Gigabyte, one of the world’s top PC component manufacturers, held a large-scale event in Gurugram on Friday to launch its new Aorus line of premium motherboards for gamers, and reinvigorate its enthusiast business in India. The launch comes right after Intel announced its 7th-generation ‘Kaby Lake’ CPUs and complementary 200-series chipsets. With the new Aorus name, Gigabyte is eliminating previous sub-brands including the former top-end G1 Gaming and Overclocking lines, and consolidating its offerings.
The Aorus name has previously been used for Gigabyte’s gaming laptops, which are not available in India, and will soon be applied across other product categories including graphics cards, peripherals and accessories. The new motherboard lineup comprises of six models based on the Intel Z270 platform controller.
A major highlight of the series is the new RGB Fusion lighting scheme, which uses LEDs embedded throughout the surface of the motherboads, including around the PCIe and RAM slots. LEDs also shine through a patterned acrylic strip on the front of each motherboard – Gigabyte representatives told Gadgets 360 that the design of this strip can be customised for orders of as few as 100 units, which will allow system integrators to show off their branding in interesting new ways. A design contest will also be held, and winning entries could be put into production.
Gigabyte is also debuting a whole new software suite with this release, including a control applet for the RGB Fusion lighting which allows patterns and zones to be defined. Patterns can be synchronised across Aorus motherboards, graphics cards and case LED strips plugged into two headers. There is also a redesigned overclocking utility which includes an automatic tuning feature, a new fan control tool which lets users define curves on a graph, and various other utilities.
Several models include Thunderbolt ports, while all offer USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps) Type-A and Type-C ports. Most models also have high-end Creative Sound Blaster ZxRi or Sound Core3D audio with premium capacitors and swappable op-amps and enough power to drive high-impedance headphones. Gigabyte is also promoting its metal-reinforced PCIe and RAM slots, high-power fan headers which can all handle water cooling apparatus, Killer Ethernet and Wi-Fi controllers, and overclocking capabilities.
All models have two M.2 slots and one U.1 port, allowing for multiple NVME SSDs in RAID. All are also ready for Intel’s upcoming Optane memory products. Finally, all Aorus motherboards will be covered by a five-year warranty.
At the top end, the new GA-Z270X-Gaming 9’s defining feature is its integrated hybrid waterblock designed by EKWB, which allows liquid coolant to be pumped across the voltage regulators, which Gigabyte says will allow for higher and more stable overclocks. It has an official MRP of Rs. 61,800 but its street price is closer to Rs. 52,000 according to market sources.
Lower down the line, the Z270X-Gaming 7 and Z270X-Gaming 5 shed some features in order to achieve lower price points. They have MRPs of Rs. 28,500 and Rs. 21,600 respectively, but should retail for around Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 20,000 respectively.
Gigabyte is not launching the Z270X-Gaming 8, Z270X-Gaming K7 and Z270X-Gaming K5 models yet. However, there are also several new models outside the Aorus line in Gigabyte’s 2017 portfolio, all based on the Z270, H270 and B250 platform controllers.
Disclosure: Gigabyte sponsored the correspondent's flights and hotel for the event in Gurugram.