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Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards
Written by David Ramsey   
Monday, 30 April 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features Overview
Detailed Components
P8Z77-V Deluxe Features
Motherboard Features Continued
Motherboard Features Final Thoughts

Detailed Components

The extra features of the ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe motherboard depend to a large extent on extra components-- ASICs, third-party controllers, and other hardware on the motherboard. The image below shows some (not all!) of the extra chips ASUS adds. Starting at the top left, we have the custom chips ASUS provides for their power control including the power-saving EPU and performance-enhancing TPU chips, that work with the BIOS and the Windows-based Turbo V Evo utility. In the next row is a Nuvoton sensor controller, the very nice PLX PEX8608 chip which provides an extra eight lanes of PCI-E 2.0 goodness, and Realtek ALC898 sound chip, and last the Intel 82579 and Realtek 8111F chips, both of which are gigabit Ethernet controllers.


Intel's Z77 Express chipset gives users integrated Superspeed USB 3.0 for the first time, with four integrated ports that don't require PCI-E lanes. But ASUS adds two more ASMedia USB 3.0 controllers to give this board a total of eight USB 3.0 ports.


The WiFi Go! module is a separate item that plugs into a dedicated slot on the motherboard. The two black things you see poking out to the right are connectors for the WiFi and Bluetooth antennas. As you can see from the specs on the side of the unit, it doesn't matter what WiFi or Bluetooth networks or devices you have, this pretty much supports them all.


A Marvell 9128 SATA6G controller chip provides two extra SATA6 ports, for a total of four when combined with the two supplied by the Z77 Express chipset. These ports can be used for regular storage, but their primary function is to implement ASUS' SSD caching feature, courtesy of Marvell's HyperDuo firmware. Unlike Intel's "Smart Response Technology" (which this board also has and you can use if you wish), you don't have to set your SATA controllers to RAID mode and configure a pseudo-RAID with your hard disk and its cache SSD, nor are you limited to a 64G cache: just connect your primary hard disk and an SSD of any size you want to these two ports, enable Caching Now! in the Turbo V Evo program, and you're good to go. You can turn caching on or off at any time, which is really handy if you want to do something like upgrade to a larger SSD.


Thankfully, ASUS has gone to all PCI-E slots with the P8Z77-V Deluxe. The slot layout is identical to that of the MSI Z77A-GD65 motherboard Benchmark Reviews looked at recently. However, ASUS' setup is more useful since you can actually run a graphics card in the third (darker grey) slot for triple-card SLI or CrossFireX, thanks to the PLX chip. Stiil, the PLX chip's main function is not so much to provide the capability to run a third video card as to assure that there are enough PCI-E lanes to support all the board's ports and devices. Many enthusiasts don't realize that the limited number of PCI-E lanes inherent in LGA1155 systems sometimes means that you can't use all of a board's features at once: with lanes required for extra USB and SATA ports as well as other devices, users are surprised to find out that plugging a device into one port might disable another one. This won't happen on the Deluxe.


I'll start looking at ASUS' unique features in the next section.



# RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-01 06:12
hm ... didn't really cover much about the bios when starting up the pc.

You pointed out it had the PLX PEX8608 chip, however there was no mention that the PLX chip, is not the PLX PXE 8747 that people had been hoping for, whereas Anandtech did, and even explained why that would have mattered.

Another thing this and the other review didn't mention was that the deluxe isn't the highest end model by Asus for their Z77 series of motherboards. It is in fact the Premium model which is due out sometime soon.

As such you ought to compare this Deluxe with the premium to show what is the differences between the 2 such as...

1. the premium has thunderbolt directly integrated onto the motherboard. In the anandtech video review with asus, this was pretty much hinted at. Whereas the deluxe has thunderbolt headers which provides the option for an add in card costing roughly 40 USD, that will add in thunderbolt connectivity. This is the difference in regards to the thunderbolt feature between these 2 mobos.

2. the Premium uses a new model PLX Gen3 chip which can offer full 4-Way SLI and CrossFireX support on the board as the PLX chip offers more lanes available to the GPU slots.. Whereas the deluxe uses a Gen2 if i'm not mistaken.

