Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE Review

RHKCommander959 - 2012-04-27 22:20:27 in Motherboards
Category: Motherboards
Reviewed by: RHKCommander959   
Reviewed on: November 15, 2012
Price: $269

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!

Closer Look:

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!

Closer Look:

The ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe is a high-end motherboard built around the Intel Z77 chipset. The board is compatible with Second (32 nm) and Third (22 nm) Generation Core Processors on socket LGA 1155. SLI and Crossfire are both supported with three x16 length slots. The top two slots are PCIe 3.0 wired x16 but run at x8/x8 with the second slot in use and the bottom runs at x4 PCIe 2.0 mode. Four x1 PCIe 2.0 slots are also provided. The motherboard is Wi-Fi capable with dual antennas and supports 802.11 a/b/g/n modes and Bluetooh v4.0/3.0 + HS. A LucidLogix Virtu MVP chipset provides Hybrid GPU technology, ASMedia provides two 6Gb/s eSATA ports and four USB 3.0 ports off the back panel. Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports are provided by Realtek and Intel.

The top of the motherboard is covered with components. The colors match nicely — black and blue are the primary colors. Four blue anodized heat sinks with one heat pipe at the center provide the cooling. There is plenty of room around the CPU socket for mounting large heat sinks or water blocks. The board layout is pretty standard. The 8-pin power connection is at the top left near the I/O panel. The 24-pin connection is to the right of the memory, nearby are two fan headers, USB 3.0 pinout for a front panel add-on, MemOK! Button, DRAM diagnostic LEDs, and TPU switch.

Two SATA 6Gb/s ports at the top, colored dark blue, are provided by the Z77 chipset while the Marvell 9128 chipset adds two more through the gray ports. Four more light blue SATA 3Gb/s ports are also provided by the Intel chipset. A double seven-segment LED display shows post codes for diagnostics. A CLR_CMOS button for resetting the BIOS settings sits near the power and reset switches and two USB 2.0 pinout locations. These switches are very handy for those running on a test bed or pushing overclocks hard! The back of the motherboard shows that all of the heat sinks are held on by screws: the lower two use sprung-screws while the top two have back plates for even contact and firmer pressure across the distance of the power circuitry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The I/O panel has four USB 2.0 ports and no PS/2 options for the keyboard and mouse. Two USB 3.0 and eSATA 6Gb/s are provided by ASMedia PCIe controllers. One HDMI and DisplayPort are powered by the onboard graphics — Second Generation processors can run two outputs at once while Third Generations can run three at once. Dual Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports are provided by Realtek and Intel. Four more USB 3.0 ports are also provided by the Intel chipset. Between the LAN ports is a BIOS recovery button that allows the board to flash the BIOS even without a CPU,GPU or memory installed. Users just need a USB drive with the BIOS file on it, and the power supply to be hooked up. Pressing the button for three seconds will then automatically flash the BIOS. This is a great feature that should save ASUS and many users from RMA due to bricked boards.

Lastly Realtek provides 8-Channel High Definition Audio through the ALC898 controller. The top two x16 slots are PCIe 3.0, the top being wired x16 and the second being x8 and both run x8/x8 when each is filled. PCIe 3.0 delivers twice the bandwidth of PCIe 2.0 with the x16 link reaching 32Gb/s. PCIe 3.0 is backwards compatible with PCI 2.0. The rest of the ports are PCIe 2.0 with the bottom x16 port wired x4 and the other four are x1. A PLX chip sits between the two PCIe 3.0 ports to provide additional PCIe lanes to support the use of additional controllers on board as well as the bottom 16x PCIe 2.0 slot for a three way CrossfireX configuration. Three way SLI is not supported.

 

 

The Realtek controllers are on the bottom left side of the board and can be seen by the little crab logo. The front panel audio sits near the power and reset buttons. A Thunderbolt EX TB_Header pinout sits to the right of the power and reset buttons. To the right of this is a CMOS reset button. Continuing to the right are two USB 2.0 headers and a double seven-segment LED display shows post codes for diagnostics. A PWM fan header sits between the USB headers and LED display. At the bottom right corner is the front panel Q-Connector pinout. Above this is the TPU controller and Nuvoton SMART FAN controller, which also monitors the hardware.

