So, unless you've been backpacking around the wold for a few months, or you've cut yourself off from all forms of the internet, you should know that Intel's new range of processors are soon to be released. With Haswell comes a new chipset and, for the first time since Sandy Bridge, a new socket. Goodbye LGA1155, hello LGA1150!
This does mean that those of us wanting to upgrade to Haswell are required to buy a new motherboard, unlike Ivy Bridge CPUs which could be used on Z68 boards. Motherboard manufactures around the world have been releasing sneak peeks of their soon to be released boards, making our funny parts get excited over what's to come. Most of them have been impressive, some of them have made our jaws drop, and all of them are just waiting to reviewed when the time comes!
Then we get to today, when we have some juicy photos sent straight to us from Gigabyte. We'll let you have a browse through the photos, give you some time, perhaps some lotion, then we'll come back for a conclusion.
Well that's that then. It should be clear that Gigabyte are focusing more and more on their audio implementations, with high quality caps and circuitry already being implemented on the boards as stock, and with the ability to add your own aftermarket OP-AMPs if required. Gigabyte are also showing that the audio section of the motherboards shall be separated from the rest of the circuitry, protecting the high quality and sensitive analogue components from the stray electronic signals that get flung around, which would otherwise impede on the sound that's produced. We have yet to test these boards for ourselves, but it's a definite possibility that third party sound cards won't be as needed for high quality audio reproduction. This should certainly be considered for when the price lists are released, as you may be able to justify the boards more now that sound cards won't need to be purchased on top of everything else.
Aside from that, Gigabyte certainly have some good looking boards coming out. We can see two boards that are being shown with 4 graphics cards in use; the G1 Sniper 5 and the Z87X-OC, which may point towards more PCIe bandwidth being available with Haswell processors. As with a lot of other pictures that we've seen, from a variety of manufacturers, Gigabyte are focusing more on VRM cooling than in the past. Indeed, the G1 Sniper 5 has not only the ability to have the VRM heatsinks watercooled, but there's also an active fan there too. What does this mean for Haswell? We're not entirely sure, but it really is interesting.
It should also be of note that we have yet to see the big picture. One of the images shows snippets of 3 boards- 3 boards that we don't have to show you guys in detail today. The image shows the Sniper's baby brother, the Killer, the UD3's older brother, the UD5, and also a souped up version of the Z87X-OC board with inbuilt watercooling capabilities and another active fan. This brings Gigabyte's current Z87 range up to 6 boards, all of which look extremely promising in their own right. We're certainly intruiged to see how they all perform, as no doubt you all are too.
We'd like to thank Gigabyte for allowing us this exclusive access to these pictures.Fancy discussing these exclusive photos? Want to ask some questions about what this all means? Visit the OC3D Forums and have your input.