Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 Review
The Z77X-UP7's UEFI and software offering is virtually identical to the Z77X-UP5 TH, so we won't go through that section again. We do wish though that Gigabyte could consider grouping the crucial BCLK/Multipler/Memory divider options together with the voltage options like Vcore/VTT/VCCSA, leaving the more esoteric options hidden behind deeper submenus.
At this point, I would also want to highlight that it took a few test bios releases before the Gigabyte engineers worked out proper initialization for the high frequency Samsung-based memory modules right (our low voltage 1.35v non-XMP still refuses to boot with this board), thus buyers might want to check around in forums before making memory purchases to pair with this board.
With a set voltage of 1.26V on the Vcore and CPU LLC setting to "High", we managed our customary 4.8GHz overclock (Linpack tested) on our Corsair H100 cooled i7-3770K IVB sample. CPU and PCIe efficiencies also looks pretty good with higher than average scores from our experience.
In conclusion, the Z77X-UP7 is loaded with premium components (especially the IR3550 overkill, too bad no Thunderbolt) meant to compete for the top echelons of the Z77 market. At time of publishing, the board also holds the IVB frequency record of 7186.54MHz (all cores enabled) achieved by Dinos22 and youngpro.
The pricing situation is a minefield though. Locally in Singapore, it is more expansive ($599) than boards with similar or superior feature sets such as the Asus Maximus V Extreme ($589) and the ASRock Z77 Extreme9 ($539). On Newegg, the board sells for a far more reasonable US$359 (after rebate).
If you do not require four-way operation, the Gigabyte Z77-UP5 TH is probably just as good and has more I/O expansion capabilities.