Despite the relative quiet months leading up to Computex for GIGABYTE, the vendor had a surprisingly large number of products to show off. As you’d expect, we got a slew of new motherboards, peripherals, graphics cards, cases, PSUs and just about everything you could think of that is related to PCs.
We began our tour at the VIP suite at TAIPEI 101 where we got to see a new line of boards bearing the DESIGNARE label. These boards will in future occupy the high-end segment, designed for content creators and other power users who, above performance, need rock solid stability, reliability and of course support. As such the DESIGNARE range offers the most complete feature set in terms of connectivity and standards support of all GIGABYTE boards to date. Naturally there will be several offerings in this family but right now things are off to a great start for those looking for cutting edge features not limited to but including Thunderbolt 3 and U.2 connectivity. If you are thinking that these boards will not be able to hold their own in outright performance figures though you’ll be making a big mistake as the premium X99 DESIGNARE-EX board was running DDR4 3600 MHz! Possibly the only motherboard around that can officially do this kind of frequency for the X99 platform.
Moving on we had a look at the notebooks from AORUS and GIGABYTE. A smaller line up of new products, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t anything to get excited about. AORUS updated at least two of their premium offerings with new Pascal-powered GTX graphics and a 120Hz screen for some models, while others featured G-Sync. With plenty of power on tap these notebooks were powering a full VR demo experience, proving once again that high-end gaming is possible with the right notebook configuration. More of a refinement for the X5 and Z7 models (which should be in their sixth iteration) AORUS finally did away with the glass finish on their track pads opting for a matt finish that instantly removes the single largest flaw with the notebooks elevating it to near perfect status as far as gaming notebooks are concerned.
For those who do enjoy the odd game or so, but prefer a trendier notebook, we had the opportunity to see the AERO 14 in a bright lime-green and orange. On paper these would seem disastrous, but in reality they are sublime and tastefully designed. Definitely for the more fashion conscious individual, these ultra-light, but powerful notebooks pack a wallop in performance, and are bound to be successful.
Finally, on the notebook side, we had the camo – limited edition AORUS notebooks as well. Not technically different from the current models, these limited edition offerings each carry a unique camo pattern courtesy of a water transfer printing technique that results in each unit differing from the other. Every one of these will carry an engraving indicating its number out the total 3,000 units that will be in production (1000 pieces each for the X7, X5 and X3). If you’re wanting to get a hold of any of these, chances are you’ll need to act quick as once these are finished none will ever be made again.
Getting back to the component side of things, we saw that the XTREME GAMING line has grown tremendously, featuring not only graphics cards and mice, but keyboards, cases, PSUs and headsets. Soon enough it will be possible to build an entire machine with just GIGABYTE branded components and more importantly, they will all have a matching aesthetic. The highlight of course was the recently announced GeForce GTX 1080 powered graphics cards and in particular the XTREME GAMING edition, built for and around VR. It offers a front panel box with USB3.0 connectivity and dual HDMI outputs for the current crop of VR headsets on the market and of course, should offer scorching performance out the box. We will have to see if indeed this generation of the XTREME GAMING GTX 1080 is the fastest factory clocked offering on the market in the same way that the GTX 980 Ti XTREME GAMING was.
Overall, GIGABYTE had an exciting showing at both the VIP suite and at the TWTC show floor that featured a full racing VR experience to show attendants. From components to peripherals, GIGABYTE had a new product across the entire range and we will be sure to bring you detailed analysis of these products in the near future so stay tuned.