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.
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.