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GIGABYTE Z77X-UP7 Motherboard Review

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!!

Technical Specifications (taken from the GIGABYTE website)

CPU

Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors/Intel® Core™ i5 processors/ Intel® Core™ i3 processors/Intel® Pentium® processors/Intel® Celeron® processors in the LGA1155 package
L3 cache varies with CPU
(Some Intel® Core™ processors require a graphic card, please refer "CPU support List" for more information.)

Chipset

Intel® Z77 Express Chipset

Memory

4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
* Due to a Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than the size of the physical memory installed.
Dual channel memory architecture
Support for DDR3 2800(OC)/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules
Support for non-ECC memory modules
Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules
(Please refer "Memory Support List" for more information.)

Onboard Graphics

Integrated Graphics Processor:1 x D-Sub port
1 x DVI-D port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200
* The DVI-D port does not support D-Sub connection by adapter.
1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200
1 x DisplayPort, supporting a maximum resolution of 2560x1600

Audio

Realtek ALC898 codec
High Definition Audio
2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
Support for S/PDIF In
Support for S/PDIF Out

LAN

1 x Atheros GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN1)
1 x Intel GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit) (LAN2)

Wireless Communication module

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Supports 2.4/5 GHz Dual-Band
Bluetooth 4.0, 3.0+HS, 2.1+EDR

Expansion Slots

3 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1~3)
* For optimum performance, if only one expansion card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16_2 slot.

2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIEX8_1~2)
* The PCIEX8_1 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16_1 slot and the PCIEX8_2 slot with PCIEX16_3. The PCIEX16_1/PCIEX16_3 slot will operate at up to x8 mode when the PCIEX8_1/PCIEX8_2 is populated.
(The PCIEX16 and PCIEX8 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
* Whether PCI Express 3.0 is supported depends on CPU and graphics card compatibility.
* The PCIEX16_2 slot will become unavailable when an expansion card is installed in the orange PCI Express x16 slot.

2 x PCI Express x1 slots
(All PCI Express x1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)

Multi-Graphics Technology

Support for 4-Way/3-Way/2-Way AMD CrossFireX™/NVIDIA SLI technology

Storage Interface

Chipset:
2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0~1) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2 2~5) supporting up to 4 SATA 3Gb/s devices
1 x mSATA connector
* The SATA2 5 connector will become unavailable when the mSATA connector is installed with a solid state drive.
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
* When a RAID set is built across the SATA 6Gb/s and SATA 3Gb/s channels, the system performance of the RAID set may vary depending on the devices being connected.

2 x Marvell 88SE9172 chips:
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3 6~9) supporting up to 4 SATA 6Gb/s devices
Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1

USB

Chipset:
Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)
Up to 4 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (available through the internal USB headers)

VIA VL800 chip:
Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the back panel
* Due to a Windows 7 limitation, please connect your USB device(s) to the Intel controlled USB port(s) (located below the PS/2 keyboard/mouse port) before the VIA USB 3.0 controller driver is installed.

Etron EJ168 chip:
Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (available through the internal USB header)

Internal I/O Connectors

1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
2 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connectors
1 x PCIe power connector
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
1 x mSATA connector
1 x CPU fan header
6 x system fan headers
1 x front panel header
1 x front panel audio header
1 x S/PDIF Out header
1 x S/PDIF In header
2 x USB 3.0/2.0 headers
2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
1 x serial port header
1 x Clear CMOS jumper
1 x power button
1 x reset button
1 x Clear CMOS button
1 x Gear button
1 x CPU BCLK Down button
1 x CPU BCLK Up button
1 x CPU Ratio Down button
1 x CPU Ratio Up button
1 x onboard voltage measurement module
2 x BIOS switchs
1 x LN2 switch

Back Panel Connectors

1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
1 x D-Sub port
1 x DVI-D port
1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
1 x HDMI port
1 x DisplayPort
6 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
2 x RJ-45 ports
6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)

I/O Controller

iTE I/O Controller Chip

H/W Monitoring

System voltage detection
CPU/System temperature detection
CPU/System fan speed detection
CPU overheating warning
CPU/System fan fail warning
CPU/System fan speed control
* Whether the CPU/system fan speed control function is supported will depend on the CPU/system cooler you install.

BIOS

2 x 64 Mbit flash
Use of licensed AMI EFI BIOS
Support for DualBIOS™
PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0a

Unique Features

Support for @BIOS
Support for Q-Flash
Support for Xpress Install
Support for Xpress Recovery2
Support for EasyTune
* Available functions in EasyTune may differ by motherboard model.
Support for eXtreme Hard Drive (X.H.D)
Support for Auto Green
Support for ON/OFF Charge
Support for Q-Share
Support for 3D Power
Support for EZ Setup

Bundle Software

Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
Intel® Rapid Start Technology
Intel® Smart Connect Technology
Intel® Smart Response Technology
LucidLogix Virtu MVP
* Make sure the monitor cable has been connected to the integrated graphics port on the back panel.

Operating System

Support for Microsoft® Windows 8/7/XP

Form Factor

E-ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 26.4cm

 

January 29, 2013 | 01:04 PM - Posted by KngtRider

" Note that the card requires a USB 2.0 header connection for enhanced functionality unlocked via its Windows app."

No.

Contrary to popular beleif, Mini PCI-E cards are dual mode and support PCI AND USB

On combo WiFi/BT Cards such as this Atheros and Intel Centrino, Bluetooth is routed to the USB pins of the mini PCIE (the small end)as Bluetooth is designed for USB drivers/software only.

Inserting a combo card into a slot wired for PCI only will simply just not enable the Bluetooth.

Some Mini to full Carrier cards such as the one included with this board have a USB port to fully enable the Mini PCIE slot.

Some carrier cards such as generics or Intel's 6205 Desktop card do not pass USB through and as such cannnot use Bluetooth or 3G cards.

Mini PCIE WWAN/3G are also USB only due to the driver/softwre stack.

Getting mSATA to work in a Mini PCIE slot is anothr matter, and some new laptops have a fully universal slot, some motherboards dont. One can see a Marvel IC in the periphery of this boards mSATA.

January 29, 2013 | 08:46 PM - Posted by Morry Teitelman

KngtRider - thank you for the clarification on the functioning of the Atheros card.  The review information has been updated for accuracy...

January 29, 2013 | 01:50 PM - Posted by Laurențiu Roman (not verified)

Color scheme makes it look like an old DFI Lanparty.

January 30, 2013 | 09:05 AM - Posted by Leo (not verified)

Why does every motherboard bundled software have glossy, flashy and badly skinned UI? Can't anyone make clean, readable and aesthetically pleasing UI? Is it just me?

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