A general purpose Llano powered HTPC

Subject: Systems | October 4, 2011 - 01:48 PM |
Tagged: A8-3800, gigabyte, A75M-UD2H, mATX

When you take an A8-3800 and pair it with a Gigabyte A75M-UD2H you end up with more than just an HTPC.  The flexibility built into the Llano series will give you far more than an Intel Atom or an AMD Neo could ever dream of.  The connectors range from new USB 3.0, DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI-D along with older style D-SUB, serial and parallel ports as well as audio, ensuring this system build will meet the needs of a variety of users.  Visit Missing Remote if you are looking to build an inexpensive AMD based PC.

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"New platforms are particularly interesting to us as home theater PC (HTPC) enthusiasts because it gives us a chance to clearly see how a generation of progress can be transformed into tangible benefits. Not long ago, integrated graphics processors (IGP) were strictly the choice of budget-minded consumers, but the recent relocation of the graphics processing unit (GPU) from the chipset to the processor made it a “first-class” citizen and brought new life to the solution while birthing a new concept – integrated processor graphics (IPG). AMD was not the first to release an IPG, or APU (accelerated processing unit) as they refer to it, but with the introduction of the Brazos/Zacate line earlier this year, a glimpse of Lynx/Llano’s promise became available."

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Systems

 

Silent CrossFire?

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 19, 2011 - 02:00 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, HD6770 Silent Cell, crossfire, hd6770

The GIGABYTE HD6770 Silent Cell is a different take on your normal HD6770, it has no fans but does sport a double wide heatsink.  Sporting all of GIGABYTE's Ultra Durable components you can pick up this card for a hair under $140; or more importantly for [H]ard|OCP's review you can pick up two for about the same price as an HD6950 or a GTX 570 if you can find one on sale.  Their testing showed that at a resolution of 1920x1200 the two HD6770's could hold their own but they quickly fell behind the competition when resolution was raised beyond that point, which would include EyeFinity.  If your case has the space for the coolers and you have an overwhelming urge to play games at a 1080p resolution on a silent machine, then these cards are for you.  Apart from that goal, you are better served with a single higher power GPU.

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"Today we'll find out if two of GIGABYTE's HD6770 Silent Cell cards can match the performance of a Radeon HD 6950. We were impressed with how this no-fan silent configuration CrossFireX setup performed. However, is it worth $280 against the falling prices of the Radeon HD 6950?"

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Graphics Cards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

New Gigabyte Tool Switches SATA Mode In Windows

Subject: Motherboards | August 30, 2011 - 07:17 AM |
Tagged: Utility, p67, motherboard, Intel, gigabyte, bios

According to Tech Power UP, Gigabyte recently released a Windows tool that allows users to change the SATA controller mode without digging into the BIOS. The SATA controller mode relates to how the controller on the motherboard or add-on card communicates with the hard drive or SSD. Users will be able to choose from legacy IDE, AHCI, and RAID modes. From the brightly colored Windows tool, users can change the setting accordingly. The utility will then write the setting to the CMOS and prompt the user to reboot the computer so that the change can take effect.

The tool will work with any Gigabyte motherboards with the Intel H61, H67, P67, or Z68 chipsets. Further, the utility will run on both 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems. It is available to download from here.  The package comes as a zip file containing an executable that does not need to be installed, which is a welcome touch.

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While the Gigabyte Disk Mode Switch tool will make changing the setting easier than digging through the BIOS, it effectively accomplishes the same thing. What this means from a practical standpoint is that the Windows tool for changing the SATA mode suffers from the same issues that changing it in the BIOS does; mainly that the (Windows) operating system does not like such drastic changes and the user may encounter problems with Windows recognizing the drive and/or assigning the proper drivers. This is an issue primarily when changing the SATA mode of the drive that the operating system is installed on. While there are some registry tweaks that promise to help smooth the process, it is generally recommend to ensure the proper SATA mode is set before installing Windows onto the drive. Therefore, this tool’s usefulness is somewhat questionable.

Have you encountered any issues in changing the SATA mode post-install? Is this gigabyte tool useful or just another piece of manufacturer "helpware" that DIYers will never use?

Buy the Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3-iSSD; get a 20GB Intel SSD for free!

Subject: Motherboards | August 24, 2011 - 04:33 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, Z68XP-UD3-iSSD, Intel SRT, intel 311

Gigabyte has been talking about releasing a Z68 board with an integrated Intel 310 series drive since CES and they have finally released it.  The Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3-iSSD ships with a 20GB Intel 311 SSD already installed to let you take advantage of Intel SRT right off the bat.  Power users will be glad to know it is not integral and can be swapped out with a 40GB or 60GB model if you deem it necessary for your continued happiness.  That is just one of the huge list of features on Gigabyte's new board, which only seems to be missing support for 4 way CrossFire or SLI which when you look at the minuscule gains it provides is not a problem at all.  Head over to Legit Reviews to see this $240 monster run.

