Subject: Motherboards | November 14, 2011 - 04:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: X79A-GD65 (8D), X79-UD5, x79, P8X79 PRO, msi, lga2011, Intel, gigabyte, DX79SI, asus
If you want to run a Sandy Bridge E chip, you are going to need a new motherboard as they use a brand new socket. The upgrade isn't just about the socket though, as there is a noticeable increase in PCIe 3.0 lanes possible on the X79 chipset as well quad channel memory. At The Tech Report is a look at motherboards from four major vendors, the Asus P8X79 PRO, Gigabyte X79-UD5, Intel DX79SI, and the MSI X79A-GD65 (8D). Unfortunately Intel is plagued by issues with storage, while not the same as we saw in their previous chipset the port count is still lower than we expected and the RAID software is still labelled as a beta product. Indeed by the end of the review it seems that each board did at least one thing to disappoint The Tech Report, though they hold hope for future revisions.
"If you want to get in on Intel's new Sandy Bridge-E CPU, you'll need an LGA2011 motherboard. We've gathered four examples from Asus, Gigabyte, Intel, and MSI to see which one makes the best foundation for an Extreme Sandy build."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Sandy Bridge-E and X79 – The ASUS P9X79 PRO @ AnandTech
- ASUS Sabertooth X79 Motherboard Review @Hi Tech Legion
- Intel DX79SI Extreme Series Socket LGA 2011 Motherboard Review @Hi Tech Legion
- ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Motherboard Review @Hi Tech Legion
- Gigabye GA-X79-UD5 @ OC3D
- ASUS Sabertooth X79 TUF Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- ASUS P9X79 Deluxe Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- ASUS Rampage IV Extreme @ Tweaktown
- Intel DX79SI LGA2011 Desktop Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- ASUS Rampage 4 Extreme @ OC3D
- ASUS P9X79 Pro Intel X79 Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews
- Gigabyte X79 UD7 OC Motherboard Preview @ Ninjalane
- ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Intel Z68 Motherboard Review @ ThinkComputers
- BIOS Option Of The Week - CPU On-Die Termination @ TechARP
- ASUS M5A97 Evo (AMD 970) @ Tweaktown
- MSI 990FXA GD-80 Review @ OCC
- Five Years with Bulldozer: Asus Sabertooth 990FX @ X-bit Labs
Subject: Motherboards | November 14, 2011 - 12:59 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, x79, p9x79 deluxe, P9X79 PRO, P9X79, P9X79 WS, TUF SABERTOOTH X79, ROG Rampage IV Extreme
Fremont, CA (November 14, 2011) - ASUS, maker of the world’s best-selling and most innovative motherboards, is excited to release a wide range of new X79 motherboards. All feature the new Intel® X79 Express Chipset, with support for 2nd generation Core™ i7 processors in the new LGA 2011 Socket. The complete lineup includes P9X79 Series motherboards with total performance tuning and control, the enthusiast-centric ROG Rampage IV Extreme, the ultra-reliable TUF SABERTOOTH X79, and the professional P9X79 WorkStation Series supporting NVIDIA® 4-way SLI™ and AMD CrossFireX™.
All motherboards feature ASUS Dual Intelligent Processor 3 technology with the latest ASUS DIGI+ Power Control design providing three digital voltage controllers onboard, one for the CPU and two for DRAM. ASUS’ class-leading Digital Power designs result in better performance, greater stability, and enhanced overclocking for all users. All of the new motherboards ship with multi-GPU support, PCI Express 3.0 capabilities*, exclusive ASUS UEFI and up to 64GB of quad-channel DDR3 support via 8-DIMM slots.
P9X79 Series: The ideal choice for unmatched features and user-friendly innovation
ASUS has developed the best power, system, and BIOS tuning options available for users to ensure an optimized computing experience on the new P9X79 Deluxe, P9X79 Pro, and P9X79 motherboards. Each feature ASUS’ new DIGI+ Power Control and DIGI+ Memory voltage options that allow users to reach higher processor and DRAM overclocks with the upmost stability and reliability.
