Besides expanding its mainstream offerings of the P8Z77 series, ASUS has also breathed new life into its TUF series by introducing the Z87 Gryphon motherboard. It is the first mATX offering from its TUF series. Seen at the seminar, the board was without its anti-dust cladding that is called the Armor Kit. These have been redesigned to improve airflow for better cooling, but take note that the Gryphon's Armor Kit is optional and needs to be purchased separately. The new TUF series motherboards also feature a new component in the form of black metallic capacitors with military grade specifications.
Its ATX counterpart, the Z87 Sabertooth motherboard was on display with its Armor Kit. One of the unique features of the board is its rear-mounted TUF Fortifier. It is essentially a huge backplate that offers protection from flexing of the board and provide thermal conduction to draw heat away from core onboard components.
ASUS has indeed shown an impressive lineup for its Intel Z87-based motherboards. They seem to have given much thought to the computing and build requirements of the PC DIY community and this is seen in the increased number of small form factor boards that have been introduced across the different series. In terms of the feature set of the boards, we were rather impressed with the OC Panel that has seen much improvement over the original OC Key that seemed rather awkward to connect and operate.
Meanwhile, the TUF series seem to have proven its traction with the DIY community as ASUS has expanded the series with the Gryphon mATX board. The TUF series has been updated with improved durability with the new TUF components, improved Armor Kits as well as the Sabertooth exclusive TUF Fortifier rear cladding. ASUS has also attempted to improve the user experience with its mainstream P8Z77 motherboards by incorporating its power and system control technology (4-way Optimization) to address the changing computing needs of the PC user.
There were also other demonstrations of enhancements to user experience with the introduction of NFC technology to its new motherboards. However, due to the confusion of our non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that we are bound to, we have decided to omit its details to a later date. By then, besides breaking free from the restrictive NDA, we hope to get our hands on the new Intel "Haswell" Core processor so that we can put some of these boards highlighted here, through the usual paces of our benchmarking and overclocking tests.