At this year's CeBIT fair, a select group of motherboard manufacturers have showcased their upcoming line of AM3+ motherboards, and Gigabyte seems to follow on their trails as the company has on display a new line of AMD-powered boards.
AM3+ motherboards are specially designed to work with AMD's upcoming Bulldozer high-performance processors that have been in development for about 5 years now.
A new breed of boards is required to support Bulldozer processors as the CPU is not compatible with the older AM3 socket.
However, the current AMD 800-series chipsets, that are used to power the AM3 boards, seems to be compatible with the company's upcoming CPUs, as ASRock and MSI have already showcased AM3+ solutions based on these controllers.
To differentiate these boards from the regular 800-series offering, ASRock, as well as MSI, have decided to paint the processor socket black.
But things are a lot more complicated when it comes to Gigabyte's boards as, although they do feature a similar all-black CPU socket, their PCB is clearly marked at just AM3, casting a shadow of a doubt on their AM3+ support.
In addition, their specifications don't say anything about Bulldozer compatibility, and simply read “Supports next generation AMD AM3 processors.”
What this means it we can only guess at this time, but the fact that the CPU socket is actually marked as AM3b (another name for AM3+), as the Planet 3Dnow! website reports, may prove that the boards are indeed compatible with the upcoming Bulldozer CPUs.
Bulldozer is AMD's next-generation high-performance CPU architecture that was designed from the ground up in order to eliminate some of the redundancies that come with traditional multi-core designs and a Bulldozer module should be able to deliver about 92% of the throughput of a similar native dual-core chip.
AMD is expected to present Bulldozer during CeBIT 2011, as the fair program implies.