An 8-DIMM quad-channel design supports up to 64GB of DDR3 memory that takes full advantage of 64-bit applications. Additional memory capacity assists with intensive data, image, and video processing applications while users can also set up large RAM disks to greatly accelerate system performance. ASUS SSD Caching is extremely user-friendly with one-click speedup functionality that combines solid state drive speeds with mechanical hard drive capacities, providing up to three times faster storage performance.
The ASUS UEFI BIOS has won media and user acclaim for its intuitive and easy GUI interaction. The latest version has been upgraded with the industry first F12 BIOS snapshot hotkey, the F3 system info shortcut, and DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect), which offers advanced support for memory troubleshooting. USB BIOS Flashback enables true plug and play UEFI flashing with any USB storage device. It works even without powering up the PC, using only standby power without a CPU, Video card or memory installed. Optional BT GO 3.0! consists of an onboard Bluetooth v3.0 +HS module that offers wireless 802.11n support, adding instant access point detection and setup for Wi-Fi everywhere.
The exclusive ASUS BT suite includes several special functions, allowing users to easily sync and transfer files between PC and mobile devices, and even use smartphones to overclock or monitor their PC. ASUS USB 3.0 Boost adds new UASP support to accelerate USB 3.0 performance by almost three times over standard protocols with supported devices.
ROG Rampage IV Extreme: The best choice for gamers and enthusiasts
The Rampage IV Extreme supports 4-way NVIDIA® SLI™ and AMD CrossFireX™ and is designed to empower overclockers to reach new records while also offering the absolute best gaming performance and stability. It comes loaded with overclocking features well-suited to competitive benchmarking. Exclusive ROG X-Socket™ means LGA 1366 based CPU coolers and LN2 containers can be used as-is with the new board. OC Key™ is an ROG-designed device that connects to the DVI port of any graphics card to display performance and overclocking info on the screen independent of system resources. Users can make changes with no additional software, and without slowing their PC down.
For enhanced and modified cooling, ROG has developed Subzero Sense™, which detects cooling system temperatures as low as -193ﾟC. ROG Extreme Engine Digi+ II and specially sourced high-grade capacitors ensure long lasting and high-endurance power delivery demanded by gamers and competitive overclockers. The Rampage IV Extreme comes bundled with the hit game Battlefield 3™ from EA and DICE, which uses the Frostbite 2 engine to showcase the latest in DirectX® 11 technology and graphics effects.
TUF SABERTOOTH X79: The reliability choice for rugged engineering and long-life
The new TUF SABERTOOTH X79 ships with an intelligent thermal design, military grade-tested TUF components, and exclusive cooling features for enhanced system stability under the harshest conditions. TUF Thermal Armor with dual fans expands cooling and precise airflow for more effective heat dissipation, improving system reliability and performance. TUF Thermal Radar monitors real-time temps via 12 sensors in strategic locations on the board, automatically adjusting fan speeds to maintain extended stability and prevent overheating. Military-grade TUF components include capacitors, chokes, and MOSFETs. Their heat and stress tolerance allows ASUS to offer an exclusive 5-year warranty on the SABERTOOTH X79. Additionally, the new model includes the new DIGI+ Power Control design and UEFI, giving it the same precision, performance, and user friendly options offered by the P9X79 Series.
The ideal professional choice for multi-GPU expandability Enhanced features and absolute stability is required from professional users and the P9X79 WS delivers, beginning with NVIDIA® 4-way SLI™ and AMD CrossFireX™ and dual hardware-accelerated Intel® LAN ports, which reduces CPU utilization for netcode processing by up to 71%. The P9X79 Work Station supports both Intel® Core™ i7 processors and the upcoming workstation-specific Xeon® family, and maintains compatibility with multiple memory, operating system, and RAID card selections. ASUS SSD Caching and USB BIOS Flashback are included along with ASUS’ DIGI+ Power Control design and award winning UEFI.
Subject: Motherboards | November 14, 2011 - 02:51 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: x79, video, msi, Intel, gigabyte, asus
I am sure by now you have been reading our review of the new Sandy Bridge-E processors, in particular the Core i7-3960X, but we only had a brief mention of the various X79 motherboards we had in-house in that article. (Which if you haven't read yet, you definitely should!)
