ASUS and Z77 Platform Live Review: We Want Your Questions!

Subject: Motherboards, Processors | April 14, 2012 - 01:26 PM |
Tagged: Z77, video, live review, Ivy Bridge, asus

In case you haven't noticed, there are Z77 motherboards for sale ahead of the launch of Intel's 3rd generation Core processor.  In line with the release of this new CPU, our friends at ASUS are stopping by the PC Perspective offices to give our readers a chance to see the company's entire Z77 lineup and their impressive new feature set demonstrated and explained on camera.

You will hear about features like Wi-Fi GO!, Digi+ Power Control, SupremeFX III audio technology, GameFirst networking technology, the mPCIe Combo Card, Fan Xpert 2 software and a whole lot more!  Stay tuned for our full Ivy Bridge processor and launch review!!

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We also want to use this opportunity to solicit questions from our readers and fans that they might have about the Intel Z77 chipset, the Ivy Bridge processor and the new line of ASUS Z77 motherboards.  You submit these questions in one of several ways:

  1. Leave a comment on this news post.
  2. Send me a questions via Twitter, to @ryanshrout.
  3. Leave a question on our Facebook page,

To make things better, on launch day, we'll be giving away a few ASUS Z77 motherboards as well so be sure you submit your questions SOON!  We are recording the content for this on Sunday, April 15th, so hurry!!

April 13, 2012 | 09:42 AM - Posted by PapaDragon

Why was the Maximus V Formula not available at launch?and BTW, who are the geniuses that come up with such great design features such as the mPCIe Combo Card and its ideal and convenient location on the Formula and Gene , the SupremeFX III audio technology with SupremeFX Shielding and the so awesome and TUF looking Sabertooth Z77?

April 14, 2012 | 01:30 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Maximus V formula will be announced a month from initial Z77 launch. I loved the mPCI-e combo solution on these ROG boards. A good job from Asus as usual.

April 13, 2012 | 09:41 AM - Posted by John Jnais (not verified)

Is USB 3.0 only supported natively with the Z77 chipset when using an Ivybridge CPU?


April 13, 2012 | 09:58 AM - Posted by OctaveanActually (not verified)

Asus Z77 motherboard questions

1) What went into deciding which Z77 motherboards would receive Intel Thunderbolt support?

2) The new ASUS P8X79-V Deluxe has a "TB_Header" between the reset switch and CMOS switch which seems to be for Intel Thunderbolt support. Why was this omitted from the users manual documentation.

3) The new ASUS Sabertooth Z77 board also has a "TB_Header" next to the CMOS jumper, what other ASUS motherboards have this Intel Thunderbolt support?

4) why is it that Z77 motherboards are the first to receive Intel Thunderbolt support? one would think X79 boards would have been a good platform for Intel Thunderbolt support as well. Will there be a new revision of ASUS X79 motherboards that support Intel Thunderbolt?

5) Was there some sort of agreement preventing earlier implementation of Intel Thunderbolt?

6) Is there a companion card necessary for Intel Thunderbolt support on Asus motherboards with the TB_Header. If so will they ship with some ASUS motherboards or will they be sold seperitly?

7) why not simply place the thunderbolt port on the motherboard itself, why use a header?

April 16, 2012 | 06:40 PM - Posted by MeanBruce (not verified)

Intel didn’t release the thunderbolt license to mainboard manufacturers until January 2012, the chipset and/or most X79 boards had already been produced.

April 13, 2012 | 10:50 AM - Posted by drkCrix (not verified)

What if any are the benefits of PCIe 3.0 over 2.0? Will we only see the benefits when using a IB series CPU?

Thank you

April 13, 2012 | 10:55 AM - Posted by Will (not verified)

How many PCIe lanes with Z77?

April 13, 2012 | 11:29 AM - Posted by OctaveanActually (not verified)

Asus Z77 motherboard questions follow up:

8) What Intel  controller is used on the new ASUS Z77 motherboards that support Thunderbolt? "Cactus Ridge" DSL3310 (2x lanes PCI Express bandwidth  2.1W),  DSL3510 (4x lanes PCI Express bandwidth  2.8W) or something else?

9) Is the Intel Thunderbolt controller directly on the supporting ASUS Z77 motherboards in question or does it instead reside on the companion card which interfaces with the TB_Header?

