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::>Motherboards > 2012 > 05 > ASUS P8Z77-V LE

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Republish review

26-05-2012


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Review and testing of the ASUS P8Z77-V LE motherboard

Following the mass ASUS P8Z77-V LX  the ASUS P8Z77-V LE motherboard based on the Intel Z77 Express chipset which was released in early April has visited our testlab. Recall that the main differences of the Intel Z77 from the previous chipset core logic are:

  • Guaranteed support for CPU Intel Ivy Bridge;
  • Guaranteed support for PCI Express 3.0 using the Intel Ivy Bridge processor;
  • On-Board USB 3.0;
  • Ability to display an image on the three monitors at once (using the CPU microarchitecture Intel Ivy Bridge). 

ASUS P8Z77-V LE motherboard is a "stripped-down" version of ASUS P8Z77-V PRO and its price is also lower respectively. Next we'll take a closer look on differences from the PRO version and try to assess the rationality of purchasing the motherboard.

ASUS P8Z77-V LE

 Specification of the ASUS P8Z77-V LE motherboard:

 Manufacturer

ASUS

Model

P8Z77-V LE

Chipset

Intel Z77 Express

Socket

LGA 1155

CPU

 Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 second and third generation

Memory Used

DDR3 2400 (OC) / 2133 (OC) / 1866 (OC) / 1600/1333/1066 MHz

Memory Support

4 x DDR3 DIMM Dual Channel 32 GB
memory support non-ECC, unbuffered, and Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

Expansion slots

1 x PCIE x16 3.0/2.0
1 x PCIE x16 2.0 (x4)
2 x PCIE x1
3 x PCI

Multi-GPU Technologies

ATI Quad-GPU CrossFireX, LucidLogix Virtu MVP

The disk subsystem

Chipset Intel Z77:
2 x SATA 6.0 Gb / s
4 x SATA 3.0 Gb / s
with an opportunity for SATA RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10
with support for Intel Smart Response Technology, Intel Rapid Start Technology, Intel Smart Connect Technology.
 The controller Marvel PCIe SATA 6Gb/s: 
2 x SATA 6.0 Gb / s

Sound system

Realtek ALC892, 8-channel High-Definition Audio CODEC with optical S / PDIF

Support for LAN

Gigabit Ethernet Controller Realtek 8111F

Power

24-pin power connector ATX
8-pin ATX12V power connector

Сonnectors for the fans

1 x for the CPU cooler,
3 x system fan for

 External Ports I/O

1 x PS / 2
1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI port
1 x DVI Port
1 x VGA Port
1 x LAN (RJ45)
4 x USB 3.0
2 x USB 2.0
1 x eSATA
1 x Optical S / PDIF
6 audio connectors

Internal Ports I/O

3 x SATA 6.0 Gb / s
4 x SATA 3.0 Gb / s
1x S / PDIF Output
4 x USB 2.0 (optional 8-port)
1 x USB 3.0 (optional 2-port)
Audio Front Panel
Connector System Tray
1 x MemOK! the
1 x EPU the
1 x TPU button
1 x COM

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM 2.0, ACPI v2.0a, SM BIOS 2.7,
Support for the EZ Flash 2, CrashFree BIOS 3

Proprietary technologies

ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 3 DIGI VRM
ASUS TPU
ASUS EPU
ASUS Digital Power Design
MemOK!
AI Suite II
AI Charger
USB Charger
Anti-Surge
ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ
Disk Unlocker
USB 3.0 Boost
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution
ASUS Q-Design
ASUS EZ DIY

Package bundle

2 x SATA cable, 6.0 Gb / s
2 x SATA cable, 3.0 Gb / s
 The instruction and manual 
1 x DVD with drivers and software
Stub interface panel.

The form factor,
dimensions, mm

ATX
305 x 244

Website

http://www.asus.ua/
Latest BIOS and driver can be downloaded from support site .

ASUS P8Z77-V LE

Packing of the ASUS P8Z77-V LE motherboard  has a stylish design in black tones. On the front of the pack there are several icons that indicating the technologies supported. But most of the information is on the other side of the box.

ASUS P8Z77-V LE

On the reverse side of the box you can find photos and specifications of the motherboard. Also here there are descriptions of some proprietary technologies. Consider some of them.

ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 3 Technology includes 3 processors:

  • TPU - allows the overclocking through tweaking utility AI Suit II. 
  • Energy Processor EPU designed to optimize power consumption and noise level by monitoring the load in real time and control the parameters of the power components of the board according to the current needs. 
  •  DIGI +VRM - Digital voltage regulator of the processor of the second generation, able to change the sample rate and number of active phases depending on the mode of operation. 

