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ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe Mini-ITX Motherboard Review

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Power Consumption and Conclusion

Power Consumption

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The P8Z77-I Deluxe's power consumption performance is in-line with expectations, falling a bit below the other two Intel Z77-based boards with the AMD Radeon 5870 HD card installed. When running with CPU based video only, power consumption numbers drop dramatically.

Note that the power consumption numbers are consistent with what you would see using a medium to high-end video card with the board, since the AMD Radeon 5870 series cards are notoriously power hungry.

Performance

The ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe is a performance giant in a small package. The board managed stellar performance in stock mode with its test results matching or exceeding the comparison mini-ITX and normal-sized Intel Z77-based boards. Overclocking-wise, the manual results were phenomenal with its performance among the best I've seen. Its memory speed was limited to just under 2000MHz, but the performance gains from higher memory speeds are negligible on the Intel side.

Pricing

As of March 30, the ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe motherboard was available at Newegg.com for $184.99 with free shipping. The board was also available from other retailers such as Amazon.com for $196.36 and TigerDirect.com for $219.99.

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Conclusion

Before continuing with our final thoughts on this board, we would like to take this opportunity to give our friends at ASUS a hearty “Thank You” for giving us the pleasure of reviewing the P8Z77-I Deluxe motherboard. You never know what to except with a micro-ATX or mini-ITX board. ASUS did a bang-up job in designing the P8Z77-I Deluxe with some creative design decisions instituted to provide a feature rich and high performance solution. The board performance under both stock and overclocked scenarios was stellar with performance numbers matching or exceeding previously tested boards in most cases. ASUS' UEFI BIOS continues to be one of the best designed in the industry, giving this board a further edge.

There are two features that really make this board stand out though – the USB 3.0 Boost Mode performance and the 8+2 power phase design built in to the board. USB 3.0 Boost technology enhances performance of any USB 3.0 hard drive type device, with better performance seen when using a UASP-enabled device adapter. With the power phases, ASUS was able to cram a total of 10 power phases (eight for the CPU and two for the integrated graphics) onto the board without at all hampering the feature set or space-constraining the on-board components. They did this by placing all CPU-related power components on an upright daughter board.

The board's short-comings were few and far between, but we did run into some issues. The biggest roadblock in testing was that the initial board received for testing died halfway through the test run. We started seeing performance degradation across the board and quickly reported this to ASUS. They were quick to get us out a new retail sample which did not exhibit any of the performance issues seen. The other issue had to due with cooling the daughter-board. The board would not stabilize under overclocked conditions without airflow directed over the daughter board.

Strengths

  • Performance, both stock and overclocked
  • Included Broadcom 802.11n/Bluetooth mPCIe card
  • CMOS battery placement
  • 8+2 power phases
  • Placement of CPU power components on daughter board
  • UEFI BIOS design and usability
  • USB 3.0 BOT mode performance
  • Motherboard manual information

Weaknesses

  • Lack of viable cooling for daughter-board power components
  • Only three analog audio ports integrated into rear panel

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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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