Over the course of the last 14 days or so, we have seen and played with:
- ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
- ASUS Sabertooth X79
- ASUS P9X79 Pro
- MSI X79A-GD65 8D
- Gigabyte X79-UD3
- Intel DX79SI
We will have reviews of all of these boards in the coming days, but I wanted to at least make sure you saw each of these motherboards in our video roundup and preview.
Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more on the X79 platform and Sandy Bridge-E!!
Subject: Processors | November 12, 2011 - 06:50 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Sandy Bridge E, microcenter, Intel, ddr3, core i7, asus
Sandy Bridge-E is almost upon us, and enthusiasts are no doubt salivating over the shiny new motherboards, quad channel memory, and PCI-E bandwidth that these chips offer. Naturally, there are bound to be price and information leaks as the launch date gets closer whether it is due to a PR move by Intel or a leak by a person or company on down the line. One such leak came to our attention recently via a leaked company bulletin. Microcenter, a US based computer electronics store has leaked the prices of some of the upcoming Sandy Bride-E processors.
While Sandy Bridge-E will not officially launch until the 14 of this month,Microcenter is already busy preparing for the launch by setting prices and organizing promotions. One such promotion has come to our attention recently, and involves two SB-E CPUs and a slew of supporting motherboards. The two processors in question are the Intel Core i7 3930K and the Core i7 3960X. The i7 3930K will be sold at $649.99 USD while the Extreme edition i7 3960X part will go for 1,149.99 USD. These prices are limited to one per customer and are in-store deals only. While the prices are a bit higher than expected, the retailer is trying to sweeten the deal by bundling a "free" Corsair H80 sealed loop water cooler with the purchase of any one of the Sandy Bridge-E CPUs. While the free H80's price is likely built into the processor's mark-up, it's at least a decent cooler (HardOCP has a review of the water cooler here). Whether it will be beneficial will depend on the user's existing cooler and whether it will be compatible/upgradeable to socket 2011.
The company will also have a "limited stock" of X79 motherboards available at launch, with more stock to become available in the coming weeks after launch. Throughout all Microcenter stores, the following motherboards will be available at the following prices.
- ASUS P9X79 PRO 2011 ATX $339.99
- ASUS Sabertooth PX79 2011 ATX $349.99
- ASUS P9X79 Deluxe 2011 ATX $389.99
Asus must be a crowd favorite over at Microcenter!
A bulletin containing the Microcenter leak ended with a positive note in stating "this launch should provide a tremendous opportunity for some very high end BYO builds for the most extreme enthusiast customer who is wanting the absolute latest and greatest from Intel!" Will you be hitting up a Microcenter at launch to get your Sandy Bridge-E on?
Subject: General Tech | November 10, 2011 - 12:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ultrabook, Intel, asus, acer
Ah, the Ultrabook; Intel's attempt to meet Apple on its own territory and playing by Apple's established rules. Since there has been so much news and speculation about the new ultramobile platform from Intel some of the information we have been given has degraded into noise. The original run was very limited, with about 50,000 units ordered by the major manufactures like ASUS. There seems to have been a second order placed with a much more respectable quarter million units requested by ASUS and Acer, though we don't know about the other players. However with the products launch resembling an attempt at flight by an under-powered, yet aerodynamically shaped chunk of metal these numbers have been reduced to under 200,000. DigiTimes predicts that this time next year the Ultrabook might be significantly more attractive, not just because of Ivy Bridge but also because of the release of Windows 8 which seems almost custom built for the Ultrabook.
"Asustek Computer and Acer have recently reduced their ultrabook orders from 250,000-300,000 units originally to 150,000-180,000 units by the end of 2011 due to the unsatisfactory sales during the initial month after their launch, according to sources from upstream ODMs.
Currently, Asustek is offering four Zenbook series ultrabook models in the retail channel, priced between NT$36,000-49,000 (US$1,194-1,625), while Acer is competing with its S3 series models with prices at NT$31,500-42,000. Because global notebook demand still has not yet seen any recovery, ultrabooks, which have a rather higher price range compared to mainstream models, did not see as strong sales as expected, causing Acer and Asustek to both drop their product orders by 40%."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft releases fix for Applocker bypass flaw @ The Register
- Intel’s Haswell chip will use a new socket @ The Inquirer
- Tegra 3 missed performance goals by wide margins @ SemiAccurate
- AMD reacts to Kepler news, 7000 series prepped and priced @ SemiAccurate
- A Quick Tour Of Oracle Solaris 11 @ Phoronix
- Real World Labs And OWC Joint Contest - 4 Days Left
- Contest: What Does Your Office Look Like? @ Computing on Demand
- Win a new DS212j NAS System with Synology and Kitguru
900 Series: Bulldozer Ready
The rumor on the street is that Asus makes a few motherboards. They may or may not be the world’s leading motherboard manufacturer. Asus may also have a pretty good reputation for quality and innovation in their products. It is tongue in cheek hour at PC Perspective. All joking aside, Asus anymore is the gold standard for quality manufacturing and design in motherboards.
