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Gigabyte's Fleet Of 100 Series Motherboards May Hint At DX12 Multi-GPU Capabilties

Like everyone else, Gigabyte isn't waiting for the launch of a new processor (Intel Skylake) to show off what it's put into the accompanying platform. Models from the high-end Z170 to the low-cost B150 were on display at the company's suite at Computex 2015.

The top model in its presentation, Gigabyte's Z170-HD3, carries a mid-market model title suffix yet still includes a trio of SATA Express connectors, an M.2 slot, and Gigabyte DualBIOS.

B150M-D3HH170-HD3Z170-HD3H170-D3HH170M-DS3HZ170M-D3H
Form FactorMicro ATXATXATXMicro ATXMicro ATXATX
Expansion Slots2x x16*, 2x PCI2x 16*, 1x x1, 2x  PCI2x 16*, 1x x1, 2x  PCI2x x16*, 2x PCI2x x16*, 2x PCI2x 16*, 1x x1, 2x  PCI
Memory Slots444444
StorageSATA 6 Gb/s, 16 Gb/s SATA-E 32 Gb/s M.2SATA 6 Gb/s, 16 Gb/s SATA-E 32 Gb/s M.2SATA 6 Gb/s, 16 Gb/s SATA-E 32 Gb/s M.2SATA 6 Gb/s, 16 Gb/s SATA-E 32 Gb/s M.2SATA 6 Gb/s, 16 Gb/s SATA-E 32 Gb/s M.2SATA 6 Gb/s, 16 Gb/s SATA-E 32 Gb/s M.2
*unspecified lane count
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Unfortunately, that's all we have for now. We're still awaiting complete details, such as lane count, although it appears that all of these motherboards have 16 lanes dedicated to the upper PCI-Express slot and fewer than eight lanes to the secondary slot. Thus, when it says "dual graphics capable," it probably doesn't mean SLI support, because the two slots will be over two different controllers. 

However, we suspect that it may have something to do with the Explicit Asynchronous Multi-GPU capabilities that will be coming in DX12.

We'll learn more when we have some boards on our test bench.

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  • jimmysmitty
    I find it very surprising to find PCI slots on a board from an upcoming generation. I haven't had any on a board for the past two, especially on a high end board.

    I guess it is cool if you need it but very few do these days.

    Also I just noticed, the top end board does say "AMD Crossfire" next to the top PCIe lane so I would assume it does support CFX.
    Reply
  • PaulBags
    Do we have specs for the 100 series chips yet? Because with this showing I think I'm actually going to be disappointed.
    Reply
  • thomasxstewart
    was to be 109 chipset, yet like i7, maybe this is first toper.
    drashek
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    15984035 said:
    Do we have specs for the 100 series chips yet? Because with this showing I think I'm actually going to be disappointed.

    http://wccftech.com/intel-skylake-s-platform-specifications-detailed-z170-100series-chipset-replace-z97-2h-2015/

    Pretty much on par with the Z97 chipset. Wasn't expecting much of a change TBH. Maybe more support for M.2, SATAe and NVMe.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    15984438 said:
    Pretty much on par with the Z97 chipset. Wasn't expecting much of a change TBH. Maybe more support for M.2, SATAe and NVMe.
    The DMI bus desperately needs a kick in the pants to adequately support upcoming IO standards. Or they could integrate a few USB3.1 and M.2 interfaces directly in the CPU to take the main bandwidth hogs off of DMI.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    15985027 said:
    15984438 said:
    Pretty much on par with the Z97 chipset. Wasn't expecting much of a change TBH. Maybe more support for M.2, SATAe and NVMe.
    The DMI bus desperately needs a kick in the pants to adequately support upcoming IO standards. Or they could integrate a few USB3.1 and M.2 interfaces directly in the CPU to take the main bandwidth hogs off of DMI.

    They are probably working on implementing more controllers into the die shrink.

    However, Skylake will have DMI 3.0 which is set to be 8GT/s so it will probably be quite fast compared to 2.0. Guess we will have to wait and see how many links and how fast overall.
    Reply
  • jasonelmore
    The Lane layout is like this

    20 Lane PCIE 3.0

    8x8x4
    or 16x GPU with 4 lanes for NVME storage
    Reply
  • skipperkins
    I find it very surprising to find PCI slots on a board from an upcoming generation. I haven't had any on a board for the past two, especially on a high end board.

    I guess it is cool if you need it but very few do these days.

    Also I just noticed, the top end board does say "AMD Crossfire" next to the top PCIe lane so I would assume it does support CFX.

    I still use them. You can get cheap PCI cards, and for many tasks they are good enough. I used to use a PCI Intel NIC (board has cheap one), but they I swapped it out for an eSATA card, which I actually no longer use. Most people use them for sound cards. For many cheap motherboards, a $30 Asus sound card is a great investment. I still have an old HT OMEGA Claro sound card that I use. It is PCI.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    15985287 said:
    However, Skylake will have DMI 3.0 which is set to be 8GT/s so it will probably be quite fast compared to 2.0. Guess we will have to wait and see how many links and how fast overall.
    IIRC, DMI3 is supposed to be 5x8G, which would make it twice as fast as DMI2 and just shy from fast enough to host two high-performance NVMe drives without becoming a bottleneck like DMI2 is.

    DMI3 already looks like a tight squeeze for modern IOs even before it comes out.
    Reply
  • josejones
    WHY didn't Gigabyte mention the new NVMe interface? Seems like that would be as important to mention as the virgin birth of Christ or something (even tho it's only in two of the gospels, LOL)

    ; )
    Reply