Product Listing

Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7 Motherboard - The King of the Hill?

By Wong Chung Wee - 21 Mar 2013
Launch SRP: S$600

Closer Look at the Board

More Features of the Motherboard

Due to the presence of a pair of Marvell 88SE9172 controller chips, there are additional four SATA 6Gbps connectors, with support for RAID 0 and 1. The board's Intel Z77 chipset provides the usual pair of SATA 6Gbps and four SATA 3Gbps connectors, with support for RAID modes of 0, 1, 5 and 10.

To the left, the gray SATA 6Gbps connectors are courtesy of the Marvell controllers; while the black SATA 3Gbps and the pair of white 6Gbps connectors are provided by the Intel Z77 chipset.

To the right of the white SATA connectors, there is a gray SATA power connector that provides auxiliary power to the onboard PEG slots. According to the manual, when two or more graphics cards are installed, it is recommended to use this extra power connection to ensure system stability.

The onboard mSATA slot for mSATA SSDs.

Located behind the SATA connectors, there is an onboard mSATA slot for mSATA SSDs. With an installed mSATA SSD, users can take advantage of SSD-based technologies like Intel Smart Response and Intel Rapid Start. For an idea of the performance levels of such an SSD, you can check out our review on the Plextor M5M mSATA SSD.

At the edge of the board where the headers are located, we are pleased to see the color-coded front panel header as it makes it easier to connect those tiny wires from the chassis.

At this edge of the board where the headers are located, we see the switches for controlling the Dual BIOS technology on the board. These switches are located right next to the front panel header. The M/B switch toggles between the main and the backup BIOS options; while the SB switch allows you to enable or disable the Dual BIOS function.

Of the two physical BIOS chips, the main BIOS chip is at the bottom while the backup one is at the top.

Next, we focused our attention on the rear I/O connectors. We felt that a clear CMOS button should be located here as its present location will pose a challenge to system tweakers who need to reset the board's BIOS when it has been mounted in a chassis with an optical drive blocking the button's accessibility.

 The back panel connectors include six USB 3.0 ports, four video output connectivity options as well as a pair of Gigabit LAN ports.


Wireless Connectivity Options

There is a GC-WB300D PCIe x1 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth expansion card and two accompanying antennae bundled with the board. Its installation is straightforward and prior to its operation, note that we also had to install its Windows drivers.

The Wi-Fi/Bluetooth expansion card can be installed into any of the board's PCIe x1 slots and it requires the USB cable to connect it to the F_USB connector of the board as well.

The Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card and its USB cable attached.

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  • Performance 8
  • Features 9
  • Value 6.5
The Good
Rich feature set
Highly overclockable
Support for 4-way GPU setup
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
The Bad
Very expensive
No support for Thunderbolt
Disparate mix of supporting software utility
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