In the midst of CES hustle and bustle, Gigabyte organized an out-of-the-way gathering of overclockers and media. The firm issued a public invitation, but only those who confirmed attendance got a shot at the location. A ten-minute walk from the building’s entrance and staged at night, security through obscurity appeared to be the idea.
But No Secrects Within?
Demo systems and exhibit parts from Gigabyte, Enermax, and G.Skill lined three of the walls, while the fourth was set up for hardware sets.
OK, Maybe Slightly Secret...
Among the items on diplay were several prototypes, such as the silent Bay Trail-based system that’s scheduled for production near the end of Q1 2014.
A Look Forward With SATA Express
We’ve seen many companies try their hand at external PCIe connectivity, but most get killed before they go to production due to licensing and driver issues with Thunderbolt. Gigabyte believes it solves the bandwidth issues experienced by those 10 and 20 Gb/s concepts by using SATA Express, which allows eight full-bandwidth PCIe 2.0 lanes to communicate over two cables.
Expanding The Expander
If you think eight PCIe lanes aren't enough, Gigabyte says it can do 16 though four SATA Express cables. In fact, its engineers told us that this “turnkey solution” will probably come first, once manufacturing hurdles are cleared.
If You Build It…
Every event needs people, and free goodies usually draw them in. All four sponsors provided door prizes for participating overclockers that ranged from memory kits to cases.
…And Stock It Well…
Two tanks of LN2 would give these overclockers enough cooling to push the event well past its five-hour schedule. That is, in addition to all the free hardware.
...They'll Overclock It
The mix was roughly half overclockers, one-quarter media, and one-quarter industry insiders.
The Fairer Side Of Overclocking
We all know that female overclockers exist, but few of us have seen one. Gigabyte’s event featured two, but the other one always seemed to have her back turned to the camera.
Fueling Up For The Fight?
Gigabyte timed food delivery to almost perfectly coincide with the time between prepping and testing of overclocked platforms. Enthusiasts who like good food and love free beer were wise to respond to Gigabyte’s invitation.
The Battle Begins
With their systems and their stomachs now prepared, attendees were ready to pour on the cooling and get clocking. This “non-competitive friendly gathering” was still supposed to be an exhibition, but most teams continued to keep their results private.