In the UK the ASUS Z97 GRYPHON ARMOR EDITION motherboard can be had for £134.99 at Overclockers and £140 at Amazon. In the USA I could not find the ARMOR EDITION version but the version without the ARMOR costs $163 at Amazon and $165 at Newegg. The ASUS Z97 GRYPHON (ARMOR and Non-ARMOR editions) has a five year ASUS warranty. Pricing correct at the time of writing.
As with all motherboards there are different product niches and market segmentations. The ASUS Z97 GRYPHON certainly targets a more unusual one compared to the ROG series which targets gamers and overclockers or the channel series which targets mainstream and connectivity-demanding users. The TUF series targets one main type of user: someone who is concerned with having a stable and reliable system and someone who wants workstation-class system with advanced monitoring and tuning, but doesn’t necessarily need abundant connectivity or expansion options. Of course that’s not to say people won’t just buy this because “it looks cool” because trust me, they will. However, this board does more than just “looks cool”. It offers up premium grade hardware at a much lower cost than ASUS has ever done in the TUF series. This is largely due to the cost savings achieved from the micro-ATX form factor but other savings have been made from the omission of M.2, SATA Express and keeping the audio at ALC892 without PCB separation. That’s compared to some of the higher end ASUS ROG boards that have the ALC1150 codec, premium grade audio components and so on. This isn’t a major issue because the audio quality is still very good and ASUS isn’t targeting audiophiles or fussy gamers.
It is hard to put my finger on exactly what the Z97 GRYPHON is trying to do. The way I see it this motherboard is like an ASUS channel series motherboard but with beefed up component quality. Given how difficult it is to measure things like reliability and stability this is certainly a tough review. On specifications, performance and pricing alone the ASUS Z97 GRYPHON isn’t anything out of this world but when you see the amount of work that has gone into the “unmeasurables” like stability, reliability and quality – it makes you take a second look. Even if you find no use for the advanced cooling capabilities, extensive monitoring or even the thermal armor then you can at least rest assured knowing you have one of the most reliable Z97 motherboards on the market, probably second only to the ASUS Z97-WS which is significantly more expensive and aimed at a different user.
- Great looks
- High quality components
- Rich accessory pack
- Advanced fan and temperature controls and monitoring
- Best-in-class software package
- ARMOR and Non-ARMOR versions
- 5 Year warranty
- Tonnes of fan connectors
- No M.2 or SATA Express
- Only ALC892 audio, no ALC1150
- Fairly pricey for the spec
- Average connectivity
“Like previous TUF series motherboards that have come before it the Z97 GRYPHON continues to push the boundaries of reliability, stability and quality within the cool looks of the military class design philosophy. In terms of the ability to monitor and control your system at a hardware and software level the Z97 GRYPHON from ASUS is matched by no-one. Best of all the 5 year warranty gives you the piece of mind that this isn’t just a motherboard, but a long term investment.”
Thank you to ASUS for providing this review sample.