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.