Asus Z87-A Schematic Circuit Diagram | Asus Z87-A BoardView | Asus Z87-A Review

Asus Z87-A Schematic Circuit Diagram | Asus Z87-A BoardView | Asus Z87-A Review

ASUS Z87-A Motherboard

Asus Z87-A Price: $139.99 (when released)

Asus Z87-A Release Date: June 2, 2013

Asus Z87-A Overview

When it comes to Asus' ROG brand, we believe their motherboards are, like everyone else's, swoon-worthy, feature-packed PCBs of excellent quality. However, they are significantly more expensive than the company's standard models, as well as those of its competitors. The MSI Z87-G45 Gaming, for example, while being a very high-end board, managed to push our Core i7-4770K to its 4.7GHz limit.

Following the release of Intel's new CPUs on June 2, 2013, Asus' Z87 chipset-based line-up is out in force. The Asus Z87-A is the entry-level model in the company's mainstream lineup of motherboards, which sell in significantly greater numbers than its ROG-branded counterparts. The Asus Z87-A is the cheapest Z87 motherboard we've seen so far, even less than the Gigabyte Z87N-WiFi mini-ITX motherboard.

It's not a bad-looking motherboard, but the gold and yellow accents aren't quite as appealing as their predecessors. There's also the matter of power phases: the Z87-A only has eight, whereas the Z87i-Pro has ten thanks to its VRM daughterboard, thus overclocking may be limited.

All of the major connectors are situated right at the border of the PCB when it comes to designing, which is fantastic. The six SATA ports all run at 6Gbps, and the upper four slots are only single-stacked to avoid interfering with graphics cards, as well as lying parallel to the PCB for easy cable routing. This is a thoughtful addition. If you want to use two GPUs, you'll be happy to know that the upper two 16x PCI-E slots will both run at x8 speed. However, the lowest 16x slot is limited to x2 speed, and with two 1x PCI-E ports and four PCI slots, you won't be short on sound or video capture cards, no matter what you have.

However, unlike the ROG boards, there is no insulated sound gadgetry on this board. The Z87-A instead uses the Realtek ALC892 8-Channel HD Audio codec. There are no power or reset buttons, no CMOS clear switch, and no LED POST error code readout. However, the MSI Z87-G45 Gaming is also missing the majority of these features. There are six USB ports on the back, which is the bare minimum these days, and four of them are USB 3.0. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are also not available.

Asus Z87-A Review

Motherboard manufacturers are releasing motherboards that support the new socket 1150 platform in conjunction with the launch of the new Haswell range of CPUs. Overclockers' own hokiealumnus recently assessed Asus' top dog for this platform, the Maximus VI Extreme. Today, however, we'll take it easy and look at the Z87-A, one of ASUS' entry-level mainstream motherboards. Does ASUS have something worth considering with the Z87-A if you're seeking to get into the Haswell game at a reasonable price? Let's see what we can find out!

Five of ASUS's high-end features have been combined together and dubbed "5X Protection" by the company. DIGI+ VRM, DRAM Overcurrent Protection, ESD Guards, 5K-hr Solid Caps, and Stainless Steel Back I/O are all part of the 5X Protection family. I believe you'll agree that ASUS has done a wonderful job of giving the user as much as possible in this entry-level offering for an entry-level motherboard. Not to mention the benefits that the Z87 platform offers!

The Asus Z87-A Box Opening

The package's color scheme includes gold highlights, which is consistent with ASUS's well-documented color changes on their Z87 channel range of motherboards. The front and back of the box highlight some of the Z87-A's high-level characteristics, as well as a glimpse of the board's layout and specifications. Three of the four box sides are nearly identical, with the exception of some additional branding and the Dual Intelligent Processors 2 logo on the fourth. Multilingual brief advertising the EPU feature appears on the fourth side.

ASUS Z87-A Unboxing
ASUS Z87-A Unboxing

When the box is opened, the Z87-A is wrapped in an anti-static bag and the accessories are stored in a cardboard insert on the left side. The following items are included in the Intec motherboard pack by Asus company.

