I have to admit, I truly enjoy watching people overspend. I probably enjoy it even more when they talk about the quality and performance of items based solely on its price. Why buy the best when you can spend more, right? Naturally, there are different tiers of items in everything from clothes and shoes to computer components. The varieties are absolutely endless. The thing that remains consistent is that pricing does not necessarily dictate an item’s worth, nor does it necessarily have any indication of how applicable an item is to your specific needs. If you ask people if a Ferrari 458 is a better vehicle than a 2008 Dodge Caravan, you will get a pretty unanimous “of course”. However, that Ferrari isn’t going to do a mom with three kids or a carpenter a whole lot of good on a daily basis.
Really, the main goal in system building is finding the right component at the right price that fits your needs. ASUS has always done a great job at covering this school of thought, offering a wide variety of motherboards at various price points. Currently, they have eighteen (yes, eighteen) models of Z77 motherboards in their lineup. As you go through the models, you see very slight changes as you move up the line, subtle tweaks and nuances that are aimed to meet the specific demands of the target user. There are even boards at basically the same price point that simply have different connectivity options. The thing that remains constant is that ASUS builds a top tier quality motherboard, regardless of price point. Their aim is to offer a board that is right for your needs.
The ASUS P8Z77-V LE Plus is no different in this philosophy. While lower priced than some of their top line pieces, the quality remains the same. The P8Z77-V LE Plus packs together a top quality PCB, a full featured Z77 chipset, PCIe 3.0 with tri-SLI/Crossfire and Quad-GPU support and ASMedia USB 3.0 with UASP support into a board that is pocket and user friendly for the step-up builder. Legacy PCI slots are added for retaining hardware with this interface. The Smart Digi+ with Dual Intelligent Processors 3 controls a 6+2 phase VRM that is more than capable for everyday overclocking, and offers ASUS’ vaunted one click TPU and EPU control. Ai Suite II with FanExpert+ and Network iControl gives total control of the board through tweaks within the Windows environment. To take advantage of the Intel LGA1155 CPUs’ integrated graphics, Lucid VirtuMVP is supported for hybrid graphics, as is QuickSync for accelerated video transcoding. To get the iGPU to your monitor, DVI, VGA, HDMI and DisplayPort connections are available on the rear I/O. On the audio end, a Realtek 889 provides 8-channel HD audio with front I/O connectivity. The Z77 chipset natively handles connectivity with two SATA 6Gb/s ports, four SATA 3Gb/s ports, ten USB 2.0 ports and four USB 3.0 ports to add to the two provided by the ASMedia chip. A Marvell controller adds 6Gb/s eSATA, as well as one extra on board port. Put together, the P8Z77-V LE Plus makes a very impressive package.