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Zooming in shows the diagnostic panels, the system battery, the pair of DDR3 DIMMs (complete with LEDs) and the power and reset switches that Intel has mounted on the board. This makes benchtesting much easier — helping you to test over-clocking before full installation, should that prove necessary. Just above the battery, you can also see the cable plugged into the front fan header, while over on the left is a corner of the heatsink and fan assembly.
Lower down the board, below the graphics card whose fan and heatsink assemble occupy the top half of this image, are seven green LEDs mounted directly on the board. As you can see from the logos, they provide POST diagnostics (from right to left): CPU, memory, video, optional ROM, USB, hard disk and OS start. If any of these devices fails, the LED glows red and a beep sequence lets you know what the problem is. Also in this shot are, on the right, the front panel indicator headers (as fiddly as they always are) and on the left, unused auxiliary fan and S/PDIF headers.
The final shot shows the motherboard's fun stuff: the skull, which sits just to the right of the graphics card, is LED-illuminated. The red LEDs only light up on hard disk activity — we ran chkdsk continuously in a batch file to grab this image — and it's a setting you can even turn off in the BIOS, just in case you don't want them lighting up. To the left of the skull is the BIOS reset jumper, which allows you to recover to default settings in the event of an overclock that locks up the machine.
How much did it all cost? Here's the bill of materials:
Item Price (ex. VAT) Supplier Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz processor £259.59 Intel Intel Desktop Board DP67BG £138.46 Intel Intel X25-M SATA II 2.5in. solid-state drive £124.35 Intel Fractal Design Define R3, Silver Arrow (no PSU) £76.59 Quietpc.com Scythe Stronger 600W Ultra-Quiet Plug-in PSU £76.59 Quietpc.com Noctua NH-C14 Top-Flow Flexible CPU Cooler £57.86 Quietpc.com 2x 4GB Ballistix Tracer 240-pin DIMM £53.99 Crucial Technologies Sweex nVidia 9600GT graphics card £45.19 UKDVDR Total £832.62