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Dec
13
2013

EVGA Z87 Classified Motherboard - Unboxing and Overview

EVGA Z87 Classified Motherboard - Unboxing and Review

When enthusiasts look for the best performing hardware, the name that usually comes to mind is EVGA's Classified series. The Z87 Classified motherboard follows suit and features an abundance of options that makes it one of the best motherboards for the LGA 1150 socket. It's also one of the only few Z87 boards that support 4-way SLI graphics support.

Specifications

Form Factor     E-ATX
CPU     Intel LGA1150
Chipset     Intel Z87
Memory     4 x 240-pin DIMM 32GB max
Expansion Slots
  • 5x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots
  • 2x at x16
  • 3x and 4x at x8
  • Multi-GPU
  • 4x NVIDIA SLI
  • 4x AMD CrossFireX
  • SATA
  • 8x SATA 6Gb/s
  • USB
  • 4x USB 3.0 ports
  • 4x USB 2.0 ports
  • Audio     Creative® Sound Core 3D chip
    LAN     Intel Ethernet

    Accessories

    Inside the box, you’ll find a manual, drivers DVD, layout poster, SATA cables, an external USB 3.0 mount, 2x, 3x and 4x SLI bridges, an IO shield and a decorative shield to cover the IO for a cleaner aesthetic.

    Top

    As with the EVGA X79 Dark, the Z87 Classified uses the same jet black PCB with red accents. The motherboard itself is also thicker and doesn’t feel like it will flex under the weight of multiple graphics cards. All of the power phases sit opposite of the memory slots and features eight power phases for the CPU and internal graphics. The spacing around the CPU also makes it easy to mount water and LN2 cooling.

    There are a total of five x16 PCIe lanes on the Z87 Classified. When using a single card, it’s recommended to plug it into the top slot for the best performance. The onboard PLX switch is used to power the lower PCIe slots. In order to activate the PLX switch, you need to make sure you plug in the additional power to the bottom of the motherboard.

    The EVGA Z87 Classified uses dual-channel memory and supports memory modules up to 2666MHz with a maximum capacity of 32GB.

    There are a total of eight SATA 6 ports on the motherboard with six powered by the Intel Z87 chipset and the other two by a Marvell chip.

    Another interesting feature on the Z87 Classified is the inclusion of mSATA connection between the last PCIe slot on the motherboard.

    Back IO Ports

    On the IO, you’ll find four USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, dual Ethernet, a CMOS reset button, dual mini-displayports, optical out and six analog audio jacks.

    Audio

    Creative Sound Core3D

    The EVGA Z87 Classified features a dedicated Sound Core3D™ audio processor from Creative, a multi-core sound and voice processor offering high-performance hardware audio processing, with cutting-edge audio technologies including the Sound Blaster software suite.

    What Makes The EVGA Z87 Classified Special

    At its heart, the Z87 Classified is an enthusiast motherboard. Near the 24-pin power connector, you’ll find a debug LED that shows post codes and temps, power & reset switches, a BIOS selector and a DIP switch to manually turn on/off PCIe lanes. This makes it easy to troubleshoot any problems you might have with graphics cards without having to take out each card one at a time.

    What I really liked about the motherboard was the fact that the 24-pin power connecter sat flush with the motherboard. This made it really easy to make the wiring in the chassis as neat as possible.

    Software - UEFI

    EVGA has redesigned its UEFI to make it much easier to use and more eye pleasing. On top, you’ll find displays that show all of the necessary information in regards to the PC such as the speed of the PCIE lanes, the number of memory slots populated, multiple voltage readings and temperatures of multiple components.

    Conclusion

    Overall, the EVGA Z87 Classified is one of, if not, the best Z87 motherboards out on the market. It features a plethora of options for overclockers and gamers who want the best experience possible. Not to mention, the board it self is gorgeous to look at and its layout makes it very easy to work with. While some may be intimidated by it’s dashing good looks, the features of the Z87 Classified makes it one of the best boards we have see till date.

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