As much as the Z77 series has benefited from such things as WiFi, Bluetooth, integrated graphics, faster USB and ASUS has stepped even further with Thunderbolt Technology, Smart Digi+ Power Control and even top level caching with a built in mSATA SSD, we wanted to look beyond the every day qualities for just a bit.
The Asus P8Z77-V Premium motherboard has a bit of a gem that many don’t know about and it just so happens to be exclusive to the ASUS design as it goes much further than it’s potential as a caching SSD. The included 32GB SSD is capable of being used as a storage drive, if so needed, and can even be utilized as the boot drive. This mSATA is only SATA 2 so we really don’t know why one might sacrifice their SATA 3 speed simply to boot from the mSATA, but the ability to do it is key here.
For our use, it means that we can now throw an additional 256GB mSATA in there for storage or, from a reviewing standpoint, it just might make some sense to use this as the boot drive. After all, it frees up both Intel 6Gbps ports so we can actually evaluate two SSDs side by side.
LITE-ON 32GB MSATA SSD
The Asus P8Z77-V ships with a Lite-On 32GB mSATA solid state drive that has the Marvell 88SS9175 controller along with two modules of 16GB Toshiba 24nm Toggle Mode NAND flash memory and a Nanya DRAM cache.
A quick look at the board shows thebrand new Thunderbolt port tucked in between the USB 3.0 slots and the HDMI port.