The ASUS Z87-A has good performance compared to the previous Z77 boards. From the benchmarks, we can clearly see that it is one step up from the Z77 series and it is natural to be the upgrade choice of existing Z77 users. Even though we tested the board using the embedded graphics, we can see an improvement in the video performance. With the 4th generation procesor, it will perform even better when paired with an external mid or high end graphics card.

As for features, the board ASUS Z87-A has TPU and EPU, the first makes it easy for newbie to overclock while the last helps conserve energy. Remote Go! is something that comes with the ASUS board. It allows you to link pcs, tablets, smartphones and tv wirelessly together with the ASUS Z78-A via the network.  With it setup, you can have a one stop shop to sync and backup to your cloud storage, stream multimedia content using DLNA and control your desktop in real time from a smartphone or tablet. You can also do File transfer from PC to smartphone with a click on the mouse. Of course there is the FanXpert2 hardware level fan auto tuning and Fast USB 3.0 with UASP win Windows 8. The Lucid MVP that was made famous on Z77 is dropped from the Z87.

Installation is straightforward with this board. I like Directkey ( a push button on the mainboard) allowing me direct access to the BIOS even when I am in Windows. MemOk helps to access the BIOS level even though your memory timings might not be compatible. It would be good if all the power, reset pins are replaced by buttons. There is also no clear cmos button at the back panel.

Overclocking options are too overwhelming while the documentation is definitely not comprehensive to explain each nifty detail about the options. Perhaps a customisable BIOS that can hide and unhide options should be made available.  Packaging is minimal.

In Conclusion, the ASUS Z87-A as a mid range board should appeal to upgraders. As we used a non K processor, we are unable to uncover the full potential of this board in air cooled environment. Nevertheless, it is a board that should suffice most DIY users.

Pros :

USB 3.0
SATA 6Gbps
Remote Go!


Bugs in AI Suite



Category Score
Performance 8  / 10
Features 8 / 10
Ease Of Installation 9 / 10
Overclocking Features 10 / 10
Documentation 7 / 10
Packaging 7 / 10
Cost / Performance 8 / 10
Overall Rating : 8.1 / 10

By Harry

6 thoughts on “ASUS Z87-A Intel Z87 Haswell motherboard Review with Intel Core i7-4770 processor”
  1. Running the graphics test at 1024×768 it was just to show how powerfull is the CPU.
    In my opinion the good way would be to run all graphics test at hd resolution at 1280×800,
    like in Unigine Heaven. Small resolution with reduced detail is no struggle for a nowadays decent gpu. This CPU-GPU pair from Intel supposed to be one of the first one with “GPU”. And the benchmark just simply missed this point. Make the vga work hard, yes also for the amd counterpart. Let we see what they can do if we go over the word/excel/powerpoint type of works. 100 fps is useless in excel.

    1. Thanks for your response. Regarding Heaven Demo, it is tested in Basic mode which runs 1280×720 to test the internal graphics. Likewise we use the same method to test the AMD APUs e.g. A10-5800K

  2. You ask why performance dropped with overclocking? One word: Throttling. Haswell gets very hot, you need excellent cooling if you don’t want throttling during OC!

    1. You may be right but temperatures were ok. You don’t really need excellent cooling with this processor as 4.1GHz is really nothing compared to the 4770K running 4.7GHz on AIR.
      If you look at it, when the BCLK is raised, the other clks like DMI are also affected. In fact, at certain CLK levels>100mhz, the DMI drops below 90Mhz. Don’t forget we applied a ratio to the graphics core. If graphics core is set to default, it might not have affected the processor’s performance.

  3. Why even bother to test the 4770 along side with a i5 3570K.. not really any use since the 3570K is last gen and it is one model down at that too. more appropriate would be to use the i7 3770K as a point of reference for the 4770 as this will give a better review to if Haswell made any significant performance improvements in either processing power, energy savings,and video performance. Between the 3770K and 4770/k it seems more of a video improvement… at least on paper

    1. Sometimes it just happens that you don’t have the processor on hand. You are right the improvement is more on the video and power.

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