Wednesday, February 29, 2012

GIGABYTE team up with TweakTown to give boards away!

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TweakTown are giving away a pair of GIGABYTE boards this week in their aptly named Weekly Giveaway Competition.  The catch? Well it’s all actually rather simple and straightforward; just head over to the TweakTown Facebook page, hit up the old ‘Like’ button, write this comment “I want to win one of two new GIGABYTE motherboards at TweakTown!” and you’re done for the day. Sit back and count down the hours til our buddy Cameron announces the winners on March 5th next week.

The prizes are a Sandy Bridge-ready Z68XP-UD3, and a Llano toting A75-UD4H motherboard. How could you possibly resist?

Check out the competition page here on the TT forums.

Christian Ney SMASHES the global memory frequency world record with GIGABYTE A75-UD4H!

You don’t see this every day I must say. Overclockers push their systems so hard to reach the ultimate frequency and give it absolutely every last bit of “juice” and cold to extract the most they can out of their hardware.

Christian Ney from Switzerland did a remarkable job yesterday smashing the global RAM frequency on the Llano based GIGABYTE A75-UD4H. Yes that’s right, he beat the big boys (with their 990FX boards) using a GIGABYTE Llano board which are meant to be low end.

Now that’s overclocking!!!

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Christian did a writeup on OCAHOLIC website, check it all out HERE and HWBOT submission can be found HERE

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Final result was a RAM frequency of 1868.3MHz (DDR3-3737) FAINTS!!!

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Congrats man, you are killing it right now!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

GIGABYTE Spring Extreme Competition is heating up

I.M.O.G from USA just broke the 8 core CPU PCMARK05 world record while benching for the HWBOT’s GIGABYTE Spring Extreme Competition. He used a GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD7. He forgot to use the competition screenshot guidelines in all that excitement and promised to come back with an even higher score. I like that! hehehe

Check out the competition HERE

Check out the world record score HERE

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Lucid Virtu MVP: What it is, and why you’ll want it on your motherboard

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One of the real standout features of our Z68 series motherboards, was the inclusion on Lucid’s Virtu software on several models. For those of you who are new to Lucid Virtu, the elevator description would be that …“it basically allows you to switch between your onboard graphics and your discrete graphics card”. HHmm… and why exactly do I need that?

Switchable Graphics

Well there are a few reasons. The main benefit from this ‘Switchable Graphics’ feature, is that you can power down your graphics card when running less GPU-intensive 2D tasks like web browsing, watching video and general purpose productivity tasks, but then engage the discrete card when you need it, i.e. when cranking up your favorite 3D games.

One of the more obvious benefits from ‘Switchable Graphics’ is that today’s discrete graphics cards tend to consume a lot of power, adding significant wattage to your PC’s overall power consumption even while idling. Being able to switch off the discrete card when it wasn’t needed offers a tangible reduction in power consumption, and perhaps most significantly, a tidy reduction of your electricity bills too.

Other benefits included having access to Intel Quick Sync technology, a popular feature that discrete graphics card users would typically have to abandon, as Intel’s Quick Sync is a processor-bound feature that required you to use Intel’s processor graphics. With Lucid Virtu’s Switchable Graphics feature you could essentially have your cake and eat it too; want super fast video encoding thanks to Intel Quick Sync? No problem, select processor graphics. Want great 3D performance for your latest DX11 games? Switch to that monster card you paid all those dollars for…

Now you’re probably saying that this is old news, but there is a new feature in MVP that gives you control over whether to use processor graphics or the discrete GPU for each application. Here’s a peak at what it looks like.

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But wait, there’s more to come..

However, since the Z68 launch, I’ve come to the conclusion that Lucid’s first iteration of their Graphics Virtualization software, Lucid Virtu, was actually just the beginning. Here was something that would grow, gathering momentum to quickly become a ‘must have’ feature for DIY PC builders and PC gamers. Having recently spent some time with the good people from Lucid, I’m now more excited than ever.

Here at GIGABYTE we’ve been working with Lucid to bring the latest Virtu MVP technology to our new 7 series motherboards. Trust me when I say that this is going to be popular bundle, and that’s because while Lucid Virtu MVP has the same switchable graphics feature that I describe above, they’ve also added new technologies that make it truly a game-changing feature (excuse the pun).

