GIGABYTE Showcases New Motherboards and BRIX at Computex 2016

Subject: Motherboards, Systems | June 1, 2016 - 01:50 PM |
Tagged: Z170, X99, Ultra Gaming, Intel H170, gigabyte, designare, brix

Gigabyte is showing off new X99, B150 and Z170 motherboards, the Ultra Gaming series and the Designare series which they describe as being optimized for content creators, designers, and artists.  The Ultra Gaming series will add Ambient Surround LEDs, found on the motherboard and Pinstripe Headers so that you can have a lightshow while you game. 

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Also new is Hybrid Fan Control which will allows the motherboard headers to support Voltage Calibration and Pulse Width Modulation fans and pumps.  M.2 and U.2 support is of course also added to the new boards.  The new boards include the GA-X99-Ultra Gaming, GA-X99-Phoenix SLI, GA-Z170X-Ultra Gaming, GA-Z170-UD3 Ultra and GA-B150-Gaming TH.

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The Designare series is a bit different, with a focus on storage speed.  USB 3.1 ports offer quick transfer speeds for your external storage and support for three NVMe drives in RAID-0 ensure that the speed of your internal storage does not slow your creative flow down.  This series features the GA-X99-Designare EX, GA-Z170X-Designare and GA-H170-Designare.

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They also offered a teaser as to their new BRIX lineup.  The BRIX Gaming UHD will be tiny, less than 2.6L and less than 2kg but will support Core i5 and i7 processors.  As we well there will be a new GIGABYTE PC which will be slightly larger at about 10L and will support full sized graphics cards.

Click for the full press release.

City of Industry, California, May 30th, 2016 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., A leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards is proud to present its new lineup of Ultra Gaming and Designare motherboards for the world to see. In light of the new Intel® 10-Core CPU, GIGABYTE has created three new X99 motherboards for users to experience the full power of this platform and not be limited by dated technologies.

Those who are lucky enough to attend Computex 2016 will have the privilege to have an up close look at GIGABYTE’s Ultra Gaming Motherboards. These motherboards were designed to redefine the gaming experience, incorporating technologies that gamers from around the world have desired to see on a desktop system. Also among the Ultra Gaming Motherboards, GIGABYTE is also displaying a solution set built for Content Creators, Designers, and Artists, namely the Designare Motherboards.

Intel Releases the Latest in Multi-Core Computing Technology During Computex 2016 Intel® is debuting its latest and greatest Extreme Edition Processor. This processor is a 10-Core Desktop CPU which features improved compatibility and features x99 badgesuch as Turbo Boost Max 3.0. Being one of the first CPU’s to support 10-Cores and 20 Threads in the consumer market, this marks a new era for desktop computing. GIGABYTE’s new X99 Ultra Gaming and Designare motherboards are built to support these enhancements and features of this CPU.

Redefining the Gaming Experience with Ultra Gaming Motherboards GIGABYTE Ultra Gaming Motherboards are built with gamers in mind. With the future of gaming moving more towards Ultra High-Definition (UHD) content and Virtual Reality (VR), high-end components are essential to providing the best experience to the user. GIGABYTE has incorporated many features to help enhance the users experience such as: Ambient Surround LED, Hybrid Fan Control, and M.2 & U.2 support.

With more and more DIY PC Gamers building their PC to suit their personalities it only makes sense that they would want to design their PC to match their desktop’s environment. With Gamers valuing control over the aesthetics of their Gaming PC, GIGABYTE has included Ambient Surround LED so gamers can now leverage these onboard LEDs as well as the LED Strip Pin Headers, found on the Ultra Gaming Motherboards, to help immerse gamers in the center of the action. Not only can users control the color of the LED’s but also the lighting method such as beat mode, which illuminates to the sound of your music, or pulse mode that phases on and off imitating a heartbeat or breath.

Gamers are always trying to squeeze the most performance out of their system whether with more fans or with different types of cooling. GIGABYTE has made this process easier, with Hybrid Fan Control, for those users that want to customize their gaming desktop. Hybrid Fan Control allows users to use aftermarket fans that suit their needs whether the fan or pump operates under Voltage Calibration or Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) Modes. This solution enables a broader range of parts and integration support into a GIGABYTE Ultra Gaming PC.

As game developers begin to trend towards ultra-high definition content it is important that the PC can keep up. By implementing M.2 & U.2 onboard GIGABYTE Motherboards, Gamers now have the technology in arm’s length to take advantage of newer NVMe PCIe SSDs, like Intel’s 750 NVMe. With transfer speeds almost four times that of traditional SSDs the possibilities seem endless.

