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Old 10-04-13   #1
teh nuB!
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GIGABYTE Z77X-UP5-TH Review


Introduction


GIGABYTE the 2nd biggest Motherboard manufacturer has its big presence in the motherboard market. Its going to be a year now since the launch of Intel's Z77 Express desktop platform and there's are many Intel Z77-based motherboards from Gigabyte, with different features and specifications . Gigabyte recently introduced new series of motherboards, TH (Thunderbolt) boards: like Z77MX-D3H TH, Z77X-UP4 TH and the Z77X-UP5 TH and today we are looking at the new Z77X-UP5 TH Motherboard.

The thunderbolt is a connection that supports both data and video transfers at rates of up to 10Gbps and it also has the ability to connect 6 devices with a single connection. With the two Thunderbolt connectors you can connect 12 devices at a time with Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH Motherboard. Rather than Thunderbolt Supports Gigabyte Z77X-UP5TH loaded with many other features like Gigabyte’s 3D Power, 3D BIOS, WiFi+BlueTooth 4.0, Lucid MVP, CFOS, On/off charge, mSATA, EZ Smart Response, SLI, CrossFireX, and All Japanese Solid capacitors.


Specifications:-


CPU

• Support for Intelฎ Core™ i7 processors/Intelฎ Core™ i5 processors/ Intelฎ Core™ i3 processors/Intelฎ Pentiumฎ processors/Intelฎ Celeronฎ processors in the LGA1155 package L3 cache varies with CPU


Chipset Memory

• Intelฎ Z77 Express Chipset
• 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


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


On-board 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.
• Simultaneous output for DVI-D and the MDP2 Thunderbolt port is not supported.
• 1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200
• Intel DSL3510L chip
• 2 Thunderbolt ports (MDP1/MDP2) support for Mini-DisplayPort and Thunderbolt monitor(s), and supporting a maximum resolution of 2560x1600.
• When a monitor connected to the DVI-D port, the MDP2 Thunderbolt port can support Thunderbolt storage device(s) only.
• Due to PC architecture I/O resources limitation, the amount of the Thunderbolt devices can be used is dependent on the quantity of PCI Express and PCI devices be installed


Audio

• Realtek ALC898 codec
• Support for X-Fi Xtreme Fidelityฎ and EAXฎ Advanced HD™ 5.0 technologies
• High Definition Audio
• 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
• Support for S/PDIF In/Out


LAN
Wireless Communication module


• LAN 1 x Intel GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
• 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

• 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
• For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot.

• 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
• The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode.

• 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
• The PCIEX4 slot is available only when an Intel 22nm (Ivy Bridge) CPU is installed.
• The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX8 and PCIEX16 slots. When the PCIEX4 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode and the PCIEX8 will operate at up to x4 mode.
• (The PCIEX16, PCIEX8, and PCIEX4 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)
• Whether PCI Express 3.0 is supported depends on CPU and graphics card compatibility.

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

• 1 x PCI slot


Multi-Graphics Technology

• Support for AMD CrossFireX™ / NVIDIA SLI technology


Storage Interface

• 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0/SATA3 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.

• Marvell 88SE9172 chip
• 1 x SATA 6Gb/s connector (GSATA3 8) supporting up to 1 SATA 6Gb/s device
• 1 x eSATA 6Gb/s connector on the back panel supporting up to 1 SATA 6Gb/s device
• Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1


USB

• Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (available through the internal USB headers)
• Up to 6 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)

• Chipset + 2 VIA USB 3.0 Hubs:

• Up to 8 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (4 ports on the back panel, 4 ports available through the internal USB headers)
• In Windows XP, the Intel USB 3.0 ports and VIA USB 3.0 HUB can support up to USB 2.0 transfer speed.
• Due to a Windows 7 limitation, please connect your USB device(s) to the USB 2.0/1.1 port(s) before the Intel USB 3.0 controller driver is installed.


IEEE 1394

VIA VT6308 chip

• Up to 1 IEEE 1394a port (available through the internal IEEE 1394a header)
• Thunderbolt

Intel DSL3510L chip:
• 2 Thunderbolt ports on the back panel


Internal I/O Connectors

• 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
• 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
• 1 x PCIe power connector
• 3 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
• 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
• 1 x mSATA connector
• 1 x CPU fan header
• 4 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
• 3 x USB 3.0/2.0 headers
• 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
• 1 x IEEE 1394a port
• 1 x Clear CMOS jumper
• 1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header
• 1 x power button
• 1 x reset button
• 1 x Clear CMOS button
• 1 x BIOS switch button
• Voltage Measurement Points


Back Panel Connectors

• 1 x D-Sub port
• 1 x DVI-D port
• 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
• 1 x HDMI port
• 2 x Thunderbolt ports
• 1 x eSATA 6Gb/s connector
• 4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
• 2 x USB 2.0/1.0 ports
• 1 x RJ-45 port
• 5 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In)

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


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)
• Intelฎ Rapid Start Technology
• Intelฎ Smart Connect Technology
• Intelฎ Smart Response Technology
• LucidLogix Virtu MVP


Operating System

• Support for Microsoftฎ Windows 8/7/XP


Form Factor

• ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 24.4cm



Preview


Gigabyte Z77X-UP5TH Ultra Durable 5 boards has some new features like: the use of Glass Fabric PCB probably to offer some measure of humidity protection .




