Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Thanks for stopping by our coverage of the Intel Haswell, 4th Generation Core processor and Z87 chipset release!  We have a lot of different stories for you to check out and I wanted to be sure you knew about them all. 

  1. The Haswell Review - Intel Core i7-4770K Performance and Architecture
  2. PCPer Live! ASUS Z87 Motherboard and Intel Haswell Live Event! - Tuesday, June 4th we will be hosting a live streaming event with JJ from ASUS.  Stop by to learn about Z87 and overclocking Haswell and to win some motherboards and graphics cards!
  3. MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming Motherboard Review
  4. ASUS Gryphon Z87 Micro-ATX Motherboard Review

 

Introduction

ROG MAXIMUS VI EXTREME.jpg

Courtesy of ASUS

As the flagship member of the ROG (Republic of Gamers) motherboard line, the ASUS Maximus VI Extreme has everything you've come to expect from an ROG Extreme line board - killer styling, insane performance potential, and more than enough features and accessories for any enthusiast. ASUS decided to up the ante for the Intel Z87-based Maximus VI Extreme, including the OC Panel . The OC Panel is a standalone device with integrated LCD display used for board monitoring and overclocking. To gage the board's performance, we put the ASUS Maximus VI Extreme through our rigorous suite of tests. At a retail price of $399.00, this board would make a good crown jewel for anyone's high-end system.

M6E 3D.jpg

Courtesy of ASUS

In designing the ASUS Maximus VI Extreme board, ASUS designed in a total of 8 digital power phases for the CPU's power delivery system with an additional 2 digital power phases reserved for use by the onboard memory. ASUS integrated the following features into the Maximum VI Extreme: 10 SATA 3 ports; an M.2 (NGFF) SSD slot integrated into the ASUS mPCIe Combo II card; an Intel I217-V GigE NIC; an Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth controller integrated into the ASUS mPCIe Combo II card; five PCI-Express x16 slots for up to quad-card support; 2-digit diagnostic LED display; onboard power, reset, CMOS clear, MemOK!, BIOS Flashback, ROG Connect, DirectKey, and BIOS switch buttons; Probelt voltage measurement points; OC Panel support; and USB 2.0 and 3.0 port support.

M6E BackIO.jpg

Courtesy of ASUS

Continue reading our review of the ASUS Maximus VI Extreme motherboard!

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Thanks for stopping by our coverage of the Intel Haswell, 4th Generation Core processor and Z87 chipset release!  We have a lot of different stories for you to check out and I wanted to be sure you knew about them all. 

  1. The Haswell Review - Intel Core i7-4770K Performance and Architecture
  2. PCPer Live! ASUS Z87 Motherboard and Intel Haswell Live Event! - Tuesday, June 4th we will be hosting a live streaming event with JJ from ASUS.  Stop by to learn about Z87 and overclocking Haswell and to win some motherboards and graphics cards!
  3. ASUS ROG Maximus VI Extreme Motherboard Review
  4. MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming Motherboard Review

 

Introduction

02-GRYPHON_Z87-Product_photo-2D.jpg

Courtesy of ASUS

The Gryphon Z87 is a new form factor being introduced into the TUF (The Ultimate Force) board line with its micro-ATX stature. It does not lack for features in what it lacks for physical size though. ASUS packed this board full of features with the same stability and performance that you have all come to expect from a TUF series motherboard. By default, the Gryphon Z87 does not come with the Thermal Armor overlay, but the armor kit will be offered as an upgrade for a minimal additional outlay. We but the ASUS Gryphon Z87 board through its paces to get a fuller performance picture. At a retail price of $169.00, this board would make a nice addition to any small form factor or normal sized system.

