Gigabyte Brings Out Apollo Lake Motherboard
Gigabyte has announced a new edition to their lineup of motherboards, though unlike other recent arrivals, this one seems a little out of place among the state-of-the-art mobos on offer. The J3455N-D3H is tailor-made for the ignored stepchild of Intel CPUs, the Apollo Lake line, which was primarily designed as a lightweight processor for laptops and mobile devices.
The J3455N-D3H has many features that, though commonplace only a few years ago, feel positively archaic in spring 2017. These include interface ports such as LPT, PS/2, COM, PCI and D-Sub, as well as a HDMI 1.4 output, a connector for a TPM module and two two Realtek GbE controllers. The board was most likely designed for a corporate client running older hardware on a mainframe which now needs an upgrade to its interface, though they’ll have their work cut out for them as Apollo Lake CPUs will not run Windows 8 or 10 and 7 only in a pinch.
More modern are the USB ports — two type 3.0, one 2.0; Type-C is sadly missing — as well as a media playback engine capable of handling 4K video encoded using VP9 and HEVC. Taken together with the HDMI 1.4 connection, this means that the J3455N-D3H can handle video running up to a respectable resolution of 3840 by 2160, though the frame rate is capped at 30Hz. 16GB of memory can be inserted into the DDR3L SO-DIMM slots.
Though the chances of a regular consumer buying the J3455N-D3H are virtually nil — though stranger things have happened — it is very possible that there are a few corporate IT guys sitting up at attention with the news of the new motherboard’s arrival. Apollo Lake wasn’t a very popular CPU line, but had its uses for upgrading low-end PCs and was relatively popular among enterprises and budget builders; it could be that Gigabyte has a low-key hit on its hands.
Fergus has been tinkering with computers since he was a kid and likes to put a stop to parties by listing the specs of all the digital devices in the room. It's best not to let him near your computer since he'll take it apart and may not put it back together again before he leaves.