We’ll now go on a close up tour of the integral features that come with Z77 Extreme4, starting with the CPU socket. Being LGA1155 this motherboard has support for Intel’s 2nd and 3rd Generation of CPUs – Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge. Around the CPU socket is a 8 + 4 phase power design and covering the MOSFETs is a dual heatsink design. Unlike rival motherboards Z77 Extreme4’s heatsinks does not have a heatpipe running through them and compared to previous motherboards such as Z68 Extreme4 these heatsinks are much more subtle and have a touch of finesse.
Behind these heatsinks is an 8-pin CPU power connector for smooth power delivery whilst overclocking.
Attractive heatsinks cover the MOSFETs
Z77 Extreme4 has support for dual channel DDR3 – from 1066MHz right through to an astounding 2800+ (OC). There is a maximum capacity of 32GB and support for Intel XMP 1.2/1.3. Immediately next to the memory slots is a native USB 3.0 port, allowing for USB 3.0 functionality at the front of your computer chassis.
Memory slots support 32GB and Intel XMP
Moving to the storage ports the Z77 Extreme4 has a mixture of SATA 2 3GB/s and SATA 3 6GB/s ports. The 4x black SATA ports are SATA2 3GB/s whilst the 4x grey SATA ports are SATA3 6GB/s. The 2x grey ports on the left are supplied by Intel Z77 and the 2x grey ports on the right are supplied by AS Media (ASM1061).
HDD storage SATA storage ports – SATA 2 and SATA 3
Again, compared to a vast majority of the motherboards rivalling Z77 Extreme4 the heatsink covering the Intel Z77 chip is significantly smaller. The Intel Z77 heatsink is discreet and blends into the motherboard very well.
Discreet heatsink covering Intel Z77 chip
On the next page we will continue our tour of Z77 Extreme4’s features.