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May
15
2014

ASUS Z97I-PLUS Mini-ITX Unboxing and Overview

ASUS Z97I-PLUS Mini-ITX Unboxing and Overview

Introduction and Specifications

The ASUS Z97I-PLUS is ASUS’ first premium Mini-ITX motherboard for the Z97 chipset. It utilizes a new layout to be more compatible with ATX cooling solutions, something that other Mini-ITX motherboards lack. It comes pre-installed with an 802.11ac Wi-Fi and includes a M.2 slot for expansion.

As far as accessories go, the Z97I-PLUS comes with the standard I/O shield, a User guide and DVD for drivers, four SATA 6 cables, a Wi-Fi antenna and a RF cable.

The board comes with ASUS’ 5X Protection with means that it has been tested with 7000+ validation hours and is compatible with over 1000 devices. This means that it in the research and development phase, the prototype boards were subjected to tests such as burn-ins as well as shock tests to ensure that your motherboard won’t fail on you.

For power delivery the Z97I-Plus uses the DIGI+ Power Control system with 6 digital power phases to deliver clean power to the CPU for better overclocks and stability.

The audio solution on ASUS new Z97 lineup has also been revamped. The premium Japanese audio capacitors offer natural and immersive sound and the dedicated PCB layer protects your audio signal from electric interference as well as splits the left and right channels for a cleaner signal.

With the M.2 slot, you can install a NG Form Factor SSD for theoretical transfer speeds of 10GBit/s. This trumps other solutions and makes it perfect for compact and nimble gaming computers.

Another new feature on the ASUS boards are the Intel GIGABIT NICs. ASUS has forgone 3rd party LAN solutions and has stuck with Intel for their latest series. The Turbo LAN feature allows you to monitor in real-time your network speed as well as give certain applications higher priority over others.

On the right side of the motherboard, you’ll find four SATA connections, the front USB 3.0 header and the 24-pin power connector for the board.

As far as connectivity goes, On the rear I/O you’ll find a PS2 mouse/keyboard port, four USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 ports, a DVI, VGA, DisplayPort and HDMI out as well as the Intel Gigabit LAN with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability as well as your audio ports.

In conclusion, the ASUS Z97 I-PLUS Mini-ITX motherboard is a great solution for those looking at getting a smaller computer. It doesn’t have a flashy design like the RoG boards but it does a great job and looking simple and elegant. The board itself has plenty of features for any user and the added software benefits make this board one of our favorite picks.

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