 

 

 

Two SATA 6Gb/s are provided by a Marvell PCIe 9128 controller while another two are provided by the Intel chipset, which also provides four SATA 3Gb/s ports. The Intel and Marvell solutions Support SSD Caching on the SATA 6Gb/s ports whether through Intel IRST or ASUS SSD caching. This allows the user the ability to run RAID through the PCH controlled ports with a pair of SSDs then accelerate a large single mechanical drive using using a dedicated cache drive on the Marvell controlled ports. The PLX PEX8608 chipset provides eight additional PCIe lanes to provide a three way CrossfireX solution.

 

 

At the top right of the motherboard near the 24-pin connection is the MemOK! Button and DRAM_LED diagnostic light. This button can be depressed to run the motherboard with more compatible memory settings and allow users to get into the BIOS. The TPU switch is also located here as well as another PWM fan header. Another PWM fan header sits across from the power connection near a USB 3.0 header. The maximum memory supported is 32GB of DDR3 at speeds of up to 2800MHz overclocked! The memory must be non-ECC and un-buffered. The memory slots use a latching system where the memory is inserted into the bottom and then snapped in by the top; only the top latch moves!

 

 

 

There are four PWM fan headers for the case fans and two for the CPU heat sink. The case fan headers are located behind the audio module, 24-pin power connection, and USB 2.0 headers. The 8-pin power connection is located at the top left near the USB 2.0 tower. Each of the fan headers on board, 3 pin and 4 pin, can now be controlled through ASUS Fan XpertII and through the UEFI BIOS.

 

 

In total there are four heat sinks. Two for the MOSFETs — the board has a total of 22 Phases for power output: 16-phase for the CPU, four for the iGPU, and two for the memory. There is plenty of space between the heat sinks and CPU socket; large coolers should be easy to use. The center and lower heat sinks have a nice angled knurling on their lettering. This is a growing trend that looks great in my opinion. The lower heat sink has been designed to be low profile and is also shaped to not interfere with the PCIe latches.

 

 

 

After examining the hardware there is only the software and BIOS left.

Closer Look:

ASUS usually pulls together a pretty comprehensive suite of tools for use with its motherboards. Starting with the Intel Sandy Bridge socket 1155 launch, the interface of its popular AI Suite has seen significant improvements in form, as well as function. To start, this implementation has five functional areas, as well as the CPU Auto Tuning function as a primary area. Under the Tool section is the majority of the functionality. Included here are TurboV EVO, Digi+Power Control, EPU, Fan Xpert 2, Probe II, Sensor Recorder, AI Charger+, USB Charger +, USB 3.0 Boost, Network iControl, and ASUS SSD Caching. Each of these specific tools are designed together with the rest of the suite.

The CPU Auto Tuning function is part of the TurboV Evo Tool and is part of  ASUS' one-stop-shop overclocking utility — set the level of performance you want, agree to the changes, and the system does a quick test on the hardware and restarts the computer to set and run some stability tests on the overclock. The manual settings in TurboV Evo mimic much of what is found in the BIOS, from the core and memory voltages to the bclock and core clock multiplier adjustments that when applied do not require a reboot. ASUS' AI Suite II is fully functional across the product stack and is tailored to each board's hardware capabilities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digi+ Power Control has options to improve the overclocking margins by fine tuning the load line calibration, the CPU and DRAM voltage switching frequency, the CPU and DRAM current capability, and power phase control under the Digi+ Power control. An added feature here is the inclusion of the Smart CPU Power function that sets the processor power envelope to either 35 or 45 watts.

 

 

 

ASUS EPU system delivers measurable energy savings when used to its maximum capabilities. There are three different presets to choose from with each offering a more aggressive approach to energy management. Auto, High Performance, and Max Power saving modes each work around five different aspects of power management to deliver power savings on this board that is built for users who do not worry about power consumption, but rather raw MHz and high-end gaming. CO2 emissions reduced through the use of the profiles are shown on the right hand side of the application.

