Asus P8Z77-V Premium : Loads Up Every Conceivable Feature

9/13/2012 9:19:32 AM

Asus loads up every conceivable feature on its latest board, but is it worth $495?

Asus's new motherboard, the P8Z77-V Premium, certainly lives up to its name. With a price of $495, it's surely the most expensive motherboard in the world, and it comes with a roster of features that should please the most demanding of enthusiasts.

Description: Asus P8Z77-V Premium

Asus P8Z77-V Premium

Top of the feature list is the Thunderbolt port, which is the first time we've seen this included on a motherboard. It's a super- fast peripheral connection that's previously been the preserve of a handful of Apple devices, but now is beginning to appear on storage devices as well as this motherboard.

The P8Z77-V Premium also represents the first time we’ve seen a 32GB SSD built into an mSATA port on the board designed to work as a cache drive. Asus’s own SSD Caching II software works much in the same way as Intel’s Smart Response Technology, analyzing which files are used most often and then storing them in the SSD for fast loading.

The addition of wi-fi is rare in motherboards, but it’s included here: the dual-band 802.11n connection is facilitated by two aerial connections on the backplate, which also includes pairs of USB 3.0 and eSATA sockets and both DisplayPort and HDMI outputs.

Four DIMM sockets support up to 32GB of RAM running at a maximum overclocked speed of 2800MHz, and there are four PCI Express 3.0 16x slots. Two of them will run at their full 16x speed if they’re both installed with graphics cards, which means even the most powerful dual- GPU cards won’t be bottlenecked. It’s even possible to run four graphics cards at once, although the slots will all be restricted to 8x speed.

As well as the mSATA port used for the 32GB SSD, storage connections include a mighty six SATA 6Gbps connectors enabled by controllers from both Intel and Marvell. Legacy devices are supported by a trio of Intel-powered SATA 3Gbps sockets, and RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 are all supported.

Six fan connectors scattered around the board include five with PWM, so variable fan speeds can be used, and there’s a single USB 3.0 header alongside two USB 2.0 headers. There are also power and reset buttons, and a two-character LED POST display for diagnosing problems.

The traditional BIOS has made way for UEFI software. It’s no match for Gigabyte’s 3D BIOS, which provides a visual guide to motherboard, but it’s still a more intuitive way to navigate the usual options we’re used to seeing. The rest of the software, including Asus’s own overclocking tools, is easy to use, although it provides few options we haven’t seen elsewhere.

Asus has done a fine job of fitting all of its features onto this ATX-sized slab of PCB, but it’s still cramped. Larger and more complex coolers may fall foul of the two heatsinks surrounding the processor socket, and beefy cards in the bottom PCI Express 16x slots could interfere with the power and reset buttons as well as the CMOS battery.

The biggest pill to swallow, of course, is the price. $495 is three times the price of most motherboards, and that makes the Asus a pure enthusiast product. If you’re going to make full use of its features, and you simply want the best, it’s an excellent board. For most, though, this is just too expensive.

Example Configuration

·         Intel LGA 1155 processor socket

·         Intel Z77 chipset

·         4 x DDR3 DIMM, maximum memory 32GB

·         4 x PCI-Express 3.0 x16, 2 x PCI-Express 2.0 x1

·         4 x SATA 6Gbps, 3 x SATA 3Gbps

·         2 x Gigabit Ethernet

·         1 x Thunderbolt

·         4 x USB 3, 2 x USB 2, 2 x eSATA, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x HDMI, 1 x optical S/PDIF, 6 x audio

·         Three-year RTB warranty

Description: Asus P8Z77-V Premium

Asus P8Z77-V Premium


Price: $495 from

Manufacturer: Asus



This premium product has virtually every high-end feature conceivable

Quality: 10/10

Value: 4/10

Overall: 8/10


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