Page 1:Z77 Express: The Perfect Replacement For Older Machines
Page 2:ASRock Z77 Extreme6
Page 3:Z77 Extreme6 Firmware
Page 4:Asus P8Z77-V Pro
Page 5:P8Z77-V Pro Firmware
Page 6:Biostar TZ77XE4
Page 7:TZ77XE4 Firmware
Page 8:ECS Z77H2-A2X
Page 9:Z77H2-A2X Firmware
Page 10:Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H
Page 11:Z77X-UD3H Firmware
Page 12:MSI Z77A-GD65
Page 13:Z77A-GD65 Firmware
Page 14:Test Settings And Benchmarks
Page 15:Benchmark Results: Battlefield 3
Page 16:Benchmark Results: DiRT 3
Page 17:Benchmark Results: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Page 18:Benchmark Results: Audio And Video Encoding
Page 19:Benchmark Results: Productivity
Page 20:Power, Heat, And Efficiency
Page 22:Which Mid-Range Z77 Board Should You Buy?
Available for around £135, our U.S. editors had to search for the highest-priced vendors just to keep Biostar’s entry in today’s round-up. That is to say, it's priced low enough elsewhere that it could have been included in a follow-up story on even more affordable Z77-based models. This is where Biostar wants to compete, though, confident enough that it's willing to put the TZ77XE4 up against higher-priced parts from competing companies.
The TZ77XE4 looks fairly basic by the standards of its competition, relying solely upon the chipset’s four ports for USB 3.0, and sharing eSATA with one of its internal ports. Apart from a lack of additional USB 3.0 controllers, that pits Biostar directly against ASRock’s model.
Both manufacturers offer internal power and reset switches. Both have Port 80 diagnostics displays. Both have replaceable firmware ROMs. And the CLR_CMOS switch on ASRock’s I/O panel CLR_CMOS is found internally on the Biostar TZ77XE4. The TZ77XE4 physically supports three-way graphics arrays more logically by placing its trio of x16-length slots at triple-slot spacing, but its third slot is still limited to four PCIe 2.0 lanes from the Z77 controller.
Biostar’s novel approach to moving its top x16 slot as high as possible is to place DIMM connectors between mounting holes so that they can be moved closer to the board’s top edge. This removes much of the conflict between graphics cards and DIMM latches, though the CPU interface is not moved northward in a similar fashion. This limits the width of most CPU coolers to around 135 mm, and off-center DIMMS could affect memory overclocking. While we couldn’t check every cooler on the market to determine which ones fit, our overclocking tests will reveal whether offset DIMMs create a problem.
Other unusual features include a front-panel audio connector above the second graphics card slot and a front-panel USB 3.0 connector above the third graphics card slot. These won't be affected by graphics coolers, but whether they block the PCIe x1 or PCI slots depends heavily on where components are located on those cards.
The TZ77XE4’s installation kit includes four SATA cables, CrossFire and SLI two-way bridges, and an I/O shield. Though it’s not stuffed with fluff, this selection of parts should be more than adequate for the needs of most builders.
- Z77 Express: The Perfect Replacement For Older Machines
- ASRock Z77 Extreme6
- Z77 Extreme6 Firmware
- Asus P8Z77-V Pro
- P8Z77-V Pro Firmware
- Biostar TZ77XE4
- TZ77XE4 Firmware
- ECS Z77H2-A2X
- Z77H2-A2X Firmware
- Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H
- Z77X-UD3H Firmware
- MSI Z77A-GD65
- Z77A-GD65 Firmware
- Test Settings And Benchmarks
- Benchmark Results: Battlefield 3
- Benchmark Results: DiRT 3
- Benchmark Results: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Benchmark Results: Audio And Video Encoding
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Power, Heat, And Efficiency
- Which Mid-Range Z77 Board Should You Buy?