 

 

Fan Xpert 2 allows the end user to build and use a specific fan profile for each of the fans attached to the system either manually or through the new tuning feature. This new implementation has the ability to tune the fan profile automatically to give the end user the best of both worlds in terms of cooling capacity and noise. Part of the tuning process includes finding the maximum and minimum fan speeds and assigning a dynamically controlled profile that fits within the usable ranges of the fan. As a small part of the AI Suite, Fan Xpert 2 is incredibly flexible in how it manages the thermal load of the chassis or CPU by the profiles assigned. Higher fan speeds would equate to improved CPU overclocking by way of lower temperatures. With a total of six 4-pin/3-Pin fan headers, this tool is especially useful in managing the airflow through the chassis or cooling solution by managing all fans attached to the headers.

 

 

The Probe II section of AI Suite is full of monitoring tools that provide the end user the ability to monitor the system from within the Windows environment with five different tools: Alert, Temperature, Fan, Preferences, and Alert Log. The first tab, Alert, allows the user to set alert levels for system voltages. The Temperature tab is where the alert levels for system temperatures are set. Under the Fan tab you have the same functionality, but with fan speed. The Preferences tab sets up how the alerts are displayed. The Alert Log shows when the alerts happened over a period of time, in log form.

 

 

 

Sensor Recorder is used to display the voltage and fan speeds over a period of time. This is in addition to the alert tracking. Voltages, Temperatures and fan speeds are all track-able items.

 

 

 

AI Charger+ and USB Charger+ are applications that allows the user to charge USB BC 1.1 compatible portable devices such as Android-based phones and tablets, Apple devices, and more up to three times faster than through a standard USB port. You can use this feature while the board is in various power states including Sleep, Hibernation or when powered off.

 

 

USB 3.0 Boost allows the user to improve the transfer speeds of attached USB devices by using several different protocols. By using an attached USB 3.0 external dock, you can see speeds close to the SATA 6Gb/s maximum transfer rates. Even USB 2.0 devices can see a boost in transfer speed using this feature. Delving further into the level of performance increases you can look for by using the USB 3.0 Boost feature, you can see the performance with and without the Turbo function enabled, using both the Intel and ASMedia controlled USB 3.0 ports. Using this functionality shows tangible gains in both read and write performance of the drive by using the USB 3.0 Boost feature. This will result in less time needed to transfer large files to and from the external drive mounted in the docking station. The left results are through the Intel controller while the right results are from the ASMedia controller and then ASMedia with Turbo.

 

 

Network iControl is a real time network bandwidth control application used to prioritize your network traffic for the most efficient use of the available bandwidth The application features a one-click bandwidth control of running programs as well as a means to schedule program usage for optimized bandwidth.  

 

 

Under the Update radio button, you can update the BIOS and change the boot logo that is currently displayed by the BIOS or in another saved BIOS. USB BIOS Flashback is a tool much like most of the AI Suite II utility that allows the user to back up the BIOS and then flash the backed up or downloaded BIOS to the motherboard. This can be accomplished with or without the CPU and DRAM installed. An almost foolproof means to recover the BIOS from a hard crash or bad flash.

 

 

Last are the System Information and Settings tabs. The System Information tab has three separate windows that list the Motherboard information, CPU information, and the DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) settings of the installed modules. The Settings tab allows the end user to pick what items are shown on the AI Suite tool bar under "Application," while the actual configuration of the tool bar is managed under the "Bar" tab.

 

 

 

As a utility, AI Suite II is one of if not the best on the market in terms a flow and function, without the glitches that hamper the user experience on other boards.

Closer Look:

Wi-Fi GO! is provided with the motherboard. This software is designed to allow the system to be used for streaming media and home cloud environments. The desktop can be controlled remotely and cellphones, tablets, and other devices can be used for remote keyboard/mouse capabilities. The devices can be moved for quick “Smart Motion Control.” File transfer is possible; this program makes the system a convenient DIY home server or HTPC. Under Wi-Fi Engine the Internet connection settings can be set up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wi-Fi GO! DLNA Media Hub allows music, movies, and photos to be shared wirelessly! The Remote Desktop feature has two different modes for streaming the desktop view; these can be chosen or left on Auto. Cell phones and tablets can be used for the Remote Keyboard and Mouse functionality. The movements of the smart device can be customized to do different controls such as skipping media.

