Expansion Options Galore
Since this platform supports CrossfireX and nVidia SLI, we have the third orange colored PCI Express slot. The orange slot allows you to install a third video card if you want to run three nVidia based graphics cards in SLI. Naturally, the third card will pick up can pick up phsyics when enabled in the video driver. This seemingly passive platform transforms in to a game chewing, frame generating monster. And that’s partially why you want it, right?
Compared to its little brother, the EX58-UD3R, the motherboard offers a total of six memory slots colored white and light blue. When installing your Triple Channel memory modules, you basically want to install a memory module in matching color slots to benefit Triple Channel Mode. The platform supports a maximum 12GB DDR3 Memory with the latest JEDEC standard. That means, the kit’s voltage specs should not exceed 1.65 Volts.
The specs state the board will support memory frequencies up to 2100 MHz. While that’s an utterly insane frequency, it’s very unlikely that the platform will maintain those frequencies with all the memory slots filled. That can only be blamed on the CPU’s memory controller. Typically, overclocking is best achieved in basic Triple Channel Mode. If you need 12GB of memory, stick with good quality 1333 or 1600 MHz memory. Otherwise, snag three healthy Kingston 3GB or 6GB HyperX 2000 MHz Triple Channel Memory Kit and set this kit ablaze!
Looking at the back of the motherboard, you can see there are eight USB 2.0 ports available, not including the onboard USB headers. You have physical audio jacks as well as both optical and coaxial 7.1 Channel High Definition audio ports. Since Firewire isn’t a commonly needed feature, engineers opted to include the two extra 1394 ports as onboard headers that work in conjunction with the included Firewire PCI bracket. The physical one is tucked beside the four main USB ports in the middle.
These aren’t far from the ten horizontal SATA ports which are all completely accessible. The number of ports is intended to offer you some form of eSATA support if you need it. Simply attach the included eSATA PCI bracket when the system is complete and plug them in to anyone one of the white SATA ports. Again, it appears the GIGABYTE team has done a good job of considering your connectivity needs.