2014/05/13

GIGABYTE Launches Full Range of 9 Series Z97 and H97 Motherboards

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4 New Series Including G1™ Gaming, Overclocking Series, Black Edition and Ultra Durable™


Taipei, Taiwan, May 13th, 2014 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards today launched their new 9 series motherboards based on the Intel® Z97/H97 chipsets with support for 4th and 5th generation Intel® Core™ processors.

“GIGABYTE is excited to launch 4 new series of motherboards for the Intel 9 series chipset, each offering a host of new and unique GIGABYTE features matched with GIGABYTE signature quality and durability,” commented Henry Kao, Vice President of GIGABYTE Motherboard Business Unit. “Our 9 series motherboards also offer a future proof platform to our customers by supporting the latest 4th generation Intel Core processors including the soon to launch refresh and unlocked CPUs, as well as future 5th generation Intel Core processors, ensuring they will be able to take advantage of current and upcoming Intel technologies.”

GIGABYTE G1™ Gaming Motherboards

GIGABYTE 9 series G1™ gaming motherboards were designed to deliver top-notch features that matter most to gamers. From incorporating industry-leading GIGABYTE AMP-UP Audio technologies that allow gamers and audiophiles to experience crisp, ultra sound effects while gaming and the richest possible sound experience while listening to their favorite music and movies, to ultra-fast onboard Gigabit LAN solutions from Killer™ and Intel, GIGABYTE G1™ motherboards were designed for gamers that aren’t satisfied with second best.



With a full range of top-to-bottom G1™ gaming motherboards including the compact, yet powerful Z97N-Gaming 5 Mini-ITX motherboard, GIGABYTE has a gaming motherboard suited for any type of gamer, no matter what type of game they play. Featuring the distinctive G1™ detailing and sexy new red and black styling, GIGABYTE G1™ motherboards are sure to make gamers stand out from the horde.

GIGABYTE SOC (Super OverClocking) Motherboards

Following the success of the GIGABYTE Z87X-OC motherboard, the #1 most overclocked motherboard on HWBOT.org in 2013, GIGABYTE has unleashed 2 new Z97 chipset-based overclocking motherboards, the Z97X-SOC FORCE and Z97X-SOC. With a host of unique OC features and bleeding-edge hardware design, GIGABYTE 9 series overclocking motherboards will allow even novice users to ‘Overclock Like a Pro’.


GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ Black Edition Motherboards
As the undisputed leader of motherboard quality and durability, GIGABYTE has set out to show just how tough their motherboards are with the launch of their new Ultra Durable™ Black Edition motherboards. Each individual GIGABYTE Black Edition motherboard has undergone an extra 168 hours (7 days) of server-grade full system testing at our new state-of-the-art testing facility at the GIGABYTE Nanping, Taiwan factory to ensure every board delivers on its promise of Ultra Durability.


GIGABYTE Black Edition motherboard owners who register online and join the GIGABYTE Black Edition Members Club where they will receive exclusive member benefits including an additional 1 year warranty program for their motherboard.


GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ Motherboards
GIGABYTE 9 series Ultra Durable™ motherboards bring together a unique blend of features and technologies that offer users the absolute ultimate platform for their next PC build. With features normally reserved for more expensive motherboards including the latest next generation transfer technologies such as SATA Express and M.2, exclusive high-end audio features advanced gaming networking, gold plated hardware connectors and killer good looks, GIGABYTE 9 series Ultra Durable™ motherboards are in a class of their own.


GIGABYTE 9 Series Motherboard Lineup

G1™ Gaming Series
 Ultra Durable™ Series
GA-Z97P-D3
GA-H97-DS3H
GA-H97M-HD3
GA-H97M-DS3P



 Overclocking Series



Black Edition


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2013/02/24

How to Buy the right Graphic Card within your Budget?

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This guide is meant to be something different, because of two reasons.

[list style="arrow" color="teal"]

  • Not all of us have a Graphic card before

  • Also we are not familiar with that component too


[/list]

We have already discussed about Graphic cards, its working and for what it is used for?

