During Computex Gigabyte showcased a new line of motherboards in the Ultra Durable 5 series, and now the first boards are becoming available to the public. We tested the GA-Z77X-UP5 TH, which is a Z77 motherboard for Intel Socket 1155 processors.
Motherboards in the Ultra Durable 5 series have a new chip for the CPU power supply. The PowIRstage IR3550 chip combines three mosfets with a driver-IC in one chip. Ultra Durable 5 should also contribute to lower temperature for the motherboard. The concept closely resembles DrMos chips, which also combine mosfets and a driver-IC on one chip. Gigabyte claims that their implementation is the better, however. Ultra Durable 5 boards can be recognised by the UP in the product name, instead of UD.
The GA-Z77X-UP5 TH has another selling point, and that's the inclusion of two Intel Thunderbolt connectors. Since one of the key features of Thunderbolt is the ability to daisychain multiple devices, a second connector seems superfluous at first. However, Intel also has a cheaper Thunderbolt chip for peripheral devices that does not have the daisychaining feature. It's likely that more and more Thunderbolt devices will hit the market that cannot be daisychained, so the presence of a second Thunderbolt adapter is a good way of future-proofing your PC.