A quick overview
Founded in 1986, Gigabyte
started as a research and development team and has since taken the lead in the world's motherboard and graphics accelerator markets. To truly reach out to all consumers, Gigabyte
further expanded its product portfolio to include more diverse digital products such as Notebook and desktop PCs, digital home appliances, networking servers, communications, mobile and handheld devices, servicing every facet of people's lives at home or at work.
aims to “Upgrade Your Life” by knitting a global network to effectively honor its commitment to world wide customers. What's more important, GIGABYTE wishes all users to see and feel the brand through its products and all the touch points from GIGABYTE to the hands of all users
Before we continue to explorer the motherboard itself, a brief word on the 333 features on this mobo.
Gigabyte's way of implementing it as first on the AMD platform :
First up is the implementation of SATA 6Gbps, achieved via the integration of the Marvell 9218 chipset. Boosting performance theoretically to twice the speeds of the current available controllers and even up to 4 times the speeds when running ya favoured drives on a RAID 0 setup.
I mentioned the word theoretically as current mechanical/rotational drives are hitting a sort of maximum possible transfer speed with current SATA 3Gbps setups. The testing
by our fellow [M] Reviewer Danny on the P55 platform clearly shows that the real performance gain has to be expected from future SSD drives. Hopefully we will see already loads of these at the CeBIT 2010 Messe.
USB 3.0 however is already ready for direct use. A separate NEC controller boosts the speeds sometimes up to trice the speeds of what USB 2.0 controllers can deliver. Referring again to the above mentioned article for some test results with an external USB3.0 device.
There's already a new Firmware for the NEC chip to improve USB compatibility: NEC Firmware update Win7/Vista
USB Power boost is designed to enhance the compatibility and stability with eg external storage devices or optical USB drives. Delivering up to trice the power through one single USB slot your power hungry devices won't starve for current. Gigabyte upped the current for USB 2.0 devices from 500 to 1500mA, USB 3.0 get's a boost to 2700mA (coming from 900mA). Also the voltage output has been stabilized.
The AMD 790FX chipset doesn't really need an introduction. It's has been proven to be a solid performer. Its successor, the 890FX are already slowly sipping into the review channels. Quick overrun on the features to be found on this high end mobo :
Supporting up to the latest 45nm AMD Phenom II/Athlon II processors with socket AM3 and HT Technology. Eight plus two phases should satisfy all your power needs when pushing the envelope on this platform, even under the extremist conditions. Gigabyte claims optimized power delivery and lower VRM temperatures through this design.
Ultra Durable 3 assures best quality components that can keep your puppy running full blast, without having to worry about anything giving in. Triple Crossfire is supported for maximum gaming pleasure and to hunt for ultimate 3D benching scores. When running two cards PCI-E 2.0 is running at twice 16X. Adding a 3rd card will make the two bottom cards run at 8X speeds. DDR1866+ speeds are a bold claim to print on the box as it usually requires extreme temperatures on AMD CPU's to achieve. Via AMD Overdrive
and Gigabyte's own Easy Tune you can manipulate voltages, ram timings, monitor temps etc... to maximize performance without needing to tinker in the bios. Not all users are pushing to the max; some just want an energy efficient rig that they can tune/tweak to the desired degree. Gigabyte's own Dynamic Energy Saver feature is very simple to use via one click on the button. Three preset levels avoid the user to spend hours to properly setup and calibrate the power saving features.
The Box is attractive and forces all the onboard features straight into your brain.
The box contains :
Motherboard and driver CD
User manual and Quick Installation guide
4 S-ATA 2.0 cables and one IDE cable