Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rockin' USB 3.0 Motherboard


OC Workbench has quick video introduction to one of our newest USB 3.0 motherboards - the H55M-USB3 - to a heavy rock sound track. Pretty apt considering the boards hi def video and audio capabilities!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Remembering Memory

It seems that the memory market suffers a period of boredom every time there is a transition to a new memory spec because the real advantages of the new specification are not as apparent during the initial few months as they are when it reaches maturity. The move to DDR3 has been no different and I still catch myself yawning as the words "DDR3 is better than DDR2 because is is lower power and more scaleable bla bla bla..." travel the well known path out of my mouth and on to the aching ears of the media/customers who regret asking why we highlight DDR3 on our motherboards. Thankfully those days are over:



We received these little beauties just yesterday and already they have created quite a stir. I'd say that DDR3 has arrived! Prepare to be unbored!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Winter Freeze Overclocking Event


At this time of year Holland, Michigan (USA) is already way too cold for me (Not to brag, but Taipei was in the high 70's yesterday). Overclocker Chew (aka Brian Mclachlan) and friends decided to make it even colder by ordering up some LN2 and dry ice in order to break some AMD overclocking records. Using the GIGABYTE GA-MA790FXT-UD5P motherboard, which is no stranger to the cold, several records fell.

Check out their impressive scores and photos of the event. Did the cat do any benching as well?

Why USB 3.0 is much faster than USB 2.0?

For 2010 the major topic will be surrounding over new USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps devices, and we are seeing more and more device manufacturers are announcing their USB 3.0, SATA 6Gbps products.

As you might have seen introduction of USB 3.0 devices, claiming that it is 10x faster than the previous generation USB 2.0, but how is it really acheived and what the technology behind that? Here I'll use a simple illustration to explain it.




The theoretical bandwidth of USB 3.0 is 5Gbps(Gigabits per second) and data transfer rate upto 500MBs(Megabyte per second), it is made possible by having an extra pair of data path compared to previous USB 2.0. But what really makes the great difference is the data transfering method.

Looking at the above illustration, USB 2.0 interface is using a "Half Duplex Transfer" method where data are transmitted in a single pathway. During transfering data from the host PC to USB device, it is required to wait for the host pc sending data to USB device is completed before USB device could transfer data to the host PC. This will lead to a long waiting time for data transfer between 2 devices, resulting a poor performance.

As for USB 3.0 interface with an added pair of data path, data transfer is more efficient as it is able to receive and send data at the same time, this method is called "Dual Simplex Transfer". A more simple example to explain this concept is looking at the road traffic, the road is separated into 2 different direction to prevent cars crashing into each other. If you can consider the cars as the transfer data without having any traffic jam, you are able to get a higher transfer rate at a 2 way street over one-way street.

I do hope the above brief explaination could give you a better understanding to the new technologies. Do feel free to leave any comments.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD7 Sets New pifast WR

Overclocker HiCookie has been doing some insane benching the past week setting quite a few new records using GIGABYTE motherboards. The latest record to fall is pifast, HiCookie setting a new time of 13.42 sec.

The board he used is GIGABYTE's new GA-P55A-UD7. This board brings some pretty exciting things to the party including onboard Nvidia NF200 for 3 Way SLI or CrossFireX, 24 phase power design, USB 3.0 support, 6Gb/s SATA and GIGABYTE 3X Power Boost.









Friday, January 15, 2010

SuperPi Wars GIGABYTE vs EVGA

Overclockers HiCookie and NickShih are currently battling it out for SuperPi 1M supremacy. Both are using Intel Core i5 670s with HiCookie using a GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD6 while Nick is using EVGA's P55 Classified. As it stands, HiCookie looks poised to remain in the leader position with his post yesterday of 6.130 seconds. So far, no response from Nick.




Here's a recap of Yesterday's flurry of back and forth HWBOT SuperPi 1M submissions. These scores of phenomenal,  and it looks like we might soon get sub 6 seconds.

2010-01-04 02:33:28 - NickShih - 6.344 - 6760.60
2010-01-04 06:35:53 - NickShih - 6.250 - 6857.80
2010-01-11 17:46:53 - Hicookie - 6.209 - 6894.00
2010-01-13 23:05:17 - NickShih - 6.188 - 6922.40
2010-01-14 06:16:05 - Hicookie - 6.162 - 6917.00
2010-01-14 12:07:20 - NickShih - 6.156 - 6883.50
2010-01-14 13:20:09 - Hicookie - 6.130 - 6917.00



Check out HiCookie's winning submission HERE
Follow the action on Xtreme Systems HERE

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Resurgence of the Desktop PC

There has been a surprising amount of talk recently about an expected desktop PC resurgence that is being caused by the Windows 7 upgrade cycle. We’re hearing talk of growth in demand of desktop PC components and motherboard components (and even possible shortages of certain chips such as CPU VRM ICs) for the corporate, home PC and enthusiast PC markets. Who woulda thunk it in this mobile age of cheap netbooks and software/services? Here’s one interesting theory from a wandering Swede on China’s role in desktop PC resurgence: China saves the desktop PC, for now. An interesting read that suggests that it is the reduced size of modern desktops that is helping them gain acceptance among younger PC users.

