Subject: Motherboards, Shows and Expos | June 4, 2011 - 10:42 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: x79, fusion, ECS, e-350, computex, 990fx
ECS, aka Elitegroup, had a large booth at Computex that focused more on its ODM aspects than consumer aspects, but there were still a couple of interesting designs to look at.
The board we spotted was the new A990FXM-A motherboard that is of course based on the latest 990FX chipset from AMD. Supporting the AM3+ processor socket and thus the pending AMD Bulldozer processors, the 990FX is going to be a long term product rather than a short term. One interesting addition to the board is found on the chipset heatsink that has a temperature reactive plastic on it that will turn from grey to orange-ish as the ambient case temperature increases. This could be a great feature to easily gauge the heat level inside a windowed case.
Also an interesting move, ECS has elongated the receptacle on the 8-pin CPU power connection to make it easier to plug in and to remove. If you have ever experienced a pinched finger or sliced finger nail from trying to reach down and unplug an ATX connector, you will see this as a nice addition.
ECS also had its X79 motherboard variant on display, showing the company's readiness for the pending Sandy Bridge-E release.
Also on the motherboard wall was the upcoming A75F-A with support for the AMD Llano Fusion-based processors that should be ready later in the summer.
Finally, a motherboard that we have just recently received for review purposes, the HDC-I is an AMD E-350 or E-240 Zacate platform mini-ITX form factor. This solution might be a great option for users looking to build an HTPC box so be sure you check out our full review coming shortly.
Subject: Motherboards | June 2, 2011 - 05:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: 990fx, MSI 990FXA-GD80, msi
The MSI 990FXA-GD80 is, as we have come to find out, mostly a rebadged 890FX chipset with Socket AM3+ to allow for Bulldozer support when they eventually hit the market. In and of its self, the term rebadged carries a fair amount of negative connotations; there is a plus side to this as well, as you can be guaranteed the technology behind it is mature and you shouldn't end up cutting yourself on the leading edge of technology. [H]ard|OCP found the exception that proved the rule in this board, as the BIOS seemed to give them no end of troubles. Read on to see exactly what hurdles they encountered and how they overcame them.
You can see Josh contrast the MSI 990FXA-GD80 with the Asus SABERTOOTH 990FX in his review as well.
"AMD’s new 990FX chipset supports the upcoming Q3 Bulldozer release and now have motherboard manufacturers clamoring to put out new product designed for the Zambezi desktop processors. MSI is no exception and as a result it is introducing its 990FXA-GD80. Sans Zambezi."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASUS Crosshair V Formula 990FX @ OC3D
- ASUS Crosshair-V Formula 990FX Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- ASUS Crosshair V Formula @ TweakTown
- Asus Sabertooth 990FX AM3+ Motherboard Review @ eTeknix
- MSI 990FXA-GD80 Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews
- Fully-Fledged LGA1155 Platform: Intel Z68 Express Chipset @ X-bit Labs
- Intel Z68 Express Chipset @ iXBT Labs
- Gigabyte G1.Assassin Gaming @ Real World Labs
- ASUS Sabertooth 990FX AM3+ Motherboard Review @ Hardware Canucks
- MSI Z68A-GD80 Intel Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 @ Legion Hardware
AMD Unleashes the 990FX: Paving the way for Bulldozer
Word of the AMD 990FX chipset first came around the end of last year. Speculation was brisk as to what new features it would bring, and when exactly it would help to usher in the age of Bulldozer to the world. Most thought that it would be a shrink of the then current 890FX, and the new SB950 southbridge would have improvements to the SATA 6G controller, as well as a native USB 3.0 implementation. Today we finally get to see the reality of the situation. It is not groundbreaking, nor is it altogether exciting, but it is certainly interesting.
The 990FX and SB950 chips are identical to the previous 890FX and SB850. They are the same silicon. For those hoping for new technology will be disappointed. But all is not lost! AMD did increase the HyperTransport specification from 3.0 to 3.1, which allows the HT bus to run at 6.4 GTPS as compared to the older 5.2 GTPS. This is in place to allow the upcoming Bulldozer chips to run the northbridge portion of the chip up to 3.2 GHz, and to give the CPU more bandwidth between the different busses on the board (eg. SATA, USB 3.0, and PCI-E connections).
