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Written by David Ramsey   
Sunday, 06 May 2012
Table of Contents: Page Index
Intel DZ77GA-70K Benchmark Performance
AIDA64 Extreme Edition Tests
PCMark 7 Tests
CINEBENCH R11.5 Benchmarks
CPU-Dependent 3D Gaming
Media Encoding Benchmarks
SPECviewperf 11 Tests
SPECapc Lightwave
Blender and POV-Ray
Overclocking and Final Thoughts
Intel DZ77GA-70K Conclusion

Intel DZ77GA-70K Motherboard Benchmark Performance Tests

Manufacturer: Intel Corporation
Model Number: DZ77GA-70K
Product Name: Intel Z77 Express motherboard
Price: $224.00-$240.00 MSRP

Full Disclosure: Intel Corporation provided the product sample used in this article.

Does Intel really want to cater to enthusiasts? Personally, I've never known anyone who used an Intel motherboard in their rig, although I'm sure some people do. And it's hard to blame them: historically, third party vendors have offered superior performance and features. Intel seemed to be more concerned with stuff like skull logos whose eyes blinked as drive activity indicators rather than creating motherboards enthusiasts would actually want to use.

intel_dz77GA_70K_box.jpg

Here's a preview: while Intel still has a way to go to before the likes of ASUS, MSI, and EVGA need to start worrying, their latest Extreme series motherboard is the first one I've tested that's actually competitive in features and performance. In one specific area it's better than anything I've seen before.

Testing Methodology and Specifications

I was fortunate enough to have three new Intel Z77 Express motherboards available: the MSI Z77A-GD65 that I've previously reviewed, an ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe, and the subject of this performance comparison, the Intel DZ77GA-70K.

I compared the performance of the motherboards at stock speeds using the benchmark programs listed below, with a spiffy new Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770K CPU. Since the Core i7-3770K's "HD 4000" integrated graphics shares L3 cache and memory bandwidth with the CPU cores, I disabled it and use and AMD Radeon HD5770 video card for all benchmarks. I used the same processor, hard disk, and memory on each motherboard, so that the motherboards were the only thing that changed between tests. Any performance differences at stock clock speeds are thus due to the motherboards.

On the Intel motherboard, I also ran the benchmarks at the highest overclock I could achieve.

Intel Z77 Express Test Platform

  • Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD65 (BIOS 10.3B6)
  • Motherboard: Intel DZ77GA-70K (BIOS GA7710H.86A.3000.R09.1203090931)
  • Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe (BIOS 0906)
  • Processor: 3.5GHz Intel Core i7-3770K
  • System Memory: 8GB (2 4GB DIMMs) DDR3-1600 (9-9-9-27)
  • Primary Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST3500418AS 500GB
  • Graphics Adapter: AMD Radeon 5770
  • CPU cooler: Thermalright Silver Arrow

Benchmark Applications

  • Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition v2.20.1800
  • Futuremark PCMark 7 v1.04
    • Productivity
    • Creativity
    • Computation
  • Maxon CINEBENCH R11.5 64-Bit
  • Street Fighter IV benchmark
  • x264Bench HD 3.0
  • SPECviewperf-11:
    • Lightwave 9.6
    • Autodesk Maya 2009
    • Siemens Teamcenter Visualization Mockup
  • SPECapc LightWave 3D v9.6
  • Handbrake 0.96 video transcoding
  • Blender 3D rendering
  • POV-Ray 3D rendering

Intel DZ77GA-70K Specifications

Specifications supplied by Intel.

