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ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe (Intel Z77) Motherboard Review

We look at our first Intel Z77 Express based motherboard post Ivy Bridge launch. Let's check out the ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe.
@TweakTown
Shawn Baker
Published Tue, Apr 24 2012 7:45 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:30 PM CDT
Rating: 92%Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Package

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VIEW GALLERY - 42 IMAGES

Today we start the long and extensive task of working our way through the mountain of Intel Z77 Express based motherboards that we've been collecting since February. While we could've officially started covering them earlier in the month when the Z77 chipset launched we would've been restricted to testing on the current crop of Sandy Bridge CPUs.

Since we thought that the only way to really test the new Z77 chipset was with the new Ivy Bridge CPU, we figured we'd just wait till the official launch later in the month to test the motherboards.

The first of the boards to come off the pile is the one we used in our Intel i7 3770k launch review. The ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe is going to be the first board off the ranks and will follow our typical motherboard review line up.

Since this isn't a board we've looked at in any detail yet we're going to start off with a look at the package. Once we've done that we'll move onto the board itself to see what exactly is going on with the design and feature side of things with the P8Z77-V Deluxe.

Once we've done that we'll get into the BIOS and see what's going on there before we look at our testbed and then cover the overclocking side of things before we get into the performance side of things to find out just what the P8Z77-V Deluxe is capable of.

Package

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Opened up we can see some of the main features that the board offers while at the same time we're able to get our first look at the motherboard itself.

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Moving inside the package we've got the user guide and driver CD along with six SATA cables, SLI bridge, EZ Connectors, Wi-Fi GO! header and the I/O panel. Along with all that we've also got two wireless antennas to round out the package and help make sure you get the best possible wireless signal.

ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Motherboard

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Looking at the board the overall design of it is very similar to previous Deluxe based motherboards we've seen from ASUS. I've never been a huge fan of the light blue color scheme that ASUS has opted for, but with more dark blue present on the boards these days and the black PCB, the P8Z77-V Deluxe is a really good looking board.

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Moving in closer to the board we've got four PCIe x1 slots and four PCIe x16 slots. The further right black slots runs at x4 while the white runs at x8. The top most blue slot runs at x16 if the white is unoccupied. If the white is occupied for SLI or CrossFire, both slots will run at x8.

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Moving across the bottom of the board we've got an EPU switch on the left followed up with the power and reset buttons. You can see the clear CMOS header, two USB 2.0 headers, debug LED and the front panel header on the far right.

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Turning the corner you can see we've got a total of eight SATA ports present. The four light blue ports clumped together run off the Intel Z77 chipset and are SATA II while the two grey / white ports next to it run off the same Z77 chip, but are SATA III. As for the last two dark blue ones they're also SATA III and run off the Marvell 9128 controller.

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Starting to head north you can see four DIMM slots here that support up to 32GB of DDR3 at speeds up to 2800MHz DDR via overclocking. Around here we've also got the main 24-pin ATX power connector along with the USB 3.0 header on the left and on the right we've got the MemOK button and TPU switch.

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Moving around the top of the board you can see the 8-pin CPU power connector and stepping back a bit we get a good look at the CPU area which like most boards these days looks pretty clean. We can also see the heatsink setup here which in typical ASUS fashion is excellent quality.

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Finishing up with the I/O side of things we've got four USB 2.0 ports to start off on the left. Next to that we've got two USB 3.0 ports running natively off the Z77 chipset and two eSATA 6Gbps ports running off the ASMedia controller. Continuing to work our way across we've got a HDMI and DisplayPort alongside an optical out.

On the networking front we've got two gigabit LAN ports - one runs off the Intel 82579V controller while the other runs off the Realtek 8111F controller. Below each network port is two USB 3.0 ports running off the ASMedia controller and between all this we've got the BIOS Flashback button. Finally we finish off with six auxiliary connectors which run off the Realtek ALC898 HD codec.

BIOS

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The first thing you enter when you go in is "EZ Mode" which just gives you a few very basic options while also giving us a good overview of some of the main areas that we should be looking at.

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Jumping into Advanced Mode the overall setup is very typical and if you're going to want to do any overclocking you'll end up in the Ai Tweaker section.

Looking above, though, you get a good idea of everything that is going on and if you've seen a recent ASUS UEFI BIOS, you shouldn't find yourself out of your depth here.

Benchmarks - Test System Setup and Overclocking

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We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS, MSI, Western Digital and Corsair.

When it comes to the testbed side of things there's nothing that out of the ordinary as we haven't changed our main components that round out our testbed. The only difference is now we're using the Ivy Bridge based i7 3770k in all our LGA 1155 based motherboards here on out.

