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Asus Finally Announces Maximus VII Impact Mini-ITX Z97 Motherboard

While we already saw Asus' Maximus VII Impact back at Computex, it isn't until now that the company has officially launched it. The Maximus VII Impact is Asus' highest-end Mini-ITX offering, featuring an LGA1150 socket, the Z97 chipset and a whole mountain of other features. Because Mini-ITX is a rather small form factor, in order to cram all the devices onto the motherboard, Asus has used the help of five daughterboards. (That's a big litter.)

Next to the LGA1150 socket there are two DDR3 memory slots, and below it there's a single PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. The CPU draws power from the Impact Power II VRM circuitry, which features an 8-phase circuit on the top daughterboarda. Storge connectivity is taken care of by four SATA3 (6 Gb/s) ports, along with a single M.2 slot.

The M.2 slot is built into the mPCIe Combo IV unit and is driven by four PCI-Express 3.0 lanes delivering up to 32 Gb/s of bandwidth. Note that because this slot is wired straight to the CPU, installing an SSD in there will reduce the number of PCI-Express lanes available to the graphics card to eight, although you probably won't notice a performance difference. Also built into the mPCIe Combo IV unit is a Wireless 802.11 ac radio as well as a Bluetooth 4.0 module.

For audio, Asus has equipped the motherboard with the SupremeFX Impact II sound card, which packs solid audio hardware along with a dedicated headphone amplifier. It can drive up to 600 Ohm headphones while maintaining an SNR of 110 dBA.

Compared to its predecessor, the Maximus VII Impact is able to drive two additional fans. These pins are found on the so-called Impact Coolhub, which has two 4-pin fan headers along with an LN2 mode switch. (Yes, this is a Mini-ITX board with support for LN2 overclocking.) Due to the limited space on the motherboard, Asus has also opted to place the Clear CMOS switch, mem-ok switch and more on the rear I/O.

The rear I/O panel consists of a DisplayPort 1.2 interface, an HDMI interface, four USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, a legacy PS/2 port, Intel Gigabit Ethernet, the audio connectors and an optical TOSLINK output.

All in all, if you want the best Mini-ITX Z97 motherboard, this is probably it. There's no word on pricing yet, but expect it to be steep -- there is a price to be paid to get a smaller board that makes almost no sacrifices compared to its bigger brothers. Availability also remains TBA.

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  • Drejeck
    How does it compares to the already wonderful Z97I-plus? is it worth it to get a 4x M.2 in place of a 2x? does the 2x still sucks 8 lanes on the Z97I-plus?
    how will affect a gtx 750 ti? I know that the athlon 5350 4 lanes already drive the gtx 750 ti near it's max performance.
    Reply
  • lp231
    4x better than 2x isn't it. The only non rog board that also has the daughter board was the z87i deluxe. I heard there won't be a z97i deluxe?
    Reply
  • Innocent_Bystander
    I'm just looking at a mini-ITX build in a Silverstone Raven case... sounds like this is the one to rule them all :)
    Reply
  • Rhinofart
    Oooooh. I think I found the Motherbaord for my next build.
    Reply
  • Rhinofart
    Oooooh. I think I found the Motherbaord for my next build.
    Reply
  • Lutfij
    The sata port wiring to the CPU was a bad idea. There are those among the enthusiast crowd who'd love to have all 16 lanes off the PCIe slot.

    The board should be priced around $210 as the previous version went/goes for $220
    Reply
  • The sata port placement is actually the only logical position on this small form factor board.

    Prices are not going to be around $210. According to a polish website, it says that this board will run you dry 1725 chinese yuan, or $280.00 USD.

    Based off rog.asus.com, this board's availability is going to be 1-2 weeks for order. since the time of my review.

    Sources: http://pclab.pl/news59108.html, Expreview (Search maximus vii impact)
    Reply
  • WithoutWeakness
    The sata port placement is actually the only logical position on this small form factor board.

    Prices are not going to be around $210. According to a polish website, it says that this board will run you dry 1725 chinese yuan, or $280.00 USD.

    Based off rog.asus.com, this board's availability is going to be 1-2 weeks for order. since the time of my review.

    Sources: http://pclab.pl/news59108.html, Expreview (Search maximus vii impact)
    Regarding the SATA port: I think he was referring to the M.2 slot pulling its PCIe lanes from the CPU rather than from the chipset. The benefit is that you get PCIe 3.0 speeds from the CPU (the Z97 chipset is still limited to 8 PCIe 2.0 lanes) and lower latency access to the drive. The downside is that it limits the physical PCIe 16x slot to PCIe 8x speeds when a M.2 drive is installed. It shouldn't effect graphics card performance but still seems like an odd compromise for an ROG-class product.
    Reply
  • SilkyZ
    Needs a GTX 770 <260mm card to go with it.
    Reply
  • lp231
    Dear Asus:
    Haswell-E, Rampage! Lots of SATA, SATA Express, and PCIe x16 slots. Put like 10 PCIe x16 slot, then put SATA and SATA Express around the perimeter of the board. Fill entire bottom of mobo with M.2 and don't forget to include a wifi AC + BT 4.0 module. And if possible nice heatsink logo as well as the heatsink that can change color via software or bios and also make LED ram slots that changes color too so we can color match our components. Thank You
    Reply