You may remember with Asus, they had a range of motherboards branded as their core series which consisted of Pro, LX, LK, V, V-Pro, Deluxe and so forth. This has now had a complete overhaul with a new design and new naming system. There is a large selection within this range, but it is worth noting that these will be region specific, so that the consumer may not be able to get their board of choice, depending on their territory.
Within this range we find lots of different models with a slight rename, including Z87-C, Pro, Plus and even a mini-ITX offering known as the Z87i-Deluxe. The board we have with us today is the Z87-C which isn’t quite the lowest-end board, but does sit towards that end of the scale.
The first most noticeable thing that you will find is that the colour scheme has completely changed from the black/blue combo to a brown/gold/yellow trio, which being honest I’m a bit weary of. I was never a massive fan when ECS had their golden boards, and Asus seems to have taken a leaf out of their book, though they have made it a bit more subtle which is nice to see, but I can honestly say that I think these boards will have to differ regionally as I don’t think the gold colour scheme will be welcomed everywhere, especially in Western cultures.
So before we get straight into the performance side of things, we have a few other things to do first, which includes looking at the box and included accessories. After we’ve done that, we can take a detailed look around the board and what it has to offer in terms of design and features, especially with the new Z87 chipset at the heart of it. Once we’ve got this out of the way, we can start looking at stock performance as well as overclockability and how far our Haswell i7 4770k can be pushed on this budget/mainstream board.
While the style of the board may have changed, the packaging hasn’t too much and Asus have stuck with the professional looking, no frills design with a large model name and key features highlighted on the front including TPU, EPU , USB 3.0 and so forth. Inside we find a modest bundle suitable for the board including quick guide, user guide, two SATA data cables with locking clips, rear I/O panel shield plate, driver installation CD and casebadge sticker. Nothing out of the ordinary, and everything you need to get up and running with a board of this nature.