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Gigabyte Issues New BIOS for Motherboard Smoking Issue

Last week a Taiwanese overclocker uploaded a video to YouTube showing a Gigabyte X79-UD3 motherboard smoking and then blowing a MOSFET during a mild overclocking stress test -- the board's CPU VRM just couldn't cope with the stress. Viewers blew off the "blow-up" as mere bad luck in the following comments (which have since been disabled).

But then Gigabyte began receiving similar complaints from numerous customers owning several different Gigabyte motherboards, some of which claimed that moderate voltage-assisted CPU overclocking produced the same explosive results. The company thus began an investigation which revealed to be a problem with three socket LGA2011 motherboards: the GA-X79-UD3, the GA-X79-UD5 and the G1.Assassin 2.

The problem, according to the report, is a combination of the board's bad quality PWM components and bad firmware. The company has released a quick fix by way of a new BIOS which prevents burnout by throttling the CPU when subjected to extreme stress (and save VRM). Unfortunately, this prevention means that the overclocking feature has been disabled -- the main selling feature for all three affected boards.

That said, current owners can keep their motherboard and use the new BIOS, but the overclocking ability will be eliminated. If that's not satisfactory, customers can return the motherboard to Gigabyte for a free replacement when the corrected version becomes available. Meanwhile, the company has pulled all three boards from store shelves and virtual retailers.

Gigabyte will likely issue a statement soon on when consumers can return their GA-X79-UD3, GA-X79-UD5 G1.Assassin 2 motherboards for replacement, so stay tuned.

UPDATE

We've learned from Gigabyte that the new F7 BIOS does not disable overclocking. The company claims that it has hit 5.3GHz with the X79-UD3 and a 3960X using the F7 BIOS. Furthermore, Gigabyte claims that the only faulty part of its motherboards was in the BIOS. As such, the recall is for the BIOS itself and not the motherboard. Users who are not comfortable with updating the BIOS themselves can send their motherboards into Gigabyte customer service to have them updated.

Gigabyte has posted a guide on how to update your BIOS here.

Gigabyte this evening released the following statement:

GIGABYTE Firmware (BIOS) Update on CertainX79 Series Motherboard Models City of Industry, California, December 27, 2011-- It has come to our attention that certain X79 Series Motherboards (see models below) may malfunction due to excess heat when performing Extreme Overclocking beyond the board’s limit. To address this issue and to ensure our product is being used as intended, we urge existing X79 users to either visit GIGABYTE’s official website to download and update their X79 series BIOS, or contact GIGABYTE’s regional service center. The GIGABYTE X79 Series Motherboards in question are ONLY limited to the following models: G1.Assassin 2 , GA-X79-UD7, GA-X79-UD5 and GA-X79-UD3. The X79 series motherboards not named above are outside the scope of this statement and not applicable. GIGABYTE is committed to the following: 1. GIGABYTE will make its best efforts to ensure that all partners, distributors and retailers have the latest firmware (BIOS) installed on existing X79 Series Motherboard models. 2. GIGABYTE’s commitment to service excellence will not be compromised. The GIGABYTE X79 Series Motherboards offer an unprecedented 5 year warranty, the longest offered in the industry. We encourage users to register for this FREE 5 year warranty here: http://e-service.gigabyte.com/Productregistration/webevent/ExtendWarranty_US.aspx 3. If any existing user is still unsatisfied after the recommended firmware (BIOS) update of their X79 Series Motherboard, GIGABYTE will offer an unconditional replacement of their X79 Series Motherboard (same model). No Questions Asked. The latest X79 Series Motherboard BIOS update may be found below. Alternatively, existing users may also perform the BIOS update by using the GIGABYTE @BIOS utility which may be downloaded from the GIGABYTE website:http://www.gigabyte.us/MicroSite/121/tech_a_bios.htm G1.Assassin 2 – Please update to BIOS F7 or laterDownload:http://www.gigabyte.us/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4046#bios GA-X79-UD7 – Please update to BIOS F7 or laterDownload: http://www.gigabyte.us/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4047#bios GA-X79-UD5 – Please update to BIOS F7 or laterDownload:http://www.gigabyte.us/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4049#bios GA-X79-UD3 – Please update to BIOS F7 or laterDownload: http://www.gigabyte.us/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4050#bios This demonstrates GIGABYTE’S commitment to service excellence to all our customers. For additional inquiries, please contact us at the following link: http://www.gigabyte.us/support-downloads/customer-service.aspx

  • de5_Roy
    heh, i am pretty sure some of these mobos received 'recommended buy' from reviewers and got praised for features and oc. the irony!
    Reply
  • Be careful what you buy or you might get "burned".
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Gigabyte Recalling Three Motherboards Over Smoking Issue

    Rofl, didn't they know that smoking in public places is prohibited? :D Besides, it causes cancer :lol:
    Reply
  • moonzy
    I have an older model AM2+ Gigabyte mobo with no issues. Thank goodness!

    Anyone remember the old "Bad Caps" problems several years back, 2004ish? Apple and Dell products were effected (defected) by the problem.

    Leads me to wonder if other brands' products are about to pop.
    Reply
  • Sorry Tom's Hardware, but your article is not exactly correct. The overclocking feature is NOT "the MAIN selling feature for all three affected boards". It is a feature but not the main. When you consider the current range of X79 boards they offer, you can say that:
    1) GA-X79-UD3: is a standard entry level board
    2) GA-X79-UD5: is a deluxe board, offering addtional features such as Bluetooth and WiFi Card
    3) G1.Assassin 2: is a gamers' board offering Bigfoot Networks Killer and onboard X-Fi with EAX 5.0 technologies.

    Ironically, their overclockers' board (GA-X79-UD7) is not on the recall list (as at time of writing). Ironic in the sense that this board's main selling point is the overclocking feature. Your article is somewhat misleading. Please correct it thanks.
    Reply
  • FloKid
    I had my eye on the assassin but I guess it eluded me : )
    Reply
  • dead_rabbit
    So, some1also, if you're well verse of Gigabyte's X79 product line then what is the MAIN selling feature of these cards? If this article, by Tom's Hardware, is somewhat misleading and since you criticize this article in the first place what do you think is correct, huh?


    some1alsoSorry Tom's Hardware, but your article is not exactly correct. The overclocking feature is NOT "the MAIN selling feature for all three affected boards". It is a feature but not the main.
    Reply
  • theuniquegamer
    Smooookeen !!!!!
    By the MASK.....
    Reply
  • pita
    some1alsoSorry Tom's Hardware, but your article is not exactly correct. The overclocking feature is NOT "the MAIN selling feature for all three affected boards". It is a feature but not the main.
    He/She is obviously a representative from Gigabyte.

    Sorry some1also, people buy X79 boards because they overclock. There is otherwise no point to the extreme series CPU. You know that very well, so please don't make such a bureaucratic statements.
    Reply
  • rottingsheep
    OCers bought this to overclock so the fix is pointless. The best option is to give them coplete refund.
    Reply