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Computex 2024: Gigabyte embraces AI branding for new-gen hardware

At Computex 2024, we were given access to a host of new products from Gigabyte in a guarded room – away from the main show floor. Almost everything now has the letters ‘Ai’ stamped on it, from screens and graphics cards to AMD and intel motherboards. It’s not always immediately clear what the Ai specific feature is. For example, the TRX50 boards that first came to light back in October, now all seem to have ‘Ai TOP’ embossed on their boxes and PCBs. There was a lot on show, but it's not immediately clear what the interest level will be for these new options from the general public. Here's an overview, so you can decide for yourself.

Front and centre was a custom-build running an interactive Ai conversation where all of the data is held locally.

When it comes to the RTX 4070 Ti Super Ai TOP cards being used, the Ai label relates primarily to the improved cooling set up, according to Gigabyte. There is a Turbo fan system made from Ultra Durable materials and a double ball-bearing structure that means you can run larger loads, at higher speeds, for longer. The fact that the increased cooling capacity still allows for a 2-slot design, means that you can stack four of these on one of Gigabyte’s latest boards.

Each of these cards pulls just shy of 300 watts, so stacking 4 cards together will draw almost 1,200 watts at full pelt. After adding in power for your processor, drives etc – it becomes clear why Gigabyte was using a 1,600 watt Platinum rated Ai TOP power supply.

The display section included the “World’s First DP2.1 UHBR20 OLED Gaming Monitor”, first seen at CES, alongside the new Aorus F032U2P monitor. This is a QD OLED with 240Hz refresh and a 0.03ms response time. The DP2.1 UHB20 means 70Gbps bandwidth and there is a ‘Tactical Switch’ that lets you quickly change resolution and display size. The connections available allow users to daisy-chain up to four screens with 4K resolution – while still maintaining a 120Hz refresh.  It has been VESA certified for ClearMR 13000 and DisplayHDR 400 for ‘True Black’.

Next to the new monitors was the start of the motherboard presentation area. The B650E Aorus Stealth Ice is, according to our Gigabyte handlers, the world’s first white motherboard with the connectors on the back. This will take Ryzen 9000 processors – as well as 7000 and 8000 series. It’s a pretty stylish design with lots of connectivity on the back.

Alongside the 9000-supporting AMD products, Gigabyte also had their ‘Next gen Intel’ products on display – but with precious little information on the exact specifications. No doubt these boards will eventually be launched with lots of Ai TOP branding at the high end – even if it’s unclear what that might actually entail (outside of better cooling, the capacity to handle plenty of power and room for at least 4x Ai TOP graphic cards).

Overall, there were plenty of new boards on show – with a mix of new AMD and Intel chipsets.

With all of the main brands showing ‘Ai boards/cards’ at Computex 2024, there was at least one demo on each of their stands that showcased something like ‘a large language model working locally'. With Gigabyte, that meant an interactive text conversation, with others that meant an stylised human animation taking voice commands on a special microphone.

The only other thing that every major board maker had on display, was an Nvidia card signed by Jen Hsun Huang.

Looking at the possibility that a ‘local Ai machine’ might need untold memory and SSD capacity – alongside multiple graphics cards and an expensive high-end motherboard/CPU combination – it’s clearly a profitable sale for the hardware vendors. How much consumer interest there will be in self-contained, desk top Ai systems remains to be seen.

KitGuru Says: What do you think of the current industry-wide push towards AI branding? 

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