Gigabyte GA-7VT600-L - Page 5

..:: Gigabyte GA-7VT600-L Layout Continued ::..

Moving along to the bottom left edge of the motherboard are more additional features. Beneath the left edge of the fifth PCI slot resides a single BIOS chip since the 7VT600-L does not support Gigabyte's DualBIOS feature. Directly under the BIOS chip lies a group of pins that resembles a USB header, but this connector will allow you to connect an optional modem card. The black group of pins beside the modem connector is what you will use to connect a cable for a Game/MIDI port. The iTE 8705 Super I/O chip sits to the immediate left of the fifth PCI slot. This chip controls the input and output of data communication of certain ports located on the 7VT600-L. Moving up the motherboard, to the left of the fourth PCI slot is where the Realtek 8101L network chip resides, and it can provide up to a 100 Mbps transfer rate. In case you are wondering, the version number can be located in this corner of the 7VT600-L motherboard. A closer look will reveal that this is the retail 1.0 version.

A few more items are located on the 7VT600-L as we make our way up the left side of the motherboard. Between the second and third PCI slots are two groups of pins for use with certain types of audio connections. The black group of pins allows surround sound capabilities and the red group of pins allows for an optional S/PDIF input and output Dolby Digital decoder. The small chip that is located beside the white colored aux_in connector is the Realtek ALC655 audio chip. As you might have guessed, this chip controls the 6-channel audio on our 7VT600-L. To the left of the green AGP slot is the black cd_in connector and another group of pins and jumpers for you to use audio controls in the front of your PC.

Right above the AGP slot on the 7VT600-L is the VIA KT600 northbridge chip. The chip is passively cooled with a gold colored aluminum heatsink with the Gigabyte company logo stamped on it. The heatsink is mounted to the northbridge with a plastic plug for each of the two motherboard holes that surrounds the KT600. It was rather easy to remove the plugs from the underside of the motherboard, but the thermal adhesive pad had a tight grip that prevented me from removing the heatsink without fear of damaging the capacitors surrounding the KT600 chip.

The 7VT600-L motherboard is equipped with a 2-phase power solution. You may be thinking that this is an inadequate attempt to feed all of the power that the motherboard needs, but I found no stability issues when benchmarking.

Our last stop with the design of the 7VT600-L motherboard is the I/O back panel. These are the ports that you will use to connect your external devices to the rear of the computer. The panel consists of two PS/2 ports for a keyboard and mouse, one parallel port, two serial ports, one 10/100 ethernet port, two USB 2.0 ports and three audio ports.