Asus has taken the wraps of its new range of Z87 motherboards for Intel’s 4th Generation “Haswell” processors that will include mainstream products from Asus itself and offerings from the company’s specialized labels including The Ultimate Force (TUF), Republic of Gamers (ROG) and Workstation (WS).
Starting with Asus’ self-branded motherboards, the most prominent change is the new gold-accented heatsinks that add bling to an otherwise utilitarian piece. In addition to presenting a rather striking appearance that should complement the typically black painted interiors of most PC cases, the new heatsinks also have a larger surface area for better heat dissipation and cooling performance.
Asus’ range of Z87 motherboards will be led by the high-end Z87-Deluxe which “delivers a wide variety of advanced features and connectivity options” and also includes the Z87 WS that “provides workstation reliability and feature sets”, the Z87-Pro / Z87-Plus which will provide “enhanced features and performance in their target segments” and the Z87-A. Interestingly, Asus will also be launching a mini-ITX motherboard with the Z87I-Deluxe which purports to offer “best-in-class options, design and performance”.
Also included is the company’s next generation Dual Intelligent Processors 4 with 4-Way Optimization technology that consolidates a TPU performance tuning chip, EPU energy consumption manager, Fan Xpert 2 and DIGI+ Power Control to “enhance the ways customers manage their PC for improved gaming, entertainment, and productivity performance”.
In addition to allowing the above featured to be activated with a single click of the mouse, the 4-way optimization is capable of automatically enhancing performance, digital power management and case fan adjustment. For example, it can detect when users are AFK and shift into “Away Mode” whereby power consumption is dropped to minimal levels whilst still allowing content to be downloaded, streamed or backed up.
The Asus Republic of Gamers range of Z87 motherboards will initially include the Maximus IV Hero for “gaming enthusiasts that “want to experience the world-famous ROG brand at a more accessible price point”, the Maximus IV Gene and the Maximus IV Extreme.
All three motherboards will include Asus’ SupremeFX audio that claims to rival discrete soundcards in “power and clarity” and the Sonic Radar on-screen overlay, which shows the location and orientation of in-game sound sources. The Maximus IV Gene will also include the mPCIe Combo II that offers support for M.2 (NGFF) SSD connectivity.
The high-end Maximus IV Extreme motherboard will also ship with Asus’ OC Panel, a real-time overclocking and system monitoring console that can be placed in a 5.25” drive bay or used externally.
Asus has also revealed that the aforementioned three motherboards will soon be followed by additional products in the near future and provide the “largest and most diversified line-up of Z87 gaming motherboards in the industry”.
Last but not least, Asus’ The Ultimate Force (TUF) motherboards will be launched with the Sabertooth Z87 and Gryphon Z87, the first micro-ATX TUF motherboard. Both motherboards have been designed to deliver “rigorously-tested TUF cooling and durability” and utilize high-durability components such as Japan-made 10K Black Metallic capacitors, which support 20% greater extreme temperature tolerance and five times the lifespan of generic capacitors used in other motherboards.
Also available is the TUF Thermal Armor which introduces a new airflow-boosting flow valve design, TUF Fortifier backplates which reinforces motherboards against bending and bowing and the TUF Dust Defender which adds unique enclosures that protect expansion slots, ports and connectors against debris accumulation. a
All of the above features are standard on the TUF Sabertooth Z87 and are available in the optional optional Gryphon Armor Kit for the TUF Gryphon Z87.
“ASUS possesses the best research and development expertise, and as always we are confident that we offer our customers the finest quality with these new motherboards. We’re including a variety of media-praised exclusive features with each model, and are proud to announce that we have the most comprehensive Z87 motherboard launch line-up, all available simultaneously”, commented Jackie Hsu, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Worldwide Sales, ASUS Open Platform Business Group.
Asus’ new Z87 motherboards will be available from mid-2013 with further information on specifications, pricing and availability expected to arrive shortly.