Over the years, we have become accustomed to Asus’ high-performance motherboard designs, but few of them were more outrageous than the P8Z77-I Deluxe mini-ITX LGA 1155 board that the company recently showcased during the CeBIT 2012 fair.
Built around Intel’s Z77 chipset, the most prominent feature of the P8Z77-I Deluxe is its VRM power module.
In order to save precious PCB space, Asus decided that the entire VRM of its creation should be placed on a vertical printed circuit board.
This is the first mini-ITX motherboard that we have seen to date to use such a setup and, according to Asus, the eight power phases included in its design should allow the P8Z77-I Deluxe to overclock just as well as your average full-size Z77 board.
Users who require more graphics power than the on-board GPU included in Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors can deliver should also be glad to know that Asus’ creation comes with a full-size PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot.
The rest of the expansion options available in the P8Z77-I Deluxe include a half-size mini PCI Express slot, populated with a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth add-on card, a pair of full size DIMM sockets and four SATA ports.
Two of these run at SATA 6Gbps speeds, while the remaining two SATA interfaces found in the Intel Z77 PCH are routed to the rear of the motherboard as eSATA connectors.
Also in the back users will find four USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 ports, DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI connectors, Gigabit Ethernet, and 5.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out.
The rear I/O bracket also houses a pair of buttons, but we aren’t sure what these are used for (we suspect one of these is a Clear CMOS switch).
No details regarding the P8Z77-I Deluxe price or availability have been provided by its maker, but VR-Zone expects this to cost as much as some full-size Intel Z77 motherboards.