Power Consumption and Conclusion

Power Consumption

The Z77X-UP7's power consumption numbers fall in-line with expectations, a little above that of the Z77 MPower at idle but below it under load.

Note that the power consumption numbers are consistent with what you would see using a medium to high-end video card with the board, since the AMD Radeon 5870 series cards are notoriously power hungry.

Performance

The GIGABYTE Z77X-UP7 certainly does not disappoint. It's stock performance is top-notch across the board with all subsystems and device performance numbers falling in-line with expected results. The Z77X-UP7's overclocking performance was also surprisingly good, especially with the auto-overclocking potential that the board achieved.

Pricing

As of January 26, the GIGABYTE Z77X-UP7 motherboard was available at Newegg.com for $399.99. The board was also available from other retailers such as Amazon.com for $399.99 with free shipping and TigerDirect.com for $455.03.

Conclusion

Before continuing with our final thoughts on this board, we would like to take this opportunity to give our friends at GIGABYTE a hearty “Thank You” for giving us the pleasure of reviewing the Z77X-UP7 motherboard. Based on previous experience with GIGABYTE boards, I had mixed feeling going into this review. Traditionally, GIGABYTE boards have been stellar stock performers with only so-so overclocking potential. I can say with a clear conscience that the Z77X-UP7 has exorcised these impressions from me. The Z77X-UP7 is a feature-packed slightly over-sized board with performance to match its larger than average frame. GIGABYTE took the no holds barred approach in designing this board, putting in so many power phases that the board requires two ATX12V power connectors for full operation. It's heat pipe cooling system is one of the most effective I've seen on a motherboard with no additional fan required for cooling under stock or overclocked conditions with a CPU water cooler.

The board has few negative attributes, none of which take away from its appeal and monstrous performance. Its color scheme, black and orange, is a bit odd. I am more a pure black or black and red scheme type, but black and orange is better than the black and blue that a lot of manufacturers go with. Another quibble I have with the board is in the CMOS battery placement. If you are using more than two video cards in the system, you will have to remove some of the cards to gain access to the battery. The only other shortcoming, albeit a minor one, is the lack of a PCI-Express x1 slot in between the CPU socket and the primary PCI-Express x16 slot. This could pose problems if you want to use the included wireless add-in card and use a quad-card-based video solution.

Strengths

  • Performance, both stock and overclocked
  • Available network adapter options
  • Up to quad-SLI/quad-CrossFire support
  • On-board button location
  • 32+3+2 power phases with 60A rating per phase
  • IR digital PWM usage
  • Heat pipe and motherboard cooling design
  • UEFI BIOS design and usability
  • No CTRL-F1 key stroke required to access advanced BIOS features
  • Motherboard manual information

Weaknesses

  • CMOS battery placement
  • Color scheme (black and orange)
  • Lack of accessible PCI-Express x1 slot with all PCI-Express x16 slots filled

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