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ASUS Gryphon Z87 TUF Micro-ATX Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Thanks for stopping by our coverage of the Intel Haswell, 4th Generation Core processor and Z87 chipset release!  We have a lot of different stories for you to check out and I wanted to be sure you knew about them all. 

  1. The Haswell Review - Intel Core i7-4770K Performance and Architecture
  2. PCPer Live! ASUS Z87 Motherboard and Intel Haswell Live Event! - Tuesday, June 4th we will be hosting a live streaming event with JJ from ASUS.  Stop by to learn about Z87 and overclocking Haswell and to win some motherboards and graphics cards!
  3. ASUS ROG Maximus VI Extreme Motherboard Review
  4. MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming Motherboard Review

 

Introduction

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Courtesy of ASUS

The Gryphon Z87 is a new form factor being introduced into the TUF (The Ultimate Force) board line with its micro-ATX stature. It does not lack for features in what it lacks for physical size though. ASUS packed this board full of features with the same stability and performance that you have all come to expect from a TUF series motherboard. By default, the Gryphon Z87 does not come with the Thermal Armor overlay, but the armor kit will be offered as an upgrade for a minimal additional outlay. We but the ASUS Gryphon Z87 board through its paces to get a fuller performance picture. At a retail price of $169.00, this board would make a nice addition to any small form factor or normal sized system.

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Courtesy of ASUS

The Gryphon Z87 is designed with an 8 phase digital power delivery system for the CPU to ensure the best performance and stability possible under any conditions. The following features are integrated into the board's design: six SATA 6Gb/s ports; an Intel I217-V GigE NIC; three PCI-Express x16 slots for dual-card support; one PCI-Express x1 slot; onboard power, reset, CMOS MemOK!, BIOS Flashback, and DirectKey buttons; and USB 2.0 and 3.0 port support.

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Courtesy of ASUS

Continue reading our review of the ASUS Gryphon Z87 motherboard!

Technical Specifications (taken from the ASUS website)

CPU

LGA1150 socket for 4th Generation Intel® i7 / Intel® Core™ i5 / Intel® Core™ i3, Pentium®, Celeron® Processors
Supports 22nm CPU
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0*

* The Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 support depends on the CPU types.

Chipset

Intel® Z87 Express Chipset

Memory

4 x DIMM, max. 32GB, DDR3 1866 / 1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz Non-ECC, un-buffered memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

* Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs.

Expansion Slots

2 x PCI Express 3.0/2.0 x16 slots (single at x16, dual at x8/x8 mode)
1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot (max. at x4 mode, compatible with PCIe x1 or x4 devices)
1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot

VGA

Integrated Intel® Graphics Processor - Intel® HD Graphics support
Multi-VGA output support : DVI/HDMI port
Supports HDMI with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
Supports DVI with max. resolution of 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
Supports Intel® InTru™ 3D, Intel® Quick Sync Video, Intel® Clear Video HD Technology and Intel® Insider™
Supports up to two displays simultaneously
Maximum shared memory 1024MB

Multi-GPU Support

Supports NVIDIA® Quad-GPU SLI™ Technology
Supports AMD® Quad-GPU CrossFireX™ Technology

LAN

Intel® I217-V Gigabit LAN Controller(s)

Storage

Intel® Z87 Express chipset:
- 6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s)(brown) with RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 support
- Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology, Intel® Rapid Start Technology, and Intel® Samrt Connect Technology*

* These functions will work depending on the CPU installed.
** These SATA ports are for data hard drives only. ATAPI devices are not supported.

Audio

Realtek® ALC892 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Absolute pitch 192khz/24bit true BS lossless sound
- BD audio layer content protection
- Supports jack sense, multi-streaming and font panel jack-retasking
- Optical S/PDIF out ports at rear I/O

USB

Intel® Z87 Express chipset - supports ASUS USB 3.0 Boost UASP Mode.*
6 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 ports at mid-board, 4 ports at rear panel)
8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports (4 ports at mid-board, 4 ports at rear panel)

* The USB 3.0 ports support Windows® 7 or later version. UASP standard only supports Windows® 8.

