Asus P8Z77-V Pro: Xpert Fan Control for LGA1155

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FAN Xpert 2

Currently only four motherboards in Asus' entire lineup supports the latest version of their fan speed utility, FAN Xpert 2. This new and improved high-end feature is one of the key selling points for the P8Z77 WS, P8Z77-V Pro, P8Z77-V Deluxe, and the cheapest model, the US$200 P8Z77-V.

The FAN Xpert 2 screen looks similar to the previous iteration with fan information taking up the majority of the space on the left with sensor readings ever present on the right side. As the board has five independently controllable headers, the two item drop down menu has been replaced with a clickable dots for each fan.

To make proper use of FAN Xpert, the fan tuning option is used first. The utility methodically spins each fan up and down determining its minimum/maximum speed. This is useful even if you use the same fan model for all the case fans as there is always some level of variation.

The fan speed analysis can be presented in a table but the graph option is more appealing to eye. For this particular fan, the controllable range is 38% and above. Going below this seems possible, but it looks like the fan utility determines the minimum speed at which a fan will start reliably, which is a bit of safety margin. Old hands at SPCR know that once a fan is spinning, the speed can usually dialed down to even lower than the fan can start at reliably, but keeping at this speed is risky: When the system is turned off at such a low speed, the fan won't start when the system is powered up again. This intelligence appears to be embedded in FAN Xpert 2!

As the board can power up to six fans, it's easy to forget which fan is connected to which header once it's mounted inside a case. The confusion is short-lived though thanks to this nifty option that isolates each fan one by one.

You can then name each fan header and if that's not enough to differentiate them, you can also assign it a position in the case to act as an additional visual aid.

If you prefer static control, use the RPM Fix Mode and drag the line down to the desired speed. The red dotted line represents the cutoff point, the fan's minimum speed.

For dynamic control, Smart Mode lets you adjust the fan speed curve to your liking according to the CPU temperature. You can also change how fast the speeds react depending on whether it's increasing or decreasing.

Overall, FAN Xpert 2 is incredibly comprehensive, with the only notable missing feature being the ability to make fans react to temperature sensors other than the CPU. This is one area where Intel is superior, or at least the DZ77GA-70K. Its four fan headers can be set to respond to any of the board's four internal sensors (CPU, PCH, VRM, and RAM). Our favorite third party fan utility, SpeedFan, also has this ability, but it doesn't currently work on the P8Z77-V Pro (only temperature sensors are detected, no fan speed sensors or controls are available).

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