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::>Motherboards > 2014 > 08 > ASUS Z97-DELUXE

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Republish review

06-08-2014


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ASUS Z97-DELUXE motherboard review and testing

Motherboard ASUS Z97-DELUXE is one of the "top" ASUS solutions. At the time of review its price was 350 - 360 dollars. Together with such cost the product offers quite a wide range of benefits, such as an integrated two-way wireless module Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0, the traditionally high quality of the circuitry, two SATA Express ports, as well as a number of improvements and other proprietary technologies. But first, let's take a look at the complete list of its technical characteristics.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

The specs:

Producer

ASUS

Model

Z97-DELUXE (rev 1.0)

Chipset

Intel Z97

SPU socket

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th and 5th generation: Intel Haswell, Intel Haswell Refresh, Intel Devil`s Canyon, Intel Broadwell

Memory frequency

3300* / 3200* / 3100* / 3000* / 2933* / 2800* / 2666* / 2600* / 2400* / 2200* / 2133* / 2000* / 1866* / 1600 / 1333 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM- slots with memory support up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

1 х PCI Express 2.0 x16

x16

x8+х8

x8+x8+x4

4 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

Memory support

Intel Z97 chipset supports:

1 x M.2 (M.2 2260, M.2 2280)

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x SATA Express (compatible with 2 х SATA 6 Gb/s)

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

ASMedia ASM1061 controller supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

ASMedia ASM106SE controller supports:

1 x SATA Express (compatible with 2 x SATA 6 Gb/s)

LAN

1 x Intel WGI218V (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

1 x Intel WGI211AT (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Wi-Fi

802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2,4 / 5 GHz)

Max data transfer rate up to 867 Mbit/s

Bluetooth

Bluetooth 4.0

Sound subsystem

Realtek ALC1150 codec

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power connectors

1x24-pin ATX main power connector

1x8-pin ATX12V power connector

Fans

2 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

4 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on the chipset

Aluminum radiators on power subsystem elements connected by heat pipe

External I/O

1 x HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

1 x Mini DisplayPort

2 x LAN (RJ45)

6 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

6 x audio jacks

2 x sockets for antennas Wi-Fi и Bluetooth

Internal I/O

2 x USB 3.0 each with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

2 x USB 2.0 each with support of two USB 2.0

6 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA Express

1 х TPM socket

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x S/PDIF out

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 х MemOK! button

1 х DRCT socket

1 х TB_HEADER block

1 x power button

1 x reboot button

1 x CMOS jump

1 x diagnostic LED-indicator

1 x TPU switch

1 x EPU switch

1 х EZ_XMP switch

1 x USB BIOS Flashback button

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 5.0, SM BIOS 2.8, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0

Packaging

User’s manual

Warranty brochure

Driver and utility disc

1 х set of ASUS Q-Connectors

6 x SATA cables

1 х 2-Way NVIDIA SLI bridge

1 x combined Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antenna

1 х faceplate of interface panel

Form factor,

Dimensions

ATX

305 х 244 mm

Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available on support page

Packaging and content

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

Motherboard ASUS Z97-DELUXE is shipped in a cardboard box with a lid. A key element of its design is an image of a cooling radiator for the chipset which supports technologies Dual Intelligent Processors 5 with 5-Way Optimization. Additionally, you can pay attention to the logo of the manufacturer, the name of the chipset, support of technologies NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX, as well as the use of audio technologies DTS Connect and DTS UltraPC II. 

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

On the reverse side of the lid under a viewing opening you can find a description of the key benefits of new item, namely:

  • USB BIOS Flashback - provides update of firmware BIOS from a USB flash drive by clicking on the appropriate button on the PCB.
  • USB 3.0 Boost - to speed USB 3.0 interface operation there is a support of protocol UASP.
  • AI Suite 3 - delivered proprietary software used for fine-tune of a number of system settings without entering the BIOS.
  • TurboAPP - allows you to select the required level of performance for each individual application. Company software ASUS AI Suite 3 allows you to customize not only performance, but also to choose audio profile for each application, as well as configure the prioritization of network traffic.
  • SATA Express & M.2 - novelty is equipped with support of two interfaces SATA Express and one M.2, which have a capacity of up to 10 Gbit/s.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

On the reverse side of the box in addition to the image of the motherboard, as well as a short list of its characteristics, it is possible to pay attention to support a range of technologies:

