Asus P8Z77-V Pro review
A broad roster of features, and the inclusion of Wi-Fi, makes the price worth paying for this Asus board
Review Date: 24 Aug 2012
Reviewed By: Mike Jennings
Price when reviewed: £120 (£144 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
At £145, the Asus P8Z77 is one of the more expensive LGA 1155 motherboards we've seen, but with so many boards coming in at under £100 nowadays, it has its work cut out to justify the price.
It gets off to a good start by offering a single-band 802.11n wireless module, which is included in the box and clips to a small connector on the backplate. And there's plenty to like on the rest of the board: two of its three PCI Express x16 slots run at 8x speed when they're both occupied by graphics cards, which makes dual-graphics card configurations a possibility, and the third runs at 4x speed.
That's one more PCI Express x16 slot than the cheaper MSI Z77A-G43 offers, and they're joined by pairs of PCI Express x1 and PCI slots.
The four DIMM sockets accept up to 32GB of DDR3 RAM. There are four SATA 6Gbits/sec sockets – as many as we've seen on any motherboard - and two more than on the MSI.
Six fan controllers are scattered around the ATX PCB, and there are two USB 3 headers. Only the two VRM heatsinks are of slight concern: they're tall and encroach on the CPU socket more than we’d like, which could rule out some of the more chunky CPU coolers.
The back panel is well-stocked. Four USB 3 sockets are joined by just two USB 2 ports, there's one PS/2 port, and six audio jacks alongside one optical S/PDIF out. If you're planning to use the integrated graphics built into Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge CPUs, there's plenty of choice: DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI-D and D-SUB outputs are all on offer.
The Asus is also the fastest of the boards we've recently tested. With an Intel 3.5GHz Core i7-3770K installed, its application benchmark result of 1.17 was quicker than the MSI's 1.09 with the same CPU in place. In the Low-quality Crysis test the result from the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 was 50fps - 6fps better - and while the gap was narrower in our storage tests, the Asus was still narrowly ahead.
Although the Asus draws a fair chunk of power – 128W to the MSI's 101W – when it comes to high-end motherboards, the P8Z77-V Pro hits all the right notes. It's a significant chunk of money to spend on a motherboard but it is a high-quality piece of kit.
Author: Mike Jennings
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