Virtual Vsync

If you’re using a powerful graphics card you may find that you’re getting some amazing frame rates at times, especially if you’re playing slightly older 3D games - many DX9 titles like Left4Dead and Portal 2 for example are still very popular. Today’s midrange and enthusiast graphics cards can rip through those games with blistering frame rates.

However, one problem that will arise with really high frame rates is that your monitor will almost always be limited to a refresh rate of around 60 Hz (can be equated to 60 frames per sec/FPS). Now if your game is running at 90FPS or more, this frame rate mismatch can result in a phenomenon known as ‘Tearing’. Check out the door frame and mirrors in the image below. You’ll see how tearing can look within a game. Not exactly the best graphical experience.

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Most games offer a fairly clumsy solution to the problem, euphemistically referred to Vsync. If you enable Vsync within your game’s settings, the game will basically limit frame rates to be equal to that of your display – typically 60 FPS. This will result in a wholly inferior game experience. Frame rates of 80 and 100FPS are very much preferable. Most gamers agree, Vsync is a solution that can prevent tearing, but alas, at a significant cost.

Virtual Vsync however is a much more sophisticated solution which resolves the tearing problem, but crucially, without limiting the frame rate. In fact, Virtual Vsync delivers almost the same frame rate as you originally experienced. Again, Lucid has found a solution that means you get the best of both worlds. Fast frame rates of 100 and above, without tearing.

HyperFormance

The other new feature that we’re looking forward to offering you guys is what Lucid refers to as HyperFormance, a feature which claims to substantially improve overall 3D gaming responsiveness. By responsiveness we mean how well the game actually responds to your mouse and keyboard, a key factor that contributes greatly to a better overall gaming experience.

Without getting too technical, Lucid Hyperformance basically examines each piece of data as it passes through the graphics pipeline with the aim of eliminating redundant rendering tasks. This allows for shorter rendering cycles which, in turn translates into better overall responsiveness for you the gamer. We have toyed around with Hyperformance here in our labs, and we’ve been impressed at how the game just feels faster. If you were running at 100FPS, enabling Hyperformance will most likely give you even higher FPS. Not only does the FPS show marked improvement, but so too does the feel and responsiveness of the game.

A Bundle Worth Waiting For

Although at the moment we can’ talk about when our 7 series boards will hit the market, we can tell you that when they do, many models will come bundled with Lucid Virtu MVP. We’re really looking forward to that day, and we’re convinced that this new platform will be a big hit with casual and enthusiast gamers who want to enjoy the best 3D gaming experience possible.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Really cool GIGABYTE mobo warranty checker

I was just helping our India marketing team with some English text for their support website and came across this really easy to use GIGABYTE motherboard warranty tool: http://ggcs.gigabyte.com/service/CheckWarrantyStatus_IN.aspx.

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Simply type in the serial number on the retail package of your motherboard (include the full serial: e.g. SN111900003001), and select the country where you bought it.

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After clicking on the ‘Submit’ button it should tell you what motherboard you have, and how much time you have left before the warranty runs out. You can see from the screenie below that they P67A-UD7 that I’m using is under warranty until April 24th, 2014.

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Enjoy! Let us know what you think of this tool on our facebook page.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Overclock 3D give away GIGABYTE-based rigs in 2012 Competition MADNESS!

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Tiny Tom Logan at overclock3D.net is running what has now become an annual event with his 2012 Competition Madness. He’s giving away three fantastic enthusiast systems that feature the GIGABYTE G1.Assassin 2, X79-UD3 and Z68XP-UD4 respectively. The competition is open to people of all regions of the world and simply requires you to submit your email address and sign up for a monthly newsletter. What could be easier? Competition closing date is Feb 28th, so you have about 6 days left…

Whet your appetite and check out the specs of the 1st Prize:

Custom BitFenix Collosus  
Gigabyte G1 Assassin 2
Intel i7 3960X
Kingston HyperX 2133MHz 16GB
Kingston HyperX 120GB SSD x2 in RAID-0
Enermax Platimax 850w PSU
GTX580 Graphics Card & 27" 3DV2 Monitor
XSPC CPU & GPU Watercooling thanks to www.specialtech.co.uk

Here’s Tom being his effervescent self, running through the details and prizes, as ever on video:

Visit the competition page on Overclock3D.net here and submit your entry!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

3D BIOS and 3D Power impress UMLAN.com in X79-UD3 review

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UMLAN.com have published an interesting review of our X79-UD3 motherboard. The GIGABYTE X79 series launch saw the debut of our new 3D BIOS and 3D Power technologies, so it’s great that reviewer Alex Lusakhpuryan was impressed with what he saw during the review:

