Subject: Motherboards | January 9, 2013 - 08:21 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: msi, fm2, ces 2013, CES, atx, APU, a85xma-e35
MSI has launched another micro ATX motherboard for AMD APUs using the FM2 socket called the A85XMA-E35. Measuring 24.4 x 22.8 cm, the motherboard packs a number of MSI technologies including the company’s ClickBIOS II UEFI BIOS and OC Genie II auto-overclocking software.
The micro ATX board features the FM2 socket, two DDR3 DIMM slots (16GB max), six SATA 6 Gbps ports, the Realtek ALC887 audio chip, a TPM module, PCI slot, two PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots, and a single PCI-E 2.0 x16 expansion slot.
Rear IO on the A85XMA-E35 board includes one PS/2 port, six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, one Gigabit Ethernet port, six analog audio jacks, and VGA, DVI, and HDMI video outputs.
In the end, the A85XMA-E35 board is very similar to the A85XMA-P33 motherboard covered earlier today. MSI has added beefier heatsinks, additional expansion slots, and HDMI output so it should carry a small premium over the other board. MSI has not released official pricing for the board yet, however.
You can find more specifications and photos of the FM2-A85XMA-E35 on company's product page.
Read more about micro ATX motherboards at PC Perspective.
PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 28, 2012 - 01:11 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: white, portable case, case, bitfenix, atx
BitFenix recently announced a new mid-tower computer chassis aimed at gamers and enthusiasts that want a portable PC that easily hosts a full ATX motherboard. Specifically, BitFenix has taken its Survivor case and made an edition clad in white that it has dubbed the Survivor White.
The case features a carrying handle that folds down into the top of the case when not in use, making it easier to carry to LAN parties. It is completely white minus a blue LED-lit BitFenix logo on the front, and features curved edges. There is space for two 200mm fans or three 120mm fans around the case. Also, the new Survivor has three 5.25” expansion bays, holes for passing water cooling tubes though the back panel, a bottom mounted power supply cutout, dust filters, and a hidden IO panel. The front IO includes the power and reset buttons, two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, microphone and headphone jacks, and a single eSATA port. It also has on/off controls for the LED light for the BitFenix logo and for any BitFenix Spectre Pro LED fans (not included).
On the inside of the Survivor-series chassis, you will find a removable hard drive cage, CPU cutout on the motherboard tray, and cable management grommets. The inside of the case is the same white color as the outside, and the hard drive cage features tool-less mounting brackets. These are all things that are coming standard on enthusiast cases these days, but are nice to see nonetheless (especially for the price). With the hard drive cage installed, the case can hold up to seven 2.5” SSDs or six 3.5” hard drives.
BitFenix has stated that the white colored Survivor case will be available at the end of November for $109 USD or 99€ (including 19% VAT).
What do you think about the new Survivor SKU?
Subject: Motherboards | October 31, 2012 - 03:59 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: vishera, phenom, motherboard, ECS, atx, amd, am3, a970m-a deluxe
Elitegroup Computer Systems is on a roll this week for launching motherboards supporting AMD processors. In addition to its mini ITX offerings, the company is launching the A970M-A Deluxe in it’s full gold-clad ATX form factor glory (heh). It offers up support for AMD’s latest FX and Phenom II series processors along with SATA III 6Gbps and USB 3.0 for speedy storage. Unfortunately, there is no PCI-E 3.0. Otherwise, this is a high end motherboard and has the feature set to match.
In typical ECS fashion, the company has outfitted the board with gold colored heatsinks, EZ BIOS, solid capacitors, “Thor Ultra Protection,” a dust shield, and support for up to 140W TDP processors, among other features. The EZ BIOS is actually a uEFI BIOS that allows you to tweak settings using a graphical interface as well as automatic overclocking functionality that can overclock the AMD processor for you (to an extent).
Internal IO and board layout
The board has several gold-colored heatsinks over the VRM and southbridge hardware. Along the top of the board lies the AM3+ CPU socket and four DDR3 DIMM slots. The board supports up to 2133 MHz memory when overclocked and up to 32 GB of RAM (when using 8GB DIMMs). Expansion slots include two PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots, two PCI-E x1 slots, and two legacy PCI slots. The lower-right corner features five SATA III 6Gbps ports – two of which are positioned at right angles to the board. Expansion headers include three fan headers, one COM header, and three USB 2.0 headers (up to 6 additional ports) are also included on the board.
