Paired with Ivy Bridge processors came a handful of new motherboard chipsets, eleven in total of which six are intended for desktop processors, namely the H77, Z75, Z77, B75, Q75 and Q77.
For end consumers like you and me the H77 chipset will be least performance targeted and comes with support for monitor connectivity. The Z77 chipset is targeted at performance and enthusiast end users allowing much more tweaking and providing performance features.
Note: most Series 6 motherboards can support Ivy Bridge processors! All you need is a BIOS update with support from your motherboard manufacturer. Obviously features like PCIe Gen 3 and native USB support will not kick in.
Below you can see a block table with the differences in chipsets and thus motherboards.
In-between say a Z68 and Z77 chipset only a few things have changed. Native USB 3.0 support is to be found on the Z77 chipset, and also PCIe Gen 3 graphics slots:
The new Z77 series chipsets will come with the same amount of SATA2 and 3 controllers as P67/Z68. That means you get four SATA2 ports and another two SATA3 ports native from the Z77 PCH chip.
With PCIe Gen 3, SLI and Crossfire with supported cards should run quite well on them.
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