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.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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