|ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD mini-ITX Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Wednesday, 14 November 2012|
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ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD Mini-ITX Motherboard Review
Manufacturer: ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
Full Disclosure: ASUS provided the product sample used in this article.
Small form factor (SFF) systems seem to have reached critical mass. Although they've been available for years from companies like Shuttle making custom motherboards, they've crossed into the mainstream. Enthusiast level micro ATX motherboards are available from a number of vendors, and we're now seeing the first of a new crop of enthusiast level mini ITX motherboards. ASUS has stepped up to the plate with their P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD motherboard, which I first saw months ago at an ASUS technology conference in Dallas.
Micro ATX motherboards are the same front-to-back depth (244mm) as standard ATX motherboards, but their reduced width means there's only room for four slots. Mini ITX motherboards, on the other hand, are much smaller, at a mere 170x170mm. How small is that? Take a look at the P8Z77-I WD/Deluxe next to ASUS' own P8Z77 Deluxe:
You're down to one PCI-E slot, which for most users is fine, since the only card they'll have is a video card. Memory slots drop from four to two, but 8G DIMMs are affordable now. The real problem comes with everything else you need to fit on the motherboard, including a power supply capable of handling serious overclocking. Power supply components take room, and yet there's no room to be had...which led ASUS to make an innovative leap in mini ITX motherboard design.