Gigabyte releases a flurry of X99 mobos and mini-PCs at Computex

It's Computex season, and new hardware is practically growing on trees. Gigabyte's orchard has produced a few fine specimens: a flurry of high-end X99 mobos just begging for Broadwell-E CPUs, and a few other samples based on the Z170, H170, and B150 chipsets. Not content with its catch of motherboards, the company also unveiled the Brix Gaming UHD and GB-XD7B0 mini-PCs.

Let's kick things off with the fancy mobos. The GA-X99-Designare EX packs all the usual X99 trappings, but also goes a few steps further. Gigabyte fitted this mobo with a 110-mm M.2 slot and two U.2 ports, as well as a SATA Express connector. An Intel USB 3.1 controller is present, providing Type-A and Type-C ports, each with 2 dedicated PCIe lanes. Those ports also support the Power Delivery 2.0 spec, which can push a total of 36W of juice.

The GA-X99-Designare EX's networking section can best be described as "everything." There are two Intel Ethernet LAN controllers with interface teaming suport, along with two Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapters. In case that's not enough, Bluetooth 4.2 is included, too. The mobo includes "hybrid" fan headers, which can control either fans or water pumps, along with headers for LED light strips.

On the lights topic, the GA-X99-Designare EX offers a veritable show. The brand's "Ambient Surround LEDs" lights up the motherboard with RGB LEDs, which can be set to a fixed color or to one of four effects. Other niceties include three-way SLI and CrossFire support, metal-reinforced PCIe slots and RAM slots, and an enhanced audio section powered by a Realtek ALC1150 chip. As a nod to multi-GPU enthusiasts, Gigabyte made sure the two primary PCIe x16 slots have extra room between them.

Next up is the GA-X99-Ultra Gaming, which is similar to the previous model but drops 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support. In this model, Ethernet LAN connectivity is provided by both an Intel Gigabit Ethernet controller and a Killer E2400 chip. The USB 3.1 ports don't appear to support Power Delivery 2.0, either.

The third member in the new X99 series is the GA-X99-Phoenix SLI, which brings back the Designare EX's networking section (with two Intel Ethernet controllers and two Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapters), but has a single U.2 connector instead of two in the storage section.

Along with those high-powered cannons, Gigabyte also announced the GA-Z170X-Designare, GA-Z170X-Ultra Gaming, and GA-Z170-UD3 Ultra models. We don't have details on these save for the UD3 Ultra, which offers metal-reinforced PCIe and DIMM slots as well as M.2, U.2, and USB 3.1 ports. In addition, the company is also releasing what we presume are reasonably affordable motherboards: the GA-H170-Designare and the GA-B150-Gaming TH.

It's not all about motherboards in this piece, though. Gigabyte is also touting its Brix Gaming UHD mini-PC, which packs a GeForce GTX 950 graphics card and a total of four outputs capable of support 4K resolutions (no word on the specific types). Still within the realm of diminutive computers, the GB-XD7B0 is a prebuilt system packing a Skylake Core i5 or Core i7 CPU along with a Killer NIC Ethernet adapter, in an enclosure with a total volume of 10 L. This machine's main selling point, though, is its support for off-the-shelf graphics cards, making it particularly appealing to the gaming crowd.


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