Z77 Motherboard Round-Up: MSI, ASUS, Gigabyte, Intel
Asus P8PZ77-V Deluxe
Next up, we have the Asus P8Z77-V Deluxe. The P8Z77-V Deluxe is one of the most feature laden motherboards in this round-up, in terms of both its hardware and software.
In addition to exploiting all of the features inherent to the Z77 Express chipset, the P8Z77-V Deluxe offers additional USB 3.0 support by way of discrete ASMedia controllers, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, additional SATA 6Gbps ports, and what Asus calls its “Dual Intelligent Processors 3”. The Dual Intelligent Processors consist of Asus’ EPU unit, which we’ve covered in the past, and the TurboV processing unit. The processors work together with the P8Z77-V Deluxe’s programmable digital VRM (DIGI+ VRM) and give users the ability to monitor and adjust power delivery. According to Asus, the combination of the programmable digital VRM and Dual Intelligent Processors 3 results in superior power efficiency and longevity.
Along with the aforementioned items, the P8Z77-V Deluxe is also outfitted with a PLX PCI Express switch, which give the board to the ability to have all of its expansion slots enabled with full bandwidth at all times, regardless of the CPU installed (some of the boards require an Ivy Bridge CPU to enable the last PCIe slot). And the P8Z77-V Deluxe is Thunderbolt-ready as well. There is a header on the board which will accept a Thunderbolt expansion card, which will be released in a few weeks.
The P8Z77-V Deluxe has a couple of other interesting features as well. For example, you can flash this board’s BIOS even if there is no CPU or memory installed via its “USB BIOS Flashback” feature. It also support the USB Attached SCSI Protocol, which can be enabled via Asus’ AI Suite software, to boost USB 3.0 throughout by as much as 170% (we have an article in the work specifically exploring this feature).
The Asus P8Z77-V Deluxe also supports SLI and CrossFireX, DTS Surround, and Asus includes a copy of their AI Suite II, which gives users easy access to all of the Asus-proprietary features mentioned here in a single software package. In addition to the aforementioned features, the P8Z77-V Deluxe also sports an excellent UEFI with one-click overclocking and tuning that’s navigable using a mouse.
Bundled with the Asus P8Z77-V Deluxe were a user’s manual, driver / utility CD, a WiFi & Bluetooth module (with dual external antennas), a package of front panel header quick disconnects, an I/O shield, SLI bridge, and six SATA cables.