Intel DZ77GA-70K Z77 Motherboard: Waiting for Ivy Bridge

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The DZ77GA-70K is laid out like previous LGA1155 ATX motherboards. Most of the connectors are at the edges of the board where they are easily accessed, though the 8-pin EPS12V connector is in the top left corner, making it a pain to connect in towers with top-mounted power supplies.

The board provides excellent connectivity options. There are eight SATA ports (four 6 Gbps and four 3 Gbps), two PCI-E 3.0 16x slots (the bottom slot runs 8x electrically) for running either CrossFire or SLI, four PWM fan headers, and a pair of internal USB 3.0 headers.

The DZ77GA-70K is also enthusiast-friendly, denoted by the skull on the PCH heatsink. Tweakers will appreciate the error code indicator in the bottom right hand corner and the power and reset buttons on the center right edge.

The voltage regulation circuitry is cooled with a pair of substantial blue aluminum heatsinks measuring 28 mm high at their apex above the PCB surface.

The PCH heatsink is diminutive and saddled with a needless plastic cover that must interfere with heat dissipation.

On the I/O panel, standard high-end features like eSATA, FireWire, and S/PDIF connectors are accounted for along with dual gigabit ethernet ports, four USB 3.0 ports, and a pair of USB 2.0 ports (orange) with a higher power output for charging devices such as tablets. Also making an appearance is Intel's Back-to-BIOS button for easy BIOS/UEFI recovery.

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