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Written by David Ramsey   
Monday, 23 April 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Motherboard Components
Closer Look: ASUS Z77 Motherboard
P8Z77-V Deluxe Components
Z77 Express Motherboard Features
P8Z77-V Deluxe Final Thoughts

Closer Look: ASUS Z77 Motherboard

ASUS provides a number of accessories with the P8Z77-V Deluxe motherboard: along with the usual manual, driver disk, I/O port back plate, and latching SATA cables, there's an SLI connector, a package of "Q connectors" (which enable you to quickly attach and remove a bunch of wires to a single connector, such as the front panel header connector), two antennas (for WiFi and Bluetooth), and barely visible at the bottom right of this image, the WiFi Go! module, which supplied the WiFi and Bluetooth radios.

asus_p8z77v_deluxe_accessories.jpg

The WiFi Go! module is a separate item that plugs into a special connector on the back of the motherboard and is secured with a screw. Two antenna connectors are provided for the Bluetooth and WiFi antennas. ASUS' WiFi implementation fully supports 802.11n in hardware, including 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, and their provided software supplies DLNA streaming, remote control of the computer, Internet sharing including guest networks, and data transfer with iOS and Android devices.

asus_p8z77v_deluxe_wifi_go.jpg

The P8Z77-V Deluxe follows the layout we've seen with previous ASUS mainstream motherboards. Joining a growing number of other vendors, ASUS has eliminated PCI slots, providing three PCI-E X16 slots and four PCI-E x1 slots. Unlike most LGA1155 boards, this motherboard supports triple CrossfireX and quad SLI. How does it manage that given the dearth of PCI-E lanes in a typical LGA1155 system? We'll get to that in a moment...

asus_p8z77v_deluxe_top.jpg

The CPU socket area is bounded by "abstract cityscape" anodized aluminum heat sinks for the voltage regulator modules. ASUS has a 16-phase power supply for the CPU, four-phase power for the integrated GPU in Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors, and two-phase power for the memory. ASUS has led the industry in advanced power systems, and it's all part of the company's eighth-generation digital power supply, which they call "Smart Digi+". Digi+ provides very fine-grained control of the power circuitry on the motherboard for those who like to dive into the details; it's also used by ASUS' own EPU power-saving feature and TPU and Turbo V Evo overclocking features.

You'll notice ASUS appears to be using normal electrolytic capacitors as opposed to the flat tantalum capacitors some other vendors use. These are actually FPCAPs, or "functional polymer capacitors." These capacitors use a conductive polymer as the electrolytic instead of a fluid. This provides a significant advantage in specs like the capacitor's ability to handle ripple currents, leakage, and ESR (equivalent series resistance), as well as enabling stable performance over a wide temperature range. ASUS claims these capacitors provide overall performance superior to standard polymer or tantalum capacitors.

asus_p8z77v_deluxe_cpu_area2.jpg

ASUS lights the underside of the Z77 Express chipset heat sink with blue LEDs for a little bling. At the bottom of this image you can see the POST code display reading "A0", which means that the board has successfully completed all parts of its power-on self test. In addition to the POST code display, ASUS provides separate "QLEDs" for the CPU, DRAM, VGA card, and boot device. Thes QLEDs light up in sequence as the motherboard POSTs; if an LED stays on, there's a problem with that component. Just look for the red glow.

asus_p8z77v_deluxe_leds.jpg

Let's take a closer look at this board in the next section.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe LGA1155 MotherboardMACK 2012-04-23 11:50
Thanks for the review.
Dividing the reviews up into 3 separate pieces seems fraught with problems. One problem will be that the author seemingly has to make conclusions simply based on an "apparent" list of features, which has not been thoroughly tested. Eventually this will devolve into not being able to make many conclusions at all.
It seems it would be better to have a list of "required" tests that most reviewers would complete, in order to reduce the time it takes to review a board.
Perhaps some of the benchmarks are superfluous?

Additionally, by dividing the review up into 3 pieces, the reader will often feel the review was incomplete.
The Author will have to take the time to back track and forward link and backward link the old articles to and from the new articles on the same topic.

