Maximus VII Ranger or Hero?


Sep 2, 2013
I'm looking to change my motherboard. I'm changing the mobo because i'm upgrading from the an old e6750 core 2 duo to the upcoming 4790k. I use this system mostly for gaming and a little video editing. I probably will overclock a little down the road. I've already watched and read numerous reviews on many z97 boards, the ROG line up seems better for me. I can't decide between the ranger and the hero. Is the Hero worth the extra money?
Motherboards have different features that set them apart. Some are just better quality like the "TUF" series such as Gryphon/Sabertooth. Some have wi-fi. Some are better overclockers.

You don't specify WHY you want to change the board either so you might not even get any noticeable benefit.

Z97 supports the upcoming Devil's Canyon Haswell refresh but if you have a good Haswell already that's a waste IMO to get a new CPU and motherboard.

*So I didn't answer the question. My advice is read some online reviews, look at the Asus site and read about the specific features then decide if any justify the cost difference.

I just bought the Asus Z87 Gryphon. Why? It was $155 (armor separate), really well made, has a 5-Year Warranty and has every feature I need.

I also read an article recently that concluded there was almost NO difference for online gaming between any of the network chips in motherboards. The recent audio chips also seem roughly the same (they're all REALTEK) and there was some debate as to whether EMF shielding did much of anything.

Asus "networking optimization software" sounds great but in reality I've heard a few issues of incorrect throttling. It also only manages the programs on your own computer so if I was playing an online game I definitely wouldn't have a browser or Netflix running anyway, nor would I let uTorrent download all the fully legal content I use at the same time.
The only thing that really interests me is the new VIRTUAL sound feature in the Ranger. Unfortunately I can't test it other than the Asus demo.

It works through stereo headphones and takes a surround signal and virtualizes that. In theory, it's awesome. In practice I don't know.

Works via the FRONT PANEL output only so you can set it up to automatically enable only when headphones are plugged in and then disable when removed.

Now, this has NEVER worked properly for TV's but that's mainly because the sound has to bounce around a big room and is massively affected by an open door etc. With the headphones being so close it just might work pretty well.

(It also doesn't tend to work that great for "5.1" headphones. They have multiple small speakers at different angles but the ear is surprisingly complex and it's rather hit-and-miss if a particular arrangement of speakers will affect an individual in a noticeable way. Better to have higher quality, larger drivers and virtualize it IMO.)


Aug 6, 2011

gryphon is cheaper than the rog series