Z77X-UP7 Preview - Motherboard Layout and Design

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Motherboard Layout and Design:

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 Yes it is a 10 layer 2oz copper PCB, yes that is a crap ton of layers, yes they are all needed.

 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 

 The X58A-OC and the Z77X-UP7 share an e-ATX layout, in which they are slightly wider than normal ATX, but do not require any extra screws for mounting. SAme length as normal ATX to facilitate installation into the majority of cases. Can you see the inspiration?

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 From the upper left quadrant we have dual 8-pin 12vESP connectors which can provide up to 2Kw of power(as shown in the video). Ivy Bridge doesn't use that much power, but why not have the possibility just in case? People drive 6.3L V8 and never press full throttle, its called being a player. The heatsinks as you have noticed are optimized for cooling, they have many fins, and provide the best amount of cooling in the nicest possible fashion. Really a great mix of the X58A-UD9 heatsinks and those of the Z68/Z77 giga boards. The heatsinks did not provide any challenge when installing a pot or heatsinks.

 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 Here we have a nice OC area. We have the OC-Touch which is one of the best features to ever be put on any motherboard. On the X79-UD7 many said it was the best feature that board had, well here it is only one of few features that make this board the monster that it is. We also have another switch that says LN2 next to it, that is for a slow-mode function where the board can fall into a failsafe 16x multiplier when the switch is flicked, and then go back to whatever multiplier you had set before, that is for capturing all the joy of your benchmarking endeavors.

 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 

Here we have a different angle of OC-Touch. The buttons nearest the DIMMs are for increasing the decreasing the multiplier by +/- 1 at a time. The buttons below do the same for the BCLK, however the gear button will allow you to change the BCLK in increments of 0.1mhz instead of 1mhz if it is engaged. You can also see the numerous voltage read points, this time with the connector spot, the connectors are provided, one for each if you wanted to read all the voltages at the same time (you just need a lot of multimeters). 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 Yet another angle of the board.

 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 Here we have the lower right side of the board where the PCH is situated. The PCH powers the black SATA ports which are 3GB/s and the two white which are 6GB/s. The two gray ports are SATA6GB/s provided by two separate Marvell SE9172 controllers. You can also see an SATA power connector, that is for extra juice for the PCI-E slots for 4-way and 3-way. It isn't required, but rather recommended for multi-GPU overclocking.

Also the POST Code is situated here. The position isn't bad, but it could be better if it was up near the buttons.
You also see two more switches:
Dual BIOS Switch: This can switch between the main and backup BIOS
Dual BIOS Disable switch: This switch does exactly what you think it does, it disables the dual BIOS technology which is the reason behind long OC recovery. Disabling dual BIOS will make restart behavior consistent. When you see the POST code say "db" that is the dual BIOS error, this gets rid of that.
We also have two switches

 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 Here we have the PCI-E slots and PLX bridge hidden under the heatsink where the old IOH used to go. The black slot is very self explanatory, it is the bypass lane which will disable all the other orange slots when a GPU is placed in it. There are also two 1x slots which are black and wired to the PCH.

 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

Another shot of the heatsinks.

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