GIGABYTE has Great New Motherboards and Laptops at CES 2016
GIGABYTE had an extremely impressive show floor this year at CES. It seemed like they showed off everything they had and quite frankly, I was blown away at how top-of-the-line all of their products seemed. One of the most intriguing releases coming up that I got to see personally were some new AMD boards coming with the AM3+ socket, but there were also some amazing overclocking boards on the INTEL side as well. No matter what I looked at, I was thoroughly impressed so let’s start diving into more details about what GIGABYTE showed us at CES 2016.
Let’s begin with two AM3+ boards that GIGABYTE is releasing. The GA-990FX-Gaming looks like the high-end AMD motherboard users have been waiting for for some time now. It actually has a full 8 phase power system to handle high end CPUs like the 9590. It has NVMe support as well as an M.2 socket. The heatsinks look nice and the heatpipe running across them will help dissipate the heat further. The PCIe slots are reinforced like their other gaming boards, and it also includes the Killer LAN with the AMP-UP audio. This board has everything a 9590 user will most likely want, with little that isn’t useful. The AM3+ is going by the wayside, but we probably have almost a whole year before we see Zen. Most AMD users are budget conscious anyways, so with an MSRP of $149.99, this board is at a perfect spot for users who still want quality and features. I feel like this board is going to own the AM3+ market from here on out.
GIGABYTE is also releasing a 970-Gaming motherboard soon. This is going to have many of the same features as the previous board, but it will lack the power and multi-GPU options that the 990FX board has. This will make it a much better budget option for those who aren’t looking to overclock their CPUs. Another nice thing about this board is that GIGABYTE didn’t try to jump on the 9590 bandwagon in their CPU support list. Sure, the GA-990FX-Gaming is meant to handle the 220W processors, but this board stays happily at supporting the 125W and below chips. Coming from personal experience, this will save consumers a lot of time and frustration right off the bat.
AMD wasn’t the only chip maker to get some love, however. There were a couple of really awesome boards on the INTEL side of things that I was just drooling over. Some of these aren’t as fresh on the release as the AMD boards, but they looked great none-the-less. First, the GA-Z170X-Gaming 6 looked like the perfect consumer board. It’s not quite as beefy as the other G1 gaming boards, but it still has an excellent power phase system, Crossfire and SLI, as well as the I/O shield in black instead of white for those who prefer the darker look. It has the feel of the more expensive G1 gaming boards, but comes in at a very reasonable $190 on Newegg. The other board that I got to see up close and personal was the SOC Force. This guy has been out a bit, but it certainly looks like an overclocker’s dream. Looking at the overclocking panel, it made me wish I had a canister of LN2 so I could play around with the finer details of pushing a chip as far as it could go. Being able to see these boards up close and personal is far different than covering them from online pictures, and GIGABYTE is certainly putting top quality into what they’re offering.
Finally, let’s talk about VR. More importantly, let’s talk about how a laptop was able to run an Oculus Rift. GIGABYTE’s AORUS company had some very impressive gaming laptops, and up to this point, I was surprised I hadn’t seen much about them. These laptops aren’t your typical lightweight plastic shells trying to pretend to be a tablet. These are heavy duty, gaming powerhouses that happen to fold up and can be moved around fairly easily when compared to a full computer. Two things I noticed right away were that these laptops are heavier than average and there is some fan noise to help ensure the GPU is staying cool. On the other hand, when you have a full GTX 980 GPU inside the X7 DT, that’s right, the actual GTX 980, then it begins to make sense. By using a full version rather than the M version of the 980, the X7 was able to run an Oculus from a laptop, and that’s pretty impressive. It also garnered AORUS some innovation awards at CES. The fun part was when I got to play Star Wars: Battlefront with an actual gun and an AORUS X7 strapped to my back. I can’t think of a better way to feel like Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow than that! These guys are built with a solid Aluminum chassis, INTEL CPUs, and a G-Sync monitor. Honestly, if you want a LAN party worthy computer, or if you just have a really tight living space and can’t utilize a full computer desk easily, the AORUS is the laptop that will give you a gaming experience that’s as close to a desktop as you can get.
I could go on forever about what GIGABYTE showed off but I’ll let the galleries do the rest of the talking. I got to see some awesome custom builds, some nice Brix PCs (including one with an actual GPU inside) that were running a 3D printer, some closer looks at the Windforce GPU coolers, a LN2 overclocking station (though I missed the actual overclocking display), and plenty more. I have to say, while other companies came very close, I feel like GIGABYTE impressed me the most this year at CES. Their motherboards are just fantastic and I think GIGABYTE has every type of builder in mind when it comes to the variety they’re offering. The AORUS line of laptops are extremely great when it comes to quality and performance, but GIGABYTE didn’t forget pure show in that they had some nice custom builds on top of everything else. Combine that with how polite and kind everyone was, and I felt like I got better treatment than I deserved for a press guy. I really like what GIGABYTE is doing and I think they were the company to compete with this year at CES.
INTEL Z170 Boards