ASUS 970 PRO Gam­ing Aura

Micro Mart - - Contetnts -

Drop­ping the price for our last en­try and re­turn­ing to Asus, we have its 970 PRO Gam­ing Aura. This is a fairly re­cent mother­board, re­leased in May, us­ing the older 970 chipset.

The 970 PRO Gam­ing Aura offers four DDR3 DIMM slots, six SATA 6Gbps ports, a sin­gle M. 2 port, two PCIe x16 slots, two PCI 2.0 x1 slots and a pair of legacy PCI slots.

Rear I/ O con­sists of a combo sin­gle PS/ 2 key­board and mouse port, two USB 3.1 ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net, op­ti­cal S/ PDIF out and a six- port au­dio block. As with most of the boards in this guide, there’s no video out­put on the mother­board it­self, so you’re go­ing to have to sup­ply a sep­a­rate graph­ics card.

The PRO Gam­ing side of the mother­board’s ti­tle cov­ers the SLI/ Cross­Fire, Supre­meFX shielded and high- per­for­mance au­dio. The Aura el­e­ment is due to the un­der- light­ing LED on the south­bridge heatsink, where you can cus­tomise the colour and con­trol scheme: static, breath­ing, strob­ing, colour cy­cle and even puls­ing to the beat of any mu­sic played.

The LED light­ing ef­fects are a neat ad­di­tion to the mother­board de­sign, along with the now fa­mil­iar black PCB and red com­po­nents.

Be­yond the aes­thet­ics there’s plenty of room on the 970 PRO for a pair of large graph­ics cards, with lots of breath­ing room be­tween the two slots, as well as room around the CPU socket for big­ger than nor­mal cool­ers.

On top of all that, there are also solid caps, highly durable com­po­nents, stain­less steel rear I/ O back­plate and all man­ner of elec­tri­cal pro­tec­tion. Asus’s UEFI BIOS, as men­tioned with the A88X, is vastly im­proved and offers the user plenty of scope to tweak the set­tings. It’s ex­actly the same BIOS as the A88X, so there’s noth­ing re­ally new to add here other than the ad­di­tional cal­i­bra­tion of the LED ef­fects from the Aura el­e­ment of the mother­board’s name.

Of course, there’s over­clock­ing avail­able, with the BIOS of­fer­ing an eas­ier than nor­mal ac­cess to the var­i­ous set­tings, pro­files and so on for those who don’t want to push the CPU clock en­ve­lope too far.

The main fea­ture of the Asus 970 PRO Gam­ing Aura is to pro­vide the sys­tem builder with a good foun­da­tion, while of­fer­ing some­thing a lit­tle more al­lur­ing, in the case of the LEDs. Asus has done a good job of hit­ting that nail on the head here, with the price of the 970 PRO be­ing just £ 103.

It’d be nice to see a video out­put port in­cluded, but for just over £ 100, it’s not too un­re­al­is­tic to con­sider a cou­ple of AMD’s new RX- GPUs to com­ple­ment this al­ready good mother­board.

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