ASUS P8Z77-V Premium Software

The software ASUS produces, much like their BIOS, is some of the best available in the motherboard arena today.  Where some other companies offer no software at all for things like fan support and overclocking, or perhaps the company may have a simple monitoring tool, ASUS goes the whole way to ensure that almost everything that has a control that the user would be concerned about is available to select in the software.

The heart of the software comes from AI Suite.  This bit of software acts as the central hub for all other ASUS software features, which means that it is a very simple installation when it comes off the CD.

The install CD is quick and painless - one click of 'InstAll' will get you all the drivers needed, and if a user selects to customize their install, it allows selection and de-selection of various software features (anti-virus et al.).

AI Suite

AI Suite starts as a simple bar with buttons for the software tools, monitoring and updates, as well as a tuning button to allow the software to perform overclocking.  As part of our reviews of the P8Z77-V Pro and the P8Z77-V Deluxe, we have covered most of this software, including:

TurboV Evo: Overclocking tools.
DIGI+ Power Control: Adjusting power delivery to the system.
EPU: Energy saving functionality.
Fax Xpert 2: Fan control and management.
Probe II: Monitoring temperatures, voltages and fan speeds.
Sensor Recorder: Time comparison charts for Probe II.
AI Charger+: Fast USB 3.0 charging for BC 1.1 compliant devices.
USB Charger+: Fast charging while in sleep, hibernate or shutdown.
USB 3.0 Boost: Increased USB 3.0 speed.
Network iControl: Manual control over network priorities.
ASUS SSD Caching II: SSD Caching using ASUS technology and Marvell controllers.

Here are the key features:

TurboV Evo

The overclocking heart of AI Suite is TurboV Evo, which allows users to adjust the voltages and BCLK of the system in real time.  I typically use this software to find basic OS limits, and then attempt to boot into OS at that speed to give a little headroom.

Part of TurboV Evo is the Auto Tuning section, which gives users two choices for automatic overclocks - Fast and Extreme.  Both of these are covered in the Overclocking part of the P8Z77-V Premium section of this review.

DIGI+ Power Control

One of the features that ASUS likes to advertise as part of their motherboard range is the ability for the user to adjust how the power delivery responds to load.  These options help maintain constant voltage under busy periods (useful for stability testing and overclocks), or can be used to reduce the power usage of the motherboard and increase life expectancy.  Along with the BIOS controls, ASUS also offers software tools in AI Suite to perform these operations.

Fan XPert 2

In order to separate itself from the rest of the motherboard manufacturers, ASUS does like to parade their fan technology.  By using upgraded fan controllers on board, a combination of hardware and clever software allows ASUS to control their fans like no other.  From the software perspective, we have Fan Xpert 2.

Fan Xpert will auto tune the fans, giving each one a power vs. RPM curve (as fans do not linearly increase in speed with applied power).  The user can then adjust a multi-point power against temperature curve for each of the fans in the system.  In my case, I like to have my fans run as quiet as possible when idle and during videos, and as fast as they can during gaming.

ASUS P8Z77-V Premium BIOS ASUS P8Z77-V Premium In The Box, Voltage Readings
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  • Phynaz - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    And so are the handful of people that would spend $450 on a motherboard. Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - link

    I spent $300 on my Asus P6T (socket 1366) in December 08. I still use it today, only upgrading it with a USB 3.0 PCIe card and from a GTX285 to a GTX570, keeping it 'current'.

    The i7-950 and 12GB of triple-channel DDR3 keep it competitive with the upper 90% of computers made today, so I feel it was a completely worthy investment.

    Who else can honestly say they've had a computer for four years and have upgraded virtually nothing aside from the video card and still have performance competitive with the fastest computers sold today?
    Reply
  • Visual - Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - link

    Um, pretty much everyone that bought any kind of quad core?

    Mobo has always had almost zero effect on performance to begin with, CPUs have been faster than most people need them be in the last decade or so, GPU is the only thing that matters.

    This mobo is not expencive because it has any pluses in performance, but because of the extra frills and features it has... which are only worth it if you actually use them. I don't think I will need most of them currently, and can add them on to any computer if I decide to use them later on. So this mobo is not worth it for me.
    Reply
  • pandemonium - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    This is pretty silly, since A LOT rides on which CPU you're using and how overclocked it is. GPUs are DEFINITELY NOT the only thing that matters and this has been proven through hundreds of reviews and comparisons all over the net. Reply
  • BytesMage - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Never crazy. My last build was 4 years ago. 790i SLI Ultra. I've kept him alive with GPU upgrades from 9800Gx2 in 2008 to GTX 580 3gb x2 in 2011, Memory upgrades from 4gb to 8gb. This extends life yes, but you get to the point of no return and then have to build again. I am at that place now. Mobo is very important. It is the ground floor on which everything else must stand. I have had a bad Mobo in past and can tell you that it does not matter what GPU you have if your mobo is poo. I want a feature rich, stable, OC able board with plenty of room for expansion. Price is what you pay for this. Well worth it. Why is it that no one moans (much) at $600.00 GPu but they do at $450.00 MB???? It is what it is. Where I see bad pricing is SSDs $500-600 big ones for a 512gb.... Reply
  • Menetlaus - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    I don't understand the inclusion of the 32GB mSATA SSD with this motherboard, even more so at the $450 price point.

    As the article says, anyone paying that kind of cash can easily afford a bigger and faster SSD and the 32GB is barely enough for a Win 7 install. The only way I really see it being beneficial is if it came pre-configured to work as cache (using intel rapid storage tech or similar) but there would be no way for them to know which drive to speed up as there is no point in caching a fast SSD if one was installed as the OS drive.

    I really like that is has a mSATA port to allow a user to install a small form SSD, but including a 32GB drive these days is simply too small for a standalone drive and the configuration to get intel RST or similar working is not for the novice user (or so I've heard).
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    I agree the mSATA seems a frivolous extra although I would give two reasons; 1. Not big enough, 128Gb mSATA would be nice though 2. only SATA 3G, the latest mSATA cards are SATA 6G but sadly not got a board to support this yet.

    If this is a true premium board mSATA should be SATA 6G then it would be truely quick
    Reply
  • ASUSTechMKT - Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - link

    the current mSATA spec only supports 3G as it is required to be linked to the 3G PCH port per Intel specification. Additionally see the feedback above regarding the 32GB mSATA module. Lastly a larger capacity mSATA would have considerably increased the cost which was already high especially considering all the logic some covered and some not covered in the review.

    Also would not in our analysis overall usage of mSATA is very low for users in the desktop space due to higher cost compared to standard 2.5inch SSDs. This is also why we integrated the solution to ensure a fully usable out of box solution for SSD caching.
    Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    The 32GB SSD may be aimed at the Intel Smart Response SSD Caching Technology for a larger mechanical HDD.

    One may also use it for a Linux partition I guess?

    If I am to buy this, I may sell the mSATA. I wonder how much that will fetch.
    Reply
  • Azethoth - Monday, August 13, 2012 - link

    Yeah, I added a REVODRIVE 3 X2 (240GB SSD) to my Z77 build. It cost about as much as this motherboard but it doesn't need a puny 32GB cache to slow it down. My media is already on a NAS so 240GB is all I need for OS, software development and games.

    However next year I will definitely buy the premium LGA 2011 version, hopefully it comes with a 64GB SSD so I can add a backup drive under it.
    Reply

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