This was around late October/November 2005. Both Gigabyte and Asus (motherboard vendors) had been in the Indian market for around couple of years before that. At that point in time, Mercury or Kobian as it was known by some people was ruling the roost for the masses while Intel was the answer at the high-end. AMD was giving hot competition to Intel those days and then had invited both Asus and Gigabyte to showcase their wares in a meetup with vendors and enthusiasts like me.
As I have also been somewhat of a hardware enthusiast I was also invited in. A part of me was amused to see both the vendors sharing the same stage even though they were competitors in the field but still it was nice. I think a part of it could be due to the fact that they hadn’t put any channel distribution in place. I had been critical of AMD’s marketing strategies in the past hence it was nice to see them also trying to shake things up in the Indian market (they still haven’t really stirred things up as shared sometime back 😦 )
Anyways, back on topic, as the evening went on, both Asus and Gigabyte were perfect hosts and after some brief Q&A later I had won the GA-K8N51GMF-9 . I don’t actually remember whether it was the GA-K8N51GMF-9 or the GA-K8N51GMF-9-RH which I had actually won as both the products were just introduced at that time. From what I do remember though, 130nm parts were mainstream those days and 90nm parts were just coming to the market as were the first dual-core procs. SATA 2 as a technology was the much hyped, much revolutionary technology everybody was talking about in those days. Now the only bad thing about the mobo was that it had an Nvidia graphics chipset (NVIDIA GeForce 6100 and the NVIDIA nForce 430) respectively which I knew had none FOSS support at that time. It also had the infamous Winbond W83627 I/O chip which was known to be not happy with FOSS distributions as have always been a FOSS user. So with a heavy heart gave the board to my Mamaji (mother’s brother) who oscillated between MS-Windows and FOSS distributions. Apart from the technical limitations I also had two other computers at that time and there was no place to put a third one.
Hence with a very heavy heart I had to gift the mobo to my Uncle.
Cut to 2012 and my Uncle who had bought couple of more machines after that still treasured the Gigabyte GA-K8N51GMF-9 mobo that I had gifted him. While the Nvidia did give him trouble in FOSS (some of which I was able to solve later but that would be a different article), he has been happy with it.Now he had some 130nm AMD processor on the machine and he wanted to upgrade to a 90nm part, the Athlon 64×2 4800+ Toledo proc.
Another point which should be noted is both of us are not really the cleaning type. While I do sometimes use the blower to get the dust out of the cabinet (which in itself is not something to do for the faint of the heart as you can get the dust on the CPU or RAM thus ruining/short-circuiting the mobo) he does not do even that effort as he’s an elderly gentleman, even then it has worked flawlessly.
All in all, it simply means that he is happy both with the mobo as well as AMD. I do wish both AMD and Gigabyte both become more competitive and we have an invigorating and competitive market. Btw I am still awaiting a Gigabyte+AMD killer combo (hopefully with an AMD Radeon on chip or onboard graphics thing) hopefully with OpenGL 1.2/1.3 combo stuff. Most of the AMD offerings had been not quite there 😦 also with Intel moving aggressively onto the 22nm parts in few months and no roadmap of AMD in the near future (but this again would be another post in itself).