Board Layout and Features Continued
Dual channel memory comes standard on the Haswell processor and the Z97X OC Force supports standard speed DDR3 modules up to 1600Mhz with overclocking support beyond 3000Mhz. A maximum of 32GB is addressable however a 64-bit OS is required to use it all.
Internal SATA connections number six and follow the new SATA6 connection standard. Two of the standard SATA6 ports are dedicated to SATA Express which is a new connection standard within the Z97 chipset. You will notice two USB headers near the SATA connections, this is a unique feature found on the OC board and is designed to complement benchtop overclockers.
The majority of us who use LN2 will position the motherboard such that the I/O panel is facing away from us to keep the cables clear. Unfortunately in doing so the available USB ports are no longer easily accessible. Well, at the suggestion of their in-house overclocker Gigabyte added two USB ports along this edge so you can easily boot from a USB drive and/or save scores without digging behind your system.
Despite the overclocking nature of the Z97X OC Force there is still a full featured I/O panel available. If you look beyond the typical location you will find a single combined PS/2 keyboard and mouse plug, four USB 3.0 ports (blue), four USB 2.0 ports (black) a single gigabit Ethernet connection, and 8 channel analog audio with digital connections over optical. Onboard video is handled by 1x DSUB, 1x DVI-D, 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort.