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IDF 2013 - Today at IDF 2013, GIGABYTE invited us over to their booth to talk about some of their new high-end motherboards that they are unveiling at the show. Up first is a new Z87 motherboard that features two Thunderbolt ports and a red and black color scheme.
GIGABYTE Marketing Director Colin Brix went on to show us another Z87 motherboard featuring Intel's Thunderbolt technology. Finally we were given a preview of a Sniper motherboard that will support Ivy Bridge E.
Early this morning GIGABYTE unveiled the latest addition to its 8 series motherboards. The GIGABYTE H81.AMP-UP supports the latest 4th generation Intel Core processors and is aimed at appeasing audiophiles who enjoy the ability to tune the audio output to fit their personal taste.
The motherboard features and upgradable operational amplifier (OP-Amp), A small chip that users can replace with varying models. This is something that GIGABYTE says has never been seen before on a mainstream platform motherboard. The board's audio circuit is designed around GIGABYTE's exclusive USB DAC-UP circuitry which is said to provide a noise-less USB power to the digital two-to analog converters, and slide switches to boost overall game levels. Additionally high-end Nichicon capacitors are used to help smooth out the audio signals.
"The GIGABYTE H81.AMP-UP is like no other motherboard currently available, addressing the important market of audio enthusiasts that don't necessarily require high-end PC gaming features," commented Henry Kao, Vice President of GIGABYTE Motherboard Business Unit. "Delivering a potent combination of our exclusive audio technologies, and backed by our signature Ultra Durable design philosophy, the GIGABYTE H81.AMP-UP has certainly upped the ante in terms of must have features for mainstream H81 motherboards."
The board also features 2 DIMM slots, 4 SATA connectors, 4 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out, and a single PCIe x16 connector. Overall the board is pretty plain featuring a black on black color scheme with the gold plated audio circuitry being the main focus. Pricing and availability details were not provided but we expect it will go on sale sometime this coming month.
Today, GIGABYTE announced its first socket LGA 1150 motherboards that are designed around Intel's new H81 chipset for entry-level builds. To kick things off, the company announced three different H81-based mainboards--H81M-DS2, H81M-D2V, and H81M-D3V--which are all based on the micro-ATX PCB standard that measures in at 226mm x 170mm.
H81 Express is said to basically be B85 Express sans the SBA and a lower number of SATA 3 ports. Each board is expected to retail in the $50 range, with the H81M-DS2 focusing in on legacy connectivity by featuring a serial port and parallel port to accommodate older systems such as Point-of-Sale Machines. The H81M-DV2 loses the parallel port but retains the serial port and includes modern display connectivity such as VGA and DVI.
The H81M-DV3 shrugs off all legacy connectivity and includes just a DVI and the VGA port for display outputs. A common PS/2 connector is still available, but the serial and parallel ports are gone making it the ideal motherboard replacement for office PCs. All three boards use a common three-phase CPU power design and feature two DDR3 DIMM slots and a single PCIe-x16 slot.
Today, ASUS officially posted a BIOS update for its socket LGA2011 motherboards that ushers in support for Intel's Core i7 Ivy Bridge-E processors. To install the update, users need an old LGA2011 processor, or they can choose to use the ASUS USB BIOS Flashback utility which requires no CPU or RAM to flash the BIOS. Just a 24pin ATX connector.
The P9X79 series, ROG Rampage series, and TUF Sabertooth X79 series are all supported and Ivy Bridge-E support is denoted by the following BIOS Versions:
- P9X79 LE, P9X79, P9X79 Pro, and P9X79 Deluxe - BIOS version number 4301
- ROG Rampage IV Extreme and Rampage IV Gene - BIOS version number 4401
- ROG Rampage IV Formula - BIOS version number 4402
- TUF Sabertooth X79 - BIOS version number 4309
To download your corresponding BIOS update, head over to Source #1 below.
Today, ASUS announced that it will support Intel's new Thunderbolt 2 technology and unveiled the first motherboard to feature the 20Gb/s interconnect. The Z87-Deluxe/Quad is a Z87-based motherboard that is compatible with Intel's fourth-generation Haswell processors. It boasts impressive features, including 10 SATA 3 6GB/s ports, eight USB 3.0 ports, and three PCIe-x16 slots.
