When you speak does anyone listen? Have you screamed at the top of your breath and still were not heard? How does it feel when you have a little bit of a gripe and present it, just to find out that the person or people cannot accept constructive criticism? As an editor of this publication and in the past, as a reviewer, I felt that way multiple times. Many times I was led to feel that my views and opinions, although accepted by my peers, were overlooked by the manufacturers of the product I tested or used in my personal system.
Now, I am not saying it was because of what I had said during a much laid back social gathering but I was asked a question about Intel and the Intel motherboard design. If I remember correctly, my answer was although they are motherboards built by the manufacturer who developed the chipset and processor, the boards lack the quality that some of their partners add. Of course, I was asked to elaborate. I have always felt that although the over all quality of the Intel branded motherboards was fine, it always seemed that there was something missing and that their prices were not competitive with many of their partners. Some of the problems I felt needed to be addressed were fairly simple to fix and some probably were going to take time to develop.
Having used Intel motherboards in the past, visually, two things always bothered me; their boards never seemed to be populated, whether it was a lack of internal and external USB ports as well as SATA connections or other common things other vendors added to their boards. My main dislike from the very beginning had been their half hearted attempt at cooling the chipset and regulation modules. (PWM/VRM) Honestly, it seemed that they would find the least expensive pieces of thin aluminum, add a bump or fin to disperse heat, and there you had it. I never thought my suggestion would go anywhere until the launch of the X79 Chipset and the “Siler” motherboard (DX79SI). Just opening the exterior flap of that motherboard I could see major improvements. The board had options and expandability for peripherals, as well as large heat reactive heat sinks with heat pipes. The BIOS were easy to navigate and Intel was using a digital power system. (DrMos).
Back in January of this year, I and other HTL staff members had an unexpected meeting with some of the minds behind Intel motherboard design and architecture. There was a question and answer session where we expressed our likes and dislikes of the overall product and technologies. There were a couple technologies we spoke about that they were actually shocked we used. One of our suggestions we felt would improve the user experience (since they were going to a 100% digital platform) would be the addition of a UEFI BIOS that was easy to navigate and had the option for preset performance tuning options.
The 7-Series Z77 express chipset DZ77GA-70K incorporates all the changes that came with the “Siler” board and adds Intel’s new Visual BIOS to the fold. As I said previously, I don’t think these changes were made based on what I and the HTL staff had to say. Over the years, I have listened to forum members and peers. Some suggestions were ours and some were based on what you, the readers, have made. I listened and was glad to relay that information. It looks like Intel did too.
The Intel DZ77GA-70K is the flagship for Intel’s new 7-series, Z77 express chipset motherboards. The DZ77GA-70K is optimized for K-Series unlocked 3rd generation Intel Core processors codenamed “Ivy Bridge”. Its features include PCI-e 3.0, dual Intel Gigabit LAN, native USB 3.0 and SATA3, as well as Bluetooth and wireless LAN. The newest addition to the repertoire is Intel Visual BIOS; Visual BIOS provides the user with a graphical interface which makes navigation more intuitive. Visual BIOS includes Overclocking Assistant - a one step performance tuning utility to quickly increase the system's overall experience. The external HDMI port (located in rear I/O) enhances the board’s versatility. Combining a discrete graphics card with the on-die graphics processor enables Lucid Virtu (software needed), a multitasking, multi monitor graphics and power saving application. The DZ77GA-70K includes Intel's voltage regulated heatsinks for increased silent operation cooling of the VRM and PWM. Since the DZZGA-70K is Intel, you can be sure all Intel technologies, like Quick Sync and Smart Response, will work fluently and efficiently.