Gigabyte Z77X-UD7 tempts overclockers with Ivy bridge at 7GHz

Motherboard makers are increasingly targeting hard-core overclockers with their high-end offerings. Gigabyte’s Z77X-UP7 is the latest example, and it’s already earned what’s claimed to be a world record for Ivy Bridge overclocking. HiCookie, Gigabyte’s resident liquid nitrogen expert, used the UP7 to push a Core i7-3770K up to 7.102GHz. The feat is documented here.

In addition to its apparent overclocking prowess, the UP7 is quite a looker. The bright orange accents remind me of DFI’s old LANParty boards—in a good way.

Of course, the Z77X-UP7 is loaded with extra 6Gbps SATA and USB 3.0 ports. There’s an mSATA slot meant for a caching SSD, plus a whole collection of onboard switches and buttons to control everything from the CPU multiplier to the motherboard firmware.

The slot stack includes five PCI Express x16 slots and two x1s. Four-way CrossFire and SLI configurations are supported using the orange slots, which are linked to a PLX bridge chip that splits the PCIe lanes coming from the CPU. If you’d rather have all 16 of Ivy’s gen-three PCIe lanes dedicated to a single graphics card, the PLX chip can be bypassed using the black x16 slot.

Gigabyte is eager to tout the all-digital circuitry used to power the CPU. 32 power phases are dedicated to the processor alone. Like other members of the Ultra Durable 5 family, the UP7’s utilizes IR3550 MOSFETs made by International Rectifier. According to Gigabyte, these pricey components can lower the temperature of the power circuitry by up to 40°C versus the old Ultra Durable MOSFETs. Premium electrical parts can be found throughout the board, of course.

There’s no mention of the UP7’s price tag in Gigabyte’s press release or on its promo page for the board. If you have to ask, you probably can’t afford one. Your case may not be big enough, anyway. At 10.4" wide, the Z77X-UP7 extends beyond standard ATX dimensions and into E-ATX territory. More images of the board can be viewed in the gallery below.

Comments closed
    • LoneWolf15
    • 7 years ago

    Glad they dropped the glowing green gun themes. This looks a lot more professional.

    What I’d really like to see are Intel NICs like ASUS is doing, rather than Realtek or (more recently) Atheros.

    • Haserath
    • 7 years ago

    Core i7 920 w/ Asus P6t deluxe v2: 16+2 phases. 130W TDP

    Core i7 3770k w/ 32 phase board. 77W TDP

    Easy math! Nearly half the TDP requires nearly double the phases!

    Now why hasn’t any company released a smartphone touting 1000+ phases? Overclocker’s paradise there!

      • Airmantharp
      • 7 years ago

      I like your plebeian approach to explaining more phases, but there’s more to it than that! Primarily, if you’re going to push up clock-speeds, you need more reliable and more accurate voltage regulation, which adding phases accomplishes. It’s what it’s going to take to push into the 6GHz+ territory reliably.

    • xeridea
    • 7 years ago

    Huge problem with this idea… Ivy Bridge is absolutely terrible at OC of any sort, due to the extremely crappy thermal paste used internally. This won’t help general OCers, and even on liquid nitrogen it probably runs warm due to the $0.02 thermal pastes total ineptness at transferring heat.

      • ColeLT1
      • 7 years ago

      Yes, my ivybridge @ 4.7 is terrible.
      edit: [url<]http://i.imgur.com/7Qocl.png[/url<]

        • chuckula
        • 7 years ago

        Nevermind Xeridea, he has been spending the last few years reliving the glory days of the FX-62 vs. Prescott and still hasn’t realized that 6 years have passed since then.

    • RtFusion
    • 7 years ago

    The title of the article reads: Gigabyte Z77X-UD7 tempts overclockers with Ivy bridge at 7GHz

    Replace “D” in UD7 with “P” to reflect the name of the motherboard as “Gigabyte Z77X-UP7”.

    • anotherengineer
    • 7 years ago

    pfffffffffffffff

    needs MORE phases

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    More motherboards need an mSATA port.

      • Airmantharp
      • 7 years ago

      Intel needs to make an ICH with more than two SATA3 ports… then they can pipe one of them to mSATA and those modules will actually reach their potential.

    • gmskking
    • 7 years ago

    Overclocking is Overrated

    • Delphis
    • 7 years ago

    [i<]Gigabyte's resident liquid nitrogen expert[/i<] How awesome is THAT job!

