Articles: Mainboards

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Technical Specifications Comparison

For your convenience we summed up the mainboards’ features and specs in a single table:

So, it becomes clear that that company was targeting enthusiasts that is why these boards have everything an enthusiast may think of, such as Power On and Reset buttons, numerous onboard controllers. On the other hand, the voltage regulator circuitry doesn’t have too many phases, which is the company’s deliberate decision and not an intention to drive the end-price down. The voltage regulator is fairly simple, but of exemplary quality and has exactly the number of phases that is needed for the specific board: they do not resort to popular marketing tricks like doubling the number of phases. Both mainboards look great, and I would have never noticed an issue with their design if I hadn’t tried to install one of them into a system case. I am sure that most of you may not notice this issue immediately, too:

Intel DZ77GA-70K

Intel DZ77RE-75K

During the system assembly I discovered that I can’t use the provided front panel module with the two USB 3.0 ports. Both mainboards have two internal USB 3.0 connectors providing another four ports, but both of them are located at the very bottom of the PCB and the relatively short cable from the front panel module simply can’t reach them. This location would be ideal for the back panel, but there is no back panel bracket among the included accessories. It would make much more sense to place the connector for the additional front panel USB 3.0 ports in almost the center of the right part of the PCB. I specifically checked all previously tested mainboards with internal USB 3.0 pin-connectors, and there was a connector in that specific place on almost all of them: a little to the right and just below the memory DIMMs. The only exceptions were Intel boards and some MSI boards, though MSI does have a sort of an excuse: they do not include any front panel modules with USB 3.0 ports with the boards, but only provide back panel brackets. Why didn’t Intel mainboard designers place at least one USB 3.0 onboard connector in a more convenient spot? I am sure only they can answer this question for us.

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