Subject: Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Shows and Expos | June 1, 2011 - 07:57 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: computex, msi, pcie, x79, 990fx, z68
MSI had quite a showing at this year's Computex starting with a host of new motherboards based on the Z68 chipset. The most interesting of which was the new Z68A-GD80 (G3) that in addition to including all the features of the Sandy Bridge processor, SLI, CrossFire, Lucid Virtu and things like OC Genie II and Military Class Components II, is the first motherboard we have seen that integrates support for the PCI Express 3.0 specification.
MSI was able to do this by simply adhering to the already existing PCIe 3.0 specifications and claims the performance doubles from 8 GB/s up to 16 GB/s (for a x16 connection). Even though there are no PCIe 3.0 accessories or graphics cards on the market today, MSI has seen performance improvements when testing PCI Express based solid state drives like the OCZ Revo. We are eager to get this board in the hands of our storage guru and see what advantages it offers users today.
Next up is the new MSI 990FXA-GD80 motherboard based on AMD's latest 990FX chipset. We actually have one of these in the office and should have a review up shortly. With support for today's Phenom processors and tomorrow's Bulldozer-core based designs, I think the 990FX chipset will find its way into a lot of users machines.
Even further out into the future, we saw a glimpse of an MSI engineering sample for the pending Socket 2011 processors from Intel, the MSI X79A-GD65. Supporting the upcoming Sandy Bridge-E processor family and a new quad-channel memory controller, you can clearly see the 2011 socket is HUGE and requires the memory slots to be divided up on either side of it. A lot will change more than likely between now and this boards release but it is cool to see a preview of what is in store for us!
Finally, MSI did have another card in the Lightning series to show off, the N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition. This card has all the same engineering features of the previous Lightning models but adds in a couple of unique features called Smart Temp Sensor and Dust Removal.
The Smart Temp Sensor is actually a coating on the fan that changes from blue to white in appearance as the ambient temperature increases. If the inside of your chassis hits the 45C mark then the fans will be completely white and should give you an indication of system stability. My only concern is that even users with windows on their cases will have trouble seeing the fans on the graphics card cooler posted at a right angle.
The Dust Removal feature is more interesting in that it runs the fans on the Xtreme Edition in the reverse direction for the first 30 seconds of the power cycle and then return to the proper direction for cooling the heatsinks. The idea is that the 30 second reverse interval will help clear out dust from the heatsink and from the fan blades itself saving users in the long run.
Another interesting feature coming very soon to Android phone users is the ability to monitor and overclock your MSI graphics cards via an Afterburner app for your phone. This will be available this month or early in July for Android and *maybe* by the end of the year for iPhone.
Subject: Motherboards | May 31, 2011 - 11:49 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: msi, motherboard, bulldozer, amd, 990fx
Popular enthusiast motherboard maker MSI, today officially launched a new line of motherboards supporting AMD’s 9-Series chipsets. Specifically, the 990FXA-GD80 and the 990FXA-GD65 motherboards bring support for AMDs latest native eight-core AM3+ processors. The high-end motherboard, the 990FXA-GD80, comes equipped with MSI’s OC Genie II overclocking technology as well as “Military Class II components with MIL-STD-810G Certification.”
Further, the new 9-series lineup features support for both NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX multi-GPU technology, USB 3.0, native SATA III 6Gb/s, and THX TruStudio PRO surround sound.
Subject: Motherboards | May 30, 2011 - 12:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: am3+, 990fx, amd
Hi Tech Legion has published their review of the ASUS Crosshair V Formula 990FX, the new AM3+ chipset from AMD. While it is intended for the upcoming Bulldozer chips it is compatible with AM3 chips like the Phenom II X6 1090T they used to test. It has three PCIe 2.0 x16 slots and two PCIe slots, one a x4 slot and one a 1x and even a legacy PCI slot. The SB950 South Bridge supports six SATA 6Gb/s ports with RAID 0,1,5,10 and AMD's Asmedia USB 3.0 controller offers six USB 3.0 ports. Audio is handled by the upremeFX X-Fi 2 and there are a host of other features available which you can read about in the full review.
