At a media event in Bangkok last week, ASUS revealed their entire line-up of new Z97 motherboards, ranging from the regular series to their popular ROG (Republic of Gamers) and TUF (The Ultimate Force) motherboard series.
Before we dive into the specifics of the various motherboards in the following pages, let us first look at what the new Z97 Express chipset series has to offer. As a start, the new chipset will support LGA 1150 processors, which means all 4th generation (including the upcoming refresh) and next generation Core processors (codenamed Broadwell). Essentially, the Z97 is an upgrade to Z87 and will feature support for the new PCIe M.2 storage that offers speeds of up to 67% faster than SATA Gen 3 ports. With a dedicated 1x2 PCIe M.2 storage port, devices plugged into that slot will be supported and managed like any other drive by Intel Rapid Storage technology.
Intel will also be launching the mainstream H97 Express chipset at the same time as the Z97. The H97 will come with support for only one single discrete graphics card (as opposed to three on the Z97) and it will also not allow CPU overclocking. The new PCIe M.2 storage is still going to be a part of the H97 although Dynamic Storage Accelerator would probably not be featured (similar to H87).