Before we get into the performance side of things, though, we need to see what's going on at the overclocking front. Not all that happy with what our Intel 3770k was capable of, I swapped it out for one of our earlier chips we obtained.

In our original Intel i7 3770k launch review we managed an overclock of 4.59GHz on that chip using this board. Looking below, though, you can see we managed to run a bit higher with our other 3770k CPU that we had handy.

We ended up running at 4.74GHz via a 46x multiplier and 103 BCLK. This is of course a stronger overclock than our other chip which was supplied to us directly by Intel, but still far off from the 5GHz+ clocks we were able to achieve on our 2600k chips.

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Still this should yield with it some nice performance gains over the reference clock speeds and we'll find out in just a moment the kind of performance boost we're able to get.

Let's get started!

CPU Benchmarks

HyperPi 0.99

Version and / or Patch Used: 0.99

Developer Homepage: www.virgilioborges.com.br

Product Homepage: www.virgilioborges.com.br

Download It Here

HyperPi is a front end for SuperPi that allows for multiple concurrent instances of SuperPi to be run on each core recognized by the system. It is very dependent on CPU to memory to HDD speed. The faster these components, the faster it is able to figure out the number Pi to the selected length.

For our testing we use the 32M run. This means that each of the four physical and four logical cores for the i7 and the four physical cores of the i5 is trying to calculate the number Pi out to 32 million decimal places. Each "run" is a comparative to ensure accuracy and any stability or performance issues in the loop mentioned above will cause errors in calculation.

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AIDA64

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.00.1035BETA

Developer Homepage: http://www.aida64.com

Product Homepage: http://www.AIDA64.com

Buy It Here

Replacing Everest in our labs is AIDA64. This new testing suite is from the core development team from Lavalys and continues that tradition. The guys have thrown in better support for multithreaded CPUs as well as full 64 bit support. We use this to test memory and HDDs for now, but may find ourselves opening this up to other areas of the motherboard.

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Having a look at HyperPi performance we can see it's slightly stronger on our P8Z77-V Deluxe when compared to the Z77 Extreme6. AIDA64 on the other hand sees the 3770k trail just slightly.

When overclocked we of course see nice gains under both benchmarks that give us a very nice boost in overall performance.

System Benchmarks

PCMark 7

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.04

Developer Homepage: http://www.pcmark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.pcmark.com

Buy It Here

PCMark 7 includes a range of tests that give different views of your system's performance. In the Advanced Edition you can choose which tests to run. The common use and hardware component tests are unavailable in the Basic Edition.

Overall system performance is measured by the PCMark test. This is the only test that returns an official PCMark score. The Lightweight test measures the system capabilities of entry-level systems and mobility platforms unable to run the PCMark test, but it does not generate a PCMark score. Common use performance is measured by the scenario tests - Entertainment, Creativity and Production - each of which results in a scenario score. Hardware component performance is measured by the hardware tests - Computation and Storage - each of which results in a hardware score.

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MediaEspresso

Version and / or Patch Used: 6.5

Developer Homepage: http://www.cyberlink.com/

Product Homepage: http://www.cyberlink.com/products/mediaespresso/overview_en_AU.html?fileName=overview&r=1

Buy It Here

MediaEspresso is a blazingly fast media universal converter that can transcode your videos, photos and music files and out put them to a huge range of portable devices including mobile phones, portable media players and even game consoles. With technologies like Smart Detect, Direct Sync and CyberLink's TrueTheater™ video enhancements, you can not only forget about complicated format, resolution and output settings, but your converted file will come out the other side looking better than when it went in!

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PCMark 7 and MediaEspresso performance at stock is very similar between both Z77 boards here. It's not until we overclock that we see the scores start to separate with the ASUS offering giving us a strong showing here.

USB 2.0 and 3.0 Benchmarks

AIDA64

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.70.1400

Developer Homepage: http://www.aida64.com

Product Homepage: http://www.AIDA64.com

Buy It Here

Replacing Everest in our labs is AIDA64. This new testing suite is from the core development team from Lavalys and continues that tradition. The guys have thrown in better support for multithreaded CPUs as well as full 64 bit support. We use this to test memory and HDDs for now, but may find ourselves opening this up to other areas of the motherboard.

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Thanks to the XFast technology that ASRock implement most boards don't come close to them in USB 2.0 performance. The P8Z77-V Deluxe does perform as you'd expect, though.

As for USB 3.0 performance you can see that the numbers are a lot closer to each other with little change being seen.