Now it's time to learn "How to buy a Graphic card" or "How to choose the right Graphic card for you?"

I have already said that Graphic cards can be categorised into 2, based on their use.

  1. For viewing or editing HD videos

  2. For playing Games


Like we do for computer processors, we wish to get a Graphic card so that it can serve both the above two purposes.

Price increases proportionately to the performance


You might have thought of upgrading your Graphic card or buying a new one, only because of the reason that you couldn't play your favourite games smoothly or couldn't play it at all.

As I said in 3 Quick steps to choose a new Processor post, my desktop computer is old and is powered by Radeon HD 4670, 512MB Graphics card.

Though it's pretty old, it runs even Crysis 2 game at medium-high settings at HD resolution, though my monitor is a Full HD one.

Since I opted for a 4 times faster processor while choosing the new processor, let me choose 4 times faster Graphic card than my current HD 4670, now.

So on comparing the benchmarks in AnandTech GPU bench, I found that HD 7870 2GB Graphics card is almost 4 times faster than HD 4670.


I heard from most people that they want at least 10-20 times faster computer than their present one, for playing games, which is practically impossible if you're upgrading within a span of 5 years.

Here I expect 4 times faster Graphic card than mine, so I should be ready to allocate 4 times the money I allocated for my previous Graphic card. I bought HD 4670 for ₹5,000 a few years back and now HD 7870 costs around ₹20,500. But, when I bought my old card, even HD 4890 was priced at ~ ₹15,000, which is almost 2.5 times slower than HD 7870.

5 easy steps to choose the right Graphic card for you


1. Download and install some famous or highly recognised 3D benchmarks or Gaming benchmarks on your existing PC. Then run it and note down the benchmark score.

2. Decide the average budget for your Graphic card.

3. See the benchmark results of the Graphic cards in your budget range. If the new Graphic card's performance level is above your expectations go to step 5 else move on to next step.

4. See for the Graphic cards which offer at least 30fps in some of the latest high end 3D games like Far cry 3, Crysis 2 etc. Once you have got hold of such a Graphic card, look for its price in India, using my upcoming Graphic card buying guide, or on online computer hardware shopping sites.

5. If the price is within your budget then find the entire range of Graphic cards from AMD and NVIDIA in that range, come to a decision after comparing the feature set and their performance in different benchmarks.

2 strategies to buy a Graphic card, if you're under a tight budget


These 2 strategies are not a completely new strategy, but it's something that everyone will not dare to do.

First Strategy


If you're going to buy a Graphic card for only a specific purpose such as games and multimedia or 3D modelling etc., then, if you buy a latest Graphic card, which has less raw power, you will not gain much in terms of value. The latest Graphic card may be capable of doing all the things you need but also the things you may not need, still you pay for that too.

Assume that you're buying your Graphic card just to play your favourite games and watch HD videos.

  • HD 7850 for ₹14,000 - latest Graphic card with all features

  • HD 7750 for ₹8,500 - latest Graphic card with all features but less raw power

  • HD 5970 for ₹10,500 - 12,500 - on clearance sale (e.g.) not will all latest features, but with high raw power


If I were you I would go for option 3.

Yes!


Because I can save around ₹ 6,000 - ₹4,000 and getting almost similar raw power of any ₹16,500 Graphic card, with which I can play almost all games at Full HD resolution in high - very high settings.

So simply, you can go for a latest Graphic card with all new features or a similarly priced, high raw power, older architecture based Graphics card, with fewer features.

This won't hold well in all conditions except on some jaw dropping deals, because latest architecture will always be better, in terms of power consumption, noise and overclocking.

So, just have it as an option, when buying a new Graphic card, but don't rely on this idea always.

Second Strategy


The second strategy is to buy a used Graphic card with unexpired warranty.

There are many enthusiasts living in India, who needs the most powerful Graphic card, the next day of its release. So most often they sell their Graphic card on eBay.in within a year.

Those cards will have unexpired warranty, so even if you experience some problems after buying it, you can get it serviced in any authorized service centre for free!

