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Roundup: entry level Z77 Express motherboards from AsRock, Asus, Gigabyte and MSI
by Guillaume Louel
Published on December 28, 2012

Fan management

We have summarised the fan control specs for each of the motherboards. Remember, PWM indicates a 4-pin fan, while DC indicates a 3-pin.


Note that while Asus and Gigabyte are both now exclusively using 4-pin conectors, only Gigabyte allows you to control a 3-pin fan on a 4-pin connector, though only for two of its ports (processor and sysfan1). On these models, only ASRock doesn’t offer thermoregulation for the chassis ports, for which you can only choose a level.

Boot time

We also measured the boot times of the motherboards. We measured the time between pressing down the button and the launch of the operating system. These times, which may seem long, represent full initialisation of the mobo. Power was cut before each reading was taken.

We measured two scenarios, the default bios settings and a 'rapid' setting where we turned off all the unused peripherals. Often the most demanding peripherals with respect to boot times (the additional ROMs on start-up for the network and drive controllers and drives) are already turned off by default by most manufacturers. As there are hardly any on these mobos, the differences are minimal!


ASRock continues to dominate in this test, even if the other manufacturers are getting closer. The lack of additional controllers to initialise flattens the differences in comparison to our previous report.

Software

As the software offer is common to all the motherboards of any one manufacters, we refer you to this page in our previous test for the Asrock and Asus software offer, and this one for the Gigabyte and MSI offer!

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