Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH: A $249 Z77 Motherboard with Dual Thunderbolt

Published on July 24th, 2012

Gigabyte has recently unleashed one of its mid-rage Z77 motherboard built with Thunderbolt port, the Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH. Aside from the two Thunderbolt ports with Intel Cactus Ridge 4C controller, it also features the new International Rectifier IR3550M PowIRstage I/C. It’s more efficient and space-saving compared to the traditional MOSFET layout implementations. See its specs and features below.

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Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH Specifications

Central Processing Unit
CPU Socket Type: LGA 1155
CPU Type: Intel Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium / Celeron (LGA1155)
Chipsets: Intel Z77 Express Chipset

Memory
Number of Memory Slots: 4×240pin
Memory Standard: DDR3 1600/1333/1066
Maximum Memory Supported: 32GB
Channel Supported: Dual Channel

Graphics
Onboard Graphics: 1 x D-Sub port, 1 x DVI-D port, 1 x HDMI port, 2x Thunderbolt ports (Intel DSL3510L chip)
Expansion Slots
PCI Express 3.0 x16: 3 (x16, x8, x4)
PCI Express x1: 3
PCI Slots: 1

Storage Devices
SATA 3Gb/s: 4
SATA 6Gb/s: 3
Chipset: 2 x SATA 6Gb/s (SATA3 0/SATA3 1), 4 x SATA 3Gb/s (SATA2 2~5) and 1 x mSATA Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10
Marvell 88SE9172: 1 x SATA 6Gb/s connector (GSATA3 8) and 1 x eSATA 6Gb/s connector Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1

Onboard Audio
Audio Chipset: Realtek ALC898
Audio Channels: 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
Support for X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity® and EAX® Advanced HD™ 5.0 technologies
Support for S/PDIF In/Out

Onboard LAN
Max LAN Speed: 10/100/1000Mbps

Rear Panel Ports
1x D-Sub port
1x DVI-D port
1x optical S/PDIF Out connector
1x HDMI port
2x Thunderbolt ports
1x eSATA 6Gb/s connector
4x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
2x USB 2.0/1.0 ports
1x RJ-45 port
5x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Line In, Line Out, Mic In)

Internal I/O Connectors
1x 24-pin ATX main power connector
1x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
1x PCIe power connector
3x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
4x SATA 3Gb/s connectors
1x mSATA connector
1x CPU fan header
4x system fan headers
1x front panel header
1x front panel audio header
1x S/PDIF Out header
1x S/PDIF In header
3x USB 3.0/2.0 headers
2x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
1x IEEE 1394a port
1x Clear CMOS jumper
1x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header
1x power button
1x reset button
1x Clear CMOS button
1x BIOS switch button
Voltage Measurement Points
Form Factor: ATX
Dimensions: 12.0″ x 9.6″
Power Pin: 24 Pin

Unique Features
Support for @BIOS
Support for Q-Flash
Support for Xpress Install
Support for Xpress Recovery2
Support for EasyTune
Support for eXtreme Hard Drive (X.H.D)
Support for Auto Green
Support for ON/OFF Charge
Support for Q-Share
Support for 3D Power
Support for EZ Setup

Features
Dual Port Thunderbolt Motherboards
GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 5
GIGABYTE All Digital Power Engine
GIGABYTE 3D Power Utility
Designed for PCI Express Gen.3 Support
Intel Rapid Start Technology
Intel Smart Connect Technology
Onboard OC Features
Exclusive Bluetooth 4.0/WiFi Expansion Card
Lucid Universal MVP Support
GIGABYTE EZ Smart Response
GIGABYTE EZ Setup
Onboard mSATA Support
GIGABYTE 333 Onboard Acceleration
Multi-display support with CrossFireX and SLI

The new Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH is built with Ultra Durable 5 that is made up of Glass Fabric PCB, this is usually useful when the user is using liquid nitrogen for its cooling solution. Included in the package is an Atheros 802.11 a/b/g/n dual antenna + BT Module for wireless connectivity.

At the back of the GA-Z77X-UP5 TH, you can see 1x D-Sub and 1X DVI ports, as well as an HDMI port. Other than that are the USB Ports, LAN port and Audio ports. But did you notice the two small ports? Those are the Thunderbolt ports that can also carry DisplayPort signals from the IGP.

On the other side of the motherboard are six SATA2 ports (Four 3Gbps and Two 6Gbps) and an mSATA port. But one of the 3Gbps SATA2 port will be disabled if you use the mSATA port. Above the SATA ports is the Power/Reset/Clear CMOS button, as well as an PORT-80 diagnostic LED located near the memory slots and 24-pin power connector.

Generally the design and features of the Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH is great, considering that it is priced at $249 only. It packs a lot of features that are not usually present in a mid-range Z77 motherboard. I’m not sure if the Thunderbolt port or the WiFi connectivity is just a gimmick. But it sure does attract a lot of users and PC Enthusiasts. This motherboard is now available on local stores as well as online stores. The Z77X-UP5 TH is also now available here.

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