ASUS Z87-Plus ReviewBluePanda -
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ASUS Z87-Plus Introduction:
Ccokeman might appaer to be having all the fun with the new Intel Core i7 4770K launch, but he's not the only one. I bought my chip the day of realease and am working on catching up to the old man. He's put up a lot to compete with, but today we'll take a look at another affordable board, this time from ASUS. ASUS has quite the varity of options when it comes to any component, ranging from the extreme ROG series all the way down to simple and affordable. Today we'll be looking at the ASUS Z87-Plus (you may recall it from ccokman's 4770K review), which isn't quite the bottom pick but definitely one of the more affordable overclocking Z87 boards on the market at $159.99. Packaged around the new Z87 PCH and LGA socket 1150 series processors, the Z87-Plus features support for multiple graphics solutions, the Realtek ALC892 HD Audio CODECs, and one of ASUS's new features "Remote GO!," which allows you to control home entertainment by linking together content from your PC to DLNA devices - accessing and sharing your media remotely.
In the end it isn't all about how the board looks (as the yellow and black theme from ASUS isn't my favorite); it comes down to how well the board performs. Does it catch on fire while overclocking? Or does it allow you to clock like a beast? I guess the most important factor is the lack of fire (hopefully), but ultimately this review comes down to the numbers. Let's take the ASUS Z87-Plus board for a test drive and see if it's worth taking home today.
ASUS Z87-Plus Closer Look:
Although the box isn't the most important part in any new component, it is for sure what might be the selling point while you're browsing your local hardware store (and no not the one for screws and bolts). Though, with that said, it's sometimes the more simple boxes that attract me, as they aren't trying to sell it by flashy gimmicks. The ASUS Z87-Plus comes in a relatively simple black box with some yellow/gold graphics to snazz it up just a little. The front boasts about support for "NVIDIA SLI" and "AMD Crossfire" as well as its capabilites for system upgrades, energy savings, power controls, cool and quiet settings, and the one-stop entertainment feature (the Remote GO! package). The back of the box goes into more details, showing off graphically how you can control your PC with your tablet devices and stream your content from the other end of the house. The board supports USB BIOS flashback options with a simple plug and press feature on the board. You can actually plug in a USB stick and restore your BIOS if something has gone amiss. The box really just points out all the key features we'll step on along our way through this review.
Opening the box, there isn't too much to ogle over. You can peek through the standard anti-static bag in at the motherboard beneath. The goods, like most packages, are hidden beneath the grander good on top (aka the main product). Pulling away the mobo in its dry weather protecting bag reveals the little, almost, "bonus" goods we all like to dig through to see what "extra" we got with what we ordered. In this case, ASUS provides you with your essential manual (less essential thanks to the next items), your labeled Q-connectors to keep your front panel fails to a minimum, driver CD for when you're left without the Interwebs, three SATA cables for your setup, an SLI bridge for multiplying graphics, and of course a little ASUS sticker for the beer fridge. Overall it's a good start to a well packaged deal. Let's move on to the board itself.