The rear panel IO includes:
- 1 x PS/2 combo port
- 1 x RJ45 port (Realtek 8111E Gigabit LAN Controller)
- 1 x eSATA 6Gbps port
- 2 x USB 3.0 ports
- 8 x USB 2.0 ports
- 5 x Analog audio jacks (4 line out, 1 line in. Realtek ALC892 codec)
- 1 x S/PDIF optical audio output
While we do not yet have US pricing, when converted from the stated RS 9,000 (according to Think Digit)to USD, the board is just under $170. No word yet on stateside availability. You can find more information on the ECS specifcations page.
Subject: Motherboards | October 15, 2012 - 03:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Z77, biostar, Hi-Fi Z77X, lga 1155, htpc, atx
While you might not think of a full ATX board being the basis for an HTPC system, BIOSTAR is hoping that you will consider their Hi-Fi Z77X when you next spec out a possible system. The extra size allows you to have more add-in card options with three 16x PCIe slots (8x, 8x, 4x) and two PCIe 1x slots, which simply would not fit on a mATX board. The back panel offers VGA, HDMI and DVI out, so even without a discrete card you have quite a few output options as long as Intel onboard graphics are enough to meet your needs. They also include a Realtec CODEC which is better than [H]ard|OCP expected on a sub-$150 motherboard and were also impressed by the overclocking ability on this value board, not as good as an enthusiast board but still pleasantly capable.
"BIOSTAR generally has a reputation for making low end or budget oriented motherboards. Fortunately that isn't all BIOSTAR designs and builds. The Hi-Fi Z77X is an unusual motherboard in that it seems to be targeted towards HTPC and media type duties while still addressing enthusiast hardware and overclocking concerns."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Gigabyte Z77X-UP4-TH @ [H]ard|OCP
- ASUS Maximus V Formula @ Bjorn3D
- Gigabyte Z77MX D3H TH @ Guru of 3D
- ASRock Z77 OC Formula @ X-bit Labs
- ASRock Z77 OC Formula Intel LGA 1155 @ techPowerUp
- LGA 1155 Mainboard with Everything You Need and Nothing You Don’t: Asus P8Z77-V LX @ X-bit Labs
- ASRock Z77 OC Formula @ Hardware.info
- MSI Z77A-G43 Socket 1155 Motherboard Review @ Madshrimps
- MSI Z77IA-E53 Mini-ITX @ Kitguru
- MSI Z77 MPower @ Hardware.info
- Biostar Hi-Fi Z77X Intel ATX Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- Gigabyte Z77X-UP4 TH Motherboard Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- ASUS P8Z77-V LE Plus LGA1155 Motherboard Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- BIOS Option Of The Week - Byte Merge @ TechARP
- Sapphire Pure Black 990FX Motherboard Review @ Neoseeker
- Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7 Rev 1.1 Review @ OCC
- MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 (A85X) Motherboard Preview @ eTeknix
- MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 (A85X) Motherboard Review @ eTeknix
- MSI FM2-A85XA-GD65 Motherboard Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Gigabyte F2A85X-UP4 (A85X) Motherboard Review @ eTeknix
- Gigabyte GA-F2A85X UP4 @ Guru of 3D
- Asus F2A55-M (A55) Motherboard Review @ eTeknix
- ASUS F2A85-V Pro Review: A Look at FM2 with A85X @ AnandTech
- GIGABYTE GA-A75-D3H FM1 Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews
- ASRock FM2A85X Extreme6 Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- MSI FM2-A85XA-GD65 Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of ASUS
It's been a couple months since we've had a chance to evaluate a Z77-based motherboard, so we are taking this opportunity to throw ASUS's P8Z77-V Deluxe on our test bench to put it through our comprehensive real-world and synthetic benchmarks. This $279 board has been available for several months and supports the LGA 1155 platform that includes Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors.
