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

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The DZ77GA-70K features Intel's new Visual BIOS, a UEFI with a graphical interface similar to what Asus started doing with their series 6 chipset motherboards. Gone is plain white text on black background UEFI, replaced with a cool blue mouse-enabled system.

The default screen is a basic setup menu. A simple slider allows users to tweak the CPU, GPU, and memory speeds. Voltage and other settings are changed automatically to ensure a safe overclocking experience. A few shortcuts are provided to various advanced sections of the menu.

The Processor section of the Advanced Setup menu is more complicated obviously, allowing users to more expertly control the experience. Values can can be typed in manual or selected from a drop box list.

BIOS Summary: Intel DZ77GA-70K
Host Clock 100 to 120 MHz
CPU Voltage 1.000 to 1.920 V
CPU Voltage Offset 20 to 1000 mV
Core Ratio Limit 5 to 65
Burst Mode Power Limit
0 to 1000 W (120 W default)
Sustained Mode Power Limit 0 to 500 W (95 W default)
Sustained Mode Time 1 to 32 secs (1 sec default)
CPU TDC Current Limit Override 0 to 200 A (112 A default)
Processor PLL Voltage 1.50 to 2.40 V (1.85 V default)
Processor I/O Voltage 1.00 to 1.80 V (1.05 V default)
Processor System Agent
0.850 to 1.750 V (0.925 V default)
Memory Multiplier DDR3-1067, 1333, 1600, 1867, 2133, 2400, 2667
Memory Voltage 1.2 to 2.0 V

The voltage options offered are extreme, allowing the CPU to be pumped up to 1.92 V and the memory to 2.0 V, so discretion is advised. The clock frequency however, has a hard limit of just 120 MHz: Series 7 motherboards have the same integrated clock generator as series 6, tying the base CPU frequency with other peripherals like the SATA and PCI-E bus. Slight adjustments can cause data corruption and general instability.

Fan control settings.

Temperature control settings.

The fan control options are impressive. Each fan header can be assigned a minimum/maximum speed and a function, linking its speed to a particular temperature sensor; Most fan control systems react to CPU temperature only. Fan speed behavior can be further tweaked by setting temperature ranges, and fine-tuned by changing the responsiveness/damping options to dictate how quickly it reacts and how smoothly it should do so.

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