03-GRYPHON_Z87-Product_photo-3D.jpg

Courtesy of ASUS

The Gryphon Z87 is designed with an 8 phase digital power delivery system for the CPU to ensure the best performance and stability possible under any conditions. The following features are integrated into the board's design: six SATA 6Gb/s ports; an Intel I217-V GigE NIC; three PCI-Express x16 slots for dual-card support; one PCI-Express x1 slot; onboard power, reset, CMOS MemOK!, BIOS Flashback, and DirectKey buttons; and USB 2.0 and 3.0 port support.

04-GRYPHON_Z87-Product_photo-IO.jpg

Courtesy of ASUS

Continue reading our review of the ASUS Gryphon Z87 motherboard!

Can't get enough Z87 previews!

Subject: Motherboards | May 31, 2013 - 02:41 PM |
Tagged: z87, asus, preview, Maximus VI Hero, Sabertooth Z87, TUF Gryphon

Previews of the upcoming Z87 boards from all the major manufacturers are appearing everywhere as the release date draws nigh, to the joy of tech enthusiasts everywhere.  ASUS was kind enough to give The Tech Report a breakdown of their upcoming boards, both full sized and mATX.  One of the more intriguing is the TUF Gryphon which has the same heatshield as the previous TUF series but is in an mATX form for those who want a powerful SFF system.  Pictured below is the new Deluxe model, The Tech Report finds the colour scheme reminiscent of a "1978 Firebird Trans Am"; perhaps you can mod a blower into your case if this is the board you chose?

shot-deluxe.jpg

"A few weeks ago, we got an early preview of Asus' upcoming Haswell motherboards. We can now tell you what's in store for the next generation."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Computex 2013: ASUS PQ321 is a 31.5" 4K monitor

Subject: General Tech, Displays, Shows and Expos | May 30, 2013 - 11:12 PM |
Tagged: PQ321, computex, asus, 4k

Computex, the second largest expo for computer hardware, is less than a week away but its influence tends to bleed over a little bit. And, since we know our readers love 4K displays, we thought we might pass along a leak we found for a new ASUS monitor.

asus-pq321-front.jpg

Image source, ASUS via TechPowerUP

And yes, that is a 32"

The Asus PQ321 is both a relatively easy-to-remember model number and a 31.5" computer monitor with 4K2K resolution. Connect it to your computer with DisplayPort or, for at least some US models, dual HDMI to have the same resolution as IMAX Digital as well as have a legitimate reason to pick up multiple GeForce Titan graphics cards.

The raw specifications are:

  • 31.5 inch display size (16:9 aspect ratio)
  • Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (IGZO) panel, LED backlit
  • 3840x2160 resolution (140ppi)
  • 1.07 billion colors (10-bit RGB)
  • 176 / 176 (H / V) degree viewing angle
  • 350 cd/m2 brightness
  • 8ms (gtg) response time
  • Color temperature and gamma adjustments
  • I/O: DisplayPort, 2x HDMI ("optional"), RS-232C, 3.5mm audio in and out
  • 2W stereo speakers
  • Tilt, swivel, height adjustments; VESA mount (no landscape/portrait pivot)
  • 750mm x 489mm x 256mm with stand, 13kg net weight
  • Comes with DisplayPort 1.2 cable and an RS-232C conversion cable (???)

Looking at these specifications, it certainly feels like an IPS-equivalent technology with some very telltale characteristics: the relatively slow response time for seemingly no reason, the 1.07 billion colors, the very wide viewing angle, and the relatively high pixel density per inch. This prompted me to look over at the ASUS website for some tea leaf reading. It looks as though all P- or M-series monitors utilize some form of IPS technology, the M-series referring to thin-bezel options and the P-series to relatively image quality-focused products.

So as best as I can tell, the PQ321 is a 31.5" 4K IPS monitor.

ASUS is expected to display this at Computex 2013 in Taipei along with a 39" 4K monitor. No word on pricing or availability, at least not yet.

Source: Hexus.net

ASUS Maximus VI Formula Supreme FX Evolution

Subject: Motherboards | May 29, 2013 - 11:08 AM |
Tagged: SupremeFX, Maximus VI Formula, Intel Z87, asus

Today, ASUS released a preview of the audio functionality to be designed into their upcoming Maximus VI Formula board. They are continuing in their evolution of the SupremeFX audio solution to deliver the best audio experience possible to the end user.

