Throughout this review we pointed out a few shortcomings of the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7 mainboard, but we have to conclude that nevertheless, it is a very good product overall. While its advantages are indeed numerous, the shortcomings are really few. The first one refers to the way this board work with the fans, which could have been better. It doesn’t allow to adjust the rotation speed of the three-pin processor fan, only two system fan connectors allow lowering the fan rotation speeds. Only five fans out of seven that can be connected to this mainboard can be controlled, and only four of them are adjustable. The second shortcoming is that numerous video Outs take up a lot of space in the mainboard back panel. We doubt that they will all be used on an overclocker mainboard, and especially on a mainboard supporting advanced multi-card graphics configurations. However, this is why there was no room left on the back panel for USB 2.0 and eSATA ports. Although, you shouldn’t forget that the board comes with a kit including cable and bracket for two external Serial ATA devices, which kind of makes up for this shortcoming. And finally, the major issue is the processor voltage regulator that is unable to dynamically change the number of active phases depending on the workload at a given moment of time. This, as well as many phases in the circuitry, makes Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7 the most power-hungry of all our testing participants.
However, all the above mentioned cons become significant only when we consider Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7 for a quiet and energy-efficient home system. However, the mainboard’s primary purpose is still overclocking. In this respect, all the above mentioned drawbacks are not that critical at all. It doesn’t really matter that we cannot adjust the rotation speed of all cooling fans connected to this mainboard, because they will most likely work at their maximum speed anyway to ensure the highest overclocking scores. The exceptionally powerful processor voltage regulator circuitry with 32 phases immediately turns into an obvious advantage, because it is claimed to be able to withstand up to 2000 W, according to a marketing video. We have already seen overclocker mainboards and mainboards equipped with an additional hub, which are positioned as solutions for multi-card graphics configurations. Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7 has the best of both worlds. Moreover, a special graphics card slot directly connected to the processor will ensure the highest possible speed even when there is only one graphics card installed.
So, Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7 will primarily interest overclocking enthusiasts who like to experiment, break records, and use either one or multiple graphics cards, depending on their ultimate goals. Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7 is a practically ideal choice for any of these tasks. But, it will also be a great option for a powerful home system, provided you disregard a few minor drawbacks pointed out above.
That said, we are proud to award Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7 our Ultimate Innovation title for all the superb technologies and features packed into one single product: