Wednesday, December 23, 2015

GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 is Tom’s Hardware 2015 Editor’s Choice

GIGABTYE has put a lot of effort into it’s flagship motherboard and the results are showing. After collecting the Recommended award from Anandtech and the Must Have Editor’s Choice from TweakTown, it is now from non other than Tom’s Hardware that the Gaming G1 receives the 2015 Editor’s Choice!!

Without overlooking the great performance achieved, what convince the reviewer is the shear amount of features this motherboard has to offer: “Solid overclocking, true x16/x16 mode for SLI and CrossFire, 3-way and 4-way SLI and CrossFireX, Thunderbolt 3, Front-panel USB 3.1 bay device, Triple Killer Networks controllers including one 802.11ac MIMO, manually selectable firmware ROMs, generous cable kit.”

The final verdict : “Our current Editor's Choice award replaces our former "Elite" award, where highly-priced products could win simply by being best-in-class. Gigabyte's Z170X-Gaming G1 could have qualified for either of these awards, since it's both elite and this editor's choice. While far from value-priced, an extensive feature set also gives the Z170X-Gaming G1 more features for the money than its lower-cost rival.”

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

TeamAU and GIGABYTE Break World Records!

GIGABYTE overclockers Dino (dinos22) Strkljevic, Sofos1990, and HiCookie were busy last week in Australia pushing CPUs and GIGABYTE motherboards to their absolute limit.

What was the result?

A world record shattered!

Dinos22, who also is GIGABYTE's Australia marketing manager, is currently the top overclocker on  Intel's XTU (more information on the XTU app here) leaderboards after pushing an Intel i7-5960X to 6GHz on LN2 cooling, a 16GB DDR4 RAM kit with timings of 12-14-15-15 all on a GIGABYTE X99-SOC Champion motherboard.

You can check out more information on HWBOT.

If you're new to overclocking and want to learn more about how to do it (and maybe break a world record yourself!) check out our overclocking tutorial livestream here:

Monday, December 7, 2015

The GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 Gets Reviewed by The Overclocker

We love overclockers and supporting the overclocking community. 

Recently The Overclocker Magazine ran a review of our GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard giving it their GAMING GEAR award.  

One of the beautiful things about overclocking is that you don't need a specific overclocking board. While we do offer an SOC Force board for enthusiasts, the fact is it's possible to overclock on any motherboard -- even ones that are Gaming focused as we showed in our recent overclocking livestream. For those who's interest lies more in gaming rather than enthusiast overclocking, overclocking your system effectively means a free minor upgrade with a few extra FPS.

The Overclocker liked the extensive feature set such as the inclusion of the Intel® USB 3.1 controller, the Killer NIC from Rivet, and the inclusion of a Burr-Brown DAC.  

All in all, The Overclocker said they would definitely recommend the system if they were building a high-end PC:
This motherboard is the premium Z170 motherboard GIGABYTE and as such commands a staggering $500USD price. For that you get every possible feature and function that is available on the Z170 chipset and platform. If you’re building that killer gaming rig that you have saved up for, then this is the motherboard for you. With all the extras provided, it will be hard if not impossible to find another gaming motherboard on the market that is as well spec’d.

You can read the full review over on The Overclocker's website.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Anandtech Recommends The GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming G1!

When we launched the GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard we were very excited about the potential of the Z170 chipset from Intel® and what it would mean for gamers. Personally we think that our new 100-series boards powered by the Z170 chipset are some of our best work yet, but we're a little biased.

Recently Anandtech posted a review of our GA-Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard and gave it a Recommended by AnandTech award, proving that this board really is something special.

Anandtech's Ian Cutress liked the hefty feature set, enhanced overclocking support, and BIOS, calling the board "GIGABYTE's halo" of the 100-series board family.

