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. The one caveat was with using a video card in the primary PCIe slot. The video card fits without issue as long as there was not an overly large backplate on it. The card would need to be seated in the secondary slot if the back side of the PCB contains 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 design adheres to the Intel design spec. The fit between the front fan and the front memory modules could be tight, depending on the fan seat height and memory module heat sink height.
Noctua SecuFirm2™ mounting system
Noctua's SecuFirm2™ 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 an install disk containing all drivers necessary to get the board up and running. Also included are an Ultra Durable-branded and Gaming Series-branded metallic case badges.
The rear panel shield is a chrome colored with red text and icons for easy reading and identification of the rear panel ports. The unit also contained embedded LEDS along the top of the face, illuminating the rear panel shield with the board actively powered. The port text on the rear panel shield reacts to the LED glow, making for even easier port identification. The power cable for the rear panel shield LEDs is a 2-pin connector that plugs into the LED power port to the lower left of the rear panel of the motherboard.
GIGABYTE included a total of six 6Gb/s rated SATA cables for use with the integrated port. The cables are sheathed with a dense black plastic sleeving and have integrated port locks with a mix of straight and 90 degree port connectors.
For multi-GPU use, GIGABYTE includes two-way, three-way, extended 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.
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.