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Asus P8Z77 WS Review

ccokeman    -   October 18, 2012
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Specifications:

CPU
Intel® Socket 1155 for 3rd/2nd Generation Processors
Supports Intel® 22 nm CPU
Supports Intel® 32 nm CPU
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2
The Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 support depends on the CPU types
Refer to www.asus.com for CPU support list
Chipset
Intel® Z77
Memory
4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 MHz Memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs.
Refer to www.asus.com or user manual for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).
Graphic
Integrated Graphics Processor
VGA output support : DVI port
- Supports DVI with max. resolution 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
Supports Intel® HD Graphics, InTru™ 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology, Insider™
Multi-GPU Support               
 
Supports NVIDIA® 4-Way SLI™ Technology
Supports AMD 4-Way CrossFireX Technology
Supports LucidLogix® Virtu™ MVP Technology *1
Expansion Slots
4 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (dual x16 or x16/x8/x8 or quad x8) *2
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1
Storage
Intel® Z77 chipset :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), white
4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), blue
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Supports Intel® Smart Response Technology, Intel® Rapid Start Technology, Intel® Smart Connect Technology
Marvell® PCIe 9128 controller :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), navy blue
Support Raid 0, 1
ASMedia® PCIe SATA controller :
2 x eSATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
LAN
Intel® 82574L, 2 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
Audio
Realtek® ALC898 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature :
Absolute Pitch 192kHz/ 24-bit True BD Lossless Sound
Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection
DTS Ultra PC II
DTS Connect
Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
USB Ports
ASMedia® USB 3.0 controller : *5
2 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue)
Intel® Z77 chipset : *5
4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
Intel® Z77 chipset :
9 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, , 5 at mid-board)
Workstation Feature
4 x PCIe x 16 slot(s)
Quick Gate: 1 x vertical USB 2.0 on board
ASUS SASsaby series Cards support
ASUS WS Diag. LED
ASUS WS 3-color LED
Special Features
                ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 3 - SMART DIGI+ Power Control :
SMART DIGI+ :
Smart DIGI+ Key- quickly delivers higher VRM frequency, voltage and current for superior CPU/iGPU/DRAM overclocking performance with one switch.
Smart CPU Power Level (Intel® VRD 12.5 Future Power Design)- provides the best digital power saving conditions.
ASUS Hybrid Processor - TPU :
Auto Tuning
TurboV
TPU switch
ASUS EPU :
EPU
EPU switch
ASUS Digital Power Design :
Industry leading Digital 20 Phase Power Design
(16 -phase for CPU, 4 -phase for iGPU)
Industry leading Digital 2 Phase DRAM Power Design
CPU Power Utility
DRAM Power Utility
ASUS Exclusive Features :
USB BIOS Flashback
MemOK!
AI Suite II
Ai Charger+
USB Charger+
Anti-Surge
ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode featuring friendly graphics user interface
ASUS SSD Caching
Network iControl
USB 3.0 Boost
Disk Unlocker
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution :
Stylish Fanless Design Heat-pipe solution
ASUS Fan Xpert 2
ASUS EZ DIY :
ASUS O.C. Tuner
ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
ASUS EZ Flash 2
ASUS Q-Design :
ASUS Q-Code
ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED)
ASUS Q-Slot
ASUS Q-DIMM
ASUS Q-Connector
Back I/O Ports
1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
1 x DVI-I
2 x eSATA 6Gb/s
2 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
4 x USB 3.0
4 x USB 2.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
6 x Audio jack(s)
1 x USB BIOS Flashback Button(s)
Internal I/O Ports
1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s) (19-pin)
2 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 4 USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x Vertical USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x TPM connector(s)
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
4 x SATA 3Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (4 -pin)
4 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (4 -pin)
1 x Optional Fan connector(s) (4 -pin)
1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x 4-pin EZ_PLUG Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel(s) (Q-Connector)
1 x MemOK! button(s)
1 x TPU switch(es)
1 x EPU switch(es)
1 x Power-on button(s)
1 x Reset button(s)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
Accessories
User's manual
I/O Shield
2 x SATA 3Gb/s cable(s)
4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x 3-Way SLI bridge(s)
1 x 4-Way SLI bridge(s)
1 x SLI bridge(s)
1 x Q-connector(s) (2 in 1)
BIOS
64 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.5, ACPI 2.0a, Multi-language BIOS,
ASUS EZ Flash 2, ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3, F12 PrintScreen, F3 Shortcut Function and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information
Manageability
WfM 2.0, DMI 2.0, WOL by PME, PXE
Support Disc
Drivers
ASUS Utilities
ASUS Update
Anti-virus software (OEM version)
Form Factor
ATX Form Factor
12 inch x 9.6 inch ( 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm )

Features:

  • Best performance for Gen3 4-Way CrossFireX™ and Geforce® SLI™:  The Best Graphics Performance You've Ever Experienced Based on extensive benchmarking, the Gen3 4-Way CrossFireX™ offered by the P8Z77 WS works up to 50% faster than standard Gen2 4-Way CorssFireX™, giving professional and power users more graphics performance on demand. Using PCI Express 3.0 x16 links, the four GPUs can reach their full potential, perfect for both intense gaming and commercial uses such as mechanical and architectural design, interior design, aeronautics, plus audio and video production.
  • Built-in Dual Intel Server-Class Gigabit LAN: Extreme throughput capability and lowest CPU utilization For more reliable networking, the P8Z77 WS features built-in dual server class Intel® Gigabit LAN. This leads to lower 71% CPU utilization , increasing throughput to achieve outstanding performance as well as better support for diverse operating systems.
  • WS 3-color LED: Instant O.C Status Checking with 3-color LED At a glance workstation overclocking status with easy to understand color coding. Red means overclocked, blue means normal, while green denotes power saving mode. This is an essential and convenient tool to let users know more about overclocking conditions without entering the BIOS.
  • Server-level Compatibility:  Server-level Compatibility with RAID card and Lan card The P8Z77 WS provides complete compatibility with RAID and LAN cards.Users enjoy a wider selection of devices and higher reliability. As a workstation motherboard that puts an emphasis on system integration, the P8Z77 WS offers the benefit of greater confidence and convenience.
  • LucidLogix Virtu MVP:  Up to 60% Hybrid Graphics Boost and 3X Faster Video Conversion LucidLogix Virtu MVP featuring HyperFormance™ Technology boosts your discrete graphics card up to 60% beyond its original performance through the test of 3DMark Vantage. Designed for Intel® processor graphics and Windows® 7 PCs, it perfectly combines the performance of discrete graphics cards with fast computing iGPU. Also with the newly designed Virtual Sync, users can enjoy a smoother gaming experience by eliminating tearing artifacts. LucidLogix Virtu MVP could also dynamically assign tasks to the best available graphics resource, based on power, performance and system load. This allows users to fully utilize 3x faster video conversion with Intel® Quick Sync Video technology while retaining high-end 3D rendering and gaming performance, provided by both NVIDIA® and AMD graphic cards. When the discrete graphics card is not required, power consumption goes automatically down to near zero, making the system more environmentally-friendly. For users searching for perfection, LucidLogix Virtu MVP provides great graphical performance and the best flexibility and efficiency. * LucidLogix® Virtu Universal MVP™ supports Windows® 7 operating system. ** Intel® Quick Sync Video feature is supported by 3rd/2nd generation Intel® Core™ processor family.
  • PCIe 3.0 Ready: PCI Express® 3.0 (PCIe 3.0) is the latest PCI Express bus standard with improved encoding schemes that provide twice the performance of current PCIe 2.0. Total bandwidth for a x16 link reaches a maximum of 32GB/s, double the 16GB/s of PCIe 2.0 (in x16 mode). As such, PCIe 3.0 provides users unprecedented data speeds, combined with the convenience and seamless transition offered by complete backward compatibility with PCIe 1.0 and PCIe 2.0 devices. PCIe 3.0 will become a must-have feature for users who wish to improve and optimize graphic performance, as well as have the latest technology available to them. * PCIe 3.0 speed is supported by Intel® 3rd generation Core™ processors.
  • TPU with SMART DIGI+: TPU with the All-New SMART DIGI+ for a Blazing Performance Boost Always at the forefront of power design, ASUS propels you into the future standard of power management again by SMART DIGI+ Technology, which works with the TPU (TurboV Processing Unit) to ramps up performance to its maximum. Adjust CPU ratios manually in the TPU and enable the all-new SMART DIGI+ Key with a single click to see substantial increases in CPU frequency.