At the end of the day, this is GIGABYTE’s halo motherboard for Skylake based systems. It will be one of the key elements in a system integrators high end build, and provides any gamer with enough features to be satisfied with a powerful rig. The competition is tough in this space, the volume is low, and GIGABYTE is making strides in most of the areas we have previously been cautious of in the past. Needless to say, even when considering the price, the Z170X-Gaming G1 would be a good foundation for that gaming PC you’ve saved up for. It’s worth a recommendation and GIGABYTE should be proud with what they’ve produced.

To read the full review head on over to Anandtech.

Vote for GIGABYTE at the European Hardware Awards 2015/2016

Dear GIGABYTE fans,
We need your help! The second round of voting for the European Hardware Awards started yesterday and will be open until December 20th. The European Hardware Association was formed by the largest independent technology news and reviews sites in 2015 and has a combined audience of over 20 million technology enthusiasts across Europe to choose the best hardware of this year!
European Hardware Community Awards -  Nominated Logo
GIGABYTE has numerous products that have been nominated and it is up to you the reader and user to choose the winners! Voting is simple and takes less than 5 minutes, plus no registration is needed so you can simply vote without that annoying step Smile.
Where can people vote?
Winners will be announced at the beginning of January, 2016.
Thank you in advance for your help and continuous support in making GIGABYTE the great pc hardware manufacturer it is today!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Desktop Power in a Console Frame: Check out TheOriginalQ's Awesome Mini-ITX Build

Sometimes the Mini-ITX form factor is forgotten about, especially in the shadows of its bigger brothers. But while some might associate Mini-ITX with low-powered computers for office workers', these days that's anything but true.

Case and point is this build from TheOriginalQ on Reddit's Build a PC subreddit. TheOriginalQ  says that he wanted to move away from gaming laptops, and back to the power of a PC, but at the same time keep a small form factor too. 

Thanks to the GIGABYTE GA-Z170N-Gaming 5 Mini-ITX board he was able to do that. The Z170N Gaming 5 Mini-ITX board supports Intel's® latest 6th Gen. Core™ processor, DDR 4, and USB 3.1. Combined with a Mini-ITX sized video card (which there are plenty of from Nvidia and AMD), this small form factor PC can push through any game you can throw at it.

Check out these photos, courtesy of TheOriginalQ: 

But as TheOriginalQ mentions in his post, building a PC with such a small form factor is not without its challenges. The small form factor means its tough to fit everything inside, meaning the build took some careful pre-planning. Check out what he has to say about this challenge:

One of the toughest parts of this build was making everything was going to fit before I even purchased any of the parts. There is exactly 83mm of clearance between the top of the CPU and the edge of the case (thats not including the included case fan). This limited the selection of CPU coolers tremendously. There are plenty of heatsinks available, but the performance doesn't warrant the cost over a stock cooler. I ended up with the Noctua NH-L12. The full heatsink assembly when it comes out the box is 93mm tall, however, the neat thing about this heatsink is you can remove the top fan and it will work just fine with just the bottom 92mm fan, and it makes the total assembly only 66mm tall. Additionally, the layout of the case puts a 120mm fan directly over the CPU, so you can mount a slim (15mm thick) fan to the case blowing directly on the heatsink. This heatsink was almost made for this case.
In the end with a little patience TheOriginalQ was able to fit everything in the case. And despite the small form factor, the CPU and GPU coolers were still able to keep their respective components within tolerable ranges. TheOriginalQ reported that during burn testing the CPU was hitting 53°C to 55°C while the GPU was at 73°C to 74°C.

Of course, most importantly, it's able to play through the latest games with ease. Fallout 4 runs smooth as silk at 60fps on Ultra settings.

Here's the breakdown of the parts used for the build:

 You can check out a photo album of the entire build here. The original Reddit thread can be found here.

Friday, November 27, 2015

GIGABYTE Leads The Industry in Thunderbolt 3 Support

This year there have been some exciting advances this year in the world of connectivity, particularly the introduction of Thunderbolt™ 3 from Intel®. Thunderbolt™ 3, which uses the reversible USB Type-C connector, brings users a world of revolutionary new features including more bandwidth and support for 4K displays. 

