Asus P8Z77-M review: Asus P8Z77-M

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CNET Editors' Rating

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The Good A feature-balanced and affordable board.

The Bad Cramped dimensions could make graphics card removal difficult. Eight-pin power connector could be a pain to deal with once the heatsink is mounted.

The Bottom Line There's a tendency among hardware reviewers to use the word "solid" as a stand-in for something with no surprises, that does the job it's asked to do and has no real peaks but no real troughs, either. Larry is "solid" — a little board that will likely see you through to the end, if the features satisfy your checklist of needs.

Given that we've had Sergio, Bob and Steve so far, we figured we'd better keep this train rolling and take a look at Larry.

Connectivity

  • Web page: Asus
  • Form factor: ATX (305x244mm)
  • Chipset: Intel Z77
  • External USB: 2 x 3.0 (Intel), 4 x USB 2.0
  • Internal USB: 6 x 2.0, 2 x 3.0 (Intel)
  • SATA 6Gbps: 2 x Intel
  • SATA 3Gbps: 4 x Intel
  • PCI-E: x16: 1 | x8: 1 | x4: 1 | x1: 2
  • PCI: 1
  • E-SATA: None
  • Video: DVI, VGA, HDMI
  • Audio: TOSLink, 5.1 Realtek ALC887
  • Ethernet: 1Gbps Realtek 8111F

Larry, who in a former life went by the name of the P8Z77-M, is an mATX board aimed solidly at the mainstream. Like Bob, it uses a brown PCB that sends our thoughts back to the 486 days when the world was still in sepia, there was no audio and everyone moved a little bit faster than they should.

As an mATX board, it's missing a few features found on full-sized boards, but the giant, heaving glob of people known as computer users will generally find that Larry ticks their boxes in an approving manner. Enthusiasts may look elsewhere, like to Asus' own Gene series or Gigabyte's Sniper, for more options and power.

A pair of Intel-powered USB 3.0 ports sits at the back, with another two provided by internal header. Four USB 2.0 ports are available at the rear, with yet another six powered internally by header. It's got HDMI, DVI, VGA, optical SPDIF, a pair of SATA 6Gbps ports and four 3Gbps ports. While we're used to seeing a cluster of SATA ports parallel with the board, Larry has them set up old style: perpendicular and spread out.

It's been a while since we've not seen SATA ports arranged in a parallel cluster.
(Credit: Craig Simms/CNET)

Gigabit Ethernet is supplied by Realtek's RTL8111F, and audio by the very same company's ALC887, although curiously only three 3.5mm ports are supplied. This is fine for 5.1 sound, as each can be retasked through the Realtek software to do front, surround and centre/sub channels. Asus claims that the front panel audio header will output eight-channel sound, so long as you have a case that has that many outputs. We're not aware of any at the time of writing.

 

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Where to Buy

Asus P8Z77-M

Part Number: CNETAsus P8Z77-M

Typical Price: $115.00

See manufacturer website for availability.