 

 

File Transfer allows files to be sent and received between the desktop and mobile device(s). Each has a custom folder for reception. The board is capable of both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections.

 

 

 

ASUS WebStorage is a "cloud" storage tool that allows the end user to back up, retrieve, and sync data from many different types of devices. 2GB of cloud storage is included for free with this service. In this increasingly mobile world, having access to your files from anywhere means that showing off a treasured picture or listening to your music is just a connection away.

 

 

 

Disk Unlocker is a tool that is used to enable the space above 2048GB on drives larger than 2TB. By using this feature you can use the space above the 2TB limit in Windows. This tool is simple to use and does not require using a GPT format on the drive although that is an option for Win7-based systems using a BIOS that supports drives larger than 2.2TB.

 

ASUS Boot Setting: is a utility that will allow you to boot directly into the UEFI BIOS rather than having to hit the delete key repeatedly and hope you did not miss the opportunity.

 

ASUS has provided many different and powerful tools that should boost the productivity of any user who puts them to work!

Closer Look:

ASUS started using its UEFI BIOS implementation back with the introduction of the P67 chipset socket 1155 motherboard offerings. With each successive chipset the BIOS has become more fluid and feature rich. ASUS' interface is tweaked to add and subtract settings as needed in the BIOS based on the features of the board. A perfect example would be with the ROG offerings where the memory settings are in another league by comparison to the featue rich implementation on the P8Z77 WS. Under the skin is an upgrade to what ASUS has given the end user in the past. For instance, there is a "shorcut" menu to quickly access commonly used functions or areas without having to search the BIOS for them by pressing the F3 key. There is an EZ Mode and an Advanced Mode to accommodate any and all users from the, dare I say it, noob to the extreme overclocker looking for that last MHz.

There is a single 64MB Flash ROMs on board. ASUS offers BIOS Flash protection via its Crash Free BIOS 3, USB BIOS Flashback so that the BIOS can be flashed without a CPU,GPU  or DRAM being installed in the system, 2.2TB+ HDD support, and GPT Boot. Overclocking recovery via CPR (CPU Parameter Recall) makes a failed boot a one-time occurrence. ASUS has a screenshot feature called BIOS Print to allow screenshots of the BIOS to be saved to a flash drive by pushing the F12 key and saving the image to a flash drive; a useful feature for sharing settings with community members or when reaching out for technical support.

When you look at the UEFI BIOS as a whole ASUS has all the tools to allow the end user the ability to run at both stock and overclocked no matter the position in the product stack. To that end ASUS has gained full Windows 8 certification and has CAP UEFI format BIOS's optimized for Win 8. Let's look through this version to see what it offers. The Interface is similar across the P8Z77 product stack with subtle changes due to the feature set on each board.

 

EZ and Advanced Mode:

The EZ Mode allows the user to make a limited amount of changes and is more to illustrate the time, date, and the installed hardware configuration. Advanced Mode opens up the entire BIOS to allow the the user to take advantage of all the BIOS has to offer with access to every setting and feature allowed in the BIOS. Advanced Mode consists of six sub-menus to take advantage of the installed hardware.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Main:

This section is sparse by comparison to many sections of ASUS' UEFI BIOS. In this section, you'll be able to access the time, date, BIOS revision, CPU information, amount of installed memory, system language, and security features, such as admin passwords.

 

Advanced Mode: AI Tweaker:

This section of the BIOS contains the settings used to adjust CPU and memory frequencies, timings, and the voltages needed to run the system. Up top is the option to overclock the system with AI Overclock tool, which sets a specific set of parameters to boot at enhanced clock speeds. The OC Tuner tool is much like what we have in the AI Suite tools. Voltage adjustments are granular enough that the user does not have to apply much more voltage than is needed to reach the clock speed goals due to the efficiency of the board and the LLC implementation. The DRAM timing section is almost as complex as what you might see in an ROG offering in that it has enough options to allow for some spirited overclocking while still allowing the novice the ability to learn on the job.

