ASUS Z87-Deluxe/Dual LGA 1150 Motherboard Review


First off, I'd like to say that the overall experience with ASUS' Z87 boards 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, the software is really where ASUS has found themselves leading the market ahead in many ways.


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 435 MB/s and write speeds of 313 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 which should be expected.  Pretty good overall, and comparable to what we've seen in past chipsets, so nothing too Earth-shattering here.


Next, the automatic overclocking with even modest cooling worked extremely well.  Using the automatic ~4.5 GHz overclocks 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 and I defintiely felt the headroom offered by the enthusiast-oriented Deluxe/Dual.  Overall, the overclocking experience, using the automatic settings via the BIOS or AISuite 3 or tweaking myself was great, and the included "Oh sh*t!" features kept things from being too painful when I attempted an unstable RAM or CPU overclock and the on-board buttons made short work of any corrections I needed to make.


The dual Intel NICs are rock-solid, extremely fast, and have been one of the coveted inclusions of enthusiasts for some time, especially with two of them to work with and leading to reduced CPU network utilization. The Wi-Fi GO! modules were fast, and after having gamed for some time on a 5GHz connection, latency only suffers ~1-2ms and has provided an enjoyable experience at near-wired speeds (paired with the ASUS RT-N66U).


As far as the audio is concerned, I was happy with it.  No crazy noise or buzzy distortion, but of course not as crisp as some of ASUS' high-end implementations seen on theri ROG or top-end boards but overall I was happy with the sound the Deluxe/Dual put out to our Studio and On-ear monitors.


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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