At the launch of its G1 Killer motherboard series at CES earlier this month, Gigabyte teased the existence of a new board designed explicitly for competitive overclockers. Little was said at the time, but we did learn that the new model features a barren socket area designed to accommodate all manner of oversized liquid-nitrogen pots. Gigabyte also told us that the board would be a stripped-down affair decidedly short on auxiliary peripherals and extraneous features.
A picture of the so-called X58A-OC has now appeared on Gigabyte's blog, allowing us to glean a few additional details. Although the side-angle shot keeps much of out of view, there are only a handful of ports in the rear cluster. And I do mean a handful: PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports, an Ethernet jack, three analog audio jacks, and four USB ports, two of which appear to be SuperSpeed affairs.
The X58A-OC may not provide many integrated peripherals, but it appears to be capable of hosting plenty of expansion cards. Four double-wide graphic cards can be seen installed in the board. Such extremes are required when one is chasing 3DMark records, I suppose.
Having those records set on Gigabyte hardware seems to be increasingly important to the company, which has done more to support and promote extreme overclocking in recent years. Pushing boundaries is great and all, but I have to wonder if catering to such a small subset of the enthusiast community is diverting resources away from developing the sort of mid-range motherboards that enthusiasts actually buy. As we learned in our round-up of Sandy Bridge mobos, Gigabyte has fallen behind on that front. Thank to SemiAccurate for the tip.