Friday, February 26, 2010

GIGABYTE HD 5870 SOC Graphics card pushed to insane overclock by hicookie

Gigabyte recently announced its latest monster overclocking graphics card called 5870SOC (Super Overclock) Edition. All of the GPUs in this new range of high-end graphics cards have been cherry-picked for top performance, efficiency & reliability. Looks great! Check out the video posted by hicookie clocking the GFX to 1400/1410MHz using a Gigabyte P55A-UD7 motherboard: youtube video

WD My Book 3.0 Compatible with GIGABYTE USB 3.0 Boards


The Western Digital My Book 3.0 just passed our compatibility testing and has been added to the list. Stay tuned for more USB 3.0 devices – it looks like March 2010 is going to see hoards of new USB 3.0 devices hitting the shelves.

New Buffalo Compact USB 3.0 Drive


Buffalo Japan have announced a stylish compact USB 3.0 drive. It appears to be a 2.5” drive slated for availability in mid March. Come to thin of it, there are quite a few USB 3.0 devices that should be available in March – just after the CeBIT trade show in Hannover.

Keep an eye on the USB-IF’s website for the CeBIT press kit to find out more about USB 3.0 devices on display at the show.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tom’s Hardware Recommends GIGABYTE H55M-USB3 as “Best for Media Center”

mb_productimage_ga-h55m-usb3_big Thinking about building your own media center PC? Now is a great time, especially considering the exceptional integrated graphics performance of the newly introduced Intel Core™ i5/i3 (Clarkdale) processors. As the first CPU to feature the GPU processor directly on-die, Intel Core™ i5/i3 processors deliver some amazing graphics performance (Core i5 661 can reach a 3DMark Vantage score of E8000 or higher).

So which H55/H57 motherboard should you use for the ultimate home theater PC? Thomas Soderstrom from Tom’s Hardware recently tested 9 budget H55/H57 motherboards and recommends the GA-H55M-USB3 motherboard as the best choice for media centers.

“Asus’ P7H55D-M EVO and Gigabyte’s H55M-USB3 support the premium feature of USB 3.0 and also have HDMI outputs. Gigabyte offers the better value with its lower price.

The H55M-USB3 also beats Asus for use with graphics riser cards, since its PCIe x16 slot aligns perfectly with the riser card location of many low-profile cases.”

To read the full review, please visit Tom’s Hardware Budget Computing: Nine H55 And H57 Motherboards Compared.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hackintosh How-to

For those of you out there wanting to try Apple’s latest Snow Leopard OS without actually owning a Mac, Lars-Göran Nilsson from may have just the thing you’re looking for. Lars has compiled a fairly easy step-by-step guide to get your P55 motherboard system running OS X. However, keep in mind not all P55 motherboards are up to the task.

“For whatever reason it seems like Gigabyte’s range of P55 motherboards have the highest success rate.”

Check out SemiAccurate’s “How to build a P55 Snow Leopard Hackintosh” HERE

Monday, February 22, 2010

GIGABYTE USB 3.0 Boards Pass USB-IF Testing

We just received word that the GA-P55A-UD7 and GA-P55A-UD5 have passed USB 3.0 compatibility testing from the USB Implementer's Forum (USB-IF) and have been listed on their website. The GA-P55A-UD3 was listed at the end of 2009 so that there is now a high-end, mainstream and low-end option for PC upgraders looking for USB 3.0 in their new rigs (that is P55A-UD7, P55A-UD5 and P55A-UD3 respectively). Testing is very thorough and only 4 motherboards have passed at this stage – 3 of which are Gigabyte of course… 

USB-IF Pass UD7 & UD5

We hope to announce the listing of the other 22 USB 3.0 motherboards from Gigabyte on the USB-IF website in the next few days.

Post Chinese New Year Labor Shortage in China

Digitimes is reporting a post Chinese New Year labor shortage of 2 million workers due to higher than expected demand combined with a lower than expected return rate of workers after their annual break.

This is not the first time we’ve heard rumors of a possible labor shortage; there has long been speculation that after the Chinese government’s very successful economic stimulus package that focused on outlying areas as opposed to the big cities, many workers would find work back home during their annual Chinese New Year break. Other speculation suggests that as the level of education and experience of Chinese consumers grows, more people want white color jobs rather than blue color (factory worker) jobs.

