Intel DZ77GA-70K review

A definite improvement for Intel's mobo team, but still a little off the pace

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Things are not always what they seem and sadly Intel's take on what makes a good motherboard seems to differ from ours.

Still, things start off rather well for the Intel DZ77GA as the fully UEFI Intel Visual BIOS is quite a lovely little thing. It's very easy on the eye, being all techy black and blue, and presents all the necessary info in a simple way.

Scrolling through the basic interface you can see how things are stacked with your CPU, graphics and memory, and a handy visual picture shows exactly which drive is plugged into which SATA port.

You can also access overclocking settings from the basic interface too, and Intel claims it will take care of all the back room numbers if you just want to set the headline CPU or RAM speed numbers.

Yeah, the use of the 'Intel claims' phrase may lead one to assume all is not so easy, and you'd be right.

Despite knowing that the Intel Core i7 3770K will happily clock up to 4.8GHz on Asus' excellent Sabertooth Z77, we couldn't even get the Overclocking Assistant to stably push up to the 4.5GHz it was touting. 4.4Ghz was our highest solid overclock in the end.

At stock speeds it's not necessarily a slouch though, keeping up with the ASRock Fatal1ty Z77 Professional in both gaming and CPU tests.

It does drop fairly significantly behind that Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H board on the Cinebench score though, playing 7.55 versus 7.98. Though, like the Asus Sabertooth Z77 and Asus P8Z77-V Pro, it's Turbo is stuck at 3.9GHz across the board, seemingly by default.

You may think it a little unfair to pitch it up against boards so obviously designed as enthusiast-class mobos, after all the Sabertooth has that fancy-smancy plastic armour stuff.

That's serious, right?

Well, this Intel DZ77GA-70K board is being marketed as Extreme and that's matched by the rather enthusiastic price tag too. The £178/$255 costing actually makes it more expensive than any of the other boards we've tested, and its performance just doesn't live up to that top-billing.

On the enthusiast side then we still simply cannot look past the excellent Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H; whether it's a serious overclock or some excellent stock numbers you're looking at the Gigabtye board delivers the lot.

Back to the drawing board for Intel then, though the Visual BIOS at least shows it motherboard team is getting on track.

We liked

That new Visual BIOS is excellent, and could take some of the fear about delving into the BIOS for beginners.

For advanced users though it's just as useful, especially showing you what drives are in which SATA ports. Invaluable when we've still got a mix of SATA 6Gbps and 3Gbps ports on the Intel side.

We disliked

Sadly though the actual performance of the Intel DZ77GA-70K just doesn't match up to the visual splendour of the new BIOS.

For a board with Extreme aspirations the overclocking performance is rather weak. If the board was one of the cheapest rather than the most expensive we could forgive it.

As it is we can't.


Nowhere near as weak a board as we've seen from Intel launch boards in the past, but the Intel DZ77GA-70K really struggles to achieve its enthusiast credentials.


Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelZ77 Express
Multi GPU SupportedSLI, CrossFireX
Onboard VideoCPU Dependent Video
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots2
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket H2 LGA-1155
Brand NameIntel
Form FactorATX
Processor SupportedCore i5, Core i7, Core i3, Pentium, Celeron, Xeon
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory32 GB
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR 5.0, RoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Memory Slots4
Number of PCI Slots2
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Audio Channels7.1
Gigabit EthernetYes
Number of SATA Interfaces8
RAID SupportedYes
Number of Total Expansion Slots7
Number of Network (RJ-45) Ports2
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Total Number of USB Ports8
Number of USB 3.0 Ports4
Total Number of FireWire/i.LINK Ports1
PS/2 PortYes
Number of PS/2 Ports1
Total Number of Onboard USB Ports10
Number of Onboard USB 2.0 Ports6
Total Number of Onboard FireWire/i.LINK Ports1
PCI Express StandardPCI Express 3.0, PCI Express 2.0
Total Number of PCI Express Slots5
Memory Form FactorDIMM
Number of eSATA Ports1
Processor TechnologyTurbo Boost Technology, Hyper-Threading Technology, Extended Memory 64 Technology, Smart Response Technology
Width294.6 mm
Depth243.8 mm
ManufacturerIntel Corporation
Product ModelDZ77GA-70K
Product NameExtreme DZ77GA-70K Desktop Motherboard
Package TypeBulk
Product LineExtreme
Controller TypeSerial ATA/600, Serial ATA/300
Manufacturer Part NumberBLKDZ77GA70K
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Best in a series of Intel® Desktop Boards optimized for the Intel® -K family of processors, the Intel® Desktop Board DZ77GA-70K sets a new standard when it comes to performance that gamers, overclockers, digital media enthusiasts, and ultimate multi-taskers need most. In combination with the new Intel® Visual BIOS, the Intel® Desktop Board DZ77GA-70K provides breakaway performance and flexibility. The new Intel® Visual BIOS offers graphical interface and animated controls, which allow you to configure settings faster and take full advantage of your Intel® -K processors.

Packaged Quantity10
Package Contents
  • Extreme DZ77GA-70K Desktop Motherboard
  • 10 x Bluetooth and 802.11 g/n Wireless USB Module
  • 10 x Configuration Label
  • 10 x DVD, Express Installer
  • 10 x I/O Shield
  • 10 x Integration Guide (Poster)
  • 10 x SLI Bridge Connector (2-way)
Limited Warranty3 Year