On the backside of the box, we can see that Gigabyte goes into some of the more specific details about the motherboard.




The accessory package provided with the Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH is pretty good. Below is the total list:-

• GC-WB300D Wifi/BT
• 2 x Antenna
• SLI Bridge
• 6x Black SATA6GB/s (III) cables
• Backpanel I/O Shield
• Internal USB header dongle
• 3.5 inch front panel USB 3.0 bay
• GC-WB300D Manual and Driver DVD
• Motherboard Manual and Driver DVD




Using the black PCB and adorned with silver and gray parts across it makes this board looks awesome. This new visual design of Gigabyte gives the board a attractive and good look compared to some of the other Z77 based motherboards.




The black and gray memory DIMMs are powered by two phase digital VRM. These four DIMMS run the memory in dual-channel memory architecture and can support DDR3 2800 (OC) /1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules with a total of supporting up to 32GB of system memory.





On the same side of memory region GIGABYTE provides a large red colored power button along with a smaller reset button and a reset CMOS .These controls are very useful when you run setup on a test bench or outside the cabinet. Right below the sys fan controller and in middle of 24pin Motherboard connector GIGABYTE also include a debug LED which enhances the board looks and design in a very good manner and even helps the user to identify problems with the post. Above the motherboard connector there are voltage check-in points.









The ATX4P SATA power connector provides extra 12v, 5v, and 3.3v for the motherboards PCI-E slots and other devices if needed.







Near the Southbridge heatsink we can see 3 internal USB 3.0 headers and 7 internal SATA ports. One of them is a gray port which is located right next to the bottom two USB 3.0 headers and is powered by Marvell and can provide SATA6GB/s. The two white ports are Intel SATA6GB/s and the four black as Intel SATA3GB/s. One fan header is next to the SATA ports. Right after that gray SATA port, there is a small switch which can switch between the main and the backup BIOS. Then we have front panel headers, as well as an extra fan header. Then there are two internal USB2.0 headers, a TPM header, a 1394A header, and then your audio headers.






In the center of the motherboard GIGABYTE provided a integrated connector for mSata (SSD) that allows for SATA 3GB/s drives to be connected.




The Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH Motherboard will support AMD CrossFireX and NVIDIA SLI technologies that will run at x16/x8 and 3-way will run at x8/x4/x4. This board has 3 PCI EXPRESS slots one slot running at x16, one PCI Express x16 slot running at x8, one PCI Express x16 slot running at x4 along with three PCI Express x1 slots and a single Legacy PCI slot.




Behind the Heatsinks at the top end corner the EATX 8-pin auxiliary power connector is found between the VRM heat sink and the I/O panel connections and a sensible 12-phase digital power design is used for powering CPU,iGPU,Memory.





The new International Rectifier IR3550M PowIRstage I/C, rated at 60A each in a space saving form factor, is touted to have less electrical leakage over traditional MOSFET implementations thus capable of higher efficiencies and output.




For the audio system GIGABYTE uses a 110 dB SNR Realtek ALC898 and licensed Creative XF-I audio software. GIGABTYE also two audio amplifiers one for the backpanel TOSLINK, and the other powers the internal header for a front panel device.




The rear I/O panel includes a robust set of outputs.

• 1 x D-Sub port
• 1 x DVI-D port
• 1 x HDMI port
• 1 x eSATA 6Gb/s connector
• 4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
• 2 x USB 2.0/1.0 ports
• 1 x IEEE 1394a port
• 1 x RJ-45 ports (Gigabit)
• 2 x Thunderbolt ports
• 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
• 6 x audio jacks


Two Thunderbolt connectors on Gigabyte Z77X- UP5TH allows 12 devices and 3 digital displays connecting capability simultaneously.





Bios Overview


GIGABYTE provides new 3D BIOS control panel and first screen appears on opening BIOS is whole motherboard layout in which you can simply click on the components you want to make changes to; the new 3D BIOS will list the options for that particular component. The icons at the bottom of the screen also allow access to various other types of information.

You can switch between two different modes of 3D BIOS. In the first mode you need to move your mouse on different components of motherboard you want to tweak or to get more information about that part .

