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Gigabyte boasts of motherboards' 4K capabilities

Gigabyte boasts of motherboards' 4K capabilities

Gigabyte's testing has shown that Intel's HD4000 graphics technology, combined with a board featuring dual-Thunderbolt ports, can successfully drive a 4K Ultra HD display.

Gigabyte has released details of testing to prove the high-resolution chops of its dual Mini DisplayPort motherboards, hoping that those investing in the next-generation Ultra HD TV standard will be interested in picking up a board to drive their displays.

The testing saw Gigabyte team its GA-Z77MX-D3H TH motherboard, packed with Intel's Thunderbolt high-speed peripheral interconnect technology, with an Eizo FDH3601 4K-resolution monitor - a high-performance, high-resolution display designed for use in medical imaging and air traffic control applications. Using nothing more than an off-the-shelf Intel Core i7-3770K processor and its integrated Intel HD4000 graphics capabilities, the company was able to prove that its board can drive a 4K display.

The trick comes in the dual Thunderbolt ports, which double up as Mini DisplayPort 1.1-compatible graphics outputs. Although each port is only capable of driving displays at 2K resolution, paired together and working in tandem the ports are able to drive a 4K high-resolution display.

For those at the cutting edge of home entertainment, that could spell a very tempting home theatre system. This past year has seen the release of several 4K-resolution TV sets, along with the official release of the Ultra HD standard. Promising four times the pixel density of a similarly-sized High Definition TV, Ultra HD TVs are currently priced well out of the reach of most consumers' pockets - but, as with HDTVs in the past, prices will fall.

Before the technology reaches a critical mass, however, companies are going to have to do something about the lack of 4K-resolution content. With current-generation Blu-ray discs topping out at 1080p, Ultra HD content is hard to come by - and that's a stumbling block when you're trying to convince punters to part with tens of thousands of pounds on a 4K-resolution projector or TV. Sony has recently announced plans to ship an Ultra HD content delivery system with its compatible TVs, but for companies that don't also own major Hollywood studios things aren't so simple.

With the ability to drive an Ultra HD display using on-board graphics, however, Gigabyte's Thunderbolt-equipped motherboards could well prove the answer. With the GA-Z77MX-D3H TH proving its chops in testing, and the GA-Z77X-UP4 TH and GA-Z77X-UP5 TH claimed to offer the same compatibility, the company could have stolen a march on its rivals when it comes to high-resolution displays.

One thing Gigabyte hasn't shared, however, is performance information: driving a high-resolution for simple 2D graphics is one thing, but playing back full-motion video or rendering 3D scenes is quite another.

20 Comments

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scuppy 22nd November 2012, 12:02 Quote
chops?
Gareth Halfacree 22nd November 2012, 12:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuppy
chops?
To "test your chops" means to prove one's skills. It's a pretty common colloquialism.
Griffter 22nd November 2012, 12:18 Quote
big balls / bollocks / big cahonees :-) prove their strength
kenco_uk 22nd November 2012, 12:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuppy
chops?

First I've heard of it as well! Chops = mouth/mouth area.
Griffter 22nd November 2012, 12:37 Quote
u guys maybe not British or country with British influences like me in SA
blacko 22nd November 2012, 13:06 Quote
am i right in thinking the 2012 Olympics were filmed in the Ultra HD 4K resolution?
GoodBytes 22nd November 2012, 13:33 Quote
Sadly, the Intel graphic solution can't handle this resolution. Already people are saying how nothing is smooth with the MacBook Pro with retina display especial if they play a video and do something else.
Guinevere 22nd November 2012, 14:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
Already people are saying how nothing is smooth with the MacBook Pro with retina display especial if they play a video and do something else.

What people?

But why bring up the retina macbook (Which one?) as an example of how weak integrated graphics are when one of the machines is basically an 'ultrabook' and the other is in a different league spec wise?

My retina macbook is smooth no matter what I'm doing, and I'm driving 10 million pixels of display (That's 1.7 million more than a 4K display for those who are counting). I can certainly tell you that your "Nothing is smooth" if I "Play a video or do something else" is factually incorrect.

How can this be? Because it has a dedicated GPU, like so many other machines. And shock horror a Kepler class GPU is a pretty capable chunk of silcone and even able to perform the impossible of "Smooth scrolling while watching a video".

Of course Intel integrated graphics are going to be choppy when pushed too far, and it's for that reason why any decent spec laptop will have a discrete GPU as well... even Macs.

But I'll give you a nod that you have a point about Intel graphics when driving a high res screen. If I force my retina to use the integrated graphics (Using an app or hack) and change my res to 1920x1200 then OSX will actually be working at a resolution of 3840x2400 and scaling it down to 2880x1800

You're still wrong that 'nothing is smooth' when playing a video or doing something else, but yes the integrated graphics are not as competent at driving and rescaling a 4k screen resolution than the dedicated GPU.
Tyinsar 22nd November 2012, 15:49 Quote
Meh, been running at almost 4K resolutions for five years and I started with a 7950GX2 under XP. It was only using one of the GPUs but it still ran Guild Wars at full resolution just fine & medium-high details - though my HD5870 is smoother. 2D was tested on a 6600GT and was smooth. I never had any 4K movie content to test it with though.
GoodBytes 22nd November 2012, 16:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
What people?
reviewers, me, and comments on articles and forums.
Quote:
But why bring up the retina macbook (Which one?) as an example of how weak integrated graphics are when one of the machines is basically an 'ultrabook' and the other is in a different league spec wise?
Video output on Thunderbolt on the Gigabyte boards uses the Intel GPU. My point is if Intel can't handle properly Apple MacBook Pro "retina" displays, than it will be very bad on 4Kx2K resolution.

