Asus P8Z77-V Pro: Xpert Fan Control for LGA1155

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The P8Z77-V Pro shares a similar appearance as most of Asus' previous Sandy Bridge series 6 motherboards, making it difficult to distinguish. The black PCB with mainly blue slots and heatsinks is quite familiar to us by now and the layout follows the same blueprint as the board's predecessors.

The P8Z77-V Pro is outfitted with three PCI-E 16x 3.0 slots (8x/8x/4x when all three used in tandem) for SLI/CrossFireX operation. The board is well equipped for storage, hosting eight side-facing SATA ports, 4 x 3 Gbps and 2 x 6 Gbps from the native Intel controller, and an additional 2 x 6 Gbps ports powered by a secondary ASMedia controller.

USB support is well-represented with four USB 3.0 ports at the back, and two internal headers (the light blue, oblong connectors on the far left and right of the above image) for an additional four ports. Like the SATA ports, the workload is split between a native Intel controller and an ASMedia add-on controller. There are also four onboard USB 2.0 headers and two ports on the back, bringing the total number of possible 2.0 connectors to 10.

The VRM heatsinks are less fanciful than on the P8P67 series, with broad fins pointing straight up rather than thin strips bent outwards. They are quite low as is the current fashion, measuring 27 mm from the surface of the PCB so as not to get in the way of third party CPU heatsinks. The board uses a 12+4 phase power design.

Heatspreaders are present on the trace side of the motherboard as well to help cool the VRMs.

On the P8Z77-V Pro's back panel, multiple video outputs (DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, and VGA) and an extra two USB 3.0 ports have taken the place of FireWire and eSATA connectors which were almost ubiquitous on older high-end models (you can adapt one internal SATA connector to eSATA using the included breakout panel). Also notable are the USB 2.0 ports which support charging higher power devices.

Asus also provides a WiFi adapter that plugs into a header near the rear USB 2.0 ports. An external antenna with a magnetized base and an ~80 cm cable is included though we didn't find the range to be any better than most integrated solutions, even with the antenna placed well above the test platform.

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