ASUS Z87I-Deluxe Mini-ITX Intel Motherboard Review


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Z87I-Deluxe Bundled Software

Like all ASUS motherboards of the past few years, the Z87I-Deluxe motherboard comes with a version of ASUS’ AI Suite utility software. The  features included in this utility will vary according to the motherboard it’s bundled with: for example, TUF motherboards get Thermal Radar. Let’s take a look at what this board gets.


The main panel shows Digi+ Power Control, Turbo V Evo, Ai Charger+, EZUpdate, System Information, USB Charger+, EPU, Fan Xpert2, USB 3.0 Boost, Network iControl, USB BIOS Flashback, and WiFi Go! Man, that’s a lot of functionality!


Digi+ Power Control, EPU, TurboV Evo, and Fan Xpert2  are all “tuning” features, and they get their own separate interface. The CPU section of Digi+ Power Control is shown above. All of these features are accessible from the BIOS, but you can dynamically change their settings from withint AI Suite without having to reboot the system. This makes overclocking experiments super convenient.


ASUS will call it Auto Tuning on some motherboards and TurboV Evo on others. But what it does is try to come up with a significant, yet stable and reliable, overclock for your system. Obviously it won’t be able to do much without a “K”-series CPU, but here it took my Core i7-4770K to 4.3GHz when 1 or 2 cores are loaded, 4.2GHz when three cores are loaded, and 4.1GHz when all four cores are loaded. This involved one reboot and a few minutes’ time.


Next, I tuned the fans. Unlike the TUF series motherboards, which are loaded with temperature sensors and let you assign fan performance based on specific sensor readings, the only temperature the Z87I-Deluxe can sense is the CPU. However, Fan Xpert2 will run each connected fan– you can have up to four, including the CPU fan– through its full RPM range so that you can subsequently set all fans with broad modes, like “Silent” or “Performance”.


The EPU setting lets you control some power-saving aspects of the system. While most enthusiasts won’t be interested in this, it can be important for configuring something like a server or HTPC system that will be on 24/7. No, it’s not going to save a lot of power, but every little bit helps.

There’s even more to AI Suite, as we’ll see in the next section.


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