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ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe Mini-ITX Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

BIOS Features

For the P8Z77-I Deluxe, ASUS used the the latest version of its customized UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) BIOS. The UEFI BIOS offers full keyboard and mouse support while in the BIOS pages. By default, the user sees the EZ mode screen when entering the BIOS with the Advanced mode screens accessible via the Exit/Advanced Mode button at the upper-right corner of the screen. Advanced mode screens can be set to be the default user interface via the BIOS Boot menu as well.

There is a lot to like about ASUS’ UEFI BIOS implementation. The company has one of the best implementations of UEFI on the market currently. The BIOS is very responsive to both keyboard and mouse input with no lag or questionable click-space evident anywhere. It is intuitively laid out so that both novice and advanced BIOS users alike can easily find what they are looking for quickly with the EZ Mode screen laying out everything in a highly readable format. Meanwhile the Advanced Mode's tabbed  interface is laid out as you would expect from a traditional (read old-school) BIOS. ASUS also gives you the ability to taken screen captures from within the BIOS by pressing the F12 key with those screen-caps saved in a 1024x768 bitmap format to an attached USB device. From the Tools menu, ASUS houses its collection of BIOS-related tools and applets, ranging from an in-BIOS updater (EZ Flash2) to its full BIOS profile load and save utility.

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EZ Mode main screen

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Advanced Mode main screen

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Ai Tweaker tab with Manual mode enabled

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Ai Tweaker tab with Manual mode enabled continued

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Ai Tweaker tab with XMP mode enabled

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Ai Tweaker tab, DRAM Timing control options page

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Ai Tweaker tab, DRAM Timing control options page continued, secondary and tertiary settings

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Ai Tweaker tab, DRAM Timing control options page continued, tertiary and miscellaneous settings

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Ai Tweaker tab, DRAM Timing control options page continued, miscellaneous settings

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Ai Tweaker tab, CPU Power Management page

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Ai Tweaker tab, DIGI+ VRM page

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Ai Tweaker tab continued, power settings

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Advanced tab

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Advanced tab, CPU Configuration page

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Advanced tab, CPU Configuration page continued

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Advanced tab, CPU Configuration page, CPU Power Management Configuration page

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Advanced tab, PCH Configuration page

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Advanced tab, PCH Configuration page, Intel(R) Rapid Start Technology page

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Advanced tab, PCH Configuration page, Intel(R) Smart Connect Technology page

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Advanced tab, SATA Configuration page

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Advanced tab, System Agent Configuration page

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Advanced tab, System Agent Configuration page, Graphics Configuration page

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Advanced tab, System Agent Configuration page, NB PCIe Configuration page

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Advanced tab, USB Configuration page

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Advanced tab, Onboard Devices Configuration page

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Advanced tab, APM (Advanced Power Management) page

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Monitor tab

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Monitor tab continued, CPU fan control settings

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Boot tab

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Tool tab

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Tool tab, ASUS EZ Flash 2 Utility page

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Tool tab, ASUS O.C. Profile Configuration page

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Tool tab, ASUS O.C. Profile Configuration page, BIOS file load page

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Tool tab, ASUS SPD Information page

April 5, 2013 | 02:17 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Well done. It is so rare that a reviewer actually lists all the bios settings used to attain a stable overclock. Thanks so much for that.

April 7, 2013 | 06:45 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

More Sata ports and I would have been sold!

April 7, 2013 | 09:02 PM - Posted by onehourleft (not verified)

Good work Morry! I have this motherboard and I have to agree with your assessment. I'll be water cooling it this summer including the VRM daughter board. I'm excited to see what the overclock will be and I think your review will be helpful.

April 9, 2013 | 12:50 AM - Posted by hoxlund

Love the review. Solid performer. What I think is the most feature packed mini-itx mobo. Looking to throw together this motherboard inside a prodigy case.

April 9, 2013 | 01:15 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Does this have clearance for a Noctua DH14 heatsink? It's the big air cooler.

I'm considering a mini-itx gaming build and would love to stick with this cooler :).

April 9, 2013 | 03:12 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

You should not have a problem with the Noctua coolers and that board - the socket has a massive amount of space around it (the pictures don't do that justice unfortunately).

Also, more information about the fit of the Noctua cooler in this thread:

http://www.overclock.net/t/1281628/plan-on-new-rig

April 9, 2013 | 08:12 PM - Posted by icebug

Nice review, I am planning on getting this to use with my NCASE M1 case when it launches this summer!

May 1, 2013 | 12:36 PM - Posted by AbSoluTc (not verified)

Lol. I ran across this review while searching for mATX reviews. This seems to be the best MOBO in the class. I too am watching the NCASE M1 develop and will be buying it when it releases. Such a sleek case. Really can't wait to get my hands on it.

June 23, 2013 | 02:14 AM - Posted by castl3bravo (not verified)

The ASUS BIOS process, from my experience, isn't rock solid. It has a tendancy to get corrupted which, in my case, caused the on board Intel GPU to disappear and the CPU ratio to get stuck at 42.

Here is some of the drama people are going through.

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2314371&page=1

If your ASUS BIOS starts going sideways you'll want to start google someone named Coderush.

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