ASUS Z87-A LGA 1150 Motherboard Review @ [H]

Discussion in 'Intel MoBos' started by FrgMstr, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

    Messages:
    48,328
    Joined:
    May 18, 1997
    ASUS Z87-A LGA 1150 Motherboard Review - We start today with reviewing new Z87 chipset motherboards, which we will surely see a lot of, with ASUS' new Z87-A motherboard. Before we even got the box open we had to stop for a second and enjoy the simplicity of the name. But don't let the name fool you. There is plenty going on here to keep your enthusiast attention.
     
  2. song414

    song414 Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    324
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    I have this motherboard. Bought it yesterday and seems like a real quality motherboard for the price. Great review! Glad I picked a winner haha.
     
  3. burningrave101

    burningrave101 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    11,825
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2003
    Do you guys have the Maximus VI Extreme yet?
     
  4. AceGoober

    AceGoober Live! Laug[H]! Overclock!

    Messages:
    21,506
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    Haven't gone through the entire review as of yet since I'm reading it on my lunch time but did notice one thing:

    Fixed, thanks for the extra eyes. - Kyle
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2013
  5. Terminus

    Terminus [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,836
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2001
    So the out of the box felt good? Good to hear since I am eyeing the ASUS Sabertooh Z87 myself. I am getting new memory so I don't expect to have those memory issues Kyle talked about.

    Sucks you couldn't hit 4.8GHz. I'm gonna have to see what I can do about increasing my "luck" in snatching a better part ;):D
     
  6. mullet

    mullet [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,629
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    GOLD!!! BARF!
     
  7. WhoBeDaPlaya

    WhoBeDaPlaya 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,485
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Kyle, not sure if this is a common affliction for Z87 boards, but my old OCZ Vertex 2 120GB (34nm flash) that I use for testing also disappeared once while I was attempting to test my store-bought MSI Z87-GD65.

    OCZ bashing aside, this drive has been very reliable for me and is running the latest OCZ firmware.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  8. ianken

    ianken [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,953
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    TWO legacy PCI slots?

    Does it come with a free VHS deck? :rolleyes:
     
  9. KENNYB

    KENNYB 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,139
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    No kidding? :rolleyes:

    This isn't directed to any of the [H] editors.Thank you for finding this issue. This is why I wouldn't touch Sandforce anything ever again.
     
  10. WhoBeDaPlaya

    WhoBeDaPlaya 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,485
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Just happened again (Windows slowed down, drive disappeared upon reboot). Going to switch over to a SanDisk Extreme to see if I have better luck.
    Looks like it really isn't just ASUS.

    Update : Absolutely no problems with the SanDisk Extreme.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  11. roki977

    roki977 Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    207
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    I think its time for you guys to start using some 2400mhz memory kits or even higher. Haswell is capable to reach 3000mhz with good kits. I would be interesting to see how high cheap 2400mhz will go, something like Kingston Predators or Beast, cheap Corsair or G.Skill.
    It seems to me that most of the 1600mhz kits are very limited in terms of OC or just crap. 1866 are much better and they do 2133 and even 2400mhz on IB for 24/7.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  12. socK

    socK 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,658
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    What are the POST times like on these mobos?
     
  13. bpmurrGT

    bpmurrGT [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,104
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    I would have preferred a different color combo as well.
     
  14. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

    Messages:
    48,328
    Joined:
    May 18, 1997
    As noted this is going to be an issue with ALL Z87 motherboards. We made ASUS aware of the issue and it looks to be putting fixes in all its BIOS in time for this issue.

    Dan has a 2400 kit now that he is going to be testing with. I am going to stick with 4X4GB 1866 on my side. As shown in the benchmarks, I could run my setup at 2000MHz before it got to its limits at stock timings. I do have a 2400 kit here and my setup could not do 2400 at 4.8GHz, but I am not sure if it this particular CPU or something else. Still early in the Z87 process.

    Lightning fast with a new install, to the point of missing the the opportunity to catch the BIOS screen more than once. I did notice that once I installed ASUS Ai Suite III with all the options besides virus scan etc., it added about 4 to 8 seconds to my boot time.
     
  15. StillFunkyB

    StillFunkyB [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,386
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    "....For subjective listening you want to listen to something that covers a range of sound types. For this portion of the review I went with Five Finger Death Punch’s American Capitalist CD...."


    Yes!
     
  16. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    54,258
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    You might be the first person to ever notice that part.
     
  17. TysonM

    TysonM Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    210
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2000
    The one thing I liked about it was that they are in a location that always gets invalidated if your video card takes up two slots... and you use them both up if using SLI.

    As mentioned in the review by the Editors Note, someone needing the PCI slots would most likely not have video cards installed and would be using the onboard video.

