CES 2012 CoverageBosco -
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This year at Gigabyte, we had a unique experience in which we were invited as one of a select few teams with the privilege to sit in on an exclusive press release where we would most likely learn about a new line of motherboards. Last year, we got the first glimpse of the X79 chipset G1-Killer gaming motherboards for Socket 2011, which offer an excellent high-end gaming and overclocking experience. While we were waiting for the event to start, Gigabyte of course had current motherboards on display for us to check out, but we were more interested in seeing Gigabyte's offerings for the new AMD HD7970 card.
We wandered over to a display system that was showcasing two HD 7970s in CrossFire, though we wondered why we didn't see any HD 7970 cards that had an aftermarket cooler from Gigabyte or anything with an up-close look at offerings specifically from Gigabyte. The motherboard in the display system was the GA-990FXA-UD7 and the processor was a Koolance-cooled FX8120. Moving from the Bulldozer system to another corner, we saw the Aivia line of input devices from Gigabyte, which included the Xenon touchpad, a couple of mouses, and a keyboard. While we were over at this demo station, the call to the press conference went out and we all took our seats.
At the press conference, we got to hear from four powerful position holders in the hierarchy of Gigabyte. The first words came from Henry Kao, who is the Vice President of Gigabyte's motherboard business unit. We got to see him last year at CES when Gigabyte unveiled its G1-Killer gaming motherboards. He briefly spoke about how Gigabyte was doing in terms of business and took the time to introduce three other faces from Gigabyte, some of which are also familiar from previous CES events — Raymond Tseng, VP of Motherboard R&D, Tony Liao, VP of North America Sales and Marketing, and Charles Huang, VP of Latin America Sales and Marketing.
Following a brief introduction from each of these four VPs, we entered a Q&A session where folks in the room had a chance to ask questions for them to be answered in a 1-on-1 fashion. This was a good opportunity for Gigabyte to hear from us and other folks in the tech market as to what our concerns are and perhaps for us to hear what Gigabyte may have in the works for us this year. Honestly, nothing very exciting came up other than Gigabyte bringing up more options for on-board fan control (more PWM headers), along with more integration and commonization between each of the different Gigabyte software packages (instead of having multiple programs). We should expect to see a more streamlined program (or group of programs) for fan control, overclocking, BIOS updates, etc.
Though the meeting was about to come to a close, we were surprised at the last minute by a knock on the door, where Gigabyte's marketing manager, Colin Brix, "crashed the party" with five new motherboards from Gigabyte on the Z77 platform. Of course, we have more from the G1 series — the G1.Sniper 3 and G1.Sniper M3 board — along with several other mainstream boards, including the GA B75M-D3H, the GA-Z77X-UD3H, and the GA-Z77X-UD5H. Here we have a full new lineup of Z77 boards from Gigabyte and no one seems to be let down!
Before we walked out, we caught a glimpse of another display that we didn't notice while walking into the area. We had found the new HD 7970 card with the Gigabyte name on it, along with a newly designed Windforce cooler that now uses direct contact heatpipes and is said to perform much better than the current AMD reference design.
With these new products from Gigabyte, we can definitely agree that we should be seeing some exciting stuff from them company this year, especially with Ivy Bridge in the near future. We can only hope that Gigabyte’s high-end durable motherboards will continue on throughout the launches this year.