Courtesy of ASUS
There are many features to drool over about the ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe, but my favorite ones include the board's unique power management features, Wi-Fi functionality with remote access, and customized UEFI BIOS. This board also includes other enhancements that focus on support for faster USB 3.0 and PCIe 3.0 integration as well as extra SATA 6GB/s ports that provide double the bandwidth of current bus systems.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 21, 2012 - 08:37 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: murderbox mkii, murderbox, modding, custom case, atx
The Canadian moddding duo behind Hardwood Studios Inc has unveiled its latest custom PC case called the Murderbox MKII. The Muderbox MKII represents a completly overhauled design that has its roots in the Silverstone TJ07 and is nearly ready for release after two years of development. The custom PC chassis gets you an all-alluminum chassis that offers better cable management, a water cooling friendly design, custom drive bays, and a custom black anodized textured surface. What will this cost you? A cool $1200 for the base model, and the price goes up from there if you add extras. The Murderbox MKII is a limited edition custom case with only 499 cases produced in total.
The Murderbox MKII features a unibody aluminum chassis that has acylic side panel windows that are mounted to be flush with case metal on the outside. The front includes a red backlit logo, power and reset buttons, and a single externally accessible 5.25" drive bay. The top of the case features an etched fan grill, or a set of two fans should you upgrade to the fan accessory for $150.
The dual fan accessory.
The back of the case is part of the removable motherboard tray and features plenty of vents and PCI slot covers. There is also space for a bottom mounted power supply. Internally, the Murderbox MKII features a spot to hold a watercooling resorvoir on the motherboard tray (that slides into the case on nylon-coated rails), space for a 480mm watercooling radiator in the bottom, and drive bays that are pre-wired. You put the storage drives onto sleds and slot them into the bays where they connect to already-mounted/wired SATA power and data connectors. The custom case can hold three 3.5" hard drives, three 2.5" SSDs, and a single 5.25" drive. On the top of the case is a slot loading DVD drive as well.
Overall it is a really slick PC case that appears to have received quite a bit of TLC to get the perfect enthusiast case. However, with a limited run of 499 cases and a price tag that is more than most entire computer builds [My first DIY PC build actually cost just under 1200 in 2007, for example.. and I think the case was under $100 heh], the Murderbox MKII is going to be more of a spectacle than a stomach-able purchase (just imagine trying to get the 'significant other approval factor' passed on this thing!).
On the other hand, this is a piece of finely crafted hardware that is sure to turn heads and is nice to gaze upon, so if you want to check out more pictures you can find the gallery on the Murderbox website!
See what parts we recommend for your next build on the PC Perspective Hardware Leaderboard.
Introduction and Features
Courtesy of ASUS
ASUS continues to optimize their hardware for the overclocking and PC gaming crowds, but they are also catering to a niche audience looking for ultra stable and durable PC components. ASUS's Sabertooth X79 motherboard is their one of their latest products to bear the TUF series label and sport customized hardware and thermal components as well as a desert camo color scheme to complete the military look. This $329 motherboard comes with a five-year warranty, digital power management system, rugged chokes, solid capacitors, and MOSFETs that have been certified through third party, military-grade testing.
Courtesy of ASUS
The Sabertooth X79 also comes with a host of other features to improve SSD caching and give users quad GPU support for CrossfireX and SLI graphics card configurations. This board also includes a unique UEFI BIOS and natively supports 2TB hard drives with 64-bit operating systems. The USB BIOS "Flashback" feature also helps new users update their motherboard BIOS without entering the BIOS. ASUS states that users can use any USB storage device with the latest BIOS, push the BIOS button located on the back I/O panel for three seconds, and the board will automatically update the BIOS using standby power. Very cool!
Courtesy of ASUS
The back I/O panel on the Sabertooth X79 is no slouch either as it gives users a healthy amount of USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and eSATA 6GB/s ports for greater performance and expandability options. They also added a small fan over the back I/O panel as part of their "TUF Thermal Armor" feature that will help cool and exhaust heat from ther motherboard out the back of the chassis. Let's move on to the rest of the Saberbooth X79's features where we will get our first out-of-the-box look at this motherboard.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 16, 2012 - 12:28 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: switch 810, special edition, nzxt, cases, atx
Popular case manufacturer NZXT has announced a special edition of it’s Switch 810 computer case. After listening to customer feedback, the company has decided to make the case available in two new colors. Gunmetal and Matte Black are the two new darker themes of the Switch 810.
In a recent press release, NZXT stated that the two new available colors are its way of showing their fans that they do listen to and value feedback.
