We liked the overall layout of the motherboard. The CPU socket has ample amount of clearance around it and installing large coolers shouldn’t be a problem. The power phases are cooled by heatsinks connected by a heat pipe for effective dissipation of heat. The expansions slots are placed such that there won’t be a clutter when you install multiple cards.
A good choice of expansion slots
There’s ample space between the first and second PCIE x16 slots so that the tiny PCIE x1 slot is usable despite two dual-slot graphics cards installed. Also there’s no question of lengthy graphics cards making SATA ports unusable due to overlapping.
Test rig configuration
Processor: Intel Core i7-3770k
Memory: 2 x 4 GB G.Skill Ripjaws 2, DDR3-2133
Graphic card: AMD Radeon HD 6870
SSD: Plextor PX-256M2S
Power supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro, 800w
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate, 64-bit
Before running the benchmarks we set the BIOS values to default and used the memory’s XMP profile to make sure it was running at full speed. Core i7-3770K performs marginally better than Core i7-2600K. The setup logged an overall PCMark 7 score of 5313 and 3DMark 11 score of 4419. At 1920x1080 with very high settings and AA enabled, Crysis Warhead and Mafia II logged 36 fps and 51 fps respectively. These scores were slightly lower than what the Intel DZ77GA motherboard reported using the same hardware. Next, we switched to the CPU graphics and used the Radeon HD 6870 in Virtu’s HyperFormance mode. The 3DMark 11 score went up by 1770 points but surprisingly, the frame rates in Crysis Warhead and Mafia II dropped by 3 fps and 10 fps respectively. However, taking all scores into consideration, the overall performance is very good.
Supports both Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors
For Rs 13,390, the Biostar TZ77XE is good value for money. If you have the budget to upgrade your existing motherboard or buy a motherboard to build a new PC, we suggest you consider this board instead of going in for an older generation Z68 chipset based model. Also, note that this is not a high-end motherboard, but it’s great for building a mid-range gaming PC. If you want to build a high-performance PC with enthusiast-class components, then we recommend you consider high-end models offered by Asus and Gigabyte.
Updated 19 May, 2013, 1:20 pm IST
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