ASUS Network iControl - allows you to set priorities for network traffic for a particular application or set up profiles of established priorities.

ASUS P8Z77-V LE

Package for motherboard ASUS P8Z77-V LE is not rich, but it corresponds to the positioning of the MB:

  • DVD-ROM with software and drivers,
  • user manual in English and a brief installation guide,
  • Two Serial ATA 6.0 Gb/s cables; 
  • Stub on the rear panel. 

ASUS P8Z77-V LE

The layout of the ASUS P8Z77-V LE motherboard performed wisely, without serious drawbacks. For the convenience of plugging in the power connectors and the main ports they are located on the edges of the board. PCI-E x16 slots supporting the connection of the cards in the CrossFireX configuration are located through two slots, which allows to install the adapters with 3-slot cooling systems. But considering the non-gaming orientation of the motherboard, this configuration is unlikely to be used, and the practical value of such a tandem is reduced by the use of the formula x16 + x4 for the PCI-E slots.

The motherboard we are looking at has four 240-pin DIMM for dual channel DDR3 memory. The maximum total amount of memory can be up to 32 GB with four 8 GB modules installed. The maximum guaranteed rate of RAM is 2400 MHz in overclocking mode. For the organization of the memory in dual channel mode, you must fill the slots of the same color.

To cool the Intel Z77 Express chipset  ASUS P8Z77-V LE motherboard uses a stylized aluminum radiator. During testing the radiator heated to a temperature of 42 º C, it is typical temperature for most modern motherboards and it can be considered quite acceptable.

Due to the capabilities of Intel Z77 system logic ASUS P8Z77-V LE motherboard has four SATA 3Gb/s and two SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Two additional SATA 6Gb/s interfaces one of which is eSATA are achieved through the controller Marvel PCIe SATA. SATA connectors are not deployed to the side like it was realised  on the ASUS P8Z77-VE PRO and they are installed perpendicular to the board. In this regard there is a high probability of closing access to them with a long video card installed in the second slot.

ASUS P8Z77-V LE motherboard has two PCI-E x16 slots but only one of them is Full Speed PCI Express 3.0. The second  PCI-E x16 slot works only with four lines of PCI Express 2.0. The usage of the only PCI Express 3.0 slot and PCI Express 2.0 x4 mode for the second bus makes it clear that we we deal wiht the motherboard not designed for the construction of graphical workstations or superproductive gaming computer. Of course, you can even install two dual-chip graphics card and AMD Quad-GPU CrossFireX Technology will be used in this case but that will not give the desired productivity gains. This configuration delivers more moral satisfaction from the set of two graphics accelerators. In addition, the ASUS P8Z77-V LE motherboard  has two slots PCI-E x1 and three PCI slots for expansion cards.

As the Intel Z77 chipset does not support for the PCI  the functioning of the three PCI slots is implemented by PCI Express to PCI bridge ASMedia ASM1083.

8-channel HDA-codec Realtek ALC892A is used as an audio codec on the ASUS P8Z77-V LE. It is used quite widely nowodays. The front-panel connector supports formats HDA and AC `97.

In order to support two additional ports USB 3.0 interface controller ASMedia ASM1042 is used. This controller was used by ASUS in the past for their motherboards. Overall, the board provides 6 ports USB 3.0 four of which are controlled by the chipset and are located on the front panel, and two can be connected via an internal connector. There are also ten USB 2.0 ports and only 2 of them are provided for the back I/O panel.

Traditionally there is a chip ASMedia ASM1442 on the motherboard ASUS P8Z77-V LE that is responsible for switching the video output between the HDMI v1.3 and DVI ports.

To connect to the LAN the ASUS P8Z77-V LE motherboard uses Realtek RTL8111F Gigabit Ethernet Controller .

The Nuvoton NCT67790 device provides the PS/2 universal port, system fans control and monitoring.

We found «TPU» switch near the internal USB ports and the «EPU» power-saving technology toggle  is located near the processor socket. «MemOK!» button witch activates auto correct of errors in the system memory when overclocking or incomplete correspondence of the modules to the specifications is located where the logic tells you — near the memory slots. Power node for memory has a biphasic execution.

The main digital converter of power voltage complies with the CPU Intel VRD 12.5 standard. It is noteworthy that the polymer type capacitors and ferrite core chokes were used. Cooling of the power unit was improved by use of a radiator with scattering surface is large enough. The area of the scattering surface was increased due to the lots of radiator fins. However only the most loaded part of the load-bearing elements has cooling.

 Power is supplied to the CPU via the 8-pin EPS12V which is designed for higher current than a typical 4-pin ATX12V.

DIGI+VRM ASP1105 chip production of the CHiL Semiconductor Corp company is used as the PWM controller, due to the nine-phase inverter complies with the latest specifications of Intel VRD12.5.

