Alright let's start up this preview. Above The SaberTooth Z77 motherboard and it's package content. Included are the motherboard, SATA cables, manual SLI bridge, two fans and well the standard. Also included are PCIe x16 slot covers, which I find a nice subtle touch. That will not only help you out a little with airflow but also will improve on aesthetics.
The Intel Z77 Express chipset supports 3rd generation 22nm and 2nd generation core i7/i5/i3 LGA1155 socket type processors. It will also support Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 (hint Ivy bridge).
You'll need to get used to it a tiny bit -- yet motherboard certainly is a good looking one alright. The traditional black-beige style, new cooling methods. Yeah it's a pretty thing to observe. Let's zoom in a little and have a look at the feature set. Talking about the feature set, the main advantages for Z77 are in fact native USB 3.0 and PCIe 3.0 support
Looking at the backside we can spot the back panel connectivity and of course the PCIe slots. We'll address these in detail:
Ivy Bridge will have an IGP embedded into the processor die hence you'll spot monitor connectors in the form of a HDMI and display port connector. Furthermore you'll spot a S/PDIF audio output connector, a USB BIOS flashback button, 2 eSATA 6GBPs ports, 1 Gigabit LAN RJ-45 connector (Intel 82579V Gigabit controller), four USB 3.0 ports and four USB 2.0 ports. All the way to the right you'll spot the 8-channel analog audio outputs.
Audio is managed by the good old Realtek ALC892 8-channel audio codec. The large gap to the right is a spot where you pay place one of the two 50mm fans (included)
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