 

 

 

Advanced:

Under this tab, one can set the CPU configuration parameters, such as the bclock multiplier, enable Turbo Boost and Intel Speed step, C-states, SATA, USB, and have the ability to enable or disable the onboard device functionality. Under the SATA configuration, you can set the connection type for disk drives to AHCI, RAID or IDE, and turn on or off the hot swap feature. Under the USB sub-menu is the ability to configure how the USB interface is managed. Last but not least, the onboard device configuration allows the user to enable or disable the sound, USB 3.0, LAN, and Boot Rom, as well as the USB 3.0 controllers. Under the System agent tab is where you would set up the graphics configuration including where you would setup the ability to run an Hybrid graphics configuration.

 

 

 

 

 

Monitor:

Under this tab is the monitoring functionality for the board. The voltages, fan speeds, and temperatures can be checked and verified against the set parameters. Q-Fan control can be enabled or disabled. When enabled it allows the user to manually configure the fan duty cycle of the fans attached to the PWM controlled headers. Using Fan Expert 2 in ASUS' AI Suite II is an attractive alternative option on this board as it learns what speeds your installed fans' low and high limits are to dynamically manage the thermals inside the chassis.

 

 

Boot:

The Boot menu is where you set the sequence that the drives are polled for bootable media. The primary drive can be identified when more than one is installed. The full screen logo can be enabled or disabled at POST, Wait for F1 if Errors can be enabled or disabled, the length of time the POST report shows can be altered, and the setup mode that the BIOS will open into can be set to EZ or Advanced.

 

 

Tool:

This section is one that is quite useful for the enthusiast. ASUS' EZ Flash 2 utility is hands down one of the easiest ways to flash a BIOS. It has been imitated, but not duplicated. Search for the BIOS file on any installed media, choose the BIOS file, choose to flash the BIOS, and the process is automated from that point on. SPD Information shows the SPD profile on the memory DIMMs. Under ASUS OC Profile, the end user can save up to eight distinct profiles. BIOS Flashback is used to force the system to boot from either of the BIOS chips or copy the data from one to the other. Drive Expert is a utility that allows the user to choose from three different settings to maximize drive performance and usage.

 

 

 

Exit:

The Exit tab at the top right allows you to load optimized or safe default settings, save or discard changes made to the BIOS settings, launch the BIOS in EZ or Advanced mode, or launch the EFI shell.

 

ASUS' BIOS implementations just continues to get better with each successive generation and are easily the best implementation out so far. All the options are spread out in areas that make sense allowing the user to drill down as needed. The shortcut feature accessed by pushing F3 from the BIOS screen allows for quick and easy access to the most used feature sets in the UEFI BIOS.

Specifications:

CPU
Intel® Socket 1155 for 3rd/2nd Generation Core i7/i5/i3/Pentium/Celeron 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 2800(O.C.)/2600(O.C.)/2400(O.C.)/2200(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1800(O.C.)/1600/1333/1066 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered 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
Multi-VGA output support : HDMI/DisplayPort ports
- Supports HDMI with max. resolution 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
- Supports DisplayPort with max. resolution 2560 x 1600 @ 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
Expansion Slots
2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode, black)
4 x PCIe 2.0 x1
Storage
Intel® Z77 chipset :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
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® 82579V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
Realtek® 8111F, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
Dual Gigabit LAN controllers- 802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) appliance
Intel® LAN- Dual interconnect between the Integrated LAN controller and Physical Layer (PHY)
Wireless Data Network
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Supports dual band frequency 2.4/5 GHz
Bluetooth
Bluetooth V4.0
Bluetooth V3.0+HS
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 :
4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, blue)
Intel® Z77 chipset :
4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
Intel® Z77 chipset :
8 x USB 2.0 port(s) (4 at back panel, black, 4 at mid-board)
Overclocking Features
Overclocking Protection :
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
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 TPU :

  • Auto Tuning
  • TurboV
  • GPU Boost
  • 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 Wi-Fi GO!