10) Some competing motherboards with Thunderbolt support have been reported as being delayed due to a new Intel Thunderbolt controller.  If the Intel Thunderbolt controller is not directly on supporting ASUS motherboards was this design due to availability of this new Intel Thunderbolt controller?

11) When will these ASUS companion cards for the "TB_Header" be available and at what price?

April 13, 2012 | 11:38 AM - Posted by OctaveanActually (not verified)

Asus Z77 motherboard questions follow up:

12) I've heard that ASUS Z77 motherboards have both Intel SRT and an ASUS proprietary form of SSD caching. If so, what was the thinking that went into providing both?

April 13, 2012 | 02:59 PM - Posted by Mr King

I'm one of those weird people that use a reverse ATX case. A lot of manufacturers have an error code read out on the motherboard for detecting problems during post. But because my motherboard is rotated 180 degrees this number is always upside down. Will Asus have anything in the UEFI BIOS or on the motherboard itself that will allow this read out to be flipped for users that prefer a Reverse ATX layout?

April 13, 2012 | 11:55 AM - Posted by Mechromancer (not verified)

How much of an overclock can we expect from the tweaks ASUS did to the memory subsystem.

Quote from Anandtech: "If you happen to purchase ASUS for Ivy Bridge, there is also a little treat in store, as they have reworked the memory sub-system. Their new method stunned Intel engineers, but should provide distinct memory speed advantages. Simply put, instead of memory banks being read consecutively, the memory is read in parallel. We are awaiting more detail regarding how this feature works."

April 13, 2012 | 12:44 PM - Posted by Nadger (not verified)

With the z77 virtue mvp enabled, do you only connect your monitor up to the onboard graphics? Does it then use your dedicated card in conjunction with the onboard? Or how does that work?

April 13, 2012 | 12:45 PM - Posted by AParsh335i (not verified)

If I'm a gamer with a P67 motherboard and an i5-2500k is it really worth it to upgrade to the Z77? No plans for SSD also at the moment.

April 14, 2012 | 11:25 PM - Posted by Jewie27 (not verified)

Not worth upgrading. You are better off just upgrading your current video card.

April 13, 2012 | 12:47 PM - Posted by Nadger (not verified)

On the sabertooth what type of bearing does the fan have? Im worried about it wearing out after a couple years and becoming super noisy, and not being able to find a replacement fan the right size. Speaking of size what size are the 2 thermal armor fans?

April 13, 2012 | 02:50 PM - Posted by jewie27 (not verified)

I honestly see no true advantages of Z77 over Z68. I own the Asus Maximums IV Extreme - Z. I've already flashed the BIOS to support Ivy Bridge.

Z68 already supports USB 3.0

Z68 already supports SSD Smart Response

PCI Express 3.0 doesn't matter for graphics cards because even the newewst 28nm GPU's do not saturate PCI-E 2.0 bandwidth.

Ivy Bridge CPU's are not much of an upgrade over Sandy Bridge. Tri-gate transistors, barely lower power consumption, no much improvement in gaming performance.

April 13, 2012 | 05:30 PM - Posted by Nadger (not verified)

How smart is Intel's SRT? Could i get a 120gb SSD, and partition off 64gb of it for caching and use the rest to install OS on? Would it create redundancies then? As in caching OS files even though they are already on an SSD?

April 13, 2012 | 06:03 PM - Posted by Isaac Church (not verified)

If I have a Z68 socket 1155 motherboard, what incentive do I have to upgrade to a Z77 based motherboard?

April 14, 2012 | 11:26 PM - Posted by Jewie27 (not verified)

None. Not one reason to upgrade.

April 13, 2012 | 07:01 PM - Posted by OctaveanActually (not verified)

Earlier in question "2" I said "ASUS P8X79-V Deluxe" when I meant to say ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe. Just wanted to clear that up.

April 14, 2012 | 03:48 PM - Posted by mruk63

What would be the best Z77 Motherboard right out of the gate for gaming? Would it be worth waiting for boards like the ASUS Maximus V Formula to come out? What would be the advantage of a later released board?

April 16, 2012 | 06:44 PM - Posted by MeanBruce (not verified)

Intel is pretty much deciding when all the Thunderbolt mainboards are released. Notice NONE of the 4 announced manufacturers have released their T-bolt boards this first round!