    • jdaven
    • 7 years ago

    Everything about that board is awesome except that small little port from the 1980s in the back corner.

      • Mourmain
      • 7 years ago

      The PS/2 port? Are you serious? I wouldn’t buy a board without one.

        • jdaven
        • 7 years ago

        Well at least not until its discontinued completely, right?

          • Mourmain
          • 7 years ago

          <Mourmain is not available for commenting at this time due to an emotional breakdown>

        • aceuk
        • 7 years ago

        With USB 3.0 eliminating the polling issues that USB 2.0 devices have, why do we not have USB 3.0 keyboards and mice instead of PS/2?

        [url<]http://vr-zone.com/articles/blast-from-the-past--usb-polling-induced-performance-slowdowns/16620.html[/url<]

      • Anomymous Gerbil
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah, because its nearly impossible to just ignore the fact that it’s there.

    • entropy13
    • 7 years ago

    Only 7.102GHz? Lower by more than 1GHz than the Bulldozer record!!!

    [b<]INTEL SUCKS!!! AMD FTW!!![/b<]

      • chuckula
      • 7 years ago

      Can’t decide if sarcastic or serious….

        • Arclight
        • 7 years ago

        He is *shifty eyes* obviously serious, that’s why I +1’ed him

          • flip-mode
          • 7 years ago

          One does not simply …. OC Ivy to 7+ GHz

            • dmjifn
            • 7 years ago

            I’m a doctor, not a resident liquid nitrogen expert

    • dpaus
    • 7 years ago

    Black-and-orange, expensive, impractical and likely unreliable? They should market it to the Harley crowd.

      • Generic
      • 7 years ago

      I take the joke, but how would this thing be unrelaible from a typical usage stand point?

      Or was that just ‘artistic license’? =)

        • dpaus
        • 7 years ago

        We all have our own idea of what ‘reliable’ and ‘typical usage’ mean. My firm runs 9-1-1 centers. If I was offered a bunch of free servers with nitrogen-cooled IB CPUs running at 7GHz, I would politely decline.

        Or ‘artistic license’ – I can go with that too.

          • Stranger
          • 7 years ago

          I’m just going to go out on a limb and suggest that the target market for this board does not include mission critical 911 systems.

            • Farting Bob
            • 7 years ago

            I hear the camera on the new ipad is not good enough to be used on the hubble telescope, therefore it is a terrible camera.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            YOU’RE RIGHT. IT DOES SUCK. PUREVIEW FTW.

          • paulWTAMU
          • 7 years ago

          Are ya’ll running CISCO or something else? I’m trying to work out a better call monitoring/recording system for my center.

    • Walkintarget
    • 7 years ago

    I’m thinking $400+ US for this board, which is outrageous, but its made mainly to get prospective buyers talking about Gigabyte products in general.

    I have the Gigabyte Z68 iSSD board with the Intel 311 SSD onboard, and it really does do a great job of accelerating recently used apps. It is clearly being abandoned by power users going to an SSD for a boot drive, but I did not want to have my OS outgrow a 120GB SSD when I built my rig last year, hence the mSATA used as a cache drive instead.

      • Airmantharp
      • 7 years ago

      It’s highly doubtful that your OS will outgrow a 120GB drive, but you will have to manage your space. The price for the convenience of a cache drive is performance.

      Further, the real appeal of this board is its four 16x slots. This is meant to be the heart of a four-GPU rig.

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    You know what would impress me more? Reliable 5 GHz overclocking on air.

      • Airmantharp
      • 7 years ago

      Sandy called.

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        And said she’s stuck at 4gs without turning into a bitch?

        (I was pretty sure TR censored words like that? oO)

          • Airmantharp
          • 7 years ago

          My basic H60 can bring my 2500k to 4.8GHz; the best air coolers are better (although more expensive) than that, and with a better Sandy sample, 5.0GHz should be cake.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            OMG. ONLY 4.8GHZ ON 4 CORES? WHAT A PIECE OF CRAP. SERIOUSLY. 8GHZ OR GTFO.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            You said it broski… Not sure if people were just talking about OCing or trying to negate what I said, but these are all still within 4-4.99~ghz range.

