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GIGABYTE 970-Gaming SLI (AMD 970) Motherboard Review (Page 2)

Steven Bassiri | Jul 21, 2016 at 11:40 am CDT - 2 mins, 36 secs reading time for this page
Rating: 90%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Packaging and Overview

GIGABYTE 970-Gaming SLI (AMD 970) Motherboard Review 03 | TweakTown.comGIGABYTE 970-Gaming SLI (AMD 970) Motherboard Review 04 | TweakTown.com

The 970-Gaming SLI's box informs us that it's indeed part of GIGABYTE's G1 gaming lineup. If the frequency of the word "Gaming" didn't tip you off, this motherboard is for gaming. Packaging is decent; the motherboard is in an anti-static bag and sits inside a cardboard cutout designed to provide a little extra protection from the elements.

GIGABYTE 970-Gaming SLI (AMD 970) Motherboard Review 05 | TweakTown.com

Accessories include an IO shield, 4x SATA6Gb/s cables, SLI bridge, G-Connector, case badge, door hanger, driver disc, and manual.

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The 970-Gaming SLI has four fan headers. The CPU fan header circled in blue is a PWM mode header, the header circled in orange is a 4-pin voltage mode header, and the two headers circled in green are 3-pin 12v headers with no control mode. The motherboard's PCB has a black and red color theme to match that of the slots and heat sinks. The motherboard looks better in person than in the pictures, and it looks much nicer than its price would lead you to believe. The audio and SATA areas have translucent PCB divides that are illuminated by red LEDs. The back of the motherboard is bare except for the LEDs and two drivers for the VRM.

GIGABYTE 970-Gaming SLI (AMD 970) Motherboard Review 08 | TweakTown.com

The IO panel on the 970-Gaming SLI features two USB 2.0 DAC-UP ports (yellow), PS/2 keyboard/mouse, four USB 2.0 (black), two USB 3.1 (red), two USB 3.0 (blue), 1Gbit LAN, and 7.1 audio with TOSLINK.

GIGABYTE 970-Gaming SLI (AMD 970) Motherboard Review 09 | TweakTown.com

The 970 Northbridge provides up to 22 PCI-E 2.0 lanes, but only 16 of those can be used for graphics cards. There are two full sized 16x slots reinforced with GIGABYTE's single piece metal slot reinforcement to prevent heavy GPUs from damaging the slot. The motherboard supports 2-way CrossFireX and SLI. The layout is very simple; a single card in the top slot will operate at x16 and the second slot at x0, if both slots are occupied they each will run at x8. There are two PCI-E x1 slots connected to the Northbridge. Two PCI slots are also present and connected to the Southbridge.

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According to GIGABYTE, the M.2 slot gets x4 PCI-E 2.0 from the Southbridge. The M.2 slot provides up to 20Gb/s which is roughly 2-2.5GB/s of bandwidth for an M.2 SSD. The Southbridge also provides six SATA6Gb/s ports. SATA port 5 will be disabled if you install a SATA-based M.2 SSD.

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The front panel connectors are color-coded, so it's easier to see where to plug in jumpers inside a dark case. The motherboard also has a single USB 3.0 internal header. There is a two pin header labeled LED_DEMO, if you supply it with 5v it will illuminate the LEDs even if the motherboard is off. Three USB 2.0 internal headers are located in this bottom row. I also found a COM port and TPM port to the right of the HD audio header.

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The VRM and Southbridge heat sinks use screws while the Northbridge heat sink uses push pins. Contact seems to be quite good on all heat sinks.

Last updated: Nov 15, 2019 at 01:16 pm CST

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Steven Bassiri

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Steven Bassiri

Steven went from a fledgling forum reader in 2003 to one of the internet's brightest tech stars by 2010. Armed with an information systems degree, a deep understanding of circuitry, and a passion for tech, Steven (handle Sin0822) enjoys sharing his deep knowledge with others. Steven details products down to the component level to highlight seldom explained, and often misunderstood architectures. Steven is also a highly decorated overclocker with several world records.

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