ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe BIOS

In the past, when you had seen one BIOS then you had generally seen them all - white text on blue screens (or white on black if you were lucky).  Now that we are firmly in an era of graphical interfaces and user operability, as users we get to see and play with the combination of designs that teams and BIOS engineers can envisage.  Leading the field during P67 was ASUS, but now with Z68 and X79 out of the way, MSI and Gigabyte have been hot on their heels in an attempt to offer a superior experience.

The problem with consecutive iterations of innovation is how to innovate next - more functionality, or improvements on current functionality?  ASUS will perhaps have to invest in deciding which direction to take over the next few chipsets - but nevertheless, the BIOS we have access to today is still very well thought out, easy to use, and one of the better graphical BIOS implementations for users and enthusiasts to enjoy.

The initial screen as we may all know by now for ASUS products is the EZ Mode - showing everything a user needs to know about what they have just bought or are using.  We have the board model and BIOS version (always important to know without opening up a case to find out or loading CPU-Z), CPU type and speed, memory amount and speed, CPU/chipset temperatures, as well as voltages and fan speeds.  For ease of use, system performance can be adjusted for low power, normal, or high performance.  The boot priority is also changed by dragging drives into their appropriate positions.  Pressing F3 will bring up shortcuts to the main sections in Advanced Mode, whereas F8 offers a one-time boot choice for the next boot (useful for installing OSes in my case).

Advanced mode is where the meat of the BIOS action happens as per usual, with AI Tweaker holding all the overclocking secrets a general enthusiast could want.  Users coming from ROG boards will find far fewer options on the Deluxe than on ROG boards, as the Deluxe focuses on delivering secure performance rather than bleeding edge - this may discourage a few extreme (sub-zero) overclockers, but chances are those users will be heading for ROG anyway.  For the rest of us, the main option is 'AI Overclock Tuner', which offers Auto/Manual/XMP options.

Under XMP, the following options are opened up, with 'core ratio limit' determining the multiplier. The BCLK Frequency is also adjustable.  When pushing the CPU above 4.6 GHz, it is recommended that Internal PLL Overvoltage be set to enabled.  XMP is automatically set in this mode, including memory strap, voltage and subtimings.  These can also all be adjusted as required.

Voltages are set below the main settings, and the DIGI+ VRM option allows adjustment of all the digital power delivery - CPU, DRAM and iGPU as required.

The main other section of the BIOS for users is the fan controls, found in the Monitor section.  This shows the current temperature and fan speed settings, while underneath gives the variety of fan controls to which we are accustomed to with ASUS - actual numbers in terms of RPM and temperatures, rather than obscure units that some other manufacturers like to use.  It is also worth pointing out that alongside all the fan headers supporting 4-pin fans, the chassis fan headers also support 3-pin fan control due to the upgraded fan controllers ASUS use.

ASUS also offer saving of OC Profiles, and an easily updateable BIOS through EZ Flash as long as you have a USB stick with a BIOS downloaded on to it. 

It is very hard to criticize an ASUS BIOS, as it does almost everything really well.  Other features I would like to see included are perhaps an Internet BIOS Update in the BIOS (like ASRock), graphs representing the fan controls (if possible) or perhaps an option to turn off all lights on the board (for dark gaming experiences).

 

Software

For the last few generations of motherboards, ASUS has pushed their AI Suite software.  Acting as an all-in-one interface, AI Suite aims to bring all the separate areas of ASUS functionality into the same, consistent implementation so nothing catches a user by surprise (or fills the spare memory of a PC with 18 different processes).

AI Suite covers the following features:

TurboV Evo: Overclocking Settings, Auto and Manual
DIGI+ VRM: Power delivery settings for CPU and Memory
EPU: Energy Saving
Fan Xpert II: Fan testing and controls, featuring full automatic testing of fans and user-changeable configurations.
Probe II: Monitoring of on-board factors (temperature, fan speeds, voltages)
AI/USB Charger: Quick device charging utilities
USB 3.0 Boost: Superior USB performance on any USB 3.0 port using the UASP protocol
Network iControl (NiC): Priority configuration of software through network ports
SSD Caching: Integration of Z68 SSD Caching on Z77
USB BIOS Flashback: Set up a USB to flash a BIOS without any CPU/Memory/GPU required.

Our P8Z77-V Pro review covered AI Suite II, as well as USB 3.0 performance, in detail.

ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe Overview, Visual Inspection, Board Features ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe In The Box, Overclocking
POST A COMMENT

51 Comments

View All Comments

  • IanCutress - Monday, May 14, 2012 - link

    We tested both, as there is two green lines in that graph. Whereas the Realtek seems to win out in pure throughput in our testing, the Intel other has more configurable advantages analogous to Intel NICs.
    Many thanks for the correction :)

    Ian
    Reply
  • BrunoLogan - Saturday, May 12, 2012 - link

    I'm thinking about building a new machine with the standard version of this board. As we're going to have a new micro architecture next year, I consider pricier boards as throwing money out the door. It will only be useful for Ivy Bridge generation. Next upgrade and you'll have to trash it because Intel will surely change the socket. Reply
  • justaviking - Saturday, May 12, 2012 - link

    Based largely on the Z77 motherboard roundup a few days ago (May 7) I ordered the ASUS P8Z77-V Pro to go with a i7-3770k processor. I have one legacy board (a video capture card) that is important to me, so I HAD to have a regular PCI slot. And when the price dropped $25, I said "woo hoo!" and ordered it.

    The performance against the Deluxe has really made me feel good today. I should have both the CPU and motherboard in a few days.
    Reply
  • brickman - Saturday, May 12, 2012 - link

    Same here. Quickly grabbed that V-Pro for $210. Although I'll be using an i7 2700K

    ASUS seems to be really standing out with the motherboard features. Integrated wireless without a slot being taken is a big plus. Also WiFI go will be great for my ASUS transformer tablet.
    Reply
  • gldg - Saturday, May 12, 2012 - link

    I noticed that the memory sticks listed in the test setup are both quad channel. Is that a goofed link or can you put quad channel in the dual channel Z77 chipset?

    Also, could someone tell me what happens when you put 1.65V sticks in this board? I've seen alot of warnings around using 1.65V kits with Ivy...if I put (for example) 2800 1.65V RAM in, can I set it to 1600 and 1.5V in the BIOS?
    Reply
  • KivBlue - Saturday, May 12, 2012 - link

    I don't see how 1.65V RAM would be an issue, that's the highest Voltage recommended by Ivy Bridge CPU. It also officially supports up to 1600mhz, but Sandy Bridge only supported up to 1333mhz yet there were no issues with people using 1600mhz RAM with Sandy Bridge. If the mobo supports RAM overclock of 2800 I don't see a problem, but it's either going to not work with Ivy Bridge or won't make much of an actual performance boost. Reply
  • Azethoth - Monday, May 14, 2012 - link

    It is not a goofed link. My ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe has 4x8=32Gb (G.SKILL Trident X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) Desktop Memory Model F3-2400C10D-16GTX).

    If you read the launch lineup, Asus actually did something special with memory. Instead of serial access they parallelized it which means their timings are tighter than the old scheme and they are getting stable overclocks to 2800. Also, you are not penalized for populating all 4 slots. Their 2800 G.Skill qualified memory was with 4x4 dimms: http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/LGA1155/P8Z77-...

    The Trident X they did that with does not show up on any online store yet which is why I went with 2 sets of the DDR3 2400 kit from newegg.
    Reply
  • IanCutress - Monday, May 14, 2012 - link

    Hi gldg,

    There was an error in my test setup. For Ivy I am using F3-19200CL9Q-16GBZMD (4x4 GB kit) and F3-2666C11D-8GTXD (2x4 GB Kit) - first for 16 GB compatibility (that kit is notorious on certain boards) and the second for speed testing.

    There should be no issues putting a quad channel kit in a dual channel board. The number of channels is determined by the CPU probing the memory at boot, not the memory telling the system how many channels to run in. Hence why you can run Quad channel kits in X79 with 1-3 sticks for single to tri-channel respectively. It's all mix and match now :)

    All the best,
    Ian
    Reply
  • gldg - Monday, May 14, 2012 - link

    Thanks Kiv, Aze and Ian. Re. the voltage, I had glanced at the QVL but I wasn't sure if it was a case of Asus telling me I *could* get those speeds and volts under the right circumstances, versus Intel telling me *should* stay below their official recommended max of 1.5V. It's been a few chipsets since I've built a full enthusiast rig and wasn't sure how everything would behave at default.

    The quad channel issue is good to know and opens up bunches of more options. Any reason why there's no 32GB kits listed on the QVL at any speed?

    Thanks for a great review Ian.
    Reply
  • Azethoth - Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - link

    Now that you mention it they did not qualify any 8GB dimms.

    Well, anecdotaly, the kit I linked is running at its rated 2400 clock speed. There is something weird with the bios not automatically running it at high speed but there is a single bios setting to crank it up with.

    Maybe it is just a pure cost thing. Not testing 8GB kit saves money and 32GB ran me over $400. On the other hand, if your kit makes the grade it is pure free advertising so memory vendors probably provide them for free. G.Skill will probably clean up this cycle since they got the high score.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now