Exclusive TUF Features

"Ultimate COOL!" Thermal Solution
- TUF Thermal Radar 2

"TUF ENGINE" Power Design
- 8+2 Digital Phase Power Design
- TUF Components (Choke, Ti-Cap & MOSFET; certified by military-standard)
- ASUS DIGI+ Power Control Utility

"SAFE and Stable!" Guardian Angel
- ESD Guards
- MemOK!
- Anti-surge

Rear Panel I/O Ports

1 x DVI-D port
1 x HDMI port
1 x Optical S/PDIF out port
1 x LAN (RJ45) port
4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports (blue, 1 supports USB BIOS Flashbck)
4 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
8 Channel Audio I/O ports

Other Special Features

- USB 3.0 Boost featuring speedy USB 3.0 transmission
- USB BIOS Flashback wiht USB BIOS Flashback Wizard for EZ BIOS download scheduling
- USB Charger+ featuring quick-charging function for all smart devices
- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode featuring friendly graphics user interface
- AI Suite 3
- ASUS Q-Connector
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-DIMM
- ASUS O.C. Profile
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- EZ Update
- Disk Unlocker
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- ASUS MyLogo 2
- Multi-language BIOS

Internal I/O Connectors

1 x 19-pin USB 3.0/2.0 connector supports additional 2 USB ports (moss green)
2 x USB 2.0/1.1 connectors support additional 4 USB 2.0/1.1 ports
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (brown)
1 x 4-pin CPU Fan connector (black)
1 x 4-pin CPU Optional Fan connector (black)
4 x 4-pin Chassis Fan connectors (black)
1 x 3-pin Assistance Fan connector (white)
1 x Front panel audio coneector (AAFP)
1 x S/PDIF out header
1 x Thunderbolt header
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector
1 x 8-pin EATX 12V Power connector
1 x System Panel (Q-Connector)
1 x USB BIOS Flashback button
1 x MemOK! button
1 x Clear CMOS jumper
1 x Directkey button
1 x DRCT (Directkey) header
3 x Thermal Ssensor connectors
1 x TPM header

BIOS Features

64 Mb UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 2, ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3, My Favorites, Quick Note, Last Modified log, F12 PrintScreen, F3 Shortcut functions, and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information

Manageability

WfM 2.0, DMI 2.0, WOL by PME, PXE

Support DVD Contents

Drivers
Anti-virus software (OEM version)
Network iControl
ASUS Utilities

Form Factor

uATX Form Factor: 9.6" x 9.6" (24.4cm x 24.4cm)
June 3, 2013 | 05:55 AM - Posted by Nigel (not verified)

Thanks for the review. I'm glad I purchased this board!

June 3, 2013 | 08:06 AM - Posted by HappyUser (not verified)

@Nigel
bro have you bought the armor kit also?
any link where to buy it?

June 6, 2013 | 07:20 AM - Posted by Nigel (not verified)

No mate I have not seen one available anywhere in the UK. I think the armout is a gimmick anyway.

July 1, 2013 | 06:36 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It is currently available on Newegg. Additionally we have found in our testing that the Armor especially when used with the assist fan can provide lower operating temperatures part of this as a whole occurs as the armor kit works with thermal radar system ( the motherboard has on board temperature sensors ) these will adjust your system fans to provide optimal cooling.

July 1, 2013 | 06:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You can get it from Newegg currently.

June 4, 2013 | 09:00 AM - Posted by Justin 150 (not verified)

This has the same layout problem that I see with virtually every Matx board. There is not enough space between the bottom of the memory sockets and the top PCI-e slot. If you watercool your GPU (or have a GPU with additional cooling on back of card) then you will struggle to use active fan cooling on the memory. If you have a low airflow case that will end up frying the memory.

It is not even a difficult problem to solve, just move the memory slots up the board by 1 cm, there is clearly space

June 5, 2013 | 09:09 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

why do yo want to actively cool the memory.... that's pointless and a big waste of cash.

If you have a nice big graphics card which is water cooled with a back plate, chances are you have a case with decent airflow as well also high speed memory is pointless unless you are using the on-board graphics which is clearly not the case here.

July 1, 2013 | 06:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

memory speeds at 2400 or greater ideally need active cooling to ensure heavy load stability especially over time. Additionally ram can impact compression and other performance aspects depending on your work load it can be a noticeable improvement. In most standard applications memory speed will not immediately impact performance but there are games that can also be impacted from increase in memory speed as opposed to just the performance increase that can be impacted from the discrete GPU. If you consider at times this swing of 3 to 5 frames depending on the engine could bring up a minimum frame rate this is something that should be factored in a high performance build.

June 5, 2013 | 03:03 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Does the Armor Kit affect to the board temperatures in any way? And when does it retail?

June 5, 2013 | 05:27 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

Not sure on the retail release of the armor kit, but it should be soon.