SSD Benchmarks

AIDA64

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.70.1400

Developer Homepage: http://www.aida64.com

Product Homepage: http://www.AIDA64.com

Buy It Here

Replacing Everest in our labs is AIDA64. This new testing suite is from the core development team from Lavalys and continues that tradition. The guys have thrown in better support for multithreaded CPUs as well as full 64 bit support. We use this to test memory and HDDs for now, but may find ourselves opening this up to other areas of the motherboard.

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HD Tune Pro

Version and / or Patch Used: 4.61

Developer Homepage: http://www.hdtune.com

Product Homepage: http://www.hdtune.com

Buy It Here

HD Tune Pro gives us accurate read, write and access time results and for the last couple of years has been gaining popularity amongst reviewers. It is now considered a must have application for storage device testing.

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SSD performance on ASUS boards is always very strong and here you can see we continue with that strong performance with our SSD performance sneaking ahead of the ASRock Z77 Extreme6 in all of our tests.

Memory Benchmarks

AIDA64

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.00.1035BETA

Developer Homepage: http://www.aida64.com

Product Homepage: http://www.AIDA64.com

Buy It Here

Replacing Everest in our labs is AIDA64. This new testing suite is from the core development team from Lavalys and continues that tradition. The guys have thrown in better support for multithreaded CPUs as well as full 64 bit support. We use this to test memory and HDDs for now, but may find ourselves opening this up to other areas of the motherboard.

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Memory performance at stock doesn't hold any real surprises, you can see when overclocked, though we get a nice boost in performance with the best gains being seen in the write department.

Gaming Benchmarks

3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0

Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com

Product Homepage: http://www.3dmark.com/3dmark11/

Buy It Here

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world's most popular benchmark. Designed to measure your PC's gaming performance 3DMark 11 makes extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

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Metro 2033

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

Timedemo or Level Used: Built in Benchmark

Developer Homepage: http://www.4a-games.com//

Product Homepage: http://www.thqnordic.com/

Metro 2033 is an action-oriented video game with a combination of survival horror and first-person shooter elements. The game is based on the novel Metro 2033 by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. It was developed by 4A Games in Ukraine and released in March 2010 for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360.[3] In March 2006, 4A Games announced a partnership with Glukhovsky to collaborate on the game.[4] The game was announced at the 2009 Games Convention in Leipzig;[5] a first trailer came along with the announcement.[6] A sequel was announced, currently titled Metro: Last Light.

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Getting into the gaming side of things we don't see anything too shocking at stock.

When overclocked, as you'd expect, we do see a boost in the 3DMark 11 preset, but what's surprising is that Metro 2033 sees a boost in performance across the board as well. This isn't the first time we've seen Metro run faster on an overclocked Ivy Bridge setup.

Temperature and Power

Power Consumption

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Power draw is one of the biggest benefits on the new Ivy Bridge platform and we can see it sits below most of our other settings, albeit a little higher than the ASRock Z77 Extreme6.

When overclocked we of course see a jump in power draw, but the numbers continue to still look very strong.

Core Temperature

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While idle temps on the ASUS board are looking better we can see that load is up, overclocked those numbers climb even higher, but we're not seeing the 90c+ temps that we've seen on some of the other boards that we've tested.

Final Thoughts

Over at Newegg, the ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe is only cheaper to the P8Z77 WS board with both boards carrying a price tag of $274.99 and $339.99 respectively. At launch, this is simply put one of the most expensive offerings on the market. Saying that, it comes as little shock to us, outside of the Workstation offering, we'd only expect a ROG based ATX board to cost more.

It's easy to justify the associated cost, though, with a strong bundle, an excellent feature set, great build quality and an overall look that is pretty impressive. The P8Z77-V Deluxe is everything you'd expect it to be considering it carries that "Deluxe" tag at the end of its model name.

Like probably most Intel Z77 Express based boards on the market, we are not sure if it is worth running out and grabbing a Z77 board to upgrade from your current Z68 offering. On the other hand, if you're taking the leap now to the LGA 1155 platform, you'd be crazy to not choose a Z77 board over an older Z68 board.

ASUS manage to tick most the boxes with the P8Z77-V Deluxe, but you can't help but feel the price may be a bit too much for some. Fortunately the P8Z77-V Deluxe isn't just one of many boards, but one of many ASUS boards we've got here. So, if you're looking for something a bit cheaper, we more than likely will have something for you later on in other ASUS Z77 reviews.

If you're a user of the Deluxe series in the past or any of ASUS high-end boards, you'll understand what you're buying and with that kind of quality an increased price tag comes with it. If you're happy to spend more, this is a great option. If you want to save a bit of money, keep an eye out over the coming weeks as we test the stockpile of Z77 boards here.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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