The Motherboard - Continued
Looking at the PCI-E slots available, we've got four x16 ones. The top one is a full x16 and if you run three video cards the other two blue slots will run at x8. We know that it really makes very little difference when moving from x16 to x8, so it's not something you should be worried about.
The final grey slot runs only at x4 and while we do have four PCI-E x16 slots, you can only run a maximum of three double-slot video cards, as the bottom most blue one and grey one have no space in between them. Apart from all the PCI-E slots, we've also got a single PCI slot.
If you want to run two dual slot cards you can run them in PCIE1 and PCIE2 and have something running in the PCIE4 slot; maybe a wireless card or something similar. If you want to use the PCI slot you can run your two cards in PCIE1 and PCIE3 otherwise.
Just behind the standard connectivity ports you can see our 8-Pin power connector. It might look a little tight, but we didn't have any problems getting our AX1200 PSU plug in.
Of course, being an X58 based board, we've got six RAM slots which give us support for triple channel. Here we can also see our ATX power connector and next to that another fan header.
We've got our socket area which is pretty clean with a fan header not sitting far away. We can see the heatsink Sapphire has got going on which is passive and uses a heat pipe to connect the two pieces. At first we thought it may cause some issues for our DH14 Noctua cooler, as the heatsink looks quite large, but fortunately we didn't have a single issue.
Connectivity is strong with two USB 2.0 ports and a Keyboard / Mouse PS/2 port on the left. Moving over, we've got a COAXIAL and Optical S/PDIF-out port, we've then got two more USB ports and an e-SATA one and Bluetooth 2.1 connection. Continuing across, we've got two more sets of USB 2.0 ports and a FireWire one. Network is provided by a 10/100/1000 port and below that we've got another two USB ports, but in this case they're blue USB 3.0 ones powered by the NEC uPD720200F1 chip. On the very end we've got our standard auxiliary audio ports.
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