Haswell Z87 Motherboard Preview: 50+ Motherboards from ASUS, Gigabyte, ASRock, MSI, ECS, Biostar and EVGAby Ian Cutress on May 22, 2013 5:00 PM EST
With time quickly approaching the launch of Haswell, leaks on both motherboards and CPU performance are coming out of the woodworks. Similar to our advance Ivy Bridge coverage, here is a current roundup of everything we were allowed to show or is currently in the public domain.
Fun with Z87
So as you would expect, reviewers like Anand and I are knee deep in getting Haswell coverage and testing ready for launch. We cannot tell you what we are testing, or what is coming in our repertoire, but we try to match what our readers want to see. As a general rule, in order to receive media kits from Intel, we sign a company-wide NDA, and then if we want kit from other companies (motherboards, pre-release systems), then they may request NDAs from specific people as well. I know I have personally signed a few in recent months leading up to the release.
So What Is In This Preview Then?
So some manufacturers have decided to release data to media like AT in order to boost coverage before launch. Others have had leaks from media events posted online, and here we have tried to collate that information. Everything you see in this post we have permission to post from the various manufacturers, or the information is already in the public domain. Some information has been from Intel itself, such as Beijing IDF presentations released on the internet.
Much like our Ivy Bridge preview, we will be going through the motherboards expected to be released – either final ES images or retail ones. We have the big four up ready to bat – ASUS, Gigabyte, ASRock and MSI, with appearances by ECS, Biostar and EVGA as well.
AnandTech’s Haswell Coverage
At AnandTech we have been hot on the heels of Intel, attempting to understand what is behind the new silicon. We have covered the following topics so far:
Intel's Haswell Architecture Analyzed: Building a New PC and a New Intel
Intel Haswell Architecture Disclosure: Live Blog
Intel Details Haswell Overclocking at IDF Beijing
Making Sense of the Intel Haswell Transactional Synchronization eXtensions
Haswell: Up to 128MB On-Package Cache, ULV GPU Performance Estimates
Intel Haswell GT3e GPU Performance Compared to NVIDIA's GeForce GT 650M
IDF 2012: Haswell GT3 Running Skyrim
Intel Haswell Architecture Slides (IDF 2012)
Haswell at IDF 2012: 10W is the New 17W
In previous years, motherboard launches have ranged the full gamut from the $60 to over $200 at launch, even reaching $400 as the platform develops. Within that is the cost for the chipset (a not-insignificant cost), the production, the modules, the extra controllers and all the licensing for extra features such as SLI or HDMI. Of course no manufacturer wants to announce pricing just yet, but like the Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge launches, we at AnandTech are hoping for a motherboard roundup of around $200 (+/- 10%) to go live at launch.
Details regarding pricing led us to Chinese websites:
At current exchange rates, this puts the pricing at the following:
ASRock Z87 Extreme4: ¥1099/999 = $179/$162
ASUS P8Z87-Deluxe: ¥2699 = $439
ASUS ROG Maximus IV Hero with a 4770K: ¥2999 = $488
MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming: ¥1699 = $276
ASRock Z87 Pro3: ¥699 = $114
Personally I believe that this pricing is a bit high, indicating ‘put your order in early’ for when stock actually arrives. There is not any import tax (most if not all these motherboards are made in China), and sales tax / VAT is technically 17%.
But for now, let us look at what motherboards have actually been on display.
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austinindallas - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - linkthe asrock z77 extreme 4 was my very first experience with asrock, but i am VERY satisfied with it. and it was a GREAT price compared to others
Sm0kes - Friday, May 24, 2013 - linkBetter than SATA II speeds on the mSATA port. Not sure why it was gimped on the z77e-itx.
mutantmagnet - Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - linkThe build quality is fine. An article posted by Gigabyte was comparing the failure rate of the various motherboard makers (which they got first place last year) didn't make me think any motherboard manufacturer was significantly behind the others to single any of them out as bad.
crimson117 - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - linkAsus summary:
ASUS Z87-Plus (y u no A+?)
Specific purpose boards:
ASUS Z87-WS (for workstations)
ASUS Z87-ITX (mITX) (for mITX cases)
ASUS Sabertooth Z87
ASUS ROG Maximus VI Hero
ASUS ROG Maximus VI Extreme
ASUS Gryphon Z87 (mATX)
ASUS ROG Maximus VI Gene (mATX)
While I'm cautiously optimistic that they've improved over their indecipherable Z77 naming schemes, I'm taking bets regarding how long it will be until the L, LK, ML, FJ, WJK, MS, JK, and YOLO variants show up and confuse everyone.
c0pperbottoms - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - linkHow about a micro-ATX board where I can have 2 dual-slot GPUs in 16x slots where the damned PCI or PCI-E 1x slot is ABOVE the GPUs so I can have a sound card (or some other accessory for that mattter)??
meacupla - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - linkBecause most mATX cases sport 4 slots, not 5?
You might as well buy an ATX board and ATX case if you're going to go out of your way to buy an mATX case that has 5 slots and would also be undoubtedly large.
This Guy - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - linkI want a small, quite computer but already have an expensive sound card and need crossfire/sli to run my monitors. The Corsair Obsidian 350D looks well suited to my wants and I was thinking about getting a Z87 version of the Gigabyte D3H. A few Noctura's and it will been silent except when gaming.
Death666Angel - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - linkWell, for x16 in dual GPU configuration, you need S2011. Haswell only provides enough for x8 in dual GPU configuration. But I think you are just meaning x8/x8 for 2 GPUs.
Look at the
Gigabyte G1.Sniper M5
It gives you x8/x1/x4/x8 slots where you can have a dual slot graphics card in the first x8, then a PCIe in the x4 and a dual/triple slot graphics card in the last x8.
c0pperbottoms - Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - linkActually I did mean two 16x, but thanks for clarifying. Not yet very well read on Haswell. Also it occurs to me that we're not really bumping up against the (admittedly negligible) bandwidth constraints of PCIE-2 anymore, so two 8x aren't really of a problem :)
There are a number of micro-ATX cases that sport 5 slots... They're still smaller than a mid-tower full-up ATX case.
alwayssts - Thursday, May 23, 2013 - linkI'm with you on this...it's funny how many people want what we do. Here is my plan:
I use a PC-C50b because I agree Matx in the most sensible form-factor these days. The case can house a Noctua C14 and still fit in an entertainment rack, what else do you really need? I would not call it exceptionally large. Case has 4 CONVENTIONAL slots...but a fifth at an angle so you could use with a flexible riser.
I very well might find myself going dual-GPU as soon as 4k60 connectivity and televisions are a consumer reality...but I know I will want one of those spiffy ROG pci-e SSDs. I suppose SATA will be a reality at some point around that time, but we'll see.
I really wish the cards could sit next to each other because the riser slot is perpendicular, and will probably be pretty terrible for a graphics card...but that's how it has to be.