ASUS wants to make sure you know they're here for you

Subject: Motherboards | January 23, 2013 - 04:10 PM |
Tagged: asus, motherboards

ASUS wants to be sure everyone knows that it isn't going anywhere and that the motherboard business is doing just fine.  We are working very closely with the team at ASUS and can assure you they have little interesting in backing off the DIY train and are even investing more heavily in the enthusiast market.

We are still sorry to see Intel leave the business (at least after Haswell) but it is good to have company's like this coming out and assuring us of their support!

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Enthusiasts and PC builders trust ASUS as their go-to brand when it comes to building desktops. As the global leader in motherboard design across multiple product ranges, ASUS remains strongly committed to developing a wide range of new and innovative motherboards now and well into the future. For the consumer segment we have invested significant resources to grow and sustain the Build Your Own ecosystem, including the PCDIY initiative designed to educate and inspire new builders, our ongoing support for the PC gaming community, and our grassroots program for university students across North America providing support for learning through a number of vehicles. For the commercial segment we have been on the forefront with the highly acclaimed Corporate Stable Model (CSM) program in North America. ASUS motherboards have been recognized by eChannelNews with their Resellers Choice Award for Best Motherboard several years in the row. ASUS CSM motherboards covers a full range of chipsets and form factors, and come complete with a guaranteed long shelf life, advance cross shipping, and Intel vPro Technology. With the Haswell-based 4th generation Core platform we plan to deepen our commitment to bring excitement and new opportunities to the desktop platform.

ASUS will continue to expand our close partnership with Intel to fully support their growing CPU and chipset roadmap with a wide selection of motherboards that provide the highest quality and ownership value in the market. We have the utmost confidence in Intel’s continued commitment to desktop CPUs and chipsets, and eagerly look forward to leading the next generation of Build Your Own enthusiasts and system builders.

As promised, 8GB of GTX 670 SLI performance

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 22, 2013 - 03:47 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, asus, GTX 670 DirectCU II 4GB, sli

When they first tried ASUS' new GTX 670 Direct CU II with 4GB of memory on its own, [H]ard|OCP had difficulty recommending it over a 7970 but they planned to try two cards in SLI to see if that would improve the comparative performance.  The competitors are a pair of 2GB 670s, a pair of 3GB HD7970's, a pair of 2GB 680s and of course two 4GB 670s, all powering a system at 5760x1200.  Unfortunately the quote from the conclusions spells out the results "It's like putting beefy off-road tires on a Yugo", so while it will give you the ability to use some higher graphics settings, overall you are still better of with HD7970s or GTX680s.

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"We review two ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DirectCU II 4GB video cards in SLI under NV Surround resolutions. We'll answer the question as to the value and validity of 4GB of RAM on a GeForce GTX 670 GPU video card in SLI. Far Cry 3, Hitman Absolution, and all our other games will be taken to the extreme to get to the bottom of 4GB GTX 670 cards."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

ASUS Shows Off ROG ARES II GPU With Sealed Loop Water Cooler

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 19, 2013 - 01:26 AM |
Tagged: water cooler, sealed loop, ROG ARES II, gpu cooler, asus, amd, 7970 ghz edition

ASUS has taken the wraps off of a new dual GPU graphics card that comes equipped with a sealed loop liquid cooler to keep the two overclocked 7970 GHz Edition GPUs frosty. The new ROG ARES II is a limited edition card that pairs the ARES II GPU with an Asetek-based cooler and rounds out the top-end of the company’s Republic of Gamers lineup.

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The card itself features two AMD Radeon 7970 GHz Edition GPUs clocked at 1050 MHz base and 1100 MHz boost, 6GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1650 MHz, and ASUS’ DIGI+ 20-phase VRM with “Super Alloy Power” hardware. The ROG ARES II has a 500W TDP and uses three 8-pin PCI-E power connectors. The card measures 11.8” x 5.5” x1.8,” not including the radiator.

