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Gigabyte: New Flagship, Mini-ITX, USB 3.0

Computex 2010 Roundup: Coverage From The Show Floor
By , Dmitry Chekanov

Gigabyte announced its "king of motherboards" at this year's show, the GA-X58A-UD9. The company claims this one is ideal for four-way graphics configurations (both SLI and CrossFireX are supported). This ATX motherboard is bigger than the standard at 345x262 mm (as a reminder, normal ATX is 305x244 mm). It has seven 16-lane PCI Express 2.0 slots, so you can install up to four dual-width graphic cards (if your PC case allows it).

Thanks to two Nvidia bridges, PCIe 2.0 lanes from chipsets are dynamically shared between all installed graphic cards, so even if your setup has four PCIe graphic cards, they will be connected to the NF200 bridges via x16 lanes each. This monster also sports 24 phase power, which is claimed to help extreme overclocking configurations. According to Gigabyte, this board is even able to deliver up to 1,500W to the CPU. Crazy. If you want to spend more than $600 on a motherboard, this one's for you.

Switching to the other side of the scale, we have a new mini-ITX board from Gigabyte, the GA-H55N-USB3. Despite its compact form factor (170x170 mm), it supports all modern LGA 1156 processors (even new unlocked CPUs).

You also get USB 3.0 connectivity and all of the necessary ports, so this model is very interesting for building compact office PCs or HTPCs. The board does come with a single PCI Express x16 link capable of taking a discrete card, or you can use the HD Graphics core built into Intel's Clarkdale-based processor (HDMI output is available on the board's back panel). This is an attractive product, we think.

Pay attention to lower right corner of this motherboard. The white socket, which accepts a USB bracket, is special. You can use connected ports, even your PC is off (in standby mode). So, you can always charge your phone from your PC. Gigabyte calls this technology "On/Off Charge," and it is available on many of the company's new motherboards.

By the way, Gigabyte also provides high current for all USB 3.0 ports, so you can charge devices that require up to 2.7A (iPad, for example). Gigabyte calls this function "USB 3x power," so be cognizant of this when you pick a board and intend to drive a high-current device. Most motherboards can only provide a maximum of 0.9A over USB 3.0 ports (or 0.5A through USB 2.0).

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    wiinippongamer , June 12, 2010 3:57 PM
    FINALLY a hardware article of this event
  • 11 Hide
    ashkaji , June 12, 2010 4:46 PM
    wiinippongamerFINALLY a hardware article of this event


    Seriously. If I want babes I have a plithora of websites that'll spam me with tatas. I wana know about the tech! :D 
Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    eugenester , June 12, 2010 6:33 AM
    Wow, some good stuff. However, I find it odd that Intel did(will?) not add USB3 support on the LGA 1155 platform. Maybe saving it for Light Peak? Next, I really liked that SSD exhibit w/ 1 in hot water and 1 in ice. Also, how the hell will ASUS keep a 5770 cool with that puny heatsink? The sad thing is, you gotta sift through the crap and gimmicks to get to the good stuff.
  • 0 Hide
    frye , June 12, 2010 7:11 AM
    So is Intel never going to support USB3? Haswell's after Sandy Bridge, but that's not out till 2013. I'm going to agree with Eugenester that Intel's just going wait until their Light Peak tech's ready.

  • 0 Hide
    Kelavarus , June 12, 2010 8:21 AM
    I really want that SketchBook. Hope they have decent battery life, decent specs, and a nice price.

    It's like an update of one of those HPs. FINALLY!

    Also, Rosewill has had an alkaline charger for a little while now. Works too, if Newegg reviews can be trusted.
  • 14 Hide
    wiinippongamer , June 12, 2010 3:57 PM
    FINALLY a hardware article of this event
  • 11 Hide
    ashkaji , June 12, 2010 4:46 PM
    wiinippongamerFINALLY a hardware article of this event


    Seriously. If I want babes I have a plithora of websites that'll spam me with tatas. I wana know about the tech! :D 
  • 0 Hide
    4ILY45 , June 12, 2010 5:17 PM
    Asus's Immensity specs looks good(provided the manage to solve the heat issue) .. 5770 in trifire. YUM!!

    That Gigabit powerline adapter looks promising.. *prays that it has low ping*
  • 2 Hide
    JonnyDough , June 12, 2010 6:43 PM
    Open chassis cases are not at all practical. While it may look cool there are several disadvantages. Dust will settle on the motherboard as there are no filters, you can cut your finger bad on CPU fans and heat-sink fins (so can pets, and a child can get burned on the heat-sink as well). Not to mention someone could spill a drink on it, and the static sensitive parts are exposed.

    If you're going to build a nice rig, it seems it would make sense to protect it. I would rather just have a plain computer workbench for piecing together a system prior to dropping it into a case. Use a clear case if you want to put your components on display.
  • 5 Hide
    JonnyDough , June 12, 2010 6:50 PM
    ashkajiSeriously. If I want babes I have a plithora of websites that'll spam me with tatas. I wana know about the tech!


    No kidding. The booth "babes" really are just that. Babies...children. When I was 24 I was probably already too old to be dating any of them. Some of us realize differences in maturity and don't spend all our time being lustful - there is actually more to great sex than just looks (try a personal connection with someone local who you can actually get to know) and if the sad people who photograph young teenage girls and put them on display for other sad people would just realize this they may actually be able to get a woman and hold onto her. Think a bit deeper than the exterior, don't you think our society is superficial enough? Once a guy can get past the immature sexual discovery years they will hopefully realize that there is so much more to life than obsessing about putting your stick in a hole. i.e. obsessing about amazing leaps forward in science and tech. :) 

    I'm not saying its wrong to think about sex, but maybe next time instead of taking so many pictures of silly girls you could snap more photos of what the show is actually ABOUT and lead with THAT.

