Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

The Z77N-WiFi is GIGABYTE's latest edition to the Mini-ITX lineup. Although the board is not as packed with features as some of the other enthusiast-minded mini-ITX boards, GIGABYTE did some interesting things with the board layout to space components out on the board more evenly. The Z77N-WiFi even comes standard with dual-Realtek GbE NICs and an Intel 802.11n-based WiFi mPCIe card. We put the board through our normal gamut of tests to see how well this mighty mite sized up with its full-sized brethren. The Z77N-WiFi board comes with an equally reasonable retail price at a mere $129.99.

Continue reading our review of the GIGABYTE Z77N-WiFi motherboard!

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

board.jpg

Courtesy of ASUS

The P8Z77X-I Deluxe is ASUS' high-powered answer to the small form factor crowd. Through some unique design decisions and an upright daughter-board, ASUS was able to cram a full 10-phase digital power delivery system into this board without sacrificing any other integrated components. It's nice to see a manufacturer step up and design a mini-ITX board in the same vein as its full-sized counterpart. We put the board through our normal gamut of tests to see how well this mighty Mini-ITX board sized up with its full-sized brethren. At a retail list price of $219, the P8Z77-I Deluxe needs to prove its worth against the full sized boards.

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Courtesy of ASUS

ASUS designed a full 10 phases of digital power, housed in the board's upright daughter card sitting parallel to the CPU cooler. The P8Z77-I Deluxe with its high-end power plant is packed full of features, including SATA 2, SATA 3, e-SATA, USB 2.0, and USB 3.0 ports for storage devices. Networking capabilities include an Intel GigE NIC, a Broadcom dual-port 802.11n adapter, and a Broadcom Bluetooth adapter. The board also features a single PCI-Express x16 slot for graphics cards and other expansion cards.

rear-panel.jpg

Courtesy of ASUS

Continue reading our review of the ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe motherboard!

Podcast #241 - Sony VAIO TAP 20, ioSafe N2 NAS, new Z77 motherboards and more!

Subject: General Tech | March 7, 2013 - 04:00 PM |
Tagged: podcast, sony, tap20, vaio, iosafe, n2, synology, NAS, Z77, dragon, msi, pata, apacer, seasonic, thermaltake, urban

PC Perspective Podcast #241 - 03/07/2013

Join us this week as we discuss the Sony VAIO TAP 20, ioSafe N2 NAS, new Z77 motherboards and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:04:57

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. 0:01:25 We did a Tomb Raider stream
  2. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:04:00 Seasonic Platinum Series 460 watt fanless PSU
    2. 0:07:10 Sony VAIO Tap 20 Touchscreen AIO
    3. 0:13:20 ioSafe N2 Performance, Disaster-proof NAS
  3. 0:22:2 00 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  4. News items of interest:
    1. 0:24:25 ASUS PadFone Infinity from MWC
    2. 0:27:10 Apacer Launches New PATA SSDs
    3. 0:32:00 Seagate will cease 7200 RPM mobile HDDs this year
    4. 0:34:50 Thermaltake launches Urban S21 case
    5. 0:38:55 Double your HDD density with HGST
    6. 0:43:00 MSI has new gaming series of MB coming out, based on Z77
    7. 0:49:30 NVIDIA refreshes Quadro with Kepler GPUs
  5. Closing:
    1. 0:53:00 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: AMD Mini-PC with A8-4555M
      2. Jeremy: When EyeFinity won't work this might save you
      3. Josh: Good board for cheeeap
      4. Allyn: Chrome beta shows which tabs are playing audio
      5. Morry: XPXS RX360 & old but still kicking
  1. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. Closing/outro

Be sure to subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel!!

