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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  • ASUSTechMKT - Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - link

    It offers considerably better performance first generation 9128 and 9120 and 9130 were not bad controller just limited in peak throughput but keep in mind the controller was put to market before Intel even had SATA6G PCH. Also keep in mind performance for real world usage ( boot time, application launch performance, copy performance is pretty similar between then it is only in benchmarks you will see a measurable difference. That being noted the x2 interconnect offers twice the throughput for considerably improved performance vs the x1 interconnect 9128 type solutions. This allows newer SATA6G drives to generally perform on about the same level as the Intel PCH ( peak performance being at / near or above 500MBs on fast controllers ). Additionally it has some specific advantages not noted in the review such as stacked SSD caching. This allows up to 3 SSDs to be stacked on a mechanical drive to continue to enhance its performance.

    Hope this clarifies it for you.
    Reply
  • infoilrator - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    On any top price product certain features are necessary, useful or not, on a "has" basis.
    Minor omissions (in the would be nice category) would be a card reader in the front USB3.0 Device, and a PCIe expansion card with 2 firewire and 2 USB2 or USB3 plugs.

    After all, too much is not enough, $450 should not require further shopping for minor add ins.
    The price, if you have full use for the "package" seems acceptable, not that I'll ever have it.
    Reply
  • TimoKyyro - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    I would have liked to see GPU rendering benchmarks with SmallLuxGPU or Blender. This board would be perfect for animation rendering with 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 for dual GTX 690 or 4 x PCIe 3.0 x8 for quad GTX 680.

    The price doesn't matter if I get faster GPU rendering and better support for new technologies like PCIe 3.0 and Thunderbolt.
    Reply
  • IanCutress - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    Unfortunately I do not have access to those GPUs.

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

    Are the eSATA ports port multiplier capable? Reply
  • mayankleoboy1 - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    it would be great to see a PCIE3.0 SSD for tests and if it can take advantage of the extra bandwidth. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    There is no "extra bandwidth". You're still limited to the x16 connection to the CPU. Reply
  • jwcalla - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    $450???

    If you want to set yourself apart, how about supporting something useful like ECC RAM and 10 GbE?

    Until you can do ethernet over Thunderbolt, I don't really see the point of TB on a motherboard like this.

    And 10+ SATA ports... that would only be used in a file server context. But that requires ECC RAM. So it doesn't add up.

    JMO.
    Reply
  • jwcalla - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    * Ahh yes I forgot that desktop Intel chipsets don't support ECC RAM so they can charge more for their server-based motherboards and processors.

    Even Cortex A-15 supports ECC. *sigh*

    This space needs some serious competition. It's just the same boring features rehashed and multiplied.
    Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    There are a few TB -> Ethernet solutions out there, including an adapter from Apple. Though with two NIC's on the board, I'm not really use-case scenario for TB on this particular motherboard. I can only fathom fast external storage and at that point the user would be better off with a solid SAS card with external connectivity.

    As for ECC, Intel does indeed limit their desktop processors. A handful of motherboards will support ECC if a socket 1155 Xeon is utilized. Though if ECC is critical, AMD's FX line supports ECC and up to the motherboard manufacturers to support it.
    Reply

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