Z77 Mobo Roundup II: EVGA, ASRock, Gigabyte, Zotac
Like all of the other boards in our roundup, the ASRock Z77 Professional supports socket 1155 2nd- and 3rd-generation Intel CPUs, and it also boasts a Digi Power VRM design and 16+8 digital power phases, and it can handle up to 32GB of DDR3-2800 (OC) dual-channel RAM over its four DIMM slots.
|CPU:||Supports 3rd and 2nd Generation Intel Core i7 / i5 / i3 in LGA1155 Package
Digi Power Design
16 + 8 Power Phase Design
Supports Intel Turbo Boost 2.0, K-Series unlocked CPU, Hyper-Threading, Rapid Start, and Smart Connect Technology
|Memory:||Dual Channel DDR3 memory technology
4 x DDR3 DIMM slots
Supports DDR3 2800+(OC)/2400(OC)/2133(OC)/1866(OC)/1600/1333/1066 non-ECC, un-buffered memory
Max. capacity of system memory: 32GB
Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 1.3 / 1.2
|Graphics:||Supports Intel HD Graphics Built-in Visuals: Quick Sync Video 2.0, InTru 3D, Clear Video HD Technology, Insider, and Intel HD Graphics 2500/4000
Pixel Shader 5.0, DirectX 11 with Intel Ivy Bridge CPU. Pixel Shader 4.1, DirectX 10.1 with Intel Sandy Bridge CPU.
Max. shared memory 1760MB
|Audio:||7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC898 Audio Codec)
Supports THX TruStudio and Blu-ray audio
|LAN:||PCIE x1 Gigabit LAN 10/100/1000 Mb/s
Supports Wake-On-LAN, Energy Efficient Ethernet 802.3az, Dual LAN with Teaming function, and PXE
|Slots:||2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (PCIE2/PCIE4: single at x16 (PCIE2) / x8 (PCIE4) or dual at x8/x8 mode)
1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot (PCIE5: x4 mode)
2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots
2 x PCI slots
Supports AMD Quad, 3-Way, and CrossFireX
Supports NVIDIA Quad SLI and SLI
|SATA3:||2 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors by Intel Z77, support RAID (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, Intel Rapid Storage and Smart Response Technology), NCQ, AHCI and "Hot Plug" functions
4 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s connectors by ASMedia ASM1061, support NCQ, AHCI and "Hot Plug"
|USB 3.0:||2 x Rear USB 3.0 ports by Intel Z77, support USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s
4 x Rear USB 3.0 ports by Etron EJ188H, support USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s
1 x Front USB 3.0 header by Intel Z77 (supports 2 USB 3.0 ports), supports USB 1.0/2.0/3.0 up to 5Gb/s
|Smart Switch:||Power, reset, and Clear CMOS switches with LED
|Form Factor:||ATX Form Factor: 12.0-in x 9.6-in, 30.5 cm x 24.4 cm
You’ll find no SATA 3Gbps ports on this board; instead, there are six total SATA 6Gbps ports (two powered by the chipset, four by the ASMedia chip). The back I/O panel has five USB 2.0 ports in addition to six USB 3.0, and a front panel header supports another two USB 3.0 ports. The rest of the ports on the back panel include a PS/2 port, eSATA3 port, FireWire, HDMI, DisplayPort, optical SPDIF, dual LAN, five audio jacks, and a clear CMOS button.
One of the USB ports is the Fatal1ty Mouse Port, which works in conjunction with the Fatal1ty F-Stream software, a utility that lets you overclock and tweak hardware settings including RAM speeds and Fan Control. With a USB mouse plugged into the special port, users can adjust the mouse polling rate from 125Hz to 1,000Hz using F-Stream.
Other ASRock software and utilities onboard include the ASRock OMG (Online Management Guard) Internet curfew service; Rapid Start and Smart Connect utilities to speed boot times and enable email receipt and Web page refreshes while the system’s asleep; CPU EZOC for easy overclocking; ASRock’s XFast 555 technology to boost memory, LAN, and USB performance; and more.
For accessories, ASRock provided a manual, quick installation guide, installation disc, I/O shield, six SATA cables, rear USB 3.0 bracket, front USB 3.0 panel, SLI bridge, a pair of power cable adapters, and a smattering of screws.