122a vrz Gigabyte Gives H61 Platform a Touch of Legacy

Gigabyte released a new socket LGA1155 motherboard based on the Intel H61 Express chipset, which features legacy connectivity otherwise rare for the platform. Called the GA-P61-USB3P, the name could lead some to believe it's based on a "P61" chipset, since Gigabyte traditionally makes the chipset model clear in the product name. In reality, there is no "P61" chipset. 

 


Gigabyte released a new socket LGA1155 motherboard based on the Intel H61 Express chipset, which features legacy connectivity otherwise rare for the platform. Called the GA-P61-USB3P, its name could lead some to believe it's based on "P61" chipset, since Gigabyte traditionally makes the chipset model clear in the product name. In reality, there is no "P61" chipset. 

122a vrz Gigabyte Gives H61 Platform a Touch of Legacy
The LGA1155 socket supports 2nd generation Core i3/i5/i7 processors. The CPU is powered by a 5-phase VRM, and is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots for dual-channel DDR3 memory connectivity. The VRM uses a simpler design than what we'd expect from Gigabyte, it draws power from a 4-pin 12V connector, apart from the usual 24-pin one. Expansion slots include one PCI-Express 2.0 x16, two PCI-Express 2.0 x1, and three legacy PCI slots, wired to an iTE-made bridge chip. Gigabyte made full use of the connectivity options the superIO chip provides, including an LPT (parallel) port, and a COM (serial) port. Then there's the usual PS/2 combo port that Gigabyte is reluctant to let go of, on its boards.
122b vrz Gigabyte Gives H61 Platform a Touch of Legacy
Interestingly, Gigabyte didn't carry its legacy initiative forward, going on to add floppy and IDE connectors. Granted, an IDE would have required a larger (pin-count) SATA controller that also supports two IDE channels, but FDD is doable, since it's handled by the superIO chip. Moving on to its modern connectivity, we find two SATA 6 Gbps ports handled by a Marvell 88SE9172 chip, which supports RAID 0, 1, 0+1; four SATA 3 Gbps ports wired to the H61 PCH; two USB 3.0 ports on the rear panel driven by an Etron EJ168 controller; 6-channel HD audio surprisingly driven by the high-end Realtek ALC889 CODEC; and one gigabit Ethernet connection handled by Realtek 8111E. The sole display output is an analog D-Sub connector. Gigabyte regular DualBIOS with HybridEFI (capability to boot from volumes bigger than 2.2 TB) finds room. While announced, Gigabyte didn't give out its pricing.