Last week a Taiwanese overclocker uploaded a video to YouTube showing a Gigabyte X79-UD3 motherboard smoking and then blowing a MOSFET during a mild overclocking stress test -- the board's CPU VRM just couldn't cope with the stress. Viewers blew off the "blow-up" as mere bad luck in the following comments (which have since been disabled).
But then Gigabyte began receiving similar complaints from numerous customers owning several different Gigabyte motherboards, some of which claimed that moderate voltage-assisted CPU overclocking produced the same explosive results. The company thus began an investigation which revealed to be a problem with three socket LGA2011 motherboards: the GA-X79-UD3, the GA-X79-UD5 and the G1.Assassin 2.
The problem, according to the report, is a combination of the board's bad quality PWM components and bad firmware. The company has released a quick fix by way of a new BIOS which prevents burnout by throttling the CPU when subjected to extreme stress (and save VRM). Unfortunately, this prevention means that the overclocking feature has been disabled -- the main selling feature for all three affected boards.
That said, current owners can keep their motherboard and use the new BIOS, but the overclocking ability will be eliminated. If that's not satisfactory, customers can return the motherboard to Gigabyte for a free replacement when the corrected version becomes available. Meanwhile, the company has pulled all three boards from store shelves and virtual retailers.
Gigabyte will likely issue a statement soon on when consumers can return their GA-X79-UD3, GA-X79-UD5 G1.Assassin 2 motherboards for replacement, so stay tuned.
We've learned from Gigabyte that the new F7 BIOS does not disable overclocking. The company claims that it has hit 5.3GHz with the X79-UD3 and a 3960X using the F7 BIOS. Furthermore, Gigabyte claims that the only faulty part of its motherboards was in the BIOS. As such, the recall is for the BIOS itself and not the motherboard. Users who are not comfortable with updating the BIOS themselves can send their motherboards into Gigabyte customer service to have them updated.
Gigabyte this evening released the following statement:
GIGABYTE Firmware (BIOS) Update on Certain
X79 Series Motherboard Models
City of Industry, California, December 27, 2011-- It has come to our attention that certain X79 Series Motherboards (see models below) may malfunction due to excess heat when performing Extreme Overclocking beyond the board’s limit. To address this issue and to ensure our product is being used as intended, we urge existing X79 users to either visit GIGABYTE’s official website to download and update their X79 series BIOS, or contact GIGABYTE’s regional service center.
The GIGABYTE X79 Series Motherboards in question are ONLY limited to the following models: G1.Assassin 2 , GA-X79-UD7, GA-X79-UD5 and GA-X79-UD3. The X79 series motherboards not named above are outside the scope of this statement and not applicable.
GIGABYTE is committed to the following:
1. GIGABYTE will make its best efforts to ensure that all partners, distributors and retailers have the latest firmware (BIOS) installed on existing X79 Series Motherboard models.
2. GIGABYTE’s commitment to service excellence will not be compromised. The GIGABYTE X79 Series Motherboards offer an unprecedented 5 year warranty, the longest offered in the industry. We encourage users to register for this FREE 5 year warranty here: http://e-service.gigabyte.com/Productregistration/webevent/ExtendWarranty_US.aspx
3. If any existing user is still unsatisfied after the recommended firmware (BIOS) update of their X79 Series Motherboard, GIGABYTE will offer an unconditional replacement of their X79 Series Motherboard (same model). No Questions Asked.
The latest X79 Series Motherboard BIOS update may be found below. Alternatively, existing users may also perform the BIOS update by using the GIGABYTE @BIOS utility which may be downloaded from the GIGABYTE website:
G1.Assassin 2 – Please update to BIOS F7 or later
GA-X79-UD7 – Please update to BIOS F7 or later
GA-X79-UD5 – Please update to BIOS F7 or later
GA-X79-UD3 – Please update to BIOS F7 or later
This demonstrates GIGABYTE’S commitment to service excellence to all our customers. For additional inquiries, please contact us at the following link: http://www.gigabyte.us/support-downloads/customer-service.aspx