If you are going to get a discreet sound card then go all out with the ASUS Xonar Xense kit

Subject: General Tech | June 27, 2011 - 12:55 PM |
Tagged: xonar, xense, audio, asus

The ASUS Xonar Xense Premium Gaming Audio Set is more than just a soundcard you pick up to take a bit of load off of your CPU, it is an audiophile class sound card with replacable op-amps.  The list of supported technology reads like a sound techs dream, Dolby Headphone, Dolby Prologic IIx, Dolby Digital Live, Xonar GX2.5 and ASIO 2.0. and it can process up to 192kHz/24bit bit stream.  There is nothing minimalist about the software controls that come with the card, you have significantly more control over your audio than with just about any other sound card and the screenshots that Think Computers posted show a fairly intuitive interface.  The only potential drawback is the Sennheiser PC350 Xense headset that the card ships with, which Think Computers was not overly impressed with. 

TC_Xense.jpg

"When you first see the ASUS Xonar Xense’s EMI shield, you get a sense that this isn’t anordinary soundcard. The non-ironic conclusion is, you’re right. ASUS has put together another great soundcard and bundled it with a great pair of headphones, the Sennheiser PC350 Xense Edition. The Xonar Xense offers a myriad of inputs and outputs, and can chug out high definition audio up to 192kHz/24bit without breaking a sweat. It easily is one of the coolest pieces of hardware you can add to your rig. Need more convincing? Continue reading to check out all of the details of the ASUS Xonar Xense."

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Audio Corner

More fun with AMD's new 990FX chipset

Subject: Motherboards | June 27, 2011 - 12:08 PM |
Tagged: Sabertooth, asus, amd, 990fx

The ASUS Sabertooth 990FX is not a ROG board as you might expect, instead it bears a logo describing it as a member of "THE ULTIMATE FORCE" aka TUF.  This AM3+ board still features some serious extras, from TUF components and MemOK as well as DIGI+ VRM which denotes an 8+2 power phases on the board and the ability to run 2 of it's 3 PCIe slots at a full 16x simultaneously.  Legit Reviews used the Phenom II X6 1100T BE to power the system during their testing as we are still awaiting the release of the AM3+ CPUs from AMD.  From their testing this $200 board takes top spot, USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbp/s performance were significantly ahead of the 890FX board they compared the Sabertooth to, making this a worthy upgrade for AMD users.

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"ASUS hit the mark with the Sabertooth 990FX! The Sabertooth 990FX was able to dig its teeth into everything we threw at it and be the dominant force in the charts! If you're in the market for a motherboard the ASUS Sabertooth 990FX should be at the top of your short list..."

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Motherboards

Asus Announces New Feature Rich F1A75 Motherboard Series For Llano APUs

Subject: Motherboards | June 24, 2011 - 11:27 AM |
Tagged: llano, cpu, asus, APU, amd

Asus today launched a new AMD focused F1A75 motherboard series, which the company claims is designed to optimize the performance of AMD’s Llano APUs. Equipped with such Asus features as Dual Intelligent Processors 2 (DIP2), DIGI+ Voltage Regulator Modules, auto-overclocking features, and a UEFI BIOS the new motherboards are packed with features and ready to be paired with a socket FM1 AMD processor thanks to the A75 chipset.  

The most noticeable end-user feature in the new motherboard series will be the UEFI BIOS which does away with the old-school DOS look in favor of a sleek graphical interface that can be navigated via a touchscreen or a mouse (in addition to the obligatory keyboard input).  Further, beyond the EZ mode and auto-tuning functions, it will allow overclockers to enter an Advanced mode to tweak their settings to get the highest overclock possible, and then save screen captures to a thumb drive by pressing the F12 key.

More specifically, the F1A75-V EVO model features the FM1 processor socket as well as two PCI-Express x8 slots for CrossFireX support in addition to native support for USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps standards.

The new boards should be available shortly at your favorite retailer(s).  Be sure to stay tuned to PC Perspective for Llano desktop APU benchmarks.

Source: Asus

A powerful and relatively inexpensive P67 board from ASUS, meet the P8P67 vanilla edition

Subject: Motherboards | June 17, 2011 - 11:58 AM |
Tagged: p67, asus, sandy bridge

[H]ard|OCP just finished reviewing the ASUS P8P67 Rev. 3 board, a fairly plain Sandy Bridge board that still manages to include a great mix of features.  The price of $160 demonstrates that this is by no means a high end SandyBridge board but looking at the feature set it self it is hard to tell.  ASUS included a UEFI BIOS, Bluetooth, four USB 3 ports and four SATA 6GB/s ports which match the offerings of higher end boards.  It is the slots where you will notice at least some deficits such as the single full speed PCIe 16x slot, the other runs a 4x.  Those who do not overclock might encounter a nice surprise, it seems ASUS is up to its old tricks with Intel's Turbo Mode.  Where once ASUS tended to bump the FSB 1MHz or more above the stated speed, it looks as if ASUS bumps the Turbo Mode speed up a bit on Sandy Bridge CPUs.

H_P8P67.jpg

"ASUS' P67 chipset product portfolio can get fairly confusing at times with the slew of "P8P67" models. This time we are taking a look at the "vanilla" P8P67. Though you could say its vanilla with a lot of twists as this board offers a "B3" stepping version of the supporting chipset and sports a very solid feature set for "vanilla.""

