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Asus P8Z77-V LK Motherboard Review

Similar to rest of Asus’ P8Z77 series of motherboards, the P8Z77-V LK features a simplistic baby blue, dark blue, white, and black colour scheme. The board’s PCB isn’t as attractive as some of its higher-end siblings – it is more of a brown colour than a dark black.

The P8Z77-V LK motherboard does not conform to the standard ATX form factor of 12 x 9.6 inches (305 x 244 mm). Instead, it is a slightly narrower at around 12 x 9.17 inches (305 x 233 mm). The reasoning behind this size reduction is to reduce production costs by implementing a smaller PCB which requires less physical material.

Don’t worry; the narrower dimensions will not affect compatibility with ATX-capable cases. It just means that the right-hand column of motherboard stand-offs is rendered unnecessary.

Four DIMM slots allow the P8Z77-V LK motherboard to accept up to 32GB of dual channel DDR3 memory with a frequency in excess of 2600MHz (with a 22nm Ivy Bridge CPU). Asus has chosen to use double-latched DIMM slots rather than the more convenient single-latched versions that are found on many of its motherboards.

Positioned on the end of the motherboard’s right edge, the 24-pin connector’s wise location integrates it with the cable management routes of modern cases.

A 4-pin fan connector and the front panel USB 3.0 header are located in an easily-accessible area. The USB 3.0 header operates via the Z77 chipset’s ports.

Asus positions the 8-pin CPU power connector away from the board’s edge and in the vertical orientation. This makes it more awkward to reach with the power supply’s CPU cable, while also decreasing the effectiveness of cable management.

Positioning the connector along the board’s edge in the horizontal orientation would have been a smarter move.

The P8Z77-V LK uses a basic 4+1+1 phase power design. Although this design is entry-level, when coupled with Asus’ ‘Digi+ VRM’ digital power control, the P8Z77-V LK motherboard should have no problems powering and overclocking an efficient LGA 1155 CPU.

With only one low profile VRM heatsink being used, the Asus P8Z77-V LK motherboard’s CPU area shouldn’t cause interferences when using a large CPU cooler.

Asus deserves credit for its wise choice of expansion slots and their sensible positioning. A trio PCI-E x16 length slots, a pair of PCI connectors, and a couple of PCI-E x1 ports make a very effective combination for a circa-£100 motherboard, giving users plenty of expansion options.

The dark blue and white PCI-E x16 slots are both capable of housing high-performance graphics card, thanks to their x16 and x8 bandwidth allocation (x8/x8 when slots both are populated), respectively. Asus wisely provides a three slot gap between each of these connectors to allow for effective cooling when using multi-GPU configurations.

The lower PCI-E x16 length slot operates at a maximum speed of PCI-E 2.0 x4 bandwidth. This makes it useful for expansion cards or even a PCI-E-based SSD.

Six right-angled SATA ports are positioned in the bottom-right corner of the P8Z77-V LK motherboard. All of the ports operate from the Z77 chipset. The white ports are capable of SATA 6Gb/s speed, whereas the blue coloured variants operate at SATA 3Gb/s bandwidth.

Four USB 2.0 headers, a COM port, a 4-pin fan connector, the EPU switch, and the appropriate front panel audio and connections headers are located along the motherboard’s lower edge. The clear CMOS jumper and power LED are located above the front panel connections header.

One of our favourite inclusions on many of Asus’ motherboards is the MemOK button. Its concept is simple: system not booting due to incorrect memory settings? Simply push the MemOK button and the system will power up with a stable memory configuration.

This convenient and simplistic tool can save a large amount of time when overclocking memory or when troubleshooting.

Positioned next to the MemOK button is the GPU Boost switch which can be used to enhance the graphics performance of an LGA 1155 chip’s integrated GPU.

The P8Z77-V LK motherboard’s selection of rear IO ports gives users freedom when attaching many USB devices. The omission of an eSATA port is unlikely to concern most users, but the lack of a rear panel clear CMOS button is disappointing.

Motherboard rear ports:

  • 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
  • 1 x DVI
  • 1 x DisplayPort
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x VGA
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45) port
  • 4 x USB 3.0
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
  • 6 x Audio jack(s)

Asus uses attractive, dark blue heatsinks on the P8Z77-V LK motherboard. The sinks’ designs employ Asus’ unique appearance.

Four fan connectors are found on the Asus P8Z77-V LK motherboard, all of which are 4-pin. Asus’ decision to position the CPU fan header above the PCI-E x1 slot is an odd one which makes cable management more difficult; it would have been much better to position the header in the tried-and-tested location along the motherboard’s upper edge.

The onboard controllers featured on the Asus P8Z77-V LK motherboard are: Asmedia ASM1083 for the PCI slots, Asmedia ASM1042 for two of the rear USB 3.0 ports, Asmedia ASM1442 for the digital video connections, Realtek 8111F for Gigabit Ethernet, Realtek ALC892 for multi-channel HD audio, Nuvoton NCT6779D for monitoring and fan control, and Asus’ Digi+ VRM and EPU chips.

We didn’t run into any problems when working with the Asus P8Z77-V LK motherboard. Installing components such as a graphics card was made easy by Asus’ intelligent motherboard layout.

Motherboard slots and connectors:

  • 1 x USB 3.0 connector supports additional 2 USB 3.0 ports)
  • 4 x USB 2.0 connectors support additional 8 USB 2.0 ports
  • 1 x COM port connector
  • 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
  • 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
  • 1 x CPU Fan connector (4 -pin)
  • 3 x Chassis Fan connectors (4 -pin)
  • 1 x S/PDIF out header
  • 1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector
  • 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector
  • 1 x Front panel audio connector (AAFP)
  • 1 x System panel
  • 1 x MemOK! button
  • 1 x EPU switch
  • 1 x GPU Boost switch
  • 1 x Clear CMOS jumper

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