Gigabyte had five of its upcoming 7-series motherboards on display at CES today. While Gigabyte isn't talking about all of the features that will be available at launch, we will see an mSATA connector on some boards (GA-Z77X-UD3H) for use with smaller SSDs as a NAND cache in front of a hard drive. Gigabyte also showcased its G1.Sniper M3, a high-end micro-ATX motherboard. As Ivy Bridge brings down max TDPs at the high end, this may finally be the beginning of a transition to smaller desktops - even in the enthusiast space. The transition doesn't have to be huge, but perhaps it's time for some more innovation in the desktop space when it comes to form factors.

None of these boards support Thunderbolt however we may see some Thunderbolt enabled designs after the 7-series chipset launch in early Q2 (early April sounds about right).

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  • vectorm12 - Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - link

    I sure hope so PCI needs to go the way of the dodo and quickly.

    Also I can't help but wonder why anyone would think to put VGA output on a 2012 MB?
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - link

    Because corporations have been buying VGA-only monitors for ages to save a few cents over DVI equipped ones.
  • cactusdog - Friday, January 13, 2012 - link

    Sapphire has a board with 6 full pci-e slots, not sure if they're all electrically x16 though.
  • Zap - Friday, January 13, 2012 - link

    Socket 1155 will still be limited to 16 PCIe lanes going to the CPU. Boards with multiple physical x16 lanes either have them electrically limited (to x8 or x4) or are using something like the NF200 to give more lanes.
  • carage - Friday, January 13, 2012 - link

    Now which one of these won't catch fire like the UD3?
  • Snootpelt - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Looks like they've improved the spacing between PCI slots so that they are acutally usable. I have a Gigbyte X58A-UD7 2.0 and two of the slots are obstructed by the CPU (I have a i7 950) and auxillary on board cooler (which I ultimately removed) and they are so close together that even fanless cards can touch. The graphics card fan basically means it eats two slots. Even on these new cards it looks like long cards may still be challenged by the proximity of the slots to the CPU.
  • jimmyzaas - Monday, February 27, 2012 - link

    I hope they finally bring UEFI to their boards. That blue stuff is not pretty to look at.

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