ASUS Maximus VII Ranger Review

Published by Hiwa Pouri on 21.05.14
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General   + -
The first impression which the ASUS Maximus VII Ranger leaves is definitely a good one. Once again, we liked the ROG design, which still works quite well, especially for the targeted gaming market. It is always remarkable to see that with every single generation ASUS manage to improve the looks of their ROG series motherboards. Basically, this board offers everything to set up a decent overclocking rig since there is a capable power design, featuring only the high-quality components, such as black-metallic caps. In addition to that, there is the ROG BIOS with a plethora of settings related to overclocking, but still, being well organized for you to find the settings needed reasonably fast.   - Design
- Layout
- Features
Layout   + -
The ASUS Maximus VII Ranger's layout has been well thought. You get practical angled SATA connectors as well as power- and reset-buttons. There is also a debug display, which is very useful in case you run into any issues with a component or the board itself. Even the placement of the PCI-Express x16 is very well chosen. Between the first and the second PCI Express x16 slot there are two free slots, which means that the first card in a SLI/CrossFire setup gets plenty of fresh air. Apart from that, there is generally a lot of space on this board since, it has not been squeezed to the rim with features. Basically, this is yet another advantage of a "not so pricey" motherboard. Should you use this board for a high-end gaming rig, then you will find enough features for gamers as well as enough room to install a large CPU air cooler. As far as the onboard audio is concerned, we like the fact that it has been shielded from other onboard components. It also comes with high-quality ELNA capacitors and we have to say, the result is overall pleasing.   - Angled SATA connectors - Power/Reset-Button onboard
- Debug display
- Space around the CPU socket - Audio Solution
Performance   + -
Calculating the average of all 3D benchmarks we ran, we see that this board comes in on the excellent third rank in our comparison tables, which include values from all Z87 motherboards we've tested. When taking the average of all 2D results, the board ranks somewhere in the middle of our chart. Although the early stage, it appears that ASUS already optimized the Ranger's BIOS rather well. On another note, we had a look at power consumption and noticed that this is one of the most efficient motherboards we've had for testing so far. Since the Ranger does not come with an armada of features this is what we expected.   - FireStrike
- 3DMark 11
- SiSoft Sandra Multimedia
- UC Bench
- Metro Last Light
- Sleeping Dogs High
Overclocking / BIOS   + -
ASUS has a beautiful looking BIOS when it comes to their ROG series motherboard. The UEFI BIOS gets a black background instead of red background which was used on earlier ROG series, as well as a new interface called EzMode, where we can monitor different temperatures, see the system information and also set XMP profiles on system memory. We tested the latest BIOS sent by ASUS which is still not a retail one. Overclocking the Intel Haswell CPU to 5.0GHz was not difficult and we also tested different memory ICs, including MFR and CFR from Hynix as well as Samsung ones, the motherboard managed to be stable and easily reach over 3.0GHz with MFR ICs. Trying PowerChip and BBSE we could not reach anything higher than 2600MHz, while we could do over 2700MHz with Z87 ROG boards. Powerchip and BBSE are used only for Extreme Overclocking which means that we will have to wait a little bit longer until the new BIOS fixes are out.   - Sheer amount of options
- Design
Recommendation   + -
These days, the ASUS Maximus VII Ranger costs 141 Euro, which is ok in terms of value for money. Unfortunately none of all the new ROG motherobards come with SATA Express, which is something you get with most other motherboards and Z97 chipset. Should you be thinking about building a new gaming rig and should your budget be limited, then you should consider having a closer look at this board.   - Price - Gaming
- Overclocking
- No SATA Express
We give the ASUS Maximus VII Ranger very good 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Page 1 - Introduction Page 14 - SiSoft Sandra 2
Page 2 - Specs and Delivery Page 15 - UC Bench
Page 3 - Features Page 16 - Super Pi 1M / 32M
Page 4 - Layout Page 17 - wPrime 1024M Multi Core
Page 5 - Connectors and I/O Page 18 - Cinebench
Page 6 - BIOS Page 19 - Bioshock: Infinite
Page 7 - Test setup Page 20 - Metro Last Light
Page 8 - Preview / Gallery Page 21 - Sleeping Dogs
Page 9 - 3D Mark Page 22 - Power Consumption
Page 10 - 3D Mark 11 Page 23 - Performance Rating
Page 11 - 3D Mark Vantage  Page 24 - Price Comparison
Page 12 - PC Mark 7 Page 25 - Conclusion
Page 13 - SiSoft Sandra 1  

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ASUS Maximus VII Ranger Review - Motherboards Intel Z97 - Reviews - ocaholic