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ASUS P8Z77-V PREMIUM (Intel Z77) Motherboard Review

ASUS P8Z77-V PREMIUM (Intel Z77) Motherboard Review

We have a look at the expensive and fully loaded ASUS P8Z77-V PREMIUM motherboard.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Mon, Mar 25 2013 1:20 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:31 PM CDT
Rating: 96%Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Package

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VIEW GALLERY - 45 IMAGES

The other day we got a chance to look at the ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt and found ourselves extremely impressed with what ASUS was offering us. Not only did we have a board that performed extremely well out of the box, but we had something with a ton of features that managed to also hit at a really strong price point.

If you found yourself liking what ASUS was offering in the P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt, but want even more from your motherboard, the P8Z77-V PREMIUM might be the board you're after. While out of stock at the moment at Newegg, the $449.99 price tag associated with the board makes it the most expensive Z77 option on the market.

What makes the board so expensive, though? We intend to find out exactly that today along with checking out the performance as always. As usual we've got to do a few things before we get into the fun stuff. We'll start off by checking out the box of the board and the bundle. Considering the price tag we're expecting quite the bundle and if the size of the box is anything to go by, we should have a decent one.

Once we've done that we'll move onto the board and see what is where and what controls everything. We'll head into the BIOS to see what's going on before checking out our testbed setup. We'll take the time to quickly cover the boards that you'll see in our graphs here today before we finally get into the overclocking side of things to see just what this board is capable of doing.

Package

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Looking at the front of the box we see a typical ASUS design. You can see the model clearly and a number of the main features are highlighted here. Some of the standards out include Smart DIGI+, Thunderbolt, an included 32GB mSATA SSD drive and DTS support.

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As we flip open the box you can see across the top we've got some of the main ASUS specific features covered in detail. This includes SMART DIGI+ Power Control which includes digital power design and better voltage control. Fan Xpert 2 is also offered which is probably the most advanced fan software we've used to date. We've also got USB 3.0 Boost and SSD Caching II.

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You can see as we move down to the bottom of the box we've got the motherboard itself. Turning over we've got a picture of the board showing us some of the highlights along with the main specifications below that. We again also get a run down on some of the major features that are on offer. Thunderbolt is covered here along with mention about the mSATA drive included. You can see Smart DIGI+ is again covered along with Wi-Fi GO! across the bottom of the box.

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As we move inside the box the start of the bundle is very common. We've got the normal line up of paperwork along with a driver CD, six SATA cables and main I/O panel. We've got a number of SLI connectors including an extended two way one alongside both 3-way and 4-way options.

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Like the ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt we saw the other day we've also got the EZ connectors and Wi-Fi Go! card present here. This one, though, offers us Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth v4.0 / 3.0 support. Along with that we've also get a second antenna here. Finally we finish off with a dual port USB 3.0 box that can be installed in your case, which is also capable of holding a hard drive.

ASUS P8Z77-V PREMIUM Motherboard

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Having a look at the ASUS P8Z77-V PREMIUM you can see at first glance the design is very similar to other higher end ASUS boards which put us with a gloss black PCB and a blue color scheme throughout the board.

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Checking out the expansion slot setup you can see we've got two PCIe x1 slots and four PCIe x16 slots - they're not all running at x16. It's not as bad as you'd think it would be, though. Thanks to the inclusion of the PLX PEX 8747 chip dual card setups are offered at x16 / x16 instead of the standard x8 / x8 setup we see on Z77 boards generally.

If you go down the path of three cards you'll have an x16 / x8 / x8 setup instead of what generally is a x8 / x4 / x4 one. Finally if you throw a fourth card into the mix they'll all be running at x8. Normally we simply don't see 4-way options on most motherboards.

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Moving across the bottom of the board you can see on the far left we've got the SPIDF Out header along with a power and reset button. Next to that we have the EPU and TPU switches followed up by a LED DEBUG reader and a small Clear CMOS button. We finally finish up with two USB 2.0 headers, a single fan header and the main front panel header.

