GIGABYTE Z77X-D3H Motherboard Review
A Closer Look Part II
The CPU PWM is controlled by an International Rectifier IR3567 digital controller which has been used with many recent Gigabyte boards. It's a 6+2 phase controller that offers fine granularity and control of features such as switching frequency, load line calibration and voltages themselves. This solution offers dynamic phase control (perfect for the variable turbo and C-state features of Intel CPU's) and I2C support for software control from Gigabyte's 3DPower Windows application..
The Z77X-D3H features two BIOS chips seen between the PCIe slots.
Below are the PCIe slots. The primary 16x slot is wired 16 x electrically, the second 8x and the third is 4x. The first two share 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes between them. All other slots are PCIe 2.0. There is an additional ITE 8892E bridge chip that operates the single PCI slot.
Gigabyte have added a mSATA connector in the area traditionally taken up by a northbridge heatsink. A space saving SSD can be placed here and would be useful for something like a SSD caching solution. When this connector is in use, one of the regular SATA 3GB/s connectors becomes unavailable.
Memory slot area with its own dedicated digital PWM.
This VIA (VIA Labs Inc.) VL800 chip provides four of the six USB 3.0 ports on the back I/O panel. The other two ports plus the front panel header come from the Z77 chipset.
The VIA VT2021 provides the audio for the Z77X-D3H.
The ITE IT8728F is the I/O controller chip responsible for features such as monitoring and fan control.
To the right of the grey SATA ports is a Marvell 88SE9172 SATA 6GB/s controller chip supporting RAID 0 and 1
This tiny chip below is an Atheros gigabit LAN controller that provides the single ethernet port.