ASUS P8Z77-V Premium In The Box

Being ASUS’ top channel SKU, bonuses in the box are expected to be numerous and beneficial – perhaps even better than the package supplied by the P8Z77-V Deluxe.  ASUS definitely do deliver:

IO Shield
Driver CD
User Guide
WiFi User Guide
Six SATA Cables
2-way SLI Flexi-Bridge
3-way SLI Rigid Bridge
4-way SLI Rigid Bridge
Two magnetic WiFi antenna
WiFi Go! Card
USB 3.0 Front Box
Q-Connectors

That is a lot of extra in the box.  The WiFi module should be installed before the CPU is installed due to the way it screws into the motherboard, and the antennas are designed to magnetize to the outside of the PC case.  The USB 3.0 front box is a great addition, one that should be included in most non-mITX packages, and as expected we get several SLI bridges in what is a multi-GPU focused motherboard.

Voltage Readings

After my first publication of OCCT voltage readings, a few readers responded with a more in-depth reasoning behind some of the results we were seeing.  With this in mind, I would like to re-describe what we are doing with this test, and how it comes about.

Much of what an enthusiast overclocker does is monitor CPU temperature and voltage.  Whatever settings a user places in the BIOS or OS is at the mercy of the motherboard - in terms of actually setting the values and reporting the values back.   As an enthusiast, we have to rely on what readings we get back, and hope that motherboard manufacturers are being honest with their readings.

Take CPU voltage.  What we as a user see in CPU-Z or OCCT is a time-averaged value that hides voltage ripple (if any) for power delivery.  It is very easy for a motherboard manufacturer to hide this value, or to disregard slight deviations and report a constant value to the user.  The CPU voltage reading can be taken at a variety of places on the power plane, which can vary between motherboards and manufacturers, meaning that each reading is essentially not comparable with the other.  Nevertheless, as an enthusiast, we will constantly compare value A with value B. 

Whether or not I can achieve 4.7 GHz with 1.175 volts on a particular board is inconsequential - your motherboard may perhaps produce the same result with a reading at 1.200 volts.  The only way to test the actual value is with consistent methodology is via an oscilloscope connected to similar points on each board.  This may sound like taking an OCCT reading is therefore redundant.

However, motherboards have settings relating to load line calibration.  As load is applied to the CPU, the voltage across the processor decreases (VDroop).  Load Line calibration essentially attempts to control this level of droop, by increasing voltage when voltage drops are detected away from a fixed value.  Manufacturers have different ideas on how to modify LLC with respect to load, or whether the level of modification should be controlled by the user.  Some manufacturers offer the option at a variety of levels, such that overclockers can be sure of the applied setting (even if it increases peak voltage, as explained by AnandTech in 2007).

By doing a full load OCCT test, we are essentially determining both how aggressive the motherboard is reporting the CPU voltage under load and how aggressive load line calibration is performing (from the point of view of the user without an oscilloscope or DVM).  If someone has one of the motherboards we have tested and you have a different one, variations in load voltage should describe the offset you may require for overclock comparisons.

  Reported Load Voltage / V
ASRock Fatal1ty Z77 Professional 0.956
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 1.050-1.058
ASRock Z77 Extreme6 1.040-1.048
ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe 1.085
ASUS P8Z77-V Pro 1.090
ASUS P8Z77-V Premium 1.088
Biostar TZ77XE4 1.036
Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H 1.067
Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H 1.067
MSI Z77A-GD65 1.020

 

ASUS P8Z77-V Premium Software ASUS P8Z77-V Premium Overclocking
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  • Phynaz - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    And so are the handful of people that would spend $450 on a motherboard. Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - link

    I spent $300 on my Asus P6T (socket 1366) in December 08. I still use it today, only upgrading it with a USB 3.0 PCIe card and from a GTX285 to a GTX570, keeping it 'current'.

    The i7-950 and 12GB of triple-channel DDR3 keep it competitive with the upper 90% of computers made today, so I feel it was a completely worthy investment.