  • Mainboard
  • Driver/Software CD
  • User Guide
  • Two SATA cables
  • SLI bridge
  • I/O Shield
  • Q-connector

The Asus Z87-A Motherboard Circuit Analytics

The brown and gold Z87-A is undressed and ready to be examined. What are your thoughts on ASUS' new color scheme? When compared to other manufacturers that have used gold coloring, I believe the gold highlights to be more appealing. If there are any complaints about the new color scheme, I believe the majority of them will be over the brown PCB. In my opinion, a black PCB would look much better and would really bring out the gold accents! ASUS is listening to what you have to say in the comments area. The board is a little smaller than the typical ATX form factor, which is worth noting.

ASUS Z87-A Motherboard Full view
ASUS Z87-A Motherboard Full view

The majority of the front panel connection choices, including audio, USB, and case wiring, are located at the bottom of the Z87-A's PCB circuit board. The DirectKey button is also present here, and when pressed, it automatically enters UEFI, saving you from having to press the delete key. The motherboard also has a two-pin connector where you may attach the reset wire from the case, making the reset button behave like the DirectKey button.

The TPU and EPU switches, as well as six SATA 6 GB/s connectors, are located on the right side of the Asus Z87-A. The first of three 4-pin chassis fan connectors is located just behind the TPU and EPU switches. The USB 3.0 front panel connector, the 24-pin ATX power connector, another 4-pin chassis fan connector, and the MemOK! the button is all found as we move upward. If you run across incompatible memory, the MemOK! the button comes in handy. When you press the button, an automatic memory tuning process begins in an attempt to restore bootability to incompatible memory.

The TPU switch controls automatic overclocking, while the EPU switch controls power usage intelligently based on system demand. A second switch position has been added to the TPU switch, which has been enhanced from prior implementations. If the first option is selected, an automatic overclock based only on increasing the CPU multiplier will be delivered. If you turn the switch to the second position, an automatic overclock using both CPU multiplier and BCLK modifications will be attempted. Overclocking has never been easier!

The two CPU 4-pin fan headers, the upper MOSFET heatsink, and the 8-pin CPU AUX power connector are all located at the top of the Asus Z87-A. If you happen to be using a cooler with two fans, the twin CPU fan headers are a good feature to have. You may notice that the yellow 4-pin fan header differs from what you're used to seeing. There's a mechanical switch integrated into the header that tells the motherboard whether you're running a 3-pin or 4-pin fan with PWM capability.

The I/O connectivity choices are located on the left side of the motherboard. Starting at the top, there's a PS/2 combo port with two USB 2.0 connections just beneath it. There's a tiny DisplayPort, HDMI port, and optical S/PDIF out port below it. Following that are the VGA and DVI connections, four USB 3.0 ports, and the LAN socket. The 8-channel Realtek ALC892 audio codec jacks are located at the very bottom of the I/O section. The I/O connection blocks are all composed of stainless steel and have a corrosion-resistant coating on them. ASUS claims to be the first to use stainless steel I/O shields on a motherboard.


The third 4-pin chassis fan connector is positioned just beneath the block of audio connectors. Many of the ICs utilized for the onboard peripherals are found on the motherboard's left side, which we'll look at more closely next.

We have two PCI Express 3.0 x16 expansion slots that allow SLI and Crossfire. A single GPU will run at x16 speed, whereas a dual GPU setup will run at x8/x8 rates. Two PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots and two regular PCI slots are also available. A PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot is set at the bottom. The Q-Design release lever is found on all PCI Express x16 slots, making removal and installation easier.

Asus Z87-A DIMM Slot

The Q-Design is likewise present in the four DIMM slots, implying that only one release tab is used. DDR3 2800 MHz (OC) memory up to 32 GB and DDR3 1333 MHz memory are supported. The memory is also powered by a dedicated two-phase power supply.

For the Z87-A, ASUS chose an 8-phase power architecture, which is quite impressive for a board in this class. The two gold-colored heatsinks keep the MOSFET area cool. The space between the CPU socket and the left-side MOSFET heatsink is limited, and the heatsink itself is quite tall. As a result, you'll want to pick an air cooling system carefully. The heatsink that sits on top of the Z87 PCH is also gold in color and features an ASUS logo. All TIM applications made good contact with the target areas once the heatsinks were removed. The PCH chip is unlabeled and consists of a shiny smooth surface.

