Gigabyte's packed high-end Conroe motherboard
The last stop of the day was the Gigabyte booth in Hall 2 where we got a chance to have a close up look at a final shipping version of their new 965P-DQ6 motherboard based on the codenamed Broadwater 965P Express chipset for Intel Core 2 and Core 2 Extreme processors.
DQ6 is a new series of motherboards from Gigabyte offering a LOT of different features all packed onto a single motherboard, most of them coming in groups of four, hence the "QUAD" marketing scheme. Where we do start? For starters, it included 12 phase power which will assist you a great deal when it comes to CPU overclocking. The cooling design called "Silent-Pipe Technology" is complete silent with an attractive copper heat pipe design. You'll get 8 channel audio with HD support including real Dolby and DTS output through the onboard digital coaxial and optical out ports.
Interestingly, Gigabyte claim this motherboard is ready for Quad Core processors from Intel although we haven't heard much about that yet but if Gigabyte know something about it, Intel couldn't be too far off launching - having said that, it probably won't be till late in 2007 when that happens. Presumably a simple BIOS update will provide support for future Quad Core CPU's from Intel. We'll keep our eyes open during the rest of the show at Computex in case we hear something.
Today was also our first chance to have a hands-on play with e.SATA 2 (external SATA) and this motherboard allows you to use a total of four SATA drives (with support for Serial ATA 3GB/s) outside of your case with full hot-plug support.
Back on the subject of cooling, Gigabyte are clearing trying to create the 965P-DQ6 as being one of the best for overclockers and gamers. Included is a feature called "CRAZY COOL" which employs the use of a special copper cooler on the back of the motherboard under the CPU socket area. This aids in keeping more parts of the motherboard cool which will assist in overclocking and the life of the board, especially when you are putting it under more stress when overclocking - Gigabyte have got you covered. And on the subject of durability, Gigabyte also made it quite clear to us several times that this board (and we think others also) are using a new type of all-solid state and more expensive capacitors to aid in the extended life of your motherboard.
I clearly remember just a few years ago when people laughed at the thought of using a Gigabyte motherboard - anyone laughing now? We don't think so. So, clearly Gigabyte's marketing worked has on us but we believe it will be a good product but we'll wait for our final conclusion when we get it into our labs shortly.
MORE TOMORROW FROM DAY 2 AT COMPUTEX...