First look: X299-motherboards from Gigabyte
Gigabyte sent us the X299 Aorus Gaming 3, Gaming 7 and Gaming 9. While the Gaming 3 is fairly modest with a maximum of 3-way SLI, a single USB 3.1-controller and a single network port, the Gaming 9 truly is an RGB-festival with an overload of lighting, a high-end audio chip, network controllers from both Intel as well as Killer and a Killer-wifichip. There are also no less than three M.2-slots on the Gaming 9. While Gigabyte does not offer U.2 on-board, they do supply an M.2-to-U.2-adapter with the Gaming 9.
We do not find more than two USB 3.1-controllers on the Gaming 9, but a Realtek-hub is used in order to offer a total of four USB 3.1 Type-A-connectors, a Type-C-connector and an internal header. Every Gigabyte board also offers the characteristic Dual-BIOS-support, meaning you can always revert back to safe settings.
The Gaming 7 looks more like the Gaming 9 than the Gaming 3. The only clear missing part is the illuminated I/O-shield, which is already on the motherboard with the Gaming 9. In terms of functionality (3x M.2, 5x USB 3.1, Killer and Intel LAN) you do not lose all that much, but there are clearly missing accessories here. Of course we will find out the exact differences in extensive reviews in the near future.