Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts
Over at Newegg you'll see the ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt listed for $239.99 which lines it up exactly with the MSI Z77A-GD80 that also offers Thunderbolt. The main difference, though, is that at the moment you can get a $30 rebate on the ASUS board bringing it down to $209.99.
Compared to other Thunderbolt boards this pricing is around the middle of the pack. The cheapest option comes from MSI in the form of the Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt with a $144.99 price tag, while the ASUS ROG based Maximus V Extreme carries a hefty $368.99 price tag.
The normal ASUS P8Z77-V Pro will cost you $199.99 at the moment and with normally a $40 difference being seen, we'd suggest you really think about if you want to get the Thunderbolt board as that $40 price difference equates to the board costing 20% more. With the current rebate offer, though, the extra 5% makes it an a lot more attractive option. For an extra $10, there's really no reason to not pick up the Thunderbolt board.
If you're someone who is looking at holding on to your PC for the next three to five years we'd recommend you go down the path of a Thunderbolt board. If you're in that 18 month - three year gap, though, let your wallet and bank balance decide. Thunderbolt should be the next big thing for bandwidth, but it's clearly going to take time - longer than we thought it would.
Moving away from the Thunderbolt aspect of the board, though, this is just a fantastic option that hits at an awesome price point. $209.99 for a board that packs Intel powered Gigabit networking, 8-Channel Audio, multiple video outs and a strong expansion slot line up make for a great all round motherboard.
Not only that, but out of the box performance is exceptionally strong on the ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt - stronger than the other Z77 boards we tested here today. Thrown in with this great performance is a strong bundle that brings Wi-Fi to the table via the Wi-Fi GO! add on and everything else you'll need to get up and running.
ASUS as you'd hope and expect has put together a great motherboard here and there's no denying that if you're looking at spending this kind of money, it's a great option. With the current rebate offer we'd highly recommend spending the extra $10 for Thunderbolt option. Even if you don't use it now, it could be a more attractive option when reselling the board if you keep it for only 12 - 18 months as you get bitten by the upgrade bug that seems to constantly hit.
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