GIGABYTE always goes big when it comes to Computex; a gathering focused on computer technology based in their home country of Taiwan. Every year we fly over to the technology-centric island-country to get a firsthand account of the latest and greatest hardware directly from the source.
Computex is where you find unreleased hardware and booth girls. During our Facebook live stream of GIGABYTE's suite, most of our readers liked the model in GIGABYTE's suite a lot, so I made sure to deliver after the video, and here is the picture in case you missed it!
X399 and X299
Many people were shocked to see X399 AMD ThreadRipper motherboards in the flesh, and so was I. On the day GIGABYTE was to display it in their suite, I snuck in and did a Facebook Live overview of the motherboard and took these pictures. X399 is AMD's soon to be released platform, but it is not coming anytime soon, so the real focus of the show was X299, with vendors showing just a single X399 motherboard each.
Taking a look at IO, we see a lot of slots and features. AMD claims Threadripper will have 64 PCI-E lanes from the CPU, we hope that is true, and the number of M.2 slots and PCI-E slots are very high, so hopefully that number will stay true when the products launch. The X399 Gaming 7 features many PCI-E slots and could possibly support 4-way SLI/CrossFireX. The motherboard has updated audio, three M.2 slots, overclocking features, and some really killer aesthetics.
A new feature I have only seen on GIGABYTE motherboards this round is digital RGB headers. These are also found on GIGABYTE's X299 motherboards, and they complement the typical RGBW headers we see on GIGABYTE motherboards. Digital RGB Headers allow the controller to address individual LEDs, so you can do some cool RGB LED tricks, and the effects are actually quite impressive. It is also a three-wire protocol; voltage, data, and ground.
Taking a look at a platform that will launch much sooner than the X399 platform, GIGABYTE's top X299 motherboard is the X399-Gaming 9, which offers a slew of features and aesthetics. Turn off the many RGB LEDs built into the motherboard and you get an almost black motherboard, so those who love RGB LEDs and those who hate them will both be happy. On the Gaming 9, each of the M.2 slots gets a metal heat sink with a thermal pad, and it's easy to use and install as it holds the M.2 screw in place, so you won't lose it.
The Gaming 9 also features the digital RGB LED header, but it offers a special header that supports both 5v and 12v digital RGB LEDs, so GIGABYTE adds a special splitter so you can use either.
The back of the motherboard features a metal bracket that adds weight to the motherboard and should ensure the PCB stays straight. GIGABYTE has even integrated the IO panel into the rear IO, something some users had requested.
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