  • Wi-Fi Go! -integrated two-way wireless interface module of Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0 can be speed up to 867 Mbit/s. This will allow you to connect to wireless networks and use the PC as an access point for other multimedia devices. Also there is a support PC by using a smartphone, transfer files between computer and portable devices, synchronization of information between the various cloud storage, as well as function Media Streamer (to play media files over a wireless network). In this case, the support for the two frequency ranges (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) allows you to use the first one for browsing the web, and the second to download HD- video.
  • Dual Intelligent Processors 5 with 5-Way Optimization - motherboard is equipped with two smart chips: energy processor (Energy Processing Unit - EPU) and TurboV-processor (TurboV Processing Unit - TPU). The fifth generation of the chips work with a digital power system DIGI+VRM and technologies Fan Xpert 3 and TurboAPP that lets to provide fine-optimization of the system depending on the current needs of the user.
  • TurboLAN - using the supplied software you can monitor network activity PC in real time and set each program priority access to network resources.
  • Crystal Sound 2 - pre- audio codec Realtek ALC1150 with a special amplifier offers support for eight-channel sound and provides audio playback with a ratio signal/noise at the level of 112 dB. In order to avoid interference caused by electromagnetic interference a special screening technology EMI Protection Covering is applied. To ensure maximum audio quality Nichicon audio capacitors are used. In addition, the left and right audio channels are formed on different layers of the PCB that accompanies to minimize crosstalk. Also here is a support of technologies DTS CONNECT and Users DTS Ultra PC II, as well as the presence of the port S/PDIF out on the interface panel.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

The box of ASUS Z97-DELUXE  has the following set of accessories:

  • CD with drivers and utilities;
  • user's guide;
  • six SATA-cables;
  • set of ASUS Q-Connectors;
  • 2-Way NVIDIA SLI bridge;
  • combined Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antenna;
  • interface panel plug.

Design and features of the board

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

New product is made on the black PCB of ATX (305 x 244 mm) type and is decorated with mix of dark and bronze colors. Special attention is made to the original form of the cooling radiator of the chipset, which has become a symbol of the motherboards of Taiwanese company.

Talking about the layout and ease of building of the system, it is worth to mention overloaded bottom edge of the PCB with various interfaces, but this feature will be to owners taste. For the rest, we have no claims since the location of all the elements is pretty well thought out and comfortable.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

The reverse side of the motherboard meets us not only with the usual support plate of the CPU socket and radiator mounting screws, but also with two support plates placed under the components of the power supply subsystem. They serve as a low-profile radiator and increase the cooling efficiency.

Also the black PCB includes chip EPU designed to improve the energy efficiency of the whole system.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

At the bottom of the board there are the following connectors: front panel audio leading-in sockets, S/PDIF Out, block TB_HEADER (to realize Thunderbolt interface), power and reboot button, CMOS reset button and USB BIOS Flashback; diagnostic LED-indicator, TPM port, DRCT socket (allows to connect additional button to BIOS transition and place it on the front panel), one 4-pin socket to connect case fan, as well as front panel leading-in socket. Additionally here are two leading-in sockets for activation of USB 2.0 ports. Total number of USB 2.0 sockets is eight: four are internal and four on the interface panel.

A special note is given to two small switches: TPU and EPU. The first has three positions: "Off", "1" (automatic overclocking of the system by increasing the multiplier) and "2" (automatic overclocking by increasing the system bus frequency and CPU multiplier). The second toggle switch has only two positions and is responsible for the activation of the power saving function (EPU).

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

The possibility of organizing a disk subsystem is presented by socket M.2 (support of SSD drives of M.2 2260 and M.2 2280), six ports SATA 6 Gb/s and two SATA Express compatible with two SATA 6 Gb/s. There is a support of SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10.

As chipset Intel Z97 cannot provide the operation of above mentioned interfaces, to function twp additional ports SATA and one SATA Express (on chip SATAExpress_E1) controllers ASMedia ASM1061 and ASMedia ASM106SE are used.