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Motherboards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Can ASUS' new ASUS P6X58-E WS Workstation board make it in a gaming machine

Subject: Motherboards | June 13, 2011 - 02:29 PM |
Tagged: asus, P6X58-E WS, X58, NF200

With the rise of SandyBridge in the enthusiast market, it seems that motherboard vendors are keeping the X58 chipest alive with server and workstation boards.  Ryan just wrapped up a review of Intel's own Extreme Series DX58SO2 board, which could have gone better for both parties.  [H]ard|OCP picked a different board altogether, the ASUS P6X58-E WS, which sports not only the X58 chipset but also th NF200 bridge chip which helps bring the total count of PCIe x16 slots to five.  The BIOS is the old AMI style, so put down that 3TB drive, you can pump up your storage with the outstanding RAID choices if you wish.  Really the only issue [H] had with the board was its form factor; with that many PCIe slots an eATX sized board seemed more appropriate to them.

H_asus_P6X58-EWS.jpg

"ASUS' X58 member of its Workstation line of motherboards, the P6X58-E WS motherboard, looks to offer an appealing mix of features and functions. With its use of both the Intel X58 and NVIDIA NF200 chipsets, the board offers the potential for unparalleled gaming performance."

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Motherboards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

When the world's largest motherboard maker says your time is come, you'd best pay attention

Subject: General Tech | June 10, 2011 - 08:43 AM |
Tagged: wintel, ubiquitous computing, asus

ASUS is currently the largest motherboard manuacturer on the planet, almost single handedly started the netbook craze and is now working on moving up in the rankings of those companies making tablets and full sized notebooks.  So when the chairman of Asustek states that the Wintel era is over, both Microsoft and Intel had better pay attention.  Some of us remember the good old days when Cyrix and AMD first started making inroads on Intel's market share and it seemed that the CPU market was going to open wide up.  That might not have happened in the way some hoped but we are now seeing a second renaissance, the market is expanding not just beyond Intel and AMD but beyond the chip architecture that has been dominant for so long. 

They might not be making motherboards for ARM processors in the near future but from what DigiTimes discovered they are likely to start selling products that have non x86 based products in the very near future.

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"The so-called Wintel era is over with no CPU or OS vendors to be able to dominate the PC, tablet PC or handset markets as they did before, according to Asustek chairman Jonney Shih. The breakup of the Wintel alliance offers a brand new opportunity for system vendors to thrive again in the IT market, Shih said.

Shih pointed out that system vendors, which have innovations in design, capabilities in technology R&D, and are closer to the market, will be able to achieve success in the new IT era. Asustek is currently learning from vendors such as Apple and Sony, and is aiming to own a market position within the new IT era, in which the boundaries between the notebook, tablet PC and handset markets are already turning blurry.

Although the rise of tablet PCs is expected to provide system vendors opportunities, it may also significantly reshuffle the ranking of the whole IT market.

Commenting on Acer's recent downward performance, Shih pointed out that Asustek already improved its inventory management system after experiencing the financial crisis in the fourth quarter of 2008, and its retail channel partners all have healthy inventory levels. Asustek is currently checking its downstream partners' inventory levels every Thursday to ensure their supply management.

For the future, company president and CEO Jerry Shen estimates that the company's third quarter performance will be stronger than the second with the IT market in 2011 to return to its usual pattern of having stronger sales in the second half than the first."

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Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

ASUS does thin and light right: UX21 and X101 Photos

Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | June 4, 2011 - 09:19 PM |
Tagged: x101, ux01, notebook, laptop, computex, asus

ASUS had a lot of new and innovative products on display at Computex, but maybe none as interesting as these two notebooks.  The UX21 was the flagship product for Intel's new "Ultrabook" category and while we have already posted about it earlier, I thought these new photos would be worth sharing.

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The UX21 is an ultra-thin 1.7cm at its widest and weighs only 1.1 Kg fully loaded.  It will include the ASUS "Instant On" technology, resuming the system in just 5 seconds and is claimed as the first notebooks with a SATA 6G SSD.  

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Sporting a new ULV Sandy Bridge Core i7 processor, this system won't skimp on performance either if it lives up to its claims.  

More photos and information after the break!!

Source: ASUS

Podcast #157 - OCZ Agility 3 SSD, Lucid Virtu Universal, new ROG Motherboards and more from Computex 2011!

Subject: General Tech | June 2, 2011 - 02:55 AM |
Tagged: ssd, ROG, podcast, ocz, msi, asus

PC Perspective Podcast #157- 6/02/2011

This week we talk about the OCZ Agility 3 SSD, Lucid Virtu Universal, new Asus ROG Motherboards and GTX580s, and more from Computex 2011!

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, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 56:49

Program Schedule:

 

Source: PCPer

ASUS Danshui Bay Motherboard Combines LGA1366 and Socket 2011

Subject: Motherboards, Processors | June 1, 2011 - 06:40 PM |
Tagged: socket 2011, lga1366, danshui bay, asus

At their Republic of Gamers press conference ASUS showed off a prototype concept motherboard that really got some attention.  The board combines an LGA1366 processor socket for current generation Nehalem processors AND a socket for the upcoming Sandy Bridge-E processors called Socket 2011.  What does a beast like this look like?

 

asusdanshui01.jpg

Okay, so this board probably won't fit in your case and maybe won't even see the light of day outside a few reviews and interesting designs.  But the concept is cool to see: use your LGA1366 processor today and still be able to upgrade to the Socket 2011 platform when those CPUs are released.  You can see each processor has its own seperate memory slots though they share most of the other components. 

The price of this board will also likely make it less than appealing to consumers; even those conscious of upgrade paths. 

Computex 2011 Coverage brought to you by MSI Computer and Antec

Source: ASUS
Author:
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: AMD

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.

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 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).