  • CPU Wattage Requirements Cut in Half!: SMART DIGI+ Technology also includes the Smart CPU Power Level profile, which reduces CPU power consumption to a specific indicated wattage with a single click, creating a cooler and quieter PC. With next generation Intel® VRD 12.5 future power technology, ASUS once again leaps to the future of innovation.
  • ASUS SSD Caching: 3X Faster Performance at a Click SSD Caching from ASUS is easier than ever. At 3X faster, this feature boosts system performance by using an installed SSD with no capacity limitations as a cache for frequently accessed data. Harness a combination of SSD-like performance and response and hard drive capacity with just one click, no rebooting needed and instant activation for complete ease of use, and even prevent data loss with included backup functionality.
  • USB 3.0 Boost:  Faster USB 3.0 Transmission with UASP ASUS USB 3.0 Boost technology supports UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol), the latest USB 3.0 standard. With USB 3.0 Boost technology, a USB device's transmission speed is significantly increased up to 170%, adding to an already impressive fast USB 3.0 transfer speed. ASUS software automatically accelerates data speeds for compatible USB 3.0 peripherals without the need for any user interaction.    World’s 1st USB 3.0 UASP Support – 170% faster instantly, Complete USB 3.0 Solution – Performance boost for most USB devices, Simple Plug & Boost – Auto detection design ensures best performance always.
  • Fan Xpert 2:  Optimizes the Speed of All Fans for the Ultimate Cool and Quiet Hardware-level ASUS Fan Xpert 2 provides the most customizable settings for an even cooler and quieter computing environment. Upgraded with Fan Auto Tuning mode, it enables tailored fan speed settings for each CPU and chassis fan with exclusive automatic fan speed detection, which scans through each fan to run at specific settings based on different criteria, acheiving the best balance of cooling performance and low noise. Fan Xpert 2 also includes an RPM Fixed Mode for users who wish to reduce noise levels to near 0dB with highly specific fan speed control. It reacts to system loads for greater control.
  • USB BIOS Flashback: Simple Plug & Press - Hardware-based BIOS Flashback, A truly revolutionary hardware-based update solution. USB BIOS Flashback offers the most convenient way ever to update the BIOS! It allows users to update new UEFI BIOS versions even without hardware such as a CPU or DRAM installed into the motherboard. Just plug in a USB flash drive containing the BIOS file, and press the BIOS Flashback button for 3 seconds with the power supply connected. The UEFI BIOS will then automatically update without requiring further interaction. With its new, complementary Windows application, users can regularly check for UEFI BIOS updates and download the latest BIOS automatically. Hassle-free updating for the ultimate convenience!
  • Network iControl: Real-time Network Bandwidth Control With a single-click on/off button, the application currently in use has its data and network bandwidth prioritized over other programs. Moreover, you can prioritize your favorite software easily by configuring profiles through the intuitive user interface. Within the profile, programs can be pre-scheduled to run in a specific time period to avoid network congestion and long-waits on downloads. Auto PPPoE network connection provides a one-step setup for enhanced online convenience. Overall, it's an intuitive network bandwidth control center.
