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 Post subject: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherboard
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:24 am 
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Due to unforeseen consequences, I had to build myself a new desktop computer. After careful consideration, I ended up with the Asus P8Z77-M PRO as the foundation. This is what I have to say about it after a few days of use.

Quick rundown

This motherboard manages to be compact and feature-rich without noticeable compromises or a high price. All the latest interfaces are supported, along with plenty of headers and clever tweaking (fans, overclocking) software. There's even SLI for those that want it, and I think most of us won't miss WLAN in our desktop builds. This is a solid base for any build from silence to high performance.

The price at the time of writing was a very reasonable 129 EUR. Premium boards with the same Z77 chipset like the Asus Maximus V Gene or the SPCR Recommended P8Z77-V Pro go for around 189 euros. That difference will easily justify a CPU and RAM upgrade if you go with the M PRO.

Main observations

  • Assembly is relatively painless. The board is easy to handle but the rigid I/O shield can be a pain. Good labels and okay manual, some clever peripherals but nothing groundbreaking.
  • Plugging everything in is straightforward and there were no obstructions in my setup, even with the large CPU cooler and memory slots. NB the SATA ports are facing sideways, not "up", so some cases and angled connectors may not be compatible. For me it made cable management easier.
  • Special mention for having PCI-E x16 available in the top slot, good for long cards in the Define Mini or cases with a similar layout.
  • CPU socket location incompatible with Define Mini motherboard tray cutout. Otherwise wiring and sockets line up nicely with said case.
  • The fan control is great (Fan Xpert+, not 2 like in the P8Z77-V). While not total, as in you can't turn fans off for semipassive cooling or define values without restrictions, it does control both PWM and analog fans on Chassis Fan headers at least (3, good for mATX) and has an intuitive software interface, both in UEFI and in OS (Windows-only?). The only major downside is that you can't define very low values: either the software decides it's dangerous based on fan data (it analyses your fans, smart!) or it's hardcoded at a 41 % minimum. This is okay so inexperienced users don't cook their rig accidentally, but frustrating for hardcore silencers.
  • BIOS updates are necessary. Two were already out at the time of writing, both included "stability improvements".
  • Most of the motherboard works without any software installations but should not be used as-is. A number of drivers and other software required for board to have all features advertised. Allows modular setup where unwanted features don't get in your face.

Good for: most setups, good features for ordinary silencers and gamers, not overly complicated for surfers or office workers.
Bad for: hardcore silencers out-of-the-box (stock fan control still limited), shoestring budget setups, monster builds (you want ATX), backwards compatibility (no PCI, IDE).

Verdict

Highly recommended. Meets all common requirements and has clever bonuses. I was skeptical of the PRO name due to past experiences, but this one seems more like the well-received EVOs of yore.

Here's some pictures with a shoddy phonecam:
ImageImageImage
--

This is my two cents. I have not run comprehensive tests (aside from Memtest, ORTHOS and AS SSD Benchmark) or done extensive comparison with the competition beyond pre-purchase research and what I've gleaned from reading enthusiast sites with interest. My specs are in my signature. Feel free to ask questions!

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:46 am 
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Thanks for sharing. Too bad about Fan Xpert+ instead of Fan Xpert2. A couple of things that I can't quite tell from the pictures:
- How much clearance is there between your CPU cooler and a potential GPU card in the first slot?
- Will the NB heatsink potentially impact the GPU card's skyline?

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:58 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
Thanks for sharing. Too bad about Fan Xpert+ instead of Fan Xpert2. A couple of things that I can't quite tell from the pictures:
- How much clearance is there between your CPU cooler and a potential GPU card in the first slot?
- Will the NB heatsink potentially impact the GPU card's skyline?

Fan Xpert+ - from what I can see based on the SPCR review linked in the main post - is functionally equivalent to Fan Xpert 2 except for some non-essential automation. I guess it's Asus limiting the best stuff to premium boards, but I don't miss anything I've seen of 2. To answer the questions:

- Clearance between CPU cooler and card is very small. Nothing with backside heatsinks in the affected area would fit. I don't have a way to measure the gap right now, but it's enough to install a card with a smooth backside for sure with this particular cooler.
- The chipset (SB?) heatsink is comfortably flat, http://www.asus.com/websites/global/products/VRY7tGqmUro3DlBJ/P_500.jpg. It should not interfere with a card that stays within the footprint of its PCB (= stays above slot depth).

