MSI Z68A-GD80 - The Board Continued
Moving to the top of the board, we can start to see where all the action happens. Starting from the left, you can again see our ASMedia SATA III connectors and next to that we have our main 24-Pin ATX power connector. Under that we see our "V-Check Points" which give you the ability to check the voltage levels on certain parts of the motherboard. It's a nice feature, but I've said many times I'm not sure how many people are actually using it.
Moving over more, we can see our LED Debug reader and next to that we've got a + and - button. MSI label these as "Direct OC". I'm pretty sure we can't tell you much about this, but it's fairly self-explanatory. Next to those two buttons we've got a further two; one is our power button while the other is our OC Genie one. We of course know OC Genie is the auto overclocking feature on MSI motherboards and it will be interesting to see what kind of pre-overclock this feature yields on the new SB-E platform.
One of the big things we're seeing with the X79 Chipset is the introduction of Quad Channel memory. We can't tell you at what speeds, but we've seen a lot of companies show it off; it's going to be really interesting to see what kind of performance it offers over Dual Channel. This particular version of the X79A-GD65 is the just that and offers us four DIMM slots. The other variant, the X79A-GD65(8D) available at launch, as you guessed it will support eight DDR3 DIMMs.
Probably one of the more interesting things around is the lack of heatsinks present on the board. Normally we'd have a fair bit of the ol' heatsink going on around here, but you can see we've just got a single one up the top with a heatpipe heading south.
As usual, we've also got our 8-Pin CPU power connector and you can see that's located in the normal corner behind another fan header.
Finally, we finish off with the I/O side of things and you can see we've got a combo PS/2 port and eight USB 2.0 headers. We've got our little black button on the back which is used to reset the BIOS and next to that a S/PDIF and Optical Out. We've got a single Firewire port running off the VIA VT6315N controller.
Two USB 3.0 ports are present which run off the NEC S720200 controller along with a gigabit network port off the Realtek RTL8111E controller. Finally, we've got six audio jacks and they run off the Realtek ALC892 HD audio codec.