  • Wi-Fi GO! Function: DLNA Media Hub, Smart Motion Control, Remote Desktop, Remote Keyboard & Mouse, File Transfer, Capture & Send
  • Wi-Fi GO! Remote for portable Smartphone/Tablet, supporting iOS & Android systems
  • Wi-Fi Engine for network sharing and connection: Client Mode, AP Mode

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-Shield
  • 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 DisplayPort
1 x HDMI
2 x eSATA 6Gb/s
2 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
6 x USB 3.0
4 x USB 2.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
6 x Audio jack(s)
1 x Bluetooth V4.0 connector(s) for ASUS Wi-Fi GO! card
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)
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
4 x SATA 3Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s)
4 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
1 x Optional Fan connector(s)
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 Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel(s)
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
ASUS Q-Shield
2 x SATA 3Gb/s cable(s)
4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x SLI bridge(s)
1 x Q-connector(s) (2 in 1)
1 x ASUS Wi-Fi GO! card(s)
2 x Wi-Fi Ring Moving Antenna(s)
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:

 

All information courtesy of ASUS @ http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z77V_DELUXE/

Testing:

Testing this latest Z77-based board from ASUS will involve running the P8Z77-V DELUXE through OCC's test suite of benchmarks, which includes both synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications, to see how each of these products perform. The gaming tests will also consist of both synthetic benchmarks and actual gameplay, in which we can see if similarly prepared setups offer any performance advantages. The system will receive a fully updated, fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition, in addition to the latest drivers for each board and the AMD 12.8 Catalyst drivers for the XFX HD 7970. To ensure as few variables as possible, all hardware will be tested at their stock speeds, timings, voltages, and latencies – unless otherwise stated. Turbo Boost is disabled to make a fair comparison without skewing results.

 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Boards:

 

Overclocking:

When you make a comparison of how well a board overclocks you can look at variances in the quality of the silicon and what each CPU will bring to the table. Each board will deliver an overclock that is slightly different from board to board and CPU to CPU. Some do better with bumping the multiplier only up as high as it will go while others benefit more from tweaking the bclock as well as the mulitplier. Different strokes for different folks as it were. The CPU used in this test has a maximum stable clock speed of right at 4.7GHz, this being known up front means I needed to work between the multiplier and bclock to wring the most performance out of this combination. Overclocking on the P8Z77-V Deluxe can be accomplished in several ways. You have preset options in the BIOS, manual tweaking of the BIOS, and using ASUS AI Suite II TurboV Evo utility. Each has its pros and cons. Manually tweaking the BIOS will yield the highest overclocks but takes the most time to reach the highest clock speeds. In the past TurboV Evo had been a little conservative when it came to overclocking the CPU as it took a good, safe clock speed and made it work. At this point in its development it has become more aggressive as the hardware is now more capable with most socket 1155 Core Series K SKU chips able to get to 4.5GHz without a lot of tuning. Using this tool I was able to get a fully stable 1.0+GHz overclock right up to 4.51GHz (105MHz x 43) or 600MHz over Intel's Turbo Boosted 3.9GHz.

Manually tuning the bclock, voltages and memory speeds resulted in a bclock of almost 107MHz using the 44x multiplier for a final speed of 4.6998GHz on the CPU and 2279MHz on the 16GB of system memory. Adjustments were made to the vcore 1.320v, 1.66v on the DDR3 memory, 1.05v for the memory controller and 1.81 for the CPU PLL voltage. Load line calibration was set to high and kept the vcore right where it was set during testing. Other than setting the memory primary timings the balance of the settings were left at auto. One area that is always a concern is overclocking recovery. On this board the overclocking recovery is as good as it gets and follows each of the boards from ASUS that OCC has tested with just a power down and restart required to get back into the BIOS with the last settings used still in place allowing you to change just a few parameters or go back to known good settings using the OC Profiles.

 

 

Maximum Overclock:

Each CPU and motherboard has been tested for stability at the clock speeds listed when in an overclocked state. These clock speeds will be used to run the test suite and will show the performance increase over the stock settings in the overclocked scoring.

