Gigabyte teases next-gen Haswell board

Next-generation Haswell motherboards are approaching, and Gigabyte has teased a few details about what it has in store for the new platform. The firm has posted a series of tightly cropped shots on its Facebook page revealing elements of what appears to be a high-end model. Bling is on the menu for the board, which has gold-adorned audio and display outputs. Most of the port cluster is shrouded in secrecy, but one of the shots reveals dual HDMI ports, one DisplayPort out, a standard array of analog audio jacks, and both coaxial and TOS-Link digital S/PDIF ports.

Fancy audio is apparently a bit of a theme, because there’s a Sound Core3D component that looks similar to an audio processor Creative released in 2011. The Creative chip has powered a range of discrete sound cards in the SoundBlaster Recon and Z families, and its packaging looks a little different than what appears in the Gigabyte image. I suspect the board may use a cut-down version of the chip with more limited capabilities than what’s available in stand-alone sound cards. That said, even a more limited Creative solution has the potential to offer better audio than typical onboard implementations based on Realtek codecs.

The last two shots focus on the capacitors ringing the CPU socket. There’s less to go on here; there are no labels on the capacitors, and the associated lettering on the circuit board isn’t turning up anything definitive on Google. No doubt the caps are stuffed with some sort of unobtanium material that promises lower temperatures, smoother power delivery, and higher overclocks. Also, they’re black, which nicely matches the circuit board.

The shot above suggests these new capacitors might be part of the next Ultra Durable family, which means they could be available on a range of models that includes mid-range offerings. The Creative audio will probably be restricted to more exotic fare, though. I’m curious to see whether the implementation offers surround-sound virtualization for stereo devices and real-time encoding for multichannel digital output. In addition to sound quality, those features can make an integrated audio solution that rivals discrete sound cards.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 6 years ago

    That photo focusing on the Sound Core 3D chip makes me realize that mobo makers have a potential differentiator here. Just the other day you gerbils may be aware of a news bit here on TR that says Gigabyte is nipping at Asus’s toes, which I think also mentions that mobo makers are having fewer and fewer differentiating features to gain an advantage especially with Haswell.

    Well, so what about bundling better sound solutions with their mobos? I know few people would care but it’s not like most people care a lot about Hi-C caps and better chokes either. This could be a great opportunity for Creative to regain their long lost glory.

    • Bensam123
    • 6 years ago

    Speaking of Soundcore3D, I’m surprised you guys still haven’t gotten around to testing one…

    • Duck
    • 6 years ago

    I can so see a d-sub connector or some other stupid waste of space being on there ¬.¬

      • Farting Bob
      • 6 years ago

      The lastest high end board from Gigabyte, now with 3 Firewire ports!

    • PenGun
    • 6 years ago

    Not that it’s likely I would buy that but Creative on the board makes it no deal for me. I will not support in any way, those thieves.

      • Forge
      • 6 years ago

      Entertainingly, my latest Gigabyte Z77 mobo slipped some Creative Labs nonsense to me. It’s Crab Audio, yet when I installed the Gigabyte drivers, I got some “Creative Soundblaster MB2” garbage as well.

      No thanks! Trash can, and wish I could have that 5$ licensing fee back!

      • danny e.
      • 6 years ago

      I swore I’d never buy another Creative product back in 1998 or thereabout after having issues with them causing stability issues on my AMD system.

      I have no intentions of giving them money, either.

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 6 years ago

      I’ve owned several generations of Creative sound cards (possibly EVERY generation). I’ve got a new-in-box SoundBlaster ZX in sitting here for the Haswell system that I’m going to build in June (assuming that Gigabyte stops teasing and actually lets me buy a motherboard by then).

        • PenGun
        • 6 years ago

        Heretic!

        • Farting Bob
        • 6 years ago

        Why don’t you use the soundcard in your current system?

          • JustAnEngineer
          • 6 years ago

          My current Sandy Bridge-based gaming PC has a [url=http://us.store.creative.com/Creative-Sound-Blaster-XFi-Titanium-Fatal1ty/M/B0018EFGTM.htm<]SoundBlaster X-Fi Titanium F* Pro[/url<]. I intend to pass essentially the entire PC along to a family member when I build a new Haswell-based system for myself in two months. I don't see a need to change what is already working in this PC.

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 6 years ago

    I have no interest in this tease. Just put it on-line at Newegg or Amazon and take my $!@# money already.

