Z77 Motherboard Round-Up: MSI, ASUS, Gigabyte, Intel
Finally we have the Intel DZ77GA-70K. The DZ77GA-70K is a member of Intel’s Extreme Series of motherboards, and as such, features the black and dark blue color scheme of its predecessors and a full complement of overclocking capabilities.
As you’d expect from an Intel-built motherboard, DZ77GA-70K exploits all of the features inherent to the Z77 Express chipset and adds a few more, like Bluetooth, WiFi and Firewire, through the use of third-party controllers. The board features Intel’s “Fast Boot” technology, which speeds the boot process by eliminating the need to complete a full POST when the hardware and configuration of the system is unchanged from the previous boot.
The DZ77GA-70K also supports Extreme Memory Profiles (XMP 1.3) for easy high-speed memory configuration and even includes an extensive set of overclocking tools via an excellent UEFI Intel is calling their Visual BIOS. We should point out that those overclocking tools are not only available via the UEFI, but also through a Windows-based application called the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility, or Intel XTU. XTU gives users the ability to tweak numerous performance-related options and monitors system temperatures and fan speeds. “One Touch” overclocking options are also available via a simple slider for those that want a quick and easy speed boost, without doing much tweaking.
The DZ77GA-70K features heavy-duty heatsinks for the chipset and voltage regulation modules, integrated power and reset switches, solid capacitors, and a POST code error reporter, along with a number of LED status indicators. The board is outfitted with three PCI Express x16 slots, with full support for both NVIDIA’s SLI and AMD’s CrossFire multi-GPU technologies.
Included with the Intel DZ77GA-70K, we found an Intel “Extreme Series” mouse mat, a quick installation guide, a custom I/O shield, an SLI bridge, a WiFi and Bluetooth module (with requisite cable), a driver / utility CD, and a bay mountable cage with dual USB 3.0 ports.