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ASUS Z97-DELUXE(NFC & WLC) Intel SKT1150

cadaveca

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#1
We have none other than the Z97-DELUXE (WLC & NFC), ASUS's expensive high-end Intel Z97 product, with us today. Packing everything you expect and perhaps a few things you do not, the ASUS Z97-DELUXE (WLC & NFC) has everything Intel's latest platform has to offer, all wrapped into a classy new esthetic.

Show full review
 
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#2
Nice review-----
wow ... what a wonderful board.....
if i werent into ROG and TUF boards i would buy this one - although, as you said...the pricetag some how seems to be on the high side
 
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#3
Dat sexy-looking board!... Very nice review :)
But that price... :shadedshu:
 
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#5
  • Color scheme used may not appeal to all
on the contrary, this is the best colour scheme so far. i like the black-silverish on other board too. as far as the rampage black edition goes, theres too much of red still.
 

cadaveca

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#6
  • Color scheme used may not appeal to all
on the contrary, this is the best colour scheme so far. i like the black-silverish on other board too. as far as the rampage black edition goes, theres too much of red still.
Heh. I agree with you, actually, but the posts can be found everywhere. It is what it is. But the Rampage Black Edition? Man, I have mine sitting right here, can't say I agree with you on that bit. :roll: I'll have more to say on that subject specifically in a few weeks.

Dat sexy-looking board!... Very nice review :)
But that price... :shadedshu:
Well, you know, maybe there will be a version without the added goodies, that will be more affordable. I have my own ideas what that would cost ,but honestly, I haven't even looked to see if it exists in retail. :p


So, I just looked at Newegg, and they have the one without the added stuff for $289. Seems about right to me.

Nice review. Looking forward for Maximus VII series. :)
Soon. The HERO review is done, but I have many reviews done already, so maybe a few weeks it will be live, maybe sooner.

Nice review-----
wow ... what a wonderful board.....
if i werent into ROG and TUF boards i would buy this one - although, as you said...the pricetag some how seems to be on the high side
It's high, but not unjustified. Thunderbolt, NFC and WLC All have a cost. This board is like James Bond's BMW, not the fastest on the road, but ever so capable in the right hands, and filled with extra goodies. Every latest thing that comes with the platform, and some stuff for tie-in with other ASUS-branded products is all here. That's kind of what a "flagship" mainstream board should be.

Thing is, total build cost for a fully equipped board with all the high-end stuff is gonna cost ya $5k, and that's with a couple of 780 Ti cards.
 
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#7
Hey Cadaveca, nice review....

Can you tell me if the distance between the CPU socket and first memory slot is the same as Z87? It looks like it is........
 
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#8
Hi Dave,

Any comment on the benchmarks, it looks like it's a noticeable (as far as artificial benchmarks are worth anything) amount slower than the MSI Gaming 5?

I'd be curious if removing some of the add-ons made any difference in this respect in case they are "doing things" in the background.
 

cadaveca

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#9
Hi Dave,

Any comment on the benchmarks, it looks like it's a noticeable (as far as artificial benchmarks are worth anything) amount slower than the MSI Gaming 5?

I'd be curious if removing some of the add-ons made any difference in this respect in case they are "doing things" in the background.
Yeah, the installed software does have a slight impact. It's also worth noting that this isn't a GAMING product, so the BIOS is not tuned at "stock" like a gaming board would be. That said, since most performance-affecting options are available in BIOS, I see the benchmark results here a non-issue. I'd really like to remove as many benchmarks as possible, since even a BIOS flash can change this. You just have to have the knowledge to be able to get the best possible, and really, if this board was tuned to "perfection", then ASUS would have no reason to offer ROG products other than for colour. If you want top-level performance with a gaming focus, from ASUS, ROG is where it's at.

Hey Cadaveca, nice review....

