Z77X-UP7 Preview - Circuitry Analysis

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Circuitry Analysis:

Let me start off this section with the PCI-E Layout and Design.

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 The PEX8747 is a 48-port PCI-E switch with a buffer. Basically at IDF I met with PLX and they told me that the PEX8747 is NOT a MUX, instead they said it is a FIFO design switch which will route information as it is provided. It has a buffer for overflow which will happen is you have 32x ports downstream and 16x upstream, and that is what causes the delay. However this chip provides excellent performance with more than one GPU, and thus it is the chip of choice for this board and others like it as it is also PCI-E 3.0 certified. However the fact that it causes a small delay makes it undesirable for single card operation, that is why GIGABYTE decided to bypass all the PCI-E lanes to that single black slot.

 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 You see so many PCI-E 3.0 2x quick switches, We have 16 of them in total, this is one of the reasons 10 layers had to be harnessed.

 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 I have taken the time to draw out how it works. It is very simple, either put a card in the black slot or in any of the orange slots, but not in both.

You get the best of both worlds, as giving the PEX8747 less than 16x lanes will cause a greater delay, however giving it all the 16x lanes will give you the best multi-GPU performance. Giving all the lanes to the single slot for a single GPU is also the best you can do, this method just requires the highest amount of PCI-E lanes. Other than the single lane bypass, the layout is the same as the G1.Sniper 3 when it comes to operation modes.

 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 Clock generator for the PEX8747.

 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 Next we move to the PCH.

 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 The Z77 PCH is a 6.7W part with 4 USB 3.0 ports and 8 PCI-E 2.0 lanes. It uses a DMI 2.0 4x uplink to the CPU.

 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 ALC898 is a codec which is the best Realtek has to offer. It has 112dB SNR, and GIGABYTE has provided two DRV632 600ohm amplifiers for the green jack and internal header.

 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 EtronTech EJ168A is a 2 port USB 3.0 controller which provides the bottom USB 3.0 header.

 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 VIA VLI800 4-port USB 3.0 controller provides the 4 USB 3.0 ports on the back panel.

 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 Intel NIC and Atheros NIC. Remember Intel is the top most port when the board is installed in a case.

 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 Marvell SE9172, there are two of these for the two sets of gray SATA6GB/s internal connectors.

 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 iTE8729F is a superIO for the fan control, voltage, and temperature monitoring. PS/2 stems from here.

 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 Up close of the quick switches and the dual BIOS.

 

Z77X-UP7 Preview

 ASM1442 Digital video to DVI/HDMI level shifters provide the HDMI and DVI ports as the native video output is digital display port.

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