SupremeFX_Teaser.jpg

Courtesy of ASUS

Stay tuned for more information about the upcoming Intel Z87-based Maximus VI Formula motherboard and its slew of integrated features including the SupremeFX audio solution.

Source: ASUS

Podcast #252 - Z87 Motherboards, Xbox One, Lenovo Y500 Gaming notebook and more!

Subject: General Tech | May 23, 2013 - 10:00 AM |
Tagged: z87, Y500, xbox one, xbox, video, Temash, Richland, podcast, pcper, msi, Lenovo, Kaveri, Kabini, Jaguar, Intel, hgst, gtx 650m, Giagbyte, ECS, asus, APU, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #252 - 05/23/2013

Join us this week as we discuss Z87 Motherboards, Xbox One, Lenovo Y500 Gaming notebook and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

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 RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano, and Morry Teitelman

Program length: 1:17:01

  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. 1:04:30 Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
  4. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  5. Closing/outro

 

Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction

Today, ASUS introduces their Intel Z87-based motherboard lineup with board refreshes across all of their product lines: ASUS (mainstream), Republic of Gamers (ROG), The Ultimate Force (TUF), and Workstation (WS). With the exception of their TUF and ROG board lines, ASUS decided to introduce a new and improved color scheme for their boards - black and gold. The motherboard surfaces are black with gold colored heat sinks. While black and gold may not seem like the best match-up, don't judge the boards until you have seen them first hand - the black and gold go very well together.

ROG Motherboards

03-ROG MAXIMUS VI GENE.jpg

ASUS Maximus VI Gene
Courtesy of ASUS

Their ROG line will include the Maximus VI Extreme, the Maximus VI Formula, the Maximus VI Gene, and the Maximus VI Hero. All ROG boards feature the standard red and black color scheme common to that brand. Additionally, ASUS includes SupremeFX audio standard with all ROG boards and their Sonic Radar on-screen overlay technology. Sonic Radar is an in-game overlay that can be used to accurately pinpoint game-based sound sources. For powering these boards, ASUS includes 60amp-rated blackwing chokes and NexFET MOSFETS with 90% power efficiency operation. Use of these power components was seen to reduce on-board temperatures in the ASUS labs by as much as 5 degrees Celcius.

02-ROG MAXIMUS VI EXTREME.jpg

ASUS Maximus VI Extreme
Courtesy of ASUS

ASUS upped the ante even more with their Maximus VI Extreme board by including the ASUS OC Panel. This panel includes a display and can be mounted in a 5.25" drive bay or used externally for real time voltage and temperature monitoring as well as tweaking of various frequency and voltage BIOS settings. The ASUS OC Panel is supported on all ROG boards and will be available for after-market purchase for the non-Extreme boards.

04-ROG MAXIMUS VI HERO.jpg

ASUS Maximus VI Hero
Courtesy of ASUS

The Maximus VI Hero motherboard is the newest member of the ROG line, branded as a more affordable solution for the gamer. This board is marketed as a head-to-head competitor for MSI's MPOWER board.

Continue reading our preview of the ASUS Z87 motherboard lineup!

Hardware Flashback: Asus P5A

Subject: Motherboards | May 15, 2013 - 06:37 PM |
Tagged: asus, P5A, ALi, Aladdin V, 100 MHz, Super 7, amd, K6, K6-2, SDRAM

 

I first got into computers in the 8088 days, but I started to do it professionally when Socket 5 was transitioning to Socket 7.  The Pentium 133 based Quantex system I bought after the Atlanta Olympics catapulted me into the modern computer age (I was previously using an Intel 386SX-16 MHz system from DAK… don’t get me started on that company).  It was also when AOL was the only internet service in Laramie, WY.  I started browsing hardware retailers and then moved onto independent review sites that were only then just popping up.  Tom’s and Anandtech were very new and did not feature many pictures because digital cameras were still quite rare.

p5a_01.jpg

Remember when the 1/5/2 setup was considered optimal?  It allowed for the good modem and good soundcard to be installed!

