ASUS P8Z77-M Pro Motherboard
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- Dual Intelligent Processors 2 w/DIGI + VRM - encompassing DIGI + VRM for digital power design that fully enables overall increased platform performance, EPU for power efficiency and TPU’s real-time power management^GPU Boost - Instantaneously accelerate iGPU performance for graphical enhancement^Fan Xpert+ - Fan auto tuning function for optimized speed control and settings for each individual fan^ASUS USB 3.0 boost - Set USB 3.0 devices into 3 modes: Normal, Turbo, UASP to improve overall read/write performance instantaneously^USB BIOS flashback - Plug in USB with BIOS file and just click the button for simplest BIOS update
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The ASUS P8Z77-M PRO motherboard features the Intel Z77 chipset supporting the Intel LGA1155 3rd/2nd generation Intel Core i7 processors. ASUS offers this platform-leading solution with the exclusive Dual Intelligent Processors 2 technology integrating the EPU (Energy Processing Unit) and TPU (TurboV Processing Unit) hardware based processors for the ultimate in energy savings and processor scaling. EPU conserves energy by intelligently moderating power and load requirements in real-time while TPU provides intelligent system scaling for incredible increases in platform performance while retaining stability. DIGI+ VRM provides leading industry digital power design for consistent, precise and efficient power delivery for CPU and iGPU enhancing system’s performance beyond the analog design’s limitation. Fan Xpert+ intelligently allows users to optimized settings for each fan on your PC with additional custom fan profile.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Overclocking and energy efficiency are both easy to achieve without guess work. There are on board switches and easy utilities to optimize things automatically, although the performance I got off the bat was quite good. I was able to get a significant improvement with those features, but it will take me a few weeks more before I get things optimized. That's not really a limitation of the board, but when you consider different properties of thermal grease on the market, some take time to break in, and need cycles of on and off before they give the best heat dissipation. So initially it ran a bit hot when set for more power, but the included utilities did a great job of monitoring that and of managing fan speeds.
Asus is a major manufacturer of high end video cards, and this board includes an SLI bridge for joining them. I'm using the built in graphics support, which is all I need, and get WEI scores of 6.5 for graphics in Windows 7. So that's more than a good start and should handle high end video and lots of games even without a more advanced video card.
I haven't had an opportunity to measure the effect of the USB 3.0 Boost, but as more 3.0 devices become available I'm sure it will be an advantage.
Most important of all, this board is stable. I haven't had any problems with or without overclocking.
Ease of installation of most boards is fairly similar. This includes connectors that you can attach front panel connectors to, and then plug the larger connector into a single header, which is a lot easier than trying to plug in the power, LED, reset and other leads to the board individually. This is not a feature unique to ASUS. But it's one that I don't like being without. Another feature, which I have mixed feelings about, is the way that the SATA connectors sit at right angles. I admit that it can be awkward pushing the cables' connectors straight down. But the Micro ATX standard also dictates the footprint of the board. That means that in some cases (literally cases) there won't be enough room on the sides for connectors. I'm using this in a Media Center case, which has everything compartmentalized, and there was no room for the connectors without literally drilling through a metal baffle that separated compartments in the case. I had actually done that to accommodate a board from a different manufacturer that had the same strategy for SATA connectors, but had I not already done that, and had I known of this issue, I would have avoided the board given my computer case.
BIOS is easy to load and customize using a utility directly from within Windows. The BIOS is the type with a graphical setup (and an "advanced setting mode" that's more familiar looking for traditional settings) that makes it easy to set a performance profile for energy savings or aggressive performance, or simply normal use. And the utilities that run under Windows make it easy to get the latest drivers, BIOS and control which features get enabled.
The board is Windows 8 ready, but I'm using it with Windows 7, with perfect results.
I did have problems with 2 items, but this is something to work around, and not impacting my purchase decision. The "Network iControl" is a feature designed to speed up network communication and is software on the AI suite software. This driver is horrendous and with my Win7 machine destroyed my ability to upload. It took 2-3 days to determine the fix. Simply turn this off as soon as you load the AI Suite and you can avoid a LOT of trouble. Second, my board would not boot / post using a current power supply over 620 watts. I used an 850 watt and 750 watt. When I contacted ASUS tech support they basically said "Oh really?" and didn't offer any work around or fix and closed my support ticket. I am booting of the 620 Watt power supply from 3 years ago and am stable. Do not expect anything but a communication nightmare when dealing with ASUS if you get into any issues.
1504 i think (EDIT: update to 2103, September 16, 2013 and the USB issue still persists)
This motherboard seems to not recognize keyboard and mouse a lot of the time when booting. This is a huge issue if you use bitlocker where Windows will refuse to boot.
It recognizes in windows, but not in the bios, so you have to plug in another keyboard and mouse and maybe it will work.
It works fine once you are in windows and plan to never shutdown...
I actually have no idea what ASUS is doing. This motherboard is filled with issues, and no BIOS updates have fixed the USB issue. I tried every port, none function properly.