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:42 am 
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Did some more testing with Fan Xpert+, the 40 % limit is hardcoded. Even a Noctua NF-P12 that doesn't give any readings in the automated test below 60 % can be dialed down to 40 % but no lower. At 40 % the RPM reported is a little over 600 (606).

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:06 am 
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Thank you very much for your heads-up on the case. I am, like many others, disappointed by the minimum RPM at 40%. Very disappointed actually. How does FanXpert+ analyse the fans?

Also, the Define R3 unfortunately doesn't have much room behind the motherboard. How about the Mini? Did you have any problems routing the cables behind the motherboard?

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Cooler Master Elite 341, Athlon II X3 425, Radeon 5750 (passive, fan zip-tied on), Crucial M4 64 GB.
Cooling: AC Alpine 64 Pro, rear exhaust Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm @ ~5 V


"SSD's: The difference between a casual jogger and a dog chasing a ball"


Last edited by kuzzia on Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:11 am 
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kuzzia wrote:
Thank you very much for your heads-up on the case. I am, like many others, disappointed by the minimum RPM at 40%. Very disappointed actually. How does FanXpert+ analyse the fans?

You press a button in the software and it takes the fan through 0-10-20-...-100 % drive and records the RPM. The results are saved as reference on the fan's page in the software. As the Noctua proved the RPM recording is accurate but may not catch the lowest (<800) readings every time.

PS. The test really does do the sub-40 % steps, as the default front fan of the Define Mini reported RPM at a drive as low as 30 %. The reported RPM was 251, but I suspect that's false, as the fan must have just spooled up and had not stabilised yet - the reading at 40 % was already at 613 RPM. Or maybe I'm wrong and the fan really does rotate that slowly even after starting up (usually you need to dial down from higher RPM to get so low).

PPS. Regarding the cables, the backside cover panel is a rather tight fit, but that's more by design than a design flaw. Excellent for reducing vibration hum and the like. The routing presented no problems, and if you look at the pictures you can see I wasn't even being clever about it. With some effort you could perhaps defuse that jam of cables in the bottom corner by routing non-essential cables through the top, as the front panel cables for one are quite long. The biggest "problem" was the crap zip-ties Fractal Design provides with the case and there not being more than two at that.

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


Last edited by Das_Saunamies on Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:25 am 
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Thanks for the extremely quick response. If the front fan can run below 40%, will the FanXpert+ allow it to?

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Cooler Master Elite 341, Athlon II X3 425, Radeon 5750 (passive, fan zip-tied on), Crucial M4 64 GB.
Cooling: AC Alpine 64 Pro, rear exhaust Scythe Slipstream 800 rpm @ ~5 V


"SSD's: The difference between a casual jogger and a dog chasing a ball"


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:28 am 
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kuzzia wrote:
Thanks for the extremely quick response. If the front fan can run below 40%, will the FanXpert+ allow it to?

Nope. It's hardcoded at 40 %, so it's not intelligent. My guess is still that it's to prevent people from frying their PCs.

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:27 am 
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Dunno if the 40% limit is because of the software version, but if it is, have you considered messing with the Setup folder?
I've downloaded both + and 2, and swapping files may help you get the better version.

I don't have any board to test, tho.


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:37 am 
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Mats wrote:
Dunno if the 40% limit is because of the software version, but if it is, have you considered messing with the Setup folder?
I've downloaded both + and 2, and swapping files may help you get the better version.

I don't have any board to test, tho.

That is an interesting proposition. I have certainly been able to use the newer Asus Probe on boards that supposedly only supported the older version, but monitoring and control are quite different cases. I doubt Asus has gone out of their way in hardware to prevent this type of use, so the only worry I can see would be a hardware ID lock in the software (which is a special kind of stupid from a practical standpoint, but that's how business is done).

This would be tempting to test if I had a more silent setup, but as things stand, the WD 6400AAKS makes sure my fans are not clearly audible until the 900 RPM range. Fan Xpert+, even with its limitations, gets me comfortably below that level.

