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GIGABYTE 970-Gaming SLI (AMD 970) Motherboard Review

By: Steven Bassiri | Socket AM3/AM3+ in Motherboards | Posted: Jul 21, 2016 4:40 pm
TweakTown Rating: 90%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Circuit Analysis

 

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GIGABYTE has done a great job with the red silkscreen, too bad we only get to see it in full when the heat sinks are removed.

 

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The VRM for the CPU features 8+2 phases for the CPU Core (VDD) and CPU Northbridge (CPU VDDNB) voltage rails. The VRM is controlled by a highly integrated hybrid Intersil ISL6329 which is specifically designed for AMD platforms and will work well with AMD's SVI. In this configuration, the ISL6329 outputs 4+1 phases, which are doubled to 8+2 by doubling the number of components; I call it dual output doubling and it's not the best way of doubling, but it gets the job done. The PWM has two integrated drivers for the first four phases and the CPU Northbridge phase also gets an integrated driver.

 

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Each virtual phase uses one NTMFS4C06N as the low-side MOSFET and one NTMFS4C10N for the high-side MOSFET. Each driver is connected to two of each MOSFET. Since the VRM needs 4+1 drivers and only 2+1 drivers are integrated into the PWM, GIGABYTE had to add two ISL6609 MOSFET drivers for two of the remaining CPU Core phases.

 

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The Northbridge (not to be confused with CPU Northbridge) is powered by a single phase VRM controlled by a Richtek RT8120 single phase PWM with integrated driver. The memory VRM uses a similar setup as the Northbridge, except it uses two low-side MOSFET and a single high-side MOSFET to improve performance.

 

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A Richtek RT8288A is used to provide the DAC-UP feature where steady power is provided to the two yellow USB 2.0 ports. The separate power controller for the two yellow USB ports allows you turn off USB power completely and only transmit data over the USB lines to an external DAC.

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