If you view the art of overclocking as a necessary step in the PC building process, then Gigabyte's new X58A-OC motherboard might be just the slab of silicon you've been waiting for. Gigabyte's pitching it as the "world's first overclocking motherboard," a bit of stretch when you think back to boards that have come before it, particularly in DFI's heyday, though we're more apt to believe the X58A-OC was "designed from the ground up for extreme overclockers." There are some neat features here, some of which we've never seen on a motherboard before.
Newbs will never know what the Leaf Blower was, but it was unofficially Nvidia’s major stinker of a GPU: the GeForce FX 5800 Ultra. The card was unique not just for disappointing performance against its contemporaries, it was also loud in 3D mode. Several staff members ran the FX 5800 Ultra as a way proof that they weren’t just goofing off all the time. That’s because firing up 3D on the Ultra spun the fan to high RPM levels and immediately everyone within 15 feet know that you were playing a game instead of working.
There’s good news and bad news for Intel lovers. The bad news is for folks who just bought a motherboard using the LGA1156 socket: Yup, it’s obsolete already. The good news: The LGA1155 motherboards using Intel’s performance P67 chipset are swimming with improvements such as native SATA 6Gb/s support, front-panel USB 3.0 headers, and UEFI. The biggest change, of course, is support for Intel’s new line of Sandy Bridge CPUs. These second-generation Core ix processors are not only fast, they’re cheap and overclock like hell. To find a suitable home for your new Sandy Bridge chip, we gathered up boards from old foes MSI and Asus to see whose next-gen motherboard deserves the honor.
Hit the jump for the reviews and an exclusive video look at all the boards!
At this point, you're well aware of the "design flaw" affecting Intel's 6-series chipsets for Sandy Bridge. And if you've been keeping up with our related FAQ, you know that SATA ports 0/1 are unaffected by the bug. On Gigabyte boards, these are the two white SATA ports, which are both SATA 3.0. One way to figure out your SATA configuration is to tear off the side panel and take a peek inside, or you can download Gigabyte's new 6 Series SATA Check utility.
If there’s one thing we know about Gigabyte, it’s that the mobo maker loves USB 3.0. We mean, it loves USB 3.0. How much? The company has been pushing USB 3.0 as its number one feature for a while now, and this tact has apparently worked. The company claims that it’s the No. 1 USB 3.0 motherboard company, whatever that means.
The tablets just keep on flying at us from the show room at CES, though this particular entry from Gigabyte has a few features that definitely warrant mention. At first glance, the T1125 looks a lot like an all in one computer--it can be jacked into a bezel and used like a computer. The T1125 also has significantly more power than your typical tablet, offering the options of either a Core i3 or i5 processor, which will run in conjunction with a discreet graphics chip. The 1366x768 resolution definitely caught our eye as well, and so did the dock itself, which has a tiny removable optical drive and USB 3.0 connectivity. Check it out below!
Wrapping up our final day at CES 2011 (which has already been tablet cuh-razy), Senior Editor Gordon Mah Ung takes a quick video look at Gigabyte's foray into the tablet realm. The S1080 is running a full build of Windows 7, powered by an Intel Atom N550. The capacitive, backlit LED screen cranks to a 1024x600 resolution, and the device features USB 3.0 slots on the rear end. Pretty exciting if you ask us.
Senior Editor Gordon Ung stopped by Gigabyte's booth at CES to check out the company's new G1 line of gaming motherboards. In the video, we take a look at the G1 Assassin, which sports top-notch audio and networkings hardware, as well as a rather unique FPS-inspired aesthetic. Check it out!
Gigabyte today introduced its first AMD fusion board -- the GA-350N-USB3 -- which also happens to be the mobo maker's first ever mini-ITX board for the AMD platform.
"We’re excited about the GA-E350N-USB3 motherboard because it’s the first all-in-one Mini-ITX board with DX11 capabilities, and we expect it to go a long way towards bridging the gap between discrete and integrated graphics performance," commented Tim Handley, Deputy Director of Motherboard Marketing at Gigabyte Technology Co. Ltd. "With its specially designed low profile fansink and multitude of hi-def, high-speed connectors, we expect this little power house to be popular amongst HTPC system integrators, DIY enthusiasts and case modders."
Gigabyte's mini-ITX board sports some big features, such as USB 3.0, SATA 6Gbps, HDMI, dual-BIOS chips, and triple the amount of USB power to enable quick charging of Apple handheld devices (iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch).
The board comes with an AMD E-350 dual-core chip and AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics, a combo Gigabyte says is sufficient to playback Blu-ray content.
We like Gigabyte's boards, we're just not real keen on the pastel color scheme that has dominated the company's product lineup in recent memory. That's about to change.
In anticipation of the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Gigabyte offered up a sneak peak of its new G1-Killer gaming boards, at least one of which will be built around Intel's LGA1366 platform. Gone are all those pastel colors, replaced by an aggressive aesthetic capped off with a heatsink that looks like an ammo clip.
It's a little gimmicky, but depending on how the rest of the board looks, this could add some much needed flair to Gigabyte's enthusiast lineup.
Look for the G1-Killer series to ship in early 2011 starting at $300.