Over the past several years, Gigabyte has maintained a very recognizable, signature motherboard color-scheme: blue PCB with either white or other bright (sometimes eccentric) slots. However, with their next crop of boards for Intel's Sandybridge, that's going to change.
At the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) this past week, Gigabyte showed off two of their P67-based motherboards, the GA-P67A-UD7 and GA-P67A-UD5. One of the first things you may notice is that both boards sport a clean, no-frills black and grey color scheme design, with one of the few distinguishing features being the stripe on the heatsink (gold for the UD7, blue for the UD5).
The more mainstream UD5 board features a dual-switching 20-phase power design, three PCIE x16 slots (though only two are full bandwidth 2.0), and a pair of SATA6Gbps and USB3.0 ports. While the P67 chipset does incorporate native support for the SATA6Gbps ports, it is still lacking in the USB3.0 department, with those ports being powered by the usual NEC chip.
The UD7 will be at the top-end for this series (no UD9 monstrosity this time), making use of a dual-switching 24-phase power design and the NF200 chip for four full bandwidth PCIE x16 slots. Like the UD5, the GA-P67A-UD7 sports the latest SATA6Gbps and USB3.0 ports, though this board gets twice the number of the latter.
While Gigabyte is unable to officially comment on the release date, one would imagine these will be going live with the LGA1155 launch at the beginning of next year. Hopefully we'll be seeing reasonable pricing for these feature-packed boards.
Was this color change for the better or worse? That's up to you to decide. Be sure to vote and express your thoughts in the official poll on Gigabyte's forum here.
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