 There are the following ports at the interface panel of the ASUS P8Z77-V LE motherboard:

  • PS/2 (keyboard/mouse); 
  • 2x USB 2.0; 
  • 4x USB 3.0; 
  • HDMI;
  • DisplayPort;
  • DVI;
  • VGA;
  • Optical S/PDIF; 
  • RJ45 connector for network connections; 
  • eSATA; 
  • Six connectors for 8-channel sound. 

There are only four fan connectors on the  ASUS P8Z77-V LE motherboard. Three of them are with 4-pin one of which is to connect the CPU fan. Others are used to connect the case fans. Plus there is another three-pin connector.

UEFI BIOS

The preloader with UEFI support where the choice of settings can be done with just one mouse is used  nn the ASUS P8Z77-V LX motherboard as well as on the other solutions based on the Intel Z77 Express system logic.

When going to the «AI Tweaker» section with the settings for overclocking and system optimization we noteced a long list of different options responsible for the frequency, voltage, and even the operation of the power converter. In general, the number of settings in the UEFI, traditionally from ASUS can not but dissapointing.

The settings required for overclocking are summarized in table:

The option

The name of the menu

 Range

 Step

Processor technology

C1E, EIST, Virtualization Technology,
Multi-Threading,
Intel Turbo Boost Mode

 

 

FSB

BLCK / PCIE Frequency

80 - 300 MHz

0.1

Turbo Boost  frequency multiplier

Core Ratio Limit

1 - 63

1

Multiplier for the memory

Memory Frequency

800, 1066, 1333, 1600, 1866, 2133, 2400

 

The maximum GPU frequency

iGPU Max

1100 - 3000 MHz

50

RAM timings

DRAM Timing Control

CAS Latency, RAS to CAS, RAS PRE, RAS ACT, COMMAND Mode, RAS to RAS, REF Cycle, DRAM Refresh, WRITE Recovery, READ to PRE, FOUR ACT WIN, WRITE to READ, CKE Minimum, CAS Write, RTL (CHA), RTL (CHB), tWRDR, tRWDR, tRWSR, tRR, tRRSR, tWW (DD), tWW (DR), tWWSR

 

CPU multiplier

CPU Ratio

16 - 59

1

Limitation on power during prolonged acceleration

Long Duration Power Limit

1 - 255 W

1

The duration of long-term acceleration

Long Duration Maintained

a - 32 c

1

Limitation on power at short-term acceleration

Short Duration Power Limit

1 - 255 W

1

The main current limit

Primary Plane Current Limit

0,125 - 1023.875

0.125

The secondary current limit

Secondary Plane Current Limit

0,125 - 1023.875

0.125

CPU Voltage

CPU Manual Voltage

0.8 - 1.99

0.005

The voltage on the graphics core, in

iGPU Manual Voltage

, 0.8 - 1.99

0.005

The voltage on the memory modules, in

DRAM Voltage

1.2 - 2.135

0.005

 

VCCSA Voltage

0.8 - 1.56

0.005

 

CPU PLL Voltage

1.8 - 1.9

0.1

on the north bridge voltage

PCH Voltage

0.735 - 1.685

0.005

Overclocking of the CPU on the  Intel Z77 chipset based motherboards is expected to be done with the help of mutipliers as well as on the Intel Z68. SATA and PCIE buses are attached to the system bus frequency. Therefore increasing the  BCLK  frequency very quickly leads to the loss of stability.

 Memory frequency multiplier allows you to set the frequency of DIMM-modules from 800 MHz to 2400 MHz.

 In addition to the processor and memory overclocking motherboard ASUS P8Z77-V LE is capable of producing accleleration of graphics processor built into the kernel with a step of 50 MHz in a range from 1100 MHz to 3000 MHz.

Setting of the timings (delays) and secondary timings (minor delays) of RAM and can be manualy done in the «DRAM Timing Control» section.

Power management settings allow you to set the voltage with a sufficiently small step in the rather large range.

 Settings of various processor technology and features control are collected in the «CPU Configuration» section.

 You can select the speed of data transmission on the bus PCI-Express x16. You can also set the line PCI Express x16 2.0 or PCI Express x16 3.0.

 There is separate section dedicated to the monitoring where you can follow:

  • the temperature of the motherboard and processor;
  • rotation speed of the CPU cooler and four case fans, 
  • the core processor voltage; 
  • the 12V, 5V and 3.3V lines voltage. 

Separeta voltage of memory indicator is still lacking.

Furthermore you can enable automatic control of the CPU cooler and case fans via CPU Q-Fan Control option which have different modes of intensity.


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