Thunderbolt™ 3 is designed for devices where high-bandwidth is of the utmost importance. Thunderbolt™ 3 is able to push up to 40 Gb/s through the wire, which is twice more than the previous generation. For display connectivity Thunderbolt™ 3 offers DisplayPort 1.2, which is able to drive a 4K resolution display at 60 FPS, power delivery for connected devices at up to 36W, as well as the ability to daisy-chain up to 6 devices per port. 

Thunderbolt™ 3 makes USB Type-C the one port to rule them all. The days of requiring a plethora of different cables to power all of your devices are over. Now your external storage devices, monitor, and tablets/smartphones can all be connected to a hub which connects to your PC via a single USB Type-C connector.

No more of this with USB Type-C

As Thunderbolt™ 3 used the reversible USB Type-C connector, you can also plug in USB devices into the same port. For the billions of older devices that use the Standard-A connectors, adapters are available to ensure that your device will be compatible. 

GIGABYTE offers Thunderbolt™ 3 on GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming G1, GA-Z170X Gaming GT, GA-Z170X Gaming 7, and Z170X-UD5 TH motherboards.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Check Out Our PC Building Guide And Don't Forget About Tomorrow's OC Livestream!

This Monday morning GIGABYTE tech specialists Sam and Janus hosted a livestream tutorial showing users how they can build their own PC. Many users had questions which Sam and Janus answered on the air.

If you missed the livestream you can watch it on YouTube down below:

Don't forget about tomorrow's (Tuesday) livestream where we'll take the system that we built and show you guys how to over how to do some basic overclocking.

Many people have questions about overclocking, and we are going to show you guys how simple, easy and fun it can be. We're going to use the same hardware we used for the PC build.
Here is the link to follow the live OC on Tuesday at 9am (UTC+8)

We'll also announce the winners from today's Facebook raffle and give you guys another chance to win some great prizes!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Learn How To Build a PC and Overclock with GIGABYTE

Have you ever wanted to find out how build a PC and learn the basics of overclocking?

GIGABYTE technical specialists are hosting two livestreams to teach new users about PC building and overclocking.

These first livestream, on November 23, will cover the basics of PC building while the November 24 livestream will focus on Overclocking.

The livestreams are interactive so new users can ask any questions they might have.

To watch the livestreams follow this link to our GIGABYTE Motherboards and BRIX YouTube channel or check out the embedded streams below. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

TweakTown Gives The GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5 TH a Best Features Award

Thunderbolt 3 is one of the most exciting developments in I/O technology to date.

By pushing 40 Gb/s  through the wire,  Thunderbolt™ 3 provides an unprecedented amount of bandwidth to the end user. But that's not all. With Thunderbolt™ 3 you also get industry-leading features such as DisplayPort 1.2, which is able to drive a 4K resolution display at 60 FPS, power delivery for connected devices at up to 36W, as well as the ability to daisy-chain up to 6 devices per USB Type-C port.

Here at GIGABYTE, we recently released the Z170X-UD5 TH which brings Thunderbolt™ 3 connectivity to the Z170X Ultra Durable 5 motherboard. We sent a sample to TweakTown's Steven Bassiri and he was more than impressed with the board!

Here's what Steven liked about the board:

Thunderbolt 3 with Dual Type-C Ports: The Z170X-UD5 TH released a few weeks ago as the first Thunderbolt 3 certified motherboard. The controller that provides Thunderbolt 3 is also the same one that provides USB 3.1 and is the first USB-IF certified USB 3.1 controller. This Intel chip is very powerful, and when paired with proper USB Power Delivery 2.0 chips from TI can support up to 12 daisy chained devices, dual 4K monitors (or a single 5K monitor), and still provides up to 40Gbps of bandwidth. Needless to say, GIGABYTE implements the chip well and provides a Thunderbolt 3 implementation that is rare.

