Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7 Motherboard Halloween Review
OverviewHardware: CPU & Motherboards
WHAT WE LIKED:Top shelf overclocking motherboard reaching 6GHz+ on dry Ice.
WHAT WE DISLIKED:Gigabyte's Easy Tune 6 rather meh for a top shelf motherbaod.
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Sometimes we think manufacturers have their product line all figured out, and then they raise the bar. Today, we saw that with Gigabyte’s newest edition, the Z77X-UD7. Gigaybyte has thrown some creative aesthetics out lately. From the Z77 Sniper series and now with the Z77X-UP7, their color themes are bold and vibrant. The Sniper went with a black mono look with yellow and here they use a bright orange, which gives it a distinct “Halloween” look. Gigabyte also uses an E-ATX form factor that increases the size from your traditonal ATX form factor. This loosens the motherboard for easy hardware installation (Multiple GPU’s) and wire management which is a plus. From the looks to the layout, Gigabyte has a real winner.
The Z77X-UP7 also has a ton of motherboard features. They add some extras for the overclocking junkies, like the smart buttons to Voltage Measurement Modules. Gigabyte paid special attention to detail as the additional motherboard features do not inhibit hardware installation or wire management. For you test bench users, all the board overclocking tools are located in one central area. As usual, Gigabyte has a slew of sata ports for the mega-raid folks, by including a total of eight and SATA Plus an mSata connector. The parts and accessories included are vast, and Gigabyte includes a WiFi dual antenna which is creative. Two antennas can be seperated to avoid those dead spots in your home or office.
If we were to point to an area we see some of the competition evolving, it is overclocking software. Gigabyte’s Easy Tune 6 has not changed in sometime. Although it does the job and we are able to tweak the multiplier and BCLCK with Easy Tune6, the interface is rather meh and could use a workover in our opinion. Others have developed a much more robust interface but we will leave it as a mention. On the flipside, Gigabyte’s UEFI BIOS is very good. Although you may see more in depth tweaks with Asus’ ROG product, the 3D BIOS has everything under the hood you need. There really is no negative with the Gigabyte Z77X-UP7.
Overclocking the Z77X-UP7 was even more icing on the cake. We took our core i7 3770K to 5.1GHz under custom water but our Dry Ice run took the 3770K to a higher plateau breaking the 6GHz mark which is scary fast! The Z77X-UP7 is an overclocking “monster” for sure. It’s SATA II 6G speeds are very good but USB 3.0 speeds were just a little low. The Memory read/write/ copy speeds and latencies rocked! The overall platform with the Z77X-UP7 is a beast if your’e looking for a top gun rig.
Top shelf motherboards do come at a price. The Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 kicks off at $399 which may seem a bit steep, but taking into consideration that it has a “zombie army” of bells and whistles, and is a performance and overclocking beast, the Z77X-UP7 easily earns Pure Overclock’s Editor’s Choice Award.
Pure Point: Gigabyte’s Z77X-UP7 is an overclocking powerhouse