Here’s another theory that contributes to the resurgence of the desktop PC market: the amount of PC enthusiasts simply keeps increasing! A recent conversation while visiting friends in Folsom revealed that senior high school kids in the US can learn how to assemble their own PC at school – if they have the correct subject choice that is. Now how many 17 year olds did you know when you were at school who could build their own PC? I knew none. Today by contrast they must constitute a significant percentage of students in developed regions and when more people can DIY PCs, more people will DIY PCs!

Another theory that I have experienced firsthand is that netbooks are helping to highlight the performance and better experience advantages that desktop PCs offer. Consider that a netbook is limited to a 10 inch display with built in speakers; youtube now has an HD option that looks good on any 20 inch + screen with proper speakers. Not to mention high definition content with 7.1 surround sound or resource intensive PC gaming!

The point is not that desktops will dominate the PC market again, but rather that they still have a place in our lives. The era of the one-size-fits-all PC is long gone. Now we are entering the multiple x86 system era where consumers can own a personal netbook, media center, work desktop/notebook and home/gaming PC all at the same time.

How many different computers do you own?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Innovation Pays!

Digitimes printed a few articles recently about December 2009 earnings from motherboard makers; the first is titled: Asustek, Pegatron, MSI down, Gigabyte up in December 2009 revenues. Over the past week I have spent countless hours speaking to media, analysts and customers evangelizing about USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3x power, 2 oz copper PCBs, Japanese solid capacitors, and the list goes on... All high-end specs that we use to try and differentiate ourselves from the competition in a cut-throat market where every hardware vendor buys the same components from the same suppliers.

Fortunately for us, we have been able to implement these features before others and this seems to be paying off for GIGABYTE now, but it raises many questions about the PC component market. For example, will it be profitable to sell low-end components in a market humming with cheap netbooks, nettops and entry level global OEM brand PCs? It seems that innovation in the consumer electronics industry focuses on ease of use and affordability while innovation in the PC component industry focuses rather on reliability, performance (as always) and future proofing. The Windows 7 upgrade cycle that we desperately want to believe we're entering into now would help to explain how early adoption of new technologies in this market can boost income.

Honestly, if you were looking at your next upgrade would you choose a system with USB 2.0 over one with USB 3.0?

Other relevant articles include
ECS sees drop in December 2009 revenues and Foxconn posts on-year drop in 2009 revenues.

Monday, January 11, 2010

CES Visit From Anand














One of the great things about shows like CES is that for those of us who work in or report on the tech industry, it's a great way to meet up with people we've know for years and catch up on all the latest chatter. Anand Lal Shimpi is of course no stranger to CES, and this year he stopped GIGABYTE to check out what we had on display. Check out his CES wrap-up article HERE

CES as an Economic Indicator

Many people who travel the global consumer and electronics show circuit believe that CES, CeBIT Germany, Computex, Gitex Dubai, etc... experienced a bit of a dip in attendance and exhibitors over the past 2 years. This is based on their impressions as they wondered around exhibition halls with the odd empty booth, increased numbers of companies choosing to exhibit in suites rather than booths and of course, speaking to others who didn't have funds/sponsorship to attend due to reduced budgets and the economic crisis.

Well if CES is any indicator of the economy we can say that we have passed rock bottom and are heading into a recovery; traffic, taxis, quality of booths and the number of international attendees are definitely up in my opinion. The ratio of international to domestic media that seems to be the consensus from my discussions with media, partners and friends is around 60% international to 40% local. Certainly from an international marketing perspective, participation in CES like events in 2010 is an excellent way to reach our media targets. My flights and accommodation at CeBIT have already been booked!

Hope to see you there.

Friday, January 8, 2010

USB 3.0 Devices Showcased at CES

It appears that adoption of USB 3.0 has been fast and will continue at a rapid pace. The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas has been buzzing with all the many announcements for new devices that support USB 3.0.

GIGABYTE has been busy testing 3rd party devices and those that have passed our testing can be found on the GIGABYTE USB 3.0 microsite from the following links: www.usb3motherboard.com and usb3.gigabyte.com.tw. If you know of a USB 3.0 device manufacturer that would like to participate in our program and have a device they would like GIGABYTE to test, please have them contact us through their GIGABYTE representative.

OCZ USB 3.0 SSD
TweakTown











“Using MLC flash memory, the anodized aluminum cased drives will come in sizes of 64, 128 and 256GB and uses a Micro B USB connector. There will be two LEDs on the drive to indication power and access activity.”