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While the inclusion of an mSATA port isn't all that uncommon on high-end Z77 options, the inclusion of an mSATA drive in that mSATA port is definitely a rare inclusion. ASUS has opted for the inclusion of a 32GB SATAII mSATA drive from LiteOn. The drive isn't to be used for your Windows install, but instead used in conjunction with a normal hard drive in making use of Intel Smart Response and Rapid Start technology. We'll actually cover our thoughts on the inclusion of this when we wrap everything up in our final thoughts. For now, though, the inclusion of the mSATA drive is certainly something new and helps ASUS stand out from the crowd.

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Moving around the corner you can see the back of the mSATA port along with a total of eight SATA ports. Starting from the left we've got two SATA II ports in light blue and two SATA III ports in while. These four ports all run of the Intel Z77 chipset. As for the other four dark blue ports, they are all SATA III and run off the Marvell PCIe 9230 controller.

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Heading towards the top of the motherboard you can see four DDR3 DIMM slots. We've got support for up to 32GB of DDR3 running at speeds ranging from 1066MHz DDR to 2800MHz DDR via overclocking.

Towards the right hand side you can see the TPM header which has been moved from its usual position across the bottom of the board due to it being so busy there. Just above that we've got the MemOK! switch. The main 24-pin ATX power connector is located here and next to that we've got a USB 3.0 header along with a third SATA II port that is running off the Intel Z77 chip.

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Moving around to the top of the board you can see the main 8-pin CPU power connector and to the right you can see we've got two fan headers. As we move back a little you can see the CPU area, which like most these days is extremely clean. The highlight here is the heatsink and in typical ASUS quality, it's built extremely well and you can see it's bolted in via multiple locations.

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Leaving the motherboard with the I/O side of things you can see starting from the left we've got two of the four USB 3.0 ports that are present and below that we've got two eSATA 6Gb/s ports that run off the ASMedia controller. Moving across you can see a single Thunderbolt connector while we've got video out options via HDMI and DisplayPort. Above these we've also got an optical port that runs off the Realtek ALC898 HD chip, which also takes care of the six auxiliary ports down the other end of our I/O panel.

Moving across we've got two USB 2.0 ports and two Gigabit networking ports. Both ports are controlled by Intel controllers; one is the 82579V while the other is the 82583. Finally here we can also see the USB BIOS Flashback button, an ASUS specific featured designed to make flashing the BIOS extremely easy.

BIOS

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Getting into the BIOS for the first time you're greeted with "EZ Mode". You can't do too much here and the chances are if you're in the BIOS you'll probably want to jump into the advanced section. This can be done by going to the top right corner of the screen or hitting F7.

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As you move throughout the rest of the BIOS you're going to find a typical setup in the advanced area. If you're going to do some overclocking you're going to be in the Ai Tweaker section. You might head on over to the tools area if you're updating your BIOS, but apart from that, you'll probably find yourself spending most the time in the Ai Tweaker section which offers us all the overclocking options you're used to seeing.

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, MemoRight and Corsair.

Alongside the ASUS P8Z77-V PREMIUM which will be running at stock and overclocked we've also got ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt we looked at just the other day.

Along with those two boards we've also got the ASRock Z77 OC Formula, GIGABYTE Z77X-UD4H, another ASUS offering in the form of the Maximus V GENE and finally a X79 / C606 based board in the GIGABYTE X79S-UP5-WiFi. Before we cover the performance of the board here today, let's take the time to quickly go over the overclocking side of things.

Like we do with most Z77 boards these days we adjust our voltages and move to a 47x multiplier. Some boards get into Windows with no problem, others simply don't boot or BSOD on the way in. The ASUS P8Z77-V PREMIUM in this case got straight into Windows without any problems.

We ran Media Espresso and we completed the run with absolutely no issue. So with that done we headed back into the BIOS and started to mess around a little with the BCLK and voltages to see if we could move past 4.7GHz.

ASUS P8Z77-V PREMIUM (Intel Z77) Motherboard Review 01 | TweakTown.com

Looking above you can see we managed to get a 100.59 BCLK alongside the 47x multiplier which brought us up to 4727MHz or 4.73GHz, as illustrated in our graphs here today. This is a really strong overclock and should bring with it some strong performance gains.

