- Slot: Socket LGA1155 CPU: Intel Z97
- RAM Slots: 4x DIMM Dual-Channel Memory
- RAM Type: DDR3
- Ports: USB 2.0 x4, USB 3.0 x4, USB 3.1 x2, ThunderBolt x1
- Size: ATX
- USB 3.1
- Lack of devices supporting USB 3.1
- Benchmark Results
- PCMark 8
- Home: 4,160 points
- Creative: 3,909 points
- Work: 4,253 points
- Read: 750MB/s
- Write: 740MB/s
Brand New Deluxe
Ever since we first reviewed ASUS’ revised Z97 motherboards with USB 3.1, ASUS has been busy fitting already-existing products with the brand new connectivity feature, in hopes that it becomes mainstream sooner rather than later. This time around, we take a look at the ASUS Z97-Deluxe USB 3.1 motherboard.
As far as port distributions go, the Z97 Deluxe USB 3.1 is not all too different than that of its non-USB 3.1 predecessor. It features six DDR3 DIMM ports, which support up to 32GBs of RAM, with speeds of up to 3,300MHz. As far as SATA ports go, it has four SATA III 6Gbps ports, one MSATA port and one PCIe SATA port, for even faster speeds. It also supports both AMD’s CrossFireX and NVIDIA’s SLI dual-GPU technology, so if you’re looking to build a super gaming rig, this motherboard is a pretty viable option.
At the back is the typical adornment of I/O ports, but what’s slightly different here is the inclusion of two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, which according to ASUS, promises transfer speeds of up to 1.0GB/s, which is considerably faster than USB 3.0. And much like the ASUS X99 motherboard we reviewed previously, there are several steps you need to do before you’re able to harness this awesome speed.
Installing the USB 3.1 Boost software is a requirement, as this is what will allow you to toggle the port’s speeds to its full potential, as well as disabling the EIST and C-State from the BIOS page of the motherboard. These methods are a bit tedious, especially the BIOS portions, but if you happen to have a USB 3.1 device and are looking to make full use of the device and port’s speeds, then these steps will be important for you to take note of.
During our tests, we found that the USB 3.1 ports’ speeds average around 750-800MB/s, which is not too far away from ASUS’ claims of 10Gbps speeds. Overall performance-wise, the Z97 Deluxe USB 3.1 also performs as well as can be expected. Overclocking is still a breeze thanks to its variety of companion apps and simple BIOS options, and not to mention that it also comes with a Thunderbolt port too, if the USB 3.1 ports aren’t enough.
CHIP CONCLUDE: As far as most things go, the ASUS Z97-Deluxe USB 3.1 motherboard is pretty much the same Z97-Deluxe motherboard we’ve all seen before. The addition of the USB 3.1 ports serve as a means of future-proofing your PC’s components if ever USB 3.1 becomes mainstream sooner or later.
(previously published in issue August 2015)