Home Gaming Is Gigabyte trying to obfuscate inferior hardware?

Is Gigabyte trying to obfuscate inferior hardware?

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It’s tough sometimes distinguishing one hardware version to the next, especially when there are all these revisions floating about. Revisions often mark a slight improvement on an existing model, phasing out the older ones while retaining the same name. They are often also clearly marked, even if you’re getting a superior, or more efficient product under the same name. That’s how it’s meant to work – but Gigabyte has seemingly broken that rule in many twisting ways.

I was pointed in the direction of a peculiar piece by UK Hardware Info earlier today, who detailed a startling discovery made over the December holidays. One of Gigabyte’s motherboards, the GA-P85-D3, has undergone routine revisions since its launch, as is usual in the hardware industry. What is unusual is how stripped down and inferior the newer revisions are, as so vividly depicted in the two images below.

gigabyte-b85m-hd3-rev1-and-rev2-animated

It’s easy to see immediately that the boards are not the same, but it’s also easy to mistake the two since Gigabyte doesn’t differentiate between the revisions in the board’s model number. Most companies do, such as ASUS and MSI, while others don’t, like Antec, XFX and Seasonic. That’s perfectly fine if the revision you’re selling to consumers is either identical or better, but it’s a different story  when a motherboard is pretending to be something more powerful than it really is.

And the differences between the two revisions in question, although small, make a big difference. The Rev 2.0, for example, doesn’t feature the UEFI DualBIOS of Rev 1.0, which in itself is the biggest difference between the two. There are also slight changes to the mosfets for CPU power, with Rev 1.0 featuring three mosfets for all three phases while the Rev 2.0 only features two per phase.

So what does that all mean in actual, real-world performance? As UK Hardware Info points out, quite a bit actually. The Rev 2.0 struggled to keep up with the older revision, often buckling under overclocking tests and throttling back due to high temperatures. The Rev 1.0 was clearly the better board, with far less CPU throttling and therefore greater performance in almost all the tests. Which is completely fine, aside from the fact that Gigabyte seems to be trying to hide this from its consumers.

If you take a look at both product listings on the official Gigabyte page, you’ll notice that they are listed as two different revisions of the same motherboard: The GA-P85-D3 Rev1.x and Rev2.x. The issue start arising when you glace over the specifications, which are identical for both boards. The Rev 2.x even lists EFI DualBIOS as a feature, when it is clear that the motherboard only contains a single BIOS chip. So already the differences are being completely glanced over and hard to discern, but it becomes worse for retailers.

The product and EAN codes for all revisions of the motherboard also happen to be identical. This is a massive problem, because retailers use these codes to automatically generate listings for new products. So if a product revision is different from the last, the EAN code should be changed to reflect this on the store front and inform customers. Without it, the listing is automatically generated and the specifications sourced from the first revision; the motherboard that is more feature filled and powerful than the one actually being sold. This is a global problem, but it’s already affected at least one unlucky consumer locally.

So what’s essentially happening is that newer, less powerful revisions of this motherboard in question are being advertised with features they don’t have, and the only way consumers can tell is by opening the box after a purchase. It’s a clear attempt to disguise cost cutting at the expense of honesty, and which not only affects those purchasing the hardware but reviews too. Suddenly reviews of the first revision can’t be applied to the second, even though theoretically Gigabyte is saying they’re the same thing.

It’s an underhanded move, and one I hope Gigabyte looks into seriously when considering revisions. It’s not something evident in the more expensive products they manufacture, but having to leave consumers guessing over revisions (and in some cases outright lying) is no way to conduct business.

Last Updated: January 13, 2015

69 Comments

  1. Man, you just broke a lot of console gamers if they read this

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      January 13, 2015 at 15:37

      I can read English just fine, oh wait I play on PC too.

      Reply

  2. RinceThis

    January 13, 2015 at 15:36

    Carrot!

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      January 13, 2015 at 15:36

      HAI

      Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      January 13, 2015 at 15:36

      (is this some sort of pot and kettle thing right?)

      Reply

  3. Admiral Chief

    January 13, 2015 at 15:36

    And that is why I buy ASUS mobo’s. My GFX is Gigabyte though :/ (but that thing is a beast)

    Reply

    • Blood Emperor Trevor

      January 13, 2015 at 15:40

      My current is Asus mobo & Gigabyte gfx too heh.

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief

        January 13, 2015 at 15:46

        If you say kingston memory then it is just too strange

        Reply

        • Blood Emperor Trevor

          January 13, 2015 at 15:47

          lol no it’s not Kingston. It’s OCZ.

          Reply

          • Capt. Bob of the Blood Ravens

            January 13, 2015 at 15:49

            How is the memory from OCZ? I have two SSD’s from OCZ which are great but that’s about it.

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            January 13, 2015 at 15:53

            I’ve never had any issues. But I vaguely remember reading they’ve stopped making memory now. Unless I’m getting confused.

      • Captain JJ Saga

        January 13, 2015 at 15:58

        MSI mobo, MSI card. They didn’t have MSI slippers for me though, so disappointed.