    Lead with innovation and not with your...

    Now if only GM CEOs had done that.
  • 3 Hide
    JonnyDough , June 12, 2010 7:15 PM
    Alkaline battery charger, great idea. But I hope that after 20 charges the alkaline battery fails to take a charge, as opposed to catching fire or exploding.

    What happens if you put rechargeable batteries in it? Does it use more electricity to recharge the batteries than a normal rechargeable battery? I thought that alkaline batteries had good output but were more resistant to taking a charge? How does a recharged alkaline compare in output power (i.e. will it reproduce proper voltage) and will the batteries run as long per charge compared to a higher end rechargeable battery? I'm all for being environmentally friendly but if it requires burning more coal at a power plant to recharge one it might be better to just recycle your batteries if new ones perform much more optimally. Speaking of which - I would MUCH rather see recycling programs take a real hold here in America for electronic wastes than for a device like this - as this only pertains to one type of electronic tech. Electronics have so many valuable and toxic metals in them.

    It would be great to have broad recycling done right for once, I think the government is so busy addressing other issues all the time that our politicians have failed to properly implement local, state, and federal recycling programs. We could really use statewide and/or nationwide recycling programs! Where I live we have NONE. Heck, get the U.N. to implement some sort of global recycling initiative. Cut back on oil demand and spills, and pollution/cancer rates. Slash our thirst for new metals and mining...and actually be a bit nicer to our environment while reducing our need for new resources. Why bury so many good materials in landfills and pollute our oceans and streams? I just don't get why this hasn't been more of a front burner. We've had recycling capability for over thirty years, but its still small scale.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , June 12, 2010 7:59 PM
    I want some specs on those mousepads.
  • 1 Hide
    rambo117 , June 12, 2010 8:39 PM
    JonnydoughNo kidding. The booth "babes" really are just that. Babies...children. When I was 24 I was probably already too old to be dating any of them. Some of us realize differences in maturity and don't spend all our time being lustful - there is actually more to great sex than just looks (try a personal connection with someone local who you can actually get to know) and if the sad people who photograph young teenage girls and put them on display for other sad people would just realize this they may actually be able to get a woman and hold onto her. Think a bit deeper than the exterior, don't you think our society is superficial enough? Once a guy can get past the immature sexual discovery years they will hopefully realize that there is so much more to life than obsessing about putting your stick in a hole. i.e. obsessing about amazing leaps forward in science and tech. I'm not saying its wrong to think about sex, but maybe next time instead of taking so many pictures of silly girls you could snap more photos of what the show is actually ABOUT and lead with THAT.Lead with innovation and not with your...Now if only GM CEOs had done that.

    *applauds wisdom*

    On a side note, this is going to be another great year for our technological world! Looking forward to it,
  • 1 Hide
    falchard , June 13, 2010 12:31 AM
    LGA1155, New Intel Socket to add to their collection or new typo?
  • 1 Hide
    cangelini , June 13, 2010 12:54 AM
    falchardLGA1155, New Intel Socket to add to their collection or new typo?


    New socket interface. Just what you wanted, right? :) 
  • 2 Hide
    sabot00 , June 13, 2010 4:30 AM
    Let's see, LGA1366 has lasted (short-term memory loss), what about - oh wait, hey! Oh nevermind.
    On the otherhand the AM2 platform has lasted all the way from the rampaging Athlon 64 to the Phenom II X6!
    The number of cores on it has sextupled (bet you never heard that from intel) from the Athlon 64 to the Phenom II X6.
  • -2 Hide
    pinkfloydminnesota , June 13, 2010 10:15 AM
    Thanks for the article on goods. Too bad it's followed by more idiocy about booth babes.

    You seem to be forgetting what makes your readership hard.
  • 0 Hide
    Ubrales , June 13, 2010 2:14 PM
    Good article loaded with useful information!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 13, 2010 2:49 PM
    The alkaline charger is not even close to a new thing, I had an alkaline charger 10 years ago from the real goods store. It charged nicads and alkalines but that was before the nimh charger was common so it couldn't charge those. We usually got 15 charges out of an alkaline battery as long as it wasn't completely dead, the major downfall to alkalines is that the more you charge them the more likely they are to leak. Back then the charger cost us about 80 bucks but it saved us enough money to pay for itself quite quickly.
  • 0 Hide
    one-shot , June 14, 2010 3:24 AM
    Dmitry, you know that's a pic of a dude on the middle mouse pad, right? To answer your question, I'm not to fond of dude's butts.
  • 0 Hide
    Gin Fushicho , June 14, 2010 8:03 PM
    Jesus, Gigabyte is on the forefront of tech right now, I think I know who I'm buying my board from next.

    Those are some strong SSD's I want to use one even more now.

    The AL830 Media player has me drooling too, I won't have to deal with wirelessly streaming things to my PS3, I can just hook that right up to my Amp and watch.

    Cheaper faster USB 3.0 is something I've waited for, gives me another reason to upgrade.

    Holy crap, Power line jumped up in speeds that much? I might switch away from wireless for that.

    liking the pencil sharpeners and paper shredders, I need those closer to my desk. and...uh... yeah, one-shot is right, that's a dude in the middle mouse pad. But ya, like what ya like. ;D


    My god, this is going to be a GOOD year. I'm excited.
  • 0 Hide
    sliem , June 14, 2010 9:24 PM
    What's with the bashing on booth babes? Taking picture of pretty girls != thinking about sex. Some of us like to see pretty girls, that is all. Why do people subscribe to playboy or maxim or even Victoria's secret? Do they then not have a life?