PS. The SPCR review of the bigger, premium model does suggest that Fan Xpert 2 features control range below 40 % drive, but that there's some sort of "automatic lower limit". Apparently that is not a hard lock and thus is overridable by the user.

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:14 am 
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I'd try to replace the .cab, .hdr and .bin files, and edit the .ini files.

Data2.cab is twice as big in Fan Xpert 2.

This board has the laterst version of Fan Xpert 2.


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:23 am 
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Someone else (namely sssttt) has done some testing with Fan Xpert 2 on this board, see here for more (link).

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Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:24 am 
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Hyvä!


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:58 am 
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Nice review! I recently purchased this board for use in the Silverstone GD05 w/ an Intel i5-3570K. Did you lose any memory slots with the aftermarket CPU cooler installed? Also, how close was the cooler to the PCIe slot? Any ideas of a cooler's max dimensions (width primarily) one can use before running into problems? I ask because I've read of some problems with 120mm width fans, such as the Scythe Big Shuriken, when used with Z77 mATX boards.

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:20 pm 
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Cod wrote:
I recently purchased this board


Hi and Welcome to SPCR!

I don't mean to sound snarky. But, as you've got the board, isn't it easier for you to just measure the clearances yourself rather than have someone else to measure them for you?

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1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:02 pm 
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CA_Steve wrote:
Cod wrote:
I recently purchased this board


Hi and Welcome to SPCR!

I don't mean to sound snarky. But, as you've got the board, isn't it easier for you to just measure the clearances yourself rather than have someone else to measure them for you?

Thanks for the welcome! I understand your question, but I just got the motherboard a week ago and haven't had time to really "look" at it because of work. I haven't opened yet either because the other parts I ordered are a little late arriving and I'm waiting until I get everything to open and build. I should add that I have not purchased an aftermarket cooler yet since I'm not well versed in them; however, the Scythe fits the height restrictions I'm facing (70mm).


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:40 pm 
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Cod wrote:
Nice review![...] Did you lose any memory slots with the aftermarket CPU cooler installed? Also, how close was the cooler to the PCIe slot? Any ideas of a cooler's max dimensions (width primarily) one can use before running into problems?

Cheers!

If memory serves, all RAM slots were left available with this cooler. I'm pretty sure the image caption "cooler fan does not touch or even hover over RAM. RAM can be removed or installed freely" was meant to say that the two sticks I installed were not locked in place by the fan. However, you can see clearly in the second picture that if you remove the fan (a quick job with Noctua wire clips), the slots are definitely accessible, and standard-height or lower sticks should fit with ease.

The cooler comes "close" to the first PCI-E x16 slot. That's all I can say. Since I don't use a card in that slot, I didn't take precise measurements. Maybe a large pen's width between them?

As for size, I wouldn't personally use a bigger cooler than this. It's close enough to the card slot already (height), and it's just about the perfect size considering the RAM slots (width). This is a good reference size I think; anything smaller is definitely okay, as long as the heatpipes at the base are not spread too wide.

I was considering a small heatsink, but did not like the models reviewed at SPCR at the time (push-pins etc.). Since you're using a smaller case (GD05), I would go see if the Scythe Big Shuriken 2 (link to SPCR review) might be right for you. That would be my first choice.

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:11 am 
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Addendum 1

So the mood to tweak took over today and I decided to put the other stock Fractal fan in intake slot 2 (2 intakes total) and move the HDDs around to improve cooling; I like them under 40 °C and I was getting, *gasp*, 43-45 tops. In the process I took some more measurements, photos and made some observations.

Photo showing the cooler RAM slot overhang:
Image

1 RAM slot is overhung, unlike I remembered, but there is ample room below the fan still, and if you take it off it is very easy to service even the last slot. The 3 other slots are easily accessible, 2 of them being the primary dual-channel slots.