As far as temps, we will have a follow-up review covering the amor kit and its impacts on temperatures and board performance in the near future.

Thanks...

June 9, 2013 | 06:02 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'd like to ask about the power consumption levels on this board compared to other boards

June 10, 2013 | 10:49 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm planning my next build on this motherboard. But I'm still curious about the back-plate. Is it included with the board or must be purchased separately?

June 11, 2013 | 10:01 AM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

If you are talking about the Fortifier back plate, it is not included in the base board packaging.  You must purchase the Gryphon Armor Kit to get the armor and the fortifier back plate...

June 16, 2013 | 11:01 AM - Posted by Anonymousse (not verified)

Do any 1150 micro mb come with both 4 ram slots and mpci onboard for taking an 11ac card today ? As this is holding up any buying choices I make in the next few weeks to build a new PC here.... I wonder why I can't seem to buy what I want and potentially need sooner than later.... and were might I find a good wireless 11AC card to use in the UK today !

July 1, 2013 | 06:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The maximus VI gene has on board support for mini PCIe wireless as well as support for M.2 flash storage. Depending on your total expansion needs though you could easily go with a higher performing 3x3 PCIe based solution like our PCE-AC66.

June 16, 2013 | 10:33 PM - Posted by FanBoy (not verified)

I have the Z87 Gryphon mATX mobo with a Haswell i5-4670K unlocked CPU. When I run AI Suite III, there are no "Dual Intelligent Processor" pages. At least, I can't find them.

--> Were you really running this on a Gryphon? If so, PLEASE tell me how to get from the Thermal Radar pages to the DIP pages.

I'm suspecting that the Gryphon actually doesn't have DIPs, and that Asus is carefully not mentioning this fact in all the hype.

Thanks

FB

January 22, 2014 | 08:39 AM - Posted by Sephie (not verified)

That sucks. :(

Did you find out what the situation is for the Gryphon?

June 19, 2013 | 09:48 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Will the NH-D14 block the 1st PCI-E x16 slot?

June 24, 2013 | 12:47 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"In the upper left quadrant of the board are the front panel audio header, S/PDIF output header, Thunderbolt device header, CHA_FAN4 header, clear CMOS jumper, and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header."

So is Thunderbolt working or not? Curious as to why you mention it, and did not test it.

June 25, 2013 | 06:13 PM - Posted by Patosan (not verified)

Does Gryphon have the usb3 sleep problem ?
If so, is there an expected date for the "fixed" batch to hit the shops ?
Generally do the maufacturers release fixed boards as old stock ends in each flavor of board ? Or do they decide on a fixed date to release all boards with fixes on the one date ?

June 26, 2013 | 11:22 PM - Posted by Smitty (not verified)

You mention a BIOS switch that enables you to choose between the primary and secondary bios, but I can't seem to find the switch. Does it really have one? I might have accidentally bricked mine.

July 1, 2013 | 06:45 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This was noted incorrectly in the review. Should you need to I would recommend you attempt to recover the UEFI ( bios ) via USB Bios Flashback.

December 23, 2013 | 09:26 PM - Posted by peru (not verified)

i been having a lot problems with the sound
it shows that is sound coming out but no noise

December 23, 2013 | 09:26 PM - Posted by peru (not verified)

please can someone help me with this problem

January 15, 2014 | 03:05 AM - Posted by Waki (not verified)

Hello

thanks for a nice review. Nice to see NHD14 is ok for ram modules, but is not that cooler wide enough so it will collide with dedicated graphic card in PCIE 3.0 slot? Seems more than tight from the picture. The 14cm fan could be the issue, but that can be replaced with 12cm one. I would like to buy this board for its 5y warranty, got NHD14 and r9 280x already. Thanks for the answer.

January 22, 2014 | 08:36 AM - Posted by Sephie (not verified)

This review contains falsehoods, saying that "The main app opens to either the Thermal Radar 2 or Dual Intelligent Processors 4 page, .."

The Grypnon does NOT include DIP afaik. It has EPU and Turbo V Evo (which is similar to TPU), but not the TPU + EPU = DIP feature.

Whether or not this is is ASUS providing misleading info or the reviewer not paying attention, this has apparently already duped one buyer.

@Waki Noctua (NH D14) has a compatibility list on their website and they would have listed this issue. Please double check with them, but I believe the D14 will not obstrucy the 1st PCIe slot.

February 27, 2014 | 02:38 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

What is the deal with the Thunderbolt header on this board. Is it operational? Or can it be made operational?

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