"The Z87-Deluxe/Quad has been subjected to a tremendous amount of compatibility, BIOS, as well as video/audio and other tests to verify its quality and design," claimed Joe Hsieh, general manager for ASUS' motherboard division. "Being the world's first certified motherboard for Thunderbolt 2 technology also means setting the standard for all of the upcoming products, which is something that ASUS has always done."
Although the other specifications are cool, Thunderbolt 2 is what really sets this motherboard apart from the rest. The new interconnect standard works by combining two upstream and downstream channels of the original Thunderbolt standard into a pair of bidirectional channels that are both capable of running at 20Gb/s. The motherboard is able to support up to a total of up to 12 Thunderbolt devices, and the motherboard will be capable of supporting 3 4K ultrahigh definition displays from a single system by using the HDMI port with each of the two Thunderbolt 2 ports.
Today, GIGABYTE announced the launch of a new AMD motherboard to their G1-Killer line of high-end gaming motherboards. The new G1 Sniper A88X boasts many of the features we have come to expect from GIGABYTE's legendary green and black premium line of motherboards.
With the ability to support both FM2 Trinity and Richland APUs and the upcoming FM2+ Keveri processors, this new offering is sure to become a hit among the AMD gaming community. Featuring what appears to be two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, 4 DDR3 DIMM slots, and 6 SATA ports, this motherboard has room for even the most expansive gaming systems.
The most impressive feature, however, lies within its audio configuration. Much like the Intel-based Sniper 5, the G1 Sniper A88X features an upgradable operational amplifier (op-Amp) that allows users to custom tailor their audio output to their specific taste. Additionally, all the USB power connectors are gold plated, with all power sources isolated for a truly noise free environment.
Furthermore, the motherboard's audio circuit features electrostatic shielding between all analog audio components, high-quality Nichion solid capacitors, and a Realtek ALC898 audio processor that is shielded by a gold-plated cover.
We all love GIGABYTE motherboards, and it looks like the rest of the world does too. According to DigiTimes, they Taiwanese tech giant are expected to ship 20 million motherboards this year, which is their highest annual level of sales.
In the first three months of the year, GIGABYTE shipped 4.8 million motherboards, which was boosted up to 9.9 million units in the first half of the year according to DigiTimes' sources. The company are expected to ship more than 10 million motherboards before the end of the year, tipping them over the 20 million unit mark for 2013.
Computex Taipei 2013 - Today we ran into a familiar face at the GIGABYTE Expo area. Mr. Brix himself guided us though the some of the new motherboard line up. With the new Haswell platform, GIGABYTE released roughly four new motherboards, many with features designed by Mr. Cookie himself!
The question now is what one do I want to use for testing SSDs for 2013. With overclocking making a comeback for those of us without easy access to LN2, choosing the right board becomes even more important.
Computex Taipei 2013 - ASUS were showing off their TUF motherboards at Computex 2013, with four boards in the range. The first of which is the Mecha TUF, which uses the TUF Sabertooth Z87 motherboard with a striking design that is very robotic.
Moving on, we have the Thermal Universe Finder, which again uses the TUF Sabertooth Z87 motherboard and was designed by Tod's Factory Custom Studio and has loads of gears, rocket exhausts and all sorts of tank-themed goodies. The next board is the MATX Ranger, which uses the TUF Gryphon Z87 motherboard, Gryphon Armor kit and was designed by Lee Han-Sheng and Han-Sheng Environmental Art.
The final board in the range showed off at the show was the Winger Charger, which uses the TUF Gryphon Z87 motherboard with the Armor Kit and was designed by Tod's Factory Custom Studio.
Computex Taipei 2013 - Having found ourselves already impressed with the upcoming ASRock Z87 OC Formula/AC we today got a chance to test one of the features that we really wouldn't get to test ourselves. While not something that we would really make use of as we deal with just standard cooling setups. The new Waterproof by Conformal Coating is a really cool feature that protects the board from moisture when it comes to the most extreme overclocking.
While we were actually at the event today we heard from an overclocker that a couple of boards had died today due to the humidity in the air. When the benchmarking was finished the board was just dripping in water. Thanks to this new feature from ASRock it's really something overclockers won't have to worry about.