The TPU and EPU functions are incorporated into the Dual Intelligent Processors 2 functionality. Each of them has its own onboard ICs that control and integrate the functionality it provides with the DIGI+ VRM. Because the VRM is now integrated into the CPU, the DIGI+ VRM feature is a little different than earlier incarnations, but it still provides a seamless interface to control its functions. The DIGI+ VRM gives you comprehensive control over your CPU's power options, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency. All of these power adjustments are accessible through the UEFI or the AI Suite III program on the desktop. When fine tweaking a system, previous experience with the DIGI+ VRM feature has always resulted in a satisfying attempt. When we look at the UEFI, we'll see if the new on-chip VRM translates to any real-world changes.

Several critical functions of the Z87-A have been handed to ASMedia. First, the ASM1083 chips are utilized to convert 32-bit old PCI devices to the serial PCI Express interface. The ASM 1442 IC is a TMDS that provides functionality and voltage shifting for the I/O area's DVI and HDMI connections. On the Z87-A, there are four ASM1480 chips, which are utilized to perform the PCI Express lane switching capability.

On the Z87-A, Realtek was chosen as the 3rd party option for LAN and Audio functionality. The Gigabit 8111GR IC serves as the LAN controller, while the ALC892 chip handles audio. The super I/O capabilities, such as fan management and system monitoring, are provided by the nuvoTon NCT 6791D chip. Despite the fact that the Z87-A lacks an inbuilt LED post code display, ASUS hasn't forgotten about you if you have a hardware issue. The Q-LED feature is a set of four LEDs that correspond to memory, video, processor, and boot device. The matching LED will illuminate if the motherboard detects a fault in any of these places.

Solid capacitors with a 5K rating are employed throughout the motherboard, according to ASUS, resulting in a 2.5X longer lifespan and improved thermal performance. If they're comparing the new electrolyte-filled capacitors to the old electrolyte-filled capacitors, I have no doubts!


ASUS has improved their UEFI BIOS to make quick access to the sections you use the most easier than ever before. The new UEFI features are described in the images below, which are taken from the press deck. When you initially access the UEFI BIOS, you'll land in the EZ mode section, which has a lot more settings than prior ASUS versions. Without needing to go into advanced mode, CPU monitoring, memory configuration, fan information and modification, performance settings, and boot priority options are all available. To use the pre-programmed shortcuts, enter Advanced Mode, and verify SATA information, there is a set of buttons at the bottom. By pressing the shortcut key or F3, you can get a list of locations within the UEFI BIOS that you can visit rapidly by simply clicking on one of them. The shortcuts appeared to be designed to the regions of the UEFI BIOS that overclockers would most frequently visit, but they can also be altered. 

Asus Z87-A Bios
Asus Z87-A BIOS

When you press F7, you'll be taken to Advanced Mode, where you'll have more control over the UEFI BIOS. The primary tab is primarily informational, but it also includes language, date & time, and security settings. One of the new UEFI BIOS features ASUS has implemented can be found by going back one tab to the My Favorites area. You can add any location in the UEFI BIOS for quick access from here. Consider it your own personal UEFI BIOS homepage, complete with connections to your most frequently used sections of the BIOS. By pressing the F4 key anywhere in the UEFI BIOS, you can add a page to both the My Favorites and Shortcuts screens. Furthermore, the right-hand Quick Note button follows you around and allows you to enter notes about anything you wish to remember later. Another useful feature is the Last-Modified button, which displays a list of the elements that have changed since you last visited BIOS.

Everything performance-related is stored in the Ai Tweaker section. It's all here, whether it's overclocking, power usage, or a mix of the two. The Ai Tweaker section also gives you access to all of the voltage and frequency adjustments. The maximum voltage available for the CPU and Memory will be of interest to some of you. Surprisingly, they both reach a maximum voltage of 1.92 V.

Ai Tweaker has three sub-menus, the first of which is for changing memory timings. Primary, secondary, and third timing modifications are available. They've even included a full page of Round Trip Latency alternatives for you to use if you need them. The DIGI+ VRM controls are the second submenu, and they deal with fine-tuning the way power is given to the CPU. The memory settings found on higher-end boards are not available through the DIGI+ VRM controls, but there are lots of other ways to adjust the memory for best performance. The CPU power management submenu is the third submenu. The EIST and Turbo Mode settings, as well as a variety of CPU internal power choices, are all found here.