All Intel without Hubs: The circuit analysis I did on the Z170X-UD5 TH was one of the shortest I have ever done. This is because most everything on this board is powered directly through Intel chipsets. All eight USB 3.0 ports come directly from the PCH (2 more than standard FlexIO configurations). Networking is Intel. Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 also both come from an Intel controller. Compatibility with certified devices should be quite good, and headaches that sometimes arise from hubs should be nonexistent.

Overclocking Features: I was surprised to find voltage read points, a POST code display, and onboard buttons for overclocking. Usually, these features aren't found on motherboards targeted at workstations, but GIGABYTE made sure to include them to make tweaking more simple.

Aesthetics: GIGABYTE's recent gold/black/silver aesthetics has grown on me a little bit. The shade of gold they are using along with the yellow LEDs and gold audio capacitors matches quite well. The shields over the audio codec, NIC, and clock generator and the metal braces for the PCI-E slots create a theme that makes the motherboard look protected and equipped for hard work.
All in all, Steven gave the board a 94% with a Best Features award.

You can read the full review here.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Don't Miss Dinos22 on The Next OC Show!

Next week's OC TV episode is sure to be a special one. GIGABYTE's very own Dino 'Dinos22' Strkljevic, our Australian Marketing Manager, will be on the show for an in-depth discussion on our overclocking-focused Z170X-SOC motherboard.

We build the Z170X-SOC motherboard with overclockers in mind, and there's no better venue to discuss in than on OC TV. You can watch the episode on November 15th at 9PM EST on Twitch. Watch live video from OverClockingTV on

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The magic of building your own custom PC

There is something magical about rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck into a custom PC build of your own. Every person has an interesting take on how to do it best and the greatest part is that there is no right or wrong way. That is what I personally love the most when I’ve done my own builds. I’ve shared them on social media and seen the praise and criticism. Nothing wrong with either.

I want to share a really interesting build for you today done by Hans Peder Sahl. I have to say, this video that I’ve come across is one of the finest looking works of custom PCs I have seen. If this doesn’t fire you up to try do something with your next PC build, I don’t know what will.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

GIGABYTE's Latest OC Contest Let's You Overclock on Your Favorite Chipset!

Every Overclocker has their favorite chipset that allows them to perform their best. This is why GIGABYTE is allowing overclockers to use whatever chipset they please in its next overclocking competition, Target OC: Open Target.

In this competition Overclockers will be tasked with hitting challenging targets in XTU and Geekbench 3 from November 8 until December 27. New targets will be revealed weekly, and users will be able to compete in both Extreme and Ambient categories. Overclockers are free to use any GIGABYTE motherboard and there are no restrictions on chipset.

We're giving away some big prizes for this contest that you don't want to miss out on. Contestants will have a chance to win awesome GIGABYTE prizes like GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 3 and GIGABYTE Z170X-SOC FORCE motherboards as well as USD $250 for those that achieve a global first place. At the end of the contest there will be a lucky draw for USD $500 and a GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard.

The contest kicks off November 8. You can find out more information on HWBOT.

Happy Overclocking!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Gotta Have SLI On A Budget? Check Out This Review of The GIGABYTE Z170XP-SLI

Not everyone has the same budget when they are building a PC. While some enthusiasts might have be willing to spend a lot to ensure that they have the best that money can buy, others are on more modest budgets that require some restraint when purchasing parts.

GIGABYTE understands and has a number of motherboards geared towards users on a budget. Recently TweakTown's Steven Bassiri has a chance to review one of these boards, the GIGABYTE Z170XP-SLI, and gave it top marks. 

For those that don't know, the Z170XP-SLI is a value-oriented board that has support for NVIDIA's SLI as well as AMD's CrossFireX technology. This means that the board will support more than one NVIDIA or AMD card, which is great for users that want the power that two video cards can provide.

Steven says he liked the SLI support on the board, solid memory support at 3600 MHz, upgraded audio, and Intel NIC on the board.

