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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

Power Efficiency Tests

The first PC I built for myself, back sometime in the 80s, used a 250 watt power supply, and frankly at the time that was overkill. Overclocked multi-GPU enthusiast systems can easly exceed 700 or 800 watts under load, and can go even higher with extreme cooling and high voltages. My test bed uses an 850 watt power supply.

Perhaps this is why all CPU and GPU vendors are imbuing their products with power-saving features, and why motherboard vendors try to add even more. And the use of these features can make a significant difference in the power use of your system.

To test the power-saving features of the ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD motherboard, I measured the power draw of the system (with no video card, and the monitor connected to the iGPU) with all the power-saving features in the EPU section of the BIOS enabled, and with all the power-saving features disabled.

Windows Login Idle at Desktop AIDA64 Stability Test Sleep
EPU Maximum 65 watts 67 watts 87 watts 1 watt
EPU Disabled 67 watts 67 watts 124 watts 1 watt

The only difference I saw in power usage was under load, where turning on all EPU features including "vCore Voltage Downgrade" dropped load power from 124 watts to 87 watts. However, the vCore drop meant that all turbo features on the CPU were disabled, and it ran at 1.6GHz all the time, even under load. Obviously this had a dramatic effect on performance! This is the opposite of what I saw when testing the power saving features of the MSI MPOWER motherboard, where turning on all the power saving features reduced idle power usage and had no effect on load power usage. ASUS offers more fine-grained control of various power feature both in the BIOS and through AI Suite II, so it's possible with more fiddling around I could have achieved different results. As it is I don't see why anyone would buy a high performance motherboard like this and cripple its performance by fully enabling this feature.



 

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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