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Asus Z87-Deluxe/Quad Motherboard Review

With a fully-fledged selection of storage interfaces, smart layout decisions, and support for multiple productivity-enhancing expansion cards, the Asus Z87-Deluxe/Quad is an impressive motherboard that provides a number of worthwhile features for semi-professional users.

Featuring a pair of Thunderbolt 2 ports which are capable of connecting up to a dozen storage devices, or a number of high-resolution display products, Asus’s Z87-Deluxe/Quad provides users with support for Intel’s up-and-coming high-speed interface. Perhaps the only issue with Asus’s implementation of the 20Gbps ports is the omission of an easy way to link the signal from a discrete GPU to the motherboard-based Thunderbolt 2 connections.

While Thunderbolt 2 support is the highlight of Asus’s Z87-Deluxe/Quad, the motherboard also features additional high-speed storage interfaces which can help users transfer data quickly and efficiently. No less than eight USB 3.0 connections and ten SATA 6Gbps ports provide a vast array of storage and transfer options for high-volume, high-bandwidth data operations.

Wireless connectivity of the motherboard is also strong, thanks to Asus’s inclusion of a fast 802.11ac WiFi adapter, Bluetooth 4.0 support, and an external NFC device. And when the tried-and-tested wire route is deemed preferable, users can call upon the pair of Gigabit Ethernet adapters from Intel and Realtek.

Layout of the motherboard’s connections and expansion slots is very good. There is space to install a pair of triple-slot graphics cards without causing major interference headaches. The VRM and chipset heatsinks are also short enough to avoid fouling most large CPU coolers. Distribution of the fan headers is excellent and should make cable management a simple task.

As far as UEFI BIOS interfaces go, Asus’s is one of (if not) the best. The interface is attractive, easy to understand, and well laid out. Most importantly, the interface’s functionality is excellent. I did not encounter any questionable readings or blatant mistakes, nor were any concerns raised regarding voltage and frequency configurations. Thanks to the functional and stable interface, overclocking performance for the Z87-Deluxe/Quad is equivalent to the other Z87 motherboards that we have tested with our retail 4770K.

Priced at £237.76 from Amazon, the Asus Z87-Deluxe/Quad is not a cheap Z87 motherboard by any stretch of the imagination. But given the vast quantity of features crammed into the board, as well as the pair of high-speed Thunderbolt 2 ports, it is easy to understand why the board sells for just under £240.

If the circa-£40 price tag for two Thunderbolt 2 ports (compared to the standard Z87-Deluxe) is deemed a worthwhile investment, the Asus Z87-Deluxe/Quad is a feature-heavy motherboard that is worth its price tag. And given that Asus is targeting users who will utilise the Thunderbolt 2 connections, the Z87-Deluxe/Quad is actually one of the cheapest motherboards on the market that is equipped with Intel’s DSL5520 Falcon Ridge Thunderbolt 2 controller.

For those reasons, we think that Asus’s Z87-Deluxe/Quad is an excellent choice for users who will value the pair of Thunderbolt 2 ports, as well as the host of accompanying features.

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Pros:

  • Two Thunderbolt 2 ports.
  • Plenty of storage connections.
  • Lots of worthwhile features – 802.11ac WiFi, dual GbE, Bluetooth, NFC.
  • Strong audio performance.
  • Excellent UEFI BIOS.
  • Competitively-priced for a Thunderbolt 2 motherboard.

Cons:

  • A sizeable investment, even in light of the Thunderbolt 2 ports.
  • Difficultly in configuring a discrete GPU signal to be sent across Thunderbolt 2 ports.

KitGuru says: If you’re in search of a feature-heavy, Thunderbolt 2-equipped motherboard, Asus’s Z87-Deluxe/Quad is an excellent choice. And its price tag is competitive too.

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Rating: 9.0.

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