ASUS has introduced the Z87 Deluxe/Quad, the first motherboard to feature Intel’s new Thunderbolt 2 standard.
The Z87 Deluxe/Quad is an ATX motherboard based on Intel’s Z87 chipset and will support 4th-generation Intel Core (Haswell) processors.
The main highlight of the board is the presence on two Thunderbolt 2 connectors, through which a total of twelve devices can be inter-connected by daisy-chaining. With Thunderbolt 2, Intel has doubled the bandwidth from 10 GB/s bandwidth (bi-directional) to 20 GB/s (bi-directional) on each port. This makes the Thunderbolt 2 standard four times as fast as USB 3.0, although the cost to include a Thunderbolt port is also significantly higher. For now, only enthusiast level motherboards include this port. Another new feature with Thunderbolt 2 is DisplayPort 1.2, which enables support for 4K output. The two Thunderbolt 2 ports along with the HDMI mean that three 4K displays can be run simultaneously off this board.
Also included on the motherboard are eight USB 3.0 ports with USB 3.0 Boost, eight USB 2.0 ports, ten SATA 6Gbit/s ports, four DIMM slots and three PCIe 3.0/2.0 X 16 slots. The board includes the NFC Express accessory, through which PC tasks can be automated by using the NFC tag or any NFC-enabled mobile device. NFC Express allows users to log in automatically into Windows without the need for entering a password. ASUS is going to enable wireless synchronization of photos and videos through its Wi-Fi GO! & NFC Remote companion apps.
At the announcement, Joe Hsieh, ASUS Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Motherboard and Desktop System Business Unit, said that, “The Z87-Deluxe/Quad has been subjected to a tremendous amount of compatibility, BIOS, as well as video/audio and other tests to verify its quality and design. Being the world’s first certified motherboard for Thunderbolt 2 technology also means setting the standard for all of the upcoming products, which is something that ASUS has always done.”
ASUS has not yet revealed how much the motherboard will cost, although considering the amount of features it comes with, it will likely retail for around $400.