Due to the lack of free chipset lines, interface M.2 (NGFF) shares carrying capacity with one SATA Express (scheme SATAExpress_1 ), that’s why its simultaneous usage is impossible.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

Main board ASUS Z97-DELUXE is equipped with four DIMM-slots for memory modules DDR3, which are equipped with latches only on one side. RAM can operate in dual channel mode. To implement it the modules must be installed either in the first and third or second and fourth slots. Modules operating at frequencies from 1333 to 1600 MHz in nominal mode and up to 3300 MHz in overclocked mode are supported. Maximum memory capacity may be up to 32 GB which is enough for almost any tasks.

Also here are two leading-in sockets with ports USB 3.0 and button MemOK! which allows you to automatically pick up the necessary parameters of the memory for a successful start.

As for the support of USB 3.0, the tested model has ten ports: four external are realized by chipset while four internal and two additional on the interface panel operate due to controllers ASMedia ASM1074 and ASMedia ASM1042АЕ.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

Cooling system of the product includes four aluminum radiators: one for heat removal from chipset Intel Z97 while the others cover elements of power subsystem. One of them is connected by heat pipe with additional radiator in the center of board. All of them are securely fixed by screws.

In the process of testing the following temperature indices were fixed:

  • radiator for chipset cooling – 39.5°C;
  • radiator for cooling of processor elements power – 35°C.

The received results indicate a high efficiency of the installed cooling system which specifies the correct choice of materials and design.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

Processor power supply is performed via 6-phase scheme for computational cores and additional joints. Converter is based on a digital PWM controller ASP1257 with integrated power consumption control subsystem DIGI+VRM. All power components of CPU have high reliability level: solid capacitors with increased lifespan in 2.5, as well as chokes with ferrite core. Basic 24-pin and additional 8-pin connectors are use for power feeding.    

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

To extend the functionality the motherboard ASUS Z97-DELUXE has seven slots:

  1. PCI Express 2.0 x1;
  2. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (х16 or х8 mode);
  3. PCI Express 2.0 x1;
  4. PCI Express 2.0 x1;
  5. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (mode х8);
  6. PCI Express 2.0 x1;
  7. PCI Express 2.0 x16 (mode х4).

Due to the support of technologies NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX this configuration offers the user to organize the graphics subsystem of one or two graphics cards. The third PCI Express x16 slot is connected to the chipset. Its bandwidth is limited to a maximum of four lines, so it is best to use to install other expansion cards. Separately we note that the location of the slots will allow easily connect two graphics cards with three slot cooling system. In this case, you will have access to one connector PCI Express 2.0 x1.

Due to the presence of several additional controllers there is a lack of free chipset lines; respectively there is a number of limitations. Thus, the slot PCI Express 2.0 x16 shares the line with two USB 3.0 ports on the interface panel (on the scheme USB3_E56) and one SATA Express (scheme SATAExpress_E1), so the simultaneous use of all three components is not possible.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

If you decide to take advantage of the integrated on the CPU graphics core then you have three video outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort и Mini DisplayPort, switching is carried out by chip ASMedia ASM1442K.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

Multi I/O capabilities are based on NUVOTON NCT6791D chip which controls the operation of system fans and provides the monitoring. 

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

Two additional SATA 6 Gb/s ports are implemented using controller ASMedia ASM1061.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

Optional interface SATA Express operates thanks to the controller ASMedia ASM106SE.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

Six USB 3.0 connectors are controlled by the controller ASMedia ASM1042AE and ASMedia ASM1074.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

To support network connection there are two gigabit LAN-controllers: Intel WGI218V and Intel WGI211AT. Distribution of network resource and traffic prioritization can be carried out by utility TurboLAN.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

Sound subsystem is based on HAD codec of 8-channel sound Realtek ALC1150 that supports 2/4/5.1/7.1 sound systems and has several proprietary features (concept Crystal Sound 2).

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

Interface panel of ASUS Z97-DELUXE model contains the following ports:

  • 2 x LAN (RJ45);
  • 6 x USB 3.0;
  • 4 x USB 2.0;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 1 x DisplayPort;
  • 1 x Mini DisplayPort;
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out;
  • 2 x socket for Wi-Fi и Bluetooth;
  • 6 x audio jacks.

