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Intel DZ87KL-75K Review - A Last Hurrah

Intel DZ87KL-75K Review

Manufacturer: intel
UK Price (as reviewed): £TBA
US Price (as reviewed): $TBA

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Intel's motherboard efforts are something of an oddball in the hardware world. The company has seen fit to release them with most new CPU socket launches over the years and with the possible exception of 2008's Skulltrail, most have been quickly forgotten as token items that sit along side far more popular items from the likes of Asus, MSI and Gigabyte.

Still, some people swear by them and we have to admit that as well as looking better and better with each release, their performance and features have been improving too. The DZ87KL-75K takes up the mantle of being the high-end motherboard of the company's recent Haswell launch, and this new LGA1150 example was shipped out in the original press packs sent to us humble tech journos.

However, despite the fact that this is possibly the best-looking and most feature-laiden motherboard Intel has every produced, it has already announced that the DZ87KL-75K will be the last we see from Intel as the company looks to focus on laptops and its NUC mini embedded systems.

A shame? Well if it performs as well as it looks then possibly yes, although our main concern is that by building and selling motherboards for new CPU socket releases, Intel is in a good position to iron out the gremlins and help the various partners in their exploits.


Intel DZ87KL-75K Review - A Last HurrahIntel DZ87KL-75K Review - A Last Hurrah
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In addition to the fact that LGA1150 will be the final CPU socket to see an Intel-made motherboard, the company seems to have jumped the gun a little too; the DZ87KL-75K isn't available anywhere yet and as we reported here, etailers are finding them pretty tough to get hold of. In any event, being the final Intel motherboard, we couldn't sit by and not give it a good send off, so we put it through our usual suit of tests to see how it fared.

Intel DZ87KL-75K Review - A Last Hurrah Intel DZ87KL-75K Review - A Last Hurrah
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Firstly the specs; Intel has gone all-out with the DZ87KL-75K and provided pretty much everything you'd expect from a premium enthusiast-orientated motherboard. There are two LED post code readouts, power and reset buttons, a CMOS clear switch and six 3/4-pin fan headers. The eight SATA 6Gbps ports are all laid out parallel to the PCB and pretty much all of the on-board connectors such as USB 3, EPS12V power and 24-pin ATX connector are located on the edge of the PCB to aid cable routing.

Intel DZ87KL-75K Review - A Last Hurrah Intel DZ87KL-75K Review - A Last Hurrah
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As well as dual Intel Gigabit LAN ports, the DZ87KL-75K offers a Thunderbolt port too with a mini PCI-E slot sitting just behind the SATA ports. Intel also includes a combined Bluetooth and WiFi module that you can hook up to one of the USB 2 motherboard headers, using a self-adhesive pad to stick it to the inside of a spare 5.25in or 3.5in bay cover. There's SLI and CrossFire support and the PCI-E slots are laid out so that even if you do opt for a multiple graphics card system, the top 1x PCI-E slot will still be accessible. There are also a further two 1x PCI-E slots and even a PCI slot thrown in too.

Intel DZ87KL-75K Review - A Last Hurrah Intel DZ87KL-75K Review - A Last Hurrah
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The EFI is also pretty handy, with a very swish-looking front end dominated by an overclocking assistant, with more advanced settings covering the usual options. It's fairly limited here, and it lacks granularity in vcore adjustment compared to most other boards we've seen, but given how limited Haswell overclocking is proving on retail CPUs, it's unlikely to be an issue.

  • Chipset Intel Z87
  • CPU support LGA1150 compatible
  • Memory support 4 slots: max 32GB DDR3 (2,400MHz)
  • Expansion slots SLI and Crossfire support, Three 16x PCI-E 3.0 slots (One at x16, three 8x, one 4x), mini PCI-E, two 1x PCI-E, one PCI
  • Sound 10-channel HD audio via Realtek ALC898
  • Networking Two Intel Gigabit Ethernet LAN, WiFi Module 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.1
  • Ports 8 x SATA 6Gbps (six via Intel Z87, two via Marvel 88SE9172) 8 x USB 3, 8 x USB 2, 2 x LAN, audio out, line in, mic, optical S/PDIF out, HDMI, Thunderbolt
  • Dimensions (mm) 305 x 244 (ATX)
  • Extras WiFi/bluetooth module, LED Post code readouts, power and reset buttons,