GIGABYTE Z77X-UP4 TH Motherboard
Checking out the board you can see we've got a matte black setup which we really love. We've got some grey and blue highlights to round off the overall look. It's a pretty good looking board on a whole.
Checking out the expansion side you can see we've got an older legacy PCI slot along with three PCIe x1 slots. Along with that we've also got three PCIe x16 slots. The first slot is x16 while the second one is x8. If you use both slots then they run at x8 / x8. If you use the third slot, then we move to an x8 / x4 / x4 setup.
Moving across the bottom of the board we've got the front panel audio header, TPM, three USB 2.0 headers, a pair of system headers and main front panel header.
Turning the corner you can see a total of six SATA ports. All run off the Z77 chipset with the four black ones being SATA II and the two white ones being SATA III.
As we start to head towards the top of the board we move to the middle for a moment where you can see the mSATA port. The first picture shows it empty while as you can see in the second one we have our MemoRight MS701 SATA III mSATA 240GB SSD test drive installed. Like other mSATA equipped boards, while we're using a SATA III compatible drive, the slot only offers SATA II speeds.
Heading towards the top corner of the board you can see a fairly standard setup with four DIMM slots offering support for up to 32GB of DDR3 RAM ranging from 1066MHz DDR to 2800MHz DDR via overclocking. Above that you can see a pair of fan headers while across the bottom you can see another fan header, the main 24-pin ATX power connector along with a USB 3.0 front panel header.
Moving around to the CPU area side of things you can see the main 8-pin CPU power connector while the socket area itself is fairly clean. You can see the heatsink setup that GIGABYTE has going on. It's not a massive one, but considering we're dealing with a more mid-range board from GIAGBYTE in this case, it comes as no surprise. You also get an idea of where the mSATA port sits in proximity to the CPU socket.
Finally we finish off with the I/O side of things. Starting from the left we've got a combo PS/2 port and two of the total six USB 3.0 ports that are on offer via a combination of both the Intel Z77 chipset and the VIA VL800 chip. Continuing to move across you can see video out options come in the form of DVI-D, VGA and HDMI while Gigabit networking is offered via the Realtek controller.
Along with five auxiliary ports and an optical out which has the Realtek ALC892 codec behind it, we have dual Thunderbolt ports which is something that GIGABYTE are heavily promoting. Especially since we see everyone else offer us just a single Thunderbolt port.
The inclusion of dual Thunderbolt ports really opens up our options. Along with support for 12 devices and two display monitors via daisy chaining, we've also got a massive bi-direction 10Gbps data pipe line offered which GIGABYTE says can allow 1TB of data to be copied in just five minutes. Of course not only would you need the hard drive setup in your Thunderbolt device to support this, you also would need the device you're copying to also offer support for this kind of speed.