Tuesday, April 3, 2012

GIGABYTE Z77 motherboards quick charge new 3rd generation Apple® iPad

When we read about some of the problems with charging the new iPad from USB and even some wall chargers, we thought we’d test out our 3X USB Power feature. Needless to say, the results are encouraging to say the least. Below is a picture of a new iPad (3rd gen) taking 2.02A from the USB 3.0 port of one of GIGABYTE’s new Z77 mobos.

off_charge_1 (800x533)

Here’s a quick video that Colin put together to show how the testing was done. Keep in mind that the more an iPad charges, the lower the amperage that it takes (this is standard for most consumer electronics products), so the amperage that you see will vary as the battery charges.

Now you may want to remind us that the new iPad does not have a USB 3.0 port. This is not an issue because USB 3.0 ports are backwards compatible with USB 2.0 devices, so USB 3.0 ports on GIGABYTE mobos can be used to sync and charge iPads. The main difference being that the USB 3.0 power spec is 0.9A, where USB 2.0 is 0.5A. GIGABYTE's 3x Power feature enables 2.7A from USB 3.0 ports and more than 1.5A from USB 2.0 ports.

At this point I’d like to distinguish between GIGABYTE On/Off Charge and 3x USB Power. These are two different features on most GIGABYTE motherboards.

a. On/Off Charge comes from an onboard USB header with a red background, and allows Apple devices to charge even when the PC is off (as long as the PSU is still connected to the wall socket and has power).


b. 3x USB Power is available from all or most ports, depending on the model, and essentially consists of a PCB with reinforced tracing from the power connector to each of the USB ports. Additionally, each USB port has it’s own fuse and these fuses have a higher limit (over 1.5A for USB 2.0 ports and 2.7A for USB 3.0 ports) for the maximum current that they will put out. This does not mean that they always put out the max current, because the current draw is determined by the device, not the motherboard, so there is not chance that your device will be force fed too high a current. The initial logic behind 3X USB Power was that we can’t control the quality of USB cables that people would use with our motherboards, so there would always be varying amounts of power degradation. With 3x USB Power your USB device should always be able to get enough current to keep it running stably and reliably.

I hope this clears up any questions. Feel free to post comments or questions about these technologies in the comments section below.


  1. Does all the USB ports of GA78LMT-S2 have the 3x capability? If not, then which all do?

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