Here are his final thoughts on the board:

The Z170XP-SLI has a lot of the latest features I come to expect from a Z170 motherboard above the $150 price range; USB 3.1, upgraded audio, Intel NIC, solid performance, and decent overclocking capabilities. That being said, this motherboard only costs $136 on Amazon making it a very good deal for those on a budget.The Z170XP-SLI can perform like more expensive motherboards and even overclock like them in the right conditions, but producing those conditions might be difficult, and that is why people pay more for better overclocking.

You can find out more on the GIGABYTE Z170XP-SLI here.  

Thursday, October 29, 2015

8Pack Shatters New Records On A X99 Champion

We are always excited when overclockers break records, especially when it's on our hardware. Our friend 8Pack recently crushed a number of World Records and Global First Place with 3D Mark Fire Strike and 3D Mark Vantage on a GIGABYTE X99 Champion motherboard.

Let's take a look at at the records 8Pack crushed.

First up is his Fire Strike score of 44583, which is a World Record. Aside from his GIGABYTE motherboard, he hit this score using 4x NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti cards and a Intel Core i7-5960X CPU clocked at 5,860 MHz.

On FireStrike Extreme, 8Pack was able to attain equally impressive results. Check it out below:

Next up lets take a look at his Vantage score. This was done on the same hardware, and as you can see the result was nothing short of stellar.

Moving down to the 3x FireStrike Vantage category, you can see that 8Pack maintains his lead. For this entry his CPU is clocked slightly higher at 5,865 MHz.

Finally, in the 2x GPU category 8Pack was able to break two Global First Place records.

First on FireStrike he was able to hit 36498:

And on Vantage he was able to bring in another Global First Place score of P111069:

8Pack's phenomenal scores is just another example of why GIGABYTE motherboards lead the industry in overclocking.

TweakTown Reviews the GIGABYTE Z170X-SOC FORCE

The Z170X-SOC Force is GIGABYTE's overclocker-focused board for the Intel 100 series chipset.

While you can overclock on any of our boards, the SOC Force is specially tuned for overclocking and provides features like the OC Touch panel on the front which make adjustments easy for those that have the motherboard out on a test bench.

Recently Steven Bassiri from TweakTown reviewed the Z170X-SOC Force and gave it a rating of 93%. Steven said that he liked the 4-Way SLI and three M.2 32Gb/s Slots, the High-Quality VRM, and excellent overclocking features available on the board.

Here's a summarized version of his final thoughts on the board:
The Z170X-SOC Force is built to be the largest, and most equipped overclocking motherboard GIGABYTE has to offer for Skylake, and it lives up to its legacy. The Z170X-SOC Force is the result of a long line of predecessors that filled in the same price range and feature set, and while there aren't many people who might make use of all its features, many people still look at it as their dream motherboard. The aesthetics of the Z170X-SOC Force are possibly the best of any OC series motherboard from GIGABYTE thus far.The Z170X-SOC Force is aimed at two different segments of the enthusiast population; those who want crazy amounts of GPUs and M.2 storage, and those who want strong overclocking features and performance. The Z170X-SOC Force is currently one of the better options if you are going to go for Z170 multi-GPU world records on HWBot, or if you want to build a super equipped gaming rig with the latest in storage technology.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Innovative Tech Behind the Killer Ethernet Controller

The GIGABYTE 100 Series motherboards have a number of exciting features, but one of the most interesting has to be the Killer Network Controller from Rivet Networks.

Now normally network controllers aren't a huge source of innovation. People simply don't think of them as they do the CPU, GPU, or memory connectivity like M.2 or PCI-E. But the Killer NIC, found in select GIGABYTE Z170 boards, isn't an ordinary network controller. Its proprietary software can classify and prioritize traffic ensuring that latency sensitive applications, such as multiplayer games, will not be impacted while other things like downloads run in the background.

Recently Mark Nelson from The Tech Report visited Rivet Networks' headquarters for a briefing and posted a great writeup on the Killer NICs, explaining how the controllers work and putting them through their paces on various benchmarks.

