ASUS Z97-DELUXE Motherboard Hardware Review
By Olin Coles
Full Disclosure: ASUS provided the product sample used in this article.
It’s a rare occasion that Intel releases a motherboard chipset without a corresponding processor to accompany it, yet here we are. With the introduction of Intel’s Z97 Express platform comes support for existing 4th-generation 22nm Haswell / Devil’s Canyon and upcoming 5th-generation Intel desktop processors fit for the LGA 1150 socket. Among the updates are: PCIe M.2 support for on-board solid state storage, enough bandwidth for up to six SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, and up to six SATA 6 Gb/s ports that fully support Intel’s Rapid Storage Technology 13.
Carryover technology includes support for up to three independent displays from the board’s DP/HDMI/DVI/VGA interface choices. Utilizing a DisplayPort 1.2 monitor enables users to daisy-chain up to three linked displays through one connected port at the board. Like Intel’s Z87 platform, there are 16x PCIe 3.0 lanes available, plus four PCIe 2.0 lanes delivered by the Haswell CPU. Dual channel DDR3 system memory finishes out the platform, so no DDR4 support will debut with this launch.
While there may not be a wealth of change to accompany Intel’s Z97-Express, companies such as ASUS have included many of their own in-house innovations on the platform. For the ASUS Z97-series you’ll find support for DDR3/DDR3L up to 3300 MHz with overclock. The ASUS Z97-DELUXE, -PRO, and -A series all include 10 GB/s SATA Express ports and a M.2 SuperSpeed Inter-Chip. Three 16x PCIe 3.0 ports and Realtek eight-channel (7.1) DTS audio come standard on all ASUS Z97-Express boards. Of course, ASUS retains their feature-rich UEFI BIOS for all Z97-series motherboard products, and even adds several visual improvements to the interface.
Where ASUS really pulls away from their competition is with digital power control for memory and processor, utilizing up to 16 power phases to ensure absolute precision stability. All hardware points are controlled by Dual Intelligent Processors 5, which consists of DIGI+ Power Control, TPU, EPU, Turbo App, and Fan Xpert. ASUS Z97-DELUXE and Z97-PRO models feature dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac (a/b/g/n/ac) and BlueTooth 4.0 wireless functionality. In this article Benchmark Reviews showcases the ASUS Z97-DELUXE (NFC & WLC) motherboard, and reveals the many hardware features packed onto this mainstream channel desktop board.