Specifically, “Without our community’s valuable feedback and criticisms, our products would not be as unique as they are today. We always aim to maintain customer satisfaction through providing high quality products at great prices, which is why we decided to release the Special Edition to feature two of the most demanded color palettes from our loyal fans: Matte Black and Gunmetal.”
The Switch 810 is a full tower ATX case constructed of steel and plastic materials. It features support for up to 10 fans, six internal hard drives, up to an E-ATX motherboard, and plenty of room for custom liquid cooling solutions. The case also provides cable management cut-outs and tool-less drive bays.
The new Special Edition Switch 810 is available for purchase now from NZXT in either Gunmetal or Matte Black colors for $179.99 USD. When we reviewed the original version of the Switch 810, we gave it the PC Perspective Gold Award for its included enthusiast features and good execution. You can find our full review (including video) here.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 3, 2012 - 03:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: thermaltake, Level 10 GTS Snow Edition, atx
The 233 x 462 x 510mm Thermaltake GTS Snow Edition takes the familiar enclosure and reverses its colour to a very striking white. With up to six fans, including a 200mm, as well as 3 grommets for external watercooling you have a choice on your cooling solution. External drive bays make hotswapping a breeze and the USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports are easily accessible as well, not counting the external connectors on your motherboard. Neoseeker found many things to like about this enclosure as well as a few areas they'd like to see improved but overall were quite impressed with this $115 BMW inspired case.
"Thermaltake lets its snow once again in its Level 10 lineup of cases with the Snow Edition of its Level 10 GTS, sporting its striking white and black color scheme. Perhaps its most defining feature is the distinct hot swap drive bay system for hard drives. See how it all works in our review of the Level 10 GTS Snow Edition case, geared toward enthusiasts who don't want to spend top dollar for a Level 10 series product but still rock all the style."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- BitFenix Raider Mid-Tower Gaming Case @ SSD Review
- Cougar Evolution Chassis Review @ OCC
- Xilence Interceptor Pro @ XSReviews
- NZXT Phantom 410 white @ Metku.net
- Corsair Obsidian 550D: Starting to Specialize @ AnandTech
- Thermaltake Overseer RX-I Full Tower Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Antec P280 ATX Mid Tower Computer Case @ Benchmark Reviews
- BitFenix Raider Case Review @ OCC
- NZXT Tempest 210 Mid-Tower Case Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Xilence Interceptor Pro @ XSReviews
- NZXT Premium Cable Starter Kit @ Kitguru
- NZXT Premium Cables Starter Kit @ Ninjalane
- Noctua NF-F12 PWM Focused Flow Cooling Fan @ Tweaktown
- Cooler Master X6 Elite Heatsink Review @ Ninjalane
- SilenX EFZ-120HA5 CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Prolimatech Genesis CPU Cooler Review @ eTeknix
- Arctic Freezer i30 CPU Cooler @ Bjorn3D
- Cooler Master Hyper 612 PWM @ LanOC Reviews
- Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition CPU Cooler Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Phanteks PH-TC14CS CPU Cooler Review @ Hi Tech Legion
Introduction and Features
Courtesy of Gigabyte
We are still making our way through an avalanche of X79 motherboards on our test bench that leverages the power of Sandy Bridge-E CPUs, but we didn't want to wait any longer on powering up Gigabyte's GA-X79-UD5 extended ATX motherboard. Gigabyte has really stepped up their game by offering optimized LGA 2011 for no-nonsense PC builders, hardware enthusiasts, serious overclockers, and even FPS/RPG PC gamers. Our review of the X79-UD5 is going to evaluate every aspect of the board's ability to handle automatic and manual overclocking, DX10/DX11 gaming, and other synthetic and real-world benchmarks.
Courtesy of Gigabyte
The Gigabyte X79-UD5 motherboard takes full advantage of the new features available with the LGA 2011 platform and X79 Express chipset like the abiliy to use up to 64GBs of quad-channel memory via eight DIMMs and support for dual and triple AMD CrossfireX or NVIDIA SLI graphics card configurations for multi-monitor, high-definition gaming. These features should make ultra enthusiasts grin from ear to ear because they will probably be the ones who tandem this board with an Intel Core i7-3960X processor and dual NVIDIA GTX 680s graphics cards that were just released earlier this week. The $299 price tag on this board also places it right in the middle of the pack of LGA 2011 motherboards available on Newegg and other vendors.