Today we are looking at the ASUS P8Z77-V Pro which is a Z77 chipset motherboard for the Intel Ivy Bridge CPU lineup. I have quite a few boards to review for Ivy Bridge but as the ASUS P8P67 Pro review was very popular with Sandy Bridge I decided to follow that with the P8Z77-V Pro review at the Ivy Bridge launch. The Z77 chipset is the LGA 1155 successor to the Z68 companion to Sandy Bridge. Unlike the original P67 and H67 chipsets, the Z68 and Z77 chipsets allow for both video output via on-die GPU and also overclocking with K series unlocked CPUs such as the new 22nm Core i7-3770K. Generally ASUS builds an extensive lineup of motherboards for a flagship chipset that have slightly higher-end features at slightly higher price points. The Z77 launch was no exception and ASUS targets its Pro boards as solid mainstream offering.
The trend with Z68 and Z77 chipsets are that the integrated GPUs are more than adequate for basic 2D output. If you are looking for a workstation with a lot of CPU need but where 3D GPU performance was not needed, then Intel’s on-die graphics are going to be “good-enough” for many users one one can use the third-gen PCIe slots for more I/O performance. With that being said, most Z77 buyers will still use discrete GPUs.
- CPU(s): Intel Core i7-3770K and Intel Core i7-2600K
- Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V Pro
- Memory: 32GB (4x 8GB) G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3 1600
- Drives: Corsair Force3 120GB, OCZ Vertex 3 120GB
- Chassis: Norco RPC-4220
- Power Supply: Corsair AX850 850w 80 Plus Gold
- Monitor system information from fan speeds, temperatures, voltages, clock speeds and etc. and set alerts.
- Overclock the CPU if desired either manually or using a CPU auto tuning feature. The base clock can be increased too by a small amount as 100MHz to 103MHz base clocks are generally obtainable from a 100MHz base. One can also change the CPU multipliers.
- Set the EPU power saving profiles and features. The EPU is a feature of ASUS motherboards meant to intelligently reduce power consumption.
- Set and test fan speeds using Fan Xpert+. This can be useful if one wants to set thresholds and test them for quieter idle fan speeds ramping up as the workload increases.
USB 3.0 and UASP
ASUS has been touting the benefits of an optimized USB interface called USB Attached SCSI Protocol or UASP for some time now and I think it is mature to the point that it is worth a serious look. I did a piece entitled USB 3.0 UASP Mode – Performance Benefit or Marketing Gimmick? recently and figured I would share the benchmark results there, as well as how one would turn the UASP mode on. Here is a quick example using AS SSD of the difference between standard USB 3.0 mode and UASP mode.
One can see that there is clearly a determinable difference in performance using UASP and I recommend it if one can purchase the necessary hardware for it.