    This motherboard is great for those looking for the best price/performance value... it's as close to the high end without getting extraneous.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2013
  18. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    54,258
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    I agree that this would be the case most of the time. But I still would have liked to see the PCI slots in a location where they wouldn't interfere with the primary PEG slot.
     
  19. TysonM

    TysonM Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    210
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2000
    At first I thought Asus was releasing too many motherboards, but I guess they're trying to meet the varied demands of the customer base.

    These following motherboards have PCI slots in other locations, they're more inexpensive, for example having 4 phase CPU power instead of 8. 5.1 audio instead of 8.1...

    http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Z87K

    http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Z87C
     
  20. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    54,258
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Some of those boards like the Z87-C are intended for emerging markets and not for North America.
     
  21. StillFunkyB

    StillFunkyB [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,386
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    I like that CD.

    The board? It's coo, I suppose.

    :D
     
  22. Raja@ASUS

    Raja@ASUS ASUS Community Support

    Messages:
    2,390
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    If POST time is such a big concern, why not get an ErP enabled PSU and use S3?

    POST time can be cut down on boards by disabling any additional controllers. The rest, we can only cut back so much from power down as memory and PEG training needs to be performed.
     
  23. Activate: AMD

    Activate: AMD [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,988
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2004
    Quality review, but I can't help but feel like this is the least interesting of the new lineup because it doesn't offer anything "new" vs any other entry level z77 boards. I am looking forward to a review that covers the new NIC and ALC 1150.. as lame as that sounds, I'm tired of the crappy realtek nic's and an upgrade to the onboard sound is always welcome
     
  24. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    54,258
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Well this particular one is one of the least interesting of the new ASUS offerings but it does at least share many of the new features universal to all Z87 ASUS boards. The new AI Suite III, improved UEFI, etc.

    They don't take longer than any other boards to POST. Not that I saw anyway. I wasn't timing them but there wasn't an unusually long wait for that or anything.
     
  25. Activate: AMD

    Activate: AMD [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,988
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2004
    Yea, thats kind of what I figured. Its certainly a good start and my impression from the review is the same as yours: this is more of a continuation of their Z77 line with some nice, logical upgrades than anything revolutionary. I would really like to hear if the codec and nic offer anything over the 892's and old 8111E's we've been seeing for years
     
  26. KENNYB

    KENNYB 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,139
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    POST time is important because I have to swap hardware often.
     
  27. John**

    John** [H]Lite

    Messages:
    78
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    The ASUS Z87-A is a standard ATX motherboard for the 4th generation Intel Core processors (LGA1150) and is priced for the mainstream crowd. However ASUS includes many high end features with the Z87-A motherboard,I think first generation controllers are not compatible with Z87-A;)
     
  28. Quicksilver_

    Quicksilver_ Gawd

    Messages:
    988
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    I lol'd.
     
  29. PGHammer

    PGHammer 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,315
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Not necessarily - the Z87-C (like the Z-87A) is also sold in North America - the difference between the two is that the -C lacks SLI support. The Z-87A is similar to the older P8Z77-LK, while the Z87-C is similar to the older P8Z77-LX. (There is a Z77-A which is also available, at least at Newegg.)

    Z87-C and P8Z77V-LX - CrossFire/CrossFireX only (no SLI support)
    Z87-A, Z77-A, and P8Z77V-LK - CrossFire/CrossFireX and SLI support

    The CrossFire-only boards have one additional legacy PCI slot. (Not everyone is willing to throw legacy PCI under the upgrade bus - I have an X-Fi XtremeGamer in PCI that I want to keep - a motherboard has to have legacy PCI support for that to be possible.)
     
  30. robowang

    robowang [H]Lite

    Messages:
    115
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    As far as the review goes, on the AI Suite page, it mentions TurboV Evo and even shows some pics.
    I have a Sabertooth Z87, and I don't have TurboV Evo, or any windows based oc app.I have seen other names for the ASUS auto tune app, but I just don't have it.
    I have a Asus Pro Gen 3 1155, and TurboV Evo is in that package.
    Am I missing something, or is there a Windows based OC program with the Sabertooth software.
    Anyone know?
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2013
  31. roki977

    roki977 Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    207
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
     
  32. weebling1

    weebling1 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,233
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2002
    "I know we have been the first ones to kill a lot of new [H]ardware over the years. Add one ASUS Z87-A to that list and it was totally user error. Damn those LGA sockets! "

    Those socket bendy pins are fragile as hell. More than 1 CPU instertion = asking for trouble.
     
  33. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    54,258
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    TurboV EVO is included with the AI Suite III package. If your board has that, then TurboV EVO is included.

