GIGABYTE Z77X-D3H Motherboard Review
A Closer Look
The Gigabyte Z77X-D3H ships in a compact box that is refreshingly free of snarling beasts and mythical warriors.
The rear of the box is jam packed with every conceivable piece of marketing information on the board, and then some more!
The list of accessories is small as is typical with budget minded boards. There are the manuals and software/driver CD, rear I/O panel, single SLI bridge and four SATA cables. If you want all the bells and whistles, you will have to move up in the range.
The first thing that caught our attention when looking over the board is the presence of a four pin CPU power connector. Although it's adequate for the moderate power consuming Ivy Bridge processors, there is really no reason not to use an eight pin connector on anything other than entry level H77 or business oriented models. As we'll show in our testing later on, fortunately this has no impact on air cooled overclocking performance.
There's plenty of space for a huge graphics card, a mSATA connector, eight SATA ports, free PCIe 1x slots (even with a pair of dual slot graphic cards) and a legacy PCI slot for those unwilling to move on with the times. The look is clean and tidy featuring the good looking blue on black theme that Gigabyte have adopted in recent times. The Z77 heatsink is a decent size, yet for some reason only half of the bank of MOSFETs are covered by a heatsink. An extra buck or two added on to the price for another heatsink would be worth the additional cost in our opinion.
No problems with the back of the board. The soldering is immaculate and there no components present to interfere with large backplate CPU coolers.
We also see that the single MOSFET heatsink is of the push-pin variety. This is understandable on entry level boards but surely a pair of screws instead would be optimal to ensure maximum contact pressure.
The rear I/O connectors are shown below. We have a PS/2 port still preferred by many gamers and overclockers, a pair of USB 2.0 ports (black), six USB 3.0 ports (blue), two of which are provided by the Z77 PCH with the other four controlled by a VIA VL800 chip. There's a single gigabit LAN port coming from a tiny Atheros LAN controller, optical S/PDIF and the usual five analogue audio jacks. The plastic protectors cover the video outputs. There are D-SUB, DVI-D and HDMI ports.