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"It's not very often that something throws me for a loop, at least not when it comes to motherboards any more. That's exactly what happened when I first heard about the GIGABYTE Z68XP-UD3-iSSD! My first thoughts were that it's a great idea, followed by that boards has to cost a pretty penny! After today's testing, I will stand by my initial though of that's a great idea. What truly blew my mind was the price. As I said above, I thought the GIGABYTE Z68XP-UD3-iSSD was going to cost a pretty penny, somewhere in the $350-$400. Imagine my surprise when I found out that the Z68XP-UD7-iSSD retails for only $239.99! Needless to say I was a bit shocked!"

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Motherboards

Gigabyte's new Z68X-UD3H-B3, the same one being given away at QuakeCon

Subject: Motherboards | August 1, 2011 - 02:20 PM |
Tagged: Z68X-UD3H-B3, gigabyte

One of our planned giveaways at the 2011 PC Perspective Hardware Workshop during QuakeCon is the Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3.  Now if the fact that the board is being given away for free isn't enough to convince you to come, maybe the review at [H]ard|OCP will sway you to come.  It did pick up an Editors Choice and a Silver Award after all.  It has all of the bells and whistles associated with the Z68 chipset, from onboard video out to Intel SRT; as well Gigabyte went for top of the line components and a 7 phase power design.  It wasn't perfect though, the reviewers had minor difficulties with the storage system, from tweaking the onboard controllers to installing high end RAID cards, they felt that some improvements were required.  It also lacks a new UEFI style BIOS, but apart from that the board was solid and performed very well.

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"The Intel Express Z68 chipset is the new hotness and as a result tons of Z68 boards are hitting the market. Gigabyte isn't one to be left behind and as a result it has plenty of Z68 boards to choose from. The one we are evaluating here is the Z68X-UD3H-B3. Despite being somewhat of a budget board it certainly packs a ton of features and promises solid overclocking performance to boot."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Gigabyte's new Z68 board with added NF200 goodness

Subject: Motherboards | July 22, 2011 - 12:12 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, gigabyte Z68X-UD7-B3, NF200, z68

ASUS is not the only company with extra PCIe lanes on their X68 board anymore, as Gigabyte's new Z68X-UD7-B3 hits the market.  With an included NF200 chip there are four PCIe 16x slots, two of which run at 8x speeds.  You even get a PCIe x1 slots, and 2 PCI slots though the PCIe 1x is slightly blocked by the heatsink on the NF200.  [H]ard|OCP were very happy with this board, it survived 3 days in their torture chamber before finally crashing when most boards are considered solid it they can survive 24 hours.   If you need a high end SLI board, take a look at this review.

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"The Z68X-UD7-B3 is GIGABYTE's latest release supporting LGA1155 processors and new Z68 Intel Express Chipset. This motherboard looks to be gunning for a top spot with is mix of performance and features. Is the UD7 worth your hard earned dollars?"

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Motherboards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Gigabyte's high powered A75M-UD2H for the low powered Llano processor

Subject: Motherboards | July 11, 2011 - 05:18 PM |
Tagged: llano, gigabyte, a75, fm1

Gigabyte made sure that a Llano user will be able to get all that they want out of the  A75M-UD2H; 8+2 phase power, five SATA II I ports and an eSATA on the backplate to keep the combo PS/2 port, D-sub port, DVI-D port, HDMI port, DisplayPort, optical SPDIF connector, two USB 2.0, four USB 3.0 port, one FireWire port, the Gigabit Ethernet port, and 8 channel audio ports.  As you can tell that backplate is very full. It also supports Crossfire with a pair of PCIe slots running 8x when both are populated. Taking the board through its paces was only one facet of Bjorn3D's review, they also pair the board and APU with an HD6870 to see how it performs with a powerful GPU.  Check out the review.

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"When we looked at Llano, we determined that its CPU performance is similar to Athlon II X4 or Phenom II X4 840 processor, so why would a discrete GPU user choose Llano instead of an Athlon II X4 or Phenom II X4? Should the user choose a more expensive CPU for gaming? Firstly, Llano is more power efficient and runs much cooler than the 45nm processors. We'll be testing the second question today.

