Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 Review
The Z77X-UP7 was built with subzero overclocking in mind, hence its layout is also optimized for open testbed benching with conveniently placed power/reset buttons and voltage probe points for the various parameters. OC Touch (set of buttons to control BCLK and CPU multiplier) makes an appearance on this board. To the right we also see a switch marked LN2, which controls "slow mode" (bringing the CPU multipler down to x16) for extreme overclocking scenarios.
Besides the inclusion of a PORT-80 diagnostic LED, Gigabyte has also put in a set of switches (labelled M/B and SB) to control BIOS selection and failover behaviour during boot-time, a feature that owners of previous boards have clamoured for.
The fully digital VRM design on this board can be considered rather overkill, with a generous sprinkling of 60A chokes and IR3550 power stages providing high efficiency power delivery at lower temperatures relative to the competition. This is one of the only boards that we've tested to be capable of running highly overclocked CPUs without the need for active air flow through the VRM heatsinks (i.e in a water-cooling setup).