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MSI: Gigabyte PCIe Gen3-ready motherboards, are not Gen3-ready

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 10 Sep 2011 19:20 User comments (1)

MSI: Gigabyte PCIe Gen3-ready motherboards, are not Gen3-ready MSI presentation discredits Gigabyte claims about PCI Express Gen3-ready motherboards.
On August 8, 2011, Gigabyte issued a press release that announced their entire range of 6 series motherboards are ready to support the next generation Intel 22nm CPUs (LGA1155 Socket) as well as offer native support for PCI Express Gen. 3 technology, delivering maximum data bandwidth for future discrete graphics cards.

In total, it listed more than 40 motherboards that it said were Gen3-ready. Gigabyte rival MSI investigated the claims made by the Gigabyte press release and published its findings in a presentation. It seeks to discredit the claim that all the boards listed are Gen3-ready, and instead insists that only one of the Gigabyte boards is technically Gen3-ready.

The motherboard-manufacturer based its argument around the claim that if not all Gen3 components are available on a motherboard, then Gen3 will never be enabled. Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs with PCI Express Gen3 can deliver double the bandwidth (32GB/s Max) compared to Gen2, if the board is truly Gen3-compliant.

MSI made its points clear through a presentation (click to enlarge/browse images):

1 - Intel Gen3 Specs: MSI "true" Gen3 Series vs. Gigabyte "fake" Gen3 Series.

2 - MSI: True Gen3 Switches: PCI Express Gen3 switches have Gen3 part numbers, Pericom 3412 & 3415.

3 - Gigabyte Fake Gen3 switch: PCI Express switches have Gen2 part number, Pericom 2415.

4 - MSI True Gen3 Support: Intel Ivy Bridge 22nm CPU, PCI Express 3.0 + Gen3 Swtiches == 32GB/s Bandwidth Total.

5 - Gigabyte Fake Gen3 Support: Intel Ivy Bridge 22nm CPU, PCI Express 3.0 + Gen2 Swtich == 16GB/s Bandwidth Total.

6 - Gigabyte Fake Gen3 Testing: MSI test of Gigabyte P67A-UD4-B3 with 22nm CPU with PCI Express 3.0, with latest BIOS (as instructed in Gigabyte release), results in board switching down to Gen1 x8.

7 - MSI True Gen3 Testing: MSI test of MSI Z68A-GD65 (G3) with 22nm CPU, PCI Express 3.0, results in board switching to Gen3 x16.

8 - Gigabytes's true Gen3 models: MSI finds only 1 of the 40+ motherboards cited in Gigabyte's press release is Gen3-ready.

Download full PDF of presentation from:

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1 user comment

111.9.2011 1:56

Thanks I know what Gigabyte board to buy...after all, I would not want some crummy MSI board even if it had better specs...good specs don't matter when it won't post.

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