Now we start on the board itself. With reference to the small box, we were right on the form factor. Unless the box is like a TARDIS there are no surprises on the board size.
GIGABYTE uses its familiar blue PCB. The layout is extremely clean, even for a Micro ATX board. The 24-pin power connector, FDD and IDE connector are all located behind the four DDR2 memory slots. That's right; this board makes use of DDR2. The 4/8 pin power connector is located at the top left, behind the USB/PS/2 combo port.
The board's power regulation system is a 5 phase voltage system for the CPU using all solid state components. There are no heatsinks or heatpipes to cool the Mosfets, however, the 785G Northbridge and SB750 are both passively cooled.
The new AMD 785G chipset boasts the same features as the 790GX with one major upgrade; that's a new IGP capable of DX10.1 graphics. Included from the 790GX brother is support for Sideband memory which puts a 512MB DDR3 memory chip clocked at 400MHz on the board as cache memory for the IGP. However, you can also use system memory for extra capacity, though it is slower to access.
On the right hand edge of the board GIGABYTE places five of the six SATA ports. The sixth SATA port is routed to the rear I/O panel for convenient eSATA port use.
Moving to the rear I/O, we get to see what GIGABYTE has in store for this board. In all, a very good setup. There are a total of three video output slots; a CRT D-SUB, DVI-I and HDMI outputs. Digital audio is handled through a Toslink S/PDIF port and a single eSATA port is included for high speed mass storage connections.
Lastly on the board front we have the expansion slots. There is a single PCIe x16 slot for a discrete GPU if you don't want to use the onboard graphics. Or if you want to combine a discrete ATI graphics card with the onboard graphics to help bolster performance, you can also do this. A single PCIe x1 slot and two PCI legacy slots make up the rest of the expansion possibilities of this board.
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