Gigabyte’s Skylake-X And Kaby Lake-X Aorus Gaming Motherboards Leak Ahead Of Computex

We are expecting there to be some exciting announcements at Computex next week, one of which might include Intel's next generation X299 platform for Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X, the company's new generation of high-end desktop (HEDT) processors. Whether that actually happens at Computex or not, there is little doubt we are getting close to an official launch, as the first leaked images of X299 motherboards have found their way to the web.

The images all belong to Gigabyte and its Aorus brand for gamers. At the top of the stack is the X299 Aorus Gaming 9 that is decked out in RGB lighting and no less than five reinforced PCI Express x16 slots. Have a look:

X299 Aorus Gaming 9

Also visible are multiple M.2 slots for installing those newfangled solid state drives that are shaped like sticks of gum. These drives can be either SATA 6Gbps based or tap into the PCie bus for faster data reads and writes. Where the latter can be a problem on non-enthusiast platforms is the limited number of PCIe lanes. However, Intel's higher end Core i9 Skylake-X chips are rumored to support 44 PCIe lanes, so users can install multiple graphics cards and PCIe SSDs without crowding things up.

X299 Aorus Gaming 7

Squished in the middle of Gigabyte's X299 Gaming series is the X299 Aorus Gaming 7. It is also blinged out with RGB lighting, though it does not appear as though the rear I/O ports are illuminated like the Gaming 9 board.

This one also sports five reinforced PCIe slots and eight illuminated DIMM slots for DDR4 memory. The main difference looks to be the lack of covered M.2 slots. From our vantage point, it looks as though there multiple M.2 slots on this motherboard as well, but without the cover.

X299 Aorus Gaming 3

The last motherboard in Gigabyte's X299 Gaming series is the X299 Aorus Gaming 3. On this one, RGB lighting is nowhere to be found, though there is some mild illumination on various parts of the motherboard, including one of the heatsinks.

This one has also has five PCIe x16 slots, two of which are reinforced. The point behind reinforcing PCIe slots is to prevent sagging from heavier graphics cards.

We can also spot what look to be multiple M.2 slots on this one, along with eight DDR4 DIMM slots. The rear I/O port selection is not quite as robust, and we suspect there will be some differences in onboard features as well.