        Reply

    • Capt. Bob of the Blood Ravens

      January 13, 2015 at 15:44

      I had an ASUS mobo until the power of Eskom (or perhaps the sudden lack thereof) came into play. I now run an MSI board which I’m quite impressed with.

      Reply

  4. Blood Emperor Trevor

    January 13, 2015 at 15:36

    Poor form Gigabyte.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      January 13, 2015 at 15:37

      Indeed, no HAI for them

      Reply

      • Blood Emperor Trevor

        January 13, 2015 at 15:38

        Wrong! HAI-bo!

        Reply

  5. Hammersteyn

    January 13, 2015 at 15:38

    So now that everyone knows Gigabyte should take a nice hit on it’s stock price.

    Reply

  6. Capt. Bob of the Blood Ravens

    January 13, 2015 at 15:42

    I know a few people who swear by Gigabyte hardware but unfortunately I know more who swear at Gigabyte hardware. I prefer ASUS and MSI but that’s a personal preference.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      January 13, 2015 at 15:46

      Asus is a damn good preference to have

      Reply

      • Capt. Bob of the Blood Ravens

        January 13, 2015 at 15:48

        I find MSI isn’t bad either and the MSI Nvidia based cards have a slight edge over the ASUS cards. Either way, both are good reliable brands so you can’t go wrong with either of them.

        Reply

        • B4d R0b0t

          January 13, 2015 at 15:53

          Team Green!

          Reply

    • Raptor Rants A Lot

      January 13, 2015 at 15:51

      I dig my Gigabyte stuff. I’ve never had issues. I’ve had faulty MSI far too often however 🙁

      Reply

      • Capt. Bob of the Blood Ravens

        January 13, 2015 at 15:54

        Couple of friends say the same thing about Gigabyte. A hardware dealer I know won’t even touch Gigabyte anymore since he’s has so many returns. But like I said, ASUS and MSI are my preference. The Gigabyte mobo I had years back didn’t give me any issues and searching the net generally places MSI, ASUS and Gigabyte in the top spots for quality and price.

        Reply

        • Captain JJ Saga

          January 13, 2015 at 15:57

          I’ve only used MSI with the exception of two of my gfx cards, both of which gave me trouble.

          Reply

        • Ghost In The Rift

          January 13, 2015 at 15:58

          Yeah 1 of the best hardware shops in my town only sells Gigabyte,and now i am conflicted:/

          Reply

          • Capt. Bob of the Blood Ravens

            January 13, 2015 at 16:01

            As Raptor mentioned, he’s never had any issues with his stuff and a lot of the forums punt Gigabyte stuff. Warranties are there for a reason but hopefully you never need them. Only thing I can say is do a bit of research on the hardware you want then pick the one you are most comfortable with.

            If that doesn’t work, pray to the hardware gods and perhaps sacrifice a 386 or two. 🙂

          • Captain JJ Saga

            January 13, 2015 at 16:02

            Sacrifice a console rather, the 386 is worth too much ;P

          • Capt. Bob of the Blood Ravens

            January 13, 2015 at 16:03

            Maybe but you can do more with a console than with a 386.

          • Captain JJ Saga

            January 13, 2015 at 16:03

            That’s debatable. 😉

        • Ghost In The Rift

          January 13, 2015 at 15:58

          Yeah 1 of the best hardware shops in my town only sells Gigabyte,and now i am conflicted:/

          Reply

        • Blood Emperor Trevor

          January 13, 2015 at 15:59

          I’ve used Asus, Gigabyte & MSI, only one that gave me issues was MSI. So I’ve only bought one of those hehe.

          Reply

          • Captain JJ Saga

            January 13, 2015 at 16:00

            That’s because you didn’t treat it well. I’ve heard how you speak to your hardware when you think no one is listening.

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            January 13, 2015 at 16:04

            Clearly you’ve never heard me speaking to my hardware when someone else IS listening lol

          • Capt. Bob of the Blood Ravens

            January 13, 2015 at 16:06

            Well, if the Admiral is to be believed then the screaming would not be at the hardware so much as your inability to game.

            Not picking a fight, just mentioning what been said in the past.

          • Captain JJ Saga

            January 13, 2015 at 16:07

            Believe Admiral? Madness!

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            January 13, 2015 at 16:09

            lol. I say nothing.

          • Admiral Chief

            January 13, 2015 at 16:10

            Trev is not such a bad gamer. JJ on the other hand…

          • Captain JJ Saga

            January 13, 2015 at 16:12

            It’s no secret. I suck at MP games. And SP games. And sometimes I even have trouble getting through cut scenes.

          • Capt. Bob of the Blood Ravens

            January 13, 2015 at 16:05

            Horror stories on all sides I suppose. I’ve had two MSI GTX 570’s SLI’d for 4 years (I think) with no issues and I have a MSI mobo which work well. But maybe I just got lucky.

          • Captain JJ Saga

            January 13, 2015 at 16:07

            I’ve seen how they make pc parts and you’re just unlucky if you get one that isn’t right.
            Of course if everyone has trouble with a specific brand then it’s worth worrying about.

