BIOSTAR TZ77XE4 Motherboard
Pulling the motherboard out of the box I have to say that the BIOSTAR TZ77XE4 looks pretty good. We've got an all-black PCB along with a mainly black theme throughout the board with a few orange highlights being present.
Having a look at the expansion slots we can see three PCIe x16 slots present with the bottom most one running at x4. If the top two are used in SLI or CrossFire, they'll run at x8. Along with these we've got a single PCIe x1 slot and two older legacy PCI slots.
Across the bottom there is the normal line up of fan headers and USB 2.0 headers alongside a power, reset and clear CMOS button. We've also got the main front panel header connector on the far right and sitting above the bottom most PCIe x16 slot you can see we've got a USB 3.0 header.
Turning the corner you can see we've got a total of eight SATA ports with four SATA II ports running off the Intel Z77 chipset and two SATA III ports running off the same chipset. The additional two ports are also SATA III and they run off the ASMedia ASM1061 chip. Also here below the SATA ports you can see a LED debug reader that makes troubleshooting any issues easier.
Heading up to the north end of the board we've got a fairly standard setup here with the main 24-pin ATX power connector. Above that you can see we've got four DIMM slots which support up to 32GB of DDR3 at speeds ranging from 1066MHz to 2600MHz DDR via overclocking.
Having a look around the CPU area you can see we've got an 8-pin CPU power connector located a little deeper back in the motherboard while we also get a chance to have a look at the heatsink setup around the CPU area. The orange and black scheme looks really good and like most motherboards these days the CPU area is really clean meaning most heatsinks shouldn't be an issue.
Finally we finish up with the I/O side of things and we start off with a PS2 port and two USB 2.0 headers. Next to that we've got a bunch of video connections in the form of DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA and DVI. Moving across we've got two USB 3.0 ports, eSATA, two more USB 2.0 ports and a Gigabit networking via the Realtek RTL8111E controller. Finally we finish off with six auxiliary ports that run off the Realtek ALC898 HD Audio codec.