ASUS Maximus VII Impact mITX Intel Z97 Motherboard Review
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
The ASUS Maximus VII Impact mITX Z97 motherboard is going to be one of those motherboards that stands out from the crowd. ASUS pretty much packed everything but the kitchen sink onto the Maximus VII Impact motherboard. Considering that the Maximus VII Impact Z97 motherboard is a small form factor mITX motherboard, that’s pretty impressive. Not only is it packed with features, ASUS managed to keep the price down to only $229.99. Considering how well the ASUS Maximus VII Impact mITX Z97 motherboard performed today, that would be $229.99 well spent!
The ASUS Maximus VII Impact mITX Intel Z97 Motherboard may fit into the tiny mITX form factor, but ASUS packed more features into the Impact than I have seen on several full size ATX motherboards! Some of the more obvious features on the ASUS Maximus VII Impact include the Impact Power II, and the SupremeFX Impact II audio solution. Some of the more subtle features really help the Maximus VII Impact to stand out. The Impact features the latest Intel Ethernet for a fast and smooth gaming experience. When it comes to gaming, the ASUS Maximus VII Impact also includes the ASUS Games First III. The Games First III software is a network optimization software that prioritizes your network traffic to optimize your online gaming experience. ASUS has put so much into this board, the mPCIe Combo IV card gets installed vertically onto the Maximus VII Impact to save space. It features 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0 on one side, and the other side has a M.2 socket for an M.2 SSD!
With the recent launch of the Intel X99 platform, I’ve been spending time playing with the Intel Extreme platform. Obviously that platform is going to have some advantages over the Intel Z97 chipset that is on the ASUS Maximus VII Impact mITX motherboard. Features like quad channel memory, 8-core/16 thread processors, and additional PCIe Gen 3.0 lanes are all an advantage of the X99 platform. Looking at the performance of the ASUS Maximus VII Impact Z97 motherboard, I’m not convinced the added cost is worth it unless you’re doing stuff that relies heavily on thread count like video rendering. When it comes to daily use and gaming, the ASUS Maximus VII Impact mITX motherboard was at the top of the charts in most of the tests.
It didn’t come as a surprise that overclocking with the ASUS Maximus VII Impact was a breeze. The first go around with overclocking I used the CPU Level up and went for broke. The top setting for the CPU level up is 4.6GHz and after setting that and saving the settings to the UEFI BIOS the system rebooted, tuned itself and went right into Windows. I ran some stability tests on the CPU level up overclock and the system was rock solid. A 4.6GHz overclock is a pretty solid overclock, especially since it was done automatically. Obviously though, I couldn’t leave it at that and I had to see what I could squeeze out of the Intel Core i7-4770K and the ASUS Maximus VII Impact mITX motherboard. After a little bit of time and effort I was able to hit a rock solid overclock of 4.8GHz on the mITX motherboard! The ASUS Maximus VII Impact Intel Z97 mITX motherboard packs a punch when it comes to overclocking!
Over the years I’ve only had to use the ASUS RMA service once and it was an almost an enjoyable experience (if returning a failed product can be considered enjoyable). Though that was a number of years ago with an Intel LGA775 motherboard that may or may not have been a user error (I’ll never admit to anything). With that being said, customer service has been a high point with ASUS for me in the past, and if you do happen to run into an issue with the ASUS Maximus VII Impact mITX motherboard you will have some peace of mind knowing that it is backed up by a three year warranty which is based on the serial number.
Legit Bottom Line: The ASUS Maximus VII Impact is a beast of a board in a small package. Short of multiple PCIe x16 slots the Impact has everything that you’ll need for a killer system!