We have to say that Thunderbolt doesn’t seem like the most useful addition to a desktop system, simply because there are enough expansion ports and internal interfaces for most people to be more than happy. However, on something like a mATX motherboard it makes a little bit more sense and Gigabyte’s new GA-Z77MX-D3H TH is just that, a mATX motherboard with a pair of Thunderbolt ports.
The Z77MX-D3H TH has more tricks up its sleeve than its dual Thunderbolt ports though, as it also sports a pair of x16 PCI Express 3.0 slots that operate in dual x8 mode when both are in use and thanks to it being the first and last slot, a pair of dual or even triple slot cards could potentially be used with this board, as long as there’s room in the chassis. You also get a pair of x1 PCI Express slots, a USB 3.0 pin-header and the usual array of SATA ports.
Beyond the two Thunderbolt/mini DisplayPort connectors, the rear I/O is home to a PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out and a DVI, HDMI and D-sub connector. As with Gigabyte’s Z77X-UP4, the Z77MX-D3H supports up to three displays and it will ship with a copy of LucidLogix Virtu MVP software. Unlike the Z77X-UP4 though, we’re looking at an Ultra Durable 4 board here, so no fancy PowIRstages, but this should still be a decent enough motherboard for your more demanding consumers.
Kitguru says: Holy Thunderbolt Batman