      • Airmantharp
      • 6 years ago

      Such a hurry… sheesh 🙂

    • LoneWolf15
    • 6 years ago

    ” I suspect the board may use a cut-down version of the chip with more limited capabilities than what’s available in stand-alone sound cards. ”

    Considering the SoundCore in standard form is more limited than a true X-Fi chip….what does that really say on how cut-down this is?

    No offense to Gigabyte, I have one of their boards in my main system, and I’m a big fan of the Ultra Durable line. More my lack of being impressed with that particular Creative architecture, though nowdays, has there really been an interesting sound processor since X-Fi (other than maybe CMedia setups in the ASUS Xonar)?

      • Deanjo
      • 6 years ago

      Previous Creative boards were still the plain jane DAC’s with drivers that software emulated some of the true creative dsp functions. I suspect this is much the same.

    • albundy
    • 6 years ago

    “and both coaxial and TOS-Link digital S/PDIF ports”

    and both? lol, this should be standard on all boards, but i am very glad to see they are using better audio chips.

      • willmore
      • 6 years ago

      But, they’re *so* expensive. </sarcasm>

      With HDMI and DisplayPort supporting high bitrate digital audio, TOS-Link and RCA S/PDIF ports aren’t as exciting as they once were.

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 6 years ago

        As a matter of fact, the highest bitrates on SACD are only possible over HDMI (1.3 or later) rather than TOS-Link and RCA S/PDIF. The same would be true of DVD-audio, but it’s got the additional DRM restriction that limits it to HDMI and eliminates the older digital connections as an option.

          • willmore
          • 6 years ago

          SACD? Sony’s Abominated Compact Disc? Never speak of it again!

          Still, I +1 you for speaking truth.

    • chuckula
    • 6 years ago

    Look at that backplate shot! No USB! Apparently Intel’s incompetence is so bad and their chipsets are so dangerous to the public that Gigabyte was forced to abandon any real expansions on this board or else they would have been sued out of business by customers who were injured or killed due to fires caused by Intel’s defective USB implementation!

    Intel has apparently abandoned all standards compliant connectors with Hasbeen and now we are stuck with overpriced Thunderfail and microtransactions to get features that should be provided for free! Fortunately, Steamroller is just about ready to make Intel completely irrelevant even in the tiny niches where some fanboys claim Intel has some sort of advantage.

      • kruky
      • 6 years ago

      No keyboard or Ethernet as well. And we don’t see any screenshots of SATA ports! It’s only CPU and audio MOBO :O

        • willmore
        • 6 years ago

        Further proof that Haswell will make the best HTPCs evar!

          • mcnabney
          • 6 years ago

          Maybe they should ask Microsoft to put Mediacenter back into Windows 8? Having to buy the $200 Windows 8 Pro to get Mediacenter is a big poke in the eye from Redmund.

      • BiffStroganoffsky
      • 6 years ago

      Well then, it took technology a while but they managed to polish a turd. It is a pretty turd…who made this turd…oh yes you did…what a good boy!

      • raddude9
      • 6 years ago

      Hmm, interesting point, maybe their defective USB implementation is just a sneaky way to push people to use their more profitable Thunderbolt quagmire.

      • spugm1r3
      • 6 years ago

      Gigabyte is confirming previous reports that Haswell will only function with a touchscreen and voice commands.

      • albundy
      • 6 years ago

      hahahahah overpriced Thunderfail ftw! so true! usb could be clustered somewhere else on that backplate though. i highly doubt the would bet rid of usb 3…since well, they recently started to put their host controller spec out.

      • Bensam123
      • 6 years ago

      Despite the heavy rhetoric, Thunderfail is quite true. Too bad it doesn’t match the theme in the rest of your post.

      PS Strawman much?

      • Krogoth
      • 6 years ago

      Do you realize that the board could be a pre-produciton prototype and the production models will come with the missing ports?

        • chuckula
        • 6 years ago

        Yeah.. and more likely, that picture intentionally blacked out most of the connectors on the back of the board. I mostly did it to 1. beat Bensam123 to the punch of saying that Intel has abandoned USB 3 when the Z87 actually has more USB 3 ports than any AMD chipset, and 2. Use the word “microtransactions” for no logical reason whatsoever.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 6 years ago

          Well I thought it was funny.

        • Bensam123
        • 6 years ago

        Yeah, this is called a Strawman, last few times he tried something like this he just got rated down without any sort of responses.

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