ASUS LGA1150 Mainboard Lineup
Browsing through ASUS's model range recently, we found a model with the simple name of Z77-A among the P8Z77-V series products. We supposed then that the company’s product nomenclature might be revised in the near future. And it has been revised indeed. The product names have become shorter and clearer, so you can easily remember and pronounce them. The older suffixes and designations are still in use, though, and there are new names added to familiar ones. Let’s check this all out using the new series of ASUS mainboards which are based on the Intel Z87 chipset.
The Republic of Gamers series is expectedly headed by the Maximus VI Extreme model, which is accompanied by the microATX Maximus VI Gene and the all-new Maximus VI Hero. The latter is supposed to be the most affordable mainboard in the ROG series, making the exclusive ROG features available for a broader audience. It may be viewed as an answer to MSI’s gaming series which also includes midrange and even entry-level mainboards. The top-end model of the ASUS TUF series is expectedly called Sabertooth Z87 but it now has a junior microATX cousin, which goes under the name of Gryphon Z87.
These are all special product series, of course. As for ordinary mainboards, the most advanced of them is still designated as Deluxe. There are even not one but two Deluxe models now: Z87-DELUXE and Z87-DELUXE/DUAL. Both feature a Wi-Fi 802.11ac module whereas the DUAL version additionally has two Thunderbolt ports. Then, the Z87-WS model stands somewhat aside from the others, being targeted at professional applications. It is expectedly followed by the Z87-PRO, with the new name Z87-EXPERT in between. Like its Pro cousin, the Expert is equipped with a dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n module but, like one of the flagship models, it also supports Thunderbolt. Next go the Z87-PLUS and the Z87-A, which is the last model as yet that can share PCIe lanes between two graphics slots and supports both AMD CrossFireX and Nvidia SLI. The less advanced Z87-C has only one PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 slot although you can plug in a second graphics card into its PCIe 2.0 x16 slot which works at x4 speed. The Z87-K is similar in specs to the Z87-C but is even simpler, smaller and cheaper. It is the Z87-K model, the junior model in the Z87-based ATX product line-up from ASUS, that we’re going to discuss in this review.