            5ghz isn’t normal. I hear a normal OC for SB is around 4.5ghz

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            This is all bs. Have you not heard of the 4GHz Wall?

          • LoneWolf15
          • 7 years ago

          My i7-2600K is at 4.1GHz, on air, without trying, and without voltage tweaking.

          I’m sure I could do 4.2 without any more work, quite possibly more than that, I just can’t be bothered; I don’t use my desktop the way I used to.

          Still happy with my Gigabyte Ultra-Durable (Z68XP-UD5) mainboard, too.

            • albundy
            • 7 years ago

            hah, i know how you feel. i felt the same way using my good ol 790fx msi board. i could crank out about 4GHz on stock air, but i just dont use that horsepower that much anymore.

          • travbrad
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]And said she's stuck at 4gs without turning into a bitch?[/quote<] If you use the stock HSF maybe... With a $25 HSF (Hyper212+) I was able to hit 4.9ghz on my 2500K completely stable in IBT/Prime95 and probably could have gone further with a bit more tweaking. I'm "only" running at 4.5ghz right now though because it runs about 15C cooler (during hot summer months), and my GTX460 can't really keep up anyway.

            • d0g_p00p
            • 7 years ago

            Same here. I have that exact same cooler and OC speeds. I just upped the multiplier once my system was built to “see if I could do it”. I did not do any tweaks or anything and 2 years later my box is still running at 4.5Ghz without any issues.

        • chuckula
        • 7 years ago

        Actually I wouldn’t say that even Sandy has *reliable* 5 Ghz overclocking. More like: achievable with a decent population of chips.

        Now 4.4 – 4.6 Ghz? That’s pretty easy for a 2500k. It’s also achievable for Ivy, and Ivy is likely going to run at lower power until you start shooting up the core voltage.

          • Bensam123
          • 7 years ago

          That’s what I was getting at… Normal OC is around 4.5ghz, 5ghz which chuck wants isn’t…

            • travbrad
            • 7 years ago

            I agree easily reaching 5ghz would be nice, but that really has nothing to do with the motherboard. That’s all about getting lucky on the CPU. Like I said I hit 4.9ghz on my 2500K, with a $105 motherboard and $25 HSF.

            I don’t think the 10% difference between 4.5ghz and 5ghz is really a “dealbreaker” either. Even at 4.5ghz you are getting an incredibly high-performance CPU, for a price we could have only dreamed about a few years back (particularly for an Intel CPU)

    • vargis14
    • 7 years ago

    Pretty!!! I want 🙂

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Just in time for halloween (well a month away…). I have a DFI board in my case right next to me. Definitely looks like it.

    Curious what the fad is with msata spots on motherboards. I suppose it gives them something else to advertise, but you can technically use Intel SRT with a normal sized SSD.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      You recognize Halloween at the end of September? Cool!

        • Bensam123
        • 7 years ago

        Ah to be so literal. ~_~

          • Farting Bob
          • 7 years ago

          It’s 2 months away (plus a few days), you were out by over 100%!

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            October is usually considered halloween month, we’re at the end of august. It would’ve been appropriate if it were released anywhere in October. Why am I even arguing this? XD

    • Star Brood
    • 7 years ago

    Probably needs another 4 years for a developer to release a game that can take advantage of what this board has to offer. Probably needs 3 4K monitors to do it, as well.

    • pedro
    • 7 years ago

    That’s all well and good but what I want to know is: How is babby formed?

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      oh that’s easy
      [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_reproduction[/url<]

    • Arclight
    • 7 years ago

    Idk why but the area around the socket reminds me of the T-101

      • yogibbear
      • 7 years ago

      It’s because of all those black square things. And yes, that is the FIRST THING I thought of. The END IS HERE!!!!!! KILLL IT!

    • colinstu12
    • 7 years ago

    that is a truly SICK amount of phases!

    :shocked face:

      • mph_Ragnarok
      • 7 years ago

      yea what the hell lol, I remember my 2003 pentium 4 mobo had only 4 phases and I never noticed.

      now my dual xeon server mobo only has 6 phases, and a few years ago I remember seeing 12 or 16 and thinking that was retarded. now 32 wow

        • rrr
        • 7 years ago

        Many 775 mobos, especially G31/G41 have only three and can barely run C2Qs.

    • Farting Bob
    • 7 years ago

    That 4-way xfire looks…intimidating.

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