The Gigabayte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH is based on the Intel Z77 chipset and therefore supports Socket 1155 processors from the Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge generations, combined with DDR3 memory. The board has three PCI-Express x16 slots (16/0/4 or 8/8/4 lanes), three PCI-Express x1 and one PCI.
Internally there are seven Serial ATA connectors, three of which are SATA600. The six ports that are controlled by the Z77 chip support RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10. A Marvell 88SE9172 chip provides the seventh port and also the eSATA port. The board also has an mSATA connector, which can be used for a small (caching) SSD.
The motherboard comes with ten USB 3.0 ports, four of which are external, and six internal. All but two are implemented via two VIA four-port USB 3.0 hubs, and that's unfortunate. There are six USB 2.0 ports. There are the two Thunderbolt ports we already mentioned, but also Firewire (internally) and Bluetooth.
As LAN chip Gigabyte went with the Intel 82579V, which is an excellent chip. There is also an 802.11n WLAN adapter via a PCI-Express x1 card. The Realtek ALC898 chip provides audio. Gigabyte combines this with the Creative X-Fi MB2 software, which provides EAX5 support in certain games and various THX audio enhancements.
On the back all four possible monitor connectors are provided: VGA, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort (via Thunderbolt). You also get five fan PWM connectors. Extra features include onboard power and reset buttons, measuring points for eight different voltages, a HEX display with BIOS POST codes and two BIOS' with dual-BIOS functionality. Gigabyte includes Lucid VirtuMVP software.
Gigabyte includes its graphical 3D EFI-BIOS. Beginners are able to change settings on an image of the motherboard in the BIOS. By clicking on a component you gain access to its settings. Advanced users still have the option of working in a normal interface with lots of configuration options, which you can see in the screenshots below. It's possible to create user profiles. You can raise the CPU and memory voltage to 1.85 and 2.1 volts, respectively.