As you will see, all of the connectors for the board were positioned on the edge of the board which helps to keeps cables out of the way, and helps in the cooling of the board. Gigabyte did a great job in the design!
Here are the 4 Dimm slots that support Dual-Channel mode up to DDR400. You can install a maximum of 4GB of memory. Right under the Dimm slots and on the left, we can see two IDE connectors. And then to the right of those, one floppy connector and the ATX power connector. Notice the great positioning! There were no issues with the Dimm slots at all while installing and uninstalling our 9800 Pro.
At the bottom of the board, we two SATA connectors. The two red connectors run off of the Intel ICH5 controller, which means it does not support Raid (unlike its brother, the ICH5R). There is no raid available on this board at all. That may not mean much to most, but I am personally a raid freak and would be disappointed not to have it. IN the next picture we can see the colored front panel connector which makes it easier to install your connectors, and is becoming a standard on many boards today. Next to the front panel connector you can see the two yellow USB connectors. This is also a standard, and is only mentioned because it was used to connect the wireless lan that was included in the box.
Here we see the AGP and PCI slots. This board supports AGP cards up to and including 8X. There are 5 PCI slots available as well. Nothing out of the ordinary here… let’s move along!
The Northbridge has an active cooling solution in place. This is a nice addition for the overclockers, but it does add a little noise! Next to the Northbridge, we see the CPU socket. There were absolutely no issues at all with installation of the CPU and the Intel stock cooler that we used. There even seemed to be plenty of room for aftermarket coolers, though we recommend to would investigate the exact model to make sure it will fit. Right in between the Northbridge and the CPU socket is the 12v connector. This is not the most convenient of places, as it needed to be disconnected to aid in removal of the HSF and CPU.
As is standard on all Gigabyte boards now, they have included their Dual-Bios technology on this board. Basically, this means is that Gigabyte has included a back-up bios chip that takes over if something happens to the main chip, such as a bad-flash, or a corrupted bios from pushing your system to far or a virus. This is a most welcome feature, and one that Gigabyte pioneered.
The onboard sound on this board is powered by the Realtek ALC658 CODEC. The LAN is powered by the Integrated Intel Gigabit LAN Controller which provides 10/100/1000 CSA lan on the board. The IEEE 1394 controller is the Texas Instrument IEEE 1394 Firewire Interface.The I/O ports included are the typical ps/2 ports for a motherboard and mouse, 4 USB ports, two serial and one parallel port, the Intel CSA lan port and the typical sound ports: Line in, Mic, and Line out. As mentioned earlier, there is an optional SPDIF bracket that is included that can be connected to a header on the board.
As mentioned, this board comes with a wireless IEEE 802.11b kit that worked flawlessly and was easy to set up with the included software and instructions. This is one of those little details that Gigabyte is so good at paying attention to. They didn’t have to include this with the board, but what a great feature to be included!
Well, that about does it for the layout and board features, let’s get to the performance!