To start things off we take a look at the board in general. As you can see, this is definitely not your ordinary motherboard. Gigabyte has put a lot of R&D into this one and it shows that a lot of thought has gone into it. The board uses a full 30x30cm ATX layout to fit all on what is needed for a premium board - anything smaller is simply not going to fit all the goodies.
Gigabyte's choice for connector placement has finally been looked at and sense has come to the production team. The two power connectors are located on the right hand side of the board. The 24 pin primary power is located behind the DIMM sockets along with the FDD connector and the Southbridge driven IDE channel. The 8 pin EPS12v power connector is located on the top of the board above the DIMM sockets. In order to get the required power to the Extreme Edition CPU's you will need to have a high quality ATX power supply with the new EPS12v 8 pin connector.
Originally thought of by ABIT some time ago, the idea of placing a thermal duct system to remove heat from the mosfets to directly expel the heat using fans around the I/O back plane, Gigabyte has moved this one step further with their "Turbojet Technology". There are not one but two external ducts to remove heat. The top duct runs a two fan duct system across the top two phase voltage regulators as well as catching heat expelled from the CPU heatsink and the memory. The bottom duct removes heat from the additional two phases of power regulation, CPU heatsink, Northbridge and memory. This is supposed to aid in overclocking, especially Prescott and Presler CPU's as these generate a lot of heat.
While the CPU area may look cramped, there is plenty of room for large heatsinks. All of Gigabyte's CPU coolers as well as the latest G-Power large format cooler fit on without any problems.
With the two additional fan ducts taking up most of the I/O port space, Gigabyte has gone for a liberal I/O setup. At the back are two PS/2 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit RJ-45 port and three Stereo Audio ports. You can add a Serial port, extra six USB 2.0 ports and two additional audio jacks by way of PCI Riser brackets to make up the extra connections.