Providing Solutions for Content Creators, Designers, and Artists Often time’s users do not have the luxury to be troubled with which type of motherboard is suitable for their application. GIGABYTE has made this decision easier for Content Creators, Designers, and Artists. By making a motherboard that is focused for these users, GIGABYTE has simplified the process in searching for the right solution for creative artists. The Designare Motherboard is the perfect solution base for any user looking for a high performance computer able to withstand any application or job.

To help designers succeed in their studio and out on the job, GIGABYTE has included USB3.1 on the Designare Motherboards. This protocol is twice as fast as its predecessor, USB3.0, allowing users to transfer large files in half the time.

“Graphic artists and videographers need these tools to complete their task in a timely manner. Often times corporations do not realize how out-of-date these desktops are, causing delays and loss of valuable production time”, said Henry Kao, GIGABYTE Vice President of Motherboard Business Unit. “This solution is GIGABYTE’s answer to the common question of how companies and independent professionals can use new technologies to enhance and increase their productivity.”

As graphics and video projects grow larger and larger in size, rendering these files become tedious as Designers wait for the system to load. With the Z170X-Designare Motherboard the capability to operate three (3) Intel NVMe 750 SSDs in RAID 0 is now possible. Thus, eliminating load times that one often experienced with older desktop workstations.

Lastly, GIGABYTE will be debuting some additional products from their BRIX Lineup, the BRIX Gaming UHD as well as the GIGABYTE PC. These two gaming systems are an impeccable example of the fact that you do not need to sacrifice size for performance. The BRIX Gaming UHD weighs in at less than two thousand grams, taking up less than 2.6 liters in space. This barebone comes in both Intel Core i5 and i7 processors for the user to select from. The GIGABYTE PC is a larger system but still compact taking up only 10 liters of space with the capabilities to be upgradeable with a standard desktop graphics cards. All of these will be on display during Computex 2016 for all to see.

Source: Gigabyte

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June 1, 2016 | 02:15 PM - Posted by Steve_H

O.O Wants for Christmas papa! Damnit... just damnit! The 'lil piggy bank just went squeeling out of the room. any hints as to pricing on thoses mobos? This years computex is stressing me out..and 'lil piggy. So much yum this year.

June 1, 2016 | 02:32 PM - Posted by MRFS (not verified)

> support for three NVMe drives in RAID-0

Hi Jeremy,

Could you elaborate whether or not these 3 x NVMe ports
are downstream of the DMI link?

I just checked and one reliable source confirms that
the X99 chipset still uses a DMI 2.0 link
(x4 lanes @ 5G / 10 bits per byte).

Even with a DMI 3.0 link, the upstream bandwidth
is exactly the same as a single M.2 NVMe drive
(x4 lanes @ 8G / 8.125 bits per byte).

Hence, there is really not much to gain as far as
READs are concerned; empirical tests by ASRock
do indicate a small boost for WRITEs in RAID-0
when they configured 3 x M.2 NVMe SSDs in that array.

Nevertheless, the only way to circumvent the
max limits of a DMI 3.0 link is to wire U.2
and M.2 ports directly to the CPU.

That, in turn, requires NVMe RAID controllers
that plug into PCIe x16 slots wired directly
to the CPU; and, such RAID controllers are
still out beyond the visible horizon, AFAIK
(brief mentions of "plans" can be found
on the Internet, if you know where to look).

See also the technical specs for RST:
what I found in my reading of RST specs
is that RST only works downstream of
Intel's DMI links.

Please clarify, if you can; and, please also
correct any error(s) you find in what I wrote above.


p.s. I recently migrated an OS from Intel's IMSM
to a RAID-0 with 4 x SanDisk Extreme Pro SSDs,
and I'm pretty happy with the improved performance.

The controller is a Highpoint RocketRAID 2720SGL
(I don't need any of the features in more expensive
RAID controllers e.g. other RAID modes). I stay
with RAID-0 for speed, primarily.

I had to switch to a system-managed pagefile.sys
and temporarily disable a 12.5GB ramdisk. After that,
the migration went smoothly using the "Migrate OS" feature
in Partition Wizard. Only "hitch" was that it erases
the entire target drive -- something to keep in mind
if the target drive already has data in a secondary
data partition.

I'm planning to write their Tech Support to suggest
that they modify "Migrate OS" to leave a secondary
data partition intact on the target drive e.g.
and behave like Acronis and GHOST drive imaging


June 1, 2016 | 04:35 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

"With the Z170X-Designare Motherboard the capability to operate three (3) Intel NVMe 750 SSDs in RAID 0 is now possible."

That is all they provided in the PR.  This is common in trade shows because they are focused on LOOK SHINY!!!! not on providing technical details.  Those tend to come afterwards.


BTW, what is up with your line length ... that is damn hard to read.

June 1, 2016 | 05:45 PM - Posted by MRFS (not verified)

... just like newspapers :)

also leaves white space to the right --
in case anyone wants to print and
add comments in the right margin

(Every 5 years or so I get the same criticism.)

