Intel makes it extremely easy to pick up a full-featured LGA1150 mainboard by limiting your choice to only one model. The DZ87KLT-75K is the only mainboard from Intel based on the Z87 chipset and offering the broadest functionality. But when it comes to ASUS, the choice is far from obvious. ASUS supplies a number of very different top-end models, each with its own unique advantages. Of course, it would be perfect to have a mainboard with all the advantages packed into a single device, but since there is none we have to compromise. So, what would we choose?
We’d put aside the ASUS Sabertooth Z87 first. Although this model and the entire TUF (The Ultimate Force) series are very attractive to us – TUF mainboards come with a 5-year warranty after all – the Sabertooth Z87 is a mainstream rather than top-end product in its functionality. The only thing that makes it different from regular mainstream mainboards is a set of technologies that improve its reliability and durability.
The Republic of Gamers series is headed by the ASUS Maximus VI Extreme, the most feature-rich and the most expensive LGA1150 mainboard from ASUS. It comes with a bundled OC Panel which can be used for overclocking on an open testbed. After the computer is assembled, it can be installed into a free 5.25-inch drive bay to serve as an info display.
There is one peculiarity about the mainboard’s numerous capabilities. Thanks to an additional switch, it is optimized for multi-GPU configurations, but the performance benefits will only be felt starting from three GPUs. So if you plan to run only one or two graphics cards, you won’t be using the full potential of your Maximus VI Extreme.
Well, you don’t actually have to browse through ASUS’s special product series to pick up a special mainboard. The top-end model of the ordinary series is the incredibly functional Z87-Deluxe/Dual with additional SATA 6 Gbit/s and USB 3.0 controllers, wireless interfaces (Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth, and NFC), two network adapters, two POST code indicators, and two Thunderbolt ports. It means that if you don’t have any Thunderbolt peripherals, you will hardly appreciate this particular mainboard.
But as you have already guessed, ASUS offers so many mainboards that it’s easy to find one that suits your needs perfectly. So, instead of the Z87-Deluxe/Dual, you may be interested in the related model called Z87-Deluxe. Besides the similar-sounding name, the latter has similar design and functionality. Being as sophisticated as its elder cousin, it only lacks the NFC Express module and Thunderbolt.
The lack of excessive features means a lower price. So in this review we are going to take a look at the Z87-Deluxe, which seems to be the most optimal LGA1150 mainboard from ASUS in terms of price and functionality.