Asus P8Z77-V LE Plus - The Flagship In The Entry-Level Lga 1155 Line Of Asus (Part 1)

9/16/2013 5:03:17 PM

This motherboard takes the intermediary position between the premium and basic motherboards of Intel Z77 Express chipset-based Asus. It has richer features than the basic models, stands out with more powerful voltage regulator and supports Flashback BIOS USB tech. At this same time, it’s not the power-saving model as the basic products.

In our previous motherboard review, we have considered the ASUS P8Z77-V model having the same name with the name of the entire series of the Intel Z77 Express chipset-based ASUS motherboard. This is the most basic and advance model among the topping products the company offers. And it’s a truly good product. Its functionality is above the average level including wireless interface, but its price is far from cheap to make it within the reach of everybody. Of course, you can easily choose a basic model and less-expensive ASUS P8Z77-V LK or even simpler and cheaper, which is ASUS P8Z77-V LX, but its functional range is much smaller. It will be good if it’s enough for you, but you will need a motherboard which has functions as ASUS P8Z77-V, but your budget can’t have it? Yes, it turns out that you don’t need to look ahead for that kind of product. ASUS itself offers the same mainboard at a significantly cheaper price. Sometimes the most advanced model of the basic motherboard can be better than the most advanced ones from the flagship products. ASUS P8Z77-V LE PLUS belongs to the previous genres, so let’s see how it does to satisfy our expectations.

Packing and accessories

The way of packing of P8Z77-V LE PLUS is designed in the additional way of ASUS. The name of the product model, icons about features and the tech of the products are printed on the front side of the box. On the back, there’s a photo of the motherboard along with the technical specs and brief description of some features. The box has standard size but it’s thinner than usual thanks to the special way of packing. The cardboard sheets separating the motherboard and its accessories are longer than necessary, so it curves on the motherboard, creating an envelope. On the back, there’s SATA cable while I / O, CD and user manual are placed on the bottom of the box. Based on this kind of traditional packing and the small number of accessories that help distinguishing the basic products, the box is very thin.

The accessories are not so many, but they include everything you need to use the motherboard:

·         Four Serial ATA cables with metal connector locks, two of which are specifically designed for SATA 6 Gbps devices (with white inserts in the connectors);

·         A flexible bridge for two-way Nvidia SLI graphics configurations;

·         I/O Shield for the back panel;

·         User manual;

·         A brief assembly guide with instructions in several languages;

·         DVD disk with software and drivers;

·         “Powered by Asus” sticker for the system case.

Design and functions

ASUS P8Z77-V LE PLUS has the standard form factor with the size of 305x244 mm. its PCB layout method is almost the classic example, which makes it friendly. This model is actually pretty similar to LK P8Z77-V and P8Z77-V, we have reviewed before, but we can detect some differences if we take a close examination.

Like its premium cousin, this motherboard has a SMART DIGI + digital electric system which works with the Dual Intelligent Processors 3 (TurboV Processing Unit and Energy Processing Unit) tech. it includes 6 phases for CPU and 2 extra phases for the CPU-integrated graphic core. It sits among the premium and basic models which have 8 + 4 and 4 + 1 electric phase, respectively. Some of its hot components are covered with a radiator on the spring bolt. The chipset radiator is more safely secured by the screws. Anyhow, the temperature of the components of the motherboard is not extremely high at wither high load or overclocking settings.

Like the rest of the ASUS motherboard, this model can step up to 32 GB DDR3 SDRAM. It supports 800-3200 MHz memory frequency with the Ivy Bridge CPUs. The interesting thing is that 3 ASUS motherboards all have the same selections and the layout of the expanded slot.  

The motherboard can share 16 PCI Express 3.0/2.0 ports among the blue and grey graphic slots like x8/x8, so you can build a SLI or CrossFireX configuration with it. For a CrossFireX subsystem, the black slot can be used. It works in x4 PCIe 2.0 mode but disable 2 PCIe 2.0 x1 slots. Additionally, there’re 2 PCI slots for the expanded card. Like its premium cousin, this motherboard has advanced disk connection. 4 SATA 3 Gb / s ports (blue) and 2 SATA 6 Gbit / s port (grey) provided by this chipset is supplement with a SATA 6 at the eSATA 6 Gbit / s control panel (dark blue) and one based on the additional Marvell 88SE91xx controller.

The connectors are available on the back of the motherboard:

·         Universal PS/2 connector for keyboard or mouse;

·         Two USB 2.0 ports, another eight ports are laid out as four onboard pin-connectors;

·         D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort video outs;

·         eSATA 6 Gbit/s port implemented via Marvell 88SE91xx controller. Another internal SATA 6 Gbit/s port supported by the same controllers is located in the lower right corner of the board;

·         Four USB 3.0 ports (blue connectors), two of which are implemented via ASMedia ASM1042 controller. Another two ports and one more internal pin-connector for two additional USB 3.0 ports are provided by Intel Z77 Express chipset;

·         A local network port (network adapter is built on Gigabit Realtek RTL8111F controller);

·         An optical S/PDIF and six analogue audio-jacks provided by eight-channel Realtek ALC889 codec.

Like many other ASUS motherboards, this model has spacious and useful Q-Slot latch on the graphic slots but the memory slots have regular latch. It lacks Power, Reset and Clear CMOS buttons, but it has a Flashback BIOS USB button (allowing namesake BIOS updated feature) and a MemOK! Button (allowing the motherboard for successfully booting in case of having problems with the system memory).

The TPU switch (TurboV processing unit) can be used to overclock CPU automatically when the EPU switch (Energy Processing Unit) allowing power saving mode. DRAM LED-based is supplemented with Standby Power, BIOS Flashback, EPU and TPU indicators.

The motherboard offers 4 connections for the fan, all of which are 4-pin. CPU fan connection can only adjust the 4-pin fan while other connections can reduce the sped of both 4-pin and 3-pin fans.

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