Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE ReviewRHKCommander959 -
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Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE Introduction:
ASUS has many different motherboards with various styles to fit different market segments. There are many types of users out there: some are hardcore gamers, others looking for business class features, media, and so on. The ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe is at the highend of the P8Z77-V product stack and comes with a wealth of features that make it ideal for just about any build. It boasts more USB 3.0 and PCI Express connections than the regular, LE and LE PLUS models. For internet connectivity there is dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and a dual band Wi-Fi implementation supported through an included add in card with a pair of antennas with magnetic bases. Wi-Fi GO! software is included for remote desktop control through smartphones, tablets, and more using either Android or Apple systems. Gestures can be used for motion controls and the device can also be used with its QWERTY keyboard and mouse. The software also includes DLNA streaming capabilities for streaming media content.
High end features such as a best in class WIndows 8 certified UEFI BIOS that offers improved usability, Smart Digi+ all digital voltage control, ASUS SSD caching, dual Gigabit LAN, Wi-Fi GO!, four SATA 6.0Gb/s ports, and three x16 PCIe 3.0 slots (although running at x8/x8/x4 when all filled) show that this board could potentially be a solid base for any and all high-end system builds from mild to wild!
The box has a sleek black look to it with white dots fading out from the center. The motherboard is based off of the Z77 chipset — socket LGA 1155 — is Windows 7 as well as Windows 8 ready, and PCIe 3.0, USB 3.0, and SATA 6.0Gb/s are all supported. The back of the box explains the features in depth and lists some of the primary specifications. A small picture shows what the motherboard looks like with the antennas and highlights some features. The P8Z77-V Deluxe potentially supports Quad-GPU SLI and CrossFireX but realistically supports Triple-GPU through three x16-length slots. Wi-Fi GO! allows the system to be controlled with smartphones or tablets. They can be used as remotes for HTPC control; both Android and Apple are supported.
The TurboV Processing Unit (TPU) plus SMART DIGI+ features give a performance boost and also make it possible to decrease power consumption. Fan Xpert 2 lets users control every aspect of the fans hooked up to the motherboard. The program can even scan each fan to learn their characteristics and then offers tailored controls. LucidLogix Virtu MVP is a Hybrid Graphics solution that supposedly boosts discrete graphics cards up to 60% beyond their original performance. Power consumption is decreased when the discrete card isn't needed by being powered down and is compatible with both NVIDIA and AMD graphic cards.
Opening the front flap reveals some features explained and shows a glimpse of the motherboard. Dual Intelligent Processors 3 with SMART DIGI+ Power Control increase efficiency. The TurboV Processing Unit boosts performance with the flip of a switch or through the AI Suite II program, which can change settings to run the CPU faster and also offers monitoring. The Energy Processing Unit is activated similarly to the TPU and offers energy usage and heat reductions by moderating power consumption. The board uses a Windows 8 Certified UEFI BIOS that can be recovered without any system components including the CPU, GPU or DRAM installed. The only requirement is a flash drive with the BIOS file and a push of the BIOS Flashback button on the I/O panel for three seconds with a power supply connected. The BIOS itself is navigable with the mouse and even supports screen capturing using the F12 key!
For connectivity there are six rear and two front USB 3.0 slots supported; these ports are much faster than USB 2.0. ASUS also employs boost technology UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) to increase transmission speed up to 170%! Network iControl allows users to prioritize network traffic and bandwidth access to applications. This can be great for streaming content, home servers, gaming, and other uses. Underneath the motherboard is all of the accessories.
Two user guides and a driver disk with case badge provide helpful software and installation information to users. It is best to get the latest software usually. Four SATA 6Gb/s cables (black with white accents) and two SATA 3Gb/s cables (solid black), an SLI cable, ASUS Q-Connectors, Wi-Fi GO! Card and two antennas, and ASUS Q-Shield I/O panel are included with the motherboard. The Dual band ( both 2.4GHz and 5GHz ) Wi-Fi GO! Card supports 802.11 a/b/g/n modes and Bluetooth v4.0/3.0 + HS. The card is held onto the motherboard with a single screw and for signal it uses two antennas that are rotatable with a magnetic base. By using this solution ASUS is able to not only ensure maximum PCIe slot availability but provide EMI shielding through the shielded I/O back plate.
The Q-Shield I/O panel is padded and requires some pressure against the motherboard to start the first screws that hold the board. The padding helps against dust and EMI, and there are no sharp “springs” or “fingers” to deal with. The Q-Connectors make installing front panel wiring a breeze by hooking the different wires into it, then plugging the whole item into the motherboard.
Time for a closer look at the motherboard!