We call it uncanny because of its ability to overclock CPUsThe Z77 chipset is known as Intel's high-end platform for LGA 1155 central processing units (Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge Core series), but that didn't stop ASUS from using it in the P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD.
Even at just a glance, it is easy to assume that this item is a low-end, low-cost motherboard suited for a limited variety of applications.
The size of the mainboard justifies that presumption, to an extent. After all, mini-ITX motherboards, as small as an open palm, tend to be used in modest HTPCs and the like.
ASUS' P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD is much more than an HTPC / multimedia motherboard, even though the systems it will power will probably look every bit the same as such contraptions.
Not only is the Z77 chipset capable of overclocking, but the P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD has a 10-phase Digi+ CPU VRM, which lets CPUs be overclocked quite easily.
Even from just the briefest roaming of the online community, we found mention of an Intel Core i7 2600K being easily overclocked to 4.5 GHz.
Adding to the allure of the mini-ITX board there are the PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot (high-end graphics cards supported) and a pair of DDR3 DIMM memory slots.
Furthermore, ASUS equipped the newcomer with two SATA 6.0 Gbps ports, two SATA 3.0 Gbps connectors, three display outputs (HDMI, DVI and Displayport), 8-channel digital audio, 6-channel analog audio and several USB 3.0 ports too.
And here is where those with good memory will say that they've heard all this before, that the motherboard isn't new at all. They would be right: the P8Z77-I Deluxe has been around for a while. Otherwise there would have been no way for anyone to truthfully make that overclocking claim earlier.
So what is different about the P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD? WiDi support. The motherboard can stream video directly to HDTVs and/or monitors, assuming the latter supports the technology. Sales will start soon enough, for a little over $199 / 199 Euro.