Here's a brief rundown of the advantages it brings gamers:

Killer tells us its driver has been tweaked to minimize latency, so as soon as it gets any amount of data to send, it puts that data straight onto the wire. In contrast, a driver that doesn't prioritize latency may hold off on sending to do a couple of things. Such a driver might wait to combine multiple small payloads into a single packet if the destination is the same, or it may queue up multiple sends at a time to minimize the number of interrupts taken. Games usually send out data in 128-byte chunks or less, so Killer's driver should minimize the amount of time that game data spends in the network stack. In fact, the Killer Networking folks claim the E2400's latency performance beats the competition by up to 50% during single-application usage.

Here's what Mark found out during his benchmarking. As you can see, the Killer NIC beats the competition by a healthy margin. Check it out:

 If you want to learn more, check out the full article here on The Tech Report.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Don't Miss Out on Your Chance to Go to Blizzcon!

As you might remember, we recently announced the Grand Prize Winners of the GIGABYTE Heroes of the Storm™ Sweepstakes as well as the 2nd Round of Winners for GIGABYTE Prizes. There are some great prizes on the list, which include GIGABYTE motherboards and a trip to Blizzcon in California!

We sent out an email to winners recently, but sometimes these get stuck in spam filters and won't make it to your inbox. You can check the full list of winners here.

If you won the Grand Prize of a free trip to Blizzcon we'll need to hear back from you ASAP! Don't lose your chance to go to Blizzcon!

GIGABYTE Tweak Launcher for Z170 chipset

Hey guys,

I have for you the GIGABYTE Tweak Launcher (GTL) software to use on the Z170 chipset GIGABYTE motherboards to help you overclock in Windows. We’ve tested it on all versions of Windows OSes and it operates well. You can change various frequencies including base clock, CPU and Uncore ratios, various volts and voltage related parameters.

Happy OCing and be careful with this software, don’t go setting crazy voltage because you can kill hardware (for example, the settings in the screenshot were done using liquid nitrogen so we could use high voltage such as 1.45vcore on CPU and 1.84v on memory). On air cooling, these settings are not advisable. I would stick to 10% overvolt at most for regular OC rigs.

Download link:


Monday, October 12, 2015

More Recognition of GIGABYTE's Overclocking Leadership

Over at eTeknix, Ryan Leiserowitz posted a review of our GIGABYTE GA-X99-SOC Chamption motherboard. Ryan is a hardcore overclocker, and this was his chance to put the board through its paces.

Ryan mentions in his review that the board has enough features for pro-overclockers, and is priced competitively enough that amateur overclockers don't have to think twice about including one in their next system build.

“From pro-overclockers to enthusiast system builders, if you’re wanting to push your hardware to the limit, the GX-X99-SOC is the perfect tool for the job,”  Ryan writes. 

In the end eTeknix gave the board their "Overclockers Dream" award. Thanks guys!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Another Record Broken on a GIGABYTE SOC Champion

GIGABYTE continues to lead the way with world records and global first places.

Over at 3D Mark, you can find the latest benchmark scores posted for FireStrike Extreme. The top score belongs to "Mad" and as you can see, he hit 34665 using a GIGABYTE X-99 SOC Champion-CF motherboard. Check it out below:

Aside from being a world record this score is remarkable for two reasons. It's the first time that the 34,000 barrier has been broken with a quad-VGA card setup, and it's also a full 1,000 points above the competition. 

Next up is a Global First Place for Fire Strike Extreme with just one GPU. 

As you can see, the 14,000 barrier has been broken. A first for a single card setup. 

And finally the regular Fire Strike with one GPU:

For those curious, here's a peak at what the rig used looks like:

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Add Some Color and Illumination to Your System Build With GIGABYTE

Case modding is growing in popularity as many look to create that finishing touch on their PC to make it unique and original. The possibilities are really infinite, some people want a complete redesign of their case while others just want to add an enhanced water cooling solution.

Regardless of how extensive you want your case mod to be, you will need one thing: light. Without illumination you can't appreciate the clean cable runs, elaborate water cooling setups, or simply the components themselves. 

