Asus Intros H97-Pro Gamer Motherboard

Asus announced its new H97-Pro Gamer motherboard. The motherboard is built with the H97 chipset and features the LGA1150 socket.

The LGA1150 socket is wired to four DDR3 memory slots that can be filled with up to 32 GB of memory. For expansion, there are two PCI-Express x16 slots, one of which has merely four PCI-Express 2.0 lanes. As a result, this motherboard is only good for using a single graphics card. Further expansion can be accomplished by populating the two PCI-Express x1 slots along with three legacy PCI slots.

Fortunately, the terrible PCI-Express expansion situation is somewhat made up for with storage connectivity. Next to four of the standard SATA3 (6 Gb/s) ports, the motherboard also has a single SATA-Express connector as well as an M.2 socket. These are driven by two PCI-Express 2.0 lanes, so it is good for up to 10 Gb/s.

We are curious why Asus hasn't simply made this a Micro-ATX motherboard.

Rear I/O connectivity is covered by two USB 2.0 ports, a legacy PS/2 port, four USB 3.0 ports, 8-channel audio, an Intel-driven Gigabit Ethernet port, VGA, DVI, HDMI, and optical SPDIF out. The analog audio hardware is driven by Asus's SupremeFX, which includes a headphone amplifier capable of driving up to 300 ohm headphones.

Overall, this motherboard, despite its questionable choice of expansion slots, looks like a decent offering from Asus. If you're not interested in overclocking or features exclusive to the Z platform, this might be a good way to save a couple of bucks.

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

Niels Broekhuijsen

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

  • Drejeck
    m.2 is welcome (if it's x2 or x4), but there are Z chipsets really worth buying. The PRO GAMER is just marketing. I don't know how good is the integrated audio but usually is worse than a dedicated one. If you were going to spend less than 100 bucks on the audio this is saving you money, because under that limit no soundcard is worth buying.
  • ferooxidan
    But they are saying they are in the process of unlocking H97 because of the Pentium 20th year anniversary edition. May be this board will get unlock in the future?
  • TheMentalist
    It's never bad to have different options rather than the standard H & B series motherboards. Especially with that G3258.
  • dwatterworth
    The added heatsinks on the power delivery and chipset circuitry is very appreciated on a non-Z series board. A solid option for mid level work stations in addition to the usual TUF series stuff.
  • TechyInAZ
    I don't get why PCIE 2.0 is so bad, since SLI isn't supposed to be supported on H97. One video card isn't that bad.

    Nice motherboard, however Gigabyte has already made it's H97 Gaming 3 so I don't know why Asus didn't fill the H97 Gaming motherboard roles for micro atx and Mini itx which are needed.
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    I'm waiting for a Mini-ITX board with a M.2 x4 slot. Mini-ITX doesn't have the real estate to have more than just the PCIe x16 slot, so why not use the other PCIe lanes for an M.2 x4 slot?

    Asus, make it so!
  • Ninjawithagun
    Uhhhh...."Pro Gamer" moniker + 1 x PCI-E x16 slot = FAIL