The ROG ARES II includes one DVI-I, one DVI-D, and four DisplayPort video outputs. ASUS is also packing a DVI to HDMI adapter in the box.

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The sealed loop water cooler is where the card sets itself apart, however. Based on an Asetek design, the ARES II water cooler features a 120mm radiator, and two CPU-style water blocks over each 7970 GHz Edition GPU. The loop runs from the radiator and through both water blocks before returning to the radiator which is paired with two 120mm fans. Curiously, the water cooler did not result in a single-slot design. Rather, the ARES II card has a somewhat-bulky two slot profile. According to ASUS, the water cooled card will run up to 31 degrees Celsius cooler than the reference NVIDIA GTX 690 graphics card while being as much as 13% faster (though ASUS does not specifically name the games/benchmarks).

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ASUS has not released any pricing or availability information, but you can expect it to rival the price of PowerColor’s Devil 13 thanks to the sealed loop water cooler and ARES II hardware. Currently, ASUS is planning on producing a mere 1,000 liquid cooled ARES II cards, so be prepared to be fast on the mouse click upon release.

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I would have liked to see a water cooler that was a bit more customized to the card. In particular, I think ASUS should have used a single water block that covered both GPUS and the VRM area, which would have allowed ASUS to get rid of the fan on the card itself entirely. Nevertheless, the ARES II will be extremely fast, and hopefully run nice and cool even when overclocked. I’m interested in seeing a head-to-head between the ARES II and PowerColor Devil 13.

Read more about AMD’s Graphics Core Next architecture at PC Perspective.

Source: Asus

ASUS' new gaming headset tries to impress with both features and asking price

Subject: General Tech | January 16, 2013 - 04:11 PM |
Tagged: audio, asus, Orion Pro, gaming headset

ASUS makes a lot of promises with their new Orion Pro gaming headset, not only do they claim to provide 7.1 surround sound but the suggested price is below $120.  The specifications look good, 50mm drivers and a 50Hz-50KHz response range but the surround sound is virtualized with the included Spitfire USB Audio Processor.  You can choose between three modes of sound but do not have the ability to really customize your experience which could be a problem if you are playing a game which only supports 5.1 surround.  Hardware Canucks put the headset on for a test drive and were suitably impressed by the performance, perhaps these might be a worthy addition for gamers who prefer headsets to speakers.

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"ASUS' new Orion Pro headset combines the versatility of a USB powered virtual 7.1 surround sound environment with the high quality aspect of an analog connection. All of this is offered in a unique package that doesn't require drivers to function properly but comes in at under $120."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

ASUS MeMO Pad (ME172V) for Emerging Markets Starting at $149, VIA Powered

Subject: Mobile | January 13, 2013 - 09:00 PM |
Tagged: memopad, me172v, asus

Right after the completion of CES, ASUS is announcing another new device for emerging markets.  The MeMO Pad ME172V is powered by the VIA WM8950 (as rumored back in December), part of the WonderMedia Prizm line of SoCs, with a single core 1.0 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 and Mali-400 graphics processing capable of 1080p video playback and basic 3D.  ASUS is claiming that the MeMO Pad ME172V is meant for "novice to basic tablet users" rather than "Android enthusiasts, 3D gaming and early hardware adopters, who are better suited to the more powerful Transformer Pad Infinity or Nexus 7 series."

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This is a full Android experience that includes access to the Google Play store, ebooks, social networking and web browsing.  With a focus on pricing and performance per watt, ASUS still claims that the MeMO Pad ME172V will offer a "smooth and fluid user experience" though I question how much it can handle with a single Cortex-A9 core. 

The screen resolution is 1024x600 and the tablet will run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with only moderate tweaks from the ASUS UI team.  It will be available in either 8GB or 16GB capacities but with a microSD card slot that can be expanded by 32GB. 

