ASUS P8Z77-V PRO LGA 1155 Ivy Bridge Motherboard Review - Software and Utilities

Software and Utilities Gallery

We have already covered the basic details of ASUS' featured utilities, but we'll dive a little deeper now.


AI Suite II


ASUS' AI Suite II utility suite rolls all of their utility applications into one program.  AISuite II offers a "modular" program which allows for full customization from the operating system.  The modularity makes it very easy to disable any of the various components of AISuite II from running, and everything may be accessed from a single small, unobtrusive dock on your desktop.

ASUS strove to deliver both BIOS and software support for all of their motherboards' features and settings.  Some people are simply more comfortable with a graphical software UI on their desktop, and others would rather tune their motherboard in the BIOS.  The idea here is to not force compromise, and ASUS' AISuiteII is the software-based "desktop BIOS."  It also rolls in other desktop-only utilities into one easy install and easy-to-access program.  And, don't worry about it being a resource hog, as all of the programs are easily disabled from running under AISuiteII.



AI Suite II offers the ability to change which programs and utilities will run, which tops off the modular nature of the software. 


Smart DIGI+

ASUS' DIGI+ Power Control provides powerful tools for those who understand the intricate and technical nature of CPU and RAM power delivery.  In additiona to Load Line Calibration, phase and frequency options are also included.  For power-conscious users, EPU controls are also available, as well as power cutoffs.  These power cutoffs are a great one-click way to limit how much power your CPU package draws, and the board has options for 45W or 35W limiters.  EPU functions are also available, and to make it clear, EPU doesn't limit the CPU performance.  The EPU function is meant to automatically undervolt the processor package by reducing the built-in voltage margin for greater overall stability.  Clocks are left untouched, but the voltage will be automatically reduced to provide stable operation while saving a little power.  It should also be noted, however, that the software EPU extends the EPU switch functionality by linking the DIGI+ VRM and EPU IC to provide a range of power-saving options.


The DIGI+ software works with the new DIGI+ VRM, which extends functionality to enable real-time control and monitoring of the CPU, GPU, iGPU, and RAM which enables some very cool power saving capability by either capping the CPU package power or auto-underclocking, both of which can be very powerful (pun intended) tools.




Fan Xpert II


While potentially easy to understate, the Fan Xpert II utility has some serious value.  It essentially negates any need for a fan controller... because it is better than a fan controller.  While some fan controllers offer some automatic speed ajustment, they don't offer the same level of speed customization based upon the thermal needs of the actual components.  Additionally, the latest build of Fan Xpert offers auto-calibration, where the motherboard will cycle the fans, determine the RPM range the fan will operate at, and automatically use that to fine-tune the perfect fan curve for your acoustic preference.  This also provides an advantage, since most fan controllers provide a generic voltage to a fan, and it's possible to turn a fan off completely, which can lead to thermal spikes and also damage the fan itself.  With fan controllers costing $20-30, having this rolled into a package that doesn't take up valuable case space is fantastic.



Wi-Fi GO!


ASUS' Wi-Fi GO! utility also has a large number of features.  From using your phone as a remote control for you computer to being able to access your phone's camera, the Wi-Fi GO! utility provides a number of ways to use your mobile device alongside your PC.  Setup is super simple, just download the App to your phone, connect to the same network as your PC, and click the appropriate icon in AI Suite II, and you're set!  I personally found value in using the Remote Desktop to use my phone as a second "monitor," which is great for stability tests.  You no longer need to sit in front of your computer, just use your phone, move your test program to the phone "monitor" and take the screen with you.  It's great to be able to do other chores or watch a show in another room and still be able to keep an eye on your computer.  You can also use it to control media players, great for changing that song you've been meaning to delete for years but have forgotten.




Network iControl 


Network iControl allows prioritization of programs to prevent throttling of applications you want maximum for.  The days of your background download preventing you from playing a game are over.  Simply set a trigger for a variety of preset profiles or custom-defined profiles and enjoy as the programs you don't want hogging bandwidth are throttled.  This is a great little feature that can save frustration and headaches, and is also nice as a simple bandwidth monitoring program.



USB 3.0 Boost 


USB 3.0 devices will show up when connected to allow them to take advantage of Turbo or UASP modes which provide a huge boost in USB 3.0 Speeds.  USB 3.0 speeds can see huge increases, as we'll show in the storage benchmarks.

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