The ASUS Z87 WS (workstation) motherboard has a color scheme that might not appeal to some; however, we thought it was a nice touch with the gold and yellow. This is something a little risky for such a high-end motherboard but we have come to grow and like the color. With the right hardware and components we can see a lot of potential and we have to say that the impressive thermal solution and the heatsink aesthetics really makes this WS motherboard stand out.
We were very happy with the layout of the motherboard and its features. Cramming a lot into an ATX form Factor motherboard isn’t easy and we feel they did a great job considering some of the features we found. One of the most attractive features was the massive amounts of SATA ports available. The 6 PCIe slots (4x PCIe x16 & 2x PCIe x1).
When it comes to its software package, ASUS continues to include an abundance of software. The extensive software package that was available with the motherboard really made it stand out from other manufacturers. While we won’t see all users taking advantage of everything included, its nice to have. This was especially appreciated since this board offered quite a bit of unique features such as the Dual Intel Gigabyte LAN ports and the SSD Caching capability of up to three SSDs. Also of note is the Dr Power software to enhance your experience from power failures. This is a feature which is similar to what we see with many Workstation application builds. Another impressive note here is the improvement of the Ai Suite III. We find that the new Ai Suite III was much easier to use and understand. We feel that ASUS hit the nail in the head with the GUI interface.
For its performance, this motherboard performed as we expected. Being that this board was developed on an ATX format, we can appreciate the size which will fit into most of today’s standard ATX cases. Overall, we can say that ASUS put together a great workstation motherboard in a mainstream platform.
We also had no trouble with its set-up, which was a great sign. With the 4770K, we found that our 16GB 2666MHz Kingston memory was able to run at the advertised speeds with little to no work. All we had to do was enable the XMP profiles and we were set. We were also quite happy with how well and easy it was to overclock the memory to 2730MHz with very little work. While we are on the OC sector, the ASUS AI Suite pretty much hit the sweet spot on the 4770K. Automatic and manual overclocking did quite well, but we found that the ASUS TPU auto overclock hit the sweet spot for the performance to power ratio. This is a rare touch with a workstation motherboard and we are glad that ASUS has streamlined its mainstream overclock-ability. They are known for it and the ASUS Z87 WS motherboard did not disappoint.
Our experience on the ASUS Z87 WS motherboard didn’t encounter any flaws. In fact, this motherboard pretty much hit the sweet spot all the way around. The price found on Newegg at $281.79 is a tiny bit high, but for this segment of motherboard, we found this offers a great performance to value. With that being said, we give the ASUS Z87 WS motherboard our PureOverclock Editors Choice Award.