CPU Intel® Socket 1155 for 3rd/2nd Generation Processors
Supports Intel® 22 nm CPU
Supports Intel® 32 nm CPU
Supports Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
Chipset Intel Z77
Memory Four 240-pin DIMM connectors supporting dual-channel memory. Two double-sided DIMMs per channel
Maximum system memory up to 32 GB10 using 8 GB double-sided DIMMs
DDR3-1600+ O.C. SDRAM memory support
Expansion Slots Two PCI Express 3.0 ×16 connectors (configured as ×8/×8 in dual graphics mode)
Two PCI Express 2.0 ×1 slots
One PCI Express 2.0 x4 slot
Two PCI slots
LAN Intel 82579V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
Intel 82574V, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
Dual Intel LAN on the back panel
New low-power design can meet Energy Star 5.0 specifications
Wireless data network Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth Bluetooth V2.0
Audio 10-channel Intel® High Definition Audio8 codec
8-channel via the back panel
2-channel via the front panel
Back panel support for output via optical cable
One internal header for S/PDIF output for HDMI support
IEEE 1394 1 x IEEE 1394a port(s)
USB Ports Four Hi-Speed USB 2.0 ports via back panel, including two fast charging high current ports (yellow)
Six additional Hi-Speed USB 2.0 ports via four internal headers
Four Super-Speed USB 3.0 ports (blue) and four Super-Speed USB 3.0 via internal headers
Back I/O Ports PS/2 mouse/keyboard port
2x hi-current USB 2.0 ports
2x standard USB 2.0 ports
4x USB 3.0 ports
1x ESATA port
1x IEEE 1394 port
1x HDMI port
1x audio panel

Let's get to the benchmarks!



 

Comments 

 
# PCI slots are still industry standardOlin Coles 2012-05-07 16:08
Conclusion ratings are purely opionion, but I think most people are still buying/using PCI-bus hardware.
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# RE: PCI slots are still industry standardDavid Ramsey 2012-05-07 16:14
And a lot of people are still running Windows XP.
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# Re: PCI slots are still industry standardJoe Mama 2012-05-08 10:59
This is an enthusiast-level motherboard -- save the PCI slots for the low-end stuff.
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# RE: Intel DZ77GA-70K Benchmark Performance TestsJustin 2012-05-08 16:32
Hi! Great review but I have one question that I didn't see answered anywhere: How long does this board take to POST? By POST I mean the time it takes to go from power button pressed to Windows load screen popping up. This is information a lot of people are interested in, but I rarely see it in reviews (in fact only Anandtech test this, AFAIK).
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# RE: RE: Intel DZ77GA-70K Benchmark Performance TestsDavid Ramsey 2012-05-08 16:43
There are several reasons you don't see this metric:

1. Most people only boot their systems once a day, if that, and the time spent to get to the Windows desktop is insignificant compared to the time the computer's being used.

2. The time will vary greatly depending on the boot device (regular hard disk, Velociraptor, SSD); the version of Windows being booted, drivers, etc.

Granted, you could use a standard hardware configuration and Windows installation to reduce the number of variables in #2, but I don't think that many people would find it useful. FWIW I didn't notice the board being particularly speedy or slow.
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# RE: RE: RE: Intel DZ77GA-70K Benchmark Performance TestsJustin 2012-05-08 23:29
Thanks for the reply David! Whilst it's true that most people only boot up their system once per day (in fact I only do it twice) I can guarantee you that the average person cares more about how long their machine takes to boot up than some slight differences in benchmarks that are never actually felt by the end-user.

For reference try googling it and see dozens and dozens (hundreds even?) of people on tech forums around the world trying to find this information out :).

Or head over to anandtech and see how almost all of the positive comments mention POST time benchmarking as a great review feature.

As to hardware variability, I would assume by now that any enthusiast knows that overall boot time is greatly effected by hardware, most notably HDD/SSD. However POST time can still make 20 seconds of difference in startup time, considering most machines with SSDs start up in well under a minute, you can see how a lot of everyday users would like to see how they could shave most of this time off.

Once again, thank-you for the great review and for the reply :).
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: Intel DZ77GA-70K Benchmark Performance TestsErick 2012-06-23 12:26
The problem with this question is that boot up time has too many variables that are far more dependent on configuration and other hardware. Did you enable RAID? Well, there's a controller that must be loaded. What boot order and devices did you enable? It may have to check for USB devices. Is RAM test enabled? Quick or full? How much? What operation system, boot loader, drivers, and services?

If you want a fast bootup: you should disable all of the motherboard features you don't use, use a small and fast boot device like a SSD without RAID, and don't install drivers and services unless you absolutely need it.
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