Introduction, Design, User Interface
When Ivy Bridge was released Ryan did a deep-dive and desktop review while I worked on a review of the mobile processor. My mobile review was based on a reference laptop known as the ASUS N56VM. Although considered a “reference platform,” the laptop is really a production product and successor to the outgoing ASUS N55. We held off on a full review to provide coverage of the new G75, but now it’s time to revisit the N56.
This is an important product for ASUS. The 15.6” laptop remains a sales leader and the N56 will likely be the company’s flagship in this arena for the coming year. This means it won’t be a high-volume model, but it serve as a “halo product” – an example of what ASUS is capable of. If the company follows its usually modus operandi we’ll see this same chassis used as the basis for a number of variations at different price points with different hardware.
As you may remember from our Ivy Bridge for mobile review, the model we received is equipped with a Core i7-3720QM processor. It’s hard to say if this is a mid-range quad given the limited number of Ivy Bridge products available so far, but it probably will end up in that role. What about the rest of the system? Well, take a look.
Subject: General Tech, Motherboards, Storage | May 21, 2012 - 06:57 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Z77, thunderbolt, p8z77-v premium, msi, asus
We have really been waiting for this since we first saw the release of Thunderbolt on the Apple MacBooks last year, but we finally have it: Thunderbolt support for PC users! Both MSI and ASUS today announced availability of motherboards with integrated Thunderbolt connectivity: the ASUS P8Z77-V Premium and the MSI Z77A-GD80 will both get you a single integrated Thunderbolt port.
"Intel and ASUS have worked closely on the implementation of Thunderbolt technology onto Asus motherboards”, said Jason Ziller, Intel’s Director of Thunderbolt Marketing. “The P8Z77-V PREMIUM is the first Thunderbolt certified motherboard in the industry, a testament to its solid design and compatibility."
With its long history of working with high tech vendors, ASUS is able to show its strength and commitment to innovation with a close relationship to three of the leading brands currently producing products with Thunderbolt technology, Elgato, LaCie, and PROMISE.
Thunderbolt is a new, high-speed I/O technology designed for performance, simplicity and flexibility, with lightning fast transfer speeds that are twice that of USB 3.0 and up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0. It offers simultaneous bi-directional 10Gbps transfer speeds over a single cable, with the flexibility to daisy-chain up to six Thunderbolt-ready devices with a single connection as well as offering full display port support for a 7th Thunderbolt or display port equipped monitor. This allows for a clutter-free computing experience while offering unprecedented levels of performance. Users can connect multiple Thunderbolt-enabled external storage drives to a Thunderbolt-enabled display and transfer files while watching HD movies, all without experiencing any lag. In addition for content professional this connection has been designed form the ground up for multimedia offering low latency with highly accurate time synchronization for professional audio and video applications. PC enthusiast and gamers can take immediate advantage combining Thunderbolt and on-board Lucid Virtu MVP to enjoy top-notch graphics performance.
Even better, we have some in-action video of the new ASUS Thunderbolt-implementation including performance!
This video was recorded well before today's launch during our Z77 Live Review and clearly shows some of the benefits of Thunderbolt, as well as some of the limitations, you'll find if you pick up the ASUS P8ZZ77-V Premium motherboard!
Subject: Mobile | May 9, 2012 - 05:19 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, transformer pad 300, tegra 3
ASUS' Transformer Pad 300 is the newest model of the combination tablet and netbook and includes NVIDIA's Tegra 3 to provide processing and graphical power. The 10.1" IPS TFT is at a decent resolution of 1280x800 but is not quite up to the quality of the more expensive Transformer Prime. ASUS chose to go with a dock that will only work with the Transformer 300, so you won't be able to swap keyboards if you have more than one Transformer. Overall The Tech Report liked the new 300 a lot as it possesses a good amount of features for such an inexpensive device.
"Asus has revamped its entry level Transformer tablet, squeezing Nvidia's Tegra 3 processor into a slimmer, sexier body. The trademark keyboard dock remains, as does the affordable price tag. We take a closer look to see how the Transformer Pad 300 measures up."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- MSI GT70 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Samsung Series 9 (2012; NP900X4B) Review @ TechReviewSource
- Gateway NV57H54u Review @ TechReviewSource
- Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201 @ Kitguru
- Mobile GPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- NZXT Cryo E40 Notebook Cooler Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- The iPad 2,4 Review: 32nm Brings Better Battery Life @ AnandTech
- HTC One X (AT&T) Review @ TechReviewSource
- Infographic: The World of Lost Smartphones @ TechReviewSource
- The HTC One X for AT&T @ AnandTech
ASUS, a company popular for its line of enthusiast motherboards and gaming notebooks, recently unveiled three new Ivy Bridge powered desktop systems. Although specific pricing is still up in the air, the three systems span the range from low powered desktop systems to the high end enthusiast computer.
The ASUS CM6870 desktop is a low end desktop that is powered by Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge processors (Core i3/i5/i7 Pentiums), up to 16GB of dual channel DDR3 1600MHz RAM, and a choice from a variety of low end (mainly HTPC class) discrete graphics cards including the NVIDIA GT640 on the top end and the AMD HD5450 on the low end. The system also has Gigabit LAN, up to 4TB of hard drive space, a 300W or 350W PSU, four USB 3.0 ports, 6 USB 2.0 ports, headphone/microphone jacks, and a 16-in-one card reader. The system runs Windows 7 Home Premium x64 or Windows 7 Home Basic x64.
The ASUS CG8270 features higher end CPU and GPU choices, making it suitable for entry level gaming. It uses either a Core i5 or Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor, up to 16GB of DDR3 1600MHz memory, up to 4TB of hard drive space, and up to a NVIDIA GTX560 Ti 1GB graphics card. The system comes with a 400W or 500W power supply, depending on what GPU the user chooses. It also features Gigabit LAN, headphone and microphone jacks, a 16-in-1 card reader, four USB 3.0 ports, six USB 2.0 ports, and 8 channel analog audio output. This desktop has an angled brushed aluminum front panel and dark chassis. It also runs Windows 7 Home Premium x64.
Occupying the high end is the ASUS CG8580 desktop. At first glance, the desktop has a large black case with an angled design that sports the ROG (Republic of Gamers) branding. It has a front panel that opens up to reveal the drive bays and an LED light that illuminates the ASUS logo. The case further has five open vents to improve airflow. On the inside is a liquid cooled Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor, a NVIDIA GTX 680 (or GTX560 Ti SLI) graphics card, up to 16GB DDR3 1600MHz memory, up to 10TB of hard drive storage, dual 128GB SATA III SSDs in Raid 0, and a Xonar DX sound card (optional). IO includes headphone and microphone jacks, four USB 3.0 ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, PS/2 port, Gigabit LAN, 8 channel audio, S/PDIF out, and a 16-in-1 card reader. The desktop also comes with a 700W power supply. It comes equipped with Windows 7 Home Premium x64.
The back of the CG8580 Gaming Rig
The three Ivy Bridge powered desktops are coming soon, but there is no word yet on pricing. In the meantime, please check out our Intel Ivy Bridge and NVIDIA GTX 680 GPU reviews to brush up on the new architectures.
Introduction, Design, User Interface
Intel has decided to lead its introduction of Ivy Bridge for mobile with its most powerful quad-core parts. Many of these processors will end up in mainstream laptop, but they’re also great for gaming laptops. In our first look at Ivy Bridge we saw that it holds up well when paired with its own Intel HD 4000 graphics – if you keep the resolution around 1366x768. A bit more than that and the IGP just can’t hang.
Gamers will still want a beefy discrete GPU, and that’s what the G75 offers. Inside this beast you’ll find an Nvidia GeForce GTX 670M. Those who were reading our Kepler coverage will remember that this is not based off Nvidia’s newest architecture but is instead a re-work of an older Fermi chip. That mean seem a bit disappointing, and it is – but the performance of Nvidia’s older mobile chips wasn’t lackluster.
So, this new laptop is packing a spanking-new Core i7-3720QM as well as Nvidia’s new GTX 670M. That’s an impressive combination, and ASUS has wisely backed it up with a well-rounded set of performance components.
Subject: Systems | April 27, 2012 - 07:54 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: corsair, tiger direct, evga, charity, asus
What is better than a custom gaming PC? A gaming PC where all proceeds from the sale will go towards a charity of course! Tiger Direct, Corsiar, and EVGA have all teamed up to assemble a custom gaming PC that is currently being auctioned off on ebay to help raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The charity raises money to support research towards a cure for MS which is a debilitating disorder that affects the central nervous system. In other words, it is for a really good cause.
