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Pros: I bought this board over black Friday 2014. It's solid, has a ton of options, it's easy to configure just about anything, and if not for the audio problems it would be an absolutely fantastic board.
Cons: I'm no audiophile by any stretch of the imagination. I don't play with headsets, but I do have a solid Klipsch 4.1 Pro Media system that up until this board has always sounded fantastic. My last board was a GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD4P (i5-750) and the sound quality was never in question. It was something I just never noticed because overall it sounded 'good enough'. Before the UD4P board I had run a separate SoundBlaster card because that's just what you did back then.
When I upgraded to the Asus Maximus VII Hero I had read some of the reviews that mentioned the sound issues, and most of them used headphones and they sounded like audio nerds who hear things that my ears just aren't tuned to, however after running this board for 6 months now I've finally broken down and purchased a SoundBlaster Z card because the Hero just doesn't deliver.
I'm not talking about symphony music or anything special, hell half my MP3s are 128k, but this board just fails to deliver good sound. With my SoundBlaster Z I'm not having to crank my stereo volume past the halfway mark, which is something I've never had to do before, and the Maximus VII Hero seems finicky about running my two surround speakers, to the point where they're only operating at about 25% of their previous volume.
So the SoundBlaster Z card arrived and everything is back to sounding awesome again. Audio just isn't a question any more, but it's sad that I had to augment my brand new state of the art "gaming" motherboard with a secondary $75 sound card (got it on sale).
I just wouldn't recommend this motherboard if you intend to hook it up to anything that produces sound. Again, i'm no audio snob, just a regular guy who's sad that Asus is unable, in this day and age, to deliver acceptable sound. There's threads full of people over on the Asus forum who are waiting patiently for some sort of magical driver fix that in 6 months has never come. I'm not sure any driver will ever fix the issue because I think it's a hardware problem.
Speaking of problems the M.2 listing for this board should simply be removed from the spec listings. It serves no purpose other than a marketing ploy to get people to buy this board.
Other Thoughts: -Remarkably terrible sound quality, like this board was made back in 2002
-M.2 SSD slot is a joke
-"Gaming" motherboards should assume gamers want to listen to reasonable audio
I'm not interested in hearing some customer service excuse/reply here. Perhaps you should instead be over on your own forum answering the droves of questions about the audio for this board rather than shoring up the image for this bad board here.
This review is from: MSI GeForce GTX 970 GAMING 4G
Pros: It certainly delivers on the graphics end. I can bump everything to ultra and it looks fantastic, and I'm running on a 144mhz monitor.
Cons: When I play games, there's a constant grinding sound that changes in frequency depending on the terrain you're looking at. I watched a youtube video (07 How to get rid of coil whine) and as he explains it, it's based on the constant changes in FPS, and that by using vertical sync or by limiting FPS with something like Rivatune, that would solve the issue. I've yet to see a decrease in the grinding, and it's a clear, loud grinding, almost like a bad harddrive, but it's clearly the card (I'm running SSDs).
The easiest way to know if you've got coil whine is to use the MSI Kombuster app that comes with the software. Running the benchmark makes the card start screaming. When people described 'coil whine' before, I always assumed it was something that came from the fans or something, but no, it's like a high-pitched error sound that's constant. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
Otherwise, it's silent. Only when you're playing games or actually utilizing the card does it make these annoying sounds.
Pros: It's supposed to be a great monitor.
Cons: Overshadowed by a dead pixel slightly off center. About an inch north-east of a centered crosshair, so it's more obvious than it would be if it was off on the side. In fact, I first noticed it on a foggy Hossin while playing PlanetSide 2.
Asus 'dead pixel policy' means I'm stuck with it
Newegg's 'dead pixel policy' means I'm stuck with it
I've tried the 'massaging it' method.
Other Thoughts: Since it's impossible to find the Gsync boards for this monitor any more, it might just be worth returning for a refund.READ FULL REVIEW