CPU Cooler Fit and Included Accessories
CPU Cooler Fit
To test the amount of space surrounding the CPU socket, we mounted the Noctua NH-D14 cooler to the CPU socket. This behemoth CPU air cooler sports a dual fan construction and two huge vertical cooling towers.
When running the unit oriented to blow air towards the rear panel, there is more than enough room along the front, back, and left sides to accommodate the cooler and any installed peripherals. While it may look tight from the rear panel shots, there is more than enough space to use the primary PCI-Express x1 and x16 slots without issue.
From looking at the cooler mounting from the right side view, you can see that the cooler has more than sufficient clearance between the DIMM slots and VRM heat sinks.
The Noctua hold down mechanism is large enough to quickly determine exactly how much space you have around the CPU socket. While the wrap-around VRM cooler comes close on the left and right sides of the mounting brackets, there is enough room provided to accommodate the mount.
The Noctua backplate lays on top of the LGA1150 socket backplate giving it no direct contact with the board. Further, there are no components in close proximity to the Noctua backplate to be contacted or crushed.
ASUS includes everything you need to get the board going, along with some added nice to have components and add-on boards.
The manual included with the Z97-Deluxe is well written and effectively documents all board setup and functionality. ASUS also included a user guide for the ThunderboltEX II add-on PCIe card. The included DVD comes with all the drivers, applications, and utilities you will need to get the board operational.
The rear panel shield is a flat black color with all port holes labeled in white lettering for easy identification. ASUS outlined the BIOS Flashback USB 3.0 port with a green board so that it stands out as well.
ASUS includes six 6 Gb/s rated SATA cables for use with the integrated SATA ports. The cables have integrated port locks with a mix of straight and angled connectors. Note that no SATA Express cables are included with the board.
For multi-GPU use, ASUS includes an ASUS-branded two-way NVIDIA SLI cable.
For use with the on-board front panel headers, ASUS included their Q-Connector header plugs. You simply plug the front panel plugs into the Q-Connector blocks, then plug the Q-Connector blocks into the appropriate board front panel headers. It makes the installation of the front panel plugs much easier.
For attaching to wireless and Bluetooth-based networks, ASUS includes their dual-plug antennae with gold-plated screw-in connectors. The antennae can be used in a flat or upright orientation with its surface optimized for broadcast and reception of 802.11ac type signals.
The included ThunderboltEX II PCIe add-on card can be used in any of the on-board PCI-Express x16 slots because of its PCIe x4 style port connector. The rear bracket contains two Thunderbolt 2 ports and two DisplayPort input video ports. The Thunderbolt 2 ports offer transfer rates of up to 20 Gb/s. The port at the top of the card connects to the motherboard Thunderbolt header using the included cables.
For use with the ThunderboltEX II PCIe card, ASUS includes a DiplayPort cable, a mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort cable, Thunderbolt cable, and five-pin port adapter for use with the Z97-Deluxe board.
The NFC Express 2 device can be used for secure login to your Windows 8 system using the included NFC key, to stream multi-media content from a remote device, and to remotely control your system desktop from a connected device. The module connects to your system via the USB 3.0 port at the back of the device. ASUS also integrated two USB 3.0 ports into the side of the device for connecting additional USB devices to the system.
The ASUS Wireless Charger device can be used to charge devices with a built-in wireless charging function. You simply place the device on top of device top logo. At the front of the device is a status LED for easy determination of charging status. The USB port at the back of the device is used to connect to the power adapter to power the charging session.
To support the NFC Express 2 and Wireless Charger devices, ASUS includes a USB 3.0 cable, a micro USB to USB 2.0 cable, a power adapter with integrated USB port, and an NFC tag.