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[REVIEW] ASUS Z87-PLUS - Performance Test

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
ASUS Z87-PLUS - Performance Test

Front.png

Introduction:

The Z87-Plus is one of the ASUS’ mainstream Z87 motherboards (mobos) lineup, offering support for multiple expansions, good onboard audio and ASUS' new “4-Way Optimization”, a feature which is not available in their lower-tier boards. Other than that, the board packs quite a few goodies for those who are looking to build a powerful rig without breaking the wallet. Let’s take a look at what the Z87-PLUS has to offer.

Product Link: http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Z87PLUS/

Suggested Retail Price: RM 699

Specifications:

2lbf.png

Full specifications of the Z87-PLUS can be found HERE

Overview of Z87-PLUS:

Overview.jpg

Unboxing:

DSC_0959.jpg
The board comes in a simple black box with some yellow/ gold illustrations.

DSC_0961.jpg
The back of the box describes the features brought by this board as well as what the platform can do.

DSC_0890.jpg
The Z87-PLUS comes in a black/ yellow/ gold colour scheme of the Z87 mainstream board lineup and conforms to ATX form factor with measurement of 12 inch x 9.2 inch (30.5 cm x 23.37 cm).

DSC_0870.jpg
The mobo is compatible with socket LGA1150 based Intel’s 4th Generation Core i7, i5 & i3/ Pentium/ Celeron processors. Here we have 8+2 digital power phase system to deliver enough power for overclocking. The four DDR3 memory slots can support a total of 32GB of RAM with speed up to 3000MHz. Moreover, it also supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) for easy memory tweaking.

DSC_0868.jpg
Let’s proceed to the expansion slots. On this board itself you will find three PCIe x16 slots, two of them are PCIe 3.0. These slots support 2-way Quad-SLI and Quad-CrossFireX. Besides that, it comes with a pair of PCIe x1 slots and a conventional PCI slot. Also spotted, a TPU switch on the lower left which allows you to automatically adjust the CPU ratio and clock speed for an optimal system performance.

DSC_0875.jpg
The board packs a total of eight SATA 6Gbps ports (six provided by the Z87 chipset, two by the ASMedia controller). The six Intel SATA ports support RAID 0,1,5 and 10, a well as other Z87 features like Smart Connect and Dynamic Storage Accelerator. The SATA port layout makes it easy to plug and unplug the SATA cables without having to pull your graphics card.

DSC_0880.jpg
The rear IO panel looks pretty standard and it doesn’t come with any USB 2.0 port:

1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port
1 x DVI-D
1 x D-Sub
1 x HDMI
1 x LAN (RJ45) port
6 x USB 3.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
6 x Audio jacks
1 x Mini DisplayPort

DSC_0887.jpg
Back side of the board has a backplate to give retention to the CPU socket on the top of the mobo.

DSC_0963.jpg
Here we can see the complete accessories included in the package.

Test Setup:

DSC_0955.jpg

Testbed3.png
Edited by owikh84 - 11/22/13 at 6:16pm
    
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post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
The UEFI BIOS:

Main Page of AI Tweaker: Multiple CPU straps for selection.
131120214524-1.png

Main Page # 2:
131120214545-1.png

RAM Timing Control:
131120214553-1.png

DIGI + Power control:
131120214610-1.png

CPU Power Management:
131120214614-1.png

ASUS SPD Information:
131120214712-1.png

BIOS Flashing via USB drive:
131120214657-1.png

Hardware Monitoring:
131120214759-1.png

EZ-Mode: a simplied version of UEFI
131120214447-1.png
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770K @ 5.0GHz MVE 3x 7970 Corsair Dominator Platinum 2800 11-13-13-25-1T 
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WD Caviar Black Asus BR Burner 12X Watercooling - dual loops Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770K @ 5.0GHz MVE 3x 7970 Corsair Dominator Platinum 2800 11-13-13-25-1T 
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G.Skill RipZ 2400C9-11-10 Team 2600C10 G.Skill Pi 2200C7 2x Crucial M4 256GB raid0 
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WD Caviar Black Asus BR Burner 12X Watercooling - dual loops Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Software & Tools:

l5zh.png

1) AI Suite III - OC tweaking utility, is a tool for overclocking in windows environment without the needs to restart your PC.
2) TurboVCore: A simplified version of TurboV.
3) MemTweakIT - lets us view the memory settings and also submit a score for competition. Unfortunately, due to Intel’s lockdown it is unable to adjust timings real-time in the OS for now.
Stability Tests:

