Biostar TZ77XE4 Motherboard


The Intel Z77 chipset will be released in April, but we had the privilege of getting the Biostar TZ77XE4 for a “first look” article. It will be a top mainstream socket LGA1155 motherboard targeted to the forthcoming “Ivy Bridge” processors (third-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors) and also supporting the current “Sandy Bridge” models (second-generation Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors). Let’s see what the Biostar TZ77XE4 will have to offer.

The Intel Z77 will be an upgraded version of the Z68 chipset with the same basic features (Intel Smart Response Technology and Virtu video switching technology), plus native support to four USB 3.0 ports. It will also include the addition of two new technologies: Smart Connect (allowing the computer to receive emails and refresh webpages while it is in sleep mode) and Rapid Start (faster boot times).

In addition, the Biostar TZ77XE4 supports the Virtu Universal MVP, which allows you to combine the performance of the integrated graphics processor available in the CPU with the performance of any video card installed. This is similar to what occurs with the Hybrid SLI and ATI Hybrid Graphics technologies, with the notable difference of not being limited to GPUs from a specific manufacturer.

Biostar has already announced five different motherboard models based on the Intel Z77 chipset. In the table below, we compare their main specifications.

Specification TZ77XE4 TZ77XE3 TZ77A TZ77B TZ77MXE
Form Factor ATX ATX ATX ATX microATX
Memory Sockets 4 4 4 4 4
PCI Express x16 3 (x16/x0/x4 or x8/x8/x4) 3 (x16/x0/x4 or x8/x8/x4) 2 (x16/x4) 2 (x16/x4) 2 (x16/x4)
PCI Express x1 1 2 2 2 2
Standard PCI 2 2 2 2 0
CrossFireX Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
SLI Yes Yes No No No
SATA-300 4 4 4 4 4
SATA-600 4 2 2 2 2
eSATA-300 0 0 0 0 0
eSATA-600 1 (shared) 0 0 0 0
USB 2.0 8 8 8 8 8
USB 3.0 4 4 4 4 4
FireWire 0 0 0 0 0
Gigabit Ethernet 1 1 1 1 1
VGA 1 1 1 1 1
DVI 1 1 1 1 1
HDMI 1 1 1 1 1
DisplayPort 1 0 0 0 0
Audio ALC898 ALC892 ALC892 ALC892 ALC892
Voltage Regulator 10+2+1 10+2+1 6+1+1 4+1+1 6+1+1
Price USD 160 USD 135 USD 120 USD 110 USD 120

In Figure 1, you see the Biostar TZ77XE4 motherboard.

Biostar TZ77XE4 motherboardFigure 1: Biostar TZ77XE4 motherboard

Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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