We were very excited to see the implementation of Thunderbolt on a PC. After witnessing its performance and realizing we were running a monitor daisy chained through an external drive it really was a sobering experience. The Thunderbolt technology really is the main star of the show for the Premium board but we cannot let that overshadow the board as a whole with its multitude of features.
The premium brand is exactly what it says: it is the Premium offering from ASUS and could even be a segment board like the ROG or WS if ASUS wanted it to be due to its insane amount of features. At the end of the day it has a good spot as the flagship for the channel P8Z77 board lineup. The board offers more features than you could shake a stick at and it ensures the board can run all of them without compromise, and that is no easy task. The Thunderbolt on this board is fully Intel certified and is the first Intel certified solution to be available on the market as such. The board also carries 4 way SLI/Crossfire support, dual Gbt Intel NIC’s, included mSATA 32GB SSD, ASUS SSD Caching II, 20 Phase VRM, Wi-Fi GO! capability with full Wi-Fi support along with Bluetooth as well for a complete wireless solution. All in all, this board is packed chock full of features.
The only disadvantage to the board is the price as the board eclipses the 400 dollar mark which is a tough pill to swallow–indeed, it is higher than many graphics cards. However, considering the power this board is packing we can see why the price is so high, as 32GB mSATA SSD’s run upwards of 60-100 dollars depending on model not to mention the cost of adding features like the PLX bridge for 4 way GPU and all of the other bells and whistles it can all quickly add up.
The P8Z77-V Premium takes all the other boards by storm, and will be a hard act to beat (perhaps even for ASUS). If you want the best of the best and are willing to pay the price to get it, there really is very little besides the price that we didn’t smile about. This board is amazing and a half and for that we would highly recommend it to anyone looking for even half the functionality it offers.
|OUR VERDICT: P8Z77-V Premium
|Summary: ASUS hit another homerun with a high performance segment board that somehow snuck into the regular channel lineup. Despite its high price, excellent performance and a litany of features such as Intel Thunderbolt make this board a powerhouse. It earns the Bjorn3D Golden Bear Award.