Also eBay gives you 7 day return guarantee, so the seller cannot cheat and run away.

Keep one thing in mind; they are selling their cards to buy the new ones, so you will get it cheaper than a new one in market but not at some great discounts. Also this type of deals can be seen only during the time of new Graphic cards release.
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2013/02/23

5 Things to See When you Buy Motherboard

2 comments
Motherboard connects processor to all the other components of the computer. So, whether you buy a feature rich motherboard or not, is secondary. But it should be reliable for performing day-to-day computing operations.

But still some prefer to pay for features than reliability.

It holds good at some situations.


For example, if you're buying a motherboard temporarily, or for a short-term, or if you cannot find a compatible and reliable motherboard for your socket then you can look for features than reliability.

The best approach is to look for a balanced one with compulsory features + highly reliable motherboard or compulsory + optional features + mediocrely reliable motherboard.

But don't compromise on quality too much.

How to select your motherboard?


1.     Socket

2.     Chipset

3.     Compulsory features needed

4.     Additional features offered

5.     Price range and expandability

How to find the socket?


There is no magic here; it's just an if-else statement.

[list style="check" color="teal-lite"]

  • If you select Intel Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge processors, then go for LGA1155 socket.

  • If you select AMD FX series processors, then go for AM3+ socket.

  • If you select AMD Phenom II, Athlon II (a few FM1 socket, but they're not available in India) then choose AM3 socket.

  • If you select AMD Llano or first generation APU, then you'd take FM1 socket.

  • If you're opting for AMD Trinity APU, then take FM2 socket.


[/list]

Which Chipset you'd choose?


For AMD Llano processors, if you're very budget minded, go for A55 chipset; else if you can raise your quota for motherboard a bit, try A75 chipset.

The same applies to AMD Trinity processors too. But there is one more chipset available for AMD Trinity and that is called A85X chipset, which is a performance level chipset, which can be paired with A10 5800K APU for better balanced combination.

If you're choosing FX series processors then you have three choices.

1.     990FX

2.     990X

3.     970

Among these three, the last one, 970 does not come with an on-board GPU, so you should choose this chipset only if you already have or if you're going to buy a discrete graphic card, because there won't be even a VGA connector on the motherboard. But if you're a budget or midrange PC gamer then this will be the only chipset that suits your budget.

If you want to buy entry-level sandy bridge or Ivy Bridge processors then you can opt for H61 chipset for cost cutting. But if you wish to buy a motherboard with latest features for the cheapest price then choose B75 chipset.

If you wish to move your budget a little further then take H67 or H77 chipset. Since H67 is previous generation chipset, I'll recommend H77, compared to H67.

The following suggestions are for enthusiast segment or overclocker's segment.

If you are in an idea to buy a overclockable Intel processor then the cheap and best chipset is Z77. Not all chipsets support, Overclocking the processor, by changing its multiplier value, only Z77, Z68 and P67 do. So you're in an idea to overclock Intel processors such as Core i5 3570K or Core i7 3770K, 2700K, you'd opt for the above mentioned 3 chipsets only, else you cannot overclock your processor by changing its clock multiplier.

Features Required / Offered


Compulsory features needed


This depends on our specific need and varies from person to person.

Let me list some of the most common, highly needed features in the ascending order.

1.      USB 3.0

2.     SATA III

3.     HDMI

4.     5.1 or 7.1 channel audio

5.     At least 2 PCI x16 slots for crossfire or SLI

Additional options or features offered


Basically the excessive necessary features available for a cheaper price are seen as additional features

For example

[list style="check" color="teal-lite"]

  • 4 USB 3.0 ports (more number of slots)

  • 6 SATA III ports

  • PCIe 3.0 slots

  • eSATA port

  • Multiple fan headers

  • Wi-Fi etc.


[/list]

Price range and expandability


Once our requirement is met in our expected price range, see for options such as same set of features at lesser price or you can also see for more set of features at the same price, because the features sets varies, even from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Regarding expandability, see to that whether the socket and chipset you have chosen is compatible with the future processor releases from the company. Not only that, see for as much expansion slots as possible, such as multiple RAM slots, PCIe slots, USB 3.0 slots, SATA III slots etc.

