I noticed covers on my msi card for the hdmi, and the slot contacts below. Pretty slick and a good way to protect them and discourage handling in the wrong area. Just like ram, you're not supposed to touch the contact area.
The PCIE X4 slot provides approximately 800MB/s of bandwidth. The purpose of the internal SATA connectors are if you need extra SATA ports (say if you have a lot of SATA HDD's, and need more SATA port connections). It doesn't necessarily speed up transfers. However even 2 HDD's would never fill up that bandwidth (it would be close to around 300MB/s).
Basically only get this if you need USB3/ and or need extra SATA ports. It's actually quite a nice card.