Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 review -
Right, we'll leave the dials and buttons for what they are and move to the left, storage connectivity. SATA ports -- Gigabyte is equipping the board with ten SATA ports and also added an mSATA connector. Let me zoom in a little for ya there buddy:
Now the Intel Z77 Express chipset brings in two SATA 6 Gbps ports (white connectors to the right) and four SATA 3 Gbps ports (the black connectors). Two additional Marvell 88SE9172 controllers deliver another four SATA 6 Gbps ports (gray connectors). Then all the way to the right in dark grey you can see a mSATA connector. Typically used in notebooks, but for some reason we see them more and more on motherboards these days. It is sharing one of the Intel SATA2 ports. So if you use mSATA, then SATA2 port 5 will be disabled, as the red sticker clearly mentions.
As cute as this mobo really is, 4-way AMD CrossFireX and Nvidia SLI arrays are supported by the PCIe connectors. Interesting fact btw, see that single black PCIe x16 slot ? This one provides a direct link to the CPU, enabling it to bypass the PLX chip and thus reduce latency. The PLX chips always add a little latency, often impacting performance overall with like 1% maybe 2% with high-end graphics cards. So this provides the fastest possible connection for single graphics card benchmarking.
When we zoom in a little we spot a post status diagnostic LED (Embedded post code LED display) and two switches. These are BIOS Switches With on-board BIOS Switcher, users can manually select which BIOS chip to use (Main BIOS or Backup BIOS), allowing them to select one BIOS for normal use, and the other specifically for overclocking. So you can easily compare two different BIOS versions, a very useful feature when users want to update to a new BIOS, but don’t want to lose the original settings.
Socket LGA 1155 - for Core i3/i5 and i7 processors supporting the LGA 1155 package socket.
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