Articles: Mainboards

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It is not easy to choose the most appropriate mainboard out of dozens of available models. There are product comparison mechanisms at the manufacturers' websites, but they are generally limited to basic specifications such as chipset, CPU support and I/O ports. Last year ASUS tried to improve its model selector by offering a detailed list of its Z87-based products which helped compare them by several dozens of criteria including the availability of certain features and technologies. A Customize Table button would let you hide secondary parameters or remove mainboards you were not interested in. The list could be sorted by any field. You could click a model name to view the corresponding product photo. And you could export all data as a CSV file. We often used that table to choose ASUS mainboards to test. It was handy and detailed so we could immediately see even minor differences between similar models.

ASUS compiled another such table for its new breed of LGA1150 mainboards which can be found on the dedicated promo page. As before, you can manually remove unwanted mainboards or insignificant parameters. And to help you with your choice, you are prompted to answer four simple questions about the purpose of your computer and about your overclocking, wireless and form-factor preferences.

Based on your answers, the huge table is automatically truncated to just a few models. We’ve tested this feature and it does provide adequate results. You may find the ASUS Z97-Deluxe model listed among yours, so today we’re going to test this mainboard in our review.

Packaging and Accessories

The ASUS Z97-Deluxe mainboard is a flagship model, so its packaging differs somewhat from ASUS’s standard. The box has a front flap. Behind the flap, there is a large window for you to have a good view of the mainboard. There’s a model name and logos on the front of the box. On the back, you can find specifications, a product picture, and descriptions of key features.

The mainboard is wrapped into an antistatic pack. Its accessories can be found underneath:

  • Six SATA 6 Gbit/s cables with metallic locks (three with two straight connectors and three with one straight and one L-shaped connector)
  • One flexible bridge to connect two graphics cards in SLI mode
  • Wi-Fi antenna
  • I/O Shield
  • ASUS Q-Connector adapters that help you connect the mainboard to the computer case’s buttons, indicators and USB 2.0 port
  • User manual
  • Brochure with details on special features of ASUS’s Z97-based mainboards
  • DVD with software and drivers
  • “Powered by ASUS” sticker for your computer case

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