To measure the PCI-E slot and cooler distance, I had to use the "universal object method", as my tape measure proved inaccurate at best at the angle I could reach. Plus I didn't want metal near the motherboard. I chose a Bic pen, and sure enough the gap is just about the diameter of your regular Bic pen. IF ANYONE HAS A FRESH BOARD NOT IN THE CASE, I'M SURE PEOPLE WOULD APPRECIATE AN ACCURATE MEASUREMENT! :wink:

The observation I would like to make is that the Fan Xpert+ seems very consistent in its fan testing, i.e. it does wait long enough for the fan to stabilise to get a reading. I ran tests three times on both intake fans and the results were always within 70 RPM or less from the reference value of the initial test. I think the SPCR standard "variation margin" is 50 RPM for single fans, so I'd say this acceptable.

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:37 pm 
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An observation: you CAN get as low as 20% on this board's PWM control, but you need to draw the signal from the CPU cooler pin(s). You could use a splitter cable, like Akasa makes, that draws power from the PSU and just uses the mobo to give the duty cycle signal. Realised this when poking around after a BIOS update.

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:10 pm 
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What speed were the Fractal Design case fans in your Define Mini? Mine are apparently the 1300 RPM fans that now show on Fractal Design's web site as 'R2' models. They were tested in Fan Xpert+ having speeds of about 1330 RPM. With my ear at the case, I can barely hear the two of them running in the front intakes at 950 RPM, which is what they do at 60%.

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Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-M PRO CPU: Intel i5-3750K CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen 3 Rev.B Memory: G.Skill Ares DDR3 1600 16 GB
Boot Drive: Samsung 830 SSD 128 GB Work Drive: WDC WD1001FALS 1 TB 7200 RPM Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB DVD-RW
Case: Fractal Design Define Mini Fans: 2 x FD 120mm front, Scythe 120mm PWM rear Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 620


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:37 am 
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I got 1300 RPM fans as well. I keep mine at 600 RPM, 40%. They're just HDD cooling and I only have the 1x120 exhaust, i.e. 2x120 intake should be enough positive pressure. One FD fan has a slight rattle or harsh chafe to its sound. They are pretty smooth and relatively quiet otherwise, as the SPCR review points out.

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:34 am 
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I hadn't realized this, but apparently the BIOS settings and Fan Xpert+ settings interact. Last time I powered up the PC I was forced into the BIOS setup because the CPU fan speed was reported as low. I set the CPU fan speed profile to 'Turbo' and now looking in Fan Xpert+ I see that this setting has overridden the old User setting that I had set.

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Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-M PRO CPU: Intel i5-3750K CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen 3 Rev.B Memory: G.Skill Ares DDR3 1600 16 GB
Boot Drive: Samsung 830 SSD 128 GB Work Drive: WDC WD1001FALS 1 TB 7200 RPM Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB DVD-RW
Case: Fractal Design Define Mini Fans: 2 x FD 120mm front, Scythe 120mm PWM rear Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 620


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:46 am 
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They sure do. I kept inadvertently resetting mine when tweaking the BIOS/UEFI, and the latest BIOS/UEFI update I mentioned reset my CPU cooler profile and others to Silent (I think), which made me notice the 20% lower limit. My user-made settings were thankfully saved, so I could just reselect them.

I updated out of curiosity, not necessity, if any future readers are wondering. The board has worked like a charm.

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:56 pm 
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Sorry for this noob question but will a 3 7970 fit on this motherboard?

It says on their website http://ph.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z77M_PRO/#specifications that it supports Quad-gpu crossfirex support.

Quote:
Quad-GPU SLI and Quad-GPU CrossFireX Support!


Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:03 am 
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The manual only mentions installing two cards, and I think the "Quad-GPU support" is referring to using two cards with two GPUs each, i.e. 2x2, not 4x1. This is further supported by footnote 1 in the Specifications on the Asus website, http://ph.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_S ... ifications): "*1: With 2 PCIex16 graphics card.".

So no, don't think three cards will work, even though there are three full-length (x16 form factor) PCI-E slots. You'd want a full ATX board for that number anyway to have a chance at adequate breathing room for the cards.

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:13 am 
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Did you see the 1504 BIOS update that came out on Aug 10 (ten days after the previous one)?

I did the update, even though it's a bit of a pain, since I have to set memory timings and fan configuration every time the BIOS is updated.

