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ASUS Z87-Deluxe/Dual LGA1150 Intel Motherboard Review

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Closer Look: ASUS Z87-Deluxe Dual

The Z87-Deluxe Dual is a standard ATX form factor motherboard. ASUS uses the available board space to stuff on features like 10 SATA 6G ports, Dual Intelligent Processors, six 4-pin PWM fan headers, a four-digit POST code display, and lots of buttons and indicator LEDs.

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The accessories (clockwise from upper left) include Q-Connectors for easy attachment of the front panel and audio wires, an SLI connector, a combo antenna for 802.11ac and BlueTooth 4.0, the user guide, a features manual, six latching SATA cables, and an I/O shield. Although the board includes a PLX chip and supports quad-GPU SLI and 3-way CrossFireX, ASUS does not include a tri-SLI bridge.

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ASUS includes the NFC Express Near Field Communication hub with the Z87-Deluxe Dual. It connects to a rear USB 3.0 port and has two additional USB 3.0 ports on one side. The yellow tag contains a chip the NFC Express recognizes when it’s tapped on top of the receiver. (The bubbles in this image are from a removable plastic label covering the top of the receiver).

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With 10 SATA 6G ports, you’re not going to run out of connectivity. The yellow ports are supported by the Z87 chipset, while the dark brown ports are courtesy of an ASMedia controller.

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The I/O panel comprises four USB 2.0 ports, antenna connectors for the 802.1ac and BlueTooth 4.0 radios, two USB 3.0 ports on top of a Thunderbolt port, an optical audio port, HDMI video out, and a second Thunderbolt port; the BIOS  Flashback button, four more USB 3.0 ports and two gigabit Ethernet ports, and finally an analog audio panel. The audio, by the way, is full Digital Theater Systems (DTS) certified. Oddly enough, there’s no e-SATA port, which I find useful for docking stations.

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ASUS claims this is the first Intel-certified dual Thunderbolt motherboard (that’s where the “Dual” in the name comes from). And those Thunderbolt ports can be useful: the Z87-Deluxe Dual motherboard can support three monitors natively since the Thunderbolt ports can be used to drive DisplayPort monitors with a simple adapter. And all three ports (Thunderbolt and HDMI) support 4K Ultra HD resolutions (albeit at a 24Hz refresh rate).

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ASUS replaces the two separate stick antennas they’ve used on previous boards for WiFi and BlueTooth with this integrated antenna. And note that this board supports the very latest WiFi 802.11ac specification, so with a matching router, you’ll get great WiFi performance.

Let’s take a closer look at the some of the hardware details of this board in the next section.


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3 comments

  1. Nicely

    Thanks for your Excellent review
    I had read several reviews before buying, and was curious which Ethernet port was the Intel one.
    I just received my new ASUS Z87-Deluxe/Quad motherboard, and it has an “Intel” sticker that covers the top of the ethernet output port (the one closest to the BIOS feedback button), that states in three lines ” Intel Ethernet, Great Capability, GBit LAN”. Then by default, the Ethernet port next to the Analog port is the Realtek port !

  2. Dave

    I have recently purchased the ASUS Z87 and just read this excellent review.” I also purchased the Intel i7 4790 processor and question, how big of a deal is it not to have purchased the i7 4790K vs. the “boxed” version. I plan to use the PC for normal every day use and the occasional video editing. Should I really consider returning the i7 4790 for the “K” series? Finally, I am planning to puchase 16GB of RAM at 2133 Mhz.. Is this a smart move when the CPU supports only up to 1600 Mhz even though the motherboard will support much faster RAM?

    1. Olin Coles

      The Intel i7 4790K CPU comes unlocked from the factory at 4.4 GHz, while the i7 4790 is locked (not able to be overclocked) and runs at 4.0 GHz. Typically i7 4790K costs about $30 more than i7 4790. If you’re not overclocking, which is an enthusiast activity and doesn’t usually yield significant performance gains, there’s no reason the i7 4790 wouldn’t operate nearly the same as i7 4790K in day-to-day operations.

      As for the memory, the CPU can use RAM faster than 1600 MHz, but usually only if the clock settings are adjusted. With that much system memory you’re likely not utilizing more than 50% even under load, so data strobe cycles matter. Think of it this way: an instruction has to pass through all of the memory before returning to the processor. More memory equals a longer round-trip, but faster memory helps reduce the penalty.

      Personally, I would buy 8GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 and check the system resource monitor tool to see if more was really necessary. Oh- and use an SSD for the primary drive!

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