ASUS Maximus VII Impact mITX Intel Z97 Motherboard Review

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ASUS Maximus VII Impact mITX Intel Z97 Motherboard

ASUS Maximus VII Impact Motherboard Layout

Today I have a chance to look at and play with the latest small form factor motherboard from ASUS, the ASUS Republic of Gamers Maximus VII Impact mITX Intel Z97 motherboard. The Maximus VII Impact may be tiny, but it packs a lot of features into that small footprint. The Maximus VII Impact is designed for the latest processors in the LGA1150 package, like the Intel Core i7-4790K Devils Canyon processor. Though it will certainly work with other LGA 1150 processors, your best bet is going to be an unlocked K-series processor for some overclocking fun! Right now the ASUS Maximus VII Impact mITX motherboard can be found for only $229.99, when you find out more about the Impact, you’ll see it’s worth it in features alone!

ASUS Maximus VII Impact - Impact Power II

One of the keys to processor performance is the power delivery to the CPU. The mITX small form factor makes PCB real estate a precious commodity since it’s so limited, this causes a number of mITX motherboards to have a power delivery method that isn’t quite as solid as their full size counterparts. ASUS has bypassed that limitation with the ASUS Impact Power II. The Impact Power II is designed to bring full sized power to the mITX platform. Working in conjunction with the 10K Japanese made black metallic capacitors on the motherboard, the Impact Power II features 50% smaller NexFET MOSFETs hat are over 90% more efficient. The Impact Power II includes 60 Amp BlackWing Chokes that run 5 degrees Celsius cooler and have a minimal-loss power delivery. When all of the components that make up the Impact Power II are working together, the completely digital power architecture provides the ultimate control of the Intel processors FIVR (Fully Integrated Voltage Regulator). The better control over the FIVR, the better the performance and tuning.

ASUS SupremeFX Audio

The ASUS Republic of Gamers series of motherboards, are a top choice for gamers for a number of reasons. Among those reasons, is the audio quality and the features like Sonic Radar 2.0. The ASUS Maximus VII Impact features the latest iteration of the SupremeFX II. The SupremeFX II features ELNA premium audio capacitors, and has the added bonus’s of Sonic Studio, Sonic SoundStage, and Sonic SenseAmp. Much like with the ASUS Impact Power II above, real estate on the Maximus VII Impact was limited, rather than skimp on the audio, ASUS went up with it. The SupremeFX II is on it’s own dedicated board which has a couple of benefits. The audio components are physically separated from the PCB which limits the electromagnetic interference to the components. This helps to provide a crisper, cleaner sound.

ASUS Sonic Radar

Sonic Rador 2.0 is designed for first person shooters. The Sonic Radar II is an overlay that shows where the sounds are coming from. No more worrying about where that shot came from, now you can hear and see where it’s coming from.

ASUS mPCIe Combo Wireless AC Card

This isn’t the first board to come across my bench with a add-in WiFi ac card, it is the first to be a mPCIe card with a M.2 ports on the other side though. The mPCIe Combo IV features an 802.11ac/Bluetooth card on one side, and a M.2 x4 slot on the other. The M.2 slot will support all of the socket 3 card sizes, 2242/2260/2280/22110. I gottta say, this is pretty slick the way ASUS did this.

I will touch on more as I go through the review, but let’s take a look at the specifications of the ASUS Maximus VII Impact mITX motherboard and then we can get to the good stuff!

ASUS Republic of Gamers Maximus VII Impact mITX Motherboard Specifications
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
Chipset
  • Intel Z97
Memory
  • 2 x DIMM, Max. 16GB, DDR3 3300(O.C.)/3200(O.C.)/3100(O.C.)/3000(O.C.)/2933(O.C.)/2800(O.C.)/2666(O.C.)/2600(O.C.)/2500(O.C.)/2400(O.C.)/2200(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1800(O.C.)/1600/1333 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
  • Dual Channel Memory Architecture
  • Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
Graphic
  • Integrated Graphics Processor- Intel HD Graphics support
  • Multi-VGA output support : HDMI/DisplayPort ports
  • Supports HDMI with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
  • Supports DisplayPort with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz
  • Maximum shared memory of 512 MB
  • Supports Intel InTru 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology, Insider
  • DP 1.2 Multi-Stream Transport compliant, supports DP 1.2 monitor daisy chain up to 3 displays
Expansion Slots
  • 1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16
  • 1 x mini-PCIe 2.0 x1
Storage Intel Z97 chipset :

  • 4 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode)
  • Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
  • Supports Intel Smart Response Technology, Intel Rapid Start Technology, Intel Smart Connect Technology

PCI Express gen 3.0 :

  • 1 x M.2 Socket 3 on mPCIe Combo IV expansion card(s), black, *4with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support
LAN
  • Intel I218V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s), featuring GAMEFIRST III
  • Intel LAN- Dual interconnect between the Integrated LAN controller and Physical Layer (PHY)
  • Anti-surge LANGuard
Wireless Data Network
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Supports dual band frequency 2.4/5 GHz
  • Support ASUS Wi-Fi Go! Utility
Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Supports dual band frequency 2.4/5 GHz
  • Support ASUS Wi-Fi Go! Utility
Audio ROG SupremeFX Impact II 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC

  • Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking

Audio Feature :

  • SupremeFX Shielding Technology
  • ELNA premium audio capacitors
  • Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection
  • DTS Connect
  • Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
  • Sonic SoundStage
  • Sonic SenseAmp
  • Sonic Studio
  • Sonic Radar II
USB Ports Intel Z97 chipset :

