Gigabyte pleasantly surprised us at PAX East 2016 with a small set of unreleased motherboards. Those boards will possibly surface about the time that Broadwell-E is launched – keep an eye out over the subsequent month, which means those are all prototypes and that the entirety here is difficult to trade. What we have been shown seems to be a refresh of the Haswell-E and Skylake boards that might be already available on the market with the U.2 guide.
U.2 is a connector that the Small form aspect operating organization (SFFWG) determined to rename in 2015. It turned into formerly referred to as “SFF-8639,” and the public that has been aware of it labored with servers. Part of the purpose it’s making its manner to computer boards is that the form element affords M.2 PCIe pace combined with the pressure mounting flexibility of the vintage SATA cable. Because of this, you can have as many U.2 drives as your motherboard has U.2 connectors.
The M.2 slot has a massive footprint at the board, limiting motherboard manufacturers from increasing M.2 aid past one or gadgets. The U.2 connector makes the physical force area less complicated. The drives themselves appear greater like 2.5” SATA drives with a SAS interface. They use a cable with a double-stacked connector at the motherboard facet and a wide SATA-like connector with a power adapter at the force aspect. The U.2 interface is likewise purported to be backward-like-minded with SATA and SAS drives.
The U.2 equipped boards that Gigabyte showed us protected three additions to the X99 line-up and greater for the Z170 lineup. Two of the motherboards are a part of the extremely durable brand, another two a part of the G1 Gaming logo, and the ultimate one is a member of the wireless-ready Phoenix logo. all the boards feature a black PCB and some highlights, like steel casing across the PCIe slots to reinforce them for the weight of these days’ heavier photos playing cards.
GA-X99-Designare EX specs
The primary X99 board, the GA-X99-Designare EX, introduces the brand new Designare label to the Gigabyte circle of relatives. It’s miles 1 of the two new extremely durable collection forums and functions AMP-UP Audio and a couple of the new on-board U.2 slots, positioned just north of the SATA ports. This is the simplest motherboard in the release to feature U.2 ports. There’s an exciting lack of any visual sign of an M.2 slot, but there may be one under the shroud. We think the presence of the second U.2 connector can be the cause there isn’t always a noticeable M.2 slot. The X99-Designare EX has five complete-duration PCIe slots. The first, 2nd, and fourth slots are x16, the 0.33 slot is x4, and the fifth is x8. Gigabyte delivered a large amount of white shrouding for aesthetics, and, like its Z170 Designare counterpart, the board has blue highlights.
GA-X99 Phoenix SLI G1 Gaming specifications
The GA-X99-Phoenix SLI is a G1 Gaming series motherboard with masses of similarities to the Designare EX. it’s were given AMP-UP Audio, an unmarried U.2 connector within the same area, and a white and orange shroud set. This is very just like the primary X99 on the list. The few variations relate to M.2, PCIe slots, and a Molex connector. For M.2, the Phoenix series has the same E-keyed M.2 wi-fi card as earlier Phoenix forums, in conjunction with an M.2 M-keyed x4 PCle slot for SSDs.
The PCIe slots consist of 4 complete-duration slots where the first and second slots are x16, at the same time as the 1/3 and fourth slots are x8. The very last, sizeable distinction is a four-pin Molex connector on the lowest fringe of the board, indicating that this motherboard might also require greater power – possibly for overclocking.
GA-X99 ultra Gaming specifications
The final X99 in the set is the GA-X99-Ultra-Gaming. Like the Phoenix, it is a G1 Gaming series board with all the equal capabilities. The simplest considerable variations are that the X99-Ultra-Gaming does not have a wi-fi card in its E-keyed M.2 slot, and the colour scheme is white and purple instead of white and orange.
GA-Z170X Designare specifications
The GA-Z170X-Designare is an extremely long-lasting collection board with a few of the capabilities we’ve already discussed. It has the AMP-UP audio gadget, an unmarried U.2 connector, and an M-keyed M.2 slot for SSDs. The PCIe slot configuration is extra in line with what we observed in other Z170 boards with a x16, x8, and x4 slot, respectively. There may be less shrouding on this board, with a black cowl the simplest gift over the/O ports and the audio chips. Just like the different X99 Designare motherboards, this one also has blue highlights.
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Gigabyte Z170X Ultra Gaming specs
The very last board, the Z170X-extremely-Gaming, sensibly falls into the G1 Gaming series. This one has no AMP-UP audio setup. However, it is otherwise very just like the Z170X-Designare. The simplest distinction we noticed between the two changed: it did not have any covering over the audio or any coloration highlights.
Those additions to the line-up seemed to provide enough range for most customers trying to improve across the time of the Broadwell-E launch. The only issue we’d like to see alternate is the M.2 slot absence at the X99-Designare EX. while getting a motherboard of the X99 quality; there truely isn’t a reason that the cease-consumer ought to be limited in their storage tool selections. The addition of U.2 is a welcome function on those new Gigabyte forums, searching ahead to introduce new storage gadgets that provide us with superior overall performance.