Z77 Motherboard Round-Up: MSI, ASUS, Gigabyte, Intel - HotHardware

Z77 Motherboard Round-Up: MSI, ASUS, Gigabyte, Intel

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Due to the fact that native USB 3.0 support is one of the main new additions to the Z77 Express chipset, and a couple of the motherboard had third-party, discrete USB 3.0 controllers on board as well, we did some testing to compare the performance of each solution.

For these tests, we connected an external USB 3.0 enclosure with a 7200 RPM hard drive installed within. Once the drive was connected, we fired up the ATTO Disk benchmark and ran the tests on the external drive.

USB 3.0 Testing
Intel vs. NEC vs. ASMedia

As you can see, in terms of its write performance, the native Intel USB 3.0 performed right on par with the discrete ASMedia controller. Both Intel and ASMedia, however, had a clear advantage over the NEC controller when smaller block sizes were used. In regard to reads, the native Intel USB 3.0 interface trailed the ASMedia and NEC controllers at the smallest of transfer sizes, but Intel eventually surpassed the NEC controller and then just missed the mark set by ASMedia.

With that said, some USB solutions—like Intel and ASMedia—also support UASP, the USB Attached SCSI Protocol, which can boost performance significantly. We’re going to be experimenting with UASP in the near future and will have a follow-up with full performance data posted soon. In the meantime, if you pick up a Z77 board and don’t have the necessary software to enable UASP mode, these are the kind of numbers you can expect.

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Good to see these boards making it into the market.

I liked the ASUS board the most, but as you guys said, even the cheapest one of them is a damn nice board.

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Impressive performance ! Hope and trust you will retest when the Ivy Bridge - Oops ! «3rd Generation Core processors» - become available !...

Henri

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You didn't think that Intel motherboard showed up without an Ivy Bridge CPU in it, did you? :)

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Marco, as you know, I personally possess no special knowledge as regards which processor was included with the Intel motherboard, but I do presume that all the tests were performed with a Core i7-2700K, as per your headsup : «One thing we should point out though, is that we tested all of these motherboards [emphasis added, MHD] using a Sandy Bridge-based processor; a Core i7-2700K to be more specific». What I attempted to express above was my hope that you will retest all these mainboards when the Ivy-Bridge processors become generally available....

Henri

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Got my hands on the Z77 boards at Pax (Some of them even had Ivy bridge chips in them) Man these things are nice. I find the power efficiency improvements to be pretty impressive.

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Great article, but what does "Thunderbolt Ready" mean? Are the MB people planning on releasing a card that I can stick in there? Is there an ETA on when the card would show up or any details about it? Same size connector as the mac version of ThunderBolt?

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Hey Optimus while you are entitled to your own opinion all I see you do is flame marco nonstop, whats with all the negativity? 

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We tested the MSI board and were able to hit a stable 5.3GHz with a 2600K for our review, same goes with our Gigabyte sample, but it was the Z77 UD3, even our Biostar Z77 board was able to hit 5.3GHz, ASRock Extreme6 4.9GHz. We just receive five more Z77 boards and should have those results up shortly

AS far as the comments left by OPT, every review site has to put up with someone like this, he should be posting his own results before resorting to this type of crap

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I liked the ASUS board the most, but as you guys said, even the cheapest one of them is a damn nice board.

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What I attempted to express above was my hope that you will retest all these mainboards when the Ivy-Bridge processors become generally available..

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