ASUS usually only send us their most high-end motherboards. The result is that, when we are trying to come up with buying advice for the entry-level segment, we always end up recommending other brands. Still, we've always wondered about how ASUS compare to other manufacturers in the affordable segment. To help us find out, ASUS sent the £88 P8Z77-V LX, which is the cheapest Z77 ATX motherboard in their line-up. We compared the board to 41 previously-tested Z77 boards, in particular the Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H, MSI Z77A-G43 and MSI Z77A-G45. These three affordable ATX Z77 motherboards did very well in our most recent round-up of 32 motherboards.
ASUS P8Z77-V LX
The P8Z77-V LX costs an average of £88, which is £40 less than the previously tested ASUS P8Z77-V LE. The Socket 1155 processor socket and Z77 chipset makes the motherboard compatible with all Intel Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors, from Celeron all the way up to the Core i7. The board has three DDR3 RAM slots, two PCI-Express x16 slots with a total of 16 lanes (16/0 or 8/8), two PCI-Express x1 and three standard PCI slots. The three standard PCI slots is unusual, ASUS must believe that people that are looking for a more affordable motherboard, are also hanging on to older PCI expansion cards. So if you want to use multiple PCI cards in a new PC, then this board is one of the few that has that many slots.
The motherboard has the six Serial ATA ports from the Z77 chipset (2x SATA600, 4x SATA 300), four USB 3.0 ports (two external), and ten USB 2.0 ports (four external).
The back of the card has VGA, DVI and HDMI ports for the integrated GPU of the processor. For the 7.1 audio ASUS used an aging Realtek ALC887 chip. The single Gigabit LAN port is provided by a Realtek RTL8111E chip.
The motherboard has a six-phase power supply and four fan connectors, three of which are of the PWM variety. The Mem OK button on the board is supposed to automatically solve compatibility issues with RAM modules. The GPU Boost button can accellerate the integrated GPU from the processor, without having to first access the BIOS. The EPU chip is supposed to make the P8Z77-V LX extra energy-efficient, something we will of course test. ASUS also bundles the Lucid VirtuMVP software.
The graphical EFI BIOS is identical to that of the more high-end deluxe ASUS Z77 boards. While all overclocking options are present such as adjusting voltages and so on, the hardware doesn't support as much overclocking as the more high-end boards.