ASUS Z97-PRO Review – The ASUS Z97-PRO is a premium take on ASUS’s line of Z97 chipset motherboards. Much like its predecessor, it corners with a slew of features that befits its slightly steep price tag.
ASUS Z97-PRO, Becoming A Pro
Let’s take a look at the Z97-PRO in full detail. The first detail that stands out when we first took a look at the motherboard was its light gold colour scheme, while the rest of the board is given the usual black and grey treatment. It has eight SATA III ports on board, a pair of internal USB 2.0 headers, and a pair of SuperSpeed USB 3.0. It also holds the usual array of visual outputs such as HDMI, DVI-D, VGA and DisplayPort outputs.
Additionally, it has four DIMM slots which can hold up to 32GB of DDR3 RAM. The ASUS Z97-PRO comes with some new features and also some that have been improved such as the 5-way Optimisation which does a complete system optimisation all within a single click. It will also have the ASUS 5X Protection which consists of the ASUS DIGI+VRM 12 phase digital power design, Enhanced DRAM Overcurrent Protection for short circuit prevention, ESD Guards, High quality 5K-Hour Solid Capacitors and the Stainless Steel Back I/O. It also comes with the m.2 and SATA Express technology that can boost your system’s speed as both boast a transfer rate of 10Gb/s.
Gamers can enjoy the inclusion of Crystal Sound 2 and the Intel Gigabit Ethernet providing a combination of amazing audio with lag-less gameplay. Moving on to the performance of the board, we dabbled with the UEFI BIOS which proved to be worthwhile. The EZ mode in the BIOS allows us to tweak a big chunk of the settings that users will need access to enabling changes to be made in the boot order, fan profiles, XMP settings and EZ System Tuning.
Overall, the BIOS is made to be user-friendly and it does not intimidate any new users. We tested the performance of the motherboard using Futuremark’s PCMark 8 benchmarks and it scored remarkably well. The Z97-PRO has also provided a slight improvement in gaming performance during our test with games like Skyrim and Crysis 3 being tested at maximum settings. In conclusion, The ASUS Z97-PRO has all the makings of a good all-rounder motherboard that caters to consumers of all level. Though it may be pricey, the features that come bundled with it may justify the cost for some. On a side note, the retail edition of the ASUS Z97-PRO will be sold with the Wi-Fi ac.
- Plenty of features
- Good Performance
- Supports Thunderbolt
ASUS Z97-PRO Specifications
- CPU Support: Intel Core Processor
- CPU Socket: LGA 1150
- Chipset: Intel Z97 Express chipset
- Memory Type: Dual Channel Memory Architecture