Packaging and Software
The Gigabyte GA-G1975X comes with a huge amount of parts inside the box to allow you to make full use of all the features on the motherboard. There are a total of five I/O brackets included as a compromise for the TurboJet cooling scheme. The five brackets are:
- 4-pin Firewire, 8-pin Firewire, and two USB 2.0
- 2-port USB 2.0 bracket
- 2-port USB 2.0 bracket (yes another one)
- 2-port SATA with 4-pin molex power
- Audio bracket (surround, rear, and sub/center jacks, coax and optical output)
The GA-G1975X includes 5 expansion brackets…
I hope your case has enough expansion slots!
This poses a problem for many consumers as it’s difficult to use all of these brackets since a typical case has 6 or 7 expansion slots, with at least one taken by a video card. Even if you are able to use all the brackets, wiring them will be very tricky since each bracket has its own cables to be routed inside your case. You can imagine how difficult it may be to wrie everything after you factor in the cramped quarters of an ATX case, installed hardware, and the existing wiring.
I would have liked to have seen Gigabyte condense this a bit by bundling a single 4-port USB 2.0 bracket, or even get rid of one of the TurboJet fans so that users can take advantage of more features out of the box without having to install extra brackets. However, most enthusiasts will adapt.
For cables there are:
- 2x ATA133 ribbon cables
- 1x floppy cable
- 6x SATA cables
- 2x SATA-Molex “Y” power splitter
- 1x 3-way power cable (provides two 4-pin molex and one SATA power from a single 4-pin connection)
The 3-way power cable is to be used with the 2-port SATA bracket. As you can see in the above pictures, the SATA bracket has 2 SATA ports, but only one 4-pin molex power connection. The 3-way cable is to be connected to that so you can connect your drives.
Interestingly, there is also a SLI bridge included even though the GA-G1975X does not officially support SLI… yet. While NVIDIA has been slow at awarding SLI licenses, Gigabyte is hoping that in the future you will be able to use SLI on their motherboard.
Along with the SLI bridge, there is an SLI retention bracket to hold it in place.
Software is something that sets the GA-G1975X apart from the competition.
A bundled DTS Connect CD features samples from games and movies that use DTS technology. You can watch clips from The Lord of the Rings, Lilo & Stitch, and the Blue Man Group in full DTS beauty. Of course all of this is playable on the GA-G1975X since it supports DTS output using the Sound Blaster Live! 24 audio controller.
Not pictured: Sound Blaster demo CD.
There is also a CD that includes CyberLink software (PowerDVD, PowerProducer, and Power2Go), and a copy of Norton Internet Security that comes with a 90 day update subcription.
To show off the capabilities of your SoundBlaster Live! audio, there is a “Sound Best on SoundBlaster” demo disk. It’s a bit disappointing that this disk does not actually have any playable games on it, instead is just a Macromedia presentation that tells you about the features of a Sound Blaster card and showcases the different games that use Creative Labs’ technology.
The driver disk contains…
- Hardware drivers (Intel chipset, Sound Blaster Live, etc.)
- Yahoo Internet toolbar
- Acrobat Reader
- Norton Internet Security with a 90 day trial
- GigaRAID RAID array management tool
- Broadcom LAN software for diagnosing and reporting network performance
- Gigabyte C.O.M. (or “Corporate Online Manager”) – a web-based Gigabyte hardware monitoring tool
- EasyTune 5 – Gigabyte’s overclocking utlity for Windows. More about this software later.
- DMI viewer
- Face-Wizard – BIOS screen customization
- @BIOS – Windows based BIOS flashing
The nice thing about the driver disc is that it detects what you have already installed on your system and it will indicate which software parts you still need to install.
The EasyTune 5 software works well, but has some quirks.