So here we are once again, the conclusion of another motherboard review. How has the Asus Z97-K fared? Is it a worthy contender for its price range or has it let us down? Let’s have a recap and find out.
Having a look at the aesthetics of the board, there is not really much we can say when we incorporate the price into the overall picture. The only let down in my opinion would be the brown PCB, other than that I would put the overall design being down to a user preference. While the gold heatsinks may not be a favourite of mine, I surely cannot hold anything against them as they really don’t look that bad. The grey RAM/PCI and other connector ports aren’t especially welcome but this is an entry level board after all.
The performance is what we should expect from an entry level board. While the ASUS Z97-K has most of the features we expect to see in any Z97 board it is lacking in performance. Taking a look at most of our benchmarks we will notice the Z97-K towards the bottom of the pile when running a 4770k at stock. However, overclock the CPU up to 4.5GHZ and it climbs the ladder a few rungs and in some cases, plants itself right in the middle. This says a lot to me and hopefully a BIOS update in the future the ASUS Z97-K will be able to harness some more of our CPUs performance potential.
Coming in at around £90, what is really to be expected? Well, for me I expect it to come with some of the features seen on the more expensive boards and it does just that. The Z97-K is equipped with a 10GBs M.2 port, has a fairly easy to navigate BIOS (once you get the hang of it) and still offers access to things like ASUS HomeCloud, Turbo LAN and the ASUS AI Suite. ASUS are also boasting about the 5X Protection which should offer enhanced performance and longevity. We have no reason not to believe ASUS in this regard so features like this go a long way.
The price, well, it is what it is. The Z97-K offers some of the newest features found in the Z97 chipset and will offer users the chance to upgrade to an Intel 5th Generation Broadwell chip in the future, should that be something that is important to them. Taking everything into consideration, though the ASUS Z97-K is nothing spectacular, I don’t believe it is supposed to be. It does it’s job while offering you the latest features of a Z97 board including the M.2 port and future CPU upgrades to the likes of Broadwell.
Based on the price, the decent performance and the marmite design, I take pleasure in awarding the ASUS Z97-K motherboard with our silver award. This is very good, especially considering this is an entry level motherboard.
A big thanks to ASUS for sending the motherboard in for review and I look forward to seeing more in the near future.
The ASUS Z97-K lets you into the world of the Z97 Chipset and allowing for what we hope to be an easy upgrade to Broadwell CPUs when the time comes. Other than that there is not much else special about it other than the value aspect and of course the M.2 port for the next generation of storage which is one of Z97s main features. The ASUS Z97-K works without any major hiccups and is a very viable option if you are looking for a cheap Z97 board from a brand you can trust; ASUS of course!
User Review( votes)