Hardware Secrets
Home | Camera | Case | CE | Cooling | CPU | Input | Memory | Mobile | Motherboard | Networking | Power | Storage | Video | Other
Content
Articles
Editorial
First Look
Gabriel’s Blog
News
Reviews
Tutorials
Main Menu
About Us
Awarded Products
Datasheets
Dictionary
Download
Drivers
Facebook
Links
Manufacturer Finder
Newsletter
RSS Feed
Test Your Skills
Twitter
Newsletter
Subscribe today!
Search
Recommended
Upgrading and Repairing PCs (21st Edition)
Upgrading and Repairing PCs (21st Edition), by Scott Mueller (Que Publishing), starting at $29.99


Home » Motherboard
Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH Motherboard
Author: Gabriel Torres 30,565 views
Type: First Look Last Updated: August 23, 2012
Page: 2 of 9
Slots

The Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH comes with three PCI Express 3.0/2.0 x16 slots, three PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots, one standard PCI slot, and one mSATA slot.

Usually, on motherboards based on the Z77 chipset, only the first two PCI Express x16 slots are controlled by the CPU. The other PCI Express x16 slots are controlled by the chipset, operating at a lower speed (almost always x4) and only compatible with the 2.0 specification, which offers half of the 3.0 bandwidth. On this motherboard, however, the three slots are controlled by the processor.

However, since socket LGA1155 Intel CPUs only offer 16 PCI Express 3.0 lanes, the speed configuration for these slots are as follows. If only the first PCI Express x16 slot (“PCIEX16”) is used, it operates at x16. If the first and the second PCI Express x16 slots (“PCIEX16” and “PCIEX8”) are used, both operate at x8 speed. And if the three PCI Express x16 slots are used, the first operates at x8 speed, but the other two operate at x4 speed. Also, the third PCI Express x16 slot only works when an “Ivy Bridge” CPU is installed; it is incompatible with “Sandy Bridge” processors.

When installing dual-slot video cards, you “kill” the slot immediately to the left (looking at the motherboard with its rear connectors facing up) of the slot being used. If a third dual-slot video card is installed (in the third PCI Express x16 slot), you will need a case with at least eight expansion slots.

The PCI Express x16 slots support both SLI and CrossFireX technologies.

Since the Intel Z77 chipset doesn’t support standard PCI slots, the Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH uses an ITE IT8892E bridge chip to connect the standard PCI slot to a PCI Express 2.0 x1 lane.

Gigabyte Z77X-UP5TH
click to enlarge
Figure 2: Slots

The mSATA slot is not a Mini PCI Express slot, meaning you can’t install a Wi-Fi card in it. It is designed specifically for SSDs using the mSATA form factor. This slot is connected to the “SATA2 5” port, so you can’t use this SATA port when an mSATA SSD is installed. This slot uses a SATA-300 connection.

Gigabyte Z77X-UP5TH
click to enlarge
Figure 3: The mSATA slot

In order to properly accommodate the Thunderbolt controller and additional SATA-600 and USB 3.0 ports, the board makes use of a PLX PEX8605 switch chip. This chip automatically switches the available PCI Express lanes to the devices that need them. On motherboards with too many PCI Express devices without a switch chip, you need to manually disable devices on the motherboard setup in order to achieve full performance on devices connected to the USB 3.0, SATA-600, and Thunderbolt ports when transferring files at the same time.

Gigabyte Z77X-UP5TH
click to enlarge
Figure 4: The PLX PEX8605 chip

Print Version | Send to Friend | Bookmark Article « Previous |  Page 2 of 9  | Next »

Related Content
  • ASRock Z77E-ITX Motherboard
  • ASRock Z77 Extreme9 Motherboard
  • Gigabyte Z77X-UP4 TH Motherboard
  • Biostar Hi-Fi Z77X Motherboard
  • ASRock Z77 OC Formula Motherboard

  • RSSLatest Content
    ASUS ZenFone 5 Smartphone Review
    October 15, 2014 - 7:00 PM
    ASUS AM1M-A Motherboard
    October 15, 2014 - 4:30 AM
    ASRock X99 Extreme4 Motherboard
    October 14, 2014 - 4:10 AM
    Cooler Master Elite 130 Case Review
    October 9, 2014 - 2:46 AM
    ASUS RAMPAGE V EXTREME Motherboard
    October 7, 2014 - 2:50 AM
    ASRock Fatal1ty X99M Killer Motherboard
    October 6, 2014 - 5:40 AM
    ASUS X99-DELUXE Motherboard
    September 30, 2014 - 1:07 AM
    MSI GT70 2PE Dominator Pro Laptop Review
    September 25, 2014 - 1:15 AM







    2004-14, Hardware Secrets, LLC. All rights reserved.
    Advertising | Legal Information | Privacy Policy
    All times are Pacific Standard Time (PST, GMT -08:00)