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Asus announces Z87-Deluxe/Quad Thunderbolt 2 board

Asus announces Z87-Deluxe/Quad Thunderbolt 2 board

Asus' Z87-Deluxe/Quad is the first retail motherboard to include Thunderbolt 2 certification, offering two bi-directional channels with 20Gb/s throughput each.

Asus has pledged its support for Intel's new Thunderbolt 2 interconnect standard, unveiling the Z87-Deluxe/Quad motherboard featuring up to 20Gb/s transfer rates for Thunderbolt accessories.

Announced back in April, Intel's Falcon Ridge Thunderbolt 2 controllers boost the throughput of the interconnection standard to 20Gb/s. Designed as a premium option to sit alongside the existing Cactus Ridge and Redwood Ridge controllers, both of which offer peak throughput of 10Gb/s, Falcon Ridge is designed for premium products with Asus the first to pledge is support for the Thunderbolt 2 standard.

Announced late last night, the Z87-Deluxe/Quad is - as the name suggests - a Z87-based Haswell-compatible motherboard, based on the ATX form factor. The board includes numerous features to put it towards the top of the company's line-up: 10 SATA 3 ports, eight USB 3.0 ports alongside another eight USB 2.0 ports, and three PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots for users with multiple graphics cards.

'Z87-Deluxe/Quad has been subjected to a tremendous amount of compatibility, BIOS, as well as video/audio and other tests to verify its quality and design,' claimed Joe Hsieh, general manager for Asus' motherboard division. 'Being the world's first certified motherboard for Thunderbolt 2 technology also means setting the standard for all of the upcoming products, which is something that Asus has always done.'

It's the Thunderbolt 2 support that Asus is looking to highlight, naturally. The speed boost works by combining the two upstream and two downstream channels of the original Thunderbolt into a pair of bi-directional channels both running at 20Gb/s and supporting a total of up to 12 Thunderbolt devices. According to Asus, the Thunderbolt 2 controller on the Z87-Deluxe/Quad will support running three 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) displays from the single system - one from the onboard HDMI port, and one each for the two Thunderbolt 2 channels.

Sadly, while Asus is keen to talk up the impressive specifications on offer from the Z86-Deluxe/Quad, it is less happy talking about pricing or a launch date for its UK incarnation.

18 Comments

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mi1ez 20th August 2013, 12:01 Quote
First paragraph calls it a Z86...
mi1ez 20th August 2013, 12:02 Quote
Anyone else still struggling to see TB ever catch on?
Gareth Halfacree 20th August 2013, 12:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mi1ez
First paragraph calls it a Z86...
Sorry - typo fixed!
GuilleAcoustic 20th August 2013, 12:10 Quote
TB connectors are nice ... but we need TB devices too ... and ones that do not cost an arm compared to their USB counterparts.
Guinevere 20th August 2013, 12:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mi1ez
Anyone else still struggling to see TB ever catch on?

It has carved out a niche for itself.

If you're hoping for mass adoption to replace cheap-as-chips USB 3.0 then it's never going to happen. Never. Going. To. Happen.

If you're looking for middle to high end Audio/Video production gear then thunderbolt is hard to beat. Easy plug and play into different machines. Fast. Reliable.

Of course not everyone is into buying production gear and for the rest of TB doesn't offer good value for money compared to USB
Corky42 20th August 2013, 12:36 Quote
TB will go the same way as firewire
edzieba 20th August 2013, 13:02 Quote
Intel is really crippling Thunderbolt by repeatedly denying certification for any products that expose it as generic PCI-e (e.g. ones that would allow the connection of an external desktop GPU to a laptop). Ever wonder why we keep seeing demos of such products, but never the actual products? Intel denying certification is why.
schmidtbag 20th August 2013, 16:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
TB will go the same way as firewire

It basically is the next generation of firewire, with the only functional differences being it can also be used as a display port, and as far as I'm aware, it isn't used as a network interface.

While I understand that things like TB won't get popularized without pushing it out onto motherboards, I feel like there are some things that just don't belong as integrated, but rather always as an expansion card. Lately there seems to be less and less of a reason to get anything bigger than a mid tower, with most computers having no more than 2 expansion cards. It does kind of sadden me in a way knowing that the enthusiast market is dying, especially when you consider things like RAM and CPUs are more commonly being soldered to motherboards.

The interesting thing is it seems cars are headed in both a similar and a different direction. They're getting so complex that they're simple. While I've never been a gearhead, I am aware that cars used to be just barely complicated enough that it was an admirable skill to know how to fix and build one, but easy enough that you didn't need any formal training. Today, they do all the diagnostics for you, many parts seem to be clustered together as single pieces, and everything is so precise that you can't really make mods without some serious research or skill. So many tech industries are becoming very boring.

An interesting thing about both computers and cars is they both are becoming more efficient and reliable, yet manufacturers are finding cheaper ways to make both. So, their life spans likely won't be too much greater than their predecessors.
azazel1024 20th August 2013, 16:31 Quote
The downside to cars over computers though is that with most cars it is impossible to accurately diagnose a problem without using an "add on" tool. Most vehicles have some kind of a navigation/entertainment system even if it is a simple LCD.