3. the Premium has Onboard mSATA Port with pre-installed 32GB SSD produced by Nanya integrated directly onto the motherboard, whereas the deluxe doesn't. This feature is useful for people don't already have an SSD who want to benefit from fast caching on their drives.
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# RE: RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewDavid Ramsey 2012-05-01 07:58
ASUS hasn't released the Premium Z77 board yet (or a couple of others, for that matter), so it's kinda hard to compared it against the Deluxe.

Thunderbolt is where USB 3.0 was two years ago. Nice, but irrelevant, since there are very few Thunderbolt devices and the ones that exist are very expensive.

Only a fraction of a percent of users actually have 4-way SLI or CrossFireX systems. Those that do would be better served by a platform with more native PCI lines like the X79 or 990FX.

The mSATA port is interesting, but again a very niche feature. 32GB is really kinda small for caching. I suspect it will mostly be used for vertical market/specialized applications.
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# RE: RE: RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-01 13:02
i think i saw the Premium over in the shop, but i could be wrong though :x

i do agree that there is very limited devices with tb to be even make use of a tb port to begin with. The only ones i can think of is the MAC laptop ? and some NAS with TB that was shown over at computex last year.

How about your take regarding the PLX chip on the Deluxe vs the newer PLX gen 3 on the premium ? what exactly is the difference ?

I hope benchmarkreview can comment regarding the plx, similar to what this other review did, which concluded the plx didn't make a difference in dual sli :X so i do wonder whether it's even upgrading to the premium for the gen3 or not .... because to my understanding, the gen 2 plx also offers peer2peer optimization or some such as well ?
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewDavid Ramsey 2012-05-01 13:07
I don't know anything about the Gen 3 PLX chip since I have not yet seen a Premium board. From the name I would assume it can switch PCI-E Gen 3 lanes as opposed to the PCI-E Gen 2 lanes handled by the older chip. I don't think this would make much of a difference right now, just as users see no performance improvement from PCI-E Gen 3 graphics.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-02 08:23
Hi david, got a question but from a different review but regarding plx gen 3 and gen 2 chips.

In that review the asrock mobo had 2 plx, a gen3 and a gen2 .... my question is, why does it need 2 of them ? Whats that achieve :/
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-02 08:33
I found out some info from the hardwaresecrets admin Gabriel Torres

"This ASUS motherboard uses a different chip. PLX is the manufacturer of the chip, not its model. The error is on the review you linked to, where the reviewer doesn't seem to know that. (He only mentions "PLX chip," which is an incomplete information.)

The ECS Z77H2-AX motherboard uses a PEX8747:

The ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe uses a PEX8608:

Read at least the diagrams available on these two files to understand the differences between them. These chips have very different usages. The PEX8747 is used exclusively on the PCI Express x16 lanes, for video cards. The PEX8608 is an older chip, it is PCI Express 2.0, and serves to switch x1 lanes for the motherboard to support more PCI Express devices than it would originally support due to the low number of PCI Express x1 2.0 lanes provided by the chipset."

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# RE: RE: RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-01 13:06
so let me summarize it up.

1. tb not enough devices for it to be useful ...yet... also the deluxe model offers an option for tb if you buy the add in card for 40 usd :X

2. msata on the board 32gb not enough capacity to be great. also if you already have an ssd, probably not really needed ?

3. dual intel nics are awesome and will enable the option to team them. but what sort of performance gains are we speaking of here ?

4. gen2 vs gen3 plx whats the difference ? is there any reason to get the premium for the gen3 or not ?

And finally, if your going to want tb in the future, is it cheaper buying the premium now, or getting the tb add on card for the deluxe ?
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewDavid Ramsey 2012-05-01 13:12
1. Correct.
2. Correct.
3. Teaming is of limited utility. Each port already handles a BILLION BITS PER SECOND. Unless you regularly move terabyte-sized files between computers on your local network, teaming won't buy you anything.
4. Gen 3 is about twice the bandwidth per lane. Nice, but again not immediately useful since nobody was saturating Gen 2 bandwdith.

