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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.