ASUS Gryphon Z87 TUF Micro-ATX Motherboard Review
Thermal Armor Kit and Included Accessories
Thermal Armor Kit Preview
Even though the Thermal Armor is not included with the base Gryphon Z87 packaging, we decided to give you a taste of what the board looks like with it armor on.
Similar in nature to the previous generation Thermal Armor overlay, the board overlay is a tough plastic cover with a finish mimicking the look of corrugated metal. ASUS even provide covers for all PCI-Express ports, SATA ports, and USB headers (both the 2.0 and 3.0 headers).
One of the new additions to the Thermal Armor Kit is inclusion of a steel back-plate giving the board extra protection and more rigidity. ASUS has dubbed the back plate the "TUF Fortifier".
In the kit, ASUS also provides covers for all rear panel ports that require them as well as a 40mm fan that sits just behind the rear panel DVI port. The fan is oriented to suck air towards the motherboard components to distribute cooling airflow to the covered areas. Note that the kit also includes a dust cover for the rear panel shield.
Even with its armor, the Gryphon Z87 easily accommodates even the larger CPU coolers like the Noctua NH-D14 shown. The fit between tall memory modules and the front intake fan is tight, but should not be a problem.
In keeping with the board's military theme, ASUS included the bare necessities to get the board up and running - only what you need and nothing you don't.
In typical ASUS fashion, the bundled user manuals and installation DVDs provide plenty of information to get the board up and running. Also included is a warranty guide outlining the Gryphon Z87's five year warranty coverage and a Certificate of Reliability.
The included rear panel shield is a base black color with all device ports clearly marked in white lettering for easy identification. There is also an air intake over the slot for the DVI port for the air filter provided in the add-on Armor kit.
A total of four 6Gb/s rated SATA cables. All cables integrate port locks with a mix of straight and 90 degree connectors included.
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 and plug the Q-Connector into the appropriate board header. It makes installation the front panel plugs much easier.
A single NVIDIA SLI cable is included for 2-way multi-GPU use.