ASUS is gearing up for the launch of Intel Ivy Bridge with the series of motherboards. The fact that the socket hasn't changed helped the engineering side of business, so ASUS focused on features. First and foremost, the board is not cheap - recently, a Chinese e-store Taobao listed it for 2499 yuan (RMB),
which is $396 - even with taxes and everything, this is a very steep price to pay.
So, what does ASUS bring in the Ivy Bridge segment for a price higher than majority of graphics cards? After years and years of wait, we finally can say that there is a motherboard with Quad-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This is backed by two Gigabit Ethernet controllers from Intel and RealTek, no less than eight USB 3.0 ports (ASUS Even bundles front 3.5" bay with two USB 3.0 ports) and eight USB 2.0 ports.
To connect the displays, you can rely on DVI, D-SUB, DisplayPort and HDMI - which connect to Intel Integrated graphics or discrete graphics cards. Multiple GPUs are supported through Crossfire, SLI and interestingly, Virtu MVP technology which links your graphics cards to Intel's embedded graphics. We wonder if this will be enough to finally see NVIDIA Optimus technology debuting on desktop or not - the problem for NVIDIA is that currently, you can choose between Optimus and 3D Vision support (due to limitations on Intel int. graphics parts), and desktop without 3D support is a bit limiting.
Then again, Ivy Bridge supports 120Hz refresh and we might even see this technology coming to life.
Out of regular features, you'll see that the board parted ways with PCI. P8Z77-V Deluxe is a PCI Express 3.0 territory, and there are two x16 ports (x8/x8 when two cards are in) and four x1 ports.
This board will see the light of day next week on CeBIT exhibition in Hannover, Germany, while the official launch will come on April 2nd, when it is rumored that Intel will reveal performance of Ivy Bridge desktop parts.
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