Gigabyte Expand Box - Front Panel Access
These days consumers want front access to 90% of the hot swap ports like USB, Firewire and now with Intel Azalia Audio giving AC'97 the shove off, front audio ports are a great idea. Some cases add these in, but there is always a matter of compatibility with different boards, as different manufacturers make their ports on the motherboards differently, especially Gigabyte.
While Gigabyte does give front panel access to their mini PC's, what about their desktops? Here comes the answer - the Expand Box.
The Gigabyte expand box combines USB 2.0, Firewire and front audio ports in a simple box that can be mounted to a 3.5" FDD drive bay. This then gives users access to all the major ports needed. At the front two USB 2.0 ports are provided as well as two Firewire ports (one 6 pin and one 4 pin). These support Firewire-B, so no worries about compatibility. The two audio ports give Headphone and MIC access for Azalia Audio codec as well as standard front panel access for AC'97.
Here we see the cable connections, the yellow is for USB 2.0, the grey is for Firewire ports, and the black is for audio. While you may be able to use this in other motherboards for the Audio and USB, the Firewire connector is designed for the Gigabyte port only, as Gigabyte wire their primary two Firewire ports quite odd.
Overall a nice novelty for Gigabyte to add for users of Gigabyte motherboards with onboard Firewire ports, so long as they don't change the layout of their ports in the future that is.
We hope you enjoyed our exploration into some of the lighter side of the hardware community and what is to offer. Stay tuned as we are bound to have more of the goodies from around the world pop up for your enjoyment in the near future.
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