The holidays are upon us and I know a lot of you guys are shopping for gifts for friends, family and yourselves. So for those looking for a nice motherboard to spruce yours or someone else’s rig, this might just be for you. Today we’ll run through an unboxing of sorts for GIGABYTE’s latest motherboard offering featuring dual-Thunderbolt ports and a slew of other heavyweight features for Intel Ivy and Sandy Bridge processors. Today we bring you the GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UP5TH.
If you have a slow connection, we cannot vouch for the load times as these are very large images.
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Here we go, first up we go through the packaging. Anyone who has seen a GIGABYTE board will notice the familiar packaging, clad in white with the model name highlighted boldly on the front. GIGABYTE’s Ultra Durable 5 feature-set is also prominently showcased in the front along with tech features used by this, most notable is the Thunderbolt capabilities of this board.
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Flipping the box over we get to see a more elaborate list of features as well as some visual guides highlighting the technologies of this board. There is a lot of technical things to go through beyond the scope of this article so we’ll proceed.
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Pulling out the inner box containing the products itself, we see the motherboard protected by an anti-static bag. Underneath are the accessories included with the GIGABYTE Z77X-UP5TH.
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Included in the package is a hefty bundle of accessories including a Wi-Fi module, similar to that of the Z77X-UP7 and Z77X-UD5H-WB. This module features WiFi and Bluetooth and connects directly to the board via PCI-e X1 slot. We also get 3 pairs of SATA cables, a pair of antennae for the wireless module, a front USB3.0 port, documentation with installations discs and a GIGABYTE sticker. *grins*
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And here we have the GIGABYTE-Z77X-UP5TH. Certainly reminiscent of its bigger brother the UP7, the UP5TH also brags a different heatsink design than its UDx brothers. The UP line features all new components toÂ separateÂ them from GIGABYTE’s other products and are intended for very demanding users who want to push their systems to the limit. The UP series from GIGABYTE is just that. The GIGABYTE Z77X-UP5TH is a full-ATX motherboard and features a matte black PCB just like most of GIGABYTE’s products which gives the motherboard that solid, quality feel.
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We start our tour-around of the board with the rear I/O. From left to right we have video output connectors namely DSUB and DVI. Following these are 6 USB ports, 4 USB3.0 and 2 USB2.0 dashed with some HDMI, eSATA and RJ45 ports. Rounding off this side is what makes this board special: a pair of Thunderbolt ports powered off an Intel DSL3510L controller for devices supporting this type of connectivity. And also the primary reason you would want such a board. Last off is the 6-channel audio powered off the onboard Realtek ALC898 chip which also supports Creative Supreme X-Fi and EAX Advanced HD technologies.
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Storage is handled by the internal storage controller of the Intel chip which gives us a total of 6 SATA ports, the two white ones are SATAIII 6Gbps capable. Another SATAIII port is available as you will see below.
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The lower-half of the GIGABYTE Z77X-UP5TH is home to the array of expansion slots the board has. We have a total of three PCI-e x16 slots, the topmost operates at full X16 speeds on single GPU and gets cut to 8x when another GPU is added. Triple GPUs will configure the slots at 8x/4x/4x configuration provided an Ivy Bridge chip is used.
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Moving up top around the DIMM area, we have GIGABYTE’s typical placement area for its multitude of enthusiast features such as onboard buttons and voltage checkpoints. Unlike the UP7, the UP5TH’s voltage checkpoints are not socketed and requires the user to either solder or clip their probes to the board for continuous monitoring.
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One of the more eye-grabbing features of GIGABYTE’s Z77X-UP5TH is the new heatsink design. Definitely a different approach versus what we’ve seen from the UD5H, the UP5TH uses a different heatsink design to keep the PCH and VRM area cool. The heatsink assembly is connected via a heatpipe for more efficient dissipation and is intended for high-performance applications.
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GIGABYTE maintains consistency amongst its Z77 boards by including a mini-PCIe slot for mSATA devices. The GA-Z77X-UP5TH also features the same slot. Do note that using this slot disable SATA port 5.
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And here comes the money shot. We’ll just leave these images here for you ponder on.
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There you have it, that wraps up our tour-around of the GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UP5TH featuring built-in Thunderbolt ports. Definitely a board worth considering if you’re in need of a product that can accommodate Thunderbolt devices and require high-performance and a multitude of connectivity options.
I want the video unboxing VERSION be released!
I’d love to bro but it’s vacation time for me already. I’ll try though. I’ll keep you posted.