Whatever the cause, this could seriously affect motherboard availability in the coming months. A worrying thought as the desktop PC market enjoys it’s first major surge in years!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Off to a Good Start in 2010

Digitimes has a report on the January shipments and revenues for motherboard makers. It’s a mixed bag with 3 brands doing better than the previous month and 3 doing worse. Happily, Gigabyte has the highest month on month growth out of all of the hardware vendors listed with shipments of 1.65-1.85 million – this is significant because it shows that we are on track to achieve our target of 20 million boards in 2010.

Jan Revenue Month on Month Year on Year Shipments
NT$5.5 billion 55% up 41.06% up 1.65-1.85 million

The full table with comparisons to other brands is available from Digitimes. What stands out, in my subjective view, is that Gigabyte is driving new technologies such as USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) down through our product range, i.e. not only reserving these specs for the high-end boards. Is it pure coincidence then that our January sales are higher than others who might be a little more conservative with implementing next gen technologies during the Windows 7 upgrade cycle?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

USB 3.0 Hub Powered RAID Enclosure

InXtron is apparently developing a RAID enclosure that is USB 3.0 hub powered – so no need for additional cables, a single USB 3.0 cable will suffice.

U3 Taurus-front-1_L

It’s not ready yet, but we expect to be able to test an early sample for compatibility with our USB 3.0 boards in late March, so it should be available in volumes in Q2 some time. This is a great idea considering that you could use two SATA 2 solid state drives that each run at 2.5Gb/s in RAID 0 to give you (theoretically) 5Gb/s performance – 5Gb/s is also the theoretical speed of USB 3.0.

InXtron has another USB 3.0 enclosure that can be found here.

USB 3.0 Devices anyone?

We just added two ADATA USB 3.0 devices to the list: More to come.

Let us know if you find any USB 3.0 products that we should be testing.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

ADATA delivers on USB 3.0 Contd…

The second ADATA USB 3.0 drive that passed our compatibility testing today is the NH01. It has a glossy finish, so might be more suitable for a traveling professional than the matt black N002 that we showed in our previous post.



Below you can see both drives side by side for a size comparison. The NH01 is somewhat larger, so its possible that it might have larger storage than the N002 – not that we know the storage size of either drive.


Both drives will be on the site early next week.

ADATA delivers on USB 3.0!

ADATA is coming out with some really exciting USB 3.0 products and we hear that they have an aggressive roadmap that extends past Computex in June. We recently got two very practical devices in for compatibility testing with our motherboards, and they both just passed with flying colors this morning – both should be listed on the site early next week. My favorite (must have) drive is the N002: a solid state USB 3.0 portable drive that is also a SATA 3Gb/s internal drive.


Below you can see that the USB 3.0 and SATA 3Gb/s cable connectors are on separate sides; the SATA power connector is under the cameraman’s thumb.


This is one of the most exciting new USB 3.0 devices that we’ve seen in my opinion because of its versatility - USB 3.0 external drive or SATA 3Gb/s internal drive. Look out for it later in Q1 this year. If all goes well I’ll have one of these in our booth at CeBIT.


Stay tuned for more USB 3.0 goodness!

Digitimes gives the P55A-UD7 a nod

Very pleased that Ricky from Digitimes published a news post about our new flagship P55 chipset board: Gigabyte launches P55 motherboard stuffed with extras. It’s a very high-end board for a P55 platform when there’s an X58 chipset with more native bandwidth and support for higher spec CPUs. Here’s a quote:

“Some might question the logic behind adding so many extra features, which increase the selling price of the board, to what is essentially a mid-range platform (Intel has its X58 chipset for the high-end segment). But with the potential for overclocking, the wider choice and more affordable pricing of LGA 1156 CPUs versus LGA 1366 models, as well as future-proofing thanks to USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps, the GA-P55A-UD7 could make a better long-term investment providing near enthusiast performance without the premium price.”

USB 3.0 ready or not, here we come!

So we wanted to show everyone how committed we are to USB 3.0:


This is the Gigabyte head office in Xindian, Taipei County. As you can see we’ve covered the side of the building with a massive USB 3.0 Onboard Acceleration poster which at first, I must admit, I thought was a little over the top. However a recent discussion with our product managers revealed just how many USB 3.0 motherboards we’re shipping…


We have been selling USB 3.0 motherboards since October 2009 and are on track to achieve shipments of 1 million or more by the end of Q1, 2010! Our information is that Gigabyte’s volumes of USB 3.0 controller chips from NEC are larger than any other single vendor, so we seem to be more committed to the spec than other brands at this point. One of the reasons for the quick uptake of our USB 3.0 motherboards is that we are launching more mainstream models and, of course, volumes are higher in the mainstream than at the high end. A full list of models is available here.