The second mode is what most of us will be familiar with: normal UEFI BIOS the Bios has the ability that allow you to take screenshot using USB Storage.
































Test setup

• INTEL CORE I7 2600
• GIGABYTE Z77X-UP5-TH
• CORSAIR DOMINATOR PLATINUM 2133CL9
• ADATA SP900 256GB
• INTEL HD2000
• COOLER MASTER TPC 812
• SEASONIC PLATINUM 1000W
• WINDOWS 7 64BIT


For Comparison I use my ECS Z77-A2X and Intel DH67CL Motherboard with same rest configuration.

Performance

-> Super Pi,Wprime and Hyper Pi: Lower is better
-> AIDA64 CPU Suite: Higher is better
-> 3D Mark Vantage and Cinebench and X26 Benchmark: Higher is better
-> Dram Bandwidth Test: Higher is better
-> Sisifoft Sandra Test and Game Benchmark: Higher is better


Starting up with Some 2D benchmarks Super pi, Wprime, Hyper pi.

Super pi, Wprime, Hyper Pi is used by many Overclockers to test the performance and stability of their computers. In the Overclocking community, these standard programs provides a benchmark for enthusiasts to compare pi calculation times and demonstrate their Overclocking abilities.


Super Pi 1M



Super Pi 32M

Wprime 32M


Wprime 1024M


Hyper Pi 1M


Hyper Pi 32M



Aida64 CPU Suite

AIDA64 implements a set of 64-bit benchmarks to measure how fast the computer performs various data processing tasks and mathematical calculations. Processor benchmarks utilize MMX, 3DNow! And SSE instructions, and scale up to 32 processor cores. For legacy processors all benchmarks are available in the 32 - bit version as well.


CPU Queen


CPU Photo Worxx


CPU Zlib

CPU AES



CPU Hash



Cinebench R v11. 05

CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer's performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

This test scenario uses all of your system's processing power to render a photorealistic 3D scene (from the viral 'No Keyframes' animation by AixSponza). This scene makes use of various different algorithms to stress all available processor cores.


Cinebench Single core


Cinebench Multi core



X264 Benchmark

X264 FHD Benchmark is an application that allows you to encode video streams into the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC format.In terms of quality for general-purpose encoding, x264 is the one of the best video encoder. x264 is commonly used by companies ranging from YouTube, Facebook to Hulu and Avail Media. With x264 FHD Benchmark, you will be able to test how fast your CPU can encode a sequence using x264 settings.


3D Mark Vantage

3DMark Vantage is a full DirectX 10 compliant synthetic benchmark designed to test the DirectX 10 abilities of your video card and computing power of your PC. 3DMark Vantage focuses on the two areas most critical to gaming performance: the CPU and the GPU. With the emergence of multi-package and multi-core configurations on both the CPU and GPU side, the performance scale of these areas has widened, and the visual and game-play effects made possible by these configurations are accordingly wide-ranging.

Intel Hd 2000




Intel Hd2000 @2000mhz on core clock


DRAM Bandwidth Test

Aida64 Cache and memory Benchmark,MaxxMem,Sisoft sandra .












Street Fighter X Tekken

Street Fighter X Tekken is a crossover fighting game developed by Capcom and released in March 2012 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, in May for the PC. The game features characters from both the Street Fighter franchise and Namco's Tekken series. In the game, players select two characters and face other duos in tag team fighting matches, in which the objective is to knock out both members of the opposing team.

Maximum Settings Playable used for checking frame rate with no MSAA .





Final Thoughts


The Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH is one of best Intel Z77 Platform offerings out in market. Except from dual Thunderbolt ports the Gigabyte Z77X-UP5TH motherboard is loaded with tons of other high-end features that an enthusiast can expect from the Z77 platform. With some exclusive technologies such as 3-Way Digital Power with GIGABYTE 3D Power, dual 3D UEFI BIOS, and an 12 Phase VRM Design, and an onboard mSATA slot and the dual Thunderbolt ports makes this board an outstanding option to choose from Z77 Platform.


Overall this is a fantastic motherboard from Gigabyte. It offers a wealth of features and takes full advantage of all the Z77 chipset.



The Good

Looks
Good performance
Dual Thunderbolt connectors
WiFi/BT ready


The Bad

Price




Specially Thanks to GIGABYTE for providing the review Sample.



__________________
Reviews---> SVGTECH AOC 120DT, Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB, Seasonic Platinum 1000 Watt SMPS, Zotac GTX 660Ti AMP! Edition, Cooler Master TPC 812, Zotac GTX670 AMP! Edition,Zalman HD7870 Turbo,Seagate Backup Plus 1TB,Adata DashDrives HD710 & HE720

Last edited by Singh; 11-04-13 at 07:40 PM.
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