Overall, I think splitting up the review does a disservice to the reader as well as to the author.

It is agreed that reviewing a motherboard takes more time now. In that case the alternatives would be reduce the number of benchmarks to the ones that REALLY have something unique to offer. Possibly send out 2 motherboards to 2 reviewers and have them co-author the review.

(Just an opinion).
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# Look Mom! No Specs!Michael 2012-04-25 14:06
I agree with Mack. David, reading a good technical review is much different than a standard marketing review. You know this, and you and the Benchmark crew are good at what you do. Don't change a formula that works. I could derived the information in your article from many sources and frankly it did not tell me anything I could not learn from the ASUS website and a trip to Fry's Electronics. You all are better than this. Performance first and foremost is a Benchmark. You all set one that others strive to match. Don't blow it.
All the best, M
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# RE: Look Mom! No Specs!Olin Coles 2012-04-25 14:45
Did you see the benchmark article linked in the introduction?
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# RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe LGA1155 MotherboardDavid Ramsey 2012-04-23 13:45
We're still experimenting with the format, so we'll see how it works out.

We are dependent on review samples from vendors, and I doubt we could get them to send us two of everything!
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# DB ConsultantDavid Lean 2012-04-25 00:44
I agree with MACK. I'd prefer a review to be in 1 spot. If I'm interested in buying a product then I'll read the lot. And probably other reviews as well. If I'm a casual reader then you offer an index &/or a dropdown list to make it easy to jump to the pieces I'm interested in.
As for feature reviews it would be lovely if you could provide more insight than what is provided on the ASUS web site. ie: Whay it is good &/or does it really make a difference. ie: IS the USB 3.0 really faster, or does it only work with with specific devices.
Your Comparison reviews are even more valuable. Having a Table showing the distinguishing features between models / vendors is a real time saver. ie: These cards have 2 netcards, these only have 1. These do 64GB, those only have 32Gb. etc
Thanks for the reviews
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# RE: DB ConsultantDavid Ramsey 2012-04-25 07:24
Yes, the USB 3.0 really is faster. Much, much, faster. Check out my performance review of this motherboard for the details.
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# RE: RE: DB ConsultantDavid Lean 2012-04-25 16:23
Sorry my attempt to save a few characters made me unclear. I was using your USB3.0 article as an example of the type of expansion I like in a feature review. It is nice to get that sort of expansion on all their 'unique' features. especially in comparisons. say when comparing the Thermal Power features in the Sabertooth boards vs the equivalent in its sibling motherboards.
Keep up the good work. But keep it in one big review.
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# Not a fan of Intel...JustComputers 2012-04-25 01:40
Sorry to say never have been, however Asus on the other hand, have to be for me, the best component manufacture in the world, love Asus, most of my current build is Asus...
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# Thanks for the supportASUSTechMKT 2012-05-01 10:39
Appreciate the support and thanks for the kudos we worked really hard this generation to push board design further.
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# RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe LGA1155 MotherboardWade Eilrich 2012-04-25 11:03
I've been using DLNA for about 2 years now with my LG TV and phone. My daughter and her fiancee also use DLNA. We have been trying to get my mom on board, but although she loves it when she sees it working, she does not feel up to the challenge of maintaining her own setup and I'm just too far away to do more than get it set up and running.

This motherboard is one of the best I've seen from ASUS and they are my favorite mobo manufacturer. I would love to see a review and comparison with the WS product.

Good luck with the new review format, David - it will be a challenge to keep all the results correlated and easily available. I look forward to your next writeup.
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# Thanks!ASUSTechMKT 2012-05-01 10:38
Glad to read you appreciate the new DLNA function while David noted he does not use it we ran extensive feedback tests asking users about features/functions they would like to see. While DLNA is something that most may not know they use the more important fact is what it enables which is easy media streaming.
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# People, one review , slpit in 3 partsJamie 2012-04-30 14:24
I understand the need to keep the article short so readers will not be overwhelmed by too much information. I think it is great idea.
But I think the author does not not mean that he/she will not complete his/her assessment of new tech all at once. Just putting access to it in 3 parts in 3 different, consecutive sessions.
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