Monday, June 4th 2012

GIGABYTE Shows Off Z77X-UP7 Motherboard with 32-Phase CPU VRM

It's good to see GIGABYTE back to doing high-end motherboards with overkill CPU power designs. Its latest creation, the Z77X-UP7, was shown to sections of the media, at a private exhibition, ahead of Computex. The Z77X-UP7 is the company's first motherboard to feature its Ultra Durable 5 motherboard construction technology, which is basically Ultra Durable 4 augmented with higher current 60A chokes, and International Rectifier PowIRStage IR3550 ICs (a highly potent driver-MOSFET implementation). The Z77X-UP7 is based on the Intel Z77 Express chipset, and supports Core "Ivy Bridge" and "Sandy Bridge" processors in the LGA1155 package.

The Z77X-UP7 implements an over-the-top 32-phase VRM to power the CPU, which draws power from two 8-pin EPS connectors. The VRM utilizes ferrite core chokes and PowIRstage IR3550 driver-MOSFETs. GIGABYTE is yet to finalize the board's heatsink design, which gives us the opportunity to give its components a closer look. The board utilizes a PLX PEX8747 PCI-Express 3.0 bridge chip, which is wired to the PCI-Express 3.0 x16 link of the processor on one end, and gives out two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 links, which are distributed among six PCI-Express x16 slots using an array of lane switches. 4-way NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX are supported. The board includes support for LucidLogix VirtuMVP. Its display outpputs include DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, and D-Sub.

Its expansive storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, four SATA 3 Gb/s ports, and one mSATA 6 Gb/s. Other connectivity includes dual gigabit Ethernet interface (one each of Intel and Qualcomm-Atheros PHYs), 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, 8+2 channel HD audio (Realtek ALC898, 110 dBA SNR), and 10 USB 3.0 ports (six on the rear panel, four via headers). GIGABYTE will launch the Z77A-UP7 a little later this year.
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28 Comments on GIGABYTE Shows Off Z77X-UP7 Motherboard with 32-Phase CPU VRM

#1
treboRR
i mby wrong but i see 36 chokes there....
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#2
Scatler
by: treboRR
i mby wrong but i see 36 chokes there....
I think there's a typo in the news title or Gigabyte forgot how to count.
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#3
Jstn7477
It's likely a 32+4 setup, as modern CPUs require 2 or more voltages to be provided to them (32 phases to the CPU cores, 4 phases to the northbridge/memory controller). My Z68 board has an 8+4 digital VRM configuration.
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#5
Huddo93
I hope world records will be set on that board, has gotta be the cleanest power out there!
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#6
radrok
Well maybe they found a way to protect their mobos from their bad bios software by going overkill on the VRM section :roll:

Anyway such design would have more sense on X79 which has power hungry six cores (hopefully 8+ by January)
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#7
blibba
So the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th slots share the 16 lanes from the CPU? Does that make the 2nd x16 slot a x4, usable only with IB CPU?
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#8
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: treboRR
i mby wrong but i see 36 chokes there....
Rest are ancillary/NB phases.
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#9
heky
This 32phase power delivery is bulls**t. I talked to a engineer once, and he said it is not the quantity of the phases that matter, but the quality, and the way they are implemented. So this board could have 60+ phases and it doesnt mean it has the cleanest power delivered.
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#10
Maban
by: blibba
So the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th slots share the 16 lanes from the CPU? Does that make the 2nd x16 slot a x4, usable only with IB CPU?
The second slot is directly wired to the CPU. The other four slots (1/3/5/7) are wired to the switch. Putting a card in any of those four slots disables the second slot. 1 and 5 become x16, switchable to x8/x8/x8/x8 for 1/3/5/7. It's personally my favorite layout.
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#11
Laurijan
Worldrecord board in terms of power-phases! I have 8+2+2 and even that is enough even for big OCs.
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#12
Random Murderer
The Anti-Midas
by: heky
This 32phase power delivery is bulls**t. I talked to a engineer once, and he said it is not the quantity of the phases that matter, but the quality, and the way they are implemented. So this board could have 60+ phases and it doesnt mean it has the cleanest power delivered.
exactly what i was coming in to say.
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#13
Kantastic
It better come with a molex to 8pin adapter.
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#15
Jurassic1024
by: radrok
Well maybe they found a way to protect their mobos from their bad bios software by going overkill on the VRM section :roll:

Anyway such design would have more sense on X79 which has power hungry six cores (hopefully 8+ by January)
Good luck finding room for them all on an already cramped X79.
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#16
Jurassic1024
36-phase VRM? Oh god. I think it's safe to assume these aren't high performance alloy-based chokes a la the ASUS Z77 Sabertooth. It's pretty busy around that socket. I can't wait to see what the VRM heatsink(s) will look like.
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#17
radrok
by: Jurassic1024
Good luck finding room for them all on an already cramped X79.
Well, the Big Bang Xpower II X79 has 22 Phases which still are a lot :) I'm pretty sure they could find the space for more if the wanted to.
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#18
nleksan
It seems overkill in that there seems to be no overclocking issues with current motherboards, rather its the chips themselves that are handicapped...
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#19
Steven B
what is ridiculous about this board is the phase count, that is too many phases. This board I am told is a statement to show what GIGABYTE engineers can do. You are talking about the best MOSFETs IR makes, the won some award at CES, they also have a retail cost of $4-5 a pop. The cost of the VRM alone on the UP7 is more than an entry level asrock board.
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#21
heky
by: Steven B
what is ridiculous about this board is the phase count, that is too many phases. This board I am told is a statement to show what GIGABYTE engineers can do. You are talking about the best MOSFETs IR makes, the won some award at CES, they also have a retail cost of $4-5 a pop. The cost of the VRM alone on the UP7 is more than an entry level asrock board.
All they did was add driver MOSFETs to their boards. Big deal. MSI and ASUS have been doing that for ages.
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#22
Steven B
Driver MOSFET is a type of powerstage, but all powerstages are deff not driver mosfets. You don't call volterra or ti powerstages DrMOS because they aren't, just like IR's powerstages aren't. DrMOS that output 60A don't exist, and if they did they probably couldn't' do it at high frequencies like this power stage.

Also GB was the first to use these, but others will too.

Show me asus board that uses DrMOS??????

GB also used DrMOS on X58 and Z68.
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#23
heky
Have you even read the article?

by: btarunr
International Rectifier PowIRStage IR3550 ICs (a highly potent driver-MOSFET implementation)
And where does it state that a single phase can output 60A? The chokes can take a higher current, but that doesnt mean a single phase can take 60A.

Next time, read.
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#25
treboRR
by: Jstn7477
It's likely a 32+4 setup, as modern CPUs require 2 or more voltages to be provided to them (32 phases to the CPU cores, 4 phases to the northbridge/memory controller). My Z68 board has an 8+4 digital VRM configuration.
the mem VRM is close to the memslots, but more likely the 4 chokes are for igpu imo :P
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