    From what I've heard at high speeds, memory overclocking is all over the map with Haswell. Some CPUs can handle 4 DIMMs at 2400MHz plus and some can barely handle more than DDR3 1600MHz. This generation CPU luck of the draw is very important.
     
  34. Strafe9000

    Strafe9000 n00b

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    I have the same Corsair F120 with a z87-A as listed in your recent review of the board and I'm having this same issue. I also had the same issue with a Gigabyte z87-D3HP and couldn't find anything from Gigabyte. I read the revew of the Asus board on this site and decided to swap it for that, since you had a confirmed fix. Is there anyway to know when this bios fix is coming or where I can get my hands on the fix Asus sent you guys listed in the z87-A review? As of right now I'm at the mercy of this issue, the drive just comes and goes as it pleases.
     
  35. JONNy-G

    JONNy-G n00b

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013

    I'm especially interested in what the review had to say about sound quality. Interested enough to make an account on a forumI am nowhere near qualified enough to contribute to. I am in the middle of deciding which motherboard I would like to purchase, and I am partial to good audio. The above was pulled from the review.

    My question is whether this same level of quality would be expected with a USB microphone. I have a very nice one, and would like it if people could clearly understand anything I might say.

    So, is this an issue with just the MIC-IN port, or the motherboard as a whole?

    Thanks in advance for any responses. I will be watching this thread for the next few days so I can answer any necessary questions.

    *And while I'm posting I might add that I am building my first (gaming) computer. I have zero experience in overclocking, let alone navigating a BIOS past basic menus, but an interest in doing just that in the future. Would this be a good motherboard to own for that purpose?

    **Just for reference, my price point on my build is set around $800. Not the best gaming rig ever, but the best performance/price ratio I can get as a lowly college student.
     
  36. KOOLTIME

    KOOLTIME [H]Lite

    Messages:
    113
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    Im waiting for the maximus vi gene version should be out soon also. Build a nice new small box speedy system.

    The hero looks like nice one, hope they keep the audio on the gene like the hero.
     
  37. SpongeBob

    SpongeBob The Contraceptive Under the Sea

    Messages:
    648
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    does the AI Suite 3 on this mobo allow for auto OCing like the Plus model? From what I have seen it actually does a very good job.
     
  38. baingar

    baingar n00b

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    I began to stay away from Asus board after my bad experience with them over the past 2 years. I've been getting Asrock or Gigabyte boards for customers. I was wondering if this would be comparable to any other boards along the price range of 150$.

    For my own build. I am considering this board vs the Asrock Extreme3/4 and the Gigabyte Z87X-D3h or UD3h.

    What do you guys think? In terms of customer service, reliability and overclocking( a bit).

    Planning for SLI in the future. so SLI board is a must.

    Also how is the customer service/RMA experience with Asus now? Have they changed?
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
  39. Chillywilly

    Chillywilly n00b

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2013
    Audio is usually the least important aspect of motherboard reviews, frequently taking a backseat to overclocking, benchmarking and cooling. I bought two of these Z87-A boards and they both are exhibiting identical issues that hopefully someone on this forum can resolve or simply replicate.

    The fancy DTS Connect feature appears to be non-functional right out of the box. Real time encoding of DTS signal from the Realtek sound chip ALC 892 is completely disabled from software. So either the software is bad, possible bad batch of manufacturing defect, or simply error in advertising. The last one being particularly egregious.

    ASUS didn't seem to have a solution or even acknowledge the issue currently. But apparently the feature works fine in Z87-Pro with a different Realtek chip ALC 1150 according to the Asus tech.

    This is a non-issue probably to most users... but for people that actually need DTS Connect, better to know upfront and spend extra money for the Pro or better board.
     
  40. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    54,258
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    I didn't test DTS connect myself and I've heard nothing on this issue personally. I'm not saying these issues aren't valid, but I'll chime in and say that the ALC892/ALC898 should support DTS connect just fine. What they can do largely relies on software licensing more than anything. If you pay the license they can do EAX, THX TruStudio, etc. This is the reason you'll see spec's vary wildly on boards using the same CODECs. I'm just saying there is nothing hardware limiting about them which would prevent them from being capable of DTS connect.

    A software issue is the most likely culprit here. UEFI or other problems could be at work or like you said a matter of a bad batch or manufacturing defect. False advertising though, I seriously doubt it.

    I'd be somewhat more definitive but Realtek doesn't publish what these chips can and cannot do. I had to go to the manufacturers themselves to find out why their specifications using the same CODECs were all over the map. Implementation varies considerably by board and by brand. I do believe the ALC898 is capable of higher quality playback than the ALC892, but software wise / feature wise they are quite close.