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Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH Motherboard: Review & Specs

At present in the motherboard market for LGA1155 platform models are well represented on Intel Z77. This is not surprising, the chipset is very functional, but because the device based on it are in great demand. The company Gigabyte is ready to meet, having at its disposal a wide range of diverse models. Today we have brought you one of the top line of devices – Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH, which is the world’s first board, which received two Thunderbolt ports.

Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH
Design, layout and equipment

The Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH motherboard is made in the usual form factor ATX, therefore, easily be able to fit in the appropriate case. Looking at the device, you can safely say that the problems with the installation will be there. Everything is in place. Memory cards do not block access to the expansion slots, radiators regular cooling system also does not create any problems during the installation of overall CPU coolers. Anyway, the card can be called quite pretty, well, matte black PCB gives more charm.
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH is using the Intel Z77 Express chipset says that the board is able to operate with any processor platform LGA1155 CPU and get maximum performance.
Potential owners of such a device – provided users who need a functional platform for serious gaming PC or a powerful workstation, and for a similar charge are willing to pay out of pocket over $ 300.
The Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH motherboard is made in accordance with the concept of Ultra Durable 5, which in turn implies the use of high quality components, ability to work under conditions of high temperature and high humidity.
In the CPU power circuit Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH uses 12 independent phases. Such a number of lines of force can be considered completely rational decision, because more elements would certainly have complicated wiring, and that would affect the price of the board. This fact in no way deprives the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH status for overclockers, because as it turned out, it is able to overclock well.
A set of power connectors familiar: one 24-pin ATX power connector and one 8-pin EPS. The motherboard also has an additional power connector, designed as a connector SATA, it will be needed to support and disperse two or three cards.

 

For graphic subsystem on Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH motherboard has three slots PCI-Express x16, which correspond to the specifications of the final PCI-Express 3.0, and you can create a configuration NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX. On one main card slot operates in x16, with two – x8 + x8, three – x8 + x4 + x4. Note that the latter mode is available only with graphics chips and AMD CPU usage of a family of Intel Ivy Bridge.

 

The Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH motherboard has a passive cooling system, consisting of three aluminium radiators connected in a single structure two heat pipes.
This engineering solution can be considered entirely justified – while working full-time CO was barely warm, so additional fans, water blocks and other alternative is to anything.

Of the controls can be found the three key buttons: power, reset and clear CMOS. There is also a seven-segment LED POST-codes – the engineers put it right for a 24-pin power connector. Not the best option, but it’s better than nothing. Especially for enthusiasts, armed with a multimeter, the board has pads for measuring voltage (Voltage Measurement Points).
For connecting disk drives designed seven SATA-ports, six of which are collected on the same block in Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH. Black ports operate at SATA 3 Gb / s, two white and one gray (located just below the radiator) have double the bandwidth – up to 6 Gb / s. The first six are controlled by the chipset Intel Z77 Express, operated by the Seventh-chip Marvell 88SE9172. There is support for RAID-arrays levels 0, 1, 5, and 10.

 

The Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH motherboard is also has mSATA connector to install the appropriate SSD-drive form factor. Such a decision is rational if you plan to create a hybrid disk subsystem employing caching technology Intel Smart Response.

 
Responsible for the sound of an eight-HDA-codec Realtek ALC898, supports technology X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity, EAX and Advanced HD 5.0.
On the back panel of Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH handed digital video output DVI and HDMI, analog D-Sub, six USB-ports, four of which have revision 3.0 (three empty seats on the PCB), high-speed eSATA port 6 Gb / s, one power outlet RJ-45, power audio jacks with optical S / PDIF port and two Thunderbolt. Outdated PS / 2 are missing. Interface IEEE 1394a (FireWire) submitted to the PCB.
Particular attention should be paid to the interface Thunderbolt in Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH. It is based on the controller Intel DSL3510L, so the system board, you can connect up to 12 external devices and up to three HD-monitors with data transfer rates up to 10 Gb / s per channel. Variety of peripheral devices for Thunderbolt is not very great, besides its distribution constrains considerable cost.
In the Wireless interfaces Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH has are two most popular – Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi. Their controllers and piping on a separate PCB designed for installation in free slot PCI-Express x1.
Overall, Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5TH is well balanced and very adequately equipped.
Inbox:

To transport the unit and related accessories manufacturer has provided a colorful box. Immediately attracted the attention of bright logos of various proprietary technologies, loud slogans and acronyms. Now many vendors have been practicing this approach. Advertising – the motor trade.
Scope of supply includes all the necessary paper documents and manuals, CD with drivers and software, cables SATA (6 pcs.), Charge controller with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, as well as antennas for them, the front cover of 3.5 – inch drive bay with port USB 3.0. Still there is a cap for the rear panel of the case, USB cable and a flexible SLI-bridge to connect two video cards.

BIOS and its possibilities

Basic software provided proprietary shell UEFI 3D BIOS, which has a colorful user-friendly interface, and supports a mouse.
You can feel that Gigabyte has done a great job in Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH, the system parameters can be adjusted to the smallest detail. The user can choose the tools to adjust the frequency and voltage, there is a wonderful section of monitoring.

 

If necessary, you can flash a new version of the BIOS, and it is done in three or four mouse click. We did not miss the opportunity, and recorded in the chip the latest firmware at the time of the material. By the way, this model of Gigabyte equips two chips on the firmware (technology DualBIOS), so even if a failure occurs, the unit will not turn into a brick – the reserve is always a working firmware.
Inside:

Installing the operating system and related software, the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH motherboard has passed a series of tests in a normal mode. No overclocking, all settings were displayed by default. As expected, no problems at work were observed. After such formalities, investigated the potential of Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH, determining its ability to provide maximum overclocking CPU with good air cooling.
Despite the fact that the BIOS is functional enough, under voltage regulation for some reason there was no point in charge of the chipset (PCH Voltage), although it is easy to find and set the desired value using the utility Easy Tune.
The experiments failed to achieve stable operation Core i7-2600K worked at a frequency of 4876 MHz. Yet the label to “Designed for Overclocking” may be considered to be justified.

 

Threshold BCLK bus was not very high – maximum frequency for a stable operating system was 106 MHz. A little digging in the settings of Easy Tune, managed to step up to 1 MHz – 107 MHz for the BCLK.

Results

After studying the features of the motherboard, it can be concluded that the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH is a good candidate for a productive PC. It is bright representative of the class high-end. On the side of the model lot of baggage of advanced technology and enhanced functionality, while enhanced electronic components leaves a significant margin of safety for the system in the forced mode. The manufacturer is not afraid to experiment, equipping their devices with forward-looking solutions that are just gaining popularity. This is a sure way to get a device that will long remain relevant.

Pros:

+ Reliable electronic components
+ Successful configuration
+ Extended Functionality
+ Wireless interfaces Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
+ Good overclocking potential
+ Thunderbolt
+ Balanced package
Cons:

– Minor flaws in the BIOS firmware
– Slightly overpriced

This was all regarding the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH motherboard.