Intel Ivy Bridge Motherboard Roundup

By on April 23, 2012
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Intel, Gigabyte, ASUS, MSI, Biostar and ECS tested.

The Biostar TZ77XE4 represents an excellent entry level point for a high-end chipset like the Z77. A decently feature filled board, the only thing I can see from the outset is that it doesn’t have a Bluetooth or WiFi module, but then again the $200 price also reflects this.

The Biostar TZ77XE4 has all you can want in a Z77 motherboard. 4x SATA II and 4x SATA III ports, although the 4x USB 3.0 ports (2x with headers) may not be enough for some. Still, the supplied software, with additional features like easy BIOS flashing and USB charging even with the power off.

My only complaint is that Biostar has an extremely archaic way of overclocking the CPU, in that instead of Volts (which is the universal voltage unit measured on almost all motherboards) you have to use a combination of Watts and Amps. Sadly no matter how much I got close to converting a value from 1.30v to 1.45v to the respective Amp & Watts figure (using online calculators) the Biostar TZ77XE4 just never seemed to work. I’m certain that some converted value wasn’t matching up, but being inexperienced in dealing with Watts & Amps, I couldn’t get the 4.7GHz overclock on our Core i7-3770K despite multiple frustrating tries.

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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

  • beowolfo

    looks like there is harly much difference in the high end of the CPUs. Surprisingly, AMD integrated graphics of the upcoming chipsets can run Dirt3 on high. The article which shows a video of it is in Tbreak if I am not mistaken.

  • Charlie

    I’m a little confused. You say the 3770k runs at 4.7 ghz in the benchmarks section – then what’s it running at in the OC benchmarks section?

    • Taimoor Hafeez

      Standard speeds for the 3770K are 3.5GHz; the overclocked graphs show it running at 4.7GHz. The MSI Z77A-GD55 (non O/C, in green color) shows the 3770K running at 3.5GHz speeds. 

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