Gigabyte, Intel And Corsair Enthusiast PC Components Summit Highlights

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Gigabyte shows off X99 motherboards, GTX 1080 GPUs, and more

Gigabyte, Corsair and Intel held a press event in California on June 30th to show off some of their new hardware. Though Intel just talked broadly about its thoughts on the PC gaming market (it's growing, and they are committed to it, basically), Gigabyte and Corsair both demo'd high-end gear it first unveiled at Computex. We were on-hand to check everything out, and have the details lined up for you here.

First up, we have some video of many of the products...

Intel

Intel didn't have anything new to show, but wanted to reiterate its commitment to the PC gaming and high-end desktop spaces, as evidenced by its new Broadwell-E platform. Intel's Desktop Director, Heath Winston, spoke about the growth and size of the PC gaming market, which we thought was interesting. He said the actual number of PC gamers is around 1.2 billion globally, and of that number approximately 800,000 are "active" in that they game at least once a week. He said PC gaming is a $90 billion market currently, which is a 30% increase from just a few years ago. One other notable stat was that there's approximately 20 billion hours of streaming content a month now, which is a huge change from a few years ago. He also said VR will likely be a huge influence on the PC market in the years to come. After his brief synopsis, he handed the stage over to Gigabyte. 

Gigabyte

The company showed off a few swank parts, so let's take a look at each of them one-by-one. 

xtremegamingcard
The company's flagship GTX 1080 card; the Xtreme Gaming. 

We got to check out Gigabyte's top of the line GTX 1080 GPU, named the Xtreme Gaming, which we covered previously. The card will be sold in two versions, one which includes just the card itself for $679, and the other is the Premium Pack, which will sell for $699 and is aimed at VR enthusiasts. The card will run at a 1936MHz Boost Clock in OC mode. Aside from an overlapping 100mm fan array and RGB lighting, the Xtreme Gaming also includes two HDMI headers that let you run a breakout box for VR connectivity, either internally or externally. 

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The Xtreme Gaming has two on-board HDMI ports for easy VR connectivity. 

Gigabyte also plans to offer its own version of the new High Bandwidth SLI bridge, complete with RGB lighting. It will be included in the Premium Pack and could possibly be offered for sale in the future too. 

bridge

The company also showed off an all-new Brix model aimed at mainstream gamers as it includes a GTX 950 GPU. It's essentially an HTPC made for light gaming, but has a very unique form factor. 

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The Brix Gaming UHD.

The company also flashed an actual socketed-CPU PC it is making, but didn't give many details other than saying its size is "10 liters." They did say it would fit a "full-sized GPU" as well, but didn't say what kinds other than that a GTX 980 would fit without any issues. 

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Gigabyte Motherboard features

Gigabyte showed off a lot of very cool features that have been baked into its new X99 motherboards as well, including several we've never seen before. 

Gigabyte's All-new BIOS

The company showed off an all-new BIOS that includes the ability to set custom fan curves. 

bios2

LED lighting headers

In terms of lighting, its new motherboards will support perimeter lighting as well as as LED strip headers on the motherboard. You'll no longer have to use a connector from the power supply to do this, and the company said in the future it'll be possible to coordinate the strips' lighting with that of the motherboard too. 

leds

U.2 Ports

Its X99 boards will allow you to run three Intel 750 Series SSDs in RAID, which Gigabyte says can offer up to 3.5GB/s in bandwidth. It does this via two onboard U.2 ports and an M.2 port that can be fitted with an adapter. 

u2

Bigger M.2 ports

Instead of sticking with the 2280 M.2 SSDs we've seen previously, the new boards allow for the longer 110mm SSDs, which don't exist yet but will in the future. The beauty of the M.2 interface is there are several different lengths to accommodate drives of various capacities. 

m2

Gigabyte Offering Dual CPU/Pump Fan Headers

In a nod to water cooling enthusiasts, Gigabyte has added an extra fan header near the CPU socket for those running a water pump instead of a fan. The header can operate in both PWM or voltage calibration modes. 
fanheader

Thunderbolt 3 On Gigabyte Motherboards

Gigabyte's new boards will support Thunderbolt 3, and they also mentioned that older boards will be able to use it via an add-in card too. Thunderbolt 3 will deliver up to 40Gb/s of bandwidth. 
thunderbolt

And here are some photos we took of the new motherboards!

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The GA-X99 Ultra Gaming

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The GA-Z170X Ultra Gaming
Tags:  Intel, Gigabyte, Corsair

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