With the release of Intels Z97 chipset ASUS's design team chose to
bring a lot of change to the design of their classic series motherboards. ASUS
was brave enough to ditch their highly successful black/blue color scheme and
replace it with a one kept in black, gold and yellow. Meanwhile the
worlds larges motherboard manufacturer again
reworked the design of their classic series motherboards in order to make it more calm by
removing yellow from the equation. They've also changed the tone of the gold
color, which is now more champagne than gold.
Since this is a rather simple board there is plenty of space. Obviously this board is compliant with Intels guidelines regarding clearance around the CPU socket. There even is some margin between the CPU socket and the DIMM slots. Apart from that the build quality of the board is
good and in this regard there is nothing to complain.
Z97-K features a fully
digital 4+1 phase power design. The CPU gets four phases and the memory receives current from one single phase. Apart from that there are Japanese solid state capacitors, which have been specified for 7'000
Totally you'll find four DIMM-slots on the
Z97-K. Officially supported are DDR3
3200(O.C.) / 3100(O.C.) / 3000(O.C.) / 2933(O.C.) / 2800(O.C.) / 2666(O.C.) / 2600(O.C.) / 2500(O.C.) / 2400(O.C.) / 2200(O.C.) / 2133(O.C.) / 2000(O.C.) / 1866(O.C.) / 1800(O.C.) / 1600 / 1333 MHz. There is enough space between the DIMM-slots and the CPU socket which
means that you wont encounter compatibility problems with big coolers even when you choose to install RAM with big heatspreaders.
Also supported are Xtreme Memory Profiles (XMP) in version 1.3.
On the Z97-K the PCH is being cooled by a
passive cooling block. A closer look at the area where the VRM is, shows
there is one additional heatsink. The design as well as the build quality is
on a good level, which is typical for ASUS' Z97 series motherboards.