Two years ago Gigabyte announced their G1.Kille series of motherboards with an interesting event featuring camouflage and tons of military imagery. The concept behind it was that the G1.Killer was meant to be a series of “super-soldiers” for gaming. Each of the products would be tailored after an imaginary persona: The Assassin, The Sniper and the Scout. These would have super sight, hearing, speed, and shield all to assist you in your gaming dominance. We have taken a look at some of these for the X79 lineup and now have one from the Z77 chipset line; the G1.Sniper M3. This $180 board from Gigabyte features a full audio card built into the motherboard, SLI, and a Micro ATX form factor. So let’s take a look at what Gigabyte has stuffed into this little package.
As motherboards get smaller and CPUs run cooler the demand for smaller cases grows. The idea of the small form factor case is nothing new but these days awe find the number of these is growing as well. The idea is simple; stuff a motherboard (complete with CPU, GPU etc), optical drive and some type of storage into a small area while keeping things cool, pretty easy right? We take a look at one entry from ThermalTake; The Element Q. This is a small form factor case that has a few nice things to offer (like a 200 Watt Power Supply). So let’s take a look that the Element Q and see how it handles a system built around the Intel Core i5 661 CPU.
After spending some time working with the Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H and all of the features that are packed into this board we are ready to cover the performance and user experience side of this motherboard. For those of you that might have missed it you can catch our Design and Feature coverage here. For the rest of you let’s dive in and see how well this board performs and if it is noteworthy for its price point and place in the market. First up, Gigabyte’s 3D BIOS and some overclocking fun…
As we continue our coverage of both Ivy Bridge and the Z77 Express chipset we now head over to Gigabyte. Gigabyte is a company that has worked very hard for the position they have in the market. They were originally a manufacturer who concentrated on compatibility and stability rather than working on pushing the envelope in terms of speed and performance. However that was a long time ago. Now they are definitely working to get the most out of each product. We have watch them develop their line up since the P55 days and know that they are more than capable of putting out a motherboard (and other products) that can satisfy your performance needs. So with that in mind let’s take a look at what Gigabyte has built into the GA-Z77X-UD3H in terms of design choices and features.
In our continuing coverage of the Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H WB we are moving into the performance side of things. Here is where it becomes difficult to differentiate between companies. The problem is that if you are testing Z77 Express based motherboards you are testing very similar platforms. It is only when you start adding in features to the mix that they separate. So the big deal here is how well do these products perform when you throw in all the advertised features (or at least as many as will work at once)? This is what we try to do with our performances testing. In our feature and design review we showed you what the Z77X-UD5H has to offer, and now we will show you how well it performs when you ask it to give you all of that at once.
Although AMD’s future is far from certain we do know that they have been pushing towards lower power and lower cost devices. We have seen these in the form of their new APUs and their A75 and A55 chipsets. We have already tested the performance of the A75, now we are ready to take a look at the performance of one of the A55 based motherboards; the Gigabyte A55M-DS2. We have taken a look at the design choices and features so far and have come away with a bit of confusion as to where this product actually fits into the market. Now that we have put the board through our performance tests, let’s see if we can find out exactly where in the market the A66M-DS2 belong and if it is worth your time and money.
Intel is in full swing with the X79 and their Sandy Bridge-E CPUs. We have watched as they have broken and re-broken records for performance and in some cases overclocking. Behind all of this we have the X79 chipset with its quad-channel DDR3 configuration and some impressive power specifications. Intel has also brought back BCLK overclocking which has made things very interesting. We have a few X79 boards in the lab and are working on finding out just what they can do and how they actually work in the real world. One of these is also our second Gigabyte motherboard; the X79-UD5. This will also be our first video preview where we show you and talk about the design and features. So let’s dive in and see what the GA-X79-UD5 has to offer…
Moving through some of the more prominent Z77 motherboards that are out right now we come to another one from Gigabyte. Here we have the Z77X-UD5H WiFi Motherboard (Model number GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB). The UD5H is typically their second in line for the top spot in Gigabyte’s food chain The Z77X-UD7 currently holds that top crown. However the UD5 boards are always very functional and tend to combine the best of both performance and features. With this review we will be covering not only the features of the Z77X-UD5H WiFi but also come of the design choices that go into the board to get you the performance you expect on the other end. So let’s get right to it and find out if the Z77X-UD5H WiFi is worth the $210 that Gigabyte is asking.
After a look into the design and features of the Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H we are now diving into how well it performs. Unlike the MSI Z68A-GD80 we do not have any indications that we will run out of PCIe lanes, however we are still a little concerned about how well the Z68X will perform when we drop in the HD5870. We are also more than a little curious to see how the touchBIOS will work on the real world. So, let’s dive in and get to testing the Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H.
We have taken our walk around of the Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5 and found we like the design and many of the features packed into the system. In the second half of our test we will be diving into what you can get out of it when you put in under the stress of rendering, gaming and general purpose computing. We do have concerns with this new product as it has really been built with a newer CPU in mind (one that is not ready as of this writing). Still one of the things that AMD has always worked on is backwards compatibility. With that in mind we are breaking out our Phenom II 1100T and getting ready for some testing.