This layout of interface panel can be called as excellent because it includes: three video outputs, a large number of USB ports, as well as integrated module Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth 4.0. According the official information it can provide data transference on a speed up to 867 Mbit/s which is three times higher than standard IEEE 802.11n. At the same time the support of two frequency ranges (2.4 and 5 GHz) allow to use the first one for web browsing, and the second to download high quality HD-content. Also don’t forget about functions Cloud GO!, Remote Control and Media Streaming Hub, which will simplify file exchange in home network between compatible devices.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

The possibility of organizing the cooling system inside the case is quite standard. There are four 4-pin fan connectors, two of which are used for the cooling CPU system, while other two are for system fans.

UEFI BIOS

Tested model uses modern preloader based on UEFI. To provide the setting is possible via mouse control. It proposes two main scenario of the usage.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

EZ Mode where all required settings are grouped in one screen and overclocking can be performed using EZ Tuning Wizard.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

Or standard Advanced Mode where all settings should be done manually.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

All overclocking parameters are in section “Ai Tweaker”.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

Frequency multiplier allows to set module connection speed within 800-3400MHz.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

If necessary you can get the access to memory delay adjustments.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

Top increase the stability during overclocking you can use settings of digital power subsystem DIGI+VRM.  

Adjustments required to overclock and optimize the system:

Parameter

Menu name

Range

Pitch

System bus frequency

BCLK Frequency

80,0 – 300,0

0,1

 

CPU Strap

100, 125, 166, 250

 

RAM frequency

Memory Frequency

3400, 3200, 3000, 2933, 2800, 2666, 2600, 2400, 2200. 2133, 2000, 1866, 1800,

1600, 1400, 1333, 1066, 800

 

RAM timings

DRAM Timing

CAS Latency, RAS to CAS, RAS PRE Time, RAS ACT Time, DRAM COMMAND Mode, RAS to RAS Delay, REF Cycle Time, Write Recovery Time, READ to PRE Time, FOUR ACT WIN Time, WRITE to READ Delay, Write Latency

 

 

Min. CPU Cache Ratio Limit

8 – MAX

1

 

Max CPU Cache Ratio Limit

8 – MAX

1

Frequency of  PWM comptroller

Fixed CPU VRM Switching Frequency(KHz)

250 – 500

50

 

Long Duration Package Power Limit

1 – 4096

1

 

Package Power Time Window

1 - 127

1

 

Short Duration Package Power Limit

1 - 4096

1

 

CPU Integrated VR Current Limit

0,125 – 1023,875

0,125

 

Power Current Slope

Auto, Level -4 – Level 4

 

 

Power Current Offset

Auto, -100% - 100%

12,5 %

 

Power Fast Ramp Response

0,00 – 1,50

0,001

 

Power Saving Level 1 Threshold

0 – 80

1

 

Power Saving Level 2 Threshold

0 – 50

1

 

Power Saving Level 3 Threshold

0 – 30

1

 

CPU Core Voltage Override

0,001 – 1,920

 

0,001

 

CPU Cache Voltage Override

0,001 – 1,920

0,001

 

CPU System Agent Voltage Offset

0,001 – 0,999

0,001

 

CPU Analog I/O Voltage Offset

0,001 – 0,999

0,001

 

CPU Digital I/O Voltage Offset

0,001 – 0,999

0,001

CPU Input Voltage

CPU Input Voltage

0,800 – 2,700

0,010

RAM Voltage

DRAM Voltage

1,20000 – 1,92000

0,00500

Chipset Voltage 

PCH Core Voltage

0,70000 – 1,80000

0,01250

 

PCH VLX Voltage

0,80000 – 2,00000

0,01250

 

VTTDDR Voltage

0,60000 – 1,00000

0,01250

 

DRAM CTRL REF Voltage

0,39500 – 0,63000

0,00500

 

DRAM DATA REF Voltage on CHA

0,39500 – 0,63000

0,00500

 

DRAM DATA REF Voltage on CHB

0,39500 – 0,63000

0,00500

 

Clock Crossing Boot Voltage

0,10000 – 1,90000

0,00625

 

Clock Crossing Reset Voltage

0,10000 – 1,90000

0,00625

 

Clock Crossing Voltage

0,10000 – 1,90000

0,00625

 

PLL Termination Voltage

1,00000 – 2,50000

0,01250

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

ASUS Z97-DELUXE

“Monitor” section provides the access to information about CPU, module VRM and chipset temperature. To monitor voltage on CPU cores and power lines +12V, +5V and +3,3V as other parameters is possible using any section, because this information displays in the right column. Also it is possible to take screenshots.  


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