The Motherboard - Continued
When it comes to looking at the expansion setup available, we've got four PCI-E x16 slots and two PCI slots. While all the PCI-E slots are x16 in physical form, the only one to run at full speed is the top one. The two below that run at x8 and the very bottom one which is colored grey is wired as a x4 slot.
Sapphire don't actually include "SLI" support which doesn't come as too much of a surprise being an AMD partner, but the inclusion of the Lucid Hydra Technology means that SLI is available, along with combining AMD and NVIDIA cards if you wanted.
Personally I'm not a big fan of the Lucid tech; it's another driver that needs to be installed and mixing and matching NVIDIA and AMD cards just doesn't seem like that great of an idea. I can understand why someone would want to run their new HD 6870 with their older HD 5870, but I'm still not set on it being the best option.
Moving to the top half of the board, we've got our 8-Pin power connector behind the I/O ports. Getting to them isn't too bad, but those with slightly chubbier fingers might run into a little problem when pulling the connector out. It's not too bad, though, and we've indeed seen worse.
Around the CPU socket is pretty clean and you're not really going to be seeing anything new here. Next to that we have our 24-Pin power connector at the back of the board and four DDR3 slots that support up to 16GB of 2133MHz memory.
Having a look at the connectivity side of things, we've got a PS/2 KB/MS combo port, eight USB 2.0, two USB 3.0 in blue, 1394a, S/PDIF coaxial out, audio jacks and Bluetooth 2.1 support via Atheros AR3011. Overall, there's nothing too out of the ordinary with the Bluetooth connectivity being something we're beginning to see more and more of lately.
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