|ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features Overview|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 30 April 2012|
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P8Z77-V Deluxe Features
There are so many features on this motherboard that even in a separate review I won't be able to cover all of them. But I'll try to hit some of the high points. Most of ASUS' special features are accessed through the Windows-based utility ASUS calls AI Suite. Clicking the Tool button will pop up a menu listing the tools you have available. Note that some of these tools, like WiFi Go!, are separate installations, and won't appear on this menu unless you've installed them.
Let's start, in no particular order, with Fan Xpert 2.
Fan XPert 2
Many enthusiasts use separate dedicated fan controllers to adjust the fans in their systems. Fan XPert 2 renders these devices superfluous on ASUS motherboards. It will detect any fans connected to any of the P8Z77-V Deluxe' seven four-pin fan headers. You can assign each fan a name and describe where it is in the chassis.
Once you've done this, you perform a "fan calibration" procedure. The motherboard will ramp every fan connected to a motherboard fan header up and down through its full RPM range, so that it "knows" the capabilities of the fan, and so that setting "70%" speed for that fan will actually spin it at 70% of its maximum speed. This works, by the way, with both three-pin and four-pin fans.
You can then custom-tailor response curves for each fan based on temperatures reported from the various on-board temperature sensors. This feature is not quite as elaborate as the "Thermal Armor" versions on ASUS' TUF series motherboards (which have many more onboard temperature sensors to work with), but is still extremely useful. You can choose from some pre-defined response curves like "Quiet" and "Performance", or create your own curve by dragging the dots around as shown in this image.
If you thought that all a WiFi port on a motherboard was good for was saving you from having to run an Ethernet cable, well, look at this screen shot from my iPad:
WiFi Go!, in addition to providing simple network connectivity, also lets you control your PC from an iPhone, iPad, or Android device using a free app available in your device's application store. You can use your PC as a DLNA-enabled streaming media hub; use your iPhone, iPad, or Android devices as a remote keyboard and mouse; transfer files between your computer and the aforementioned iOS or Android device, control your computer with "Smart Motion Control", and replicate your computer's display on your device with the Remote Desktop capability.
WiFi Go! is very ambitious and at this point in time is still a "work in progress". Although I was able to use the DLNA Media Hub, Remote Keyboard and Mouse, and File Transfer features without problem, the Remote Desktop feature would crash on my iPad every time, and Smart Motion Control isn't currently implemented.
WiFi Go! also has Bluetooth connectivity. It supports the latest Bluetooth 4.0 +HS standard, which allows for special low-power connections as well as "high speed" connections over an 802.11 link (i.e. the Bluetooth traffic piggybacks on a WiFi signal). Since it supports 802.11n, dual-band operation (2.4GHz and 5GHz) is a given.
Turbo V Evo
ASUS' "overclock from Windows" feature is of course Turbo V Evo. As I've mentioned in previous ASUS reviews, there are almost an absurd number of ways to overclock an ASUS motherboard: you can use CPU Level Up!, Auto Tuning, or manual overclocking from the BIOS, and there are Windows equivalents of these in Turbo V Evo as well.
Here you see the Manual Mode tuning of voltages and the BCLK frequency. Of course as we know the BCLK is of very limited use when overclocking Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge processors. And you'll probably want to drop by the Digi + Power Control section after adjusting the voltages here.
The real overclocking fun starts when you adjust the CPU ratios. You can determine the maximum turbo frequencies used by one, two, three, or all four cores simply by dragging the "fluid level" in the virtual glass tubes on the screen. Clicking the "Lock" button will lock the core frequencies together so that they all run at the same turbo frequency.
Beginning overclockers can simply invoke Auto Tuning. Once this process starts, Turbo V Evo will start ramping up voltages, frequencies, current limits, and so on, following each adjustment with a short stress test. If the test succeeds, the overclock is incrementally increased; if the computer crashes or locks up, the previous overclock is restored once the system reboots. It's about the best auto-overclocking implementation I've seen and took my system to 4.4GHz. However, it still can't quite equal the overclocks possible with manual tweaking...I achieved 4.7GHz on my own.