_________________
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-M PRO CPU: Intel i5-3750K CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen 3 Rev.B Memory: G.Skill Ares DDR3 1600 16 GB
Boot Drive: Samsung 830 SSD 128 GB Work Drive: WDC WD1001FALS 1 TB 7200 RPM Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB DVD-RW
Case: Fractal Design Define Mini Fans: 2 x FD 120mm front, Scythe 120mm PWM rear Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 620


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:18 am 
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JJ wrote:
Did you see the 1504 BIOS update that came out on Aug 10 (ten days after the previous one)?

I did the update, even though it's a bit of a pain, since I have to set memory timings and fan configuration every time the BIOS is updated.

Yeah, I've learned to wait at least a month with Asus, unless there is a critical need for the BIOS update. And even then I prefer to install every second update, i.e. skip one version between updates... but this time my system failed me. :D

I picked memory with XMP so I don't have to do any setup unless I overclock. The fan settings seem to save, so it's just a matter of reselecting your own settings in OS.

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:23 pm 
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Posts: 222
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Which Asus Xonar card are you using? XD? DX?

I've been hearing some not great things out of the onboard audio (occasional distortion) and am thinking about adding a PCIe Xonar sound card or an external USB DAC. I only need two channels.

_________________
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-M PRO CPU: Intel i5-3750K CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen 3 Rev.B Memory: G.Skill Ares DDR3 1600 16 GB
Boot Drive: Samsung 830 SSD 128 GB Work Drive: WDC WD1001FALS 1 TB 7200 RPM Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB DVD-RW
Case: Fractal Design Define Mini Fans: 2 x FD 120mm front, Scythe 120mm PWM rear Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 620


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:56 pm 
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JJ wrote:
Which Asus Xonar card are you using? XD? DX?

I've been hearing some not great things out of the onboard audio (occasional distortion) and am thinking about adding a PCIe Xonar sound card or an external USB DAC. I only need two channels.

Card's in the sig, it's the DX, shop sold it as a "DX-XD". Nice card, bar the dodgy SPDIF adapter and faulty volume normalisation; if you use the SVN function you get loud pops when playback starts. Getting on a bit in age too, but the sound card market moves at a glacial pace.

These days I prefer DACs. It's a bigger investment (like 140 EUR to 80 EUR) than a DX card, but much easier to physically install and migrate. I haven't had interference problems with my DX, but a DAC would solve those too. Only downside to a DAC is it steals one of your USB ports... which we could have more of in the first place if it wasn't for the blasted sound chips and their I/O. :twisted:

I stopped using onboard audio after Soundstorm was phased out. Every Realtek chip I've heard has had a thin or overcompensated and at worst hissy sound. Pointless chips with unjustifiedly massive I/O shield space, if you ask me, as there are plenty of affordable USB sound cards around that have nice sound. When my X-Fi blew up on the last mobo and took a headset with it, I used a cheapo Logitech USB sound card for a while and it beat the Realtek chip in every way, especially microphone quality.

_________________
Case: FD Define Mini
Parts: P8Z77-M Pro µATX, i5-3570K @stock, N650Ti-1GD5/OC, G.Skill 2x4/1600/CL9 DDR3U, Xonar DX, WD G 1 TB, m4 128 GB, RX-5300 PSU
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 + Scythe SS PWM, 2x Noctua NF-P12
Extras: Eaton UPS, Dell 24" EIPS, Ducky kb, SteelSeries m, Synology DS213j NAS
idle & load: CPU 32 °C & 44 °C @ 300/600 & 600/800 RPM, GPU 35-65 °C @ 1200-1650 RPM


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 Post subject: Re: First Impressions: Asus P8Z77-M PRO mATX LGA1155 motherb
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:42 pm 
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Posts: 56
Location: Germany
Thanks for sharing.

Looks like a good board, but as a "hard-core silencer" I now have some doubts. Perhaps a board like Intel's DH77EB (for a non-gaming rig) would be better, given its lower energy consumption, although the ASUS board meets higher standards in other areas.

"It's hardcoded at 40 %, so it's not intelligent. My guess is still that it's to prevent people from frying their PCs."

Yet intelligent as marketing policy. No outraged comments on Newegg, etc.

You could install rheostats like the Zalman Fan Mate to circumvent the board's restrictions. Pity not to use the board options, though.


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