Subject: General Tech | May 26, 2016 - 05:53 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: X99P-SLI, toshiba, revodrive, review, RD400, podcast, pcper, ocz, msi, hardware, gigabyte, fdsoi, computex, amd, AM4, am3, am2, 303, 22nm
PC Perspective Podcast #401 - 05/26/2016
Join us this week as we discuss the Gigabyte X99P-SLI, RevoDrive is back, GPU Drivers, Computex, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Sebastian Peak
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: General Tech | May 24, 2016 - 01:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, gigabyte
According to the information that DigiTimes was able to garner, only Asustek Computer and Gigabyte Technology will see their shipment of motherboards over this first half of the year either remain the same as last year or perhaps experience a small growth. As neither are expected to break 20 million units this is not great news but is certainly better than the news ASRock, MSI, ECS and Biostar are expecting. The lack of competition in the CPU/APU market is spilling over to motherboard manufacturers as customers are not immediately upgrading to the new platforms but are instead choosing premedical upgrades. The next few quarters are going to be interesting as we see what strategies motherboard manufacturers adopt to retain sales. New boards based on the Intel 200 series chipset will not likely be a factor until the last quarter of this year, at the earliest.
"The sources expect Asustek and Gigabyte's motherboard shipments in 2016 to stay at the same level in 2015 and neither of them is able to break 20 million units. Since overall demand continues shrinking, the top-2 players are likely to continue taking market share from lower-tier players."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Phase-change chalcogenides for neuronal computing @ Nanotechweb
- Great, IBM has had a PCM breakthrough. Who exactly is going to manufacture? @ The Register
- Got a Fitbit? Thought you were achieving your goals? Better read this @ The Register
- Updategate: Microsoft uses technique to lure you to Windows 10 from the 'X' button @ The Inquirer
- Researchers Set World Record Wireless Data Transmission Rate of 6 GB/Sec Over 37 KM @ Slashdot
- Toshiba adds 8TB model to high-end X300 hard drive range @ The Inquirer
- Amazon Stops Giving Refunds When an Item's Price Drops After You Purchase It @ Slashdot
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of GIGABYTE
The X99P-SLI motherboard is the newest member of their Ultra Durable board line, updated with newest technological innovations including USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 3. The board supports all Intel LGA2011-3 based processors paired with DDR4 memory in up to a quad channel configuration. GIGABYTE priced the X99P-SLI at an approachable MSRP of $249.99.
Courtesy of GIGABYTE
Courtesy of GIGABYTE
Courtesy of GIGABYTE
Like all members of the Ultra-Durable board line, the X99P-SLI was over engineered to take whatever abuse is thrown its way, featuring an 6+4-phase digital power system with International Rectify Gen 4 digital PWM controllers and Gen 3 PowIRstage controllers, Server Level chokes, and long life Durable Black Solid capacitors. The board also features GIGABYTE's next generation PCIe x16 slots with PCIe Metal Shielding - steel reinforced overlays to provide extra vertical support for graphics cards featuring large and heavy coolers.
Subject: Motherboards | April 8, 2016 - 05:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gigabyte, Z170X Gaming 6, Intel, Z170
At this moment the Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 6 costs $170 on Amazon, which gets you support for dual SLI or triple Crossfire, a Killer NIC E2200, a pair of M.2 slots, three SEx ports and even a Type-C USB 3.1 port in amongst other USB, A/V out and SATA connections. [H]ard|OCP tested the performance of this board and found the overclocking potential to be somewhat disappointing, although possible with some effort. After dealing with BIOS issues and some very warm MOSFETs one reviewer settled on running an i7 6700 @ 4.6GHz (100x46) and DDR4 set at 2666MHz. In the end this board is a good value for someone who wants a wide variety of features and is either disinclined to overclock or who is willing to put effort into tweaking the UEFI to acheive a decent overclock.