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What about availability?  ASUS had this to say:

ASUS MeMO Pad will be available starting this January in selected markets from authorized ASUS resellers.  We will carry this device in the US market starting in April with a US specific image (full support for our region including Hulu Plus, Netflix, HBO Go, etc, etc.)

So if you are looking for a $149 tablet, the MeMO Pad ME172V might be the best option when it is available in the US later this spring.  We are working with ASUS to get a sample to test out the quality of the build as well as the level of performance and usability you can expect for this low-cost tablet.

ASUS doubles down the RAM on their latest GTX 670

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 11, 2013 - 01:20 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, asus, GTX 670 DirectCU II 4GB

In addition to the custom cooler on the ASUS GTX 670 DirectCU II, there is also 4GB of RAM which is double the usual serving for a GTX 670 and should help its performance at high resolutions.  The core and RAM remain at stock speeds, [H]ard|OCP tweaked the GPU up 185MHz and the RAM by 175MHz so there is some room for overclockers to play with this card.  This time around [H] only tested single display performance and were disappointed with the performance when they compared it to the similarly priced HD 7970 but keep your eyes open as they will be testing SLI multi-monitor performance in the near future.

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"Today we have an ASUS GeForce GTX 670 DC II 4GB video card up for review. Although there is no factory overclock, the video card supports 4GB of memory compared to the default 2GB. We will focus on single display performance in our revamped game lineup that includes Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution, and Sleeping Dogs."

Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:

Graphics Cards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Thunderbolt comes to ROG with the Maximus V Extreme

Subject: Motherboards | January 10, 2013 - 04:19 PM |
Tagged: Z77, thunderbolt, ROG, Maximus V Extreme, lga1155, asus

The new ASUS ROG Maximus V Extreme board has a high standard to meet thanks to the performance of previous models of the Maximus Extreme series.  Right off the bat you can tell this board is going to be popular with the enthusiasts as it sports five PCIe slots, capable of running at 8x, 16x, 8x, 8x if you populate four of them, with an extra 4x slot available for another card.  For storage there are a half dozen SATA 6Gbps ports with an additional three of the previous version of SATA as well as a single mSATA port and for peripherals you get 10 USB 3.0 ports plus another four USB 2.0 ports.  More important for some is the existence of a Thunderbolt port, a brand new feature for this family of motherboards.  [H]ard|OCP gave this motherboard a Gold Award, read on to find out why.

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"The Maximus V Extreme falls in line with ASUS' latest design philosophies and succeeds the older Maximus IV Extreme which was introduced during the P67 Express chipset days when the Core i7 2600K was the top end LGA1155 CPU. The last iteration of the Maximus was an absolutely incredible motherboard and like all ROG boards has big shoes to fill."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

CES 2013: ASUS Shows Off P9X79-E WS Motherboard for SB-E Processors

Subject: Motherboards | January 9, 2013 - 12:01 PM |
Tagged: workstation, usb 3.0, socket 2011, sandy bridge-e, p9x79-e, ces 2013, CES, asus

ASUS is showing off a new flagship X79 motherboard at CES called the P9X79-E WS. The workstation-class board is packed with hardware and ready to take Intel’s socket 2011-based Sandy Bridge-E processors to the extreme. The P9X79-E WS is of the E-ATX variety and features a LGA 2011 socket nestled between eight DDR3 DIMM slots. The board can support a maximum of 64GB clocked at 2400 MHz. An eight-pin CPU power and standard 24-pin ATX connector supplies power to the board while ASUS’ 10+2 phase DIGI+ VRM delivers clean power to the processor and memory.

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The P9X79-E WS uses the X79 PCH and features six SATA 6 Gbps ports and four SATA 3 Gbps ports. With seven total PCI-E 3.0 x16 expansion slots, the P9X79-E WS can support quad SLI or CrossfireX multi-GPU solutions.

