The ASUS MAXIMUS VII FORMULA/WATCH DOGS is a top mid-range socket LGA1150 motherboard based on the new Intel Z97 chipset, supporting the fourth and the forthcoming fifth generation Core i processors. It brings a professional-level, high-end audio codec, ten SATA-600 ports (allowing two SATA Express connections), eight USB 3.0 ports, Wi-Fi interface, and comes with a free serial code for the Watch Dogs game. Let’s take a good look at it.
In this article, we will refer to the motherboard as MAXIMUS VII FORMULA, since the only difference between the two motherboard is that one of them comes with the Watch Dogs game bundled. Both models are part of the ASUS ROG (Republic of Gamers) family.
The “new” Intel Z97 Express chipset is a Z87 chipset rebranded for marketing reasons. They are identical and, therefore, have the exact same specifications. Most motherboards based on this chipset support the new SATA Express and M.2 (successor to the mSATA) connectors, but these are mechanical features provided by the motherboard, not by the chipset.
Like the Z87, the Z97 supports six USB 3.0 ports, six SATA-600 ports, Smart Response (installing an SSD as a cache for the main hard drive), Smart Connect (allowing the computer to receive emails and refresh webpages while in sleep mode), and Rapid Start (faster boot times) technologies.
You can see the ASUS MAXIMUS VII FORMULA motherboard in Figure 1. It uses the ATX form factor, measuring 12” x 9.6” (305 x 244 mm). As you can see, the motherboard comes with a plastic frame on the component side, and a metal frame on the solder side.