|Intel DZ77GA-70K Motherboard Components|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Friday, 11 May 2012|
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DZ77GA-70K Final Thoughts
Intel has made some interesting choices in the design and implementation of their enthusiast-oriented Z77 Express motherboard. Probably the most interesting innovation is the use of Genesys USB 3.0 hub chips rather than NEC, ASMedia, or Renesas USB controllers. While this does mean that each of the eight onboard USB ports should perform identically, you'll be sharing bandwidth in some cases.
Like ASUS, Intel has included a PLX Technologies PCI-E multiplexer chip to work around the PCI-E lane limitations of an LGA1155 system. With a total of only 24 "native" lanes, the multiplexer chip helps by allocating lanes on the fly as various subsystems demand them. For example, the Marvell SATA 6G controller requires a couple of lanes for its two SATA 6G ports, but if those aren't being used (right this second), the lanes can be reallocated to another part of the board, like the PCI-E x4 slot. While still not as good as the 40+ native PCI-E lanes supplied by AMD 990FX and Intel X79 systems, it certainly makes LGA1155 systems more viable for enthusiasts who want to run multiple video cards, SATA 6G and USB 3.0 devices.
I have not had good experiences with previous Intel "Extreme" motherboards. However, this board impressed me with its performance, overclocking ability, and most of all what is possibly the best UEFI BIOS on any motherboard I've ever see. Yes, this motherboard is that good, and I'll be covering its performance and features in more detail in a pair of upcoming articles.
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