There are nine sub-menus in the Advanced section of the UEFI BIOS that deal with system feature settings. You've probably seen most of these goods before. The majority of these options are available on most modern platform motherboards from any manufacturer. The SATA port naming option, on the other hand, is worth mentioning because it allows you to give each port its own name. There's no more guessing which drive is connected to which port! If you want to have a closer look at the top of the image simply click and view large.

You may set the low limit RPM of each fan and select a pre-programmed profile for each in the Monitor area. You can also get real-time voltage and temperature measurements, as well as control all of the fan headers on the motherboard. The ability to manage either 3-pin or 4-pin fans is remarkable.

All of the boot and BBS priorities are configured under the Boot tab. Support for SATA, USB, and PS/2 keyboards and mice is also available. The EZ Flash 2 Utility, which is my suggested method of flashing the EUFI BIOS, is available in the Tools section. It's a quick, simple, and extremely safe way to flash. You can save up to eight profiles to the UEFI BIOS or as many as you want to a USB drive in the O.C. Profile section. The JDEC standard for the installed RAM, as well as the XMP Profile information, are both available in the SPD information area.

The exit tab is the last component of the UEFI BIOS. This one, I believe, most of you have found out!

Asus Z87-A Utility Software

With the advent of the ASUS Z87 line of motherboards, AI Suite III makes its appearance. It's a feature-rich software package that offers a full range of tuning options and functions, just like its predecessors. The look and feel of the game have changed since previous editions, and all of the different locations now have a tile design as their entry point. In the lower portion of the screen, real-time monitoring information on CPU frequency, voltages, temperatures, and fan speeds will always be displayed. The first place to look is the DIGI+ VRM section, which contains all of the CPU power supply options.

Asus Z87-A All PC Suit

Simply put, Fan Xpert 2 is unrivaled. This program allows you to manually regulate fans or use built-in presets to control them. To begin, run Fan Xpert 2's Auto Tuning to fine-tune the available options based on the specifications of your fan. After that, you have the option of selecting one of four presets or manually editing them to your liking. Following the tuning procedure, reports have been generated that detail what Fan Xpert discovered, including minimum and maximum RPM ranges. Unlike many competitor motherboards, Fan Xpert 2 can work its magic on all of the fan headers on the motherboard. You can also give each of the fan headings a name and see a visual representation of where they are in the system.

The Remote GO! software from ASUS is a major deal. Cloud GO! is the first of four sections in this utility. You can set up access to all of your online storage services and sync them here, creating a RAID-like cloud experience, according to ASUS. The Remote Desktop application allows you to control your desktop computer from a mobile device such as a phone or tablet in real-time. The DNLA media hub functionality allows you to turn your computer into a wireless media server that can be accessed by any DNLA-enabled device. The final tool in Remote GO! is File Transfer, which does exactly what it says on the tin. It's a simple way to move files from your PC to your mobile device.

Network iControl is primarily concerned with traffic prioritizing, but it also has a few other useful features. USB 3.0 Boost is a feature that allows you to transfer data faster when utilizing USB devices. This functionality has gone through a number of variations that I've tested. It works for the most part, although the results vary depending on the type of USB device utilized.

The EZ Update feature is a Windows-based BIOS flashing software that may be used to change the boot logo in a BIOS file. It's also touted to be able to update ASUS motherboard drivers and the software automatically. Keep in mind that flashing your BIOS from within Windows comes with some inherent hazards that can be avoided by using one of the other options ASUS suggests. 

The last section of AI Suite III to go over is the System Info section. With a short trip here, you can get motherboard information, CPU information, and all of the memory SPD information.

Overclocking and Benchmarks

ASUS made it clear that overclocking success will vary depending on how lucky you are with the CPU you receive. Even with the Intel engineering samples provided to ASUS, some overclocked as low as 4.3 to 4.4 GHz, while others went much higher. The general consensus appeared to be that anything that can overclock to 4.6 to 4.8 GHz is a good CPU. The i7 4770K I'm using for this review clocked in at 4.6 GHz while maintaining cool temps. I was able to get the RAM stable at 2400 MHz while keeping the CPU at 4.6 GHz after discovering the 24/7 steady CPU speed.

