👤by Tony Le Bourne Comments 📅12-11-12
Closer Look

In the socket zone we can see a 6 + 2 power phase design, under the MOSFET heatsink there is a 4 pin PWM fan header for the CPU, in the top left area of the board as expected there is the 8 pin EPS socket which is adjacent to another system 4 pin PWM fan header (which has been conveniently hidden by the heatsink).

Here we find the USB 3.0 header followed by the 24 pin ATX power socket and another 4 pin PWM fan header. We have 4x memory DIMMs supporting up to 4x16GB modules giving a maximum memory capacity of 64GB.

Like with the ASUS board, GIGABYTE has used these little buttons which I am growing quite fond of. They are small and inconspicuous and functional, appearing in the form of reset and clear CMOS. On the other hand we also have a huge red power on button which lights up like some kind of self destruct button, of course never a bad thing, but I am starting to feel like I need to highlight the questionable choices made in motherboard design in regards to activity lights. Most manufacturers are guilty of placing.. for example, A green LED on a primarily Blue aesthetic. Maybe I am picking holes at nothing but surely one can not be the only person whom stares in to a custom PC build that is say, black and white themed, and not get distracted by the blue red and green activity lights placed at almost random over the motherboard, it causes a traumatising lack of understanding.

In the bottom right corner of the motherboard we see the 6x right angled SATA 3 6Gb/s, dual BIOS, Debug LED, an additional SATA 6 port, front panel headers and the 4th 4 pin PWM fan header. Slap bang in the middle we see a huge heatsink cooling the chipset with the GIGABYTE logo.

Along the bottom edge from left to right we have various I/O headers including, front panel HD audio, SPDIF, COM, TPM, 4x 2 USB 2.0 headers, for GIGABYTE ON/OFF Charge use the headers highlighted in red. We can also see the expansion slot arrangement from top to bottom, PCIe x1, x16, x1, x1, x8, legacy PCI, PCIe x4.

Finally in the bottom left we have the LAN (Realtek GbE) and audio (Realtek ALC892) controllers.

The rear I/O affords a universal keyboard/ mouse PS2 socket, 2x USB 3.0, D-Sub, Dual link DVI, Optical S/PDIF, HDMI, Display port, 2x USB 2.0, eSATA, Gigabit Lan, 2x USB 3.0 and 6x audio jacks.

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