CES 2012: Gigabyte
Author: Michael O'Neill
Editor: Keith Hamilton
Date: 01-31-2012
Pages:
Gigabyte


Gigabyte has quite a good reputation among PC hardware and gaming enthusiasts. I had the pleasure of seeing some of their solutions in their demo suite at the Venetian. Gigabyte displayed a plethora of graphics cards and motherboards, including a few motherboard engineering samples for Intel's next-generation platform due out in a few months. Samples spanned all budgets, including the GA-B75M-D3H, GA-Z77X-UD3H, GA-Z77X-UD5H, G1.Sniper 3, and G1.Sniper M3. Also shown were a few of the already-released X79-based "Ultra Durable" boards: the GA-X79-UD3 and GA-X79-UD5.


Most of the demos were for motherboards from the Ultra Durable line. Any board with “UD” in the model number signifies it is a part of the Ultra Durable family. If you are not familiar with this, these boards are designed to be more robust and rugged. Having the opportunity to hold a few in my hands, I can attest to this as the boards felt rock solid and well built. Some of the other features from this family include native on-board Killer Nic network adapters as well as a Creative based sound chip complete with capacitors. This brings native hardware accelerated sound directly to the motherboard with no software emulation layer or the need to install a PCIe sound card for hardware accelerated sound.


Gigabyte also introduced a new Radeon HD 7970 graphics card that comes factory overclocked at 1GHz and connects via PCIe 3.0. It's chilled using Gigabyte's Windforce cooling system which supposedly triples airflow and lowers the card's temperature up to 33% over the stock configuration. This is accomplished by tweaking the cooling assembly to reduce turbulence between the fans. The card is currently available for around $600.


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