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Detailed specifications
Although we've covered the highlights already, here's a full rundown of the P8Z77-I Deluxe's specifications and firmware-based overclocking and fan control options.

Platform Intel Z77 Express, socket LGA1155
DIMM slots 2 DDR3, 16GB max
Expansion slots 1 PCIe 3.0 x16
Storage I/O 2 SATA RAID 6Gbps
2 SATA RAID 3Gbps
Audio 8-channel HD via Realtek ALC898
Wireless Dual-band 2.4/5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi via Broadcom DW1530
Bluetooth 4.0
Ports 1 DisplayPort
1 HDMI
1 DVI-D
4 USB 3.0
2 USB 3.0 w/ 2 headers via ASMedia ASM1042
4 USB 2.0 w/ 4 headers
1 Gigabit Ethernet via Intel 82579V
2 eSATA RAID 3Gbps

1 analog front out
1 analog bass/center out/line in
1 analog rear out/line in
1 digital S/PDIF output
Overclocking Per-core CPU multiplier: 36-63X
Base clock: 80-300MHz
GPU clock: 1150-3000MHz
DRAM clock: 800-3200MHz
CPU  voltage: 0.8-1.99V
DRAM voltage: 1.2-2.135V
VCCSA voltage: 0.61-1.56V
PCH voltage: 1.05-1.4V
PLL voltage: 1.8-1.9V
Fan control CPU: min/max temperature, fan speed
System: max temperature, min/max fan speed

The mix of ports, slots, and onboard peripherals is pretty typical of Mini-ITX boards based on this platform. Most Z77 midgets feature integrated wireless connectivity, and all the ones we've seen have some degree of firmware-based overclocking and fan control support.

We used the following system configurations for testing. Expect full reviews of the ASRock and Zotac boards soon. We also have a Gigabyte model in-house and an MSI on the way.

Processor Intel Core i7-3700K 3.5GHz
Motherboard Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe ASRock Z77E-ITX Zotac Z77-ITX WiFi
Bios revision 0801 1.70 229
Platform hub Intel Z77 Express Intel Z77 Express Intel Z77 Express
Chipset drivers Chipset:  9.3.0.1026
RST: 11.7.0.1013
Chipset:  9.3.0.1026
RST: 11.7.0.1013
Chipset:  9.3.0.1026
RST: 11.7.0.1013
Audio Realtek ALC898 Realtek ALC898 Realtek ALC892
Memory size 8GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory type Corsair Vengeance DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz
Memory timings 9-9-9-24-1T
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4000 with 9.17.10.2932 drivers
Hard drive Corsair Force Series GT 120GB
Samsung 830 Series 256GB
OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 240GB
Power Supply Corsair AX850 850W
OS Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise x64

Thanks to Intel, Corsair, Samsung, OCZ, and Asus for providing the hardware used in our test systems. We should also thank the motherboard makers for providing their products for review.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

Some further notes on our test methods:

  • DiRT Showdown was tested with medium detail settings and a 1366x768 display resolution. We used Fraps to log a 60-second snippet of gameplay from the demo's first race. To offset the fact that our gameplay sequence can't be repeated exactly, we ran this test five times on each system.

  • Power consumption was measured at the wall socket for the complete system, sans monitor and speakers, using a Watts Up Pro power meter. Our video playback load used this 1080p YouTube trailer for the movie Looper. The full-load test combined AIDA64's CPU stress test with the Unigine Heaven DirectX 11 demo running in a 1280x1024 window.
  • The Force GT 120GB SSD was used as the system drive for all tests. The Samsung 830 Series 256GB was connected as secondary storage to test Serial ATA and USB performance, the latter through a USAP-compatible Thermaltake BlacX 5G docking station. With RoboBench, we used the Samsung SSD as the source drive and the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 240GB as the destination for the read speed tests. Those roles were reversed for RoboBench's write speed tests.

    The Samsung/OCZ tag team also powered our Ethernet transfer tests. The RevoDrive served as the source and destination on the host system, while the 830 Series SSD performed those duties on the remote machine. That remote rig was based on an Asus P8P67 Deluxe motherboard with an Intel 82579 Gigabit Ethernet controller. The two systems were connected via a single Cat 6 Ethernet cable.

    The Samsung and OCZ SSDs were secure-erased before each test that involved them. The Corsair drive was also wiped before we loaded our system image.

  • Analog audio signal quality was tested using RMAA's "loopback" test, which pipes front-channel output through the board's line input. We tested with the boards idling and with a combined load consisting of AIDA64's CPU stress test, the Unigine Heaven demo, and a CrystalDiskMark 4KB random I/O test running on the Samsung SSD attached via USB 3.0.

The tests and methods we employ are usually publicly available and reproducible. All tests were run at least three times, and we reported the median of those results. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.