  • 6 x USB 3.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)

Intel Z97 chipset :

  • 6 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, black, 2 at mid-board)
ROG Exclusive Features
  • SupremeFX Impact II
  • Impact CoolHub
  • mPCIe Combo IV (mPCIe/M.2 combo card)
  • Impact Power II :
  • 8 + 2 phase power design
  • NexFET Power Block MOSFET
  • 60A BlackWing Chokes
  • 10K Black Metallic Capacitors
  • Mem TweakIt
  • ROG Extreme OC kit :
  • LN2 Mode
  • ProbeIt
  • KeyBot
  • CPU Level Up
  • XMP
  • Direct Key
  • UEFI BIOS features :
  • GPU.DIMM Post
  • Tweakers’ Paradise
  • ROG SSD Secure Erase
  • Graphic Card Information Preview
  • ROG RAMDisk
  • GameFirst III
  • Extreme Tweaker
Special Features 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5

  • Whole system optimization with a single click! 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ Power Control, Fan Xpert 2, and Turbo App together, providing better CPU performance, efficient power saving, precise digital power control, whole system cooling and even tailor your own app usages.

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

ASUS Wi-Fi GO!

  • Wi-Fi GO! Function: Cloud GO!, Remote Desktop, Remote Keyboard & Mouse, File Transfer
  • Wi-Fi GO! & NFC Remote app for portable smartphone/tablet, supporting iOS 7 & Android 4.0 systems

ASUS Exclusive Features :

  • USB BIOS Flashback
  • AI Suite 3
  • Ai Charger
  • USB Charger+
  • USB 3.0 Boost
  • Disk Unlocker

ASUS EZ DIY :

  • ASUS O.C. Profile
  • ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
  • ASUS EZ Flash 2
  • ASUS USB BIOS Flashback
  • ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode
  • Push Notice

ASUS Q-Design :

  • ASUS Q-Shield
  • ASUS Q-Cable
  • ASUS Q-Code
  • ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
  • ASUS Q-DIMM

Overclocking Protection :

  • ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)

Media Streamer
Turbo App

Operating System Support
  • Windows 8.1 86×64
  • Windows 8 86×64
  • Windows 7 86×64
Back I/O Ports
  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
  • 4 x USB 3.0 (blue)
  • 4 x USB 2.0 (one port can be switched to ROG Connect)
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 3 x Audio jack(s)
  • 1 x Clear CMOS button(s)
  • 1 x ROG Connect On/ Off switch(es)
  • 1 x Q-Code LED
  • 1 x Sonic SoundStage button
  • 1 x KeyBot button
Internal I/O Ports
  • 1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s)
  • 1 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 2.0 port(s)
  • 1 x TPM connector(s)
  • 4 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
  • 1 x CPU Fan connector(s)
  • 3 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
  • 1 x 8-pin EATX 12 V Power connector
  • 1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
  • 1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
  • 1 x System panel(s)
  • 10 x ProbeIt Measurement Points
  • 1 x LN2 Mode header(s)
  • 1 x Power-on button(s)
  • 1 x Reset button(s)
  • 1 x mPCIe Combo IV connector(s)
  • 1 x LN2 Mode jumper(s)
  • 1 x ROG extension (ROG_EXT) header(s)
  • 1 x Impact CoolHub connector(s)
  • 1 x SupremeFX Impact II connector(s)
Accessories
  • User’s manual
  • 1 x ASUS Q-Cable
  • 1 x SupremeFX Impact II audio card(s)
  • 1 x Optional 4-in-1 washers for CPU cooler backplate
  • I/O Shield
  • 4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
  • 1 x ASUS 2T2R dual band Wi-Fi moving antennas (Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compliant)
  • 1 x 12 in 1 ROG Cable Label(s)
  • 1 x mPCIe Combo IV card(s) with dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth v4.0 module
  • 1 x Impact CoolHub card(s)
BIOS
  • 64Mb UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.7, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.8, ACPI5.0 Multi-Language BIOS
Manageability
  • WfM 2.0, DMI 2.7, WOL by PME, PXE
Support Disc
  • Drivers
  • ROG GameFirst III
  • ROG RAMDisk
  • ROG CPU-Z
  • ROG Mem TweakIt
  • Kaspersky Anti-Virus
  • DAEMON Tools Pro Standard
  • ASUS WebStorage
  • Home Cloud
  • ASUS Utilities
Form Factor
  • Mini ITX Form Factor
  • 6.7 inch x 6.7 inch ( 17 cm x 17 cm )
Print
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  • Alfio

    On H264 encoding why does the picture show 12 threads? you only get 8 on an 1150 processor. If you do Copy & Paste between reviews you are bound to leave parts of another around .

  • korko

    sorry please can tell u use 32 gb ? the motherboard support says is 16 gb at max, and u guys , ddr4 32gb ? i believe 32 gb ddr3, but these card can handle 32 gb ?

    • springerr

      16gb of DDR3 nit 4

  • Oscarcharliezulu

    Love ROG boards. Picked a used 775 gene board off eBay got good use out of it for 3 years then got a big chunk of my money back when I sold it. I think it’s worth getting the top of the line as you get to enjoy a great board and its a better investment when you sell.

  • I always liked ASUS motherboards but not after this build using the Maximus VII Hero, so with that this motherboard would be no different in my opinion. The next system build will be totally different altogether and I’ll never purchase another product from ASUS again.

    PhoneyVirus
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