I have no recommendations re the Premium since I haven't seen one and don't know all the specs.
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# Teaming not all that usefulBruce Bruce 2012-05-01 13:22
Teaming NICs are important in a data center, if you're running server-class operating systems. It's not much use on a workstation or home PC.
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# RE: Teaming not all that usefulMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-02 08:04
Bruce what about this scenario.

I got 2 qnaps at home. A ts-509 pro and a ts-659 pro II. both have capacities of 5tb and 12 tb respectively.

So i do indeed transfer data to and fro between my Desktop pc and these QNAP NAS.

So would the teaming intel nic make a difference for that file transfer you think ?

I'm using a Linksys E4200 Router as a go between :X
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# RE: RE: Teaming not all that usefulDavid Ramsey 2012-05-02 08:25
If your connection to the qnaps via the E4200 is wireless, then teaming won't make a difference, since nobody has billion-bit-per-second wireless.
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# RE: RE: RE: Teaming not all that usefulMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-02 13:42
I read someone elses comment and they said this

"If you search carefully you can find papers of throughput on dual and quad teaming of Intel NICs, you get no throughput gain with duals, but quads you do get an appreciable gain."

They did this test by teaming Intel Pro1000PT to confirm this. I'm not sure whether this would apply to the intel gigabite nics on the premium, but my guess it will, so i don't think 2 intel nics teamed would be a game breaker. Also i'm only effectively just using 1 nic essentially.

If i do utilize the 2nd ethernet, it would be very rarely, so i can definitely cope with the inferior realtek.

PS: my connection to the qnaps is via the motherboard gigabite ethernet port to the e2400 router (gigabite ports) to the qnaps (gigabit ports). Yes all wired :X I have them very closeby, and the Qnaps are in an ikea open cabinet to keep it tidy.
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# What O/S are you using?Bruce Bruce 2012-05-02 08:26
Most desktop operating systems are not going to take full advantage of NIC teaming. Linux, Unix, WIN Server 2008 are all going to have the ability to drive the two NICs properly. Win7 will most likely just segregtae incoming and outgoing data streams between the two NICs. This is NOT very useful for most desktop users.

Better to go 10GbE, as I noted in my review(s) of the QNAP TS-879U-RP here on Benchmark Reviews.
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# RE: What O/S are you using?Moogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-02 13:43
Thx Bruce, that pretty much answers my question. So yeah i can live with the 1 intel gigabit port on the deluxe :X
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# RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-01 06:16
4. the premium offers Dual Intel Gigabit NIC's which thus provides the ability for teaming for a network boost for the ports. Whereas the Deluxe model has 1 Intel and 1 realtek nic which won't offer teaming because they are from 2 different vendors. Also Intel nics are more desirable performance wise, whereas realteks are not. However the deluxe model still has access to the iNetwork control software, and packet priority despite not having 2 intel nics if your concerned about that.

5. both the premium and deluxe have the Dual Band Wi-Fi & BT 4.0. so on the wireless end their both the same.

6. the premium has a mini-DisplayPort, whereas the deluxe doesn't. Not really sure whether this matters, seeing as my Nvidia Asus 680 GTX comes with a full displayport, so why would i need a mini display port to use the integrated graphics for ? maybe someone else can answer this.

In summary, the P8Z77-V Premium is a crossover between the Deluxe and WS (Workstation) models.
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# RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-01 06:17
Some of the sources i used to find this info from hip_P8Z77-V_Premium_Motherboar d/2238.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Reviews_at_Bjorn3D+%28Reviews%2C+Previews%2C+Articles+and+Guid
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# RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-01 06:19
Suffice to say, the 1st and 2nd review by benchmark review is indeed informative, but not as educational enough like in Anandtech's example especially where he points out what is missing and why that matters. I hope in the future benchmarkreviews can do more of that to help laymans like me understand these products a little better.

So buyers can know e.g. difference between deluxe and the premium, and know whether upgrading to the next higher tier aka premium is worth it for them. Had i known this i probably would have waited.

