ASUS Z97 Pro Gamer Motherboard Review

Introduction and Technical Specifications

ASUS Z97 Pro Gamer Review

Introduction

There is definitely two sides to the ASUS range of products. On the one hand there are the standard range of motherboards that usually come in blue and are the workhorses. They have no more than you necessarily need, although that isn't to suggest that they are any lesser for it. The X99 Deluxe is fantastic, for example.

The second main range is the one you're most familiar with, the Republic of Gamers brand. Whether it's the Maximus or Rampage, they are the flagships. Full of amazing technology, a wealth of features, awesome overclocking capabilities and that iconic black and red colour scheme.

Today's review is something that, for the first time we can recall - barring the Sabertooth range - a motherboard has the looks and feature set we might expect from a RoG "Formula" offering, without actually having the RoG branding. It's a pure ASUS motherboard stripped of frippery and, as the price tag attests, available to all.

That Pro Gamer tag speaks of fun to be had, so let's crack on.

Technical Specifications

Considering that ultra-low pricing the feature list for the Pro Gamer is lengthy. It has SupremeFX audio with ELNA caps, shielding and a built-in headphone amp; GameFirst LAN II, traffic-shaping tech based on the latest Intel I218V NIC; the new LANGuard shielded RJ45 port; two-card SLI and Crossfire support; M.2 and SATA Express support, plus AiSuite 3 and the latest 5-way optimisation tech. If that doesn't put some lead in your pencil then little will.

  • CPU
    Intel® Socket 1150 for the 5th/New 4th/4th Generation Core™ i7/Core™ i5/Core™ i3/Pentium®/Celeron® Processors
    Supports Intel® 22 nm CPU
    Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
    * The Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 support depends on the CPU types.
    * Refer to www.asus.com for CPU support list
  • Chipset
    Intel® Z97
  • Memory
    4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 3200(O.C.)/3100(O.C.)/3000(O.C.)/2933(O.C.)/2800(O.C.)/2666(O.C.)/2500(O.C.)/2400(O.C.)/2200(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1600/1333 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory *
    Dual Channel Memory Architecture
    Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
    * Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs. 
    * Refer to www.asus.com for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).
    * Due to Intel® chipset limitation, DDR3 1600 MHz and higher memory modules on XMP mode will run at the maximum transfer rate of DDR3 1600 Mhz.
  • Graphic
    Integrated Graphics Processor- Intel® HD Graphics support
    Multi-VGA output support : HDMI/DVI-D/RGB ports
    - Supports HDMI with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
    - Supports DVI-D with max. resolution 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
    - Supports RGB with max. resolution 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
    Maximum shared memory of 512 MB
    Supports Intel® InTru™ 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology, Insider™
    Supports up to 3 displays simultaneously
  • Multi-GPU Support
    Supports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology
    Supports AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology
  • Expansion Slots
    2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (Single at x16, dual at x8/x8, )
    1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode, black)
    2 x PCIe x1
    2 x PCI
  • Storage
    Intel® Z97 chipset :
    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 2260/2280 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode)*1
    4 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
    Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
    Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology, Intel® Rapid Start Technology, Intel® Smart Connect Technology *2
  • LAN
    Intel® I218V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s), featuring GAMEFIRST II
  • Audio
    SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
    - Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel MIC Jack-retasking
    - High quality 115 dB SNR stereo playback output
    - High-fidelity audio OP AMP(s)
    Audio Feature :
    - SupremeFX Shielding™ Technology
    - ELNA premium audio capacitors
    - Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
    - Sonic Radar II
  • USB Ports
    Intel® Z97 chipset :
    6 x USB 3.0/2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
    Intel® Z97 chipset :
    8 x USB 2.0/1.1 port(s) (2 at back panel, black, 6 at mid-board)
  • Special Features
    ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5 :
    - 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ Power Control, Fan Xpert 3, and Turbo App
    Gamer's Guardian:
    - ESD Guards on LAN, Audio, KBMS and USB3.0/2.0 ports
    - DRAM Overcurrent Protection
    - 10K Black Metallic Capacitors
    - Stainless Steel Back I/O
    - DIGI+ VRM
    ASUS TPU :
    - Auto Tuning
    - TurboV
    - GPU Boost without switch
    ASUS EPU :
    - EPU
    ASUS Exclusive Features :
    - AI Suite 3
    - Ai Charger
    - ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode featuring friendly graphics user interface
    - USB 3.0 Boost
    - Disk Unlocker
    Interactive HomeCloud
    - Media Streamer
    ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution :
    - Stylish Fanless Design Heat-sink solution
    - ASUS Fan Xpert 3
    ASUS EZ DIY :
    - ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
    - ASUS EZ Flash 2
    - ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode
    - Push Notice
    ASUS Q-Design :
    - ASUS Q-Shield
    - ASUS Q-Slot
    - ASUS Q-DIMM
  • Operating System Support
    Windows® 8.1
    Windows® 8
    Windows® 7
  • Back I/O Ports
    1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
    1 x DVI-D
    1 x D-Sub
    1 x HDMI
    1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
    4 x USB 3.0 (blue)
    2 x USB 2.0
    1 x Optical S/PDIF out
    6 x Audio jack(s)
  • Internal I/O Ports
    1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s) (19-pin)
    3 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 6 USB 2.0 port(s)
    1 x SATA Express connector: gray, compatible with 2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
    1 x M.2 Socket 3 for M Key, type 2260/2280 devices
    1 x TPM header
    1 x COM port(s) connector(s)
    4 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
    1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
    1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s) (1 x 4 -pin)
    3 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (3 x 4 -pin)
    1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
    1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
    1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
    1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
    1 x System panel(s)
    1 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
    1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
  • Accessories
    User's manual
    I/O Shield
    4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
    1 x SLI bridge(s)
  • BIOS
    64 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.8, ACPI 5.0, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 2,
    CrashFree BIOS 3, F11 EZ Tuning Wizard, F6 Qfan Control, F3 My Favorites, Quick Note, Last Modified Log, F12 PrintScreen function, F3 Shortcut function, and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information
  • Form Factor
    ATX Form Factor
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Most Recent Comments

07-01-2015, 23:39:28

jackjack
Thanks for the review m8! ASUS FTW!Quote

08-01-2015, 09:27:31

zaft1g337
can someone tell me the meaning of this: "Due to Intel® chipset limitation, DDR3 1600 MHz and higher memory modules on XMP mode will run at the maximum transfer rate of DDR3 1600 Mhz."?

Does that mean if i have a 2400Mhz memory it wont run faster than 1600Mhz?Quote

08-01-2015, 09:57:15

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by zaft1g337 View Post
can someone tell me the meaning of this: "Due to Intel® chipset limitation, DDR3 1600 MHz and higher memory modules on XMP mode will run at the maximum transfer rate of DDR3 1600 Mhz."?

Does that mean if i have a 2400Mhz memory it wont run faster than 1600Mhz?
Exactly that on H97 - Z97 its fineQuote

08-01-2015, 11:47:17

Wraith
Nice, I love the styling of this board. It is basically a carbon copy of the H97 but with the Z chipset instead and for the same price....Quote

08-01-2015, 12:13:47

Thelosouvlakia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraithguard View Post
Nice, I love the styling of this board. It is basically a carbon copy of the H97 but with the Z chipset instead and for the same price....
That will make the H97 board go cheap or go die Quote
Reply
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