ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe Mini-ITX Motherboard Review
Power Consumption and Conclusion
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Lack of viable cooling for daughter-board power components
- Only three analog audio ports integrated into rear panel