Intel’s Raptor Lake CPU refresh is just around the corner, and companies like Gigabyte have begun to unveil upgraded motherboards to coincide with the launch, expected on Sept. 19. Intel and motherboard makers have to convince people to upgrade, and the latter are doing so by including brand new features. In Gigabyte’s case, that includes support for a customizable external display that can be used to monitor every aspect of your PC’s performance.
Gigabyte has announced two boards for Intel’s upcoming 14th Gen CPUs, and both come in white. They are the Z790 AORUS PRO X and the B760M AORUS ELITE X AX, which is a lot of Xs. The company says the color white is a “highly coveted design that has sent waves of excitement through the gaming community,” which seems a bit hyperbolic. The real novelty here, though, is what Gigabyte calls the “Sensor Panel Link,” which allows you to install an external LCD that can be mounted anywhere inside the chassis to display whatever you prefer. That could be system stats, GIFs, your calendar, etc.
The sensor panel link simplifies the process of a DIY external display by providing an embedded connector on the motherboard, simplifying cabling. Credit: Gigabyte
It’s a true DIY project, though, as you’ll need to find an appropriately sized display for your case, figure out where to put it, and then choose which software you want to run on it. The panels usually connect to the system via HDMI and are treated as a secondary display by the operating system. Gigabyte says it can “showcase vital system stats or personalize the screen with animations, calendars, schedules, and more.” The photo (above) shows it monitoring CPU and GPU clocks, temps, network traffic, system uptime, etc. It’s pretty slick and helpful in checking stats while gaming, as you don’t want an intrusive overlay blocking the action.
In addition to the fancy monitor, these new boards also tout some impressive memory speeds, with support for DDR5-8266 “and beyond” when using XMP, according to the company. For example, it says you can boost DDR5-5600 to DDR5-6000 with one click, which is basically how XMP works. Gigabyte has also gone the extra mile when it comes to white builds, as even the external Wi-Fi antenna matches.
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