New Features of the TUF Series Z97 Motherboards
Next up in ASUS’ Z97 armoury is the TUF series and with a new chipset comes a new stylish design.
Some of the new features include better alloy chokes, an updated Thermal Radar package, SATA Express support and a dedicated IC to controlling system fans called “TUF ICe”.
The ASUS “Dust de-Fan” feature operates by having a reverse fan burst at start up to dislodge settled dust before returning to the normal direction of airflow. I did question ASUS on the utility of such a small fan in removing dust from within the motherboard on two grounds: 1) the reverse mode may exhaust dust but upon changing back to the normal direction the same dust will be drawn back in and 2) the fan runs against the direction of airflow within most cases, having it permanently exhaust might be a better idea.
Next up we have the TUF ICe which is a dedicated IC for monitoring system temperatures and controlling fan profiles. The dedicated nature of the hardware means zero latency even when the system is under extreme load.
The 1 sec response time is guaranteed and the up-to12 onboard thermal sensors give significant control over the thermal properties of the ASUS Z97 TUF boards.
The last addition to the ASUS Z97 TUF series is an improved software package to use these new hardware features. New additions include VGA controls and improved fan controls, ASUS did note that only ASUS graphics cards are supported by the VGA feature.