GIGABYTE has a solution: LED lights along the motherboard. On select GIGABYTE 100 series models, including the Gaming G1, there is a multi-color LED trace path around the board. With the Ambient LED app in the GIGABYTE APP center you can customize the light pattern, with three different options, and seven different color options. 

Check out this video from the GIGABYTE Motherboard and Brix YouTube channel for more information:

With all the color and light pattern options the possibilities are endless. The LED lights can compliment case mods or additions like high-end coolers, illuminating them so you can show them off. Or simply on their own they can provide a cool, custom look for your rig.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Let's Build a CustoMac With GIGABYTE Parts

MacOS X has a loyal following, even among PC users. While many PC users, especially enthusiasts, would never buy an Apple computer because of the price premium they command and lack of upgradeability it would be hard to find someone that won't admit even a slight affinity for OS X.

But unfortunately for PC loving fans of OS X, Apple has ruled out ever officially licensing its operating system to PC vendors. However there is a solution if you want to run OS X on your PC: build a CustoMac.

A CustoMac is a PC that the user builds specifically for running OS X. TonyMacx86 is one of the largest communities on the web dedicated to building CustoMacs. Recently we covered their guide on how to turn a GIGABYTE Brix-S into a CustoMac-mini. Of course not all PC hardware is compatible with OS X, so TonyMacx86 has put together an extensive guide to show you what you need to build your very own CustoMac.

If you have an interest in running OS X on your PC, head on over to to TonyMac x86 now to check out the guide. You'll notice that GIGABYTE motherboards are extensively supported!

Here's Why It's Time to Upgrade Your Gaming System

The average PC refresh cycle is getting longer and longer. While at one time a person was likely to refresh their PCs every two-to-three years, this cycle has stretched on to now be between five to seven years. While hardcore gamers might update their hardware on a 12 month cycle, the average person that doesn't have a budget to do yearly upgrades might still be using hardware form 2010.

And for the average person this might work -- but it won't work well. While hardware from 2010 might be able to play 2015's latest games, it will only do so with choppy frame rates at the lowest resolutions and graphics settings. This is far from an enjoyable gaming experience, and is not how the developers intended the games to be played.

Just to show you the performance advantage a modern system featuring an Intel® 6th. Gen™ CPU, DDR4 RAM, an Intel 750-series SSD, a GIGABYTE WindForce GeForce 980 Ti graphics card on a GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard has over a system with a 2010-era high-end hardware we've prepared a video demonstrating the vast difference in performance. As you will see, our benchmarking of the resource demanding Grand Theft Auto V and the benchmark suite Catzilla shows that the 2010-era system struggles while the GIGABYTE G1 Gaming motherboard based system has no problem.

Check out the video below from the GIGABYTE Motherboard and Brix YouTube channel:

Building a 2015 gaming machine

For the benchmarking tests we chose to put together a system that would represent what an average user would be after if they wanted to build a high-end system. Of course, there are those that have the budget for an extreme system with multiple graphics cards and extensive watercooling systems but many gamers simply don't have the budget for that and want high-end gaming at an affordable price.

Let's go through the parts used in building the PC and why we chose them.

GIGABYTE 100 Series Motherboard: For this video we used the GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard, the flagship Gaming motherboard of GIGABYTE's 100 Series lineup. The Gaming G1 motherboard has many high-end features that set it miles apart from the competition.

For audiophiles looking to game with crystal-clear sound the Gaming G1 motherboard has a Creative® Sound Core3D™ Quad-Core audio processor with a Burr-Brown high end 127 dB DAC which is Creative® certified ZxRi 120+dB SNR . For those with an interest in overclocking, the GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 board features enhanced BCLK frequency tuning, allowing overclockers to make adjustments outside of the traditional 5% straps. In addition, for gamers that play online, lag is a thing of the past: this board features the lag-killing Killer DoubleShot-X3™ Pro which intelligently routes traffic over the board's available connections ensuring that online games run silky smooth even as downloads continue in the background.