One of the big shifts of the time is when Intel abandoned Socket 7 and forged ahead with Slot 1.  AMD had fit the K6 into the Socket 7 infrastructure, though it was initially designed for a proprietary socket.  Intel had the Pentium II line and things were moving fast in those days.  AMD was providing competition for Intel with excellent integer performance and adequate floating performance, as well as providing a socketed product that was cheaper to produce for both AMD and its motherboard partners.  Socket 7 was then morphed into Super 7 with support for 100 MHz FSB speeds.  This was a big jump for AMD as they spearheaded this move.  Cyrix, IBM, and Winchip all went along for the ride, but they often supported oddball bus speeds that did not always translate well into bus dividers for AGP and PCI.

The first wave of AGP enabled chipsets that also supported bus speeds above 66 MHz finally hit the market, and one of the first was the SiS 5591.  One of the first boards to support this chipset was the MTech R581A.  The board showed jumper settings that supported 100 MHz, but it was far from stable at that speed.  It did fully support 83.3 MHz, which gave many socket 7 users a nice boost when overclocking.  The first true 100 MHz chips were the VIA MVP-3 and the ALi M1571 (Aladdin V).  These natively supported the 100 MHz bus and ran it perfectly fine.  These chipsets allowed the later K6-2 and K6-3 chips to exist and compete successfully with the 100 MHz based Pentium IIs.

p5a_02.jpg

This particular model included the onboard ESS sound chip.  Pretty posh for the time.  Oh yes, there was a time before USB 2.0...

I had a heck of a time getting a hold of a VIA MVP-3 based motherboard at first, and I never actually laid hands upon any Aladdin V based unit during that time.  There was no Newegg or Tiger Direct back then, and most major distributors like Tech Data did not always stock a wide selection of products.  I was also not making a whole lot of money.  I was particularly jealous of all these other sites getting access to review hardware, but then again at this time I had only a handful of articles out and I had not even started Penstarsys.com yet.  So when guys like Tom and Anand got their hands on the Asus P5A, it was most definitely must-read material.

This was one of the first 100 MHz Super 7 based boards out there, as VIA was having some real issues with their MVP-3 chipset.  Eventually VIA fixed those issues, but not before ALi had a good couple of months’ lead on their primary competitor.  Of great interest for this board was the ability to run at 120 MHz FSB.  Very few boards could handle that speed well, but the 115 MHz setting seemed very stable.  I/O performance was also a step above the VIA chipsets, but VIA was fairly well known for having strange I/O issues at that time (not to mention AGP compatibility issues).  The Asus P5A was a great board for the time, and it did not suffer much from the AGP issues that plagued VIA.  Oddly enough, though ALi had the better overall chipset, they did not sell as well as the VIA products.  Asus still shipped a lot of them, so I guess that made up for the more limited selection.

p5a_03.jpg

That is a single phase power... array?  Look at all that open space throughout the board!

Super 7 was a dying breed by 1999 with the introduction of the K7 Athlon, but the P5A sold very well throughout its entire lifespan.  The board I acquired had the K6-2 500 in the socket, and a BIOS update would provide support for the later K6-3+ and K6-2+ processors.  What perhaps strikes me most is the overall simplicity of the boards as compared to modern products.  The P5A looks like it has a single power phase going to the CPU, does not feature integrated Ethernet or other amenities, and only has two ATA-33 ports.  Interestingly enough, it does feature a ESS based audio codec.  Rare for those days!  Compare that to the monster products like the Crosshair V Formula Z or the G1.Sniper.3, I guess simplicity is overlooked these days?