The gaming PC in question is pretty impressive. A white Corsair Graphite 600T makes the computer shine. On the inside, the gaming PC features an ASUS P8Z68-V Pro motherboard, Intel Core i5-2500K, and 16GB of Corsair Vengeance RAM. In addition, EVGA has thrown in a GTX 680 SC graphics card (EVGA 02G-P4-2682-KR for that that get a chuckle out of their product names). Other hardware includes a Corsair Force GT SSD and Corsair AX 750W modular power supply (PSU). Tiger Direct also included a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium x64.
Currently the ebay auction has received 32 bids and is sitting at $2,850 USD. Please share the auction information and help spread awareness about MS if you find it relevant and useful. It’s always nice to see charity and shiny computer hardware come together, and I hope that it helps MS research!
Subject: General Tech, Motherboards | April 27, 2012 - 02:48 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: Z77, msata, Ivy Bridge, asus
ASUS announces their upcoming P8Z77-V Premium flagship motherboard for Intel processors. Many features have been included such as 4-way SLi and onboard MSATA support with a 32GB MSATA SSD.
Does anyone know where I can get 4 GTX 680s?
In case you missed it, JJ from ASUS was recently at the PC Perspective offices to announce their Z77 lineup of motherboards. Lots of stuff was given away to live viewers. JJ stuck around after the live stream to record a couple of videos about overclocking Ivy Bridge and WiDi support which were released publicly earlier this week.
Now they reached out to us to announce their flagship P8Z77-V Premium Z77-based motherboard.
Two antennas, why-fi not?
The main features of the motherboard are as follows:
- USB3 Boost support
- USB Bios Flashback
- Dual Intel Gigabit Nics featuring iNetwork Control Packet Priority
- 4 way SLI and 4 way Crossfire support via a new PLX Gen 3 switch
- Dual Band Wifi with BT 4.0 featuring WiFi Go! Software Suite ( for DLNA Streaming/Serving, Easy file transfer to android/iOS devices and remote desktop functionality )
- Onboard MSATA support with 32GB MSATA SSD
- Digi+ VRM with 3 way Digital power design ( CPU/VRM – DRAM – iGPU )
- 9 SATA Ports
- 6 4 Pin PWM Fan Headers featuring Fan Xpert 2 Fan Technology ( for advanced control in UEFI and OS as well as automatic fan calibration )
The feature which sticks out to me the most is the 32 GB mSATA SSD allegedly packaged with the motherboard. That would certainly be nothing to sneer at. Judging by the photos provided by Asus the flash cells appear to be produced by Toshiba.
Want to see half of a pegasus flashing?
Also visible on the MSATA drive is a chip produced by Nanya which is commonly known for producing RAM. I am, however, not Al and as such will not speculate further about the SSD -- except that my guess is the chip is probably cache. So unfortunately, I do not know which controller it will utilize.
The other feature which catches my eye is the support for 4-way SLi or Crossfire. Not much else to say about that except that knowing somewhere out there someone will be gaming with four GTX 680s and there better be more than a single 60hz 1080p monitor.
Subject: Graphics Cards | April 25, 2012 - 05:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, P8P67 WS Revolution, sli, crossfilre, triple sli, tri-fire
[H]ard|OCP has assembled a review of the two best GPUs on the planet, in triplicate. It got off to a rough start as there is a serious issue with the last several Catalyst drivers, preventing you from using EyeFinity on Tri-Fire systems so they needed to revert to the release candidate that appeared back in January. The NVIDIA machine was easier to configure, once they realized that for triple surround they had to stay to one monitor per card. The PCIe lanes were provided by the ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution, which allowed these cards to really show off their stuff. Make sure you check out the power consumption page, you may be very surprised at how little power the GTX680s needed to run.
