Gigabyte Z77X-UP4TH Motherboard Preview A new board from Gigabyte has just been delivered and I hear my heartbeat race once more. The bartman tells me, the Den is the first to grasp a Z77X-UP4TH in the Philippines, and this makes my heartbeat race even more. But since the bartman will be momentarily back at his Den in a couple of weeks, I will just deal with the usual visuals and appearance and leave the test and torture stuff to the expert.
The box is a simple white filled with various printed information. Best of Computex 2012 pops out and is the first thing I notice. It also says this board is designed with water cooling systems in mind.
The rear of the box provides a lot of information for OC users, showcasing how the IR3550 is the coolest (in terms of temperature, and figuratively) among MOSFETs and also summarizing the board’s specs.
Upon opening the box, we see the accessories and manuals first, tucked and divided.
Lifting up the cardboard divider we see the motherboard in the standard anti-static wrap, and once the board is out, the welcome smell of newness whiffs your nose. It’s that clean and crisp smell of metal (and plastic, and solders, etc.) you get when you step inside the manufacturing floor. It’s hard to describe but I’m sure the enthusiasts get what I mean.
Now onto the motherboard itself. Sleek is the word I would use to describe it. Gigabyte didn’t go overboard with the aesthetics. No bright colored parts or extra attachments.
The heat sinks with the Gigabyte and Ultra durable logos in matching colors are enough to provide this board with visual appeal.
I would say putting labels is one thing Gigabyte focused on. The labels blend in but pop out enough not to be overlooked.
There are 3 x16 physical expansion slots all conform to the PCIe gen 3.0 standard. So if only 1 graphics card will be installed, it needs to go into the innermost slot labeled x16 to achieve optimum performance. When the 2nd slot is populated, since it shares bandwidth with the first slot mentioned, both will then operate at x8 mode. And the last slot is labeled in red – “This PCIe x4 slot requires an Ivy Bridge (3rd gen CPU).” When this last slot is used, the middle slot will then operate at x4 mode as the 3 shares the x16 bandwidth.
The board comes with 4 RAM slots which are conveniently labeled DDR3_1, 3, 2 and 4.
The board comes with the Dual UEFI Bios for power failure protection, and I’m sure the OCers wouldn’t mind having this functionality.
Now onto the SATA ports. The first 4 black ports are the SATA 3Gbps and the 2 cream ports are the SATA 6Gbps. The board also comes with 1 mSATA connector, for your SSD and once this is used “SATA2 port 5 will be disabled” as labeled in red.
The rear I/O comes with several ports/slots, from left to right:
1 PS2 keyboard/mouse port and 2 USB 3 slots below it.
a VGA and DVI port for your monitor/display.
1 HDMI and 2 more USB 3 slots.
LAN with chip from Realtek and 2 more USB 3 slots (bringing the USB3 total to 6 slots)
2 Thunderbolt ports from Intel for the latest devices 5 audio jacks, a 7.1 channel audio (using a Realtek ALC 892chip)
More on the thunderbolt ( from Gigabyte website )
GIGABYTE motherboards, the very first to offer fully certified dual onboard Thunderbolt™ ports. Capable of connecting up to 12 devices plus 3 digital displays simultaneously, with breathtaking data transfer speeds that can transfer 1TB of data in only five minutes,
GIGABYTE Thunderbolt™ motherboards offer the fastest connection interface ever on the desktop PC. GIGABYTE Thunderbolt™ motherboards allow users to daisy chain up to 12 devices simultaneously via an incredible bi-directional 10Gbps data pipeline that includes both PCIe and DisplayPort traffic. GIGABYTE Thunderbolt™ motherboards redefine desktop PC connectivity to make it far easier to connect multiple high speed storage devices and HD displays to your PC than ever before
Dual Thunderbolt™ - Fast, Flexible and Simple Connectivity for your Motherboard GIGABYTE Thunderbolt™ motherboards are the first to be certified by Intel featuring dual Thunderbolt™ ports directly on the motherboard back panel I/O, with each Thunderbolt™ port supporting a maximum data transfer speeds with simultaneous bi-directional data transfer at speeds of up to 10Gbps - this means you can transfer a full HD 1080p movie in under 30 seconds.
GIGABYTE's dual port Thunderbolt™ implementation ensures the absolute maximum potential connectivity, with support to connect up to 12 individual devices simultaneously, with each port offering full 10Gbps bandwidth.
That's about it. i hope i was able to give you enough of a preview for you to check back for the performance results of this gigabyte board from the bartman.