Answering the question we asked at the beginning of this review, the Intel DZ87KLT-75K is indeed an example for other mainboard makers. The flagship of Intel’s LGA1150 mainboard series, it not only makes full use of the Z87 chipset’s capabilities but adds to them with extra controllers. It has additional USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gbit/s ports, two network controllers, FireWire and Thunderbolt, and an mSATA/miniPCIe adapter for full-size and half-size cards. You often have to choose between the additional controllers and expansion slots since the number of the chipset’s PCIe lanes is limited, but the Intel DZ87KLT-75K avoids this limitation by using a PLX PEX 8606 chip for six additional PCIe lanes.
The mainboard can share the CPU-integrated PCIe lanes between three graphics slots, supporting multi-GPU CrossFireX and SLI configurations, but allows to use the CPU-integrated graphics core as well. Its PCB design is user-friendly. The color coding of the connectors facilitates system integration. It has highlighted Power, Reset and Back to BIOS buttons, two POST code indicators, Board Status LEDs, and Voltage Regulator Status LEDs. Moreover, it comes with an MS-3871 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module. It is not very economical but we haven’t yet compared it with other flagship products. Its performance is comparable to that of other similar products, both at the default settings and in the overclocked mode.
Intel’s Visual BIOS has been evolving, so now it is quite distinct from BIOSes of other mainboards. Its key idea is to allow you to set up everything related to one aspect of your computer in a single screen, without going to multiple subsections and pages or scrolling up and down. Then you just go to the next screen, which refers to another aspect, and continue in the same way. The implementation of this concept isn’t always perfect, yet the BIOS provides all the setup options necessary for fine-tuning and overclocking. It offers a unique search system and allows to make screenshots of a fragment of the screen.
We noted some minor downsides in our review, but there were no serious ones. The decorative faceplate on the heatsink impedes cooling, but the heatsink isn’t hot anyway. The ATX12V connector is turned around, but it doesn’t make it difficult to plug the cable in. There is no eSATA port on the back panel, but you get high-speed USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt interfaces. The new design of the BIOS’s Performance section is unfamiliar and inconvenient, but the mainboard allows to build your own list of frequently accessed features and evoke it from any BIOS page.
Except for the two POST code indicators, we haven’t found anything extraordinary, but a flagship mainboard doesn’t have to surprise. The Intel DZ87KLT-75K is just a well-made product with classic design and rich functionality. If the latter suits you, purchasing that model will be a wise decision.