  • UEFI BIOS: ASUS UEFI BIOS offers the first mouse-controlled graphical BIOS designed with selectable modes, providing a user-friendly interface that goes beyond traditional keyboard-only controls. It also natively supports fully-utilized hard drives larger than 2.2TB in 64-bit operating systems.  ASUS Exclusive Interface EZ Mode displays frequently-accessed info. Users can choose system performance settings and drag and drop boot priorities. Advanced Mode for performance enthusiasts includes detailed DRAM settings via a dedicated memory info page for complete insight. New Upgrade! Quick and Easy Info for Enhanced System Control , F12 BIOS snapshot hotkey for sharing UEFI setup info and troubleshooting,    New F3 Shortcut for most accessed info
  • ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) Information for accessing memory info, detecting faulty DIMMs and helping with difficult POST situations
  • ASUS Crystal Sound, DTS Connect: Expand Your PC Audio Experience To get the most out of your audio entertainment across all formats and quality levels, DTS Connect combines two enabling technologies. DTS Neo:PC™ upmixes stereo sources (CDs, MP3s, WMAs, internet radio) into as many as 7.1 channels of incredible surround sound. Consumers can then connect their PC to a home theater system.DTS Interactive is capable of performing multi-channel encoding of DTS bitstreams on personal computers, and sending encoded bitstreams out of a digital audio connection (such as S/PDIF or HDMI) designed to deliver audio to an external decoder.
  • DTS UltraPC II: DTS UltraPC II delivers exceptional 7.1 surround through the most popular PC audio setups - your existing stereo speakers or headphones. In addition to virtual surround, it upgrades original sound to new levels with Audio Restoration, recreating the dynamic range of audio files. Symmetry mode improves the balance of perceived loudness across different input sources and Enhance boosts audio quality through high and low frequency equalization. With these technologies, users experience better home theater audio with ease.
  • LGA1155 Intel® 3rd/2nd Generation Processors Ready:  This motherboard supports Intel® 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor-based platform and 2nd generation Core™ i7/i5/i3/Pentium®/Celeron® processors, with iGPU, memory and PCI Express controllers integrated to support onboard graphics output with dedicated chipsets, 2-channel (4 DIMM) DDR3 memory and 16 PCI Express 3.0/2.0 lanes. This provides great graphics performance. Intel® 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor-based platform and 2nd generation Core™ i7/i5/i3/Pentium®/Celeron® processors are among the most powerful and energy efficient CPUs in the world.
  • Intel® Z77 Express Chipset: The Intel® Z77 Express Chipset is a single-chipset design to support socket 1155 Intel® 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor-based platform and 2nd generation Core™ i7/i5/i3/Pentium®/Celeron® processors. It provides improved performance by utilizing serial point-to-point links, allowing increased bandwidth and stability. Additionally, Z77 chipset provides 4 USB 3.0 ports for 10 times faster data retrieval speed. Moreover, Intel® Z77 Express Chipset can also enable iGPU function, letting users enjoy the latest Intel® integrated graphic performance.
  • 4-Way Geforce® SLI™ and CorssFireX™ Support: Flexible Multi-GPU solutions, Your Weapon of Choice! The motherboard’s powerful Intel® Z77 platform optimizes PCIe allocation in multiple-GPU configurations of either SLI™ or CrossFireX™ . This allows you to enjoy a never before-experienced brand new gaming style.



 

All information courtesy of ASUS @ http://usa.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z77_WS/




  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look: Continued
  3. Closer Look: Programs & Utilities
  4. Closer Look: Programs & Utilities Continued
  5. Closer Look: The BIOS
  6. Specifications & Features
  7. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  8. Testing: PCMark 7
  9. Testing: HD Tune, AIDA 64
  10. Testing: Sisoft Sandra, x.264, Handbrake
  11. Testing: USB 3.0
  12. Testing: Gaming
  13. Conclusion
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