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            January 13, 2015 at 16:08

            My best gfx card EVER was an Gigabyte Radeon X800XL. It had 1gb ram when most people were still running either 256mb or 512. The only reason I had to get rid of it was because it only supported DX9.0 & I couldn’t play newer games lol.

          • Captain JJ Saga

            January 13, 2015 at 16:09

            My best gfx card was my Voodoo 2 that my aunt brought over from the US on a visit. Back when we were still months behind on certain hardware.

          • Capt. Bob of the Blood Ravens

            January 13, 2015 at 16:12

            Voodoo 2! Don’t get me started down memory lane. I’ve been around hardware too long with so many ticks and tocks and iterations. It’s amazing to see how far everything has come in such a short time.

      • Wyzak

        January 13, 2015 at 16:53

        Same, never had issues with Gigabyte hardware.

        Reply

    • RustedFaith

      January 13, 2015 at 16:39

      Gigabyte was always crap since back in the early 2000’s

      Asus, Msi myself as well. Use to love Abit …

      Reply

  7. Admiral Chief

    January 13, 2015 at 15:46

    Obfuscate is such a lovely word, but not in this instance

    Reply

  8. Ghost In The Rift

    January 13, 2015 at 15:48

    I also only have a Gigabyte Gfx,still searching for a nice mobo.

    Reply

    • B4d R0b0t

      January 13, 2015 at 15:52

      Whats your budget ? Will you also get a new proc or use an existing one ?

      Reply

      • Ghost In The Rift

        January 13, 2015 at 15:57

        About 1800,im still gonna use my i5 3340,just dont know if i should wait for the new cpu range and ddr4 ram range.

        Reply

        • B4d R0b0t

          January 13, 2015 at 16:07

          If you could wait that would be the best bet go for DDR4 & X99 series but thats gonna seriously break your budget, have you seen the http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Z97PRO_GAMER/

          Reply

          • Ghost In The Rift

            January 13, 2015 at 16:16

            That is a real beast,would love a bored like that,yeah if i build a new pc using ddr4 ill understand if i dont eat for a few months lol

  9. Raptor Rants A Lot

    January 13, 2015 at 15:50

    Dude. I am seriously dissapointed to read this. I’ve always held Gigabyte in high regard.

    Reply

  10. Captain JJ Saga

    January 13, 2015 at 15:53

    Like how Apple pushes inferior hardware? huehuehue

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      January 13, 2015 at 16:11

      Oh snap

      Reply

  11. Ghost In The Rift

    January 13, 2015 at 15:55

    From now on i will open every hardware box i purchase,not taking chances,hardware is way to expensive to fall victim to crap like this.:/

    Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      January 13, 2015 at 16:06

      Honestly though how could you even tell if you open it without knowing exactly what the original version looked like?

      Reply

      • Ghost In The Rift

        January 13, 2015 at 16:09

        Hmm good point,then ill do extensive research on a product before purchase:-D

        Reply

        • Captain JJ Saga

          January 13, 2015 at 16:10

          Shake the box. If it rattles it’s broken.

          Reply

          • Ghost In The Rift

            January 13, 2015 at 16:17

            But but waranty:-(

  12. ToshZA

    January 13, 2015 at 16:02

    I’ve been using ASUS and MSI for years. Never had a problem. Gigabyte can Gigabyte the dust for all I care.

    Assholes.

    Reply

  13. Kromas Votes LAG WCMovie Event

    January 13, 2015 at 16:17

    MSI FTW. The quality and reliability of ASUS without the pricetag cause “It is an ASUS”

    Reply

    • Captain JJ Saga

      January 13, 2015 at 16:22

      You have been upvoted. Because MSI

      Reply

      • Joe Black

        January 13, 2015 at 21:28

        Sorry. Only mobo that ever failed on me was an MSI.

        I use mostly Asus and with no issues. I also had a Foxconn board once, which left a great impression – I might give them a go again some time.

        Reply

  14. Wyzak

    January 13, 2015 at 16:55

    One clearly says rev 1. and the other one clearly says rev 2. They both have a main bios and a backup bios… (see bottom right of mobo) Both of the silkscreens claim UEFI dual bios.

    There would have been a story here if they were both the same revision, while clearly not being the same revision.

    Maybe the demo rev 2 mobo is just busted?

    Reply

  15. 4v0n

    January 13, 2015 at 18:01

    Just bought myself a new computer. Gigabyte mobo and gfx, feeling violated after reading this article like Killing Tali in Mass Effect

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      January 14, 2015 at 07:56

      YOU KILLED TALI!!!!

      Reply

      • loftie

        January 14, 2015 at 09:56

        fack Tali, was irritating as shit. lol 😛 still saved my whole team on hardcore lol, without tali loyalty

        Reply

  16. Guava_Eater

    January 14, 2015 at 11:41

    I’d have like to have seen an official comment from Gigabyte attached to this story. They have a strong reputation for good quality hardware. Please try and get comment from them.

    Reply

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