This weekend we got a nice little package from our friends at Gigabyte’s US office. After completing our X79-UD7 motherboard review, we decided to check out their ‘value’ offering for the Sandy Bridge-E platform and are excited to show you this extremely simple and clean looking board that we’re hoping will perform as well as it looks good.
The above picture is a perspective shot of the four, yes, four PCIe (only 3 shown) slots which enable 4-way SLI. This board also has four DDR3 DIMM slots and supports memory up to 2133MHz (even though the UD7 had the same spec and we got 2400MHz). This board is the same board that had supposedly burned up due to being ‘faulty’. While we really did not want to participate in the media parade that had decided to report on this ‘story’, we did find it interesting that Gigabyte had actually put a sticker on the box of this board indicating that it had an F7 BIOS or later. This F7 BIOS was supposedly the fix that was put in place to prevent this board’s VRM from overheating and catching fire. As you can tell, the heatsink for the VRM is quite hefty and with proper airflow should never overheat.
Above is the motherboard’s rear I/O, as you’ll notice they’ve gone with an interesting approach with a combo PS/2 port and 2 USB ports followed by a combo optical audio set of ports. Then two sets of three USB ports with a blue (not USB 3.0) combo port of eSATA and USB 2.0. Those are then followed by two dinky USB 3.0 ports and then the Gigabit ethernet port atop two more USB 2.0 ports. The I/O is then completed with the standard PC 5.1 analog audio jacks even though this board does support 7.1 (through optical).
If you’d like more detailed pictures of this board and would like to explore every single detail of it, we’ve actually put together a PhotoSynth below for you to easily explore the different parts of the motherboard. Simply click on the image and start exploring. Because of the way we photographed the board, there is no part of the board that has not been covered and you can easily inspect any element of the board with extreme detail.