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May
4
2014

ASUS Z97 Maximus VII ROG Ranger - Entry Level Gaming Motherboard

ASUS Z97 Maximus VII ROG Ranger - Entry Level Gaming Motherboard

The Z97 Maximus VII Ranger is ASUS’ latest motherboard that is designed to bring the ROG gaming experience to an affordable price. It’s built upon the Z97 platform and utilizes the LGA 1150 socket.

The board follows the same color and design scheme as the rest of the RoG lineup with its black PCB and red accents. For power delivery, the board uses new alloy chokes and 10k black metallic caps with their Extreme Engine DIGI+ III design.

There are a total of four DDR3 DIMM slots for memory and two PCI-e 3.0 x16 slots as well as three x1 slots for expansion. Sitting besides the first PCI-e lane is the M.2 slot. Here, you can install a NGFF form factor SSD.

On the top right you’ll find hardware power and reset buttons to easily test the system beforeplopping it into the case, a post code readout LCD and a MemOK button to diagnose if there are any memory issues.

For data connectivity, the Z97 Maximus VII Ranger comes with six SATA 6Gbps ports that sit beside the front USB 3.0 header.

The new Z97 ROG lineup features Intel Gigabit Ethernet for faster, smoother gameplay as it reduces the CPU overhead. There is also an included utility called GameFirst III that prioritizes game packets and allocates more bandwidth to games for a lag-free experience.

For audio, the Z97 Maximus VII Ranger comes with ASUS’ SupremeFX 2014 which comprises of premium ELNA capacitors and EMI shielding to provide an amazing audio experience. In addition, the entire audio solution on the PCB is separated from the rest of the components in order to prevent interference.

Something fairly new is the KeyBot microprocessor. By plugging your keyboard into the dedicated USB slot, you can easily assign macro, function and shortcut keys. You can even use your keyboard to instantly overclock your CPU and other components.

On the rear I/O you’ll find two USB 2 ports, a PS2 keyboard/mouse port, an optical audio out and a HDMI port as well as a VGA and DVI out. There is also a BIOs flashback button sitting next to four USB 3.0 ports, the Intel Ethernet and audio jacks.

In regards to who this motherboard is really for, it’s great for gamers who want premium options without having to break the bank. The superb audio solution as well as network controller make it great for gaming and the overall design is sure to look great in most setups. If you are planning on getting a Z97 gaming computer, you might want to give the ASUS Z97 Maximus VII Ranger a look.

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