ASUS Sabertooth Z77 Motherboard

Introduction

The ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 is a top mid-range socket LGA1155 motherboard targeted to the third-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors, codenamed “Ivy bridge,” and also supporting the second-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors (“Sandy Bridge”). Let’s see what the ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 has to offer.

The Intel Z77 is an upgraded version of the Z68 chipset with the same basic features (Intel Smart Response Technology and Virtu video switching technology), plus native support to four USB 3.0 ports. It also has two new technologies: Smart Connect (allowing the computer to receive emails and refresh webpages while it is in sleep mode) and Rapid Start (faster boot times).

In addition, the ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 supports the Virtu Universal MVP, which allows you to combine the performance of the integrated graphics processor available in the CPU with the performance of any video card installed. This is similar to what occurs with the Hybrid SLI and ATI Hybrid Graphics technologies, with the notable difference of not being limited to GPUs from a specific manufacturer.

ASUS has launched 12 different motherboard models based on the Intel Z77 chipset. In the tables below, we compare their main specifications.

Specification P8Z77 WS P8Z77-V DELUXE SABERTOOTH Z77 P8Z77-V PRO
Form Factor ATX ATX ATX ATX
Memory Sockets 4 4 4 4

PCI Express 3.0 x16

4 (x16/x16/x0/x0 or x16/x8/x8/x0 or x8/x8/x8/x8)

2 (x16/x0 or x8/x8)

2 (x16/x0 or x8/x8)

3 (x16/x0 or x8/x8)

PCI Express 2.0 x16 0 1 (x4) 1 (x4) 1 (x4)
PCI Express 2.0 x1 2 4 3 2
Standard PCI 0 0 0 2
CrossFireX Yes Yes Yes Yes
SLI Yes Yes Yes Yes
SATA-300 4 4 4 4
SATA-600 4 4 4 4
eSATA-300 0 0 0 0
eSATA-600 2 2 2 0
USB 2.0 9 8 10 10
USB 3.0 6 8 6 8
FireWire 0 0 0 0
Bluetooth No Yes, 4.0 No No
Gigabit Ethernet 2 2 1 1
Wi-Fi No Yes (a, b, g, n) No Yes (b, g, n)
VGA 0 0 0 1
DVI 1 0 0 1
HDMI 0 1 1 1
DisplayPort 0 1 1 1
Audio ALC898 ALC898 ALC892 ALC892
Voltage Regulator 16+4 16+4 8+4+2 12+4
Price NA USD 285 USD 240 USD 235
Specification P8Z77-V P8Z77-V LE P8Z77-V LK P8Z77-V LX
Form Factor ATX ATX ATX ATX
Memory Sockets 4 4 4 4

PCI Express 3.0 x16

2 (x16/x0 or x8/x8)

1

2 (x16/x0 or x8/x8)

1

PCI Express 2.0 x16 1 (x4) 1 (x4) 1 (x4) 1 (x4)
PCI Express 2.0 x1 2 2 2 2
Standard PCI 2 3 2 3
CrossFireX Yes Yes Yes Yes
SLI Yes No Yes No
SATA-300 4 4 4 4
SATA-600 4 3 2 2
eSATA-300 0 0 0 0
eSATA-600 0 1 0 0
USB 2.0 10 10 10 10
USB 3.0 6 6 6 4
FireWire 0 0 0 0
Bluetooth No No No No
Gigabit Ethernet 1 1 1 1
Wi-Fi Yes (b, g, n) No No No
VGA 1 1 1 1
DVI 1 1 1 1
HDMI 1 1 1 1
DisplayPort 1 1 1 0
Audio ALC892 ALC892 ALC892 ALC887
Voltage Regulator 8+4 6+2 4+1+1 4+1+1
Price USD 210 USD 165 USD 150 USD 140
Specification Maximus V GENE P8Z77-M PRO P8Z77-M P8Z77-I DELUXE
Form Factor microATX microATX microATX Mini-ITX
Memory Sockets 4 4 4 2
PCI Express 3.0 x16 2 (x16/x0 or x8/x8) 2 (x16/x0 or x8/x8) 1 1
PCI Express 2.0 x16 0 1 (x4) 1 (x4) 0
PCI Express x4 1 0 0 0
PCI Express x1 0 1 1 0
Standard PCI 0 0 1 0
Mini PCI Express 2 0 0 0
CrossFireX Yes Yes Yes No
SLI Yes Yes No No
SATA-300 2 4 4 2
SATA-600 4 2 2 2
eSATA-300 1 0 0 2
eSATA-600 0 2 0 0
USB 2.0 8 8 10 8
USB 3.0 6 6 4 6
FireWire 0 0 0 0
Bluetooth No No No Yes, 4.0
Gigabit Ethernet 1 1 1 1
Wi-Fi No No No Yes (a,b,g,n)
VGA 0 1 1 0
DVI 0 1 1 1
HDMI 1 1 1 0
DisplayPort 1 0 0 0
Audio SupremeFX III ALC892 ALC887 ALC898
Voltage Regulator 8+4 6+2 4+1 8+2
Price USD 210 NA USD 140 NA

A unique feature of the SABERTOOTH Z77 is the “Thermal Armor,” a plastic shield that covers most of the motherboard area, guiding the airflow provided by two fans and protecting the components at the same time. There are also plastic covers for the expansion and memory slots to protect them from dust. Figure 1 shows you the ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 motherboard with the plastic protection.

ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77Figure 1: ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77

Figure 2 shows the SABERTOOTH Z77 with its plastic cover removed.

ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77Figure 2: Cover removed

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Author: Rafael Coelho

Rafael Otto Coelho is a physicist with a master's degree in Education, and is a college professor in Brazil.

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