- The Package
Gigabyte as usual has an absolutely beautiful looking box which folds out to give the user all the information you would possibly need to know. The front of the box gives you a little bit of information but once opening it up this is where you see everything.
Moving to the inside of the box we have, as usual, quite a big package from Gigabyte. We have three IDE cables and a floppy cable which is plenty for most motherboards. Also included are two Serial ATA cables and your Serial ATA power converters if you're using a SATA hard drive that doesn't support your standard molex connector. Also something cool is the external SATA ports. With the plug and play ability of SATA you can plug a drive in externally, do what you want with it and unplug it without having to open the case or turn your computer off.
The latest DPS (Dual Power Supply) is included to help keep a consistent and stable line of voltage to the motherboard so when overclocking you have a more stable CPU voltage which can help increase stability. Something like this shouldn't really be needed at standard speeds. You have your extra back panels which include sound, USB 2.0 and Firewire and your normal array of manuals and driver CDs.
- The Motherboard
Gigabyte hasn't really done much with the motherboard design compared to their usual offerings. They still have their multitude of colors but it has become a bit boring as they are all extremely similar these days - we have the blue PCB, purple memory slots, green AGP and IDE ports. Gigabyte haven't chosen to include a fansink on the northbridge even thought it might look like they have.
The Serial ATA ports can be found just above the AGP slot and just below the bottom IDE ports - much like the reference nForce3 250 motherboard. They are in quite a tight position which can be hard to work with. We recommend you plug them in before you plug your graphics card in and install your heatsink as then it becomes a little "challenging".
You have two PS2 ports, audio ports, four USB pots and something that not a lot of motherboards have but Gigabyte have chosen, two LAN ports. This is handy for someone who is on a network and also uses a broadband Internet connection but cannot afford a router. While it doesn't offer Firewire, this isn't really a huge deal as it can be found with the bundled PCI plate.
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