|ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Benchmark Performance|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 23 April 2012|
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P8Z77-V Deluxe Overclocking
If you've read our review of the Intel Core i7-3770K processor, you've seen this part. If you haven't, the short version is that Ivy Bridge processors do not, at least in their current stepping, overclock as well as Sandy Bridge processors. Despite their vaunted 22nm, "3D" transistors, at 4.8GHz individual core temperatures spiked to over 100 degrees Celsius, leading the CPU throttling under load, even though I was using a Thermalright Silver Arrow cooler, the best air cooler I've ever tested.
So the best overclock I was able to get was 4.7GHz on all cores under load. While I didn't have to increase the voltage to reach this level, individual core temperatures were still in excess of 90 degrees, so it's not something I'd recommend doing long term. I've tried overclocking this CPU on three Z77 Express motherboards now, with identical results on each one, so I'm pretty sure the CPU is the limiting factor here.
It's a little sad since the ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe has elaborate power circuitry with very fine-grained controls, and I'm sure it could do much better with, say, a Sandy Bridge processor. But in this case I was limited by the CPU, not the motherboard. Hopefully future Ivy Bridge steppings will increase their overclockability.
Z77 Express Motherboard Final Thoughts
The ASUS P8Z77-V Express motherboard is packed with both features and performance. Of the 25 CPU benchmarks I ran for this review, the P8Z77-V won 12 of them outright, and only really fell down in the x264 HD encoding benchmark. Although most of the wins were very narrow, as you'd expect from motherboard using the same chipset, processor, and memory, it's still impressive for one motherboard to win half the performance tests when compared against two other similar motherboards.
ASUS is known for sweating the details, and features such as their 20-phase power circuitry (16 phase CPU, 4 phase iGPU) should provide additional overclocking headroom when Ivy Bridge CPUs can support it. They've even gone so far as to adopt a "T topology" layout for the traces from the CPU socket to the DIMM sockets, such that traces for each pair of DIMMs (channel 1 and channel 2) are equal length. ASUS says that this should give memory overclockers an additional 15% headroom.
Of course, there's more to motherboard performance than just how well the CPU runs, and ASUS' USB 3.0 Boost feature, which we've seen on previous motherboard, fully comes into its own with the Intel USB 3.0 ports provided by the Z77 Express chipset. Even after USB 3.0 was introduced back in January 2010, if you'd told me that you'd be able to suck more than 400 megabytes per second through a USB port, I'd have laughed at you. This feature in combination with inexpensive USB 3.0 docks makes transferring very large files and external backup devices much more viable propositions than they've ever been.
And there's even more: most LGA1155 systems struggle with a paucity of PCI-E lanes: 16 from the processor and 8 from the chipset. ASUS' use of a PLX Technologies chip to add another 8 PCI-E 2.0 lanes means that you no longer have to worry about "stealing" lanes from other parts of the system, and even makes triple-card SLI and CrossFireX systems possible. Adding this capability is neither easy nor cheap, but it's another feature that works to justify the cost of this motherboard.