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.


Comments closed
    • Khali
    • 3 years ago

    I see the trend to more plastic bling and useless LED’s is, unfortunately, still alive and well.

    • tsk
    • 3 years ago

    Every mini PC launched from now on needs to have thunderbolt 3, or no sale.
    I was hoping an option to the skull canyon nuc would show up at computex.

      • EndlessWaves
      • 3 years ago

      Why thunderbolt 3?

      DisplayPort for Adaptive Sync displays and USB 3.1 I can understand but what does thunderbolt 3 itself offer that’s of use to a gaming MiniPC? Most of the thunderbolt uses are either high end workstation (serious DAS) or laptop (docking station, external graphics).

        • moriz
        • 3 years ago

        external GPU docks require thunderbolt 3. this gives you a clear upgrade path, if you ever need more graphics power.

          • Khali
          • 3 years ago

          Or you could use a slightly bigger case and fit it all in one box. I don’t understand this need/want for a smaller case and then spreading all the internals, GPU, drives, DAC’s, etc, all over the desk.

          Yeah, I know the normal reply. That I’m a dinosaur stuck in the 90’s. Well the tiny case with a host of external parts is even older, it goes back to the early 80’s and the Commodore 64 type systems.

    • thesmileman
    • 3 years ago

    Nothing looks better than backlit “Ultra Durable” text in your gaming case.

    • tay
    • 3 years ago

    Moar plastic on the motherboard please. What the hell.

    • p3ngwin
    • 3 years ago

    [b<]"Gigabyte lets lose..."[/b<] *loose It's embarrassing any journal gets this wrong.

      • morphine
      • 3 years ago

      Thanks for the heads-up.

      That’s what one gets for writing headlines close to bedtime.

        • Rageypoo
        • 3 years ago

        Have you heard about corduroy pillow cases?

    • mjbridges
    • 3 years ago

    What would you use two on-board wifi adaptors for?

      • tay
      • 3 years ago


      • Srsly_Bro
      • 3 years ago

      Something you can’t with only one!

      • DreadCthulhu
      • 3 years ago

      So you can steal your neighbors wifi for torrents whilst using your own network for other, more latency sensitive stuff.

      • CheetoPet
      • 3 years ago

      Wondering this myself. Can think of a couple ideas but none are especially good or useful.

      – Use your PC as a wifi repeater / gateway for the other half of your house.
      – Run one in host mode & connect the other to it. Brag to your friends about how great your connectivity is.
      – Bond them for 2x multi-gigabit connectivity to your router, ignore the fact your ISP is 25mbit. (802.3ad prolly doesn’t work well with wifi but whatevs)

    • The Egg
    • 3 years ago

    [quote=”Bruno Ferreira”<]Gigabyte's has produced a few fine specimens: a flurry of high-end X99 mobos just [i<]begging[/i<] for Broadwell-E CPUs[/quote<] For the right price, these motherboards will do just about anything you want, and they've never had CPUs in their sockets.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 3 years ago

    So wait, what happened to the 1080 review?

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