ASUS Z87-WS LGA 1150 Motherboard Review - Performance


First off, I'd like to say that the overall experience with the Z87-WS has been great.  Everyting feels very cohesive and extremely "finished."  The software is snappy, unobtrusive and just flat out works, ASUS continues to put a focus on their software and it gets a little better with each version they release.  As motherboard manufacturers have historically been extremely hardware-focused, this is really where ASUS has found themselves leadin the market ahead in many ways.  Having the privilege of testing alot of hardware, I'm not always particularly kind to all the samples I get my hands on (shhh, don't tell them), and so far the Z87-WS has handled all the crap I've thrown at it in stride, it has really performed like a tank over months of usage. Now let me attempt to briefly and concisely tell you how the Z87-WS has treated me performance-wise.


First, the USB 3.0 speeds utilizing UASP / Intel Turbo protocols have been extremely fast, using an SSD via a UASP-capable USB 3.0 adapter enables read speeds of 430 MB/s and write speeds of 310 MB/s using a 240 GB SSD.  That is crazy super fast.  Using the basic USB 3.0 protocol still pulled respectable 200 MB/s read and write speeds and USB 2.0 was around 30 MB/s read/write.  Pretty good overall, and comparable to what we've seen in past chipsets.


Next, the automatic overclocking with even modest cooling worked extremely well.  It consistently nudged me up around the 4.5 GHz mark which proved a stable, 24/7 capable overclock.  Using that as a starting point, it was relatively simple to ease up to ~4.7 GHz without feeling like I was stressing anything too bad or inducing any nasty instability.  Overall, the overclocking experience, using the automatic settings via the BIOS or AISuite 3 or tweaking myself was positive - the Z87-WS rose to the challenge very well and didn't really leave me wanting anything more, for those who want to really push, the Z87 Deluxe is probably more your cup of tea.


The dual Intel NICs are rock-solid, extremely fast, and have repeatedly shown reduced CPU utilization so your valuable number-crunching won't get interrupted by the server-class networking hardware onboard.  A high-end onboard Realtek audio CODEC drove our monitors and recording equipment extremely well for an onboard solution, and 24-bit / 192kb/s output lead to extremely crisp, accurate tonality and we observed relatively low levels of distortion or interference which is often the bane of onboard audio.


Otherwise, all of the typical memory and CPU calculation and bandwidth tests passed with flying colors.  The differences are usually so scant that we no longer track and report the numbers, but it rather serves as a sanity check that everything is working properly.  The typical 1-3% differences we see are within a margin of error we anticipate with the reporting of the benchmark software and the particular configurations, so we don't find it useful to gather any particular conclusions from those comparisons.

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