The Asus Z77 deluxe is good, but the premium is perfect considering it has dual intel nics and other features :X

But still the Z77 Deluxe has the option for an add in thunderbolt card for 40 USD, so all is not lost. But i wonder though what would the difference be performance wise comparing a tb directly integrated into the mobo, vs this tb add in card ?
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# RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-01 06:21
The anandtech video review i mention, you can see here

There are hints and there about the premium model :X so you need to pay attention to that.
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# RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-01 06:24
so hm... maybe a third article is needed ? one examining this deluxe model versus the other options like the premium especially :X
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# RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-01 07:47
is it just me or does this msata 32gb look awfully familiar to the one on this motherboard ?
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# RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-02 08:10
Hm David you should check this review for the deluxe

And tell me what you think.
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# RE: RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewDavid Ramsey 2012-05-02 08:27
I think I don't have time to read everyone else's reviews and give you my opinion on them...
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# RE: RE: RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-02 13:44
fair enough, but i found them interesting :X so i thought maybe you would as well since some of these reviews added something new here and there, and it may also give you some good ideas for future reviews.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewDavid Ramsey 2012-05-02 13:49
Oh, I read a LOT of reviews on other sites. Don't worry about that!
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# RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-02 14:02
another interesting thing i found out is, that to use the SSD caching feature on the deluxe, you need to uninstall the marvel storage software or you are won't be able to use it.

But what is troubling is this. you must connect 1 SSD and 1 HDD to the designated 2 sata6 ports on the motherboard (which is conveniently labelled).

However, in my situation, i have 1 x 160gb Intel Gen2 SSD, and 2 x 1tb HDDs.

So that means i can only use the SSD cache feature for only 1 of the 1tb drives seeing as there is no other sata port that will work for this SSD feature.

But the premium has the msata ssd already directly integrated into the motherboard.

Also notice that the premium has 6 x Sata6 ports (4 of which are colored to mean that the ssd cache feature will only work for hdds connected to those ports, and also since the ssd is already integrated that gives you 4 instead of 3 of them to work with)

You can see the pictures and features of the premium model here

So basically only able to have 1 hdd able to use ssd quick cache with the deluxe seems rather limiting don't you think ?
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# RE: RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-02 14:12
intel smart response software can set this up without it having to use a specific sata port as colored by the Asus mobo ?

So what exactly is the difference between using the intel smart response versus the Asus AI Tools and their instructions to connect the hdds to those specific dark colored sata6 ports ? Any ideas :X
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# RE: RE: RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewDavid Ramsey 2012-05-02 14:27
Intel Smart Response Technology requires you to configure your SATA ports as RAID and set up the hard drive and SSD as a sort of pseudo-RAID pair. You create a special caching partition on the SSD< which can be a maximum of 64G in size.

With ASUS' caching, you can leave your SATA ports as AHCI (preferable) and add an SSD of any size. It's an easier to set up and more versatile solution.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-02 14:45
yeah because i don't intend to use raid for my desktop. So i can see the benefit of the asus solution since ahci is what i'm using.

My qnaps are in raid 5 and raid 6 by the way :p on a separate note.

Hm.... okay so now i understand this, the msata ssd on the premium is starting to look good :X because people point out that ssd caching for HDDS can turn an old hdd into 40% extra the performance of a raptor hdd :d roughly ...

My only concern left is ... the premium only has 2 usb3 ports on the backplate .... which is a reduction from the 6 usb3 ports in the deluxe .... how does having fewer usb3 make the premium better o.o;

Also the deluxe has

2 x PCIe x16 Gen3 (x16, x8/8)
1 x PCIe x16 Gen2 (x4)
4 x PCIe x1 Gen2

Whereas the premium has

4 x PCIE x16 Gen3 (presumably looking at the screenshots)

2 x PCIE x1

So my question now is, is the premium worth getting over the deluxe after considering these things ?

