Knowing that good things come in pairs, Gigabyte has revealed its dual-port Thunderbolt motherboards based on Intel Z77 Express chipset. The three new Thunderbolt-enabled motherboards are the GA-Z77X-UP5 TH, GA-Z77X-UP4 TH and the GA-Z77MX-D3H TH. They are easily identified by the "TH" suffix.
These boards were first unveiled at last month's Computex 2012 where Gigabyte had a comprehensive demonstration to showcase the prowess of the Thunderbolt technology. This new interconnect is capable of up to 10Gbps of bidirectional transfers (capable of up to 20Gbps of data throughput), offering about twice the performance as USB 3.0 interconnect that has a speed of 4.8Gbps.
By offering two onboard Thunderbolt ports with its motherboards, Gigabyte has effectively up the ante by touting support for up to twelve daisy-chained Thunderbolt-enabled devices. To top off this setup, each chain can be terminated with a digital display with support for DisplayPort.
The company has also taken effort to work closely with several leading device partners, including Promise Technology, LaCie, BlackMagic, Western Digital, Seagate, Elgato, CalDigit and cable manufacturer Sumitomo to ensure equipment compatibility.
Gigabyte's dual-port Thunderbolt motherboards have created new flexibility for PC connectivity, effectively turning the PC into a central high-speed distribution hub. Gigabyte's innovative efforts have paid off as their dual-port Thunderbolt motherboards are the first to be certified by Intel.
"Thunderbolt technology represents a leap in performance and simplicity for media creators and entertainment enthusiasts," says Jason Ziller, Intel's director of Thunderbolt marketing. "We are pleased to be working with Gigabyte as they bring the first dual Thunderbolt port motherboard to market. It's a great example of what Thunderbolt makes possible."
Not resting on its laurels, the GA-Z77X-UP5 TH and GA-Z77X-UP4 TH motherboards also feature their latest fifth-generation Ultra Durable 5 technology. Ultra Durable 5 includes all the features from Ultra Durable 4, but with one key improvement, a single package, single silicon design MOSFET design.
Gigabyte is using this all-new single package, single silicon design from a company called International Rectifier. Called the PowIRstage IR3550, this new MOSFET design can deliver up to a whopping 60A of current and also provides much cooler VRM temperatures, increasing overall efficiency and longevity of the motherboard.
The GA-Z77MX-D3H TH is an entry-level dual-port Thunderbolt motherboard in the current lineup. Despite its micro-ATX form factor, it still supports up to 2-way CrossFireX or SLI, making it ideal for building a compact yet powerful gaming system. It features Ultra Durable 4 technology instead of the newest Ultra Durable 5.
Gigabyte's not compromising its lead in the storage and connectivity front as all the boards have dual onboard Thunderbolt connectors. From its initial offerings, Gigabyte has definitely set itself apart from its competitors.