Can you tell me if the distance between the CPU socket and first memory slot is the same as Z87? It looks like it is........
I did not have Z87 DELUXE, so cannot answer this question. Every board has slightly different measurements here, just in general. If you are thinking about waterblocks or similar, I suppose I could pull out my digital clamp...what are you after exactly?
 
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#10
Good points Dave.

Indeed reviews of boards should be about stability and hardware extras/tweaking features. So yes, even just one or two benchmarks to show it's not performing really badly would make sense. :)
 

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#11
Good points Dave.

Indeed reviews of boards should be about stability and hardware extras/tweaking features. So yes, even just one or two benchmarks to show it's not performing really badly would make sense. :)
Well, since this platform, for Intel, is also about power savings, and not just high-level performance, had ASUS tuned this board's BIOS like an ROG board, I would have seen that as a negative. ASUS' mainstream line-up is about showcasing tech and their own engineering, and changing a couple of options in BIOS that the end user has access to is hardly engineering anything.

I mean, these boards have physical switches to turn on XMP, even, TPU switch for minor auto OC, EPU for full power savings. It's SUPPOSED to be right in the middle of the results.

Also, in BIOS is this option to adjust multiplier settings for performance. Single-click options for added performance are here, they just aren't enabled at default, and I do not want to see them enabled at default in a mainstream product, either.

ASUS may have their own ideas on this too. However, in the end, I report out-of-the-box results anyway, and the results given are what I got on the most recent BIOS a the time. So it is even possible me flashing the board had an impact...
 

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#12
As an audiophile I find it funny they had to name it "Crystal Sound."

Throws me back to the mid-1990s, when a Cirrus Logic-made pre-AC'97 onboard EISA CODEC was named "Crystal Sound."

Due to the limited bandwidth EISA gave it, its output quality with 16-bit 44.1 kHz was only marginally better than a musical greeting card.
 

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#13
As an audiophile I find it funny they had to name it "Crystal Sound."

Throws me back to the mid-1990s, when a Cirrus Logic-made pre-AC'97 onboard EISA CODEC was named "Crystal Sound."

Due to the limited bandwidth EISA gave it, its output quality with 16-bit 44.1 kHz was only marginally better than a musical greeting card.
Yeah, that part did bug me, to be honest, because I have tested many many boards now, all in the same way. Admittedly, I have moved to a new OS, but having tested other ASUS products since this one in the exact same way, I found it odd that the sound did that when maxed out. I do have more than one cable to test with, and the only way to get decent numbers was with the volume lowered. This then required the input line level to be increased...

Normally, I just crank the volume knob. If there is surround software giving weird results, it shows before you even start the test, so I'll disable that if it is a problem. So, yeah, stuff enabled in driver, disabled... one channel is whacked.

Could just be my board in particular. Maybe I knocked something with VGA install... maybe it's got a cold joint somewhere.

Audio is a big part of why the score is what it is. Otherwise there'd be nothing to complain about here other than the price, but the board sold without the goodies easily explains that, so that's it.
 
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#14
I think you need to start taking points off when the board includes features that can't be used. Usually the boards have a choice between SATA express and M.2, which is reasonable, but ASUS takes the concept too far with this board. For $400 you shouldn't have to make compromises.

The only reason you would buy this board over its competitors is if you want Thunderbolt. But if you use Thunderbolt, then you have to disable two USB 3.0 ports and a SATA express connector. In that case why even include the USB 3.0 controller and the SATA express controller in the first place? The extra controllers only raise the cost. It seems like deceptive advertising on ASUS's part to tout that the board has all these features but to play down that you can't use them all at once.
 
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cadaveca

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#15
But if you use Thunderbolt, then you have to disable two USB 3.0 ports (USB5_6) found on rear panel OR a SATA express connector (SATA_EXPRESS_E1).

The board does this automatically if you use two of the three devices, yes, disables the third.
 
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#16
The board does this automatically if you use two of the three devices, yes, disables the third.
Both have to be disabled for the PCIe slot to get x4 bandwidth. If you disable only one, then the PCIe slot gets x2 bandwidth and the Thunderbolt controller cannot be used to its full capacity.

See section 3.6.7 from the user's manual.

It's really pointless to include the extra controllers simply because there's no reason to buy this model if you aren't using Thunderbolt.
 
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cadaveca

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#17
Both have to be disabled for the PCIe slot to get x4 bandwidth. If you disable only one, then the PCIe slot gets x2 bandwidth and the Thunderbolt controller cannot be used to its full capacity.

See section 3.6.7 from the user's manual.

It's really pointless to include the extra controllers if you bought the board to use Thunderbolt, and honestly, there's no reason to buy this model if you aren't using Thunderbolt.
I wonder if there is any actual impact. I'll have to plug in everything and test for myself.

Thunderbolt is primarly a display device. Does USB 5_6 get disabled and routed through Thunderbolt card to add in, or is USB 3.0 just naturally there?
 
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#18
I wonder if there is any actual impact. I'll have to plug in everything and test for myself.

Thunderbolt is primarly a display device.
You do have a point. If you are using Thunderbolt as a display interface, then the PCIe x2 interface will be less of an issue. Thunderbolt has 20Gb/s of bandwidth for both display and PCIe while PCIe 2.0 x2 provides 10Gb/s. If you're using >10Gb/s for a display, then you don't need the extra interface bandwidth of PCIe x4.

That said, I think the main use for display over Thunderbolt is so that you can dock a laptop with one cable. In a desktop environment where you aren't constantly disconnecting cables I would think that you would want to run a separate Displayport cable just for the monitor signal and then a Thunderbolt cable for whatever external PCIe devices are required. In that case you could use the entire 20Gb/s of bandwidth for whatever PCIe devices are attached and PCIe x2 (10Gb/s) would be a bottleneck.

Does USB 5_6 get disabled and routed through Thunderbolt card to add in, or is USB 3.0 just naturally there?
USB 5_6 is driven by an ASMedia PCIe to USB controller. The board needs those PCIe lanes if you want to run the slot at x4 bandwidth. When you select x4 mode the board routes the PCIe lanes from the USB controller to the PCIe slot therefore disabling the controller.
 
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cadaveca

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#19
Well, I have the board built up right now with 780 Ti SLi and ASUS Hyper Express. I'll add in the Thunderbolt card and dig a bit deeper into this when I get some more CPUs. I do plan on using this Z97-DELUXE a fair bit.

Considering on most board you couldn't do that, and the third slot would be driven by the CPU, I'm willing to overlook this problem although it IS something to be aware of. I am also curious as to what happens when you have all three populated...I assume by default the USB gets disabled.
 
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#20
I did not have Z87 DELUXE, so cannot answer this question. Every board has slightly different measurements here, just in general. If you are thinking about waterblocks or similar, I suppose I could pull out my digital clamp...what are you after exactly?

Hi, if you can just measure the distance like in the picture on the Z97 then I can compare it to my Z87.

 

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#21
Take this as a close approximation:

 
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#22
Cool man ,thanks a lot. I'll measure mine and see but I think its about the same.
 
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#23
Nice boad, its sexy too, I love the the new black and gold theme from Asus rather than that Blue one.
 
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#24
Beautiful motherboard. That combination of black with gold is superb.
Thanks Asus for using the black color!

It has everything a fan would want, however I think their price is excessive because it has certain drawbacks
- Poor audio chip. I've seen better audio chips on motherboards that cost half this board.

- It is impossible to fill all connectors at the same time: this is a problem that is inadmissible in a board this price.

- What's more, Skylake a year away, it makes even more difficult the decision to buy a motherboard for 1150 at this price.

In short, this board gives me mixed feelings of pleasure and disappointment.
It's beautiful where you look, immediately note its quality, but for $ 380 is the minimum that one would expect.