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P8Z77-V LX Applications

Seven Sub-$160 Z77 Express Motherboards, Reviewed

The P8Z77-V LX includes several freeware and trial software applications, in addition to those written by or for Asus. Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Adobe Reader X, and a 60-day trial for Norton Internet Security are among them. They're all installed by default using Asus' “InstAll” method. Fortunately, that option can be deselected from the driver package’s “InstAll” menu, since you'd otherwise be plagued by Norton's pesky register/upgrade reminder.

Asus includes a USB Turbo Mode application. Unlike its competitors, however, the company uniquely supports UASP. Our recent investigation into this technology shows that certain USB 3.0-based devices already support USB Attached SCSI Protocol. But Asus thus far maintains exclusivity on the host side.

Asus still calls its vastly-updated monitoring utility PC Probe II, though today’s version is much more versatile and accurate than early versions of the software. We find voltage, temperature, and fan speed measurements, though several less significant voltage readings (such as CSA and DIMM) are still missing.

Fans of Asus' monitoring software should make sure they want to keep it before making the decision to install, as our copy would not uninstall cleanly. The pieces left behind caused no problem with a motherboard we tried to install later on using the same drive, but they did sabotage a competing vendor's monitoring software.

Going beyond live reporting, Asus Sensor Recorder provides a chart of the values seen in PC Probe II over time.

Asus Fan Expert allows users to modify the P8Z77-V LX’s automatic fan profiles for all three of the board’s four-pin headers.

Asus' EPU utility provides several automatic power-saving profiles, two of which can be reconfigured by users. We found a maximum savings of approximately 2 W at idle, compared to CPU- and operating system-based settings.

The P8Z77-V LX also includes Asus Network iControl, with which you can optimize packet prioritization to favor, for example, latency-sensitive online gaming.

Some people back things up to their 2 GB-or-larger email accounts, but downloading that saved content isn’t always convenient. Asus provides 2 GB of Web-based storage for free. You can get up to 10 GB of capacity by referring others or 1 GB by subscribing to another Asus service. The WebStorage program is used to sync and backup whatever folders you wish.

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