Also keep an eye out on our front page, as Josh is finishing up his review as well.
"The ASUS Crosshair V Formula is an AM3+ motherboard from the Republic of Gamers lineup. The Crosshair V Formula is designed for hardcore gamers and overclockers who want the best and latest AM3+ motherboard. The ASUS Crosshair V Formula ROG motherboard is equipped with the 990FX/SB950 chipset, featuring native SATA 6Gb/s support and full compatibility with upcoming Bulldozer based 32nm AMD processors. For additional high-speed connectivity, the ASUS Crosshair V Formula is also equipped with an Asmedia USB 3.0 controller, boasting superior performance over the NEC USB 3.0 controller prevalent among the latest motherboards in the market. As with all the recent ROG-series boards, the ASUS Crosshair V Formula is powered by the Extreme Engine DIGI+ design, providing highly efficient and superior power delivery on the AM3+ platform."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASUS RoG Crosshair V Formula (990FX) and MSI 990FXA-GD80 - AMD 990FX Launch Review @ HardwareHeaven
- ASUS Crosshair V Formula 990FX Motherboard Review @ OCC
- Biostar TA880GB+ Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- Asus Crosshair IV Formula @ hardCOREware
- BIOS Option Of The Week - SDRAM Bank-to-Bank Delay @ Tech ARP
- Intel Rapid Storage Technology 10.5.0.1027 with SRT Support @ NGOHQ
- Intel Smart Response Technology w/ ASUS P8Z68-V Pro Review @Hi Tech Legion
- GIGABYTE Z68X-UD7-B3 @ Tweaktown
- Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3 Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- The Virtu Question: Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 @ PCSTATS
- Foxconn P67 Rattler @ OC3D
- GIGABYTE Z68X-UD3H-B3 @ TweakTown
- ASRock Z68 Extreme4 @ Overclockers.com
- Intel P67 Roundup: ASUS, GIGABYTE, Intel & MSI @ Techgage
- GIGABYTE P67A-UD7-B3 Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews
Subject: Editorial, General Tech | May 26, 2011 - 02:04 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: R6970, podcast, nvidia, Intel, firepro, amd, 990x, 990fx
PC Perspective Podcast #156- 5/26/2011
This week we talk about the AMD FirePro V7900 and V5900, MSI R6970 Lightning, Intel i7-990x,Viewer questions and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano
This Podcast is brought to you by MSI
- 0:00:45 Introduction
- 1-888-38-PCPER or email@example.com
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- 0:01:45 AMD FirePro V7900 and V5900 Professional Graphics Review
- 0:05:25 MSI R6970 Lightning Review: A Supercharged AMD Radeon HD 6970
- 0:16:35 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI
, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
- 0:17:20 Intel Core i7-990X Gulftown Processor and DX58SO2 Motherboard Review
- 0:22:30 NVIDIA GTX 560 Review Coming soon
- 0:24:36 Cray Announces AMD Bulldozer CPU and NVIDIA Tesla GPU Supercomputer Capable of 50 Petaflops
- 0:27:38 Sneak Peak at the MSI 990FXA-GD65
- 0:30:13 ASUS Sabertooth Motherboard Supporting 990FX Chipset Pictured
- 0:32:33 Email from Jeff about Bulldozer leaks
- 0:36:00 Revisiting quad-gpus and the Law of Diminishing Returns
- 0:39:58 Leaking Llano and Bulldozer prices
- 0:43:57 Corsair Hydro H80 and H100 Water Coolers On The Horizon
- 0:46:30 Email from Bernie about desktop standby mode
- 0:51:05 Email from Jesse about overclocking temps
- 0:53:40 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
- Ryan: Lucid Virtu - its working
- Jeremy: Remember Action Quake? How 'bout a little Action Half Life 2, still less buggy than your average commercial release and better supported.
- Josh: DiRT 3: Love it.
