|Intel DZ77GA-70K Motherboard Overview|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Thursday, 03 May 2012|
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DZ77GA-70K BIOS Continued
One of my criticisms of this motherboard is that it has only four fan headers, including the CPU header. But at least they're all four-pin PWM headers, and Intel gives you pretty fine control over them. As you can see below you can define how each fan is used as well as set minimum and maximum fan speeds.
Under the Temperatures tab, you can define the temperatures the motherboard will use to control the fans, as well as how the fans "respond". A high responsiveness with low damping means fans speeds will change continually and instantly in response to temperature changes, which provides the best cooling but might be annoying from a sound standpoint. Alternatively you can dampen the response so that the change is slower. The Thresholds tab, part of which is visible at the right side of this image, defines the voltage thresholds (over and under-voltage) that can be used to generate alerts with the proper monitoring software. While this could be a useful feature, Intel doesn't provide any such monitoring software.
The Performance tab takes you to a summary screen showing the default, currently active, and "proposed" (set but not yet applied) parameters for the processor, memory, iGPU, and system voltages.
The Processor tab is representative of what you'll see on the other Performance tabs. You can set the CPU voltage and define the turbo multipliers to be used for 1, 2, 3, or 4 cores. To the right are settings for enabling or disabling features like SpeedStep, Hyper-Threading, and the C states as well as VDROOP and sustained and burst mode power overrides.
The Power screen has controls for processor and subsystem power usage. Intel Smart Connect Technology will wake a sleeping computer at defined intervals so that programs such as Microsoft Outlook can update themselves without the computer having to be on for the entire time.
One of my favorite features in the BIOS is the Search input. At the bottom right of every BIOS screen is a little Search input area. Click in it and start typing to bring up every place in the BIOS the search term occurs. In the image below I've typed "boot", and the results consolidate everything the BIOS knows about "boot" into a little custom panel with active controls. This is great for finding your way around a complex BIOS, although frankly Intel's Visual BIOS is so well-designed and intuitive that this feature almost isn't needed except as a short cut.
In the next section I'll give my final thoughs on the Intel DZ77GA-70K motherboard's feature set.