Latest Gigabyte Motherboards at Computex 2014
Chris Hadley / 3 years ago
As we continue round the halls and suites at this years Computex, it has only been a matter of time before we catch up with Gigabyte on one of their many stands. Looking through the massive array of products that are on show, the top end motherboards have always grabbed our attention and this year is by no means any exception.
The first motherboard that we come across is the top of the line Z97X-UD7 TH. Like previous generation boards, TH stands for Thunderbolt and on the back of the board we find two Thunderbolt ports alongside six USB3.0 ports, a spread of display outputs and Gigabit LAN. Inside the chassis users will have access to the latest SATA Express interface, three PCIe x16 lanes, three x1 lanes, Ultra Durable components, Realtek Audio and support for both 4th and 5th Generation Intel processors.
For the mainstream gamer, Gigabyte have recently refreshed their gaming orientated motherboards with the move to a red and black colour scheme (as everyone seems to be doing these days) and with Gigabyte’s Z97X-Gaming series of boards, we are not short of goodies.
Both the G1 and the GT boards follow a similar layout with the Gigabyte ‘Eye’ on the chipset cooler, support for 4 way SLI and CrossFire configurations and not forgetting both 4th and 5th generation Haswell processors. To give the gamers edge to both of these boards we find KillerLAN E2200 controllers on offer as well as OP-AMP audio – the G1 offering the better deal with a slightly higher spec to the caps and audio decoder.
Further along the motherboard line up we find a new series of boards that are soon to be available on the enthusiast market. Finished off with the ‘Black Edition’ tag line, these boards are for the out-and-out enthusiast who wants nothing but pure performance out of their system. Featuring SATA Express and M.2 SSD interfaces, the Black Edition boards combine many of the features from both the ranges above, including KillerLAN and Op-AMP audio, as well as carefully selected and binned components that are more capable of delivering the power to an overclocked and very hungry CPU. Estimated to be more expensive than both of the ranges detailed above, the Black Edition boards are Gigabyte’s answer to the black edition motherboards that we’ve seen from the likes of Asus.
The last set of boards that we come to are above all else in a league of their own – especially when it comes to performance. Dressed in Gigabyte’s black and orange overclocking outfit, these boards are what legendary overclockers such as HiCookie and Dinos22 use when they’re pushing processors, graphics cards and memory to the absolute limits.
In between the two boards that are on display (Z97X-SOC and Z97X-SOC Force for reference) is a smaller board with a plastic orange shroud over it and a massive fan. To the untrained eye this board has no meaning or use, but for the professionals like HiCookie (pictured below), this board, known as the G-Powerboard, delivers 24 phases and up to 750W of power directly to a modified graphics card, giving them the power they need to run at much higher clock speeds when under LN2, compared to the standard power delivery system that is found on a run-of-the-mill GPU. For extreme overclockers, the G-Powerboard is quite simply a must-have bit of kit.
Just incase a set of overclocking motherboards and the G-Powerboard wasn’t enough we find one more board on display that for the general consumer is virtually useless, but for the guys that only run on LN2, this board is a must have. Built very similar to the SOC Force, this LN2 edition board has only 2 DIMM slots and no holes around the CPU socket for mounting a conventional cooling system (hence being rendered useless to Joe-public). By removing the holes, the DIMM slots can be moved closer to the processor, reducing any interference that may cause unstable memory when overclocked – when your only goal is to hit a world record, boards like this is just what you need.