 

Benchmarks:

Scientific & Data:

  1. PCMark 7
  2. HD Tune 5.0
  3. AIDA64 2.50
  4. Sandra 2012 SP6
  5. x264
  6. HandBrake 9.8
  7. ProShow Gold
  8. ATTO 2.47

Video:

  1. DiRT 3
  2. Battlefield 3
  3. 3DMark 11



 

Testing:

PCMark 7 is the latest iteration of Futuremark's popular PCMark system performance tool. This version is designed for use on Windows 7 PCs and features a combination of 25 different workloads to accurately measure the performance of all PCs from laptops to desktops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

 

  

  

 

  

  

 

 

For PCMark 7 the biggest differences were under Computation. The ASRock motherboards were the low scorers in this area. Everything else scored extremely similar to each other in all categories.

Testing:

HD Tune measures disk performance to make comparisons between drives or disk controllers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

  

  

 

 

AIDA64 Extreme Edition is a software utility designed to be used for hardware diagnosis and benchmarking. I will be using the CPU Queen test that looks for the solution for the "Queens" problem on a 10x10 chessboard. This tests the branch-prediction capabilities of the processor. The FPU Mandel test measures double precision floating point performance through computation of several frames of the "Mandelbrot" fractal.

 

  

  

  

  

 

Burst Speed with HD Tune has the DELUXE motherboard scoring in the top two. Oddly overclocking dropped the speed for all boards except the ASRock Formula. In all other categories the DELUXE had some of the best scores.

Testing:

SiSoft Sandra is a diagnostic utility and synthetic benchmarking program. Sandra allows you to view your hardware at a higher level to be more helpful. For this benchmark, I will be running a broad spectrum of tests to gauge the performance of key functions of the CPUs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall Score

  

 

X.264 Benchmark: This benchmark is used to measure the time it takes to encode a 1080p video file into the x264 format. The default benchmark is used with an average of all four tests on each pass taken as the result.

  

  

 

 

 

HandBrake 9.5 is an open source application used to transcode multiple video formats to an h.264 output format. The test file size is a 4GB full length movie that is reduced in size to a 1.5GB file.

  

  

 

 

With SiSoft both ASUS boards scored lower. With X.264 the scores are pretty close with the DELUXE coming in second. HandBrake also had the board doing very good.

Testing:

Moving data to and from an external device is something we all do as a means of backing up sensitive data whether it is family pictures, movies, music, or projects. The speed with which this transfer occurs is measurable and can improve with different board partner specific tools. I will be using ATTO version 2.47 to measure an external drives read/write performance through the USB 3.0 interface. The default test algorithm is used for this test. Motherboards that support a boost to the USB spec such as USB 3.0 Boost on the ASUS offering and XFast USB on the Asrock will be used as they show the maximum potential speeds.

ATTO:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

  

  

 

As size increases the DELUXE picks up speed! Overall it is average on the lower sizes. The 4K tests with ASRock are amazing.

Testing:

3DMark 11 is the next installment for Futuremark in the 3DMark series, with Vantage as its predecessor. 3DMark 11 was designed solely for DirectX 11, so Windows Vista or 7 are required alongside a DirectX 11 graphics card in order to run this test. The Basic Edition gives unlimited free tests on performance mode, whereas Vantage only allows for a single test run. The Advanced Edition costs $19.95 and unlocks nearly all features of the benchmark, while the Professional Edition runs for $995.00 and is mainly suited for corporate use. The new benchmark contains six tests, four of which are aimed only at graphical testing – one that tests physics handling and one that combines graphics and physics testing together. The open source Bullet Physics Library is used for physics simulations and although not as mainstream as Havok or PhysX, it still remains a popular choice.

The new benchmark comes with two new demos that can be watched; both of which are based on the tests, but unlike the tests, contain basic audio. The first demo is titled "Deep Sea" and involves a number of vessels exploring what looks to be a sunken U-Boat. The second demo is titled "High Temple" and displays a location similar to South American tribal ruins, with statues and the occasional vehicle. The demos are simple in that they have no story, but really demonstrate testing conditions. The vehicles have the logos of the sponsors, MSI and Antec, on the sides, helping to make the Basic Edition free. The four graphics tests are slight variants of the demos. I will use the three benchmark test preset levels to find the performance of each card. The presets are used because they are comparable to what can be run with the free version, so results can be compared across more than just a custom set of test parameters.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DiRT 3 is the third iteration of this series. Published and developed by Codemasters, this game uses the EGO 2.0 game engine and was released in the US on PC in May of 2011.

