The “Impact” is ASUS’ solution when it comes to compact sized powerhouse, the Maximus VII Impact brings the ROG goodness to a compact Mini-ITX form factor.
The first think you’ll notice in this sweet little number would surely be the raised platform towards the other edge of the board. I’m also surprised to see that the heatsink near the SATA ports is black in color instead of being adorned with some red colored accents to fit the ROG theme.
About the raised panel, it’s called the Impact Power II and along the area there are 10k Japanese-made Black Metallic Capcitors that’s said to have 5x longer lifespan and 20% greater endurance. It also has 50% smaller NexFET MOSFET that’s 90% more efficient and 60A BlackWing Chokes that is 5c lower in temperature and maximizes power delivery.
As for the layout of the key components, the CPU socket does not have much clearance around and the Impact Power II panel does take up quite some vertical space that hinders the placement of heatsinks of certain dimensions. Not only that, the Impact Power II panel does obstruct a little when it comes to installing RAM with large heatsink.
I like it that the Maximus VII Impact has a START button on the board but what I dislike is that the SATA ports are placed behind the DIMM slot. Once RAM is installed and graphic card is in place, the SATA cable can only be accessed by going over the RAM which is unsightly when it comes to aesthetics.
Towards the back lies the Impact Cool Hub that has 2x 4pin fan connector (for easier fan connection) and an LN2 mode header.
Near the PCI-E slot is the mPCIe Combo IV panel that houses an M.2 socket 3 with M Key slot (PCI-E 3.0 x4 mode) and also an 802.11ac/Bluetooth module.
Lastly we have the all-impressive I/O panel. USB ports and display output aside, I feel that the board is amazing as it has the Impact Control II (the one between the HDMI port and USB port) that allows you access to KeyBot, ROG Connect, USB Bios Flashback (flash BIOS without key components like RAM and CPU installed), among many other things. My favorite is the Q Code which is a debug LED but I think this indicator is more useful in places where it’s visible but seeing that it’s a Mini-ITX board, looks like the rear is the area least likely to be blocked.
More details of the ASUS ROG Maximus VII Impact Z97 available at the official product page.
To me, the ROG board is all about overclocking and just like what I did with the Maximus VII Ranger I clocked my Core i5-4670K to 4.4Ghz worked well. I’ve tested a range of Z87 board and none of them got my i5 to 4.4Ghz, none of them were of ASUS ROG marque either.
Overall the board is great, I just feel that the SATA placement could be improved. I prefer the SATA port locations to be like the one seen on the Z97I-Plus
For more detailed review of the board, I recommend visiting OCDrift. 🙂
The ASUS ROG Maximus VII Impact retails at RM 999, that’s the price you pay to get all the ROG goodness in a small package. It comes with wireless and bluetooth capability too.