-msata ssd (bonus has asus ahci minimum req to benefit from ssd caching hdds)

- has more sata6 ports (especially 4 dark blue ports labeled for ssd caching hdds)

- integrated thunderbolt onto the motherboard (so you don't need to purchase the extra add in pcie card for the deluxe that would have costed 40 usd)

- dual intel nics

- alarmingly fewer usb3 ports compared to the deluxe o.O;

- fewer pcie x 1 lanes which would mean limited options for add ins. 1 most likely being for an Asus Xonar sound card, and the other for some random thing like say a 10gbit add in ethernet pcie x 1 card ? Will that be enough pcie x 1 lanes to satisfy ?

- if you compare the heatsinks, the premium has a thiner looking heatsink, why is that o.O;
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewMoogle Stiltzkin 2012-05-02 14:49
i was perfectly fine with the 2 x pcie x 16 gen3 lanes since i only am going to use a single gpu aka my nvidia asus 680 gtx. I don't like multi gpu solutions because of the cost and other associated issues with it + the fact i use a 1920x1200 resolution on a 24'' hp lp2475w monitor, so a single gpu is sufficient for my needs :X

So i'm wondering whether sacrificing the usb3 ports and the pcie x1 lanes is worth it for getting the pros mentioned :X

Opinions ? Sooner the better because i'm heading to the shop to ask for a trade, my deluxe for the premium model.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Features OverviewDavid Ramsey 2012-05-02 14:53
You can't tell if a PCI-E slot has Gen 2 or Gen 3 lanes just by looking at it. You'd have to look at the detailed specs. ASUS' web site is being pissy right now and I can't get to the Motherboards section.

I see no pressing use for Thunderbolt on a PC right now with USB 3.0. USB 3.0 can transfer data much faster than any hard disk, so you really need SSDs to make full use of even them.

Thunderbolt makes more sense on Macs, which can use it to drive external displays and other devices in addition to hard disks.
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# Dual display questionAjeto 2012-05-26 16:48
Do any of you guys know what is the maximum resolution you can get when you use two displays on integrated graphic ASUS P8Z77-V LE?

I'm planning to use one 30" and one 24"
I know that max 2560x1600 can only be achieved via DisplayPort so I would get an Active DisplayPort to DVI-D converter...

Do you think it would work to get 2560x1600 and 1900x1200 simultaneously on my displays?
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# RE: Dual display questionDavid Ramsey 2012-05-26 18:11
Intel's press deck on the Ivy Bridge CPU/Z77 chipset says it can run three simultaneous displays split across any combination of DsplayPort, HDMI, or as best I can tell, this should work.
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# Dual display questionAjeto 2012-05-27 01:22
Yes multiple displays are working (two at least, that i've tried), BUT i only get max 1280x800 on 30" via DVI. This should be 1900x1200 as stated in specifications.

The other (24") display is working at correct 1900x1200 (via HDMI)

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention i am using i5 3570K
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# RE: Dual display questionAjeto 2012-05-27 02:29
Funny thing is i just tried to connect two 24" monitors and it's working great (both 1900x1200).

The only thing that's bothering me now is why i can't get 1900x1200 (which is max for DVI port on MoBo) on 30" display

I think i will go ahead and order Active DisplayPort to DVI-D converter which supports resolutions up to 2560x1600...
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# RE: RE: Dual display questionAjeto 2012-05-27 06:08
Funny that it works fine on two 24" @ 1900x1200, but if i use 30" i can only get 1280x800 as max on 30" and 1900x1200 on 24"

I also tested this and it works:
30" on 8600GT @2560x1600
24" on integrated @ 1900x1200 (HDMI)
and even additional (which i connected just for testing purpose and i wont be using it)
24" on integrated @1900x1200 (DVI or VGA)

but the thing is i would really like to get rid of 8600GT and use just integrated graphics (no need for 3D accel) so that's why i wanted to buy Dell-BizLink-DisplayPort-Adapter-Powered to use DisplayPort on MoBo.

But since i only get 1280x800 from DVI to my 30" i'm kinda afraid it might not work even with DisplayPort ... :(

Any ideas/solutions greatly appreciated..
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# RE: RE: RE: Dual display questionDavid Ramsey 2012-05-27 07:57
No ideas, sorry. When I was testing, I got 1920x1200 through the DVI port to my .27 inch monitor with no problems.
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