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First Intel Thunderbolt Certified Motherboard by ASUS
By Joy Hou - on 21 May 2012, 5:20pm

First Intel Thunderbolt Certified Motherboard by ASUS

ASUS's P8Z77-V Premium is the first motherboard to be Thunderbolt certified by Intel.

Image source: ASUS

The Thunderbolt interface is a super high-speed interface developed by Intel with Apple which is capable of up to 20Gbps of data throughput (considering simultaneous uplink and downlink throughput), making it many times faster than the USB 3.0 and FireWire 800 interfaces. On the Intel Z77 chipset-based P8Z77-V Premium,  ASUS has incorporated the Thunderbolt interface on the rear I/O panel of the motherboard as seen in this photo:-

Here's the Thunderbolt port, circled in red on the ASUS P8Z77-V Premium motherboard.

Besides the top-of-the-line Premium edition, ASUS also announced is the P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt motherboard targeting the mainstream enthusiasts with slightly lesster features. Here is a quick comparison of the two motherboards:

  P8Z77-V Premium P8Z77-V Pro/Thunderbolt
CPU Socket Intel Socket 1155 for 3rd/2nd Generation Core i7/Core i5/Core i3/Pentium/Celeron Processors
Chipset Intel Z77 Express Chipset
Memory DDR3 2800(O.C.) MHz DDR3 2600(O.C.) MHz
Digital CPU Power Design Dual Intelligent Processors 3 - SMART DIGI+ Power Control
Digital 20-Phase Power
(16-Phase for CPU &
4-Phase for iGPU)
Digital 12-Phase Power
(8-Phase for CPU &
4-Phase for iGPU)
PCIe x16 slots 4*PCIe 3.0 x16 3*PCIe 3.0 x16
Multi-GPU 4-Way CrossFireX/SLI CrossFireX/SLI
Graphics Thunderbolt/DisplayPort/HDMI Thunderbolt/HDMI/DVI-D/RGB
Gb LAN 2 (Intel) 1 (Intel)
Wireless Connection Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Dual band 2.4/5GHz & Bluetooth v4.0
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Audio 8-ch HD, DTS
Storage 1*mSATA 3.0 Gb/s with 32GB SSD onboard
6*SATA 6Gb/s
3*SATA 3Gb/s
2*eSATA 6Gb/s
4*SATA 6Gb/s
4*SATA 3Gb/s

1*eSATA (with bracket support)

USB 6*USB 3.0 (4 ports at back panel, 2 ports at mid-board) 6*USB 3.0 (4 ports at back panel, 2 ports at mid-board)
Other Features Digital DRAM Power Design, TPU/EPU (with onboard switch), ASUS SSD Caching II, ASUS Wi-Fi GO!, ASUS Fan Xpert 2, USB BIOS Flashback, USB 3.0 Boost, Network iControl, LucidLogix Virtu MVP

If you're not too sure if you need to pay a premium to own a Thunderbolt equipped board, ASUS is also extending the Thunderbolt connectivity for most of its Z77 and H77 motherboards by utilizing a special Thunderbolt header on the motherboard and will soon release the optional expansion card for purchase.

Read on for the full press release.

P8Z77-V PREMIUM the first Intel certified and Windows optimized motherboard in the industry to feature Thunderbolt technology

Singapore — Further demonstrating its market leading innovation, ASUS has announced the launch of its P8Z77-V PREMIUM motherboard — the flagship of the P8Z77 Series and the first Intel certified motherboard in the market to offer the latest Thunderbolt connection interface. The PREMIUM designation has been reserved for only the best motherboards with the latest technologies, and the P8Z77-V PREMIUM maintains this standard. In addition to the onboard Thunderbolt connection on the P8Z77-V PREMIUM, ASUS also offers the same technology on the P8Z77-V PRO/THUNDERBOLT to give consumers a wider range of choices.

Thunderbolt and the latest technologies on board

The ASUS P8Z77-V PREMIUM is the first Thunderbolt motherboard to be certified by Intel, showing its strength in the industry. Thunderbolt is a new, high-speed I/O technology designed for performance, simplicity and flexibility, with lightning fast transfer speeds that are twice that of USB 3.0 and up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0. It offers simultaneous bi-directional, 10 Gbps transfer speeds over a single cable, with the flexibility to daisy-chain up to six Thunderbolt devices with a single connection for a clutter-free computing experience. Users can connect multiple Thunderbolt-enabled external storage drives to a Thunderbolt-enabled display and transfer files while watching HD movies, all without experiencing any lag.

Strength through cooperation

With its long history of working with high tech vendors, ASUS is able to show its strength and commitment to innovation with a close relationship to three of the leading brands currently producing products with Thunderbolt technology, Elgato, LaCie, and PROMISE.

PROMISE is a leading supplier of sophisticated RAID storage solutions catering to customers from the enterprise to SMB, as well as SOHO and digital home applications. They currently offer the world’s first Thunderbolt enabled RAID storage solutions and have previously worked with ASUS to develop a diversified portfolio to meet customer’s requirements.

Premium features for a premium motherboard

The title of PREMIUM carries certain expectations, and as such, the P8Z77-V PREMIUM motherboard boasts several new features, such as true 4-way NVIDIA SLI and 4-way AMD CrossFireX on the latest PCIe Gen 3.0 slots for maximum graphics performance. Also introduced is advanced SSD Caching II, allowing users to cache additional frequently used programs and files using multiple SSDs to instantly upgrade system performance. A 32GB mSATA based SSD is also onboard, enabling Intel Smart Response and Rapid Start Technology for super-fast boot up and resume times. Network traffic is expertly handled by a pair of Gigabit Intel LAN ports, ensuring lag free transfers and streaming entertainment.

Dedicated to providing the latest innovations, the P8Z77-V PREMIUM and P8Z77-V PRO/THUNDERBOLT provides users with the best and most complete solutions available, such as DIP3 with SMART DIGI+ Power Control, Wi-Fi GO! and Fan Xpert 2.

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