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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2012
Verified Purchase
While this marketed is a media board, I purchased it for a desktop system at my workplace. Having had mixed experiences with other vendors, I decided to give an Intel board a shot. I wanted a board that supported the new, third-generation processors and had two video outputs, which more or less limited me to the Intel media series.

The board has many good features: HDMI and DisplayPort video outputs, HD optical and analogue audio, and a reasonable set of USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, along with three USB 2.0 headers and one USB 3.0 header, each of which should support two ports. The board supports up to 32GB of memory, has four 6GBs SATA ports (two driven by the Z77 chipset and two by a Marvel chip) and three 3GBs SATA ports. It supports front and back fans, and the latest GUI BIOs. It also supports over-clocking, although I have not implemented that on my system.

The Z77 chipset also supports the Intel RapidStore technology, which led to my first set of problems. I now have this running successfully with a single 2TB HDD and a 64GB SSD in a single array, with the 64GB SSD designated as the swap drive that accelerates the HDD. (Note: to use RapidStore, both the accelerated HDD and the SSD must be connected to ports controlled by the Z77 chip; you can't use the Marvel ports for this purpose.) I have a second 2TB internal drive that I use for backups. This is all working fine at present, and the SSD cache really does speed up the system. However, this is not quite the configuration I'd originally planned.

My original intention was to install the two 2TB drives as a RAID1 array (which the system sees as a single drive, with all writes mirrored on both HDDs), with the entire array accelerated via the 64GB SSD. This did not work, despite the fact that the documentation makes it clear that this is supposed to be possible. I conjecture that this failed due to different speeds in the SATA ports controlled by the Z77 chip: there are 2 6GBs ports and three 3GBs ports. I tried connecting the two HDDs to the faster ports and the SDD to the slower port, and Windows simply did not recognize the SSD at all. Worse, the windows installation was unstable. When I deleted the RAID1 array, everything worked--and still works--fine.

So...problem number one was that RAID1+RapidStore didn't quite work they way the setup instructions implied. As it turns out, I'm probably happier with two distinct HDDs and backups rather than the mirroring provided by a single RAID1 array, but it still wasted about two days fiddling with this to figure out that the instructions were at best incomplete.

Even more frustrating is the USB 3.0 header. The Z77 chip provides native support for USB 3.0, and all of the ports so supported are on the back plane of the system. The board also provides a USB 3.0 header for front-panel options driven by a Renesas (formerly NEC) chip. I could not make this header work at all. I have since read reviews on other sites that report similar problems with the Renesas/Intel implementation on this and other boards. Based on about a half-day's search on the web, I suspect that the Renesas drivers on the Intel site are not current, but the drivers I found also did not work. I double-checked BIOS settings, where the ports are reported as implemented and operational. However, Windows simply did not find them.

Eventually, I spent $15 on Uspeed PCI-E to USB 3.0 Express Card with 2 USB 3.0 standard Ports and 1 USB 3.0 20-pin Connector with Male Power Connector, a third-party PCI board. It worked like a charm: easy to install the board, the enclosed disk quickly downloaded and installed the most current drivers, and now I have front-plane USB devices on my system working. For $15, one would think Intel could have come up with a better solution than the one they provided.

Generally, I'm happy with this board. Despite the above problems, I have had FAR fewer problems with this board than with other boards recently purchased from other vendors. I would recommend it to others and would build another system with it, especially now that I know the peculiarities of the design.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2012
Well, I have always recommended Intel Desktop boards for those looking for good performance and solid reliability without all of the bling that comes with some of the overclocking enthusiast boards. No more. While the specs of this board looked great on paper and the BIOS interface is very nice, it's simply a low-quality product when it comes down to it.

The front-panel USB 3.0 headers simply do not work on any of this revision of this board. It's not just that my particular board had a problem, this is acknowledged to affect the entire inventory of this motherboard on the market. Yet they have no plans to fix it as it cannot be addressed through BIOS updates. Classy.

Next (and this is really the big one): they obviously did very little memory compatibility testing with this board relative to other manufacturers. Several of us bought these motherboards at the same time as they were on sale, and we have ALL had problems finding memory kits that will work reliably at the speeds advertised. A set of Corsair 2x8 DIMMs I purchased that test out just fine on other motherboards I tried them on will cause this system to not boot when present. A pair of Kingston DIMMs were verifiably damaged following a routine BIOS update. They worked perfectly fine until the BIOS was updated, now the system won't POST when they are present and they fail integrity tests that they passed before. I am now on my third set of system RAM in as many months using this motherboard, and my front panel USB 3.0 ports still don't work. I just wound up buying a USB hub from Amazon to replace that functionality. Intel support was of little help.

So yeah, this board has cost me over $500 just to keep it working properly, and it's still basically brand new. I will never, EVER buy another Intel Desktop board again. The Intel Desktop board line are no longer Intel products, they are Foxconn products, and rather shabby ones at that. Beware!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2012
Verified Purchase
I had multiple issues with this board and finally returned it.

1. One heck of a time getting it to accept all four sticks of RAM. Took a long time and a lot of troubleshooting to validate there was nothing wrong with the RAM. Finally, for some reason, the board accepted all RAM and no more issues there.

2. Card reader connected via USB 3.0 not consistently recognized. I had to unplug and plug back in the card reader for the computer to see it. Would work fine, until restart. Then would have to go through the process all over again.

3. Board would not recognize a TV tuner card in any of the three PCIe slots. This was a good card that I pulled out of one computer and stuck in this board. No dice.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2012
I bought this motherboard for my Intel Core i7-3770K Quad-Core Processor 3.5 GHz 6 MB Cache LGA 1155 - BX80637I73770K processor with 2 x 8GB Corsair Vengeance 16 GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600MHz PC3 240 Pin DIMM Memory CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10 memory that is ready to be upgraded into 32 GB someday (just plug them on the two blue memory slots). I installed Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit a week ago and I haven't rebooted since. It's still running perfectly without any blue screen or crash and I have played many Dota 2 and League of Legends games with highest resolutions, running VMWare Player the whole time, listening to music and video, etc. It's just very, very stable.

