We kick off the review by looking at the rear I/O panel. Here we get a full complement of display, USB, audio and networking ports, including dual Gigabit LAN and triple display outputs via full-sized HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2 and miniDP connectors. Certain sub-SKUs of the Z87 Deluxe even have Thunderbolt connectivity, but sadly not on our review set.

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The 802.11ac networking solution is handled by a 2T2R dual-band Broadcom mPCIe, which can be hooked up to the provided desktop antenna (mountable on any magnetic surface). Next, onboard audio is driven by a Realtek ALC1150 codec (115dB rated SNR), although Asus doesn’t brag of any special audio treatment or shielding here. Finally, we have a pair of no-frills Intel I217V and Realtek 8111C-GR Gigabit Ethernet controllers for wired networking.

 

Turning our attention to the other side, storage enthusiasts will be delighted to find 10 ports of SATA 6Gb/s, with four of them enabled using two ASMedia ASM1061 controllers and the rest from the Intel Z87 Lynx Point PCH.

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Expansion slot layout can be described as fairly typical, with three PCI-E x16 slots electrically wired for 16-0-0/8-8-0/8-4-4 operation. The bottom of the motherboard houses a pair of PORT-80 debug LEDs and onboard power/reset buttons, which we at VR-Zone consider as basic necessities for an overclocking build.

For the less technically inclined, Asus has also provided a TPU overclocking switch, with two predefined profiles to set the correct memory speed/timing when used with XMP compatible memory and bring an unlocked CPU such as the 4770k up to 4.1/4.2GHz automatically without any further user intervention. Likewise, there is a switch to toggle the EPU microcontroller for aggressive energy savings.
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