Mini-ITX Socket FM2, Z87 And Thunderbolt, And Core i7-4770R
After being live for a full 24 hours, the Gigabyte “Ask Me Anything” has officially concluded!
Epic thanks to the Gigabyte representatives who took time out of their schedules to come and answer all the great questions our community had for them. We know this was a lot of work on their end, and we're greatly appreciative of the time taken to engage with the community here at Tom's Hardware. :)
For answering so many questions, a big shout-out goes to Henry Kao and Stew Haston for the quick responses. Also, last but not least, a super huge thanks to Colin Brix at Gigabyte for helping put this together and securing the time and info required to make this happen.
Q. What are you excited about in the new chipset? Did Haswell really open up any possibilities that weren't in Ivy bridge?
A. The main advantages of Ivy over Sandy are performance. The graphics core itself has been improved around 30% and Ivy offers much better memory performance, as we are seeing over 4GHz overlocked memory on this platform, which we weren't even close to on Sandy.
Q. When are we going to be able to purchase Z87 boards from Gigabyte with Thunderbolt ports? Current Z87 offerings do not have it.
A. Our Thunderbolt boards will make their appearance in August.
Q. Your competitor Asus provides a plug in block for case connections (power button, HDD LED, Reset Button) that then plugs into the motherboard as a single item. This makes plugging those connections in much easier. Does Gigabyte offer something similar or is there something in the works?
A. Currently we do not offer that, but we agree it's a great idea. It has been discussed internally and hopefully we can offer something similar soon.
Q. Will we be seeing Gigabyte design any Thin Mini-ITX-based platforms with discrete graphics?
A. Colin: Most of our mini-ITX boards have a PCIe slot that you can add your own graphics card. Check out our latest Z87N-WiFi or H87N-WiFi. Henry: As far as I know there are no discrete Thin Mini-ITX boards in the pipeline. The heat and cooling challenges of most discrete GPU solutions would certainly be a challenge in an AIO machine. I'm not sure there's too much demand for gaming AIO's generally.
Q. Are there any plans to build a motherboard with Core i7-4770R for home theater enthusiasts?
A. Colin: As for any motherboards with on-board Intel i7-4770R, since it is a BGA (non socketed) CPU, we don't currently have any plans to support as selling a high end non-socket board/CPU is difficult in the retail channel.Our distributors would have to carry a large line of credit to purchase both board and CPU which is hard for some of our smaller customers.Our customers like to be able to DIY their systems, so not being able to change their CPU would be a hard sell for us. That said, we are trying to convince Intel to come out with a socketed CPU with Iris Pro graphics core. Henry: Our current Z87N-WIFI and H87N-WIFI boards would be good fit for a home theatre build using a 4770R, or indeed a 4770T which has an even lower TDP of 45 watts.
Q. Will there be any FM2+ 'Bolton' mini-ITX motherboards from Gigabyte?
A. We are currently offering a new F2A885XN-WIFI board.Check it out here (http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4611#ov)We showed it at Computex earlier this year and will get around to announcing officially it at some point in the very near future.