Reliable Motherboard Brands in India


Highly reliable – Asus, Gigabyte

Mediocrely reliable – Asrock, MSI

Sub Mediocrely reliable – BioStar, ECS – Go for these motherboards only if you have no other options above.
Read More...

5 Things to See When you Buy Motherboard

Leave a Comment
Motherboard connects processor to all the other components of the computer. So, whether you buy a feature rich motherboard or not, is secondary. But it should be reliable for performing day-to-day computing operations.

But still some prefer to pay for features than reliability.

It holds good at some situations.


For example, if you're buying a motherboard temporarily, or for a short-term, or if you cannot find a compatible and reliable motherboard for your socket then you can look for features than reliability.

The best approach is to look for a balanced one with compulsory features + highly reliable motherboard or compulsory + optional features + mediocrely reliable motherboard.

But don't compromise on quality too much.

How to select your motherboard?


1.     Socket

2.     Chipset

3.     Compulsory features needed

4.     Additional features offered

5.     Price range and expandability

How to find the socket?


There is no magic here; it's just an if-else statement.

[list style="check" color="teal-lite"]

  • If you select Intel Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge processors, then go for LGA1155 socket.

  • If you select AMD FX series processors, then go for AM3+ socket.

  • If you select AMD Phenom II, Athlon II (a few FM1 socket, but they're not available in India) then choose AM3 socket.

  • If you select AMD Llano or first generation APU, then you'd take FM1 socket.

  • If you're opting for AMD Trinity APU, then take FM2 socket.


[/list]

Which Chipset you'd choose?


For AMD Llano processors, if you're very budget minded, go for A55 chipset; else if you can raise your quota for motherboard a bit, try A75 chipset.

The same applies to AMD Trinity processors too. But there is one more chipset available for AMD Trinity and that is called A85X chipset, which is a performance level chipset, which can be paired with A10 5800K APU for better balanced combination.

If you're choosing FX series processors then you have three choices.

1.     990FX

2.     990X

3.     970

Among these three, the last one, 970 does not come with an on-board GPU, so you should choose this chipset only if you already have or if you're going to buy a discrete graphic card, because there won't be even a VGA connector on the motherboard. But if you're a budget or midrange PC gamer then this will be the only chipset that suits your budget.

If you want to buy entry-level sandy bridge or Ivy Bridge processors then you can opt for H61 chipset for cost cutting. But if you wish to buy a motherboard with latest features for the cheapest price then choose B75 chipset.

If you wish to move your budget a little further then take H67 or H77 chipset. Since H67 is previous generation chipset, I'll recommend H77, compared to H67.

The following suggestions are for enthusiast segment or overclocker's segment.

If you are in an idea to buy a overclockable Intel processor then the cheap and best chipset is Z77. Not all chipsets support, Overclocking the processor, by changing its multiplier value, only Z77, Z68 and P67 do. So you're in an idea to overclock Intel processors such as Core i5 3570K or Core i7 3770K, 2700K, you'd opt for the above mentioned 3 chipsets only, else you cannot overclock your processor by changing its clock multiplier.

Features Required / Offered


Compulsory features needed


This depends on our specific need and varies from person to person.

Let me list some of the most common, highly needed features in the ascending order.

1.      USB 3.0

2.     SATA III

3.     HDMI

4.     5.1 or 7.1 channel audio

5.     At least 2 PCI x16 slots for crossfire or SLI

Additional options or features offered


Basically the excessive necessary features available for a cheaper price are seen as additional features

For example

[list style="check" color="teal-lite"]

  • 4 USB 3.0 ports (more number of slots)

  • 6 SATA III ports

  • PCIe 3.0 slots

  • eSATA port

  • Multiple fan headers

  • Wi-Fi etc.