"GIGABYTE is back with its $165 Z170X Gaming 6 motherboard today. It’s a full featured motherboard that won’t break the bank and has a lot to offer. While many enthusiasts need what is considered high end, there are a lot of enthusiasts just looking for something that will get the job done with a few extra bells and whistles."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- MSI Z170A SLI Plus @ Kitguru
- ASUS Sabertooth Z170 S @ eTeknix
- MSI Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon @ Modders-Inc
- ASRock Z170 Extreme4+ @ Hardware Canucks
- Gigabyte Z170-Gaming K3 @ eTeknix
Subject: Mobile | April 4, 2016 - 02:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Skylake, GTX 970M, gigabyte, gaming laptop, Aorus X3 Plus v5
Gaming notebooks do not tend to generate positive feedback in our reviews, as many reader feel the sacrifices to fit a powerful machine into a slim chassis are just too much of a compromise. BGA processors have negative connotations surrounding them, in some cases fair criticism but there is obviously a market for these machines as companies are producing and selling them. The Tech Report takes a peek at Gigabyte's Aorus X3 Plus v5, a 14" 3200x1800 IPS laptop powered by a Core i7-6700HQ and GeForce GTX 970M, a 512GB Samsung NVMe SSD and 16GB o fDDR4-2133. They loved the machine apart from the fact that the 970M just can't drive the panel at native resolutions when playing a demanding game and perhaps a lower resolution would have been preferable; which would bring a different set of negative comments.
The Lagavulin allegory which starts out the review is apropos, if you like something enough, you will find a way to afford it. That said, if you consider $90 as the high end of Scotch your tastebuds have some nice surprises in store; your bank account not so much.
"Aorus' X3 Plus v5 laptop packs eight threads of Skylake pro cessing power and a GeForce GTX 970M graphics card into a 14" chassis. We put the X3 Plus v5 to the test to see whether it ushers in a new era of portable computing power."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
More Mobile Articles
- Gigabyte P35W v5 @ eTeknix
- Microsoft Surface Book @ The Inquirer
- Xtorm AL390 18000mAh Laptop Power Bank Review @ NikKTech
- ASUS ZenFone 2 Laser @ TechARP
- Galaxy S7 Edge vs iPhone 6S @ The Inquirer
Subject: Motherboards | March 16, 2016 - 02:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, gigabyte, X99P-SLI, LGA2011-v3
X99 based systems do not come cheap, with some boards costing well over $300 and very few under $200 the X99P-SLI could be considered mid-range. The board doesn't skimp on a lot at this price either, an M.2 slot, a pair of USB 3.1 ports, OP-AMP based onboard sound, a conveniently placed header for USB 3.0 on your front panel and yes, it does have a single SEx port. Hardware Canucks breaks down how the PCIe slots are shared and many other of the boards features in their review which you should check out, the board was determined to be a Dam Good Value.
"The X99 platform may not be known for affordability but Gigabyte's new X99P-SLI aims to change that opinion with USB 3.1, M.2, great overclocking, quad GPU support and more for less than $250."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Maximus VIII Formula LGA 1151 @ [H]ard|OCP
- ASRock E3V5 WS @ Kitguru
- ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming-ITX/AC @ Modders-Inc
- Supermicro X11SAE Workstation @ eTeknix
- ASUS B150 PRO GAMING/AURA @ eTeknix
- Gigabyte 990FX-Gaming @ Kitguru
Part 1 - Picking the Parts
I'm guilty. I am one of those PC enthusiasts that thinks everyone knows how to build a PC. Everyone has done it before, and all you need from the tech community is the recommendation for parts, right? Turns out that isn't the case at all, and as more and more gamers and users come into our community, they are overwhelmed and often under served. It's time to fix that.
This cropped up for me personally when my nephew asked me about getting him a computer. At just 14 years old, he had never built a PC, watched a PC be constructed - nothing of that sort. Even though his uncle had built computers nearly every week for 15 years or more, he had little to no background on what the process was like. I decided that this was perfect opportunity to teach him and create a useful resource for the community at large to help empower another generation to adopt the DIY mindset.
I decided to start with three specific directions:
- Part 1 - Introduce the array of PC components, what the function of each is and why we picked the specific hardware we did.
- Part 2 - Show him the process of actual construction from CPU install to cable routing
- Part 3 - Walk through the installation of Windows and get him setup with Steam and the idea of modern PC gaming.
Each of the above sections was broken up into a separate video during our day at the office, and will be presented here and on our YouTube channel.
I would like to thank Gigabyte for sponsoring this project with us, providing the motherboard, graphics card and helping work with the other vendors to get us a great combination of hardware. Visit them at Gigabyte.com for the full lineup of motherboard, graphics cards and more!!
Part 1 - Picking the Parts
Selecting the parts to build a PC can be a daunting task for a first timer. What exactly is a motherboard and do you need one? Should you get 2 or 4 or more memory modules? SSD vs HDD? Let's lay it all out there for you.
