I have to say the Z68XP-UD4 is one of the more attractive motherboards that is not part of same “gaming” line of motherboards. The gun metal finish with black and gun metal accents really looks solid. This motherboard will definitely look awesome inside of any case, especially a black or silver one!
Starting up at the CPU socket we can see the large heatsinks that are connected via a heatpipe that cool the VRM’s on the board. This board features a 16 phase power design that will be great for overclocking. As you can see Gigabyte has gone with ferrite chokes here, which have a nice nickel finish on them. Towards the top left side of the board there is a single 8pin CPU power connector and a 3pin fan connector.
Moving over to the DIMM slots there are 4 total, which will support up to 32GB of memory running at 2133MHz. The DIMM slots are up closer to the top of the board to allow room for large video cards making it easier to change out memory once you have everything installed. Above the DIMM slots you will find the 4pin CPU fan connector. Moving all the way to the far right side of the board there is another 3pin fan connector and the 24pin ATX power supply connector.
Moving down the side of the board we will make it to the SATA ports, there are 8 total. The bottom 6 are controlled by the Intel chipset. The black ports are SATA 3GB/s and the two white ports are SATA 6GB/s. The two grey ports are controlled by the Marvell 88SE9172 chipset and are SATA 6GB/s ports. These SATA ports are at a 90 degree angle to make installing cables easy and out of the way. Behind the SATA ports is another gun metal heatsink.
Along the bottom of the board you have all of your front panel connections. Right below the SATA ports there is a 4pin fan connector, then you have your front panel connectors, which are color-coded and labeled. Moving to the left you have the TPM connector, USB 3.0 header, 3 USB 2.0 headers, one of which is the charging header, COM header, fireware header and finally the front panel audio connector. Taking a look at the expansion slots you have 1 PCI-E x16 slot, 1 PCI-E x8 slot, 2 PCI-E x1 slots and 2 PCI slots. When you have the x16 and x8 slots populated with graphics cards they both will run at x8 speed.
Now for the rear panel connectors, starting from left to right you have 2 USB 2.0 ports, PS/2 mouse and keyboard combo port, digital and coaxial audio outputs, firewire, a single USB 2.0 port, USB and eSATA combo port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, eSATA 6GB/s port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet, 2 USB 2.0 ports and 6 audio ports.
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