 

It might be a little skinny but ASRock's Z77 Extreme4 can overclock

Subject: Motherboards | February 18, 2013 - 02:45 PM |
Tagged: Z77, asrock, Z77 Extreme4

ASRock has been steadily gaining popularity with system builders that want a balance between price, features and performance without sacrificing support or stability.  At $120, the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 seems to fit the first criteria, the pair of PCIe 3.0 16x slots capable of handling two cards at 8x speeds, four SATA 6Gbps ports and a half dozen USB 3.0 ports meet the second.  [H]ard|OCP tested the performance and stability of the board recently, getting an stable 4.8GHz overclock on their i7 3770K, demonstrating that even a value board can compete with expensive models.  The sacrifice made was in the thickness of the PCB, it is much thinner than most motherboards and while [H] did not break the PCB they had a few stressful moments; drop by to read about them.

H_asrockZ77x4.jpg

"While ASRock is a well known new comer in the motherboard market, we’ve not exactly been fans of ASRock products based on past experiences. ASRock’s popularity grows and as a result we are taking another look at a motherboard from in the hope of understanding this popularity. Is it just price, or is there more to ASRock’s offerings?"

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Source: [H]ard|OCP
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

The Z77X-UP7 board represents a new approach to the motherboard game for GIGABYTE - no holds barred. The board combines a larger than normal form factor with high-end digital power circuitry to build a product that packs a punch while not skimping on features. We welcomed the challenge that this board presented, putting it through the normal suite of benchmark and functionality tests to see how well it stacked up. The GIGABYTE Z77X-UP7's performance and features come with a price, as all flagship products do, with its $399.99 price tag still a hefty sum.

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

To power the Z77X-UP7, GIGABYTE used a 32+3+2 power phase design with every heat producing chip covered by a highly effective heat pipe cooling solution. GIGABYTE integrated the following features into the Z77X-UP7's design: SATA 2, SATA 3, and mSATA ports; support for 4 different networking types including an Intel GigE NIC, an Atheros GigE NIC, an Atheros dual-port 802.11n adapter, and an Atheros Bluetooth adapter; enough PCI-Express x16 slots for true quad-card support; and USB 2.0 and 3.0 port support.

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

Continue reading our review of the GIGABYTE Z77X-UP7 Motherboard!!

Thunderbolt comes to ROG with the Maximus V Extreme

Subject: Motherboards | January 10, 2013 - 04:19 PM |
Tagged: Z77, thunderbolt, ROG, Maximus V Extreme, lga1155, asus

The new ASUS ROG Maximus V Extreme board has a high standard to meet thanks to the performance of previous models of the Maximus Extreme series.  Right off the bat you can tell this board is going to be popular with the enthusiasts as it sports five PCIe slots, capable of running at 8x, 16x, 8x, 8x if you populate four of them, with an extra 4x slot available for another card.  For storage there are a half dozen SATA 6Gbps ports with an additional three of the previous version of SATA as well as a single mSATA port and for peripherals you get 10 USB 3.0 ports plus another four USB 2.0 ports.  More important for some is the existence of a Thunderbolt port, a brand new feature for this family of motherboards.  [H]ard|OCP gave this motherboard a Gold Award, read on to find out why.

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"The Maximus V Extreme falls in line with ASUS' latest design philosophies and succeeds the older Maximus IV Extreme which was introduced during the P67 Express chipset days when the Core i7 2600K was the top end LGA1155 CPU. The last iteration of the Maximus was an absolutely incredible motherboard and like all ROG boards has big shoes to fill."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Source: [H]ard|OCP
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

02-board.jpg

Courtesy of MSI

The MSI Z77 MPower board pairs sleek looks with the promise of stellar performance, as expected from MSI's Big Bang board series. We decided to validate these claims, putting the board through our normal suite of benchmark and functionality tests to see how well it lived up to its reputation. The MSI Z77 MPower is a bargain at its $209.99 base price with the performance potential packed into the board.

03-mpower-spec-pic.jpg

Courtesy of MSI

WAY back in August we sat down with MSI's Alex Chang to talk about the Z77 MPower motherboard - take a look at that video below!

Continue reading our review of the MSI Z77 MPower Motherboard!!

