Taking a closer look at the ASUS Z97-K we can now see it in its full glory. We can take notice of the brown PCB, golden heatsinks and our black and grey ram and PCI slots. Touching more on the expansion slots, there is (from top to bottom):
PCI-E x16 (Gen 3)
PCI-E x16 (Gen 3)
Plenty of options available, especially for such a low cost board; AMD Crossfire support is also a huge benefit for those looking for a suitable motherboard on a budget. Another noticeable thing is the placement of the SATA 6GB/s ports (6 in total). We have 4 towards to the bottom right of the motherboard and 2 just south of the 24pin ATX power input; it would have been nicer if they were all together but ASUS have done a good job of using all of the available space on the PCB.
Looking at the top half of the board, we have the LGA 1150 CPU Socket, RAM slots, M.2 port, CPU/chassis fan headers, 24 and 8 pin power connectors. Also in view are 2 of the 6 SATA ports and one of the board’s gold heatsinks which is covering the MOSFETS.
Memory wise, the ASUS Z97-K supports up to a maximum of 32GB (4x8GB) and speeds of up to 3200MHz via overclock.
The ASUS Z97-K also sports a 4 phase power design which is the lowest we have tested to date, although this shouldn’t put you off; ASUS use top quality components on their motherboards and I am 100% confident in the motherboards ability to handle an overclock.
Down to the bottom half of the board and we can see the PCIE x1 and x16 lanes, CMOS battery, chipset heatsink, the other previously mentioned 6 x SATA3 ports and an array of USB and front I/O connectors across the bottom.
Here we have a closer look at the chipset heatsink which is one of the main aesthetically prominent features of this particular motherboard.
On the rear I/O we have our video output connectors in the form of:
1 x VGA/D-sub
1 x DVI
1 x HDMI
1x PS2 mouse and keyboard ports
4x USB3 ports
2x USB2 ports
1 x RJ45 LAN
3 x audio jacks.
There isn’t much in the way of available audio other than standard 5.1 support, there’s also no S/PDIF optical either but given the target market for this board, it can be forgiven. 6 x USB ports in total should be ample and if you do require more, you could always purchase an additional USB hub.