    Who else can honestly say they've had a computer for four years and have upgraded virtually nothing aside from the video card and still have performance competitive with the fastest computers sold today?
    Reply
  • Visual - Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - link

    Um, pretty much everyone that bought any kind of quad core?

    Mobo has always had almost zero effect on performance to begin with, CPUs have been faster than most people need them be in the last decade or so, GPU is the only thing that matters.

    This mobo is not expencive because it has any pluses in performance, but because of the extra frills and features it has... which are only worth it if you actually use them. I don't think I will need most of them currently, and can add them on to any computer if I decide to use them later on. So this mobo is not worth it for me.
    Reply
  • pandemonium - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    This is pretty silly, since A LOT rides on which CPU you're using and how overclocked it is. GPUs are DEFINITELY NOT the only thing that matters and this has been proven through hundreds of reviews and comparisons all over the net. Reply
  • BytesMage - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Never crazy. My last build was 4 years ago. 790i SLI Ultra. I've kept him alive with GPU upgrades from 9800Gx2 in 2008 to GTX 580 3gb x2 in 2011, Memory upgrades from 4gb to 8gb. This extends life yes, but you get to the point of no return and then have to build again. I am at that place now. Mobo is very important. It is the ground floor on which everything else must stand. I have had a bad Mobo in past and can tell you that it does not matter what GPU you have if your mobo is poo. I want a feature rich, stable, OC able board with plenty of room for expansion. Price is what you pay for this. Well worth it. Why is it that no one moans (much) at $600.00 GPu but they do at $450.00 MB???? It is what it is. Where I see bad pricing is SSDs $500-600 big ones for a 512gb.... Reply
  • Menetlaus - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    I don't understand the inclusion of the 32GB mSATA SSD with this motherboard, even more so at the $450 price point.

    As the article says, anyone paying that kind of cash can easily afford a bigger and faster SSD and the 32GB is barely enough for a Win 7 install. The only way I really see it being beneficial is if it came pre-configured to work as cache (using intel rapid storage tech or similar) but there would be no way for them to know which drive to speed up as there is no point in caching a fast SSD if one was installed as the OS drive.

    I really like that is has a mSATA port to allow a user to install a small form SSD, but including a 32GB drive these days is simply too small for a standalone drive and the configuration to get intel RST or similar working is not for the novice user (or so I've heard).
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    I agree the mSATA seems a frivolous extra although I would give two reasons; 1. Not big enough, 128Gb mSATA would be nice though 2. only SATA 3G, the latest mSATA cards are SATA 6G but sadly not got a board to support this yet.

    If this is a true premium board mSATA should be SATA 6G then it would be truely quick
    Reply
  • ASUSTechMKT - Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - link

    the current mSATA spec only supports 3G as it is required to be linked to the 3G PCH port per Intel specification. Additionally see the feedback above regarding the 32GB mSATA module. Lastly a larger capacity mSATA would have considerably increased the cost which was already high especially considering all the logic some covered and some not covered in the review.

    Also would not in our analysis overall usage of mSATA is very low for users in the desktop space due to higher cost compared to standard 2.5inch SSDs. This is also why we integrated the solution to ensure a fully usable out of box solution for SSD caching.
    Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    The 32GB SSD may be aimed at the Intel Smart Response SSD Caching Technology for a larger mechanical HDD.

    One may also use it for a Linux partition I guess?

    If I am to buy this, I may sell the mSATA. I wonder how much that will fetch.
    Reply
  • Azethoth - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    Yeah, I added a REVODRIVE 3 X2 (240GB SSD) to my Z77 build. It cost about as much as this motherboard but it doesn't need a puny 32GB cache to slow it down. My media is already on a NAS so 240GB is all I need for OS, software development and games.

    However next year I will definitely buy the premium LGA 2011 version, hopefully it comes with a 64GB SSD so I can add a backup drive under it.
    Reply

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