June 1, 2016 | 06:10 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

So you are saying you are about 9 inches? ;)

June 1, 2016 | 03:10 PM - Posted by MRFS (not verified)

The only motherboard we have been able to find (so far)
with 2 x U.2 ports is the ASUS ROG MAXIMUS VIII HERO ALPHA:

Take a close look at their marketing claims here:

"Don't want be limited by the read/write speeds of a single storage device?"

[Yes, BUT! a DMI 3.0 link has the same raw bandwidth
as a single M.2 NVMe device, and adding 2+ storage devices
to a RAID-0 array does nothing to increase that max
bandwidth, particularly READs.]

"Then join the fast lane by building multi-device RAID array with Maximus VIII Hero Alpha's two U.2 and one M.2 onboard connectors — and enjoy PCIe data transfers at lightning speed."

[Again, repeating the above: a RAID-0 array with
two U.2 devices cannot change the max bandwidth
imposed by the DMI 3.0 link; likewise, a raid-0 array
with two U.2 devices and one M.2 device runs into
the exact same upstream limit.]

"Our lab guys put both through their paces, achieving write speeds of 3386MB/s and read operations of an incredible 3575MB/s!"

NOTE WELL how the DMI 3.0 "ceiling" of 4.0 GB/sec
is looming immediately above both of those speeds.

My theory about those speeds is that the Hero Alpha's
two U.2 and one M.2 onboard connectors are all
downstream of the DMI 3.0 link.

That theory is also supported by the requirement
that RAID-0 arrays be managed by RST / RSTe
when onboard connectors are used.

p.s. If Intel can manufacture a 10-core CPU
with hyper-threading, why can they not design
an NVMe RAID controller with an x16 edge connector
and an efficient PLX-type chip that supports
four+ U.2 ports?

Such a high-performance NVMe RAID controller
should be plug-compatible with an
x16 PCIe 3.0 socket wired directly to such a
powerful CPU, and NOT downstream from a relatively
"wimpy" DMI 3.0 link!

Either that, or Intel should increase future DMI links
to a full x16 PCIe 3.0 lanes. Then, when PCIe 4.0
becomes widespread, the aggregate upstream bandwidth
of a DMI 4.0 link will double.


It's time the industry gave storage the kinds
of bandwidth that have been available to GPU designers
for years.

Can I interest anyone in working on the paradigm shift
= swing shift + graveyard shift + pizza under the door :)

June 1, 2016 | 06:24 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

and now that I had a moment to search, reference Al's testing as to what it could possibly do.

June 1, 2016 | 05:01 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Intel does not seem to care about bring reliable raid to NVMe drives as they are looking beyond them at Optane drives using XPoint. they are intending to use ram slots on the MB giving them bandwidth that surpasses PCIe. it would be nice if they would give us true raid with current tech, but they have decided to spend their money, with the next big thing due out the first half of 2017.

June 1, 2016 | 05:41 PM - Posted by MRFS (not verified)

... which is exactly why I wrote to AMD recently
to propose higher upstream bandwidth for native
Zen chipset storage.

I believe you are mostly correct and, if your
predictions come true, to me they translate into a
wonderful market opportunity for AMD.

To illustrate how slowly upstream bandwidth has evolved,
I just now looked at my 2TB HDD, and sorted by date
all folders containing "2720" (i.e. Highpoint RocketRAID
model 2720SGL).

The oldest date is 8/31/2011 for my archived copy
of the driver CD-ROM that came with my first
RocketRAID 2720SGL.

(Allyn and I have had a running debate about
Highpoint cards: I like them because I don't
use any RAID modes except RAID-0; Allyn prefers
the more powerful cards like LSI, Areca, Avago etc.)

Thus, as of that date -- 8/31/2011 -- a RocketRAID 2720
with an x8 PCIe 2.0 edge connector had an upstream
bandwidth of 8 lanes @ 500MB/sec = 4.0 GB/second.

Intel's CURRENT DMI 3.0 link = 4.0 GB/second.

As of 8/31/2016, that RR2720 will be 5 YEARS old,
read "almost eternity" in the IT world.

Do you expert Intel to mount Optane chips also
on future 2.5" form factor SSDs?

If I were Intel, I would do that -AND-
mount them on SO-DIMMs also.

June 1, 2016 | 06:19 PM - Posted by MRFS (not verified)

Heck, I just couldn't resist:

"Intel Layoffs Are A Sign Of Poor Management," by Bill Conerly at Forbes/Business (4/20/2016)

Let's hope that never suffers the same fate.

(I honestly do not expect Intel to have any viable solutions
to an imploding economy either. Perhaps Intel Mgt should
have worried less about storing surveillance data and
much more about TSA's routine privacy invasions.)

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