“The software which is provided by Gigabyte give you a complete control of your system from OS and from BIOS. Two signature features in GA-x79-UD3 is the 3D BIOS and 3D Power. With 3D BIOS you have a GUI based BIOS which comes in handy for adjusting setting. It comes extremely handy for pro overclockers who want to push their system beyond limits and GA-x79-UD3 is certainly capable to provide a wide room for overclocking. 3D Power application is designed for overclocking. With this tool you can easily adjust Voltage, Phase and Frequency which are crucial in obtaining best and stable performance. Along with 3D BIOS and 3D Power Gigabyte offers other monitoring and overclocking tools from the OS.”

Alex concludes the X79-UD3 review by giving it a 9/10 rating:

“Bottom line is, if you are looking for a motherboard which would satisfy every user from pro IT to pro gamer then GA-x79-UD3 just might be it. GA-x79-UD3 is comfortably priced against its competitors MSI and ASUS and offers amazing performance. Does it worth 269$? In my opinion it does absolutely! With all these great features and 5 year warranty, how can you go wrong?”

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Check out the full review here on UMLAN.com

More details about the X79-UD3 can be found on our website here.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The BIG Freeze is coming to UK!

Nope, not the ice age guys, GIGABYTE is sponsoring an overclocking event of course!!!

HiVizMan from OCN forum recently made an announcement about a really cool overclocking event to be held at Cambridge (UK). If you are from UK or other parts of the world for that matter, and want to be part of something awesome, do yourself a favour and click on the link and organise a trip to Cambridge during the 2 day event (March 17th – 18th).

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…hmmmm, I didn’t know Hugh Jackman was into overclocking. How cool!

Have fun guys, wish I could be with you all!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Video: TweakTown’s Deanzo shows us how to crank an FX-8150 Bulldozer to 7.78GHz on LN2

Armed with a GIGABYTE 900FXA-UD7 motherboard and a few liters of liquid nitrogen, Dean ‘Deanzo’ Smith shows us on video what it takes to cool an AMD FX-8150 processor all the way down to minus 180 degrees Celsius and hit incredible clock speeds in excess of 7.7GHz. You have to take look at this video; it’s great to get an experienced overclocker showing us step-by-step how to insulate the motherboard properly, patiently pouring in the LN2 until you get the desired CPU temperature.

Interestingly Dean recently took part in a GIGABYTE Extreme OC Workshop in Brisbane Australia where pros like himself and our very own Dino gave enthusiasts a chance to get hands on with LN2 overclocking. You can read Dean’s report on the event on TweakTown here.

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You can click here to learn more about the GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD7 featured in the video above.

Friday, February 10, 2012

GIGABYTE and CyberPowerPC team up to protect your Intel CPUs from Overclocking mishaps

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Here’s some great news about a partnership with ourselves and CyberPowerPC where customers can get an Intel Performance Tuning Protection Plan absolutely free when they purchase a CyberPowerPC using any ‘K’ or ‘X’ model Intel processor and a GIGABYTE Z68 series motherboard. This is great news for anyone who fancies getting getting a kick-ass, handmade PC that they can push to the max.

Here’s the press release:

GIGABYTE Partners with CyberpowerPC to Offer Intel’s Overclocking Warranty Plan
--Push your CPU to the Limit with the Performance Tuning Protection Plan--

City of Industry, California, February 09, 2011--GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co., Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards and computing hardware solutions announced today that it has partnered with leading gaming PC system builder CyberpowerPC, to offer Intel’s Performance Tuning Protection Plan free. Purchased systems configured with the “K” or “X” Intel boxed CPU along with GIGABYTE Z68 series motherboards will qualify.

The Performance Tuning Protection Plan being offered by Intel is a chance for users to experiment with the overclocking features of your processor without the worries of what will happen if you push the processor too far. GIGABYTE and CyberpowerPC are teamed up to bundle Intel’s Plan free of charge, and allows you a single processor replacement through CyberpowerPC’s customer support if the CPU fails while running outside of Intel specifications.

For those who desire to obtain greater performance of the CPU by overclocking or tweaking the voltage, the GIGABYTE Z68 series motherboards with their new redesigned VRM, promise to deliver first class system performance and power stability. With only the best quality components and unique design, incorporating Dual Power Switching and Power Phase Boost with Multi-gear Switching, your CPU can enjoy more unadulterated power from the motherboard than from previous motherboards.

