Print 20 comment(s) - last by electriple9.. on May 15 at 10:23 PM

The M59SLI-S5 will be Gigabyte's highest tier offering for AM2 at launch

The Gigabyte M57SLI-S4 has most of the features found on the M59SLI-S4, but lacks dual x16 PCIe lanes

Gigabyte's new AM2 offerings are outlined in green
Another motherboard manufacturer steps up to the AM2 plate

ASUS isn't the only company gearing up for a massive AM2 motherboard launchDailyTech just got a hold of the Gigabyte internal roadmap with the full lineup of upcoming Socket 775 and Socket AM2 motherboards.

Gigabyte has five "tiers" of upcoming AM2 motherboards, each denoted by an "S."  An "S5" motherboard is more high-end than an "S4" motherboard.  Each "S" denotes a different feature, such as SLI, Silent, etc. 

Like the ASUS offerings, Gigabytes best of breed motherboards for AM2 will feature NVIDIA's nForce 590 SLI chipset.  The M59SLI-S5 has dual x16 PCIe graphics, dual eSATA ports, dual BIOSes, ten USB 2.0 interfaces and eight SATA 3.0Gbps interfaces.  One UDMA PATA interface is provided for legacy optical storage devices.  Like other nForce 590 motherboards, the motherboard also features dual Gigabit LAN but over the Marvell Gigabit PHY.  Gigabyte has two Firewire-400 headers on the motherboard with an additional third interface on the rear I/O panel. 

The M59SLI-S5 also has the widely talked about RealTek ALC888DD "Dolby Digital" audio codec, an upgrade from the ALC883 codec that includes digital microphone support for VOIP and video conferencing.  Gigabyte's internal roadmap claims that this motherboard is Tritium-ready, meaning it was designed with NVIDIA's specifications for voltage tolerances and overclocking.  More importantly, the motherboard will automatically overclock when NVIDIA-approved components are used in conjunction with one another, such as a GeForce 7900 SLI pair.

A non-silent version of M59SLI-S5 same board will carry the "S4" moniker, the M59SLI-S4.  There are actually several features missing on the "S4" motherboard that are found on the "S5," aside from the heat pipes.  For starters, the motherboard does not feature any external SATA connectors and the internal SATA headers have been reduced from 8 to 6.  Only one of the nForce PHY Gigabit headers are enabled, and only one physical BIOS is present.  The M59SLI-S4 also uses the ALC883 audio codec instead of the ALC888DD.  However, Tritium support has not been removed on this board, so LinkBoost and other features should still appear.

The nForce 570 M57SLI-S4 is Gigabyte's mid-range model for AM2.  The board does not feature Tritium, and like other nForce 570 motherboards, utilizes only a single MCP55P core logic.  The motherboard has dual PEG adaptors, which will configure into dual x8 lane setups or a single x16 configuration depending on which graphics cards are present. Other than the lack of Tritium support and dual x16 lanes, the M57SLI-S4 is virtually identical to the M59SLI-S4.

Gigabyte has a few other oddballs to add to the mix as well, including an MCP51 SLI motherboard for AM2 that still uses the old NVIDIA paddle cards for SLI support. In the value segment, Gigabyte will have an M55plus-S3G based on the NVIDIA GeForce 6100 / MCP 430 matchup. An MCP51 version of this board is also expected dubbed the M51GM-S2G.  Just to wrap the whole bunch up, Gigabyte will also introduce a VIA K8M890 based AM2 motherboard, the MV89M-S2.

Gigabyte also has its discrete Intel P965 motherboards slated for a mid-June launch, followed by Viiv compatible G965 motherboards slated for an August launch.  Not many details of these motherboards are available yet, but we expect to see more roadmap information within the next week or so.

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Three PCIe x16 slots?
By tonjohn on 5/14/2006 3:59:48 PM , Rating: 2
Is it just me or does the S5 feature three PCIe x16 slots? If so, is there any particular reason or is it just to allow a wider array of PCIe cards to be used?

RE: Three PCIe x16 slots?
By KristopherKubicki on 5/14/2006 4:01:54 PM , Rating: 2
The third slot is actually a PCIe x8 slot. It's not part of the SLI bridge, but you could easily use it to plug a third graphics card in.

RE: Three PCIe x16 slots?
By tonjohn on 5/14/2006 4:06:27 PM , Rating: 2
Nice! Mobo makers should start making all the physical connectors PCIe x16 - it would definetely make people's lives easier (especially if the PCIe lanes could be re-configured on the fly).