[/list]

Price range and expandability


Once our requirement is met in our expected price range, see for options such as same set of features at lesser price or you can also see for more set of features at the same price, because the features sets varies, even from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Regarding expandability, see to that whether the socket and chipset you have chosen is compatible with the future processor releases from the company. Not only that, see for as much expansion slots as possible, such as multiple RAM slots, PCIe slots, USB 3.0 slots, SATA III slots etc.

Reliable Motherboard Brands in India


Highly reliable – Asus, Gigabyte

Mediocrely reliable – Asrock, MSI

Sub Mediocrely reliable – BioStar, ECS – Go for these motherboards only if you have no other options above.
Read More...

2013/02/21

3 Quick Steps to choose a new Computer Processor?

1 comment
We have already discussed enough about the cores, clock speed, architecture etc., of a processor. But still there some more to be known to decide on which processor you need exactly.

The following is the pattern which I have used to follow when I want to decide to choose a new processor. I guess, it will help you too.

3 Quick Steps



Step 1:


Collect details about all the latest professors from Intel and AMD. I know that this should be the most tedious and time-consuming task for most of the users. So, I have designed a computer buying guide (processors). You can use the guide for this step 1.

Step 2:


Some of us could have allocated a certain budget and then we do look for a processor and other components within that range. But some don't know, how much to allocate? So price is an issue here. Still, the unknown price amount helps you to finalize your decision, from the choices you have obtained. So let's keep it in hold and move to next.

Step 3:


Generally we wish to have the fastest processor that can be bought within our budget. Though we are about to reach that point, it's not a good starting point to start our research.

So, how to do then?


We have already discussed about benchmarks, right? I usually use Anandtech's CPU bench for comparing the benchmarks of multiple number of CPUs.

First of all decide, how much performance you need, compared to your existing processor (if you already have one) or compared to the processor that you might have used in your college or at work or at your friend's home.

Let me start with an example, I have AMD Athlon X2 7850 dual core processor on my old desktop computer. It's highly enough for browsing internet, editing home videos, playing 3D games like Far cry 2 or Crysis 2 etc. But since it's old, I wish to upgrade it.

Now you have to quantify the amount of performance you expect from the new processor you're going to buy, compared to the existing one.

Assume that I expect 4X, where 'X' is the performance of the processor I already have. It's not that simple to find a processor with 4X performance in all applications. But still we can find such a processor using benchmarks.



To make it simple, let's consider 2 benchmarks alone.

1. Cinebench single threaded - This benchmark says us how fast each single core is. It denotes the difference in performance, owing to the improvement in architecture.

My Athlon 7850 processor is around 3-4 years old, where Intel Core i5 3570K was released just a few months back. So there should be  much improvement in architecture resulting in higher performance / core.

The Cinebench single threaded benchmark scores are as follows:-

[list style="orb" color="teal-lite"]

  • Athlon 7850 - 3020

  • Core i5 3570K - 6560


[/list]

which means each core of i5 processor is almost 2 times faster than my Athlon processor. Let's make a calculation here.

Each core of Core i5 = 2 x each core of Athlon 7850

Or one core of core i5 = total Athlon 7850 (since my Athlon 7850 X2 is a dual core processor)

But Core i5 3570K is a quad-core processor.

As a result I should get 4X the performance of my existing processor. Let's check the effect of calculation in real world performance through benchmarks.

2. Cine bench multithreaded - It says us how fast the processor is, as a whole, when utilizing all of its cores.

Athlon 7850 - 5970

Core i5 3570K - 22750

For exact 4X performance Core i5 should have scored around 24000, but it has scored 22750. Even then I can over clock Core i5 to get the desired 4X performance.

So, once you quantify the amount of performance you expect, when compared to an older processor, it's very easy to sort out the processor we need to buy.

With this we have completed our Step 3.

Similarly, use the above said two benchmarks to narrow down your choice of processor to 1 or 2. Then,

  1. Compare those processors with various other benchmarks

  2. Read their positives and negatives in user reviews

  3. Calculate the Performance / Price ratio of the processors shortlisted and then choose the one whose ratio is high.

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