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Intel DZ77GA-70K Benchmark Performance E-mail
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Written by David Ramsey   
Monday, 07 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

DZ77GA-70K Overclocking

If you've read our review of the Intel Core i7-3770K processor, you've seen this part. If you haven't, the short version is that Ivy Bridge processors do not, at least in their current stepping, overclock as well as Sandy Bridge processors. Despite their vaunted 22nm, "3D" transistors, at 4.8GHz individual core temperatures spiked to over 100 degrees Celsius, leading the CPU throttling under load, even though I was using a Thermalright Silver Arrow cooler, the best air cooler I've ever tested.

So the best overclock I was able to get was 4.7GHz on all cores under load...which is the same overclock I was able to hit on the other two Z77 Express motherboard in this test. While I didn't have to increase the voltage to reach this level, individual core temperatures were still in excess of 90 degrees under load, so it's not something I'd recommend doing long term. I've tried overclocking this CPU on three Z77 Express motherboards now, with identical results on each one, so I'm pretty sure the CPU is the limiting factor here.


So keep in mind that this probably doesn't represent this board's overclocking limits. That said, its power circuitry is less sophisticated that that of the MSI and ASUS motherboards, so its ultimate limits may be lower.

Z77 Express Motherboard Final Thoughts

The Intel DZ77GA-70K is the first (early production) Intel motherboard I've actually been impressed with. Its performance is easily comparable to that of the top-end third party motherboards, and it brings some real innovation to the party with its USB 3.0 hub design, POST code progress LEDs, and other features like the PLX chip and high-current USB port.

Still, for a high end motherboard, some corners have been cut in the extras: the WiFi module only supports b/g/n, and not "a", and the Bluetooth module is stuck at revision 2.1 of the Bluetooth standard while ASUS has moved on to revision 4.0. There are only four fan headers, and you can't calibrate the fans or slave them to onboard temperature sensors.


The Intel board also doesn't compete well in terms of Windows software. Intel does provide its Extreme Tuning Utility, but it doesn't even provide the overclocking help that the BIOS overclock section does, and there's no automatic tuning feature like ASUS and MSI provide. There's certainly nothing even close to ASUS' Turbo V Evo or MSI's utilities.

Still, this board does have one redeeming feature that the enthusiast community will love: what is perhaps the best UEFI BIOS I've ever seen. Really, it's a revelation, and makes up to some extent for Intel's other shortcomings. I'll cover the BIOS of this board in detail in the forthcoming Features review of this motherboard.



# 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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