Apparently budget board means legacy support. That’s what we inferred from the Asus P8Z77-V board, which has a quaint PS/2 port and not one, but two PCI slots. Don’t think that means Asus cheaped out on more modern amenities, though. Although there’s no eSATA or FireWire, Asus includes some truly compelling features such as onboard Wi-Fi, an Intel LAN controller, incredibly fast USB 3.0, and a revamped Fan Xpert 2.
What’s so exciting about Fan Xpert 2? Plug fans of different makes and speeds into any of the four auxillary fan headers and the board will automatically measure the minimum and maximum speed of each fan and tune them for you with the most advanced fan-tuning applet we’ve ever seen from a board maker. If fans don’t get you hot, consider the board’s Turbo mode speeds, which trounce all others by hefty margins.
The Asus P8Z77-V excels with bundled Wi-Fi and impressive USB 3.0 speed.
Like Gigabyte, Asus pushes the Ivy Bridge chip harder than MSI. On Turbo with single- and multi-threaded loads, the Asus hit 3.9GHz. The MSI board was more conservative at 3.7GHz on most workloads.
Overall, we give the nod to the P8Z77-V in this roundup for its performance and useful features, but we can see why someone would go for the Gigabyte for sheer port madness and eSATA and FireWire needs.
Deep Fried Oreo
Fan fans will love Fan Xpert 2; stellar performance.
Deep Fried Butter
No eSATA, no FireWire.
PCMark 7 Overall
PCMark 7 Lightweight
PCMark 7 Productivity
Valve Particle (fps)
SiSoft Sandra 2012 (GB/s)
SATA 6Gb/s read (MB/s)
SATA 6Gb/s write (MB/s)
Native USB 3.0 read (MB/s)
Native USB 3.0 write (MB/s)
Discrete USB 3.0 read (MB/s)
Discrete USB 3.0 write (MB/s)
Best scores are bolded. We used a Core i7-3770K, 8GB of DDR3/1866 set at DDR3/1600, a WD Raptor 150, a GeForce GTX 580, and 64-bit Windows 7 Professional in all of our motherboards. SATA 6Gb/s speeds were measured with CrystalDiskMark 3.01 and an OWC Mercury Extreme SSD. USB 3.0 speeds were measured with CrystalDiskMark and a Patriot Wildfire SSD in a USB 3.0 enclosure using an Asmedia controller. 32GB compliance was measured with four 8GB DDR3 modules.