While this motherboard might be right for someone with a bigger budget for a system build, there's also the GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 7 or the Z170X-Gaming 3 for those that need to stay within a smaller budget. All of these GIGABYTE's 100 Series motherboards support the latest Intel 6th.® Gen™ CPU, DDR4 RAM, feature onboard USB Type-C™ and have other innovative and award-winning GIGABYTE features.

Intel 6th. Gen CPU: For those wanting the best in price-performance, there's no better choice than an Intel 6th. Gen CPU. As you can see in the video it offers double-digit performance gains over a CPU from the last generation. Under the lid Intel has made improvements to the micro architecture to make it more efficient.

One of the things Intel has improved is the processor's ability to fetch and dispatch up to six instructions at once and store up to 224 instructions in its out-of-order buffer at once (up from 192 in Haswell).  

In addition, it has enhanced support for DDR4, support for USB 3.1 over USB Type C, and better baseclock tuning for enhanced overclocking support.

If you're after some more in-depth benchmarking and analysis check out these reviews from around the web.

DDR4 RAM: First supported on Intel fifth-generation CPUs, DDR4 is the latest generation of RAM offering a range of improvements over over DDR2 and DDR3.

The primary advantages of DDR4 is that is offers higher speeds -- between 800 to 1600 MHz -- than DDR3 which had a maximum frequency of 1067 MHz, as well as it runs at a lower voltage.

The big speed increases that DDR4 offers makes it a must have for any gamer looking to get the most out of his system.

Intel 750 Series SSD: Over the past five years SSDs have gone down in price dramatically while increasing in speed and storage.  Now, the cost per gigabyte of an SSD is getting to be very competitive to an HDD for the average user (with the cost/GB approaching $1). SSDs are faster than HDDs because they use something called non-volatile NAND memory instead of a magnetic platter and actuator arm. On average, a PCIe-based SSD will offer a 4X speed improvement over an HDD. For a more detailed explainer of the differences between an HDD and SSD, you can check out this post from PC Mag.

For our system we used the Intel 750 Series SSD. This SSD fits right into the motherboard's PCI-e slot, and uses a controller protocol developed by Intel called Non-Volatile Memory Express (commonly shortened as NVMe). Benchmarks published online show that the SSD can push 2.4GB/sec of read and 1.2GB/sec of write bandwidth. For gamers this means that demanding games (such as Grand Theft Auto V which we tested) can run at a better FPS as the system has faster access to  the game's data and high-resolution textures.

It's time to upgrade 

While many users might think that their 2010 era PC is good enough, that's simply not the case. Yes it might be able to struggle with running some games, but you won't be able to appreciate them to their full extent. You'll need to run the games at their lowest resolution and lowest graphics settings, which is hardly the way they were meant to be played. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Having Trouble Installing Windows 7 By USB With Your GIGABYTE 100 Series Motherboard?

We understand that some users are having trouble installing Windows 7 by USB drive on their systems that have a  GIGABYTE 100 series motherboard inside.

The problem lies in the fact that Windows 7's installer is only compatible with an older type of USB driver. The GIGABYTE 100 series motherboard uses a newer kind of USB driver, meaning you will get an error when trying to install Windows 7.

Thankfully there is a fix for this which allows you to package the updated driver on to your USB driver.

In order to build the patched version of Windows 7, you'll need a few things:

1) A genuine copy of Windows 7 or iso file
2) A USB drive with over 4GB of storage
3) A separate computer
4) The Windows Image Tool available for free from GIGABYTE 

Once you download the Windows Image Tool from GIGABYTE the process is fairly easy. Here's the process you need to follow step-by-step:

1) Open the tool from GIGABYTE. There's no need to install it.
2) In the source option select your disc drive
3) In the destination path pick your USB drive.
4) Make sure the 'add USB drivers' option is selected
5) Click start and wait for the process to finish.

Note: if you just need to add the USB drivers to an existing ISO you can do that from the source option.

Check out this video from our YouTube channel to learn more: