Budget-Friendly Two of Asus motherboard P8Z77-V models

Friday, April 27th 2012. | Hardware News

Asus P8Z77_vlkIf you like many others have found Asus’ range of P8Z77-V motherboards a bit on the expensive side, then the new P8Z77-V LK and P8Z77-V LX models might be what you’ve been waiting for, as both of these just announced models will end up just below the P8Z77-V LE in Asus’ range of Z77 motherboards. We’ve seen LX and LE boards in the past from Asus, but the LK is a new budget model we haven’t seen in previous generations.

We’re not entirely sure what Asus is trying to achieve by offering so many models as right now we have no less than seven P8Z77 SKUs if we include the Premium, plus two mini ATX, one ITX, the Sabertooth, the WS and soon to be two Maximus V boards with a potential third launching at Computex. That’s no less than 15 models in total and as you’ll see with these two new additions, only very minor features differ.

The P8Z77-V LX is the new entry level model and it has a smaller PCB at 305x218mm and gone are fancy features like heatsinks on the MOSFETs. Still, it’s not quite the scrape of the barrel, although Asus hasn’t really included any extra features either. You get the standard six Intel SATA ports, two x16 PCI Express slots that can operate in dual x8 mode, two x1 PCI Express slots and three PCI slots. There’s no TB_Header on this board, as it doesn’t have the required x4 PCI Express slot, something it shares with the P8Z77-V LE. No extra USB 3.0 controllers are to be found here either, so you have to make do with a header for two internal USB 3.0 ports, as well as six USB 2.0 ports.

The rear I/O isn’t terrible with a PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, three audio jacks, optical S/PDIF out and a D-sub, DVI and HDMI port. Price wise this board comes in at around US$140, not an incredible saving compared to the P8Z77-LE, but it might get cheaper over time.

For an extra US$5-10 you could pick up the P8Z77-V LK which has a slightly larger PCB at 305x224mm, yet is still smaller than the P8Z77-V LE at 305x244mm. The overall feature set of the P8Z77-V LK is similar to the P8Z77-V LX, but here you get angled SATA connectors which a bonus compared to the P8Z77-V LE, although no extra SATA controller is present. The slot layout has also been improved by adding a x4 PCI Express slot in lieu of a PCI slot, but we can’t spot a TB_Header on this model. Asus has also kitted out the P8Z77-V LK with an ASMedia USB 3.0 host controller for a total of six USB 3.0 ports and a small heatsink on part of the MOSFETs.

Around the back you get a PS/2 port, two USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, six audio jacks, an optical S/PDIF and a D-sub, DisplayPort, DVI and HDMI connector. The only thing you lose out compared to the P8Z77-V LE is an eSATA port, but price wise this board is about $10-15 cheaper than the P8Z77-V LE and if you don’t need the extra eSATA and SATA ports, we’d go for the P8Z77-V LK out of the two. One other thing that we noticed is that neither of these two new models features Asus’ TPU, USB BIOS Flashback or USB Charger+, so you’re trading off some features for cost. Both models should be available as of now.

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