Settings

 

 

 

Battlefield 3 is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts. Battlefield 3 uses the Frostbyte 2 game engine and is the direct successor to Battlefield 2. Released in North America on October 25, 2011, the game supports DirectX 10 and 11.

Settings

 

 

 

All of the gaming scores are very close. The hardware except motherboards are identical so it is not really a surprise that the scores are similar. In 3DMark 11 the board averages second place. On the games it is below the average but still all scores were very close together!

Conclusion:

OK let's start with the obvious here. Performance wise the delta's between all of the boards in this comparison are going to be pretty slim for the most part. Intel's socket 1155 Second and Third Generation Core series processors with their integrated memory controller and core overclocking consistency have made it so that just about any board will give you a decent overclock and deliver comparable performance when you pop the same parts into it. To look at this even closer to home ASUS builds its boards to deliver the same overclocking experience in its Z77-based product stack from the lower end all the way up to the ROG Maximus V Extreme. Where the differences occur is in the feature set each board is equipped with so that just about every price point from the bottom to the top is covered. Kind of a modular approach when you look at it.

When you look at how the P8Z77-V Deluxe is appointed it's clear to see that this board is at the upper end of the product stack as the Deluxe name suggests. Standard features include ASUS Dual Intelligent Processor 3 Smart Digi+ all digital voltage controls that manages current to the CPU, IGP, and DRAM with the ability to drop CPU wattage by 50%. USB BIOS Flashback that allows the user to flash the BIOS as long as there is power to the motherboard even if the CPU and DRAM are not installed. ASUS SSD Caching is far easier to setup than using Intel's utility without having to reload the OS, USB 3.0 Boost for improved transfer rates to an external drive, Mem OK, USB Charger+ and Network iControl to manage network traffic and a flawless UEFI BIOS.

Quad GPU support is available when running a pair of dual GPU cards such as the GTX 690 or the HD 7990 that takes advantage of the PCIe 3.0 bandwidth for the ultimate gaming rig. The big bucket for this board is the inclusion of WiFi GO!; a dual bandwidth wireless WiFi/Bluetooth solution that expands the usefulness of the PC. With this solution you can share your LAN connection with all of the wireless devices we use everyday such as tablets, notebooks, and smartphones, transfer files between devices and work as a wireless media center to stream to DLNA devices.

While not a point of difference between boards in its product stack, ASUS' UEFI BIOS is hard to beat for its functionality and stability. As the first to bring UEFI to the forefront, many of its features are imitated but not executed nearly as well. ASUS AI Suite II Utility is packed full of value added tools that improve the user experience as well as improve system performance. USB 3.0 Boost improves data throughput to an external device, TurboV Evo delivers outstanding system performance tuning. Fan Expert 2 offers unparallelled fan control and so much more.

Overclocking on this board is no different than on any other ASUS Z77 socket 1155 motherboard. And that's a good thing as you see the consistency from one board to the next. Of course ASUS ROG boards are going to have a deeper dive into the performance tuning sections but still you can tweak just as much on this board for the enthusiast not looking for an ROG feature set. At 4.7GHz, the P8Z77-V Deluxe delivers all my CPU can deliver with the cooling used. When I went too far out of line the P8Z77-V Deluxe was just a power cycle away from a clean shot into the BIOS. TurboV Evo delivers a solid Prime 95 stable 1.0GHz boost in clock speed by letting the tool do all the overclocking work. Sweet and simple!

At $269 the P8Z77-V Deluxe sits midway between the $124 P8Z77-M and the $449 P8Z77-V Premium. For the price you get a full feature set that is appealing to just about everyone. Its got a great layout with traditional ASUS good looks and overclocks with the best boards on the market. Any which way you look at it ASUS has another impressive piece of hardware.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: