Gigabyte goes all-in on AI with AI TOP-branded workstation motherboards, AMD and Intel GPUs, SSDs, and PSUs — plus Gigabyte software for local AI training

Gigabyte AI
(Image credit: Gigabyte)

Whether you believe that AI is the next great leap in human achievement or the latest tech hype train akin to cryptocurrency and NFTs, Gigabyte is on board and blowing the whistle as loudly as it can. 

At the company's Computex launch event here in Taipei, Gigabyte announced its AI TOP hardware and software brand. This includes workstation motherboards from AMD (TRX 50AI TOP) and Intel (W790 AI TOP), graphics cards from Nvidia (RTX 4070 Ti Super AI TOP 16G) and AMD (W7900 AI TOP 48G and W7800 AI TOP 32G), an M.2 SSD (AI TOP 100E 1TB / 2TB), and a 1600W power supply (UD1600PM PG5 AI TOP).

And in case you were wondering what selection of those AI-focused parts you might need to train your own personal virtual brand ambassador, Gigabyte offered up four "recommended sets" based on your model size and hardware budget.

(Image credit: Gigabyte)

And if your model size is big, your budget better be, too, with the most powerful option with four GPUs priced at $35,999. That kind of money is veering into enterprise territory, but one of Gigabyte's selling points is that these options are all standard workstation-class components, making them easy to assemble and upgrade, and they don't require specialized electrical wiring. Since they're effectively workstation PCs, you can plug them right into the closest wall outlet – just don't forget that you can't use the toaster or the microwave for the next 200+ hours while your AI is running through its several-billion-parameter model.

So what makes these AI TOP components more desirable (and presumably much more expensive) than their more mainstream counterparts? Well, Gigabyte calls these parts "ultra durable for AI training," which means extended warranties and more premium components.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The RTX 4070 Ti Super AI TOP card, for instance, features a two-slot blower design (so you can fit four on in E-ATX motherboard) and an all-copper heatsink.

(Image credit: Gigabyte)

The AI TOP 100E SSD is rated for "150x TBW" (whatever that means). And the drive's product page offers no clarification, stating that the drive has "Outstanding TBW (Terabytes Written) for workload scenarios of Al training." The drive does offer a five-year warranty, which is pretty standard. For reference, Samsung's 2TB 990 Pro SSD also has a 5-year warranty and is rated for 1200 TBW. Gigabyte's drive is rated to 7,200 / 6,500 MBps reads and writes, but that's also less than the 990 Pro's 7,450 / 6,900 MBps

The company's 1600W AI TOP power supply, as you might expect, promises server-grade components, along with "2x lifespan under high-standard testing. It's 80 Plus platinum rated and is designed to power up to four GPUs. 

Hardware aside, Gigabyte is also attempting to make waves on the AI software side, although details there are scarcer and we didn't have any time to try the software out at Gigabyte's press event.

(Image credit: Gigabyte)

First up AI Top Tutor, which Gigabyte describes as "a cutting-edge AI technology… that provides comprehensive consultation for AI TOP solutions, set-up guidance, and technical support." Yes, Gigabyte created an AI to help sell you its AI hardware. And it's complete with a creepy cybernetic child-like avatar with all the realistic lip-movement abilities of a mid-90s videogame video game character.

Perhaps more substantially, Gigabyte has also built the AI TOP Utility, a "groundbreaking realization of local AI model training with reinvented workflows, user-friendly interface and experience, and real-time progress monitoring." The software packs in several open-source AI models behind a simple-looking point-and-click interface that's designed to let AI novices conduct training without using the command line or having "any skills of AI programming."

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Again, we didn't get a chance to spend any real time trying to use Gigabyte's AI Utility, although it was demonstrated in action and the interface does seem pretty streamlined. The bigger question is whether or not the software actually lets you do the key things you'd need or want to do for useful local AI training from start to finish. 

At the very least, Gigabyte's AI TOP Utility could be a less intimidating way for those interested in AI to get started playing with AI, and then expand their skillset from there. But I find it hard to believe that those serious enough to sink tens of thousands in AI-focused hardware for local AI training are going to find everything they need in what looks like an intuitive, but fairly limited front-end for freely available open-source AI models. Then again, I'm no AI training expert. Perhaps I should consult with Gigabyte's AI TOP Tutor.

Matt Safford

After a rough start with the Mattel Aquarius as a child, Matt built his first PC in the late 1990s and ventured into mild PC modding in the early 2000s. He’s spent the last 15 years covering emerging technology for Smithsonian, Popular Science, and Consumer Reports, while testing components and PCs for Computer Shopper, PCMag and Digital Trends.

  • Notton
  • TechLurker
    I was wondering if we'd see more AI virtual assistants.

    Computex 2023 had a basic one that Dawid covered a bit, but it was rough and inconsistent.

    But it's odd that there wasn't more push for virtual assistants at an AI-oriented expo, given that studies show that humans would prefer to interact with a virtual being than just merely cameras and speakers. It would also be a good example use of them in more mundane elements; whether it's as "booth babe" greeters that can tell you about the products, or a concierge making an example order for drinks or a reservation, or even as a receptionist telling visitors the location of each booth or restroom when asked.
  • eye4bear
    With Amazon admitting publicly that "Alexa" has been a bottomless pit, money wise, as the public is not using it nearly as much or as they thought we would to buy more things. I am thinking, they must have seen that memo...