April 14, 2012 | 04:51 PM - Posted by Tex

Just moved down a mobo size from ASRock Extreme7 Gen3 to Maximus V Gene. Gotta say so far the MVG is impressive in that zero config was needed to get things going. Transferred components, hit power, and voila everything runs. Haven't had a chance to play with the riser card but a 30gb OCZ Nocti mSATA and an Intel half-height wifi will go in when I feel like monkeying antennae into the case.

I second Mechromancer's question, what is this fancy memory change we've been hearing about??

April 14, 2012 | 08:05 PM - Posted by Hood (not verified)

My only questions also pertain to the Thunderbolt header. I assume it will support 2nd generation Cactus Ridge controllers in the near future, and if so;
1. Why is more PCI-E bandwidth important if available video cards aren't even saturating PCI-E 2.0 lanes?
2. I couldn't buy a high-end Nvidia PCI-E 3.0 video card if I tried, everyone is "out of stock", so will it be the same with "Thunderbolt" video cards and controllers, limited quantity releases, outrageous prices, etc.?
3. Why is there no real information available? Never mind, I know the answer to that one. Intel is the ringmaster of this circus, and if they choose to add a little drama to our lives, who are we to complain? You have to love them anyway, they're the best and always will be.

I have reviewed in depth over 100 motherboards in the last year (+ uncounted chipsets, cases, PSUs, CPUs, heatsinks, DIMMs, video cards, fans, SSDs, HDDs, etc). Asus boards consistently top my list, for reliability, features, performance, and ease of use. I expect nothing less from the new line of Z77 boards. I'm torn between the Sabertooth and Deluxe boards; both have features that weren't available in Z68 boards. Keep up the good work!

April 14, 2012 | 10:55 PM - Posted by OctaveanActually (not verified)

Asus Z77 motherboard questions follow up:

13) What if any differences pro or con will there be with the ASUS implementation of Intel Thunderbolt support with respect to Thunderbolt on Apple hardware seen today?

April 14, 2012 | 11:13 PM - Posted by OctaveanActually (not verified)

Asus Z77 motherboard questions follow up:

14) Will ASUS follow up their release of Intel Thunderbolt support on select Z77 motherboards with their own ASUS branded line of Thunderbolt products?

15) The modular nature of having a Thunderbolt header on the supporting ASUS  Z77 motherboards interfacing with an add-in card for full support raises the question if a controller upgrade would be possible down the line if the controller is on the add-in card?  

So for example, would Thunderbolt supporting Z77 ASUS motherboards be upgradable to future optical implementations of Intel Thunderbolt by upgrading the interface card connecting to the header on the motherboard?

April 15, 2012 | 05:44 AM - Posted by ryandigweed

Will there be a vast difference in the thunderbolt speeds of an original mac, and this chipset based system?

Will there be more chipsets after this one? or will this socket be extinct after next year?

What will be the price range to get one of these?, will there be slightly lower range boards?

April 15, 2012 | 10:48 AM - Posted by shakyone

What is the default RAM Speed?

Which Z77 ITX board is best suited for SFF gaming? (minus the ASUS offering, the accessory board is too large what I'm looking for...)

April 15, 2012 | 11:38 AM - Posted by KngtRider (not verified)

Which brand/model Wireless cards are validated and supported for the onboard mPCIE slots ?

April 17, 2012 | 10:12 AM - Posted by flashcrew

Does WiFi-Go+BT-Go Module bundled with P8Z77-V Deluxe could be used on P8Z77-V / PRO instead of using the bundled WiFi-Go Module? Could this be interchangeable across all the compatible Asus Z77 motherboards? Sort of compatibility with each other?

The same thing on mPCIe combo card bundled on Maximus V Gene, could I use the WiFi-Go module on it instead the mPCIe combo card?

Would there be a seperate retail WiFi-Go+BT-Go or mPCIe combo card that can be bought in the near future so I could equipped that on P8Z77-V / PRO or Maximus V Gene?

April 25, 2012 | 09:33 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Will the WiFi Go! software be compatible with other Asus boards like the Sabertooth Z77? Or will it only work with those boards that already have the WiFi module built-in?

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