To put the new CPU to the test, we needed a motherboard, and while the new Ivy Bridges use the same socket as Sandy Bridge, and are also compatible with many 6-series motherboards, the launch also included the introduction of new chipset: Z77, Z75 and H77 Express. All of these chipsets finally offer native USB3-support as well as support for the three displays via HDMI 1.4a, DVI and Displayport 1.1a. The most noticeable difference between the models is what kind of PCI-express configurations they offer.
|CPU Support||IVB LGA-1155||IVB LGA-1155||IVB LGA-1155|
|PCIe 3.0 Configuration|| 1 x16 or
2 x8 or
1 x8 + 2 x4
|1 x16 or
|Processor graphics support||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Intel SRT (SSD Caching)||Yes||No||Yes|
|USB 2.0-ports (3.0)||14 (4)||14 (4)||14 (4)|
|SATA-ports (6 Gbps ports)||6 (2)||6 (2)||6 (2)|
|PCIe Lanes||8 (5 GB/s)||8 (5 GB/s)||8 (5 GB/s)|
For the benchmarking purposes we received the Intel’s new DZ77GA-70K, which of course has the top of the line Z77-chipset. This review isn’t really about the motherboard, but we’ll still give it a quick glance before moving on to the overclocking- and performance tests.
The motherboard arrived to our test packed in a skull-themed box, which is very typical for Intel’s extreme range of motherboards. The bundle of the motherboard included an SLI-bridge, an USB3-panel to be attached in an empty 3,5” bay, rear I/O-shield, a mouse pad, installation guide and also a WLAN-module that can be installed to an internal USB2-header.
The board makes good use of the new chipset, including just about all connectivity imaginable. For graphics the board has two PCI-e 3.0 16x connectors, the top one of which can operate at 16x-speed, but which also support SLI and Crossfire-setups at 2x8-speed. In the bottom-right corner are the eight S-ATA-ports, with two of them being 6 Gbps ports and four 3 Gbps ports controlled by the Z77, and the bottom two being S-ATA 6 Gbps controlled by a separate Marvell controller chip.
At the back are a single PS/2-connector to be used with either a mouse or a keyboard, four USB2.0-ports (the yellow ones being capable of providing extra juice for devices that need charging), a single firewire and e-SATA, four USB 3.0-ports, a single HDMI-connector and finally the audio connectors. There’s also a button for resetting the BIOS if anything goes wrong.
In case these connections aren’t enough, the motherboard also offers four extra USB3.0-ports, six USB2.0-ports, firewire and SPDIF-connectors and even a serial port as internal headers.
|Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7|