Gigabyte’s Computex Showcase @ Taipei 101
Gigabyte took us on a full two-hour walkthrough long of their exclusive Computex showcase on the 36th floor of the iconic Taipei 101 tower. Here are some of the highlights…
First on the agenda were the new Gigabyte Intel 8-series motherboards.
Other than the usual entry/business and mainstream offerings, the company brought out their customary refreshes of their G1.Killer gaming motherboards – the Sniper 5 and its smaller mATX counterpart Sniper m5, both based on the Z87 Lynx Point chipset.
Both Ultra Durable 5+ infused motherboards come with souped-up audio subsystems featuring a shielded/isolated Creative’s Sound Core3D codec, swappable opamps to change the audio signature as well as audiophile-grade Nichicon capacitors. An onboard Killer E2200 Gigabit LAN chipset also gives advanced QoS functionality to help improve online gaming latencies. The regular ATX-sized Sniper 5 comes with 4-way SLI/CFX support (via a PLX 8747 switch) and features a hybrid water/air cooled heatsink over its CPU VRM modules.
Next up is a blast from the past for the more senior enthusiasts – the Z87X-OC / OC Force. Back during the X58 / Nehalem days, Gigabyte had a limited-edition orange-themed motherboard that was built ground-up for competitive sub-zero overclocking (the X58-OC). Several generations later, they decided to bring it back just in time for the launch of Z87/Haswell.
The OC Force (considered the halo offering) commands a price premium over the relatively inexpensive Z87X-OC (just $199 on NewEgg) by having actively cooled heatsinks for the PCH and VRMs and 4-way SLI/CFX support (again via the PLX 8748 bridge chip). It also comes with extra onboard SATA ports, bluetooth/wifi module and one more Intel Gigabit LAN interface.
In addition to the new UEFI BIOS interface and Easytune that is also available on the other boards, the two boards comes with an “OC Brace” which is a metal bracket to secure the graphics cards during open-case benching and “OC Ignition” to keep the other components except the CPU powered-on (useful for water-cooling maintenance or “cold bug” scenarios).
Gigabyte also showed off upcoming Titan/GTX780 graphic cards based on their own custom “Windforce 3X” cooler, touted as capable of taming up to an impressive 450w of heat (unlikely, since Nvidia restricts AIB partners to safe overclocking limits above the official 225/250w TDP).
Next-up on the tour is Gigabyte’s answer to the Apple Mac Mini/Intel NUC – the BRIX mini-pc.
Besides the current Ivy Bridge model and the obvious Haswell refresh, we also spotted new variants with AMD’s Kabini and Richland mobile APUs, which should make for a decent “cheap and cheerful” HTPC/gaming build.
In the peripherals department, Gigabyte also showed off new headphones and their Aivia keyboard/mouse gaming accessories. One of their upcoming wireless mouse (show below) even has a LCD panel on the receiver to show the active status and configuration options.
Lastly, Gigabyte had a plethora of gaming laptops and Ultrabooks to show off. One of them (U24T) even has Thunderbolt connectivity in addition to its mobile Geforce Kepler GTX765MX graphics. The last picture in the gallery below is a “Microsoft Surface-ish” Core-i5 class tablet with a kickstand and a detachable keyboard that uses magnets for docking.