|Intel DZ77GA-70K Motherboard Overview|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Thursday, 03 May 2012|
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Intel DZ77GA-70K Motherboard Overview
Manufacturer: Intel Corporation
Full Disclosure: Intel Corporation provided the product samples used in this article.
While Intel provides design documents and technical help to vendors using its processors and chipsets, they don't create "reference designs" that everybody starts with as do video card manufacturers. When NVIDIA and AMD introduce new GPUs, the first wave of boards from their partners all use an identical design, provided by NVIDIA and AMD. This gives third party vendors a quick release cycle with a verified design. Later, vendors enhance the design to add their own unique features. One important thing to keep in mind is that with this model, NVIDIA and AMD do not sell cards directly to the consumer, so they're not in competition with their partners.
Intel, on the other hand, does sell directly to the consumer. They have a complete line of motherboards for the Z77 Express chipset, and their Extreme Series boards are aimed at the enthusiast market.
The problem Intel has had is that their previous Extreme Series boards haven't exactly set the world on fire. While companies like ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, and the like manage to provide feature-stuffed, perfectly functioning boards in full retail kit to reviewers weeks before release, Intel typically seeds reviewers with incomplete kits missing manuals and most accessories, with buggy BIOSes and sub-par performance. So imagine my surprise when the Intel DZ77GA-70K I received turned in performance equal or better to the more expensive ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe and had a few unique and compelling features of its own.