CPU Cooler Fit & Included Accessories
CPU Cooler Fit
To test the amount of space surrounding the CPU socket, we mounted a Noctua NH-D15 cooler to the CPU socket. Both a overly large CPU air coolers, sporting a dual fan construction and two huge vertical cooling towers.
With the NH-D15 oriented to blow air towards the board's rear panel, the cooler does not come into contact with any of the memory modules or heat sinks surrounding the CPU socket even though it does come close to the VRM heat sink on the right side of the CPU socket. The one caveat was with using a video card in the primary PCIe slot. The video card fit without issue as long as there was not an overly large backplate on it. The card would need tomove to the secondary slot if the back side of the PCB contained large protrusions, however.
The side views illustrate that the memory slot layout is designed to be usable with even the largest CPU coolers, as long as the cooler is designed to adhere to the Intel design spec. The fit between the front fan and the front memory modules could be tight, depending on its seating height.
Noctua SecureFirm2 mounting system
Noctua's SecureFirm2 mounting system is a good method to quickly determine how well the CPU socket laid out to accommodate a larger cooler. The mount easily fits within the constraints of the upper and lower memory modules as well as the heat sinks to the left and right of the CPU socket.
GIGABYTE includes in everything you need to get the board up and running.
GIGABYTE includes a detailed installation guide and user manual, as well as install disks containing all drivers necessary to get the board up and running. Also included are two metallic case badges, one with the Ultra Durable branding and the other with the Gaming series branding.
Unique to this board, GIGABYTE includes an LED-lit rear panel shield. The shield mounts to the case in the normal fashion with a power cable attaching to a board port sitting directly behind the left side of the rear panel ports. When the board is powered, the outside of the rear panel assembly glows blue, making for a nice effect and easy identification of the rear panel ports no matter the lighting conditions. The port text on the rear panel shield reacts to the LED glow, making for even easier port identification.
GIGABYTE included a total of six 6Gb/s rated SATA cables for use with the integrated port. The cables have integrated port locks with a mix of straight and 90 degree port connectors.
For multi-GPU use, GIGABYTE includes two-way, three-way, and four-way NVIDIA SLI cables for board support of up to a quad-SLI configuration, as well as a single two way CrossFire bridge connector.
For use with the integrated WIFI card, GIGABYTE includes a dual-plug antennae. The antenna screws directly into the provided ports integrated into the rear panel and can be swiveled in a 180 degree arc for optimal signal reception.
To provide extra power to the 8-pin ATX12V connect while overclocking the system, GIGABYTE included a 1-to-3 ATX12V power cable. You simple plug the male end into the board and plug three male 8-pin ATX12V-style power connectors from the PSU into the cable's female connectors. Even though GIGABYTE recommends using this cable when attempting to overclock the board, we found that the board overclocking was unaffected without it.