ASUS Z87-Deluxe/Dual LGA 1150 Motherboard Review

Final Thoughts


As an entire ecosystem, ASUS' Z87 Deluxe/Dual is really a hard-charger.  Before even getting to the hardware, the software utilities in AI Suite III give you so much OS-side control of your board, tons of conveniences, and automatic features for no-work performance increases.  The automatic overclocking only continues to improve with each generation and the optimization for your particular usage case (power versus power-saving) is improving by leaps and bounds.  The 4-way optimization and auto-OC utilities worked like a charm, and provides a fantastic starting point for my own tweaking adventures.  As the glue of it all, the software itself is extremely smooth and polished - not something we have seen universally across other boards.


ASUS' UEFI BIOS has and continues to be the standard to compare other UEFI builds from other manufacturers, but the pressure from ASUS has definitely led to competitors stepping up the quality of their UEFI functionality.  ASUS also packages alot into their UEFI BIOS and is a very feature-rich affair.  Then once we get to the hardware, we find a solid package with a 16-phase VRM, 5K capacitors, and a variety of other anti-static and overcurrent protections that keep the board chugging.  If it doesn't?  Well, you've got options.


From a repair and diagnostic standpoint, the MemOK! button has fixed countless bad DIMM configs for me, the Clear CMOS button keeps you from having to mess with the on-board battery, the 4-digit Q-codes make it easy to find the problem, and the DirectKey will get you booted into the BIOS straight away after that BSOD hits or you want to make a quick change.;  Things still awry?  Then there's USB BIOS Flashback and ultimately a removable BIOS chip if you've really bricked it - and having to swap chips is a hell of a lot nicer than having to pull the system apart and ship the whole board back.


The board performed admirably, plain and simple.  Intel continues to narrow the sandbox board manufacturers have to play in, so we don't see anything that is "wow, gotta-have it better," but from A-Z the baord put up good speeds and throughput and really gives alot of flexibility for staunch overclocks.  And that's if you even want to with how well the auto-tuning features work which got me 95% of the way to my comfortable tinker-tantrum overclocks for 24/7 usage.  The included Wi-Fi GO! Dual-Band AC adapter and antenna rocked and adds a ton of added convenience to get gaming-level performance on wireless and leave the wire mess behind. 


When the dust has settled, the Z87 Deluxe/Dual has pretty much everything for everyone (apart from a few of you 1% hardcore dudes and dudettes out there).  And we should guess that, as it falls in the high-end category at a shade over $300.  This won't be a budget board, but for anyone who has a desire for the gobs and gobs of ancilliary features, clean software implementation, and overall tweakability, I'd struggle to find something that wouldn't fit your fancy.  Another great board that has stood up well to our use (and abuse) for some time, and we can only look forward to having some Thunderbolt devices to further tap what it has to offer.

The Good


The Bad

  • Tons of included accessories
  • Robust, reliable design
  • Feature-rich UEFI / utilities
  • Full fan control
  • Lots of on-board conveniences
  • Removable BIOS
  • Thunderbolt ports
  • Dual Intel NICs
  • PLX Chip
  • 4-digit Q-code display
  • NFC Express not particularly useful beyond USB 3.0 expansion
  • Tri-SLI bridge omitted in the package

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