ASUS Republic of Gamers Maximus VII Ranger Z97 (LGA 1150) Motherboard Review

by - 7 years ago

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Final Thoughts


Pricing

The ASUS Maximus VII Ranger has an MSRP of about £129.99 in the United Kingdom, it can currently be found for £135-140 on Amazon, £129.56 at Scan Computers and £129.95 at Overclockers UK . The Maximus VII Ranger is not available in North America but based on UK pricing it would retail for $180-190 and sit below the $229.99 Maximus VII Hero. The Maximus VII Ranger is currently an EU product and is unlikely to be made available in North America. The ASUS Maximus VII Ranger has a 3 year ASUS warranty.

Overview

The ASUS Republic of Gamers series has a reputation for quality and excellence for a reason, and I think this board has demonstrated why quite clearly today. This is the most affordable ROG motherboard ASUS have ever produced yet it is ram packed with features and quality components. On a hardware level you might be tempted to compare it to rival products and note that it doesn’t offer “equivalent specifications” and so is “overpriced”. However, this would be a very misleading thing to do for a number of reasons, not just because you should be wary of comparing quantity without comparing quality. Firstly, the VRM implementation isn’t just about the number of phases but how they are implemented – and ASUS have always been at the forefront of digital power delivery so their 8 phases can be just as good if not better than a rival 12 phase solution. Secondly, the audio codec may be equivalent to what is offered by other brands but ASUS know how to get more out of it at a hardware and at a software level, probably in part due to their extremely talented audio division. We saw some of the strongest ALC1150 results from this motherboard and if you combine that with the added Sonic Studio and SoundStage software features it is a winning audio combination for this price point. Finally, on the networking front we see ASUS opt for Intel’s latest Gigabit NIC and I can’t praise them enough. While the Killer and Intel Gigabit solutions perform broadly the same under real use case scenarios in terms of throughput and latency the Intel NIC is a clear winner when it comes to CPU usage and software options. Intel’s Gigabit NICs have a great reputation for a reason and I am glad to see ASUS take advantage of them. I have also been highly impressed by the ASUS GameFirst III software which they have developed totally in-house.

The feature set doesn’t just stop there because we’ve already noted the extensive software package, the innovative KeyBot implementation to customise your keyboard at a hardware level, the beautiful aesthetics, the sensible layout and of course the very reasonable price given all the aforementioned points. There isn’t much to dislike about the Maximus VII Ranger other than the fact ASUS are unlikely to sell it in North America which may bug a lot of our readers who are from North America. It also feels like ASUS could have done a better job elaborating the differences between the Ranger and the Hero SKUs. As it stands a lot of people still feel like they are virtually identical motherboards except the Ranger is dramatically cheaper and this isn’t really true, as we discussed quite extensively in the introduction. However, with all that said I do believe that ASUS Maximus VII Ranger is a fantastic motherboard and if I were to put my money where my mouth is with Z97 then this would definitely be the motherboard I would buy.

Pros

  • Intel Gigabit NIC
  • Beautiful Aesthetics
  • Competitive Pricing
  • KeyBot
  • Advanced audio implementation
  • Extensive and sophisticated software package – GameFirstIII, RAMDisk, AISuiteIII
  • Strong Performance
  • 3 Year warranty

Cons

  • Relatively low resolution BIOS at 1024 x 768
  • Not available in North America (yet?)

The ASUS Maximus VII Ranger is a brilliant gaming motherboard that brings all the hallmarks of the ASUS ROG brand: functionality, quality and performance, yet at a surprisingly low price point. As the competition in the gaming motherboard market continues to increase ASUS have shown once again that they still have what it takes to be ‘the choice of champions’ by deploying innovative new features and quality components.

eTeknix Editor's Choice Award

ASUS Republic of Gamers Maximus VII Ranger Z97 (LGA 1150) Motherboard Review

Thank you to ASUS for providing this review sample.

Article Index

  1. Introduction, Specifications and Packaging
  2. A Closer Look & Layout Analysis
  3. The Test System and Test Software
  4. BIOS
  5. Software Overview
  6. Overclocking
  7. CPU Performance
  8. GPU Performance
  9. Memory Performance
  10. SATA, M.2 and USB Performance
  11. Networking Performance
  12. Audio Performance
  13. Power Consumption and Thermals
  14. Final Thoughts
  15. View All

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