Based on our experience with the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7 board, we felt that its performance in its non-overclocked state was rather run-of-the-mill as it was somewhat on par with the ASRock Z77 OC Formula. It even failed to best the ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe, a board that's targeted at the mainstream DIY enthusiast. Its power consumption was somewhat higher than other Intel Z77 boards we have tested and its "Thin-Fin" VRM heatsink didn't cast a positive light as it registered high operating temperatures of about 42 degree Celsius during load operations. However, it has perfectly valid reasons to back its outcome as we shall outline further.
On a bright note, we were truly impressed with the rich feature set of the board. From its ten-layer PCB in order to accommodate all the motherboard traces that connect the onboard components of the board, to the support of 4-way multi-GPU configurations with 32 lanes of PCIe Gen 3.0 connectivity (at 8x speeds per PEG slot, courtesy of its PLX switching chip) and its 32 phases of CPU power circuitry, Gigabyte has attempted to put in the best of its engineering research into the construction of this board and spared no expense in decking it with a board brimming with features. Due to the large number of components to support all of its features, the board naturally drew more power than the rest of the boards in comparison and it shouldn't be a concern for most power users gunning for such a powerful board.
The VRM solution of the board was put to excellent use during our overclocking exercise as we easily achieved new highs on all three sub-tests that determine the board's overclocking prowess. Not only did the board really excel at overclocking, but it also achieved it with relative ease, true to the Gigabyte style of overclocking that we've come to appreciate.
We found the bundled software titles adequate and the main EasyTune 6 utility did its job well; however, it didn't gel well with OC-Touch buttons and there was a clear lack of integration with the 3D Power software of the board. The 3D Power utility allowed us to configure certain aspects of the power settings of the CPU and Memory, while EasyTuner 6 covered most aspects and in greater detail. We hope to see better integration and a possible amalgamation of these two utilities.
In conclusion, the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7 is a board meant for overclockers and serious gamers. Its price tag is almost S$600 and its superlative capabilities translate to higher power consumption and operating temperatures. This board is not meant for the fainthearted. This king is truly in a class of its own and to commend where it really excels - overclocking - we've also bestowed the board with our Most Overclockable Product award.