LinX 0.6.4 w/ AVX:

xaei.png
Due to the limitation of my 4770K, I could only stress the chip at 4.4GHz @ 1.28v. This overclock survived LinX without any error in about one hour. One of the cores hit 95C during loading.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770K @ 5.0GHz MVE 3x 7970 Corsair Dominator Platinum 2800 11-13-13-25-1T 
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G.Skill RipZ 2400C9-11-10 Team 2600C10 G.Skill Pi 2200C7 2x Crucial M4 256GB raid0 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
WD Caviar Black Asus BR Burner 12X Watercooling - dual loops Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770K @ 5.0GHz MVE 3x 7970 Corsair Dominator Platinum 2800 11-13-13-25-1T 
RAMRAMRAMHard Drive
G.Skill RipZ 2400C9-11-10 Team 2600C10 G.Skill Pi 2200C7 2x Crucial M4 256GB raid0 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
WD Caviar Black Asus BR Burner 12X Watercooling - dual loops Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell U3011 MS Sidewinder X6 Corsair AX1200 LD PC-V8 Reversed 
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post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Benchmark Tests:

During these benchmarks, the 4770K was overclocked to 4.7GHz.

3DMark 13:
2sqi.png

3DMark 11:
zqif.png

3DMark Vantage:
qdaw.png

3DMark 06:
mpwi.png

3DMark 05:
8ikd.png

3DMark 03:
pjpe.png

PCMark 7:
smaw.png

Super Pi 32M/ wPrime/ MaxxMEM/ AIDA64 Cache and Memory Benchmark:
jkoi.png

Super Pi 1M:
2wks.png

HyperPi 32M & 1M:
ho5p.png

Cinebench R11.5 & R15:
mqmf.png

wPrime 1.55 & Fritz Chess 4.2:
xup9.png

Unigine Heaven 4.0:
cnbx.png

Unigine Valley 1.0:
ho5p.png
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770K @ 5.0GHz MVE 3x 7970 Corsair Dominator Platinum 2800 11-13-13-25-1T 
RAMRAMRAMHard Drive
G.Skill RipZ 2400C9-11-10 Team 2600C10 G.Skill Pi 2200C7 2x Crucial M4 256GB raid0 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
WD Caviar Black Asus BR Burner 12X Watercooling - dual loops Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell U3011 MS Sidewinder X6 Corsair AX1200 LD PC-V8 Reversed 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Roccat Kone Roccat Taito Asus Xonar D2X 
  hide details  
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770K @ 5.0GHz MVE 3x 7970 Corsair Dominator Platinum 2800 11-13-13-25-1T 
RAMRAMRAMHard Drive
G.Skill RipZ 2400C9-11-10 Team 2600C10 G.Skill Pi 2200C7 2x Crucial M4 256GB raid0 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
WD Caviar Black Asus BR Burner 12X Watercooling - dual loops Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Memory Overclocking:

Hynix-MFR IC: Apacer ARES 3000C12 2 X 4GB @ 3000MHz 12-14-14-25-1T
jkoi.png

Hynix-CFR IC: G.Skill TridentX 2800C11 2 X 4GB @ 2933MHz 11-14-14-25-1T
zzhm.png

Samsung IC: G.Skill TridentX 2600C10 2 X 4GB @ 2800MHz 10-12-12-21-1T
7nmm.png

PSC IC: Corsair DominatorGT GTX4 2533C9 2 X 2GB @ 2000MHz 8-9-8-24-2T
cyhg.png

BBSE IC: G.Skill RipjawsX 2133C8 2 X 2GB @ 2133MHz 8-9-8-24-2T
ulgo.png

Game Benchmarks:

Bioshock Infinite:
ylvq.png
1920x1080: Ultra Quality Preset, DX11 only, Diffusion Depth of Field, Built-In Benchmark

Metro Last Light:
i4ru.png
1920x1080: Very High Quality Preset, DX11, Texture Filtering: AF 16X, Motion Blur: Normal, SSAA: ON, Tessellation: Very High, Advanced PhysX: ON, Built-In Benchmark
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770K @ 5.0GHz MVE 3x 7970 Corsair Dominator Platinum 2800 11-13-13-25-1T 
RAMRAMRAMHard Drive
G.Skill RipZ 2400C9-11-10 Team 2600C10 G.Skill Pi 2200C7 2x Crucial M4 256GB raid0 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
WD Caviar Black Asus BR Burner 12X Watercooling - dual loops Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell U3011 MS Sidewinder X6 Corsair AX1200 LD PC-V8 Reversed 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Roccat Kone Roccat Taito Asus Xonar D2X 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770K @ 5.0GHz MVE 3x 7970 Corsair Dominator Platinum 2800 11-13-13-25-1T 
RAMRAMRAMHard Drive
G.Skill RipZ 2400C9-11-10 Team 2600C10 G.Skill Pi 2200C7 2x Crucial M4 256GB raid0 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
WD Caviar Black Asus BR Burner 12X Watercooling - dual loops Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell U3011 MS Sidewinder X6 Corsair AX1200 LD PC-V8 Reversed 
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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thoughts & Verdicts:

The Z87-PLUS is a pretty sweet motherboard. Performance wise the Z87-PLUS has no problem keeping up with the rest of Haswell pack. The UEFI BIOS works stably. On the software side, ASUS has completely revamped its AI Suite III tweaking utility. Beginners should appreciate the improved TPU’s auto overclocking feature, which is aggressive enough to match the overclock generated with manual overclocking. Overclocking on the Z87-PLUS run pretty well. Somehow the board chose to be picky on the RAM for overclocking. I didn't manage to overclock the PSC and Elpida-BBSE based memory sticks on this board. Nevertheless, Hynix and Samsung based kits overclock very well on this mobo. The ASUS Z87-PLUS has all the goodies to make your rig a potentially powerful machine.

Lastly, I would like to thank ASUS Malaysia for giving me the opportunity and pleasure of reviewing the Z87-Plus motherboard.

Performance: 4/5
Materials: 5/5
Specifications: 5/5
Appearance: 4/5
Performance/Price Value: 5/5

Pros:
+ Good stock performance
+ Intelligent UEFI BIOS
+ Informative user manual
+ Good SATA port layout
+ Overclock ability via onboard TPU switch
+ Multi-GPU support

Cons:
- Overpriced in Malaysia
- Mixed memory overclocking
- No debug code LED panel
- No Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support
- Brown colour PCB and the yellow/ gold theme may not be so attractive to some of us
- Lack of LucidLogix Virtu MVP software
- Can’t adjust memory timings with MemTweakIT in the OS at the time of writing (this applied to all Z87 motherboards)
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770K @ 5.0GHz MVE 3x 7970 Corsair Dominator Platinum 2800 11-13-13-25-1T 
RAMRAMRAMHard Drive
G.Skill RipZ 2400C9-11-10 Team 2600C10 G.Skill Pi 2200C7 2x Crucial M4 256GB raid0 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
WD Caviar Black Asus BR Burner 12X Watercooling - dual loops Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell U3011 MS Sidewinder X6 Corsair AX1200 LD PC-V8 Reversed 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Roccat Kone Roccat Taito Asus Xonar D2X 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770K @ 5.0GHz MVE 3x 7970 Corsair Dominator Platinum 2800 11-13-13-25-1T 
RAMRAMRAMHard Drive
G.Skill RipZ 2400C9-11-10 Team 2600C10 G.Skill Pi 2200C7 2x Crucial M4 256GB raid0 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
WD Caviar Black Asus BR Burner 12X Watercooling - dual loops Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell U3011 MS Sidewinder X6 Corsair AX1200 LD PC-V8 Reversed 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Roccat Kone Roccat Taito Asus Xonar D2X 
  hide details  
Reply
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