"What do you get when you install three GeForce GTX 680 cards for 3-Way SLI and then three Radeon HD 7970 cards for Tri-Fire? You get insanely fast gaming performance and a gameplay experience that begs to be compared delivered by both. We find out which multi-display configuration is better for gaming in Eyefinity and NV Surround."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- ASUS GeForce GTX 680 Direct CU II 2 GB @ techPowerUp
- ASUS GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP @ Guru of 3D
- MSI GeForce GTX 680 TwinFrozr III OC @ Guru of 3D
- Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Cards in SLI @ Tweaktown
- Palit JetStream GeForce GTX 680 4GB @ Tweaktown
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 "Kepler" On Linux @ Phoronix
- NVIDIA Adaptive VSync Technology @ [H]ard|OCP
- Workstation Graphics Card Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- AMD Versus Intel Integrated Graphics w/ Ivy Bridge @ Legit Reviews
- HIS HD7770 iCooler 1GB @ Overclockers Online
- AMD Fusion On Gallium3D Leaves A Lot To Be Desired @ Phoronix
- PowerColor Radeon HD 7850 2GB Review @ circuitREMIX
- HIS Radeon HD7870 IceQ @ XSReviews
- Gigabyte HD 7950 WindForce 3X & MSI HD 7950 Twin Frozr III Review @ Hardware Canucks
- MSI Radeon HD 7770 Power Edition 1GB @ Tweaktown
- MSI Radeon HD 7870 2GB TwinFrozr @ Tweaktown
- Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 2GB OC Edition @ Tweaktown
- AMD Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition and Radeon HD 7750 @ X-bit Labs
- MSI Radeon HD 7970 Lightning 3 GB @ techPowerUp
- PowerColor PCS+ Radeon HD 7970 3GB VORTEX II @ Tweaktown
Subject: Motherboards | April 24, 2012 - 02:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, Sabertooth Z77, panther point, tuf
Now that so much of the functionality that used to be on the motherboard is now handled by the CPU, for instance the memory controller, motherboard releases are not what they used to be. Motherboard manufacturers have come to terms with this and now it is extra features such as distinctive heatsinks, large amounts of extra ports and other addons that distinguish one board from another. For instance the ASUS Sabertooth Z77 is a member of their TUF series which means that solid electrolytic capacitors and alloy chokes are used on the board and that it has gone through rigorous testing that goes far beyond electrical verification and includes physical abuse. As you can see below it also sports a protective shroud over the majority of the components. See how well it performs and what extras ASUS included on this board at [H]ard|OCP.
"ASUS brings us another gem in the form of the Sabertooth Z77. It is one of the first in a new generation of Z77 Express chipset based motherboards which many will no doubt consider when Intel’s next generation Ivy Bridge processors drop soon. The beauty of it is, being LGA 1155, Sandy Bridge will work just fine, if not downright well."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Gigabyte Z77X-D3H @ Guru of 3D
- Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H @ LanOC Reviews
- ASUS Z77 Motherboard Reviews @Hi Tech Legion
- Intel DZ77GA-70K Motherboard Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- MSI Z77A-GD55 Motherboard Review @Hi Tech Legion
- Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H Motherboard Review @Hi Tech Legion
- ASUS, BIOSTAR, GIGABYTE, and MSI Intel Z77 Motherboard Round Up @ Legit Reviews
- Gigabyte Z77ZX-UD3H Preview @ LanOC Reviews
- ASRock Z77 Extreme6 Motherboard w/ Intel i7-3770K @ Kitguru
- Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H @ OC3D
- ASRock Z77 Extreme6 @ Funky Kit
- Intel DZ77GA-70K @ LanOC Reviews
- Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H (Z77) Motherboard Ivy Bridge Review @ eTeknix
- Asus Maximus Gene V preview @ LanOC Reviews
- Gigabyte Z77M-D3H Motherboard Sandy Bridge Review @ eTeknix
- Intel DZ77GA-70K Motherboard Photo Gallery @ Kitguru
- Intel Z77 Motherboard Round-up: Asrock, ECS, Gigabyte & Intel @ Techspot
- Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H Intel Z77 Motherboard Review @ PCSTATS
- BIOS Option Of The Week - Bank Swizzle Mode @ TechARP
- Asus Rampage IV Extreme Motherboard Review @ Ninjalane
Subject: Motherboards, Processors, Chipsets | April 23, 2012 - 12:05 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Z77, Ivy Bridge, Intel, asus, 3770k
Last week our good friends at ASUS stopped by the PC Perspective offices to bring along their entire new lineup of Z77 motherboards and show off the changes and new features being offered. At the time, there we were something we couldn't show you including our overclocking demonstration as it was using the brand new Intel Ivy Bridge processor. Not only can we now show you that but we have broken up the demo portion of the video in quicker, bite-sized segments.
JJ Guerrero shows us the basics of overclocking Ivy Bridge both from the updated UEFI and the AI Suite II software.
WiDi on the Desktop
Did you know that desktop PCs using the correct Intel wireless controllers will be able to support Wireless Display technology?
Get notified when we go live!