Skeptics will say that USB 3.0 devices will only be available in the 2nd half of 2010 so why the hurry to push the technology now? I believe that there is another very important market driver that is helping us sell more USB 3.0 boards: the desktop motherboard industry is enjoying growth due to the global economic recovery together with the long awaited Windows 7 upgrade cycle… Upgraders generally look to ‘future proof’ their purchase as much as possible, and so its just logical to choose a USB 3.0 motherboard over one with only USB 2.0.

Stay tuned for more USB 3.0 devices that have passed Gigabyte motherboard compatibility testing.

Friday, February 5, 2010

TweakTown Compares GIGABYTE SATA 3 with RAID 0 to …….

“GIGABYTE SATA 6G Update - RAID 0 Just How We Like It”


One of the big advantages for GIGABYTE’s SATA 3 implementation is the support for RAID 0. Chris Ramseyer from TweakTown wanted to see how big of a difference in performance it actually makes, so he compared a GIGABYTE P55A-UD4P with RAID 0 versus a ………. which doesn’t support. His findings are pretty conclusive.

Read the full TweakTown article HERE

Some highlights:

“ASUS made a bit of a fuss over the way GIGABYTE implemented the Marvell SATA 6G and NEC USB 3.0 to motherboards. The whole pitch ended up backfiring on ASUS when it came to light that ASUS used an almost identical solution on one of their own motherboards. ASUS ended up with another egg sitting squarely on their face when we were able to actually get a closer look at the two companies P55 solutions with SATA 6G. GIGABYTE included RAID and ASUS just used two standard ports.”

“There was a lot of hype surrounding out first article that put the ASUS and GIGABYTE SATA 6G boards to the test. ASUS made quite a bit of fuss over their SATA 6G being superior, but when it came down to it they chose the safe route and GIGABYTE took it upon themselves to be innovative with what tools they were allowed to use. Right from the start we liked the fact that GIGABYTE chooses to implement RAID on their boards and it really set them apart of the run of the mill standard solution used by ASUS.”

“desktop enthusiast users will be looking to purchase two smaller C300s and run them in RAID 0 on the only boards that provide onboard RAID 0, the GIGABYTE “A” class motherboards.”

SATA 6Gb/s Glorified

Just found this very positive review of a Crucial SATA 6Gb/s SSD during my morning news cruise:

Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB SATA 6Gbps Solid State Disk


It’s an interesting read because of its positivity in a sea of skepticism about the real benefits of next generation high speed data transfer standards – namely SATA 6Gb/s (also referred to as SATA 3.0) and USB 3.0. Granted, any standard will usually only show real performance benefits as more developers adopt it and so it matures. However the reviewer, Chris Ramseyer from Tweaktown, has some very positive comments. Here are some of them:

The ATTO test shows us what a drive is capable of doing under the best circumstances. Here we see the RealSSD C300 blowing past the limits of SATA 3Gbps in read speed. The write speeds are still very good, but the read speed numbers really steal the show.”

The real world Windows tests show the Crucial RealSSD C300 slaughtering the competition.”

Of all the benchmarks we do not show in the standard review, this is one of the most significant. This is a final run of the HD Tune Write Test. It comes after we beat the hell out of a drive with everything we have at least once.
Here we see that the Crucial RealSSD C300 takes the abuse without slowing down by any significant margin. It is important to also remember that this run is right after the other benchmarks and everything is ran one right after the other. The drive does not get a chance to idle. Most drives that have an internal clean up system work when a drive is idle.”

And finally…

We are realists around here and know that 500 Dollars for 128GB is a lot of dough no matter how fast it is. If you can wait a couple of months then you may just find yourself getting a deal. For me, well I would just say to hell with it and get my drive as soon as possible. If for you, like me, time is money and you stand to make more the faster you work, the Crucial RealSSD C300 may just pay for itself over time.”

‘nuf said, time to start planning my next upgrade…

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

USB 3.0 Goodness From OCZ

One of the benefits of working for a tech company is that you get to play with really cool stuff from time to time. Introducing my first USB 3.0 external hard drive… As you can see below it’s just smaller than an iPhone, but its a lot lighter and all solid state!

Top Side_L Bottom Side_L

We’ll be demonstrating this at CeBIT in a couple of weeks, so if you’re going to be in the area drop by the Gigabyte booth and check it out.

Monday, February 1, 2010

HiCookie Posts GIGABYTE P55/H55 Cold boot/Bug Fix Mod

HiCookie was able to figure out how to fix Carkdale's cold boot and bug issue if you are using LN2 and posted his mod instructions on xtremesystems. Soldiering is involved, so only the skilled and brave should attempt.