On Board Peripherals

The Intel X299 chipset is a single-chip solution, which is also known as a PCH (Platform Controller Hub). This chip has eight SATA-600 ports, supporting RAID (0, 1, 10, and 5). The motherboard comes with the eight ports, all of them installed on the motherboard edge and rotated 90°, so the installation of video cards will not block them. Two of the ports are shared with M.2 slots.

Gigabyte X299 AORUS Gaming 7Figure 5: The six SATA-600 ports and the U.2 connector

The Intel X299 chipset supports 14 USB 2.0 ports and ten USB 3.0 ports. The Gigabyte X299 AORUS Gaming 7 offers four USB 2.0 ports, available through two headers located on the motherboard. There are eight USB 3.0 ports, four on the rear panel, and four available through two headers.

There are also six USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, four Type A, one Type C on the rear panel, and one at a header, controlled by an ASMedia ASM 3142 chip.

The Gigabyte X299 AORUS Gaming 7 does not support Thunderbolt or FireWire ports.

This motherboard comes with a high-end audio circuit. It uses a Realtek ALC1220 codec, which offers 7.1 audio with a 120 dBA signal-to-noise ratio at the analog outputs and 108 dBA for the analog inputs. Unfortunately, no more specs for this codec are available. This circuit uses audio-specific capacitors from Nichicon and WIMA, a specific voltage regulator, headphone amplifier, and ESS Sabre 9018 auxiliary DAC. It also supports Creative SoundBlaster 720 software.

The analog audio outputs are independent and use gold-plated connectors. The motherboard also comes with an on-board optical SPDIF output.

Figure 6 shows the audio section of the motherboard.

Gigabyte X299 AORUS Gaming 7Figure 6: Audio section

The motherboard has two Gigabit Ethernet ports, one controlled by an Intel I219V chip, and one controlled by a Rivet Killer E2500 chip, which is a high-end ethernet controller.

There is also an M.2 Killer 1535 IEEE802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter with two antennas, which supports Bluetooth 4.1, shown in Figure 7.

Gigabyte X299 AORUS Gaming 7Figure 7: Wi-Fi adapter

In Figure 8, you can see the motherboard rear panel with two low-noise USB 3.0 ports (yellow,) a shared PS/2 keyboard/mouse connector, two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.1 type C port, four USB 3.1 Gen2 ports (red,) two Gigabit Ethernet ports, Wi-Fi antennas connectors, optical SPDIF output, and the analog audio jacks.

Gigabyte X299 AORUS Gaming 7Figure 8: Motherboard rear panel