Some months ago AMD released their AM3+ capable chipsets, though the release was not nearly as exciting as we had hoped. The AMD 900 series of chipsets are essentially the same silicon as those that power the non-integrated AMD 800 series. There are three SKUs that are currently available for the 900 series that Asus makes motherboards around.
Subject: General Tech | November 9, 2011 - 12:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, gigabyte, ECS, asrock, msi, market share
With HDD shortages come a reduced demand for most PC components as shipping a system without a hard drive tends to be frowned upon. This will be hitting motherboard makers fairly hard over the last quarter of 2011. DigiTimes reports an estimated 20% drop for Gigabyte; MSI, ECS and ASRock are expecting around a 10% decrease and ASUS projects somewhere in the neighbourhood of 5-10%. We can certainly hope that there will be discounts offered in the attempt to focus on upgraders. A nice price on some of the new motherboards that have just come onto the market might draw the attention of those who already have a fully functional PC but are considering a possible hardware refresh.
"Motherboard makers have been impacted by HDD shortages arising from flooding in Thailand since mid-October, and are expected to see their fourth-quarter shipments decrease 10-15% on quarter, according to industry sources.
Gigabyte Technology may see shipments falling 20-25% from five million in the third quarter to below four million in the fourth."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Looking at AMD amid layoffs and new directions @ SemiAccurate
- Adobe Abandons Mobile Flash: Report @ Wired
- Mozilla updates to Firefox 8, disables add-ons @ The Register
- Case Modding with Aquatuning Review @ XSReviews
Subject: Mobile | November 9, 2011 - 01:00 AM | Matt Smith
Tagged: tegra 3, tegra, tablet, quad-core, kal-el, eee pad, asus, Android
ASUS Eee Pad Prime
Rumors have been swirling around the ASUS Prime tablet and dock, successors to the popular ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, for months. Today, many of those rumors can rest, as ASUS has taken the wraps off the tablet's official specifications.
The big story for enthusiasts is the tablet’s NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor. Provided that the product makes its anticipated December release (the exact date has yet to be announced), this will be the first tablet to hit the market with Tegra 3 as well as the first Android tablet to sport a quad-core. You can read some more details that Ryan discussed about Tegra 3 and its five (5?!?) cores, by checking out this post from September.
NVIDIA Kal-El / Tegra 3 Processor
As the follow-up to the Transformer, the Prime offers many of the same features including the keyboard dock. However, the Prime is improved across the board. The tablet is just 8.3 millimeters thin, making it the thinnest tablet on the market (the next thinnest is the 8.6mm Galaxy Tab 10.1, while the iPad 2 is 8.8mm). Weight has been reduced to 586 grams (1.29 lbs), down from 680. The rear-facing camera now sports an 8MP sensor, the battery in both the tablet and the optional dock is slightly larger, and base storage is now 32GB, with a 64GB model available as an optional upgrade. Even the display has been improved via a new brightness enhancement function that promises to make the tablet easier to use in sunlight.
Even the design has been upgraded. Unlike the Transformer, which has a plastic back, the Prime has a “spun metallic” finish. It will be available in amethyst gray and champagne gold.
The battery tests from ASUS put the Prime at 12 hours of life on its own and 18 hours with the keyboard dock while playing back 720p video with all ports enabled and the screen brightness at 60 nits.
Despite all of these improvements, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer will not be going away. In fact, it will be remaining at its current price. Instead, the Prime is entering the market as a “premium” product built to compete directly with the iPad 2 and Galaxy Tab 10.1. The base Prime model with 32GBs of storage is $499, while the 64GB model is $599. As with the original, purchasing the optional keyboard dock will set you back another $149.