The specific configuration used in Austin's PC build is pretty impressive!
|Austin's First PC Build|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-6600K - $249|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte Z170X-Gaming 5 - $189|
|Memory||Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4-3200 - $192|
|Graphics Card||Gigabyte GTX 970 Gaming Xtreme - $374|
|Storage||Corsair Neutron XT 480GB - $184
Western Digital 3TB Red - $109
|Case||Corsair Obsidian 450D - $119|
|Power Supply||Corsair RM550x - $117|
|Keyboard||Logitech G910 Orion Spark - $159|
|Mouse||Logitech G602 - $51|
|Headset||Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum - $192|
|Monitor||Acer XB280HK - $699|
|OS||Windows 10 Home - $119|
|Total Price||$2054 (not including the monitor) - Amazon.com Cart|
Subject: Systems | February 16, 2016 - 03:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: SFF, system build, gigabyte, ocz, G.Skill, evga, logitech
The Tech Report have put together a video tour of their Breadbox system, a SFF gaming system built around the Z170 chipset. The machine uses a i5-6600K on the Gigabyte GA-Z170N-Gaming 5 motherboard with 16GB of DDR4-3000 and Gigabyte's tiny version of a GTX 970. The components are all housed in a EVGA Hadron Hydro, a tight fit but sufficient to hold the parts. Check out the video for more information on the components and how the system performs when gaming.
"We recently built a small-form-factor PC we like to call the Breadbox with some help from our sponsors at Gigabyte, OCZ, G.Skill, EVGA, and Logitech. We documented this Breadbox on video, and now it's ready to make its Hollywood debut. Grab some popcorn and enjoy our tour of this pint-sized gaming PC."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Cyberpower Infinity Luxe 805 GT @ Kitguru
- Silent 4k Gaming Build Guide @ Silent PC Review
- Vibox Rapture-Chaos MX2 @ Kitguru
NVMe was a great thing to happen to SSDs. The per-IO reduction in latency and CPU overhead was more than welcome, as PCIe SSDs were previously using the antiquated AHCI protocol, which was a carryover from the SATA HDD days. With NVMe came additional required support in Operating Systems and UEFI BIOS implementations. We did some crazy experiments with arrays of these new devices, but we were initially limited by the lack of native hardware-level RAID support to tie multiple PCIe devices together. The launch of the Z170 chipset saw a remedy to this, by including the ability to tie as many as three PCIe SSDs behind a chipset-configured array. The recent C600 server chipset also saw the addition of RSTe capability, expanding this functionality to enterprise devices like the Intel SSD P3608, which was actually a pair of SSDs on a single PCB.
Most Z170 motherboards have come with one or two M.2 slots, meaning that enthusiasts wanting to employ the 3x PCIe RAID made possible by this new chipset would have to get creative with the use of interposer / adapter boards (or use a combination of PCI and U.2 connected Intel SSD 750s). With the Samsung 950 Pro available, as well as the slew of other M.2 SSDs we saw at CES 2016, it’s safe to say that U.2 is going to push back into the enterprise sector, leaving M.2 as the choice for consumer motherboards moving forward. It was therefore only a matter of time before a triple-M.2 motherboard was launched, and that just recently happened - Behold the Gigabyte Z170X-SOC Force!
This new motherboard sits at the high end of Gigabyte’s lineup, with a water-capable VRM cooler and other premium features. We will be passing this board onto Morry for a full review, but this piece will be focusing on one section in particular:
I have to hand it to Gigabyte for this functional and elegant design choice. The space between the required four full length PCIe slots makes it look like it was chosen to fit M.2 SSDs in-between them. I should also note that it would be possible to use three U.2 adapters linked to three U.2 Intel SSD 750s, but native M.2 devices makes for a significantly more compact and consumer friendly package.
With the test system set up, let’s get right into it, shall we?
Subject: Motherboards | January 28, 2016 - 05:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: update, Skylake, gigabyte, bug
Gigabyte has released UEFI updates today which will resolve the freezing issues on Skylake seen in certain circumstances of Prime95 and GIMPS processing. Just head over to their download site and enter in your motherboards model and download the new UEFI, or BIOS if you prefer the old terminology.
As a bonus you may receive the ability to use higher clocked RAM, see any stability issues fixed or better performance from integrated components such as LAN or SATA. Their update process is easy with none of the stress that once accompanied updates via floppy disjs or masks and UV light. We can neither confirm nor deny these updates will also resolve unwanted ear hair growth.