Gigabyte teases high-end gaming board for Haswell-E


— 9:12 AM on August 8, 2014

Gigabyte is the latest motherboard maker to tease an upcoming product based on Intel's X99 chipset. The X99 Gaming G1 WiFi appeared on Gigabyte's Tech Daily blog and Facebook page this morning. Here's what it looks like:

The posts are short on details, so let's see what we can learn from the picture. I count four PCIe x16 slots, all of which may be connected to the CPU. Haswell-E should have loads of PCIe lanes built, but it may not be able to split them four ways without an accompanying PCIe switch chip. Gigabyte has used those on high-end gaming boards before.

W-Fi is included, of course, and it's probably the 802.11ac variety. Looks like it's driven by a Mini PCIe wireless card squeezed into the slot stack. There appears to be an M.2 socket just to the right of the Mini PCIe slot. That connector could be situated a little higher, so that mini SSDs hang over the wireless card. Could be a potential hot spot.

SATA and SATA Express connectors line the right edge of the board. There is fancy audio circuitry, complete with bright green capacitors that defy the otherwise black-and-red color scheme. And you get a SATA-style auxiliary power input, likely to supply additional juice to the PCIe slots. The only other item of note is the heatpipe stretching from the chipset cooler to the top VRM heatsink. I think this is the first time I've seen one routed like that.

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