Originally Posted by Rhage
The z97-deluxe is cheaper, and seems it may be just as capable. But the formula has better cooling. I'm a bit torn, the few posts I see saying "get the formula" offer no intelligent insight as to why it would out perform, and the few specification comparisons show almost no difference aside from the formula supporting 2X 16 lane pci-e slots compared to the deluxe using 1x 16 or 8/8. It also shows that the deluxe has better sound quality. Both boards support 5 way optimization. I'm torn.
Edit: After reading reviews and going over the specs a few more times I went with the z97-deluxe, seems to be a more accessible board with fewer problems and easier to work with. Taking a loss on aesthetics, but keeping $60 in my pocket. According to reviews the deluxe has far less issue and seems to be more stable. Best of luck with your decision!
I know this is way past due but just a note in case anyone else like me was looking through post while planning a new build:
The formula does NOT support two PCI-e X16 slots, the first 2 slots are physically X16 Gen 3 slots but the second one is only X8 electrically. So if you run SLI or Crossfire they will only run at X8/X8 As it will use all the PCI lanes from the first slot spread between both slots. The only Z97 Asus board that has 2 PCI-e X16 slots that are electrically X16 is the Work Station board, and I'm not sure if both are used if they will still run at a full X16 just know that both slots have all the pins.