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GIGABYTE tends to use a purple PCB on their motherboards and this one is not an exception. In fact this board is color coordinated with alternating blue and white colors for the expansion slots and for the memory. The top right corner of the motherboard is where the 8-pin power connecter is located. The MOSFET heatsink is a heatsink with a metallic finish.
The CPU Socket area is clear of obstacles with solid capacitors the MOSFET heatsink is connected to the X58 Northridge chip via a heatpipe that terminates atop the Southbridge. The CPUFan header is located above the memory slots. There are six color-coded DIMM slots on this board with alternating purple and white colors. The board can take up to 24GB of DDR3 memory clocked at up to 2133MHz.
The bottom of the board has the Phase LEDs which indicate how many active phases the system is using when in operation. To the right of that is a 24-pin power connector, along with the system fan header to the right of that there is a Power Fan header above the 24-pin power connector. The motherboard uses the Intel ICH10R Southbridge to control the storage options.
The ICH10R Southbridge supports SATA 3.0 Gb/second ports, up to six of them. One thing that this board does not support is the new SATA 6 Gb/second ports as that would require a separate controller. The target market for this board is not for the enthusiast but for the value conscious person wanting to get a decent x58 board without paying over $200 retail for it and extra features like the latest generation SATA ports may be a luxury.
The left side of the board starts off with the FP I/O on the board with each connector labeled and color coded. Next is a red USB header for the quick charge supported by this board followed by two headers for USB 2.0 devices. The board has a system fan header followed by two BIOS chips. As anyone who knows GIGABYTE motherboards over the years knows, they offer DualBIOS options on their boards in case one of their BIOSes crashes.
There are three PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots on this board with separation of a PCI slot or PCI Express x1 slot to offer support for up to three dual-slot video cards. I’ve already mentioned support for SLI and Crossfire on this board; the first two slots operate in x16 mode, while the third slot operates at x4 mode. As performance of video cards is hardly held back by the PCI Express bus so this is logical as it doesn’t sacrifice the bandwidth on two of the slots.
The rear I/O on this board consists of a PS/2 keyboard, a PS/2 mouse port, a Coaxial S/PDIF Out connector, 6 USB 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports a RJ-45 port and 6 audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/ Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone). The two USB 3.0 ports are controlled by a NEC USB controller. The onboard audio is provided by a Realtek ALC892 audio CODEC which is one of the venerable solutions on the market with many boards having it.