A-DATA Shows Off Two SuperSpeed 3.0 Flash Devices
Legit Reviews









“As the world’s leading memory provider, A-DATA will showcase memory products integrated with the latest USB 3.0 technology, namely the NH01 portable hard drive and the N002 dual-interfaced combo flash drive. The transfer speed of NH01 is 300% faster than current portable HDDs equipped with USB 2.0 interface; while N002 is the industry’s first USB 3.0 and SATA II dual-interfaced flash drive with up to 200 MB/s and 170 MB/s read/write performance. Visitors will be able to witness the next-generation ultra-fast data transfer in person.”

Super Talent Does USB 3.0 Flash Drive










“The RAIDDrive measures 95 x 34 x 15.4 mm, and will hit the market in three capacities: 32 GB, 64 GB, and 128 GB. Super Talent said in a recent press release that despite the USB 3.0 compatibility, consumers can plug the device into the slower USB 2.0 port, making it backwards compatible. This is ideal for consumers who haven't upgraded with a USB 3.0 motherboard, or have not installed a USB 3.0 PCI-e card.”

PQI Cool Drive U366













“The product is currently known as the Cool Drive U366, although that name could change before launch day. It is set to come in 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB versions. These drives are tiny, and will initially launch with only two color options; blue and gray. PQI brags that their drives can provide speeds of up to 97 MB/s”

Western Digital My Book 3.0
Engadget
Press Release






















“Western Digital's kicking off the expected flood of USB 3.0 announcements here at CES with the new My Book 3.0 series. The 1TB version of the SuperSpeed drive is actually available now for $179, or $199 in a kit with a USB 3.0 adapter card, while a 2TB version will hit next week.”

Thursday, January 7, 2010

More H55 boards at CES

The GA-H55M-UD2H and GA-H55M-S2H.








Some shots of the GA-H55M-USB3. Check out the blue USB 3.0 ports and Displayport in the IO panel.




GIGABYTE at CES 2010

Here are some pictures of the GA-H57M-USB3 motherboard on display at the GIGABYTE CES 2010 meeting rooms. This model has Displayport, HDMI, DVI and D-sub video out.





GIGABYTE P55A-UD7 in the Wild



First time in the wild folks.

VIA Announces World's First USB 3 Hub


This is a very interesting product because it's the first USB hub that supports the 10 x higher speed, dual simplex data transfer (basically multitasking with USB 3) and GIGABYTE's 3x USB power. Essentially this means that you can power/run more devices from a single USB port.

Here are the numbers: USB 2.0 power is around 2.5W (5v x 0.5A), but GIGABYTE triples the amperage to 1.5A so it is 7.5W on GIGABYTE USB 3.0 motherboards. USB 3.0 power is around 4.5W (5v x 0.9A) but on GIGABYTE USB 3.0 boards it is 13.5W (5v x 2.7A). That's a significant power boost if you ask me and a USB 3.0 hub is just the device to take advantage of more power! Read more here.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

OCZ USB 3.0 SSD Passes GIGABYTE Compatibility Testing


OCZ sent us a prototype of their new USB 3.0 SSD for testing and it just passed with flying colours. You can check it out on our USB 3.0 microsite: www.usb3motherboard.com. This speedy drive sports a slim design for easy portability but I can't help wondering if it wouldn't be a good replacement for a standard hard drive seeing as you should be able to boot from USB with it - take into consideration the disappointing initial SATA 3 performance results that we've seen from the media over the past few weeks.

OCZ will show this device at CES, so drop by their demo for a closer look. Alternatively, you could also see the device at the GIGABYTE meeting rooms in the Venetian hotel or the GIGABYTE party at the Palms. Leave a comment below if you want more details of these events.

USB 3.0 and CES 2010

I'm off to CES for the first time in 5 years and I must say that I'm more than just a little excited about this trip! This year we are focused on a technology that is expected to be one of the hot topics of CES 2010 - USB 3.0. GIGABYTE is in a leading position amongst motherboard vendors because we were first to bring USB 3.0 onboard motherboards to market and are currently shipping 13 models. This will increase to 25 models by the end of January. This is significant because it means that GIGABYTE is driving new technologies down into the mainstream and even entry level segment, i.e. not only keeping the new tech for the high-end segment. This, we expect, will result in greater market share in the onboard USB 3.0 motherboard space.

As a leader in the USB 3.0 motherboard segment, we are working with USB 3.0 chip and device vendors to ensure compatibility between their devices and our motherboards and also tweaking performance for the best customer experience. Hence we launched the GIGABYTE USB 3.0 microsite: www.usb3motherboard.com. Check it out, it has info about USB 3.0, GIGABYTE USB 3.0 products and it also lists some exciting 3rd party USB 3.0 products that we tested for compatibility with our motherboards.

Stay tuned as we update media reviews and USB 3.0 partner products as they complete their testing.