point of the "thermal armor" to me? It looks like a good way to trap heat from the board so it can cook itself. If you're worried about waste heat from a GPU heating up the mboard, why not just restrict the "armor" to the PCIe slots?


    To look awesome :D 
  • 3 Hide
    soldier44 , July 21, 2014 5:58 PM
    $350 plus right there.
  • -9 Hide
    XGrabMyY , July 21, 2014 6:17 PM
    Hideous motherboard and sure to cause compatibility issues with a number of cooling/mounting options.

    Also, really sick of the trend of red and black for flagship products.
  • 0 Hide
    TechyInAZ , July 21, 2014 8:17 PM
    Nice mobo. But I still think they should redo their ROG linup with the new introduction of the HERO motherboard. It should go like this: GENE, HERO, then the EXTREME which should have the thermal armor and get rid of the formula.
  • 0 Hide
    Mac266 , July 21, 2014 8:23 PM
    Quote:
    Nice mobo. But I still think they should redo their ROG linup with the new introduction of the HERO motherboard. It should go like this: GENE, HERO, then the EXTREME which should have the thermal armor and get rid of the formula.


    So, you want to rename the Formula (which was officially the most popular motherboard in 2013) 'Extreme' and pretend that the actual Extreme never exsisted?

    Or, they could do what they did. Keep everything the same and scrap the Extreme.


  • 0 Hide
    Hupiscratch , July 21, 2014 9:31 PM
    Quote:
    Honest question: can someone explain the point of the "thermal armor" to me? It looks like a good way to trap heat from the board so it can cook itself. If you're worried about waste heat from a GPU heating up the mboard, why not just restrict the "armor" to the PCIe slots?
    According to ASUS site, this protects the motherboard from heat originated on graphic cards.
  • 2 Hide
    cypeq , July 22, 2014 12:45 AM
    Fancy premium for fancy dust cover....
  • 2 Hide
    CaedenV , July 22, 2014 3:56 AM
    Quote:
    Honest question: can someone explain the point of the "thermal armor" to me? It looks like a good way to trap heat from the board so it can cook itself. If you're worried about waste heat from a GPU heating up the mboard, why not just restrict the "armor" to the PCIe slots?

    It is pretty much only for looks... and it does in fact look pretty awesome. The marketing is that it prevents super hot air from being blown directly on the motherboard, but this is really a non-issue as the air from the GPU is going to be under (typically well under) 80*c and most motherboard components can operate just fine at 80-100*c if needed.
    Some of the older thermal armor designs made more sense as they would have a fresh air intake in a cooler part of the board which would create positive pressure to prevent hot GPU air from coming in. This design works very well but requires a small noisy fan to be used which is a big turn-off. Now the thermal armor is pretty much just a decorative dust cover, but even with that kind of use there is a huge market for people who have case windows. Heck, it looks so good that even I am tempted to pick one up even though I don't have a case window.
  • 0 Hide
    RedJaron , July 22, 2014 11:34 AM
    Quote:
    It is pretty much only for looks... and it does in fact look pretty awesome. The marketing is that it prevents super hot air from being blown directly on the motherboard, but this is really a non-issue as the air from the GPU is going to be under (typically well under) 80*c and most motherboard components can operate just fine at 80-100*c if needed.
    Some of the older thermal armor designs made more sense as they would have a fresh air intake in a cooler part of the board which would create positive pressure to prevent hot GPU air from coming in. This design works very well but requires a small noisy fan to be used which is a big turn-off. Now the thermal armor is pretty much just a decorative dust cover, but even with that kind of use there is a huge market for people who have case windows. Heck, it looks so good that even I am tempted to pick one up even though I don't have a case window.

    That's kind of my take ( though I'm indifferent about the looks. ) If you've got a proper intake fan blowing across the board ( something you should already be using anyway, ) what kind of crazy GPU would you have to be running that dumps so much heat into a mboard that thermal damage becomes a concern?
  • 0 Hide
    BulkZerker , July 22, 2014 1:25 PM
    Any double GPU on a board or flagship series gpu for that matter.
  • 0 Hide
    Shneiky , July 22, 2014 2:08 PM
    290X can dump 90C+ air around.
  • 0 Hide
    Ryon Hwang , July 22, 2014 8:01 PM
    You shouldn't be using a 290/x with a stock cooler lol
  • 2 Hide
    rishiswaz , July 23, 2014 8:42 AM
    I would like to see something where there is a test with or without the thermal armor to see a difference
  • 0 Hide
    funkychilli , August 17, 2014 3:38 PM
    I really like the Maximus VII Formula Motherboard but would someone be able to confirm if SATA & PCIE mode means what I think it means.

    Is it possible to use:
    1st Preference - M.2 as Primary Boot/w OS and have 4x SATA in RAID 5 w/ this motherboard or;
    2nd Preference - 1x SATA Express port 2x SATA in RAID 0 (I am assuming it is limited to 2x SATA)

    Basically my primary concern is storage so if all else fails I will just run a SATA RAID configuration but I want to try out M.2 Socket 3 specifically for speed but I’m getting conflicting reports about what you can and cannot run when using M.2 and SATA Express.

    I know you can only run M.2 or SATA Express and not both, but wondering about the either one with SATA.

    Motherboard Information:
    1 x SATA Express port, compatible with 2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
    1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key, type 2260 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode)
    4 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red / Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10

    Thanks, Batman

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