Moving onto the board, the first thing you'll notice is of course that square shape that's present from the mATX format. From the looks side of things, though, the design is very similar with the heavy black design and slight pieces of silver throughout it.
Moving in closer, we can see our expansion slots; alongside the legacy PCI slot we've got three PCIe x16 slots. The middle one is hard wired to x8, while the two either side of it will run at x16 if you decide to make use of SLI or CrossFire. I would've probably preferred to see a PCIe x1 slot instead of the PCI slots. It's not a huge deal, though, as you can put a PCIe x1 or x4 card in the x16 slots, but you can't put an older legacy PCI card in any, so if you're using an older expansion card, the legacy PCI slot could be appreciated.
Moving across the bottom of the board, we've got our HD Audio header, 1394 Firewire, Com1, Clear CMOS along with a power and reset button next to our LED debug meter. Finally, we finish off with our front port headers to complete the connectors across the bottom of the board.
Turning the corner, you can see we've got six SATA ports on the left with our four black ones being SATA II and our two grey ones being SATA III. All six ports run off the Intel X79 chip. You can see we've got another SATA port in the top right corner; we'll cover that in the next page when we start to move to the top half of the motherboard.
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