Quote:
My retina macbook is smooth no matter what I'm doing, and I'm driving 10 million pixels of display (That's 1.7 million more than a 4K display for those who are counting). I can certainly tell you that your "Nothing is smooth" if I "Play a video or do something else" is factually incorrect.
You probably have the 15inch version which features Nvidia GPU, not the 13inch which only has the Intel GPU.

Quote:
Of course Intel integrated graphics are going to be choppy when pushed too far, and it's for that reason why any decent spec laptop will have a discrete GPU as well... even Macs.
Intel GPU's uses drivers that are highly optimized for todays content based on a list they make of popular software. Once you go out this list with newer or different software, you risk in having a terrible or not even working experience. That is the main problem with Intel graphic solution.. but this is a different topic (AMD/Nvidia GPU vs Intel integrated graphic solution)
Intel GPU plays nice up to 1920x1200, anything higher the Intel GPU has trouble, and needs to work at max performance and as soon as you try to do something fancy, like play an HD video, and do something else, like move window or Windows flip 3D or something that uses the GPU in some fashion, it will be quiet choppy. While, an Nvidia or AMD GPU, will have no problem, even a low end model, like a GT 640, or equivalent from AMD, and possibly lower models too.
Quote:
But I'll give you a nod that you have a point about Intel graphics when driving a high res screen. If I force my retina to use the integrated graphics (Using an app or hack) and change my res to 1920x1200 then OSX will actually be working at a resolution of 3840x2400 and scaling it down to 2880x1800
Yup, that is what i was trying to say.
Quote:
You're still wrong that 'nothing is smooth' when playing a video or doing something else, but yes the integrated graphics are not as competent at driving and rescaling a 4k screen resolution than the dedicated GPU.
For me it was not smooth from what I saw. MacOS is very animated OS, so you can see the frame rate drop. I guess if you play an SD video or something ultra crappy is fine, but I doubt you'll watch such content on such high resolution display (assuming also you set the screen resolution to native)
play_boy_2000 22nd November 2012, 19:10 Quote
I fail to see what the point of this is.... If you spend more than $500 (or tens of thousands), on a monitor you're not going to skimp out and try to run it on intel integrated graphics. The entire ATI 7000 series (non-rebadged parts) supports 4k over a single HDMI 1.4 or DP 1.2 cable, with the cheapest part (7750) starting at under $100; not exactly a budget breaker.
GoodBytes 22nd November 2012, 19:20 Quote
My point is say that this is not news worthy. What Gigabyte has done is just silly. I would agree if thunderbolt was on Nvidia or AMD graphic card... now we are talking.... but then again DisplayPort does already support all of that. So dual thunderbolt, or DisplayPort.
Gradius 22nd November 2012, 19:41 Quote
I see no problem with 2D content, the problem lies on games (3D). Now we hope manufactures start to releasing 4K monitors with REAL price on that (not fantasy price!).
GoodBytes 22nd November 2012, 19:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradius
I see no problem with 2D content, the problem lies on games (3D). Now we hope manufactures start to releasing 4K monitors with REAL price on that (not fantasy price!).

36k U.S is not fantasy price :P Then again, the EIZO monitor does display 278 trillion colors, and not 1.67 million.
Makasu 22nd November 2012, 23:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by blacko
am i right in thinking the 2012 Olympics were filmed in the Ultra HD 4K resolution?

Some of the Olympics was filmed in an even higher resolution, 8K at 60fps. I was fortunate enough to see it at the bbc studios.
Star*Dagger 24th November 2012, 07:40 Quote
Three 4K monitors for PC gaming!
MSHunter 24th November 2012, 13:05 Quote
New 4k monitors you say?

Dusts off 3 year old U3011

2560*1600=4.096.000

But having at a lower price is great news, but hardly a "breakthrough"."
Gareth Halfacree 24th November 2012, 15:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHunter
New 4k monitors you say? Dusts off 3 year old U3011. 2560*1600=4.096.000
Unfortunately, that's not 4K resolution - or even close. 4K resolution refers, typically, to 3840×2160 = 8,294,400 pixels. That's twice the number of pixels available on your U3011. There's more information on Pikiwedia.
HourBeforeDawn 25th November 2012, 19:48 Quote
UltraHD and 4k is NOT the same, thats why they made the term UltraHD, because the TVs being advertised as 4k were in fact not the 4k standard so yeah... every computer running current gen graphics can handle UltraHD resolution just fine.
fluxtatic 26th November 2012, 05:30 Quote
Meh, who cares. IB will be long retired before anyone much cares that HD4000 can draw a 4K screen (never mind actually doing something with that screen.)

Personally, I think the manufacturers would be wise to hold off on even talking about 4K for another year or two. Otherwise they'll get a backlash - "I just bought the digital hi-def TV and now it's already outdated etc etc" Sort of like I saw with Blu-Ray - I still talk to people at work that are annoyed by Blu-Ray, having 'just' (in their minds, anyway) bought everything on DVD, now the studios think they should pay again for Blu-Ray?

Bleeding-edgers are different, of course, and there's probably a fair number here on bit. I'm talking house-in-the-suburbs, couple-of-kids-and-a-dog, reality-tv-watching sorts, who have zero understanding of technology and paid Best Buy or whoever $100 to come plug their TV in for them.
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