To find out more information about GIGABYTE Z68 series motherboards, please visit: http://www.gigabyte.us/MicroSite/279/z68.html

www.cyberpowerpc.com

Thursday, February 9, 2012

AMD announces new sans-GPU Llano chips. But where did the GPU go? And Why?

A CPU not an APUAthlon_II_X4_Box

AMD just announced a bunch of new processors that are based on the Llano architecture but are in fact branded Athlon II. This might sound a little odd at first, as Llano was launched in June of last year as AMD’s new APU processors - combining x86 CPU cores with a dedicated DX11 GPU. What we have here however with the new Athon II X4 638 and 641 models, are pretty much traditional CPUs, i.e. no built-in graphics, just four x86 cores.

This is very similar to what Intel did earlier this month, launching several Sandy Bridge processors that also didn’t feature integrated graphics. So what’s going on? How have these processors come to be on the market without graphics, when in both cases they belong to an architectural design that dedicated significant transistors to providing a unified CPU plus GPU design?

Not all Chips are Born Equal

Well firstly, it’s important understand how these chips are made. The truth is that semiconductor fabrication is more like growing fruit or baking bread than you’d think. The silicon wafers that are produced are, for the sake of analogy, essentially grown. As with all things that are grown, the end products are not always born equal. In fact all processors undergo a binning process once they are produced. This process assess whether the chip is a Core i7 2500k, a Core i3, or perhaps an entry-level Celeron part. Some processors come off the conveyer belt with blinding performance, others may not work so well at all. When we talk about silicon wafer yields, we’re essentially describing how efficient the fabrication process is. High yields mean more fully functioning chips per wafer. Lower yields means fewer.

But regardless of yields, there will always be some chips that are born with imperfections – indeed few arrive in immaculate shape. If Intel or AMD are manufacturing quad-core processors, the chips that have imperfect cores will often have some cores simply turned off – thus a dual-core processor is born. AMD even markets tri-core processors where only one of the four cores is sub-standard. Well why not? Three cores are better than two.

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It would seem that both Intel and AMD have decided that those processors that happen to have sub standard GPU parts, will now also be binned as CPU-only models. The new Athlon II X4 638 for example is basically a full Llano processor that has it’s malfunctioning GPU turned off. That’s not actually as bad as it sounds. It makes perfect for AMD to do this.

The GPU that’s integrated with Llano APUs uses significant power. This power will doubtless have affect how how high the CPU can be clocked. By turning off the GPU entirely, AMD should be able to squeeze a touch more performance from the CPU part, or perhaps be able to reduce the overall power consumption of the CPU (hence the Athlon II X4 638 has a reduced 65 watts TDP). The bottom line is that these new CPUs from AMD and Intel are no worse off for having their graphics removed or turned off, in fact they may perform better as CPUs without the GPU.

So Who’s Buying these Chips?

It’s also important to realize that there is a significant market for this kind of CPU. Many customers will demand a dedicated graphics card in their system and will not care so much about having integrated graphics. AMD’s pricing reflects the fact that you’re only getting a CPU not an APU (i.e. CPU plus GPU), so from the customer’s perspective, why not save a few dollars. If you don’t need an the integrated GPU part, why pay for it?

Here’s a situation that serves as an example from a System Integrator (SI) perspective. There are a select few GIGABYTE motherboards that support Sandy Bridge, but don’t in fact have onboard display connectors. Branded as GIGABYTE P61 boards, these motherboards support Sandy Bridge processors via an Intel H61 Express Chipset, but unlike all other H61 models. do not have any onboard D-Sub or DVI connectors for a monitor or display. Let me explain why.

One of the primary markets for these boards is China, specifically the Internet Cafe market in China. It’s a massive segment and its one that’s increasingly important. Our P61 boards are essentially designed specifically for Internet Cafes in places like China where the demand for integrated graphics is virtually nil. These customers know that they will be using a discrete graphics card, (gamers in China demand it) and they want boards designed specifically for that purpose. i.e. they want the affordable H61 chipset, but they don’t want to pay for a board with onboard video support – yes, adding VGA, HDMI or DVI connectors cost money and raises the price.

However, these kinds of markets still want good CPU performance, but of course without the integrated graphics that we find in Llano and Sandy Bridge. So you can see how these new processor models from AMD and Intel will do very well in these kinds of markets.

