ASUS Maximus VII Ranger Review

👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅14-05-14
Closer Look

Digi+3 Semi 8-Phase VRM design

Ranger uses a semi-8 Phase power design via Digi+3. ROG has given the motherboard alloy chokes which are a slight downgrade from the Hero which has the BlackWing version – this cheaper alternative is just one component choice which ensures Ranger remains affordable.

Over the MOSFETs sit two large and distinct heatsinks which are not interconnected. Just behind the heatsinks resides an 8-pin CPU power socket and as is common nowadays, there are two designated CPU fan headers for flagship air coolers and ALCs.

Ranger uses Socket 1150 and supports Intel’s 4th and 5th Generation Processors.

Dual-Channel DDR3 slots

Moving on there are 4x DDR3 DIMM slots which can accommodate up to 32GB of memory and 3200 (OC).

Also in the memory region are a number of overclocking features – MemOK! makes an appearance and is now regarded as an integral ASUS feature, MemOK! ensures memory compatibility and a successful boot up. There are also onboard power and reset buttons for those using Ranger on a test bench and LED debug for diagnosing any issues on POST.

ROG has placed a USB 3.0 header near to the memory slots and 24-pin ATX socket. This supplies USB 3.0 functionality for the front panel.

SATA and SATA Express ports

Most partner Z97 boards are combining SATA, SATA Express and M.2 for storage but for the ROG line we have just SATA and M.2. So there are six SATA III 6GB/s ports further along the board.

Large Intel Z97 heatsink and KeyBot

Ranger features a rather substiantial heatsink over the Intel Z97 chip just behind the SATA ports. This heatsink compliments the board very well, ROG (as per usual) have carefully thought about the aesthetics on Ranger.

Below this heatsink there is a button called KeyBot. This button allows you to assign macros and functions to a standard USB keyboard. By plugging the keyboard in and pressing this button, the microprocessor on the reverse initiates and allows a variety of commands to be applied via proprietary software which is included. This kind of feature is very useful for users who do not have access to a keyboard with macro functionality built-in.

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