During Computex 2016 Leo Waldock visited Gigabyte's HQ in Taipei for a quick tour followed by an interview with Raymond Tseng, Senior Associate Vice President Innovation & Creative Value Centre Motherboard Business Unit, which is one of the longest job titles we have ever seen.
As you can see Gigabyte isn't keen on photos taken behind the scenes so there was no chance of seeing laptops and motherboards in development. Instead we were able to witness testing chambers that employ heat, humidity, shock and other nasty realities of life to ensure that finished products survive the journey from Gigabyte to the end user.
Once they have arrived they need to work correctly, emit the minimum of Radio Frequency noise and also operate nice and quietly. It was interesting to see that a fair amount of the test kit used by Gigabyte is bespoke and clearly constructed on site.
After the tour we sat down with Raymond for a conversation that covered the main topics of the day from the perspective of a motherboard manufacturer. Intel has launched Broadwell-E for LGA2011-3 and we wondered about the process of offering BIOS/UEFI support for as new family of CPUs. In addition Gigabyte has come up with an X99 refresh so what did that have to offer?
On the storage front the rise of SSD in a number of forms causes some head scratching for motherboard manufacturers. Do you want to stick with SATA, move to M.2 or rely on a PCI Express riser card? M.2 is a superb form factor however there are obvious issues with cooling, as we discuss.
The impact on motherboard manufacturers is obvious and it is a similar story with USB type C and ThunderBolt.
Perhaps the single biggest event in recent months has been the launch of Nvidia and GTX 1080 which rewrites the rule book on the amount of gaming power you can achieve with a single graphics card. More to the point, GTX 1080 tolls the bell for three- and four-way SLI as you really only need one or possibly two graphics cards in even the highest end PC.
And finally the most important question of Computex 2016. RGB lighting is everywhere so do you love it, hate it or integrate it as fully as possible? Whatever you may think about RGB you simply cannot ignore it. Perhaps we should run a KitGuru survey on the subject.