Gigabyte had five of its upcoming 7-series motherboards on display at CES today. While Gigabyte isn't talking about all of the features that will be available at launch, we will see an mSATA connector on some boards (GA-Z77X-UD3H) for use with smaller SSDs as a NAND cache in front of a hard drive. Gigabyte also showcased its G1.Sniper M3, a high-end micro-ATX motherboard. As Ivy Bridge brings down max TDPs at the high end, this may finally be the beginning of a transition to smaller desktops - even in the enthusiast space. The transition doesn't have to be huge, but perhaps it's time for some more innovation in the desktop space when it comes to form factors.

None of these boards support Thunderbolt however we may see some Thunderbolt enabled designs after the 7-series chipset launch in early Q2 (early April sounds about right).

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  • gevorg - Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - link

    I wonder if these new Gigabyte motherboards still lack basic case fan controls Reply
  • oDii - Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - link

    Looking at the pictures - all the fan ports are 4 pin so you'd certainly hope they were using the PWM connector for something.

    See http://www.formfactors.org/developer%5Cspecs%5C4_W...
    Reply
  • Arbie - Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - link

    oDiii - that link seems dead. But if these new GB mobos do have several fan controls, and if they are 4-pin (implying PWM control by some useful temperature parameter) - then it's a big step up.

    I will be looking for an Ivy Bridge mobo soon, and have ruled out Gigabyte in the past because of their poor provisions for case fans. Asus does far better in that regard. Night and day, in fact. I'm glad at any prospect of GB improving here. Personally, I'd rather have serious fan controls than a second (or third!) graphics board PCIe slot.
    Reply
  • cyabud - Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - link

    http://www.formfactors.org/developer%5Cspecs%5C4_W... Reply
  • gevorg - Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - link

    My Gigabyte Z68 mobo has a 4-pin system fan but it can't control a PWM fan and there are no adjustments in the BIOS, so I won't be surprised if Gigabyte did the same in their Ivy Bridge mobos. Even Intel mobos are better in this regard. Reply
  • coffeejunkee - Friday, January 13, 2012 - link

    Yeah, I would be somewhat surprised if the casefanheaders support pwm control. Currently, unlike the cpu-fanheader, the 4-pin casefanheaders on Giga mobo's aren't really pwm controlled (the 4th pin is not connected, it just sits there unused).

    The 4-pin casefanheaders do offer support for voltage control on 3-pin fans so it's still a step up, because it were the 3-pin headers that offered no control at all, and they're gone now.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - link

    Fan controls on my Gigabyte Z68 are fine. And I don't mean full throttle all the time.. Reply
  • hechacker1 - Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - link

    Yeah I have a Gigabyte X58 based board, and it has PWM fan controls. They work fine set on "automatic" speeds. Reply
  • coffeejunkee - Friday, January 13, 2012 - link

    Unlikely. Cpu fan control is there, both for 3-pin and 4-pin pwm fans. But there is no control for casefans, the 4-pin header runs at 50% and the 3-pin headers at 100% continuously. Reply
  • MySchizoBuddy - Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - link

    Did anyone launch a motherboard with atleast 6 FULL x16 PCI-E connectors. Reply

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