The event may well be an exclusive one, but surely it has officially opened to everyone the era of more powerful, more reliable, and more connected computing. Last Wednesday, ASUS Philippines has finally launched its line-up of motherboards based on the Intel “Lynx Point” Chipset to seat the much-awaited 4th Generation Intel Core Processors (codename “Haswell”) in the socket LGA1150. Yes, that means your processors based on the LGA1156/1155 cannot be installed here, but it should be a noteworthy upgrade to those using older PC’s as “Haswell” is an entirely new architecture (the “tock” in Intel’s tick-tock, see here), only retaining the 22nm manufacturing process, 3D Trigate transistors, 14-stage pipeline, 64 KB (32 KB Instruction + 32 KB Data) L1 cache and 256 KB L2 cache per core, and the dual-channel memory controller. Along with it is a new power-saving system which improve power usage and responsiveness, such as deeper sleep states with faster boot and resume times. Also, the integrated HD 4×00 series (HD 4600 on desktop variants) has 20 execution units (vs 16 maximum for HD 4000 IvB and 12 for the HD 3000 SB) offers up to 60 percent faster performance. For overclockability, memory frequency support has been increased to 3000+ MHz. And the the voltage regulator has been transferred from the motherboard to the CPU. Imagine all these residing on a motherboard that supports all these features on a more reliable package that also offers a few nifty extras. And all these provided by a company with a solid and award-winning reputation which many trust. Ladies and gentlemen, the ASUS motherboard line-up for your 4th Generation Intel Processors.
The ASUS Series Motherboards
The ASUS series motherboards have been a complete redesign, featuring a new color scheme of black and gold (previous: black/blue/white) which symbolize an insistence on delivering the highest standards of innovation, performance, and reliability, a Dual Intelligent Processors IV with improved TPU and EPU for faster performance and better power-saving features, DIGI+ Power Control, and Fan Xpert 2, which can all be activated with one click of the mouse to ensure real-time performance optimization, better energy efficiency, precise digital power control, and detailed case fan management for reduced noise and improved cooling. When users are away from the PC, the design intelligently shifts to Away Mode, allowing customers to download and stream content or backup data with minimal power draw, and the exclusive 4-Way Optimization fully readies PCs for better gaming, entertainment, productivity, and all other uses.
The Republic of Gamers (RoG) Series
The previous iterations of the RoG Maximus line have been successful, packing technologies and innovations that many enthusiasts and gamers alike desire. As such the sixth generation of the Maximus has packed more into these motherboards, with variants that cater to various preferences of high-end PC users. The Maximus VI Extreme, Formula, and Gene has been there, and a new variant, named Hero, was introduced to address the huge gap between the Gene and Formula. All Maximus boards feature 60A BlackWing Chokes, NexFET MOSFETs, 10K Black Japanese Solid Capacitors, an All-digital Extreme Engine Digi+ III for precise and stable power delivery, 2nd generation T-Topology DRAM for higher memory frequencies under full load, one-click 4-Way Optimization for instant performance tuning, an upgraded RoG UEFI BIOS, which provides user-friendly yet deep modification of PC settings and a SSD Secure Erase for easy data deletion and SSD performance restoration without the compatibility worries created by third-party software. All motherboards also feature the RAMDisk technology, which allows users to convert up to 80% of the available RAM to a ultra-fast data storage with data rates in excess of 10,000MB/s — over 20-times faster than SATA SSD. The heatsinks also have more surface area and are ceramic-coated to add maximisation to the surface area available to the heatsink, while providing better cooling properties. As for the Maximus VI Extreme, a RoG OC Panel also come with the package. The panel, which can either be handheld or mounted into the chassis using a provided 5.25″ bracket, provides live readings of the system, and allows users to fine tune their system to the best performance suited to their tastes. The Maximus VI Extreme will continue with the E-ATX form factor. The Hero will be an ATX, and the Gene will be an mATX, and all feature an mPCI-e WiFi+Bluetooth 4.0 Module with an attachment for an NGFF connection for you mSATA SSD’s.
The TUF Series
The Z87 series have undergone a revamp as well, and a new motherboard joins the family as well. The previous generations of the TUF series have proven their reliability. The new Z87 Sabertooth and the mATX Z87 Gryphon, sets the bar even higher. The two motherboards showcase progressions in the reliability of the TUF series, such as 10K Black Metallic capacitors and highly survivable chokes and MOSFETs, providing customers long-lasting hardware for intense use in harsh conditions. The motherboards also feature proprietary-designed thermal features to enhance cooling, stability, and reliability. The armor kit, optional in the Gryphon, provides improvements to cooling and dust protection as well. Supporting it at the back of the motherboard is a TUF Fortifier, which is a metal slab designed to provide additional cooling and prevent the PCB from bending when carrying huge coolers and Graphics Cards. The Thermal Armor with Flow Valves is an improvement over the previous thermal armour. Dual fans (located at the center of the board and the back I/O) direct heat away from critical components using smart thermal shunt channeling, and the new Flow Valve allows customers to regulate airflow to make the most of their cooling system of choice. When Flow Valve is closed, it focuses powerful airflow on heatpipes to accelerate passive heat removal, maximizing the efficiency of a CPU liquid cooling kit. For air-based dissipation, opening the valve allows full airflow from a CPU cooler, working together with the Thermal Armor shunt design and included dual fans to enhance cooling performance. Flow Valve signifies another TUF Series innovation that responds to community feedback and accommodates a wider range of cooling systems. The Thermal Radar 2 provides users real-time temperature readings intelligently. In addition to board-embedded sensors, ASUS bundles three thermistor cables with Sabertooth Z87 so users can manually verify heat levels for the graphics card, hard drives, DRAM and other critical components. Thermal Radar 2 comes with a user-friendly utility that enables detailed fan speed adjustments as well as one-click fan performance tuning for optimal cooling in every scenario. Lastly, the Dust Defenders protect more I/O ports than Z77 offerings to ensure maximum longevity of the motherboard through mitigating the adverse effects of dust to peripheral contacts such as those on memory slots, PCI-e slots, and S-ATA ports.
More Connectivity with NFC Express
As Near-field Communication (NFC) becomes commonplace, ASUS has also recognized the opportunity to make desktops as connection-rich as mobile devices. Also on the show was the ASUS NFC Express, a USB 3.0 powered device which lets your desktop perform NFC functions using your desktop. Pairing your system on an NFC-enabled device gives you options to perform NFC functions such as file transfers, mobile device back-ups and more. The included dongle also lets you save one user profile so that when you log into your PC, you can use your mobile device instead of typing long arrays of characters. What’s more, the device also features 2 USB 3.0 ports for additional storage or peripherals.
So. For those who want an upgrade that’s worthwhile to acquire yet pocket-friendly, ASUS may have what you exactly need. You simply have to pick and tinkle your senses.
*Disclaimer: images and parts of the article are sourced from ASUS Philippines, to assure accuracy of information to be published herein.
For pricing of the new motherboards in the Philippines, see the attached document. AVAILABILITY