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Intel and AMD realize that greater integration from an architectural stand point is essential to the future of x86 processor design - raising efficiency and performance (it’s also essential if they’re going to compete with ARM, but that’s a story for another day). But while integration makes perfect design sense, from a strictly business perspective, it also makes perfect sense to increase your yields while also offering niche markets a product that fits perfectly for them.

Finally, from a strictly DIY perspective, these new CPUs will also mean good value to certain PC builders. If you’re building a mid-range or even budget system and you know you’re going to use a graphics card (i.e. you want better than ‘APU level’ 3D performance, or perhaps you already have a graphics cards from a previous build), the new Athlon II X4 641 at $81, may well be the perfect fit for you.

Stone Cold Computing: a journey into overclocking

PC & Tech Authority magazine recently published an article in print and online about “a journey into the weird and wonderful world of sub zero overclocking”.

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John Gillooly, article author, is no stranger to enthusiast scene being the hardware geek and virtuoso behind some of the best known magazine names in Australia since their inception just about.

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John joined in on a fun trip with GIGABYTE and TeamAU boys who set out to share their overclocking knowledge with the up and coming enthusiast in Brisbane, Australia. John gives subzero overclocking a different perspective, definitely a worthwhile read!

One of the quotes that stood out was “Overclockers are often where our old review products go to die.” LOL

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You can read the article here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Video: Elric gets romantic with our GIGABYTE X79-UD5

Elric from Motherboards.org is certainly known for his musical abilities, having his own rock band and such. His musical, er… abilities, don’t stop there however. as I’m sure you’ll agree if you watch the video below where you’ll witness Elric doing an unboxing of the GIGABYTE X79-UD5 motherboard with a rather special (if slightly creepy) musical introduction.

 

Cheers Elric. Unboxings can kind of get boring to do I’m sure. We’re giving you 10/10 for creativity buddy.

We look forward to the full review on Motherboards.org

Learn more about our X79-UD5 motherboard right here.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Overclockers Rejoice! APC enjoy the GIGABYTE X79-UD7

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James Trevaskis, writing for APC magazine, has just published his review of our X79-UD7 motherboard.  Giving our high-end X79 board a healthy 9 points from 10, he takes time to praise our designers for creating one of the more interesting X79 designs on the market as well as acknowledging the UD7’s overclocking DNA and direct lineage to our uniquely positioned X58-OC board. James appreciates how much effort has also gone in to creating a board that simply ‘screams’ overclocking:

“The 4G button makes overclocking impossibly easy: simply throw in your CPU, memory and graphics card, then press the 4G button for an instant 4GHz overclock. The OC Touch interface makes a welcome return, providing buttons to adjust your CPU multiplier and base clock on demand, without ever entering the BIOS. In a major step forward, GIGABYTE has moved away from analogue power circuitry and added a new digital PWM that promises to deliver cleaner power and more control to the user. The BIOS has also had a major overhaul, taking the UD7 into the realms of the graphical BIOS. Never fear though, the old BIOS layout is a single click away at all times.

GIGABYTE has come through with another great motherboard in the UD7; while it doesn’t have as many features as other ultra-high-end boards, it's extremely competitively priced. We don’t care what GIGABYTE calls their motherboard, around the APC labs it will be known as the X79-OC.”

Catch the full review here at APC Magazine.

Click here to find our more about the X79-UD7 motherboard.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wow, what a great comp! Christian Ney smashes all Llano records to oblivion!

HWBOT.ORG’s competition called GIGABYTE X'MAS & New Year Contest just finished with Christian Ney from Switzerland absolutely smashing all scores in style.

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Hardware used:

  • GIGABYTE GA-A75-UD4H
  • AMD A8-3870K 'Llano' CPU
  • Geil Eva Corsa RAM
  • Both RAM & CPU Cooled with LN2

Records achieved:

  • World Record Llano Reference Frequency at 200MHz
  • World Record Llano Memory Frequency at 1752.8MHz & 2nd highest overall global RAM frequency achieved! WOW!!!
  • World Record Llano CPU Frequency at 6067.71MHz (also well done to Tsunamijuan and _mat_ for reaching past 6GHz :)

Overclockers are super-nerds and what better way to express happiness than to load up some old school MC Hammer in your submission posts, love it. Christian Ney says… U Can’t Touch This

Hammer time