CPU Cooler Fit and Included Accessories
CPU Cooler Fit
To test the amount of space surrounding the CPU socket, we mounted the Noctua NH-D14 cooler to the CPU socket. This behemoth CPU air cooler sports a dual fan construction and two huge vertical cooling towers.
When running the unit oriented to blow air towards the rear panel, there is sufficient room on all side of the socket to accommodate the cooler as well as a PCIe video card seated in the primary PCI-Express x16 slot.
From the side views, you can see that GIGABYTE designed the CPU socket area to accommodate even the larger CPU coolers. There is no clearance issues between the cooler's heat pipes and the CPU VRM cooler. Additionally, all four memory slots remain usable.
The Noctua hold down mechanism is large enough to quickly determine exactly how much space is available around the CPU socket. The mount fits without issue in its allocated space.
Because of the lack of components or power circuitry directly behind the socket area, the backplate poses no risk to the board. The backplate itself rests securely on top of the CPU socket backplate.
GIGABYTE includes in everything you need to get the board up and running with accessories for supporting the board's more esoteric features.
GIGABYTE includes a comprehensive manual with the board, an install disc containing all necessary drivers and utilities, as well as an Ultra Durable-branded case badge. The motherboard manual contained information on all aspects of the motherboard, including details on the integrated components and BIOS.
The rear panel shield features a flat black base with port identifying text and icons in white, making them easily identified and read.
GIGABYTE included a total of four 6Gb/s rated SATA cables for use with the integrated ports. The cables have integrated port locks with a mix of straight and 90 degree connectors.
For multi-GPU use, GIGABYTE includes both two-way NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFire cables.
The included voltage measurment cables plug into the voltage measurement headers below the DIMM slots for measuring board voltages directly from the traces. Instead of having to place multi-meter leads directly on to board measurement points, you attach the leads to the provided extension cables.
GIGABYTE includes their OC Brace for extra support when using multiple video cards on a test bench or open-air type system. The brace screws directly into the board surface offering additional support to the cards for better seating and PCI-Express slot contact. The cards screw directly into the brace similar in nature to the slot brackets in a normal PC enclosure. Gigabyte includes screws for attaching the bracket to the motherboard as well as thumbscrews for securing the cards to the bracket.