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ASUS Z97-WS Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Benchmark Testing

Synthetic Benchmark Testing

SiSoft Sandra 2012

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The Sandra benchmarks remain a fast and easy way to determine how well the system's CPU and memory are functioning. The Z97-WS is no slouch, performing on-par or better than most of the other test systems. Performance equivalent to that of same class systems indicates CPU and memory subsystem performance within expected operational parameters.

LinX

LinX is a graphical interface for CPU-based testing using the Intel Linpack benchmarks. It serves as a good indicator of proper system CPU functioning and is considered one of the most intensive CPU benchmarks currently available. LinX was run with Memory set to All and for a total of 3 runs. This test was repeated three times with the highest repeatable GFlops (Giga-Floating Point Operations Per Second) score recorded.

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This CPU torture test is a proven method for identifying possible issues with the CPU to motherboard interface layer. The ASUS Z97-WS performs strongly in comparison with the other systems, again proving that the board is operating efficiently.

Multimedia and System Benchmark Testing

Maxon Cinebench 11.5

Maxon’s Cinebench 11.5 benchmark can be used determine a system's ability to render 3D content based on their Cinema 4D animation software. The CPU benchmark test was run three times, with the highest reproducible Cinebench points score recorded.

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No surprises here with the Z97-WS. Its performance fell as expected.

July 14, 2014 | 12:00 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Why is "Lack of accessible PCI-Express x1 slot with all PCI-Express x16 slots populated" a weakness? What motherboard allows you to do 4 way sli with a slot left over?

July 14, 2014 | 01:26 PM - Posted by YTech

I understand your point :)

Maybe Morry wants to add a sound card in there too, but just can't because the GPU cards are taking away 2 slots.

I see the same issue with Micro-ATX with 2xSLI support, not sure how I'll manage to add another PCIE x1 card in there... :(

Maybe something to point out to others and the vendors to read these.

Morry > What's your reason behind this?

July 14, 2014 | 07:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If you're up for it then you can remove the second slot's display connectors, the stock heatsink/fan, and then cut the second slot off the GPU and install a water block and only use the top 3 display outputs per GPU. However, this voids the living crap out of your warranty and requires custom watercooling.

July 14, 2014 | 01:45 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The motherboard and case would have to have 9 expansion slots to accept an additional single slot card. That’s a different form factor altogether and this shouldn’t be a weakness.

July 14, 2014 | 01:52 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

There are some boards that design the PCIe layout with a PCIe x1 card to the left of the primary PCIe x16 slot.  This is a minor nitpick issue on my part (kind of like the CMOS battery placement that y'all always nail me for), but not a major detractor from the board.  It was a very nice board that tested well...

July 15, 2014 | 06:04 AM - Posted by YTech

Morry > Would you have a reference link or something for that board design you're referring to? I'd like to see it for comparisons :)

Thanks.

July 18, 2014 | 04:00 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

The MSI Z97 Gaming board has a PCIe x1 slot to the right of the primary x16 slot, though it does not have a PLX chip integrated:

http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Motherboards/MSI-Z97-Gaming-7-Motherboard-R...

July 14, 2014 | 12:32 PM - Posted by Areus

AI Suite III looks much improved over II. I'm sure this isn't news, but it is the first I am seeing of it.

July 15, 2014 | 05:11 AM - Posted by Hirogen6 (not verified)

Aww man, I went right to the conclusion looking for a mention of the CMOS battery location, and was left wanting!

July 15, 2014 | 09:38 PM - Posted by elgrandeburro

Micro Center, which has many other boards priced extremely well, has this one priced $63 more than most other retailers. Oddly enough, they've also incorrectly listed it as the "ASUS Z97", leaving out the"-WS". Would dig picking it up from them, but not at their current pricing.

July 17, 2014 | 09:52 PM - Posted by SolarAxix (not verified)

Microcenter will price-match the board.

I was able to get it for a great price at Microcenter.

Check out my post here:

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2390681

July 17, 2014 | 09:59 PM - Posted by SolarAxix

I should have mentioned that I got it for $239.99 plus taxes which is a great price for a motherboard with a PLX PCIe multiplexer.

July 16, 2014 | 12:46 AM - Posted by PapaDragon

Thanks for the review Morry!

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