ASUS Z87-Deluxe/Dual LGA1150 Intel Motherboard Review


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Z87-Deluxe Dual Bundled Software

Like all ASUS motherboards of the past few years, the Z87-Deluxe Dual motherboard comes with a version of ASUS’ AI Suite utility software. The exact features included in this utility will vary according to the motherboard it’s bundled with: for example, Republic of Gamers motherboards get a version with the Turbo V Evo automatic overclocking feature, while TUF motherboards get Thermal Radar. This board doesn’t have either of those, but there’s still a lot to cover.


This version of AI Suite has a much different user interface from previous versions. This is the 4-Way Optimization screen, and while there’s a lot of information here, overall this interface does a good job of presenting summary information about CPU performance, EPU energy savings, and fan and power settings. Below the 4-Way Optimization button is text that explains that clicking the button will “…automatically detect the best configuration based on actual usage.” Let’s give it a shot…


Before you begin optimization, you can click an Advanced Settings button to bias the type of tuning you’d like. Here you can adjust the settings for CPU overclocking, EPU power savings, fan control, and power settings. I left the settings as shown above and started the tuning.asus_z87_deluxe_dual_ai_suite_auto_tuning_step1

Auto Tuning immediately bumped the CPU multiplier to 43, as shown above. Then, after a delay, it rebooted and started tweaking individual core multipliers, running a brief stress test at each step.


After finishing the CPU overclocking and EPU settings, the system turned to the fans. Since the Z87-Deluxe Dual doesn’t have multiple onboard temperature sensors like the TUF series motherboards, you can’t slave individual fans to specific sensors as you can with those motherboards’ Thermal Radar feature. What this step does is run each fan through its full RPM range and stores the results so that it knows what “full speed” and “minimum speed” settings are for each fan. Using this information lets you subsequently set cooling modes like “Silent” and “Performance” that will make best use of each fan in the system.


The actual tuning process took maybe 10 minutes. After finishing with the CPU, EPU, fan, and power settings, AI Suite displays a summary screen showing the results. It’s interesting to see that it decided on a 44x multiplier when one or two CPU cores are loaded, and a 43x multiplier when three or four cores are loaded. The Digi+ Power Control was set to maximum load line calibration and “Extreme” CPU power phase control. The utility also detected and used the memory’s XMP profile, which a surprising number of “auto tuning” utilities don’t.

But there’s more to AI Suite than automated optimizations, as we’ll see in the next section.


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  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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