Since the G1-Killer MB announcement at CES 2011, GIGABYTE marketing people around the world have been putting on regional launches as the boards start to become available in their markets. I’m noticing on online forums, facebook and the events that I attend, that there is some confusion as to why we chose the X58 platform instead of the newer P67. The answer is simply that it is a matter of product positioning!
PC gaming components tend to be the top of the range because of the stresses placed on them by high definition games, so gamers and power users usually prefer higher end hardware. If we look at available high-end desktop PC platforms, the Intel X58 chipset + Core i7 Extreme processor combination maintains its position at the top of the food chain when it comes to compatible CPU performance (a brute of a CPU with 6 cores and 12 threads) and features such as 32 PCIe lanes for graphics, despite the launch of the Sandy Bridge platform. This is even more convincing after the launch of Intel’s new flagship desktop CPU, the Core i7 990x, just 2 weeks ago. Clearly there is still demand for LGA1366 motherboards when better processors, that are able to demolish performance records as the 990x is currently doing, are still being released .
By comparison, Intel’s 6 Series chipset + Sandy Bridge processor delivers excellent performance in general with special focus on media transcoding, but it is not the power house that the LGA1366 is from both CPU performance and No. of PCIe lanes for multi graphics perspectives (the P67 chipset offers only 16 PCIe lanes for VGA cards that can be split into 2x8 lanes for CrossfireX/SLI). One of the defining features of the G1-Killer MBs is 3-way CrossfireX and SLI (the G1.Assassin even supports 4-way CrossfireX), so the X58 chipset is the logical choice. This would only be possible on a P67 platform if we added a bridge chip like the NF200, like we did with the P67A-UD7, and of course, this would increase the cost of the motherboard for the end user.
Over time it is possible that the G1-Killer series of gaming MBs could extend to other platforms, but for now I hope that this explanation sheds some light on the rationale behind our choice of the X58 chipset for the initial launch.