Review motherboard ASUS Z97I-PLUS

Review motherboard ASUS Z97I-PLUS

What is usually required from a compact motherboard? Provide support for the most common interfaces for full use in multimedia systems, to stay cool for a quiet installation in a miniature housing, allowing the processor to establish the average level of performance for everyday tasks? Perhaps the first two points will be relevant always, while the need to install high-end processors and graphics cards appeared not so long ago. Yes, the system is now very small size does not determine the level of productivity.

Today, I want to talk about motherboard ASUS Z97I-Plus. It is based on chipset Intel Z97 and supports all processors in the performance of LGA 1150. Of course, the board refers to the form factor Mini-ITX and should be allowed to collect on its basis is really productive and compact system. Let’s find out if this is true statement.

ASUS Z97I-Plus comes in a tiny package, and otherwise for such form factors? The front side has mentioned the name of the model. On the reverse side is covered amply list of the main specifications and technologies used to create the product.

Review motherboard ASUS Z97I-PLUS
The bundle was a place for the manual, a standard plug on the rear panel, four cables SATA, a set of extensions to connect the main body control, Wi-Fi antenna. Oh yeah, there is also a CD with a set of drivers and utilities, it seems, for components such as motherboard makers are not yet ready to send users to the network.
Looking at ASUS Z97I-Plus immediately realize miniaturization solutions. Through standard wired system power density of the layout elements is high enough, we recall that ASUS Maximus VI Impact power system has been moved to a separate bar. Dimensions of the standard fees are 170h170 mm.

On the function panel outputs are extensive set of connectors, there was a place for: universal PS / 2, eight USB – four of each type, optical output S / PDIF, one LAN, 3 audio connectors mini-jack. The list is fairly standard, but there are a highlight in a list of video outputs: one DVI-D, D-Sub, DisplayPort and HDMI. Such a set of video outputs, using the integrated graphics core into the CPU, allowing almost any device to display an image.
In addition to the power supply system, which is located on the main printed circuit board looks interesting unsoldered connector Mini-PCI Express. It is commonly used in notebook division, but are used to install Wi-Fi | Bluetooth V4.0 module with support for standards: 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac. It was his presence will allow the right to use the card in multimedia systems.

Review motherboard ASUS Z97I-PLUS
Do not be surprised that the motherboard ASUS Z97I-Plus based on the Intel Z97 supports, perhaps, the entire list of processors for the socket LGA 1150, including generation architecture Broadwell. Himself processor socket is made standard, no frills is not observed.
To install RAM, there are two full-height DDR3. With their help, the board is ready to take on your board up to 16 GB of memory, with a maximum operation of the claimed 3200mgts. As already stated in the standard list of technology support MemOK !. The maximum amount should be enough for almost any multimedia system or a gaming machine. Given the extensive choice of 8GB modules with the selection of memory problems should arise.

Review motherboard ASUS Z97I-PLUS
To connect the drive connector has four SATA, each of them originates from the chipset. Two connectors are located very, very unusual: for the memory modules, so using them will not succeed beautifully loops hide. To organize sound path used Realtek ALC892, not a top solution that in the absence of additional expansion slot can create issues. Of course, ASUS complement system headphone preamps, but people are demanding to the quality of the sound they will not be saved.

Full-length PCI Express 3.0 x16 will allow for the installation of any modern video card. On this point, probably only the size used by the body will be able to impose restrictions, but definitely not the motherboard.

Review motherboard ASUS Z97I-PLUS
On the reverse side of the board, for lack of space in the main, is a connector for mounting drives form factor M.2. Location connector looks quite logical. Of course, if you want to install the drive in an already assembled system, you would pay to extract. But I think that such things should not scare users shagnuvshih the path of minimalism. The rest, except for drivers of power reverse side contains the basic elements.

To cool the board uses two radiator, one for himself chipset, the second for the supply of components. Radiators are made of alumel alloy and by the standards of full-size boards are not so massive. How well they will cope with the task, we will know the test.

For the provision of food processor, six-phase system is responsible under the control of the controller DIGI + ASP1257. Applied transistors are marked Texas Instruments CSD87350Q5D. In general, the whole system of power is very, very compact, on the one hand it is a standard factor for compact motherboards on the other we are talking about the board is able to start and accelerate high-end processors for this socket.

After exploring, it’s time to check the card overclocking. To do this, use a test with the following configuration:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 4770K;
  • RAM: Transcend aXeRam DDR3-2400;
  • Graphics Card: MSI GeForce GTX 960 GAMING 2G;
  • Hard disk: Transcend MTS600 TS256GMTS600 (for the system);
  • Power Supply: Corsair RM1000;
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 Professional.

The BIOS uses a shell UEFI. It is like other motherboards from ASUS operates in several modes. In the first, «EZ Mode» is a small list of features allows you to change the boot priority, adjust the fan speeds and perform automatic overclocking on the set parameters. Setting the acceleration in this case is based on the choice of cooling system used, then the board itself puts more aggressive settings – an interesting process J.
In the second mode «Advanced Mode», which is more familiar to experienced users to have the full set of options to configure the system manually. During testing and manipulation overclocking our CPU bench I found a lack of options or any restrictions on the voltage limit – all explicitly reserve.

Review motherboard ASUS Z97I-PLUS
As we have repeatedly stated, overclocking Intel Core i7 4770K has a greater influence of luck instance, rather than the possibility of the motherboard. In any case, when using water cooling system, we have successfully “rested” in the overclocking potential of the processor.

The assembled system on the basis not of the compact body Corsair Carbide Series Air 240, with a good field of blowing power. Its elements according to a radiator mounted thermocouples from Reeven SIX EYES II broke out to 71 ° C. In general, it is not so little, but with the installation of a water cooling system and a decent acceleration, we can say that the board has coped with the challenge successfully.
So, we try to take a brief summary. If you plan to collect a compact system based on LGA 1150, by ASUS Z97I-Plus can safely look. As its advantages can note the presence of a good component base, which can be used to produce even overclocking top processors. Have complete Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module, the ability to install the drive form factor M.2. To include cavils not the Mighty audio path, which is quite important for multimedia systems. And more and no questions.

Review motherboard ASUS Z97I-PLUS updated: August 17, 2015 author: Jonathan Davis