Gigabyte Infusing X79 Motherboards With 3D UEFI BIOS

Subject: Motherboards | November 6, 2011 - 01:11 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, x79, pattsburg, Intel, SB-E, sandy bridge-e, uefi

Many motherboard manufacturers have phased out the old school BIOS in favor of a shiny graphical user interface (GUI) UEFI BIOS that adds support for booting from larger capacity hard drives and presenting configuration screens that are able to be navigated with mouse or touch controls. Gigabyte has been somewhat quiet on the UEFI BIOS front, until now that is. Starting with Intel’s new X79 chipset based motherboards, the company will begin using a new “3D BIOS.”

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Fortunately, red and cyan glasses won’t be required for Gigabyte’s new UEFI BIOS. Instead, the BIOS is only “3D” in the same sense that a computer game is 3D -- meaning a 3D perspective viewed through a 2D window of sorts (the monitor) and this is a good thing.

The way Gigabyte’s 3D BIOS works involves displaying a photo of the user’s motherboard with various hot-spots that display content sensitive information and configuration options when hovered over and clicked on respectively. For example, when hovering over and clicking on the SATA ports in the rotate-able photo of the board, users are presented with options to set the SATA controller mode to IDE, AHCI, or RAID mode. Also, when clicking on the CPU area, the user is able to adjust frequency, voltage, and timing settings for the CPU and RAM. Further, context sensitive help is available for all the various options in each dialog.

For those that prefer a more traditional text based approach, Gigabyte is also including an advanced mode for enthusiasts who like to dig into every setting possible. The advanced mode looks like one would expect a BIOS to - a text based UI with minimal distractions. The ability to use the mouse for navigation is still present, however.

The 3D motherboard will reflect the actual physical motherboard and can be easily rotated to admire the shiny interface. It is certainly an interesting angle and should help new users navigate and find the settings they need. Whether it will be enough to help differentiate the product or not remains to be seen. A video showing off the new 3D BIOS is available below, and more photos can be found here.

Source: Anandtech

Gigabyte brings Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi to their X79 boards

Subject: Motherboards | November 2, 2011 - 12:42 PM |
Tagged: x79, gigabyte, bluetooth 4.0, G1-Assassin 2, X79-UD7, X79-UD5, bluetooth

Gigabyte is going crazy with the wireless options available to you in their X79 series of motherboards.

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With Bluetooth 4.0 available your iPhone 4S will be able to connect seamlessly to your Gigabyte motherboard.  The biggest improvement in the new standard is the power savings which it enables, something that iPhone 4S users are desperate for.  In fact if the attempt to standardize 3D glasses over Bluetooth 4.0 succeeds then one of these motherboards will be perfect for building a system connected to a 120Hz 3D monitor.

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As well, Gigabyte has extended their WiFi support to a dedicated card which sports dual antennas, one for WiFi and one for Bluetooth.  They also support the new Bluetooth Smart which is designed to work with a large variety of single use devices.   Your blood sugar monitor, house thermostat, security systems and smart watch could all connect to these motherboards as easily as your phone, headset or other Bluetooth devices.

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Source: Gigabyte

A best of three HD 6950 battle royal

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 26, 2011 - 02:36 PM |
Tagged: hd 6950, amd, gigabyte, msi, xfx, factory overclocked

Heading to The Tech Report will bring you to a round up of HD6950's including Gigabyte's GV-R695OC-1GD, the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC and the XFX HD-695X-ZDDC.  The GPU clocks range from 830MHz to 870MHz and RAM ranging from the stock 1250MHz to 1350MHz, with the MSI and XFX offering their own overclocking tools and Gigabyte relying on the Catalyst Control Center for further overclocking.  MSI's offering came out looking very good, with the best performance and the best power efficiency and thanks to a mail in rebate it picks up the best ratings in the round up.  It is a close race though with the cards performing very similarly, as you can see in the review.

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"We've gathered three souped-up Radeon HD 6950 graphics cards from Gigabyte, MSI, and XFX. Which one delivers the most bang for your buck?"

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First Look! GIGABYTE X79 Motherboard revealed

Subject: Motherboards | October 25, 2011 - 01:18 PM |
Tagged: x79, gigabyte, G1-Assassin 2, X79-UD7, X79-UD5, X79-UD3

While we don't have much in the way of information about the capabilities of Gigabyte's new X79 boards we sure do have a lot of pictures. 

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First off is the successor to the popular G1. Assassin first introduced at CES in January.

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Next you can see the biggest of three brothers, the X79 UD7

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Which is followed by the middle child, the X79 UD5

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And last but not least in any test is the X79 UD3

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GIGABYTE USA page
http://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.10150364375938695.368866.28864403694&type=3

GIGABYTE Canada page
http://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.275394462500698.67641.189313774442101&type=3

Source: Gigabyte

The many faces of Sandybridge motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | October 18, 2011 - 03:21 PM |
Tagged: Z68XP-UD3, x68, sapphire, sandybridge, Pure Platinum Z68, p67, Maximus IV Extreme B3, Intel, gigabyte, G1.Sniper, asus

When building a SandyBridge system you have several types of motherboard chipset to choose from, some with more capabilities than others.  The ASUS Maximus IV Extreme B3 is the odd duck in this roundup, being the only P67 board in an Z68 round up which means that it loses out on Intel SRT, which is not a drawback for those planning on using an SSD with a high enough capacity to be used as a main drive.  The two Gigabyte boards and the Sapphire board are Z68 and therefore sport all of the bells and whistles that come with that chipset.  In terms of pure performance and overclocking ability it is not the feature set that matters, it is the ability of the board its self.  Check out which of these 4 boards reigns supreme in Neoseeker's benchmarks here.

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"A quartet of motherboards based the Intel P67 and Z68 chipsets arrives at Neoseeker's labs, covering both the value and enthusiast market spectrums. There just might be something for everyone with a Intel LGA 1155 socket CPU in our latest motherboard roundup."

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Source: Neoseeker

Gigabyte's new GTX 580 doesn't need SupaPipes, the whole card is Supa!

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 4, 2011 - 02:17 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, GTX580, gigabyte, Gigabyte GeForce GTX 580 Super Overclock

Gigabyte's new GeForce GTX 580 Super Overclock card sports a custom cooler with three fans and frequencies that can be changed from 772MHz GPU and  f 1544 MHz RAM (1.5GB) to 855MHz and 1710 MHz at the flip of a switch. Those used to AMD cards might be disappointed by the outputs, two DVI ports and one mini-HDMI output seem sparse compared to a Radeon.  From X-bit Labs testing, the card proves faster than the HD6970 in all but one test by a range of 11% - 24%, however you are also looking at paying at least 30% more than an overclocked HD6970.  See how your favourite games performed on the Gigabyte board in the full review.

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"Today we are going to talk about features, functionality and performance of a very interesting and very fast graphics accelerator built on the most powerful GPU from Nvidia."

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Source: X-Bit Labs

A general purpose Llano powered HTPC

Subject: Systems | October 4, 2011 - 10:48 AM |
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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Silent CrossFire?

Subject: Graphics Cards | September 19, 2011 - 11:00 AM |
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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Source: [H]ard|OCP

New Gigabyte Tool Switches SATA Mode In Windows

Subject: Motherboards | August 30, 2011 - 04:17 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 - 01:33 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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