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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ASUS offers some excellent performance straight out the box and you can see here is no different on the ASUS P8Z77-V PREMIUM. Overclocking performance, though, is really strong with our Hyper Pi time coming in under 12 minutes and we see just an overall strong bump in performance under AIDA64.

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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Again the out of the box performance is extremely strong here with the ASUS P8Z77-V PREMIUM coming out ahead of everything under PC Mark 7 and falling only six seconds behind the ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt we looked at the other day under Media Espresso.

Overclocking again brings some excellent performance and you can see we're just two seconds over that 15 minute mark when it comes to the Media Espresso encode. We had hoped for a little bit more performance that would see it fall under it, but we just couldn't get any more out of our CPU.

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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USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 performance is as you'd expect. Overall it's strong with USB 2.0 performance looking a little better on the ASRock offering thanks to XFast technology. When we move to the more important USB 3.0 speeds, though, we can see all our boards line up fairly close to each other.

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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Overall SSD performance is extremely strong under both HD Tune Pro and AIDA64. For the most part we can see it lines up with our other boards that are also performing well.

mSATA Benchmarks

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

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While our normal mSATA drive is a SATA III based one we know that all our mSATA based boards are still running SATA II only. Looking above you can see that the read performance of the included LiteOn drive for this board is pretty strong.

You can see as soon as we move to the write side of things it just plummets compared to our usual MemoRight test drive.

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 is strong and out of the box you can see that the ASUS P8Z77-V PREMIUM lines up with the ASUS P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt we looked at the other day, which tends to be ahead of the pack. And when overclocked we see a decent boost in performance.

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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Looking at the gaming side of things performance is in line with all the other boards here. We see a slight boost in the performance preset under 3DMark 11 and at the lower resolutions under Metro 2033.

Temperature and Power

Power Consumption

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Power consumption on the board is a little higher out of the box at both idle and load. Considering the amount of features the board has included, this isn't a huge surprise. Overclocking then pushes those numbers a little higher, but overall the performance is pretty good.

Core Temperature

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Looking at the temperature side of things this board sits a little warmer than the other boards at load, but 4c separates the coolest and warmer here and only 2c separate the three ASUS boards. Load brings the idle number up slightly, with a decent jump to the load number. At 86c, though, we're not worried considering the extremely strong overclock we achieved out of the board.

Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts

As we mentioned in the start at $449.99 the ASUS P8Z77-V PREMIUM is the most expensive Z77 board on the market, although at the time of writing, it's out of stock over at Newegg. Looking at what this board offers it doesn't come as a surprise the price it hits at and for the most part we don't have an issue justifying it.

We want to discuss the included mSATA drive. We don't like the inclusion of it. The best feature it brings to the table is that it's an awesome addition so you can easily make use of Intel Smart Response and Rapid Start technology, because we know the 32GB size isn't enough to make it your primary drive.

We like the concept, but the main issue we have is that if you've got $449.99 for a motherboard, the chances are that you'll probably have the money to afford a decent sized SATA III SSD, to act as your main hard drive. It would be a lot faster than the 32GB drive using the ASUS caching technology, clearly a lot bigger and just overall more convenient.

I think the way we see companies simply just offer us the mSATA port on the motherboard is enough. mSATA is still something that hasn't entirely taken off and with SATA III SSD drives becoming faster and more affordable, most people would probably still continue to find themselves opting for that storage path over this one.

Moving away from that, though, and going through the rest of the board, we've got an offering from ASUS that is packed full of features. We've got the Wi-Fi GO! card that offers both wireless and Bluetooth connectivity. Thunderbolt is on offer although is something we continue to feel a little underwhelmed by.

Outside of the features we've got typical ASUS performance and the best thing about "typical ASUS performance" is that it tends to be some of the best performance on the market. Out of the box we see some extremely strong numbers which often put it ahead of the competition. When it comes to the overclocking side of things performance is also extremely stellar with a very nice overclock on offer.

The ASUS P8Z77-V PREMIUM is truly an awesome motherboard that has a huge amount going for it. The price point means it's not for everyone and the inclusion of the mSATA SSD isn't going to be for everyone. Nonetheless, this is a fantastic motherboard from the folks over at ASUS.

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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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