ASUS

The big motherboard vendors will have at release their usual gamut of motherboards to fit a variety of price points, and ASUS is no exception.  The usual lineup from ASUS should consist of several channel board models (LE, -V, Pro, Deluxe, WS, Sabertooth), to then be followed by a variety of Republic of Gamers motherboards (Gene, Maximus, Formula) over the next few months.  Today we have images detailing several of these products.

ASUS Sabertooth Z77

The Sabertooth Z77 is part of ASUS’ range of TUF motherboards, supporting an unparalleled level of motherboard cooling control all wrapped up in a five-year warranty.  I have been lucky enough to see this board in action, and there are some fun new features to get to grips with: Fan Xpert 2 allows complete fan control, with onboard optimization of fan levels. There is even a feature that allows the fans to keep spinning for a short while after the PC is turned off to remove that stagnant warm air from components.

ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe

The P8Z77-V Deluxe represents the top end of the ASUS channel board range, and immediately we can see that ASUS is now starting to put on-board Wifi onto these boards.  I had a good chat with one of ASUS’ PR, and in their view if at least 25% of their users require a feature, it will be added.  Well it turns out that at least a quarter of people according to ASUS use a wireless connection for their PC to get to the internet, and as such this feature should be added across the range.  In my eyes, this is a welcome addition which can only add value.  The Deluxe also sports Intel network controllers, a feature that works its way down to the other channel boards.

ASUS P8Z77 WS

The WS (workstation) motherboard from ASUS is becoming a staple of their range.  This Z77 model, aside from featuring DVI output (rather than HDMI/DisplayPort which the models above do) and dual Intel network controllers, contains a special PCIe 3.0 PLX chip to increase the number of PCIe 3.0 lanes on the motherboard.  This gives the PCIe layout to reach x8/x8/x8/x8 all in 3.0 mode, which becomes useful for multi-GPU simulators in increasing GPU-to-GPU throughput.  It will be interesting to see if this PLX chip has any performance decrease associated with it like the NF200 did.  This WS board supports Intel’s 3rd Generation Intel Core Xeon processors and ECC memory to fit into the workstation category, albeit with more overclock options than a standard workstation board.

ASUS ROG Maximus V Gene

The Gene range of ASUS’ Republic of Gamers boards caters to the crowd wanting small yet powerful systems, with all the functionality of the main size boards (albeit missing a few PCIe ports).  The Maximus V Gene doesn’t fail to disappoint – as it has the ROG treatment, we still get access to the ROG forums with dedicated ASUS employees to help optimize any configuration.  The port on the IO panel is of interest – this is what ASUS calls an ‘augmentation port’, which provides space for both a mini-PCIe slot and an mSATA port.  This would allow users to supply their own wifi module and mini-SSD as required, without taking up valuable space around the rest of the board.  Other ROG features include PCB isolation for the audio to reduce electromagnetic interference, and ROG exchange – the ability for users to share overclocking results for similar systems and setups and see exactly all the settings required to make those overclocks. 

7-Series Chipsets Gigabyte
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  • Meaker10 - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    They come from the south bridge. Reply
  • danjw - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    I would like to see reviews for the ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe and ASRock Z77 Pro4. Reply
  • tyrant.otter - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    I'd really like to see a review of that ASUS Maximus V Gene. It looks like it would be an excellent replacement for my aging MSI x58m. I wonder though is there any advantage to using an SSD in the 'augmentation port' when I already have an SSD as the OS drive? I'm guessing any advantage would have to come from using PCIe instead of SATA. Reply
  • st.bone - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    I would like to see Intel Desktop Boards, especially Intel DZ77RE the one that allegedly comes with thunderbolt, I live Intel Desktop Boards made by Intel, so i normally buy Intel boards not third party like the ones on the review, i find Intel boards stable and appealing than most of other venders, at list to me, simplicity is what i like about the boards Reply
  • risa2000 - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    I am there with you. It would be good to have also Intel original boards on the list. I have been running many boards in the past (Gigabyte, ABit, ASUS), but since I moved to Intel boards (D975XBX, DH55HC recently) I feel like I found finally sweet spot.

    The main factor about Intel boards for me is usually integrated Intel NIC, decent sound, and conservative design.
    Reply
  • st.bone - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    Thanks, it's nice to know there are others who appreciate.

    I have used various Motherboards in the past too (A SRock, ECS, Gigabyte, Mercury, ASUS, just but to mention a few)

    But ever since i moved to Intel Desktop Boards I've felt happier at home with them, my first Intel Desktop Board was D945GCCR, then Moved Shortly to D945GCNL, then a long line of others like DG33BU, DG35EC, DG43GT and currently on DH55HC.

    My Current setup is:

    Intel Desktop Board DH55HC
    Intel Processor Core i5 - 760
    Corsair Vengeance 8GB 1600Mhz kit 4 x 4GB
    1TB WD
    POV TGT Charged Nvidia GTX 460 1GB
    Inwin F430 Black Chassis
    FSP Everest PSU 600 Watts
    LG DVD-WR
    Display : Dell SX2210 22inch/21.5 visible area 1920 x 1080 Res
    Dell Keyboard
    Logitech M215 Wireless Mouse
    Sony Headphones
    Speakers Logitech Z906 5.1

    I would like to upgrade three major components come april
    1: Change Desktop Board to DZ77RE
    2; Change Processor to Core i7 3770K, Core i7 3770
    3: Change Graphics Card to AMD Radeon or Nvidia GeForce @ around $300 to 350 Max

    Please Anand do a review for the above components...
    Reply
  • dzlboats - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    The deluxe version of P8Z77-V series has the best layout with extra usb ports and PCI slots removed for those that don't need PCI capability. My choice if offered would be a P8Z77-V(lite) without the 5.25 USB 3.0 panel and WiFi module since my Lancool PC-K9WX case has USB 3.0 ports built in and I don't have an immediate need for WiFi. The cost would be significantly lower also. Reply
  • orenlevy - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    this is huge different from H77 to Z77 ddr 1600 vs ddr 2400+ Oc2800 Reply
  • ol1bit - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    All I use my PC for anymore that need power is Games, and 80% of that is GFX... My I7 seems set for another 5 years of life, just like my e6600 did before.

    I think everyone is going to tablets/ smart phones etc.
    Reply
  • gentlearc - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    *grammar* Reply

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