On Monday Gigabyte announced the release of its current flagship motherboard, the Z77X-UP7. It offers a robust 32+3+2 power design (32 CPU phases, 3 Intel HD Graphics, 2 VTT phases) using Ultra Durable 5 high current capable components including 60A rated IR3550 PowIRstages chips from IR. This high phase count allows the board to share the workload between 32 phases, ensuring lower working temperatures and maximum CPU power delivery.
"With the Z77X-UP7 and its 32+3+2 power phase design featuring Ultra Durable 5 technology, we have created the very best CPU power design of any motherboard available today,” commented HiCookie, Gigabyte In-house Overclocking Expert. "Not only does this help extreme overclockers to reach 7 GHz+ on their Intel Core i7-3770K CPUs and take down benchmark records, but it also provides System Integrators with a platform cool and stable enough to withstand the rigors of an always-on, overclocked water cooled system for their customers."
Featuring an LGA 1155 CPU socket and the Intel Z77 chipset, the motherboard supports Intel 22-nm 3rd and 2nd generation Core CPUs. It also has four slots for 2 channel DDR3 RAM sticks, ten USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, six SATA 3 connectors and four SATA 2 connectors. It also offers PCI Express 3.0 x8 connectivity on 4 slots, supporting both 4-way ATI CrossFireX and Nvidia SLI configurations, or PCI Express 3.0 x16 connectivity using 2 slots.
"The Z77X-UP7 delivers ultra smooth 3D rendering, blazing-fast frame rates and enhanced graphics capabilities for users wanting to get the highest levels of graphics performance from their system, Gigabyte said on Monday. "The Single black PCI Express x16 slot provides a direct link to the CPU, enabling it to bypass the PLX chip. This provides the fastest possible connection for single graphics card benching."
The board also features an exclusive in-house designed UEFI BIOS sporting a GUI capable of 32-bit color imaging and user-friendly mouse navigation. The BIOS also provides two different levels of access, depending on the end-user: 3D mode for novice and casual users, and a more comprehensive Advanced Mode designed specifically for overclockers and power users. The 3D mode is a bit more simplistic so that it's easier to understand how the BIOS functions, and how each setting affects the motherboard.
"At the heart of this exciting 3D BIOS technology is a pair of physical BIOS ROMs containing Gigabyte’s exclusive in-house designed Dual UEFI BIOS technology, featuring the patented Gigabyte DualBIOS technology that automatically recovers BIOS data when main BIOS has crashed or failed," the company said.
For overclockers, the OC-Touch buttons allow overclockers to manually adjust the CPU ratio, BCLK settings as well as adjustments to the BCLK stepping ratio, to either 1 MHz or 0.3 MHz increments. These changes can be made in real-time, whether in BIOS, DOS, or Windows without the need for rebooting. Also included are onboard voltage measurement modules, and an onboard LN2 Mode switch for dropping the CPU frequency to x16 multiplier during extreme overclocking.
For more information about Gigabyte's new Z77X-UP7 Windows 8-ready motherboard, head here.