Here is a quick rundown of the Z87 LGA1150 motherboard offerings from Asus targeted at the mainstream and enthusiast DIY builders, which will be out in stores sometime in the middle of this year in tandem with the launch of Intel’s 4th generation core processors (codenamed Haswell).
First up we have the mainstream channel boards, which have ditched the old blue accents (since P55 era) for a more premium golden outlook on its slots and heatsink blocks.
The Z87-C appears to be the entry-level contender, spotting a 4-phase VRM for the CPU and only two PCIe x16 slots. There are six onboard SATA 6Gb/s ports available on this bargain basement model, presumably serviced directly by the PCH. On closer inspection we also spot a Thunderbolt expansion header at the bottom left of the board.
Next up is the Z87-A, which has twice the number of VRM phases for the CPU, TPU auto overclocking facility and a total of three PCIe x16 slots. The six internal SATA connectors are now moved to the edge of the board for better cable management.
Then we have the Z87-Plus, featuring respectable looking alloy chokes and an onboard power switch. Another two onboard SATA 6Gb/s ports is also present, linked to a ASMedia storage chipset.
The Z87-Pro gets topped up with four more VRM phases, sheds the legacy PCI slots and comes with Asus’s 802.11ac WIFI-GO! module. A PORT-80 diagnostic LED is also present on this board, which is very useful for overclockers.
Finally we have the big daddy contender – the feature packed Z87-Deluxe. Besides packing a beefy VRM requiring a heatpipe cooler, it has two PORT-80 debug LEDs and reset switch. On certain market specific SKUs this should also come with onboard Thunderbolt ports.