ASUS P8Z77-V Premium Software

The software ASUS produces, much like their BIOS, is some of the best available in the motherboard arena today.  Where some other companies offer no software at all for things like fan support and overclocking, or perhaps the company may have a simple monitoring tool, ASUS goes the whole way to ensure that almost everything that has a control that the user would be concerned about is available to select in the software.

The heart of the software comes from AI Suite.  This bit of software acts as the central hub for all other ASUS software features, which means that it is a very simple installation when it comes off the CD.

The install CD is quick and painless - one click of 'InstAll' will get you all the drivers needed, and if a user selects to customize their install, it allows selection and de-selection of various software features (anti-virus et al.).

AI Suite

AI Suite starts as a simple bar with buttons for the software tools, monitoring and updates, as well as a tuning button to allow the software to perform overclocking.  As part of our reviews of the P8Z77-V Pro and the P8Z77-V Deluxe, we have covered most of this software, including:

TurboV Evo: Overclocking tools.
DIGI+ Power Control: Adjusting power delivery to the system.
EPU: Energy saving functionality.
Fax Xpert 2: Fan control and management.
Probe II: Monitoring temperatures, voltages and fan speeds.
Sensor Recorder: Time comparison charts for Probe II.
AI Charger+: Fast USB 3.0 charging for BC 1.1 compliant devices.
USB Charger+: Fast charging while in sleep, hibernate or shutdown.
USB 3.0 Boost: Increased USB 3.0 speed.
Network iControl: Manual control over network priorities.
ASUS SSD Caching II: SSD Caching using ASUS technology and Marvell controllers.

Here are the key features:

TurboV Evo

The overclocking heart of AI Suite is TurboV Evo, which allows users to adjust the voltages and BCLK of the system in real time.  I typically use this software to find basic OS limits, and then attempt to boot into OS at that speed to give a little headroom.

Part of TurboV Evo is the Auto Tuning section, which gives users two choices for automatic overclocks - Fast and Extreme.  Both of these are covered in the Overclocking part of the P8Z77-V Premium section of this review.

DIGI+ Power Control

One of the features that ASUS likes to advertise as part of their motherboard range is the ability for the user to adjust how the power delivery responds to load.  These options help maintain constant voltage under busy periods (useful for stability testing and overclocks), or can be used to reduce the power usage of the motherboard and increase life expectancy.  Along with the BIOS controls, ASUS also offers software tools in AI Suite to perform these operations.

Fan XPert 2

In order to separate itself from the rest of the motherboard manufacturers, ASUS does like to parade their fan technology.  By using upgraded fan controllers on board, a combination of hardware and clever software allows ASUS to control their fans like no other.  From the software perspective, we have Fan Xpert 2.

Fan Xpert will auto tune the fans, giving each one a power vs. RPM curve (as fans do not linearly increase in speed with applied power).  The user can then adjust a multi-point power against temperature curve for each of the fans in the system.  In my case, I like to have my fans run as quiet as possible when idle and during videos, and as fast as they can during gaming.

ASUS P8Z77-V Premium BIOS ASUS P8Z77-V Premium In The Box, Voltage Readings
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  • ptrinh1979 - Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - link

    I was confused as well, but in my case, I can use this to offload the pagefile without sacrificing a drive bay in my chassis. Reply
  • BytesMage - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Page file is good for this. Planning on raiding 2 SSDs in raid 0 on Intel then SSD cache ll on the marvel with 2 60gb SSDs to 3tb HDD. I was wondering what to do with the 32gb mSata. Reply
  • ASUSTechMKT - Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - link

    The 32GB mSATA was integrated to allow for quick access to utilizing Intel SSD Caching functionality. While many users are adopting high performance SSDs the cost of higher capacities is till high and in addition limited. Mechanical drives still considerably outpace and outsell SSDs in integration in all price points of desktops. Having this 32GB drive integrated easily allows for you to "SSD Cache a 2, 3 or 4TB drive" this allows you to have a much smoother and quicker response experience from the mechanical volume.

    While not noted the setup has also been streamlined in our utility to allow for a quick one click level of initialization for Intel SSD Caching or ASUS SSD Caching from the Marvell controller.
    Reply
  • Rick83 - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    At this price point, that is fairly ridiculous.

    So yes, there is "Thunderbolt", but a Firewire 800 Controller would probably be more useful, as there are way more Firewire devices in the wild than Thunderbolt.

    Not sure how much the 82579V really can be called "server grade" either.
    The 82579V on the Gene-Z shouldn't be all that different, having the same designation, but you have to manually hack the .inf to get the driver to install on Windows server. Not sure what makes this one server grade, seeing as the broken .inf comes directly from Intel.

    Checking the other NIC, that one is more likely to be server grade, it costs almost twice as much. Not sure who made that mix-up.
    Reply
  • IanCutress - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    This was my error. The 82583 is not server grade, but as a helpful reader pointed out via email, the 82571, 82572, 82574, 82576, 82580 and I350 are. Super helpful naming scheme to tell them apart... :)

    Ian
    Reply
  • Googer - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    Thunderbolt is capable if mimicking firewire and just about every other IO technology in existence. So there is no real need for the added PCB Real Estate or monetary expense of a 1394 chip when 1394b is something that never really caught on (SAD). Reply
  • bigboxes - Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - link

    Give up on the firewire. It's got USB 3.0. & USB 2.0. Anything you might need beyond that will either be Thunderbolt or some future USB 4.0. I've never needed Firewire. I've wasted money on a Firewire card, but that's not the same thing as needing it, now is it? Reply
  • Rick83 - Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - link

    There's a lot of Firewire Video stuff (I'm following the IEEE1394-Linux mailing list, and there is still development and occasional use in a variety of contexts) Also I have a FireWire CF-reader. Not to mention that it's still much cheaper than TB, and in the shape of FW-800 still bloody fast, thanks to physical DMA.

    Also, at 450 euro, there's just no reason not to mark that check-box. Thunderbird is NOT a drop-in replacement. It's not like there's no space left on the back plane.

    I actually had a look at the P8C WS yesterday evening, and it seems that that board is what this board should be, at half the price.

    Two server grade NICs, FireWire, DVI out, support for ECC MEM and Xeons.
    No WiFi, Thunderbolt, SSD or PLX though, but then those are probably less useful to (me and) most people, than the aforementioned.
    Oh and it has 4x SATA less. But then 10x SATA is what my much cheaper GigaByte P55-UD5 has, and had years ago (Yes, they're all in use - Yes I'm looking at the WS because I've been having issues (kernel panics, NICs misbehaving) with it lately and server NICs and ECC probably are a good idea after all)
    Reply
  • BoloMKXXVIII - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    I have to agree with others who are a bit confused why a 32 GB SSD was included. As for the rest of the board, I will keep an eye out for when this board starts dropping in price. It is bound to happen. As long as it doesn't take too long it could fit well into my near future plans. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    Any idea how the Marvell 9230 SATA 6Gbps controller performs? Marvell's previous controllers haven't been too great, so I'm curious to know if the 9230 is any better. Reply

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