ASUS claims that the Prime will in fact ship with Android 3.2 in its initial release with an over-the-air updated to 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) as soon as it has been "optimized, tested and approved". They weren't willing to put a date or time frame on that release but they are planning on using the 4.0 OS revision at the launch event coming in December; that seems to indicate to us we may have it in time for CES in January 2012.
When PC Perspective reviewed the Transformer, I called it “the best Android tablet on the market today.” The thinner, lighter, more powerful Prime should be a significant improvement to an already excellent product. My only concerns were with the dock itself, which was sometimes finicky and added a fair amount of bulk. It’ll be interesting to see if the Prime can address those concerns.
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 8, 2011 - 06:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, ROG MARS II Limited Edition
If you can find an ASUS ROG MARS II Limited Edition card for sale, without having to buy the whole system that is, you would have a pair of GTX580 class GPUs on a single PCB. That is hard, but not [H]ard enough for a certain hardware review site. They decided that the only way to satisfy their overwhelming graphics lust was to get two cards, giving them the power of quad SLI in just two cards. That might seem a little greedy when only 999 of these cards were produced but there is only one way to utter graphical domination ... until you realize the competition is a pair of HD6990s. Either way you will be seeing over 70fps in Battlefield 3 at a resolution of 5760x1200. You will need more than a 1000W PSU to run stable but you will be able to laugh at those poor GTX590 owners.
"The ASUS ROG MARS II Limited Edition video card brings true dual-GeForce GTX 580 GPUs to the table. Take two of these and you can have a true GTX 580 Quad-SLI system. We'll dive into performance, including Battlefield 3, and see what these can do directly compared to 4-way CrossFireX."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win @ Guru of 3D
- EVGA's GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win: The Raw Power Of Two GPUs @ AnandTech
- EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2 WIN 2GB DirectX11 Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion
- ASUS ENGTX570 DirectCU II Video Card Review @ Legit Reviews
- EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 2Win Dual GPU Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Sparkle X560 Ti DF Calibre @ OC3D
- Mobile GPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- HIS Radeon HD 6950 IceQ X PLUS Edition @ Guru of 3D
- ASUS Radeon HD 6770 DirectCU Silent @ Guru of 3D
- Sapphire HD6970 2048MB @ kitguru
Subject: Motherboards | November 3, 2011 - 04:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: p67 b3, asus, P8P67 EVO Rev 3.0
If you are looking to build a low cost machine using the P67 chipset you could do worse than choosing the ASUS P8P67 EVO Rev 3.0 board. Three PCI-Express x16 slots, a pair of PCI-Express x1 slots, and 2 PCI slots flesh out the board and ASUS has designed the layout in such a way that even with a graphics card in the PCIe 16x slot you will still be able to use both PCIe 1x slots. Surprising for a sub-$200 board you get a MemOK button and an EPU switch for low power operation, features that are much more common on a higher end board. [H]ard|OCP paired it with an Intel 2500K and were very impressed with the maturity this chipset displayed, great overclocking, rock solid stability and a very nice component layout all worked together to win a Silver Award.
"Through the P8P67 EVO, ASUS brings a board to the table that raises the bar on its other offerings. Not only does this motherboard perform like a champ, it is packed to the gills with features and integrated functionalities. At less than $165 after MIR, it shows to be a solid value."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASUS Rampage IV Extreme @ OC3D
- Asus Sabertooth X79 Motherboard Preview @ eTeknix
- ASUS Rampage III Black Edition X58 Motherboard @ Pro-Clockers
- ASUS P9X79 Pro @ OC3D
- ASUS X79 Motherboard Preview @ Techgage
- EVGA Z68 FTW Motherboard Review @ Ninjalane
- MSI Z68A-GD80 Revision G3 Review @ OCC
- Upgrading From Intel P55 w/ Lynnfield to Intel Z68 w/ Sandy Bridge @ Legit Reviews
- BIOS Option Of The Week - Split Lock Operations @ TechARP
- MSI 990FXA-GD80 @ iXBT Labs
- ASUS M5A97 EVO, ASUS M5A99X EVO @ iXBT Labs
- ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional @ Tweaktown