Asus Z87-A Overcolocker Cpuz view

We'll take the ASUS M6E and Intel DZ87KLT-75K from hokiealumnus' reviews as comparisons in the stock benchmark. Keep in mind that the ASUS boards were utilizing the multi-core enhancement feature (which limited the core speed to 3.9 GHz), but the Intel board was running at full speed and using the Turbo-Core feature. Single-threaded benchmarks, such as SuperPI, will be unchanged, but multi-threaded work tasks will favor the ASUS boards. In addition, the memory on all three boards is configured at DDR3 2600. I went ahead and included the above-mentioned 24/7 stable overclock results. This should give you an idea of the potential performance gains.

When comparing motherboards, we don't usually observe a lot of variation in benchmark scores, but if something is wrong with one of the comparison samples, it will show up. The Z87-A and M6E scored nearly identically on all of the stock tests. It should come as no surprise that they were using the same CPU and memory speeds.


The ASUS Z87-A motherboard proved to be an excellent entry-level Haswell platform motherboard. It's definitely a realistic alternative for people on a budget who want the overclocking functionality that the Z87-A gives for $139.99. The new AI Suite III maintains the company's reputation as the best all-around motherboard software bundle on the market. It's a full-featured software package that allows you to control the system from your desktop. The AI Suite III allows you to fine-tune fan management, overclocking, optimal power efficiency, and more.

As previously mentioned, the new UEFI BIOS has a number of additional capabilities. Things are becoming more and more user-friendly with the new look EZ Mode screen, note-taking, a favorites screen, and a "last modified" list. All of the standard overclocking capabilities are present and correct, and you even have the option of letting the UEFI BIOS do the work for you. If you're the sort that likes to squeeze every last MHz out of your system, you'll appreciate the strap alternatives offered.

Asus Z87-A Specs

ASUS has provided the following specifications.

Asus Z87-A Motherboad Specifications
CPU ✔ LGA socket for Intel Core i7, i5, i3 Pentium, and Celeron processors from Generation 4.
✔ Intel Turbo Boost Technology is supported (Dependent on CPU type)
✔ Supports 22nm CPU
Chipset ✔ Intel Z87 Express Chipset
RAM ✔ 4x DIMM max 32GB, DDR3 2800
✔ Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
✔ Dual-channel Memory Architecture
Graphic ✔ Intel HD Graphics Processor Integrated Graphics Processor
✔ Mini DisplayPort supports multiple VGA outputs! HDMI, DVI-D, and RGB ports
✔ RGB with a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1200 @60Hz is supported.
Multi GPU ✔ NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI Technology is supported (with 2 PCIe x16 graphics cards)
✔ AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX Technology is supported.
LAN ✔ Realtek 8111GR Gigabit LAN controller
Audio ✔ Support High-definition codec Realtek ALC892 with 8 channels
USB ✔ Intel Z87 Express Chipset, supports ASUS USB 3.0 Boost
✔ 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports for front panel support
Back I/O Ports ✔ 1 x Mini DisplayPort
✔ 1x DVI
✔ 1 x Optical S/PDIF Out port
✔ 4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (blue)
✔ 8-channel Audio 1/0 ports
✔ 1 x HDMI port
✔ 1 xRGB
✔ 1 x LAN (RJ-45) port
✔ 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
Internal I/O Connectors ✔ 1 x 19-pin USB 3.0/2.0 connector supports with 2 USB ports
✔ 6 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s connectors indicateds with 6 x yellow)
✔ 1 x 4-pin CPU Optional Fan connector
✔ 1 x Front panel audio connector (AAFP)
✔ 1 x TPM connector
✔ 1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector
✔ 1 x MemOK! button
✔ 1 x DirectKey button
✔ 1 x EPU switch
✔ 3 x USB 2.0/1.1 connectors support with 6 USB ports
✔ 1 x 4-pin CPU Fan connector supports both 3-pin and 4-pin CPU coolers control
✔ 3 x 4-pin Chassis Fan connectors
✔ 1 x S/PDIF out header
✔ 1 x Serial (COM) port connector
✔ 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
✔ 1 x DRCT (DirectKey connector)
✔ 1 x TPU switch (advanced two stage adjustments)
Asus Z87-A Schematic Circuit Diagram, Asus Z87-A BoardView, Asus Z87-A Review

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    SKLADCO LLC April 26, 2022 at 12:14 AM

    Your blog contains lots of valuable data. It is a factual and beneficial article for us. Thankful to you for sharing an article like this.Macbook Pro A2141 Logic Board

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