|Intel DZ77GA-70K Motherboard Overview|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Friday, 04 May 2012|
Page 5 of 5
Motherboard Features Final Thoughts
I can only hope that the Intel DZ77GA-70K motherboard represents a new push by Intel to make their motherboards more competitive. ASUS isn't trembling in their boots just yet, and there are still some rough edges in Intel's design and implementation. However, in my opinion this is the first Intel motherboard that represents a credible choice for an enthusiast looking to build a new rig.
Intel has done a really good job with the hardware feature set on this board. Users will appreciate the eight USB 3.0 ports, extra SATA 6G ports, dual Ethernet ports, and POST code display, POST sequence LEDs, and power phase LEDs. But the star of the show is the Intel Visual BIOS. It's aesthetically pleasing, well laid out, and very functional. Enthusiasts and overclockers will spend more time in the BIOS than other users, and using this one is a real pleasure. The more you use it, the more obvious it is that some very smart people really sweated the details. It makes every other BIOS I've used seem primitive by comparison.
The only place this board comes up short is in its supporting Windows software...or lack thereof Admittedly this is hard to judge since there was no driver/utility CD provided with the motherboard, so it's not clear what the final retail version will offer. Aside from some drivers and very basic utilities, the only real Windows software Intel provided was its Extreme Tuning Utility, which merely offers manual settings of various parameters within Windows, without any automatic overclocking features. Using the slider-based overclocking in the BIOS will be easier for most people for whom the few hundred extra mHz possible with manual tweaking is too much trouble.
Still: a solid set of innovative features and a BIOS to die for. It might not be the ultimate Z77 board, but it's Intel's best effort to date, and I look forward to seeing what else they can come up with.
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