ASUS Z77 LGA1155 Motherboards Preview
A little over a week ago, we had the opportunity to check out and even briefly go hands-on with next-generation ASUS motherboards based on a yet-to-be-released Intel 7-series chipset, specifically the enthusiast-grade Z77 Express. Now chances are you know what is coming up from Intel, and you likely even know what is it called if you follow tech news closely or have simply read the conclusion of our Core i7-3820 review, but for the purposes of this article we are only allowed to called “it” the 3rd generation Intel Core processor family.
While we have to tap dance around any specifics regarding the chipset or the processors themselves, one of the details that we can confirm is that these new motherboards will be based on the current LGA1155 socket and will support the current 2nd generation Intel Core processors, otherwise known as Sandy Bridge. With that out of the way, it is time to show you what ASUS’ motherboard line-up is going to look like and detail some of cool new features that they have developed. We are particularly interested in highlighting the proprietary technologies that will be featured on all the upcoming ASUS motherboards based on the 7 series chipsets.
First of all, the onboard TurboV Processing Unit (TPU) and Energy Processing Unit (EPU) controllers have been carried over and upgraded to form Dual Intelligent Processors 3, with the expressed purpose of increasing overall performance while reducing energy consumption via optimized power management. More importantly, D.I.P 3 now works in coordination with the new DIGI+ Power Control, which are a series of digital voltage controllers that permit very precise tuning of CPU, iGPU and DRAM power delivery. To make best use of the versatile PWM technology, ASUS have also introduced one-click performance optimization settings and Smart CPU Power Level profiles, which we will take a closer look at in our upcoming reviews.
While optimizing performance and power consumption is great, equally important are a cool and quiet-running system. With this in mind, ASUS have unveiled FAN Xpert 2, which offers by far the most customizable and capable fan controls ever offered on any motherboard. We won't go over everything, but this hardware-based solution features a Fan Auto Tuning Mode that scans fans individually to determine their minimum and maximum rotational speeds, as well as everything in between, and creates automatic system-specific fan profiles or allows for very precise manual control of the fan curves for each fan header.
Another noteworthy addition to the upcoming Intel 7-series chipset motherboards from ASUS is Wi-Fi GO! technology. More than just a means to a wirelessly connect to the internet, Wi-Fi GO! allows for easier and more seamless use of functions like DLNA for streaming/receiving media content from a variety of devices. We saw it flawlessly stream an HD movie from one desktop to another and from one desktop to an Android tablet. It also has a Remove Desktop feature so you can remotely access and control a desktop system from a mobile device, basically giving you access to a virtual version of your actual desktop that's always at your finger tips. The utility they have developed for Wi-Fi GO! also has the capability to turn your desktop into a router, just in case you need to create an ad-hoc wireless network.
By the way, as you may have noticed in the above paragraph, this article makes heavy use our fancy zoom feature so if you see any reddish words, click on them because something informative is going to pop-up. Enough with the words though, let's move onto the pictures.
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