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Rear IO on the ASUS motherboard includes the following ports:

  • 1 x combo PS/2 port
  • 7 x USB 2.0 ports
  • 2 x USB 3.0 ports (plus two additional USB 3.0 headers on the motherboard)
  • 1 x USB BIOS flash port and button
  • 2 x Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • 2 x eSATA ports
  • 6 x Analog audio ports
  • 1 x S/PDIF port
  • 1 x FireWire port

While not quite as outlandish as the Zeus and Wolverine prototype motherboards ASUS showed off at Computex, the P9X79-E WS is a high-end board that should actually see the light of day. Unfortunately, ASUS has not released any official pricing or availability for its new flagship X79 motherboard yet. WCCF Tech has several close up photos of the ASUS board worth looking at as well.

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: WCCF Tech

CES 2013: ASUS Systems with No Two Alike

Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 8, 2013 - 03:31 PM |
Tagged: ces 2013, CES, asus

ASUS has a lot of products to get through so there is no sense in waiting.

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The ASUS TAICHI is back in the news with a second model but only one capitalization: upper. As we said in the last article, the device uses two 11.6” 1080p touch displays on both sides of the lid to show mirrored or even unique information to the user and to people behind the laptop. With the lid closed the laptop will then also function as a tablet. The newer addition to the TAICHI family increases the screen size to 13.3”.

  • 11.6” 1080p or 13.3” (unlisted, probably also 1080p) IPS Dual touch-displays.
  • Intel Ivy Bridge Core i5 or i7 processor
  • Intel HD 4000 GPU
  • USB 3.0
  • 4GB of RAM (11.6”, 13.3” unlisted)

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The ASUS Transformer AiO is an all-in-one computer with a dockable 18.4” tablet. The dock contains a full-featured desktop with the tablet containing a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra processor. The device uses both Windows 8 for the base station or Android 4.1 for the tablet. When the tablet is removed from its base it is still able to function in Windows 8 mode by communicating wirelessly with the base station.

  • 18.4” 1080p IPS display with 10-points of touch recognition
  • Intel Ivy Bridge processor

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The ASUS Transformer Book TX300CA runs in the same vein as the popular Android-based Transformer Prime: a tablet able to dock into a keyboard to function as a laptop. The TX300CA differs from its Prime counterpart by running full Windows 8 on an Intel processor. If you wanted a Transformer Prime but are too locked in to Windows then you might want to look at this.

  • Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7 processor
  • Intel HD 4000 GPU
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • Both an SSD and a HDD
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB 3.0
  • Dual Cameras: “HD” (720p?) front-facing and 5MP rear-facing
  • 13” 1080p IPS multi-touch display

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The ASUS VivoTab Smart Tablet utilizes Clover Trail for a full Windows 8 experience. Unlike the prior models there is not a whole lot to discuss apart from its tech specs below!

  • Intel Clover Trail Atom Z2760 dual-core
  • 10.1” 1366x768 IPS LED 5-point touch display
  • 9.5 hour battery life
  • Dual Cameras: 2MP front-facing and 8MP rear-facing
  • NFC sensor

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: ASUS

CES 2013 Video: ASUS Transformer All-in-One Merges Windows 8 and Android

Subject: Systems | January 8, 2013 - 01:29 AM |
Tagged: Transformer, ces 2013, CES, asus, all-in-one, AIO

There is a new category of computer coming out this year that revolves around tablets that are bigger than you might be comfortable with.  We saw the first example of this with the Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon launched yesterday in the form of a 27-in AIO with a 2 hour battery life.  ASUS was demonstrating another one they are calling the Transformer AIO that actually goes a step further by combining standard Core processor technology in the base and Tegra 3 technology in the display. 

The AIO is an 18.4-in 1080p system with standard Intel Core i5 and Core i7 platforms running the full version of Windows 8.  However, the user can push a button on the side of the system to switch on the fly between Windows 8 and an Android system powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 3.  Even better, you can remove the display from the Transformer AIO (hence the name) and use it as a rather large tablet with 4-5 hours of battery life AND you can stream the Windows 8 system to it via wireless display technology.

It is a really slick system - check out the video below!

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!