Gigabyte’s “333” technology explained
Gigabyte’s latest motherboards support a wide range of features that set them apart from other boards. So many that Gigabyte marketing has come up with catchy phrases and lingo for all of them. There’s Ultra Durable 3, 333 Onboard Acceleration, Energy Saver 2, Smart 6, and more.
All of these bring something different to the table, and honestly, some of them are more important than others, but combined they add up to bring a pretty unique set of capabilities for Gigabyte’s best motherboards.
The latest of these technologies is Gigabyte’s 333 Onboard Acceleration. 333 refers to three new features that all revolve around the number 3.
The most obvious is USB 3.0. All of Gigabyte’s 333 motherboards feature a USB 3.0 controller from NEC. This USB 3.0 controller powers two of the motherboard’s onboard USB ports and is colored blue.
In case you don’t have any USB 3.0 devices, these ports are also backward-compatible with USB 2.0.
The second 333 feature Gigabyte touts is their 3X USB power boost. Both the USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports are capable of supplying three times more power than traditional motherboards. In the case of the USB 2.0 ports, Gigabyte’s latest boards provide up to 1500 milliamps of power, versus the standard 500mA, while their USB 3.0 ports support up to 2700mA.
With more power per port, you can run power-hungry devices through one USB port instead of two. Many external USB hard drives for instance require two USB ports, one port is dedicated for data transfers, while the second is used solely for powering the device. With Gigabyte’s latest boards, you can run that same hard drive through just one USB port.
We happen to have an old Kingwin USB 2.0 external drive that requires two USB ports in order to operate properly, and sure enough, we were able to run it flawlessly using just one USB cable on the P55A-UD6 and X58A-UD7.
For those of you with USB hubs, you’ll be able to support more devices via your hub.
In addition, every USB port is protected by its own dedicated fuse. This is important, as some USB devices are built worse than others, with power spikes and other issues which could potentially short out your board’s USB controller.
The third feature Gigabyte offers with 333 boards is third-generation SATA 6Gbit/sec support. Gigabyte uses a SATA controller from Marvell to provide this functionality, which is offered on two ports.