Opinions on the recomendation against Gigabyte motherboards?

Story: What Linux Users Need To Know When Holiday Shopping For PC HardwareTotal Replies: 10
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Nov 26, 2012
10:50 PM EDT
I personally have not had any trouble with Gigabyte motherboards (not that I've used that many of them, either). But I also recall this story.

Gigabyte's ASPM Motherboard Fix: Use Windows

What's the LXer community judgement? Is Gigabyte to be avoided? Is there a motherboard brand that shines?

Nov 27, 2012
3:51 AM EDT
I have only ever had 2 Gigabyte motherboards one is still running as I speak the other was switched out in an upgrade and binned.

I never had any problems with them.

Asus is my motherboard manufacturer of choice since the mid 90's and never had to do a return once. Sometimes their bios can be flaky especially if the board is new but they are usually pretty quick at fixing issues and offer fairly regular bios updates.

I once tried Abit, I had to return one of their boards 3 times at which point I requested my money back and bought an equivalent Asus, which might explain why Abit are now extinct their QA was awful.


Nov 27, 2012
6:25 AM EDT
I don't think I've ever used a Gigabyte motherboard. I've found that I've primarily used Biostar and MSI over the years, as they've usually had the features I've wanted at a reasonable price. I haven't had any real problems with either, except when the board was too new for the kernel. The general online consensus seems to be the same as Koriel's though, use Asus.

Nov 27, 2012
9:36 AM EDT
We have, and do, use a lot of Giga-Byte motherboards in servers and engineering workstations without any memorable problems. Both AMD and Intel CPUs. I like their propensity to use a lot of copper in the groundplanes, for heat dissipation and noise rejection. The most important thing in selecting a board is its chipset, followed by layout and build quality/reliability.

I do not really expect a board manufacturer to support any particular OS (that is up to the chipset manufacturers), just not to put anything detrimental into the BIOS. We have received competent pre and post-sales advice from the local Giga-Byte office in the past. I have successfully used FreeDOS to update the BIOS on Giga-Byte boards.


Nov 27, 2012
10:52 AM EDT
We've probably deployed a bit over 300 computers either stock with Gigabyte boards or hand-built with Gigabyte boards in the past 7 years. To my knowledge, we have not had one fail yet. Both of my personal computers run them as well. Where I have had some severe problems with rail voltage fluctuation due to poor circuitry in MSI boards, the Gigabyte's have been pretty good.

Nov 27, 2012
11:22 AM EDT
Thanks for all the answers.

But I should have been clearer -- the article was recommending against Gigabyte mobos for Linux, because of certain Linux compatibility issues and anti-Linux customer service attitude

(example linked above: long story short: "The motherboard doesn't work well with Linux? And you've figured out that the reason is because the motherboard BIOS does not conform to standard? Too bad -- we only support Windows.)

If I was running Windows, I'd consider Gigabyte motherboards a very safe bet (in fact, I know many techies feel Gigabyte quality/reliability now surpasses Asus), but what I;m asking is whether a random Gigabyte motherboard is still a "safe bet" for Linux systems.


Nov 27, 2012
11:50 AM EDT
@bs --

Did you not notice the recommendation from Ken? I don't think he does Windows.

FWIW -- I've been very fond of Gigabyte boards for my Linux boxes. Small sample, so doesn't mean much, but I like the fact that they use high grade capacitors on their boards. I have had capacitors blow up and it is not a pretty thing.

Nov 27, 2012
1:11 PM EDT
The technical underpinnings of the article seem to have been the failure of BIOS in some motherboards supplied by ASUS ,Acer, Dell, Gigabyte, HP, Intel, Lenovo, MSI and Pegatron to support ASPM correctly. That represents a very big percentage of the available motherboards.

The problems for the end-user/system builder related to a regression in kernel-2.6.38. Not good, but not a disaster for the bulk of users who will stick to a stable kernel from a mainstream distribution.

Singling out Giga-Byte was apparently triggered by a single anecdotal comment in a forum. Low-level support staff throughout the IT industry will frequently deny knowledge of anything other than the last software release from Microsoft. We have no choice but to live with it or pay for competent support from an up-market supplier.


Nov 27, 2012
2:41 PM EDT
The ZaReason box I tested had a Gigabyte motherboard: http://blogs.dailynews.com/click/2012/09/30/its-finally-here...

Nov 27, 2012
6:26 PM EDT
@dino, regarding Ken:

"Only where absolutely necessary."

Good advice all around, not just w.r.t. Windows.

Nov 28, 2012
12:32 PM EDT
I tend to use MSI boards, so I don't have much experience with Gigabyte. I tend to think of MSI as 'Asus on a budget,' though I don't think the price difference is as great as it once was. My current laptop is an MSI. It's just reaching three years old and it's been perhaps the best laptop I've ever owned. I'm trying to come up with an excuse to update my laptop, but it's hard to find anything wrong with the current one, especially since I'm running Linux, which tends to make 5 year old hardware perform like new.

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