When touring Zotac's production facility last year, we learned that the Mini-ITX motherboard maker would be returning to the ATX market with enthusiast-class products. The details about one such product have leaked online, and it very much looks the part. EXPreview has the goods on the ZT-Z77-U1D SuperOverclock, including numerous pictures of the board.
Zotac isn't messing around; the SuperOverclock comes with a 24-phase power solution for the CPU and all sorts of fancy electrical components. There are two PCI Express x16 slots, four x1s, and a couple of extra USB 3.0 ports provided by an NEC controller. The Intel Z77 Express platform hub kicks in four ports of its own, of course.
The SuperOverclock appears to have all the accoutrements of a modern enthusiast board, including a snazzy design with plenty of intricate heatsinks. There's a POST code display, an auxiliary power connector to supply more juice to the PCIe slots, and even voltage monitoring points for your multimeter. Like Zotac's Mini-ITX offerings, the new ATX model also features integrated Wi-Fi via a Mini PCIe card.
While the ZT-Z77-U1D certainly looks competitive, there's no information on the firmware, a crucially important part of the equation. With both old-school BIOSes and new UEFIs, Zotac's firmware has traditionally been short on the sort of overclocking, tweaking, and fan control options we've come to expect from enthusiast boards. It will have to bring those elements up to speed to have any hope of hanging with the big names in the ATX motherboard market.
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