P.S.: I'm using default BIOS version (Version 0057) and default BIOS configuration. The only thing is when you install the Drivers DVD on Windows, I recommend you to only check "Drivers" and uncheck "Applications" category. The applications are mostly bloatware and are not needed for this motherboard to work. Then you must update "USB 3.0: Intel USB 3.0 Driver" for this motherboard downloaded from Intel website (I'm using version USB3_Win7_1.0.5.235_PV.exe). Without this updated driver, I couldn't use my external USB 3.0 hard disk if I plugged it into USB 3.0 port, but it's still working if I plugged it into USB 2.0 port. After the driver is updated, I can plug my external hard disk into USB 3.0 port and enjoy the increased speed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2012
Verified Purchase
I was unable to install more than 1 DIMM of RAM on the board. With 2 or 3 DIMMs, it kept crashing when trying to install windows or load windows. With 4 DIMMs, I kept getting POST code 32, it'd beep several times, and I'd never see the BIOS load screen. Eventually it'd reset/shut itself down. I am not the only one who has encountered this issue [...] . I tried changing the voltages as suggested but no change in behavior. Rather than deal with likely future issues, even with a replacement, I decided to to go with a different mobo. I guess I see why Amazon had it on their Gold Deals day for desktop parts. They're trying to get rid of them!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2012
Verified Purchase
A great board but really quirky with RAM. Bought some Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 MHz sticks to go in it. It would only take on in slot 1 at first. Did a BIOS upgrade and then the second was recognized, but had to move it to a different slot than specified on the motherboard instructions. Google it...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2012
Verified Purchase
This has the potential to be a great board once Intel releases a BIOS update that fix its RAM issues. Because, brother: it is a nightmare! I wanted to install 16GB (Corsair Vengeance (CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10) and the sucker only recognized one slot, no matter how many slot combinations I tried and even with the memory being one in the Intel's approved list. So after lots of frustration I did some research and discovered that other were having the same problem and the solution is to crank the memory voltage up to 1.6 and forget about Intel's schematics and put them in slot 1 and 2 (black and blue. Other than that very annoying problem the board is pretty decent, lots of SATA 6GB and USB3 and the audio is quite nice. So like I said, wait a little bit for the next Bios update and you will have a great board, as of now: not so much!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2012
Verified Purchase
If you are trying to build a top of the line computer, you might want to look elsewhere. Below are the specs of the rest of my components:

Motherboard: Intel DZ77BH55K Extreme Series LGA 1155 Desktop Board
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K Quad-Core Processor 3.5 GHz 8 MB Cache LGA 1155
Memory: Corsair Memory Vengeance 16 Dual Channel Kit DDR3 1600 MHz 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM x 2 [32GB total]
Power Supply: Cooler Master Extreme Power Plus - 600W Power Supply
Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 - Mid Tower Computer Case
SSD: Crucial 128 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s
HDD: Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s 32 MB Cache 2.5 Inch Solid State Hybrid

The CPU went in just fine, and both the SSD and HDD were recognized and worked with the SATA 6G/s connections. The hard part was with the memory. THE BOARD WILL NOT RECOGNIZE BY DEFAULT WHEN ALL 4 RAM SLOTS ARE USED (e.g. dual channel). If you don't believe me, then feel free to google it and prove it to yourself -- people have had all sorts of trouble with all different types of RAM. You will begin to loath the "three beeps" of frustration that indicate a memory issue when the comp starts up. However, the good news is that if you continue to google around and you have extra time on your hands to try various memory settings, then you might be able to get it to work. For me, I had to manually go into the bios and increase the voltage going to the RAM to 1.65V (even though when only 2 are in for single channel, 1.5V works just fine). That is why I call it a "hobby board", since you may end up spending extra time on it to get it all to work. Also, beware of upgrading your bios; as that seems to fail frequently. I feel that for Amazon's normal price, you can find a better board with fewer problems. However, I got a deep discount on the lighting deals; so I was willing to take the gamble -- unclear if I came out ahead. Additionally, you should read the other reviews about the front USB 3.0 not working ... not an issue with the case I got; but I believe it is a documented defect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2012
Verified Purchase
Runs stable 24 hours. I have 2 of these, one with i7 2600 and other with i7 3770. 0 overclocking so i cannot comment on that.

The only issue that i have is no nic driver on this motherboard if you want to install as server OS. i have one machine running vmware workstation with countless VMS on 32 gbs of ram and other media/gamer/and some vms on 16 gb of ram.

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After about 2 months, i updated to windows 8 and ever since my Marvel SATA control quit working. Drives all of the sudden disappear and the only way to get them back is to reboot the system.
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on July 19, 2014
Verified Purchase
I think this board has gotten a bad rap on reviews in it's beginning and is why it's still low, mostly I think because when it was new the drivers and bios was still being worked out and naturally for those that bought it had a hard time, understandably they were upset. Intel boards as long as I can remember they release them and then refine/develop drivers as problems surface.

I have purchased 3 of these MB's over the last two years and for me they have Always worked flawlessly with no problems whether it be flashing the bios with no problems whatsoever, or getting mature drivers of which by now the drivers have been well developed.

Pair this board with a Intel Core i7-3770K and you have a winner....
Even without using an external video card, the built in HD4000 works very well.
Also use with GeForce GTX 650 if needed, but mostly just use the built in HD4000
Also use Corsair Vengeance 8 GB(2X4 GB)for Memory
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