RE: Three PCIe x16 slots?
By KristopherKubicki on 5/14/2006 4:10:49 PM , Rating: 2
Yes definitely, It takes up a lot of board real estate right now, which is why I think it's not adopted more. However, I've seen a few Intel designs with all x16 interfaces.

RE: Three PCIe x16 slots?
By Zoomer on 5/15/2006 4:41:51 AM , Rating: 2
I've seen boards that implement a x4 slot, but with the connector being able to take x16 cards but not having a piece of plastic at the back ->

| .. | <-- Open Front allows longer cards to fit
| .. |
| .. |
| .. |
| .. |

| I/O Ports / Back of Mobo|

This will allow compopnents to be SMTed to the board where the x16 physical slot would lie.

RE: Three PCIe x16 slots?
By Visk on 5/14/2006 11:18:14 PM , Rating: 2
I think the third slot might be for single cards only, while in order to use the other two slots you need to have SLI. Probably so you wont need to use the switchcard like you ahd to in the nForce4 SLI boards. I think this has been done before by evga. THe board appears to have 3 slots, but either 1 (single) or 2 (SLI) can be used at once; you cant use 3 the three slots.

This is just what it appears to me. It sounds kind of weird having SLI and an extra PCIe x16 card on the same computer.

RE: Three PCIe x16 slots?
By Zoomer on 5/15/2006 4:35:39 AM , Rating: 1
Why not? Some people might need to output to 6 screens.

RE: Three PCIe x16 slots?
By ProviaFan on 5/15/2006 12:29:58 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. This is perfectly normal; if Gigabyte did indeed cripple it like Visk implies, shame on them! (besides, then you'd loose a PCI slot to double-width video card coolers)

In fact, current Apple PowerMacs have four x16 connectors (though as I remember only one of them is truly x16 electronically).

Max RAM support?
By ProviaFan on 5/14/2006 4:17:42 PM , Rating: 2
Will these boards support 2GB DDR2 modules to allow for 8GB of RAM total, or will we still be limited to 4GB total?

RE: Max RAM support?
By Bull Dog on 5/14/2006 8:04:04 PM , Rating: 2
I think that support is mostly up to AMD and not the mobo maker. And I don't have an answer to your question either. Sorry.

RE: Max RAM support?
By Zoomer on 5/15/2006 4:43:19 AM , Rating: 2
You should be able to access 8GB if you run a 64bit OS.

Nice board
By ira176 on 5/14/06, Rating: 0
RE: Nice board
By Sunbird on 5/14/2006 11:47:35 PM , Rating: 2
It should, but it isn't.

RE: Nice board
By ceefka on 5/15/2006 10:32:22 AM , Rating: 2
Some people have invested heavily in specialty PCI-cards, with no alternative yet on PCI-E. We'll have to count our blessings, though. One PATA connector down, one to go. Mr. Floppy Connector, you're next!

You don't have to buy a board with eSATA to have eSATA. You can also buy a PCI-E add on. It's nice these features are included in the new boards.

RE: Nice board
By mrwxyz on 5/15/2006 12:29:50 AM , Rating: 2
serial com ports are not legacy.....not yet atleast
all the microcontroller's i've used are only rs232, usb devices need drivers

By ceefka on 5/15/2006 10:35:20 AM , Rating: 2
The CPU power connector on the M59SLI-S5 is an 8 pole. Is that an AM2 spec or is it just the way Gigabyte handles it?

RE: 2x12v?
By KorruptioN on 5/15/2006 11:53:27 AM , Rating: 2
Probably the way Gigabyte does it. Asus puts the EPS12V connection on only their high-end LGA775 boards.

RE: 2x12v?
By Missing Ghost on 5/15/2006 5:35:38 PM , Rating: 2
That's designed for OCing on dual cores. not in the specs

Heatsink Retention Bracket
By KorruptioN on 5/14/2006 9:07:49 PM , Rating: 2
I think Gigabyte's at it again with their plastic pushpins holding down the CPU heatsink bracket. Not very secure in my opinion. Their high-end "S5" board gets proper screws.

Nice layout
By electriple9 on 5/15/2006 10:23:39 PM , Rating: 2
For the M59SLI-S5, when using the two esata connectors, can you still have the eight onboard sata connectors. Or are the 2 shared with esata.

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