In this review, we are not only going to take a look at the GIGABYTE board, but we are also going pair the board with an HD 6870 and run a few games at 1920x1080 resolution with typical settings that average gamers would use to see the impact of CPU performance in games"

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Source: Bjorn3D

The difference a letter can make; 4 LGA1155 boards from Gigabyte

Subject: Motherboards | July 6, 2011 - 06:27 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, sandybridge, ga-z68x, lga1155

Gigabyte's GA-Z68X-UD3P-B3, GA-Z68X-UD4-B3, GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 and GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 are up for review on X-bit Labs right now.   You need to be fairly observant to notice the difference in the models and have a great memory to know which is which at a glance.  They all share some similar characteristics, such as the lack of onboard video out but also share positive traits like Dual BIOS and Phase LEDs and a number of USB 3.0 and SATA 6G ports.  They had a few problems during the review which you might want to find out about before purchasing one of these boards.

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"Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3P-B3, GA-Z68X-UD4-B3, GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 and GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 mainboards do not have video Outs, that is why integrated graphics doesn’t work on them. They can use Intel Smart Response technology, but do not support any of the Lucid Virtu modes. Read our in-depth review to find out about other features of these mainboards."

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Source: X-Bit Labs

Gigabyte Launches New Super4 Motherboards Based On Intel's H61 Chipset

Subject: Motherboards | June 10, 2011 - 04:07 AM |
Tagged: sandybridge, lga1155, Intel, h61, gigabyte

Gigabyte is on a roll lately as far as cranking out new motherboard series, and their latest unveiling introduces a new lineup that the company has dubbed its “Super4” motherboard series. The new motherboards amount to a budget Sandy Bridge platform that is positioned to save budget PC gamers a few bucks compared to the more feature-full, and more expensive, P67 and H67 chipsets by cutting out features that they do not necessarily need.

The GA-H61M-USB3-B3 Model Is Part of the New Super4 Series.

To be more specific, the new Super4 series is a new line of Gigabyte motherboards based around Intel’s H61 Express chipset, and supporting Intel’s latest Sandy Bridge socket 1155 processors. This chipset is fairly similar to it’s higher-end H67 brethren; however, it features only a single PCIe 2.0 x16 slot, 10 USB 2.0 ports, and four SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) ports versus the two PCIe 2.0 x16 slots, 14 USB 2.0 ports and six Sata II ports of H67. (A full comparison by Intel of the two chipsets can be found here.  Another differentiator between the two chipsets is the number of RAM DIMM slots available.  Whereas H67 boards could support four DIMM slots, H61 boards will only include two slots.

Gigabyte has then further added USB 3.0 support to their specific motherboards by including two USB 3.0 ports on the rear IO panel powered by an Etron EJ168 chip. Realtek Audio and Gigabit Ethernet is also included and accessible via the rear IO. As far as expansion slots, on the GA-H61M-USB3-B3 for example, Gigabyte has laid out the expansion slots as follows: One PCIe 2.0 x16 (running at x16) slot, one PCIe x1 slot, and two PCI slots. As the motherboards are based on Intel’s “H” chipset variant, their are the traditional DVI-D and VGA video outputs for the Intel processor graphics.

The new Super4 motherboard roll-out currently includes the following models: GA-P61-USB3-B3, GA-P61-DS3-B3, GA-HA65M-D2H-B3, GA-H61M-USB3-B3, GA-H61M-D2-B3, and GA-H61M-S2V-B3.

Gigabyte’s marketing team has appeared in full force, presenting the new Super4 series as “Super Safe, Super Speed, Super Savings, and Super Sound,” where the four pillars make up the motherboards “Super4” moniker.  The boards will likely retail for under $100 USD and will be priced lower than P67 and H67 based boards due to the fewer ports and supported PCIe x16 slots reducing the manufacturing cost. For single graphics card gaming rigs with only one or two storage drives, the new H61 motherboards may well prove to be a viable option. You can learn more about the boards by perusing the press release as well as by staying tuned to PC Perspective.

Source: Gigabyte

Gigabyte makes some interesting choices with the GA-Z68X-UD4-B3

Subject: Motherboards | June 7, 2011 - 01:12 PM |
Tagged: z68, gigabyte, GA-Z68X-UD4-B3

The GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 does not have any video out connectors, a choice which seems very strange for a Z68 based motherboard since it removes the GPU switching ability which is so popular with the new high end SandyBridge board.  Theoretically that should reduce the price of the board, though Gigabyte instead chose to pack it with other extras, a wide variety of output ports on the back panel, the new Touch BIOS and even an ability to switch between two separate 8 phase power planes.  See if the trade offs make sense to you by reading iXBT Labs' full review.

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"If the lack of support for integrated graphics doesn't bother you, Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 is a good and promising choice. It stands out among typical mid-end solutions by having richer functionality (two USB 3.0 and two additional SATA 6Gbps controllers), comes with a lot of software utilities, and you don't have to pay for extra hardware features you might not need. Also, the Touch BIOS adds nice variety to all those implementations of UEFI."

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Source: iXBT Labs