The P8Z77-V Deluxe is yet again, another extremely impressive motherboard from Asus, shipping fully loaded and targeted firmly at the high end enthusiast audience. This board is around £20 more expensive than the excellent Sabertooth Z77 which we reviewed a couple of weeks ago.
The P8Z77-V Deluxe bundle is very strong, including dual Wi-Fi Ring Antenna and a Wi-Fi Go! card to ensure strong networking performance when physical cabling is just not a viable option. The board also has support for both three way Crossfire and Quad SLI system configurations and has been rock solid in the last week of testing.
Performance when paired with the Intel Core i7 3770k is very strong, drawing a new performance line in the sub £300 sector. Overclocking with this board is relatively easy, although the 3770k can get toasty when the voltage is cranked past 1.25 volts. Achieving 4.6ghz is very simple, with only a voltage increase to 1.24 volts needed. Achieving 4.8ghz was possible and we recorded a CPUz validation, but the most expensive mainstream coolers such as the Corsair H100 would be required for daily, long term use.
The Intel Core i7 3770k delivered some noticeable improvements when compared to the 2700k, especially in the Sandra Cryptography test, showing the benefits of the new architecture. Core by Core, those gains translated into performance improvements when rendering 3D scenes with Cinema 4D and 3D Studio Max. Video encoding showed similar gains, and the Core i7 3770k system landed right at the top of our performance chart. It is an ideal, reasonable cost option for gamers who also have media demands.
If you already own a 2600k or 2700k then we aren’t sure you should be immediately planning to ditch your current rig for a new purchase, but it all depends on exactly what you want to get from your system. Gamers will see minor frame rate increases when paired with a discrete gaming card, although as the Total War Shogun 2 test highlights the gains are obviously more noticeable at lower resolutions, such as 720p.
Power consumption is also quite remarkable, thanks to the architectural changes and latest manufacturing process it consumes less power than the 2600k, 2700k and highlights the AMD FX8150 as a highly inefficient power hog.
Pricing of the Intel i7 3770k has yet to be confirmed as it won’t be available via the channel for another week, but estimations at time of publication are around the £249.99 inc vat mark.
Both products deserve our highest award, because they set a new performance standard in the high end enthusiast sector. Intel’s X79 platform is still clearly the performance leader, but the cost of ownership is a price that few will be willing to pay.
The Asus P8Z77-V Deluxe is available from ARIA for £193.99 inc vat.