Being as i am building a new PC I thought I might as well share my thoughts on the bits I buy to stick in it.

The main reason for buying this board were due to it having good reviews on other sites and it came with an Antec Kuhler 620 free which saved me having to buy a decent cooler (air/water). I'll show you the a picture of the motherboard below then go into my thoughts.  I will update this review when i can actually use the thing as i'm waiting for the Ivybridge to be released.

gigabyte z77 motherboard

    The board comes very well packaged in a simple but eligant box which contains various bits you would expect to see supplied with a motherboard.  gigabyte z77 extras

   From this picture you can see 2 * sata cables (black sata 3 and blue sata 6) , I/O shield/back plate, SLI bridge connector, 3.5" front panel with 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports, Manual, Driver disk (which i couldn't see at first as it was in the manual) and a sticker.

   The board comes packaged in it's own box layer which when you lift out gives you access to the other packaged items.

   In the picture below you can see the diagnostic are of the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H. Starting from the bottom of the picture up you can find the voltage measurement points (white and copper coloured dots) that you can check VCORE, CPU VTT, VSA, CPU PLL, DDR VTT, VDIMM and PCHIO voltage levels while the system is running to make sure they are at the correct levels.diagnoticarea 

   Just above the voltage points in the middle you find the error number display that will show you all kinds of useful error codes should things go pear shaped when over clocking or for other hardware failures.   To the right of that there is a power button (Red) so you can easily switch the PC on / off while working on it and next to that on the right hand side there is a reset switch (Blue).  Just above the reset switch you'll find the blue coloured clear CMOS button (yay no more silly jumper things that you need really small hands or tweezers to use) which will reset you CMOS to factory settings should you get over zealous at over clocking and push things a little too far making your system refuse to play nice.

usb3atx4There is also an ATX4P power connector to use should you wish to stick in more than 2 graphics cards (pictured bottom left) and a USB3 front panel connector (top right).

For those that want to use Intel Smart Response Gigabbyte have included an MSATA connector onboard in it's own nice little area.  msataI did think about using this but decided just to move everything over to SSD instead to gain the speed all the time instead of having the files removed from chache sometimes meaning you're back to standard SATA speeds; not that there is anything wrong in that.  Incoming copy and paste ... "In the past, enabling Intel® Smart Response meant users needed to enter the BIOS in order to configure their system for RAID mode, which then required a complete reinstall of the operating system. Once that processes was complete, users then needed to install the Intel® Rapid Storage Utility as well as configure Intel's Smart Response Technology. GIGABYTE EZ Smart Response does all of this automatically, without users having to perform a complicated install process."

 

These guys good quick overview of this board.. really worth watching.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHSs0HRsWzU&feature=player_embedded#!

Category: Components