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ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD mini-ITX Motherboard E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards
Written by David Ramsey   
Wednesday, 14 November 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD mini-ITX Motherboard
Closer Look: P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD
P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD Proprietary Features
P8Z88-I Deluxe/WD UEFI
P8Z77-I UEFI: AI Tweaker
Mini ITX Bundled Software
Bundled Software Continued
Motherboard Testing Methodology
AIDA64 Benchmarks
SPECviewperf 11 Tests
Power Efficiency Tests
Mini ITX Overclocking
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Closer Look: P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD

The tiny box lets us know that this motherboard is "Windows 8 Ready", "PCIe 3.0 Ready", and I suppose is good for something called "MiniMax Home Entertainment Center." But honestly, this board is overkill for an HTPC. ASUS has two versions of the P8Z77-I mini ITX motherboard: the P8Z77-I Deluxe and the P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD, the version we received for review. This version supports Intel's "WiDi" Wireless Display Technology, meaning that if you have a television, projector, or monitor equipped to receive WiDi, you can easily transmit your display to the receiver without using a cable. Sadly we had no WiDi devices available for this review.

asus_p8z77i_deluxe_wd_box.jpg

ASUS includes a manual, WiFi and Bluetooth antennas, SATA cables, a driver CD, some mysterious extra screws, a "Q Cable" front panel connector cable conceptually similar to the "Q Connectors" on other ASUS motherboards, and an I/O plate.

asus_p8z77i_deluxe_wd_accessories.jpg

The mini ITX form factor places severe constraints on space, and the crowded layout of the P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD is a consequence of this. There's simply no room for right-angled SATA connectors, or even another SATA controller, so instead of six or eight connectors at the edge of the board, you get four vertical connectors near the front. Near the back of the board you can see the USB 3.0 header, two USB 2.0 headers, and the front panel audio connector just at the rear of the single PCI-E slot. The 24- and 8-pin ATX connectors just fit on the front of the board.

asus_p8z77i_deluxe_wd_straight.jpg

The back panel of a mini ITX is the same size as the back panel on a standard ATX board, so there's plenty of room for the connections. Starting at the left, we have four USB 2.0 ports, a S/PDIF port on top of the HDMI and DisplayPort video outputs, the Bluetooth and WiFi antenna connectors above the DVI video output, Ethernet, four USB 3.0 connectors, two (red) eSata ports, a Clear CMOS and USB BIOS Flashback button, and three analog audio ports.

asus_p8z77i_deluxe_wd_back_ports.jpg

Here's where ASUS got kinky: there's not enough room on a mini ITX motherboard for the kind of robust power supply that's needed to support serious overclocking...so ASUS went vertical. Their "DIGI+ VRM for ITX" board stands vertically at the upper edge of the board. At the left of this image you can see the board's two four-pin PWM fan headers, one for the CPU fan and one for a chassis fan.

asus_p8z77i_deluxe_wd_vrm.jpg

With so little space on the board, you're going to have to be satisfied with four SATA ports. The white ports are the two SATA 6G ports courtesy of the Z77 chipset. Just to the right of the SATA ports you can see the removable BIOS chip.

asus_p8z77i_deluxe_wd_sata.jpg

You might be getting the feeling that this isn't just another mini ITX motherboard. Let's take a look at ASUS' added features.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD mini-ITX Motherboardkzinti1 2012-12-26 00:34
WOW! What a nice little board!
I'd like to build one of these just like yours, except for using a spare GTX 690.
Any idea what case to use to house this system? I've never even seen these small boards in person so I have no idea where to start in choosing a case. I guess I could just use a test stand, but it's dusty here at the beach and I really need an enclosure that can handle the Super-Mega cpu cooler. Probably be best to go with an external water system but they're not very portable.
Very good review. It's really got me jazzed!
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# RE: RE: ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD mini-ITX Motherboardwhynotv2 2012-12-26 06:31
Thermaltake and CoolerMaster both make Mini-ITX cases. Not sure if they have one that will allow the use of a large cpu cooler however.
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# RE: RE: ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD mini-ITX MotherboardDavid Ramsey 2012-12-26 08:49
I've reviewed three cases recently that would be a good fit for this board: the Cooler Master 120, and the SilverStone SUGO SG09 and SG08. Check 'em out in our Cases section.
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# Asus p8z77-i DeluxeDavo 2012-12-26 18:54
Will also work fine in Silverstone FT03. I plan to use this mobo, 3570K and an H80i as the basis for my living room Home theatre/Gaming rig.
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# RE: ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD mini-ITX Motherboardkzinti1 2012-12-26 19:21
Thaks for the recommendations everybody. I'd be using it as a tiny overclocking rig.
My computer room looks like a small graveyard full of black obelisks.
This is the 21st century, there's really no need for these giant OC & gaming rigs any longer. Not if these tiny mobo's are as good as reported.
I just hope Intel gets nowhere, fast, with their new mobo's with the soldered on cpu's.
They could end up being the death of overclocking just to save some electricity.
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# Very, very nice reviewDave 2013-03-19 07:53
I was trolling the web for a review of this board and I can honestly say that this is one of the best, most comprehensive component reviews I've ever read. Very, very nice work here sir. I think the only thing you failed to cover is the onboard audio. I'd like to have seen something on that with regard to quality (especially versus a pci-E card), but great work nonetheless. Thanks for sharing this information.
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# RE: ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD mini-ITX MotherboardDavid Ramsey 2013-03-19 08:29
The onboard sound is handled by the ubiquitous Realtek ALC-898 chip. Onboard sound has gotten good enough for all but the audiophiles these days; still, someone using this board to build an HTPC might want to put a sound card in the single slot. Myself, I put in a video card.
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