Enthusiast who’s looking for the best Z87 motherboard the Asus Z87 Pro could be a great option.The Asus Z87 Pro Review discusses the board’s compatibility, features and performance. The Asus Z87 Pro is available at a very affordable to satisfy those budget savvy enthusiasts.
The board supports the Intel’s 4th generation core processors with codename Haswell. The board socket is completely different from the previous socket 1155 platform which is being use in Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors.
Side note: All Z87 motherboards has socket 1150 platform which is not backward compatible to any socket 1155 processors.
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Looking At The Asus Z87 Pro
Asus move away from its traditional blue color scheme with the release of the Asus Z87 Pro and adapt a more eye catchy gold and black trim format. If you’re into good looks, well you got it. You’ll notice a huge heatsink on the voltage regulator circuit though, there’s an integrated regulator on the Haswell processor those beefy heatsinks greatly helps to cool down the temperature during overclock.
The CPU socket area leaves more space to accommodate an oversize cooler in case you decide to replace it with water cooling system. DIMM slots are nicely color coded with gold and black to properly identify the correct memory pairing. On the back side of it there’s an ATX power connector for fast connection, it also includes the 8-pin power connector beside the voltage regulator heatsink.
The Z87 chip was built with large gold heatsink with black trim that states the Dual Intelligent Processor IV. The board provides eight SATA 6GB/s, it doesn’t include even a single 3GB/s. Six of them came out from the processor itself in yellow and two from ASMedia Controller in dark brown color. It supports the Dynamic Storage Accelerator, Intel Smart Response Technology, Intel Rapid Start Technology, Intel Smart Connect Technology.
Looking at the expansion slot, it provides three PCIe slots with the first two supports the PCIe 3.0 with x16 for single or x8/x8 for dual GPU and the third one with PCIe 2.0 in x4 mode. You got four PCIe x1 in between the x16 slots in case you need plenty of them.
Finally on the back I/O panel, starting with the PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port, 1x LAN port, 1x Optical S/PDIF with 6x USB 3.0 comes in blue color. The Asus Z87 Pro provides generous video ports that give you more options for your video display from DVI-D, D-Sub, Display port and HDMI. You also have 6x audio jacks and the Asus Wi-Fi GO! Module with Bluetooth for your wireless connections.
Asus Z87 Pro Review Features
It’s rarely to find a mainstream board geared with state of the art features but Asus never hesitate to pour on it at the Z87 Pro. The new improved Dual Intelligent processor provides a 4-way optimization to push it further to its maximum performance. This includes the CPU boost, Digi+ power phase for CPU OC, energy efficiency and fan control that keeps the system cool.
The all new UEFI BIOS promotes a better way to setup the CMOS settings, it is friendlier and easier to tweak with its new look. The EZ Mode provides more useful information through a quick mouse control operations from clock adjustment, Fan settings and EZ XMP settings. Of course, there is always the Advance mode for advance users.
Another innovative feature from Asus is the Al Suite 3, it was a user interface software that will greatly help you to oveclock the CPU at ease. This also includes the controls for fan speed, voltages and energy consumption.
Overclocking The Asus Z87 Pro
Overclocking the Asus Z87 Pro is simple using the Haswell Core i7-4770K, the board gives you more options to reach your desired speed. You can simply push the TPU switch to get an instant boost or go directly to the BIOS settings to adjust the desired clock frequency and multiplier.
The best option you can do to overclock the Z87 Pro is to go on the Al Suite 3, it will automatically increase the multiplier until it reaches the peak level and when it crashes after rebooting it will back again and recalls the last good settings then slowly increases the base clock this time, once it crashes again it will restore the latest known good clock speed. The final speed stable speed is at 4599MHz with the multiplier set to x 46 and it is clock at 99.9MHz.
How The Asus Z87 Pro Perform?
The Asus Z87 Pro gain huge performance increase at overclocked speed of nearly 4.6GHz even at various games such as Tomb Raider and Hitman was fairly visible. At default clock speed, we could hardly see a big difference of Haswell processor compare to its older rival Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge.
The USB 3.0 performance of Asus Z87 Pro is very impressive. When you enable the USB 3.0 boost from the Al Suite 3 the results were truly amazing, starting from 280MB/s to a mind blowing 430MB/s. If you don’t have the patience to transfer your large file to an external device this one will definitely makes you happy.
Watching some movies and playing games using the Haswell IGP really improves the smoothness of the output display and can compete with the average video cards out there, I can say that it is way better than the AMD’s APU and any of the Ivy/Sandy Bridge platform.
The Asus Z87 Pro is undeniably great performing board, from overclocking to features you can’t go wrong with it. Asus did a great job in putting on new advance features here that truly stands out from the rest. The all new EZ BIOS, Al Suite 3, USB 3.0 Boost, TPU, EPU and the golden color scheme really makes sense and highly appealing to anyone who wants more out of a mainstream board.
The price it offers is very much competitive that makes the masses hardly pass on it. If you’re thinking to build a new computer rig out of Intel Haswell Core i7 processor, the Asus Z87 Pro is definitely the best Z87 motherboard you can have. Click Here to get it at its Lowest Price!