I know manufacturers and their dealerships want fiat on fixing their vehicles when they break, but damnit, it isn't that hard to design the things so if a CEL comes on, you can hit a simple button and it'll display the error code for you on the LCD/navigation system. At least that way you know if it is a simple problem you can take your time getting fixed, or something you really should address right away.

Of course on a personal level, I'd like it to be easier and more explanitory (as most OBDII codes are very generic) so that I can easily fix the vehicle (mechanical/electrical is easy for me...computer trouble shooting on a CAR however, not so much and most of the time a CEL comes on, it is an issue with a sensor or occasionally a piece of the emissions equipment failing, which is much harder to diagnose than a straight mechanical issue, which is generally pretty easy to diagnose).
schmidtbag 20th August 2013, 16:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azazel1024
The downside to cars over computers though is that with most cars it is impossible to accurately diagnose a problem without using an "add on" tool. Most vehicles have some kind of a navigation/entertainment system even if it is a simple LCD.

I know manufacturers and their dealerships want fiat on fixing their vehicles when they break, but damnit, it isn't that hard to design the things so if a CEL comes on, you can hit a simple button and it'll display the error code for you on the LCD/navigation system. At least that way you know if it is a simple problem you can take your time getting fixed, or something you really should address right away.

Of course on a personal level, I'd like it to be easier and more explanitory (as most OBDII codes are very generic) so that I can easily fix the vehicle (mechanical/electrical is easy for me...computer trouble shooting on a CAR however, not so much and most of the time a CEL comes on, it is an issue with a sensor or occasionally a piece of the emissions equipment failing, which is much harder to diagnose than a straight mechanical issue, which is generally pretty easy to diagnose).

That's actually a very interesting idea, and a good one at that. Getting OBDII readings are free anyway, depending on where you go. I'm sure more people will respond to a "warning, _____ is failing" message than an orange check engine light that could mean something as minor as "you're using up more gas than usual" to as severe as "PLEASE STOP DRIVING, I'M GOING TO EXPLODE". I've known people who had their check-engine light on for YEARS and actually just cover it up or disable it. But you can't really do that on those built-in touchscreens.
ksyruz 21st August 2013, 00:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
TB will go the same way as firewire
While firewire was for just peripherals, thunderbolt can be used for daisy chaining monitors and storage. The other reason this would not go the same was us because it's just a fancier name for displayport connections which is catching on due to higher than HD resolution monitors which dvi cannot handle. Yes it's cheaper to go with usb 3.0, it's the same with displayport being cheaper than hdmi. So in essence thunderbolt will stay with us for high end data storage, while usb's will stay for peripherals and low end storage.
Corky42 21st August 2013, 01:04 Quote
So you mean in the same way Firewire was used, limited appeal and for niche uses mainly.
jon 21st August 2013, 13:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag

I've known people who had their check-engine light on for YEARS and actually just cover it up or disable it.

That would be me. :)

My wife bought a Saturn right before we got married. It lasted nine years, 8 of which I hated it. The last 2 years, the check engine light was on -- but it was more expensive to fix the part than the car was worth (I did get a read out -- temp sensor -- but idiot Saturn designers stuck that sensor under the intake manifold, and the $30 replacement part would have cost me a grand or more to replace.)

But yes, a CEL display option would be nice.

To bring the conversation back around to Thunderbolt 2 ... idk ... maybe there should be a T2 connection in the car for optional OBDII readers ... :)

-J
Petrol head 21st August 2013, 14:33 Quote
schmidtbag, azazel1024. Sorry to burst a bubble but cars are not that clever yet. That error code you mention is a guide of where to start only. For example a fault code advising a the air mass reading incorrectly. Vehicle seems to run OK so you leave it for a week. Actual issue is the exhaust gas recirculation valve is stuck closed (diesel vehicle). You are now using more fuel and the vehicle fails to carry out DPF (diesel particulate filter) regenerations and hay presto the vehicle completely stops with a far higher bill than you could have started with. You may even have to replace the DPF depending on which make of vehicle it is. Sorry
whamio 22nd August 2013, 00:52 Quote
yuk piss yellow color scheme..........
Bindibadgi 22nd August 2013, 03:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by edzieba
Intel is really crippling Thunderbolt by repeatedly denying certification for any products that expose it as generic PCI-e (e.g. ones that would allow the connection of an external desktop GPU to a laptop). Ever wonder why we keep seeing demos of such products, but never the actual products? Intel denying certification is why.

Intel (currently) also doesn't allow any display output other than its own to pass over TB either. Now look at our Thunderbolt EX design again...
Corky42 22nd August 2013, 04:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Now look at our Thunderbolt EX design again...
Its only a rumor, but according to tonymacx86.com, whispers through the grapevine say that Intel has denied Asus & ASRock certification
It seems Intel are trying there best to keep TB a proprietary system.
Bindibadgi 22nd August 2013, 14:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Its only a rumor, but according to tonymacx86.com, whispers through the grapevine say that Intel has denied Asus & ASRock certification
It seems Intel are trying there best to keep TB a proprietary system.

No comment on a rumor ;)

But let's just say Intel's certification process is very, very inflexible.
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