Package and Contents
GIGABYTE's usual colour scheme for its boxes remains the same. The background is primarily white with blue and orange writing along with some fancy artwork. The chipset label and the supported hardware logos are all displayed on the front. In all, quite attractive.
On the back of the box GIGABYTE has gone to quite a bit of trouble with some marketing info on the boards features such as DES2, SMART6 and the 2 ounce copper PCB that is layered in between the PCB layers for better cooling and EMI shielding. A big bonus here is the inclusion of a colour photo of the board on the back along with box out explanations of the features the board supports.
Opening up and delving inside, we get to see what documentation of software is included. GIGABYTE includes two user manuals. The first manual is your standard motherboard user manual which explains the hardware and software overviews, location and setup of the major hardware components, BIOS setup and details setup, installation and using the included software supplied.
The second user manual is for the new SMART6 feature set that the board supports which is quite impressive. We saw a demonstration of this at Computex 2009 and were quite pleased with the features as well as the way it is stored. We covered SMART6 in our Computex 2009 coverage if you want to have a look at what these features are.
The included software DVD contains drivers and software for XP, Vista and now Windows 7 since it's officially on the market. It's great to see Windows 7 getting this early support.
moving along to the accessories included, GIGABYTE has given us a rather good accessory bundle. There are four SATA data cables for connecting up your SATA-II HDD and ATAPI devices, along with a single IDE cable to connect IDE HDD's and ATAPI devices. If you're planning to go for an SLI setup, GIGABYTE gives you a single SLI bridge cable.
While this board contains eSATA ports on the rear I/O ports, GIGABYTE decided to give us even more. There's a PCI cover bracket with two eSATA ports which have SATA cables to connect to two of the 10 internal SATA ports to give extra eSATA ports.
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