Component and systems manufacturer ASUStek has just announced the availability of its next ROG ( Republic of Gamers ) motherboard, the Maximus VII Formula. ASUS has a somewhat mystifying naming convention, though we've defined the company's board names in the past. The Maximus Formula series of motherboards is considered ASUS' flagship -- the highest of the high-end -- and is iterated with Roman numerals. The Z97 family is indicated by the VII numeral.

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Asustek (NASDAQ: ASUUY) Chairman Jonney Shih predicted in ASUS' Tuesday shareholder meeting that traditional desktop PC shipments would increase substantially in 2H14. The company believes that XP's expiration will be cause for a boon in desktop shipments in the business-client sector, but also noted that demand for tablets has died down in the consumer market.

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A new pair of hypnotically-decaled ASUS video cards claim to cool passively unless exceeding a thermal threshold of 65C. Named for the Latin word for "owl," the ASUS Strix video cards are equipped with a large heatsink, heatpipes, and two fans that are controlled based on thermals.

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Let's get into more of the detailed specs on the ASUS Strix video cards:

As the embargoes are lifted across the web for Z97-equipped motherboards, we see prices and tentative release dates emerging for new platforms. ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, EVGA, and ASRock have all put out some sort of Z97 board teaser, but thus far ASUS is the first to supply hard pricing data.

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We're frequently asked by commenters around the web to help identify model numbers and branding for product lines by each company. Up until last year, ASUS was one of the most requested for such an article. ASUS made major motherboard branding changes in 2013 to simplify their line-up, but we figured we'd get ASUS Technical Marketing Specialist Nick Mijuskovic to give us some finality on their naming convention.

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In this quick article (and video component), we'll compare ASUS' motherboard naming scheme and identify the differences between Z87-A vs. Z87-K, Z87-Plus, -Pro, -Deluxe, the TUF boards, and the ROG boards.

Most of the RAM sales have subsided as prices have continued to hang onto their unseemly high, but this weekend sees a reduction in price in several cases and power supplies; there's a pretty big sale on most of Cooler Master's catalog right now, but we'll also be looking at some video cards in this sales round-up.

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With CES coming to a close (though content is still being posted), we've got a ton of new gaming hardware in mind for sales round-ups. In this sales round-up, we look at Antec's new Nineteen Hundred gaming case (nearly $100 off MSRP), AMD's FX-9590 highest-end CPU for $300, and more.

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ASUS announced the latest additions to their monitor line-up at CES 2014 today -- the ROG Swift PG278Q Premium Gaming Monitor and the PB287Q 4K Monitor.

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Newegg has gone heavy on their "Black November" sales, leading into the infamous Black Friday and Cyber Monday post-Thanksgiving fire sales. Believe it or not, there are actually some legitimately good discounts this weekend, including a $30 Antec GX700 (which we just positively reviewed), a 620W PSU, high-end BenQ displays, and more.

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Before we get started, just a quick reminder that we're currently giving away some limited edition BlizzCon cases -- and a couple keyboards, too. Let's get to this weekend's gaming hardware sales!

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