- 0:59:30 THIS JUST IN: Asus ROG Matrix GeForce GTX 580 Graphics Card Details Leaked
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
- 1:02:00 Closing
Subject: Motherboards | May 24, 2011 - 05:20 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: sb950, msi, amd, am3+, 990fx
AMD’s 900 series chipsets are coming. Not exactly news here. What is news it that we will be seeing them very soon. Details are scarce, but from what all we can gather the 900 series will not be all that different from the 800 series. The SB950 looks to be a tweaked SB850, but with no real new features over the older part. The Northbridge portions should remain relatively unchanged, but again we could see a few tweaks and fixes applied throughout. So in other words, no PCI-E 3.0 here or a significant die shrink.
We have on hand a few “spy shots” for the upcoming MSI 990FXA-GD65. For those who pay attention, this sounds very familiar to the 890FXA-GD65. When we take a look at the snapshots, we will see that the resemblance is more than just the name.
Subject: Motherboards | May 21, 2011 - 03:12 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: asus, amd, 990fx
Soon, Intel based ASUS motherboards will be joined at the high end by one based on the AMD 990FX chipset. TechPowerUp has the scoop on an upcoming Sabertooth motherboard.
While Intel seems to get the honors of the majority of high end motherboards, AMD enthusiasts will soon be able to get their hands on an ASUS 990FX Sabertooth motherboard with an AM3+ socket. ASUS is bringing out both the Republic of Gamers (ROG) as well as their "The Ultimate Force" branding. Let's see what that marketing speak purports to give AMD enthusiasts:
According to TechPowerUp, the Sabertooth board for the AMD 990FX chipset "is designed to run up to four discrete graphics cards." Further, The board hosts an AM3+ socket, 10-phase digital VRMs, four DDR3 RAM slots connected to the CPU via a HyperTransport 3.1 link. TechPowerUp claims that the board will be able to accomodate up to 1866 MHz memory modules. The black PCB and green heatsinks keep with ASUS' TUF branded motherboards, and supports such features as UEFI BIOS and MemOK.
Connectivity options include:
|ASUS 990FX Sabertooth AMD Motherboard|
|PCI-E||4x PCI-E 2.0 (x16/x4/x16/NC or x16/x4/x8/x8)|
|SATA||6x SATA 3 ports and 2x SATA 2 ports|
|1x USB 3 header, 1x USB 2|
|Firewire||1x Internal Firewire header|
|SPDIF-Out||1x Internal header|
1x PS/2 mouse/keyboard port
1x Optical Out
6x USB 2.0
2x USB 3.0
2x eSATA (one powered)
1x Gigabit Ethernet
6x HD Audio ports (2.1 out + mic in or 5.1 output)
It's nice to see that AMD is still getting some high end motherboard love from manufacturers and consumers. You can find more photos over at TechPowerUp.
Subject: Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Chipsets | April 28, 2011 - 09:45 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: sli, nvidia, amd, 990x, 990fx, 970
In a move that is long overdue, NVIDIA's Tom Peteresen announced on a blog post that SLI multi-GPU support was finally going to be offered on AMD platforms with the upcoming launch of the AMD 990FX, 990X and 970 chipsets. On previous AMD platforms users have not been able to use multiple NVIDIA graphics cards in SLI because NVIDIA simply did not allow licensing of the technology on them. As of this month, that policy is changing.
According to the post, NVIDIA has had a change of heart and wants to "make sure gamers can benefit from the new CPU competitive landscape and ensure they have NVIDIA SLI – the highest performance, most stable multi-GPU solution - to game on!" The lack of SLI on previous chipsets was the result of Intel being the dominate CPU platform of choice for gamers in recent years.
ASUS, Gigabyte, ASRock, and MSI are going to be the first out of the block with motherboard based on the AMD 990FX, 990X and 970 chipsets with SLI support according to NVIDIA's Petersen.
This doesn't change NVIDIA's stance on the whole licensing and charging motherboard vendors to integrate SLI thing, however. In an ideal world, NVIDIA would have announced that they were opening up SLI to work on ANY motherboard, future or present, that has enough PCI Express slots on them, just like we see today with AMD's own CrossFire technology. Despite pressure to do that, NVIDIA is standing by its current formula and expanding into the realm of AMD chipsets.
Regardless, today is a good day for AMD fans and gamers alike that want more choice and more variety in their system build options for the future. The AMD Llano and Bulldozer-based processors just got a little more gaming friendly.