Source: Asus

A last ride down Clover Trail? Asus' VivoTab Smart ME400C

Subject: Mobile | May 10, 2013 - 03:56 PM |
Tagged: clover trail, asus, VivoTab Smart ME400C, atom

While the new Atom processors that we discussed are a long way off you can still pick up some interesting devices powered by the current generation.  The ASUS VivoTab Smart ME400C has a Z2760 @ 1.8GHz, 2GB DDR2 and a 64GB eMMC SSD which is not too shabby for a $400 device.  The 1366x768 resolution screen might not be the best but at 10.1" it is a reasonable choice for ASUS to make.  The Tech Report's testing showed you can expect about 10 hours of battery life and it is capable of running Windows 8 and legacy x86 software as opposed to the ARM powered WinRT tablets it competes with.  They do recommend you purhase the TranSleeve and a bluetooth keyboard and mouse combo seperately as you will save a good amount of money doing so.

TR_asusthing.jpg

"This Windows 8 tablet has an Atom processor, solid battery life, and a $430 price tag. Is it compelling as a tablet, and can it really double as a productivity PC?"

Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:

Mobile

Hardware Flashback: Asus K7M

Subject: Motherboards | May 8, 2013 - 06:51 PM |
Tagged: asus, K7M, Irongate, AMD-751, VIA 686a, retro, Slot A, K7, athlon

 

It might not be entirely obvious to viewers, but I love old hardware.  I came across a stash of old machines at my workplace that we were going to just throw away.  I was able to grab a couple of pretty interesting products from years past that I wanted to share and chat about.  The first of this series should be very familiar to most of you, especially those around when Ryan started his first website.

k7m_01.jpg

It is fun to reminisce about old hardware.  The K7M is a classic.

The Asus K7M was one of the first Slot A motherboards out.  It was arguably the most fully featured of the group.  Its primary competition was the FIC SD-11 and the Gigabyte GA-7IXE.  If you remember that monster of a board (with one very strange layout) then you  most certainly have fond memories of what Asus was able to bring to the table.

The K7M was based on the AMD “Irongate” northbridge (AMD-751).  This was a pretty fully featured chip at the time.  It supported SDRAM up to 100 MHz and featured AGP 2X.  This chip was rumored to contain IP from VIA, but it had distinctly better performance than the competing AGP 2X chipsets from VIA at the time.  I distinctly remember having fewer AGP issues with these boards than products from VIA.  The K7M eschewed the AMD 756 southbridge and instead used the VIA 686A controller.  This was an updated (and fixed) southbridge from VIA that supported up to ATA-66 speeds and USB 1.1.

k7m_02.jpg

Integrated audio was still uncommon back in the day.  If you thought mobo audio quality is bad now...

The K7M was a decent overclocker for the time, but little was known about the EV-6 bus and how it reacted to overclocking.  Bus speeds up to 107 MHz or so were common, but anything above that got pretty flaky fast.  Later BIOS revisions helped a bit, but the 751 was not going to be pushed much further.  It was not until official 133 MHz support came in did we see some legroom with overclocking.

The K7M was a very solid board for being an introductory product.  One thing that always amused me greatly was that Asus, Gigabyte, and other motherboard manufacturers would refuse to show Slot A boards on the floor of Comdex because they feared that Intel would come down upon them like a ton of bricks.  If a person wanted to see a Slot A board, they would have to go into a back room and view it from there, but only upon request.  It was not until the next year that some manufacturers cautiously showed off their AMD offerings.

k7m_03.jpg

Name that mini-slot above the AGP!

I ran this particular board for a while.  I believe I ran the SD-11 longer.  I was doing reviews all the time, so I was swapping out motherboards pretty frequently.  The Asus had a luxury feel about it as compared to the FIC and Gigabyte offerings.  It even had integrated audio and a game port.  Few other products of the time included such a perk.  AMD was on a roll with the original K7 Athlon, and Asus was one of the first partners to really produce a world class motherboard for the architecture.

Source: Asus