Video Perspective: MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt for under $160

Subject: Motherboards | December 29, 2012 - 08:15 PM |
Tagged: z77a-g45 thunderbolt, Z77, video, thunderbolt, msi

If you are interested in joining in on the wave of Thunderbolt accessories coming out in 2013 you might want to learn about the new MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt motherboard.  This new board promises to be the least expensive option with an integrated Thunderbolt port while also offering a great overclocking and feature set very similar to that of the MSI Z77A-GD80. 

You can pick it up at Newegg.com today for $159!

Check out our video overview!

 

PS - Let us know if you have any comments on the new video player / configuration!!

Podcast #230 - EVGA Stinger Z77 Mini ITX board, Our Holiday Gift Guide, Steam Box and more!

Subject: General Tech | December 13, 2012 - 02:43 PM |
Tagged: Z77, valve, stinger, Steam Box, steam, podcast, pcper, itx, i7-4770k, haswell, gift guide, evga, Crysis 3, 4770k, video

PC Perspective Podcast #230 - 12/13/2012

Join us this week as we talk about the EVGA Stinger Z77 Mini ITX board, Our Holiday Gift Guide, Steam Box and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano and Chris Barbere

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:29:11

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. We are going to try Planetside 2 after the podcast!
  2. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:03:30 EVGA Stinger Z77 Mini-ITX Motherboard
    2. 0:06:45 Cutting the Cord Series
      1. Part 3 - Windows 7 Install and Setup
      2. Part 4 - Media Center Configuration
    3. 0:09:00 Seasonic G Series 360 watt PSU
    4. 0:11:30 PC Perspective Holiday Gift Guide!
  3. 0:40:15 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  4. News items of interest:
    1. 0:41:30 Transporter Private Storage
    2. 0:47:00 Intel will support sockets into foreseeable future as well
    3. 0:51:00 Crysis 3 will have advanced PC options
    4. 0:53:30 Valve Confirms the Steam Box is coming
    5. 1:06:15 Low power Atom chips for servers
    6. 1:10:20 ASRock Board with pass through for Thunderbolt
    7. 1:13:00 Haswell 4000 series CPUs will be 84 watt
  5. Closing:
    1. 1:16:30 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: Lenovo X230 + Slice Battery
      2. Jeremy: ASUS VS229H-P Same in the US and Canada, though we get free shipping
      3. Josh: Intel 335 SSD for Cheap
      4. Allyn: iStarUSA BPU-126-SA
  1. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. Closing/outro

Be sure to subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel!!

 

ASRock Z77 Extreme6/TB4 Motherboard Offers Thunderbolt with Discrete Graphics

Subject: Motherboards | December 11, 2012 - 10:34 PM |
Tagged: asrock, thunderbolt, Z77

Over the past 6 months or so we have seen most motherboard vendors release a Z77 option with support for the latest Thunderbolt connectivity option.  I did some initial testing on the ASUS P8Z77-V Premium motherboard and found that Thunderbolt was indeed impressive in terms of performance though it remained expensive and had a few hang ups. 

One of those was the need to use integrated graphics when utilizing the DisplayPort pass through of the connection.  Lucid was the first company to offer a solution thanks to their Virtu MVP software solution and GPU virtualization technology.  I tested that and it worked pretty well, allow us to utilize the power of your discrete GPU with a monitor connected through Thunderbolt on the motherboard.

Well ASRock has a new motherboard out, the Z77 Extreme6/TB4, that promises to allow you to use discrete graphics by simply utilizing a DisplayPort connection on the graphics card itself. 

asrock1.jpg

Besides offering a pair of Thunderbolt connections, the motherboard claims to be the "world's only Thunderbolt motherboard supporting discrete VGA card via Thunderbolt port."

asrock2.jpg

Essentially ASRock is taking the DP connection from the discrete graphics card, taking it into the motherboard through a DisplayPort input connection and then sending that back out the motherboard Thunderbolt header.  More than likely this is simple electrical pass through and there isn't much or any logic going on to "trick" the system.  It also raises concerns that the motherboard and display solution won't be officially approved by Intel.  (We are all, after all, still waiting to see the ASUS ThunderboltEX to hit the market...)

Hopefully we'll get one of these new boards in soon to see for ourselves!

Source: ASRock