Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

The GIGABYTE Z87X- UD3H is one of the newest members of the GIGABYTE Intel Z87 product lineup. The board features a fully redesigned power system, dubbed Ultra Durable 5 Plus, designed to handle the power needs for an LGA1150 CPU under any circumstances. At a retail price of 189.99, the Z87X-UD3H remains ahead of the curve with an aggresive price point.

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

The Z87X-UD3H comes standard with an 8-phase digital power delivery system, featuring International Rectifier (IR) manufactured PowIRstage™ ICs and PWM controllers. GIGABYTE integrated the following feature set into the Z87X-UD3H: eight SATA 6Gb/s ports; an Intel GigE NIC; three PCI-Express x16 slots for up to dual-card support; three PCI-Express x1 slots; one PCI slot; onboard power, reset, BIOS reset, and switch BIOS buttons; 2-digit diagnostic LED display; integrated voltage measurement points; and USB 2.0 and 3.0 port support.

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

Continue reading our review of the GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H motherboard!

Intel Prevents Overclocking of non-K Haswell Processors, and Strips Virtualization and TSX Features From K Parts

Subject: Processors | June 13, 2013 - 06:59 AM |
Tagged: tsx, overclocking, Intel, i7-4770k, haswell

First revealed at IDF Beijing, Intel's latest generation 4th Generation Core "Haswell" processors enjoy a refined architecture, improved processor graphics, an integrated voltage regulator (FIVR), and for the enthusiast crowd, new methods for overclocking.

In truth, the methods for overclocking Haswell are very similar to those used to overclock Intel's Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors. However, Intel has further unlocked the new Haswell CPUs. Enthusiasts can set an overclocked Turbo clockspeed, use additional base clock (BCLK) values (100 MHz, 125 MHz, and 167 MHz), and overclock the unlocked processor graphics core clockspeed and memory clockspeed (memory in 200 MHz or 266 MHz steps). The additional BCLK values allow for easy overclocks without putting the other subsystems (such as the PCI-E bus, GPU, and memory) out of spec, which is important for the PCI-E bus which needs to be close to 100 MHz for a stable system.

The following PC Perspective articles have further information on overclocking unlocked "K" edition Haswell processors:

Although Intel's overclocking reveal at IDF was fairly detailed, the company did not get into specifics on how overclocking would work on non-K chips.

On that note, the crew over at the Tech Report uncovered some rather disheartening facts such that the non-K edition Haswell processors will, essentially, be locked at stock speeds and not overclockable (they are slightly more locked down than previous generations).

While the K edition Haswell processors, such as the Core i7-4770K, will enjoy unlocked multipliers, unlocked GPU and memory clockspeeds, and additional BCLK options, the standard non-K chips (ie Core i7-4770, Core i5-4670, et al) will have locked multipliers, no Turbo Boost clockspeed overclocking, and will not be allowed to use the additional 125 MHz and 167 MHz BLCK options, which effectively makes overclocking these standard chips impossible. It may still be possible to push the BLCK up a few MHz, but without the extra stepping and gearing ratio options, the other component clockspeeds based off that same base clock are going to go out of spec and will become unstable fairly quickly as you try to push that BLCK up.

There is one saving grace for enthusiasts considering a non-K part, however. The standard non-K CPUs will have Intel's latest TSX extensions and enterprise virtualization technologies enabled.

Although quite the head scratcher, Intel has decided to disable TSX, vPro, and VT-d on the unlocked K edition chips. The TSX extensions are not widely used yet, but will provide a noticeable performance boost to future programs that do take advantage of them by allowing developers to essentially mark off sections of code that can be run independently, and thus increase the multi-threaded-ness of the application by running as much code in parallel across multiple cores as possible. Further, the vPro and VT-d features are used by virtual machine applications (with VT-d being more relevant to the consumer side of things).

In short, Intel has continued to lock down and artificially limit its chips, as many enthusiasts suspected would happen. Standard non-K Haswell processors are more locked down than ever, and even the premium unlocked K CPUs suffer with the (odd) removal of TSX and virtualization support. As Mr. Gasior points out, enthusiasts are going to be faced with an odd choice where they can either spend extra money on a premium K part that will overclock but is limited in other ways, or go with the lower cost part that has all of the ISA extensions and virtualization support turned on... but is not overclockable.

In my opinion, locking down the standard chips is one thing-- Intel needs to incentivize enthusiasts to go with the more expensive (~$25 premium) unlocked K processors some how -- but if those same enthusiasts are spending extra money for a premium chip, they should get all the features the accompanying non-K SKU has as well as overclocking.

What do you think about the artificial limitations placed on the various Haswell SKUs?

Source: Tech Report

Razer Blade Haswell Gaming Notebook is Damn Sexy, Powerful

Subject: Mobile, Shows and Expos | June 12, 2013 - 05:47 PM |
Tagged: E3, razer, blade, haswell, gtx 765m, geforce

With the launch of Intel's Haswell processor, accessory maker-turned notebook vendor Razer announced a pretty slick machine, the Blade.  Based on a quad-core, 37 watt Core i7 Haswell CPU and a GeForce GTX 765M GPU, the Razer Blade packs a lot of punch.

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It also includes 8GB of DDR3-1600 memory, an mSATA SSD and integrates a 14-in 1600x900 display.  The design of the unit looks very similar to that of the MacBook Pro but the black metal finish is really an attractive style change. 

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The embedded battery is fairly large at 70 Whr and Razer claims this will equate to a 6 hour battery life when operating non-gaming workloads.  With a weight just barely creeping past 4 lbs, the Razer Blade is both portable and powerful it seems.

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The price tag starts at $1799 so you won't be able to pick one of these up on the cheap, but for users like me that are willing to pay a bit more for performance and style in a slim chassis, the Blade seems like a very compelling option.  There are a lot of questions left to answer on this notebook including the thermal concerns of packing that much high frequency silicon into a thin and light form factor.  Does the unit get hot in bad places?  Can the screen quality match the performance of Haswell + Kepler? 

We are working with Razer to get a model in very soon to put it to the test and I am looking forward to answering if we have found the best gaming portable on the market.

Apple introduces PCI-Express based SSD in new MacBook Air

Subject: General Tech, Storage | June 12, 2013 - 05:04 PM |
Tagged: ultrabook, sandisk, Samsung, pci-e ssd, Marvell, MacBook Air, macbook, haswell, apple

As Scott covered earlier this week, Apple quietly announced an update to the MacBook Air line along side the headline-grabbing Mac Pro redesign preview. Being a MacBook Air user for the past 2 years, I decided it was time to replace my Sandy Bridge-based model with some new Haswell goodness. Today marked the first day of retail store availability, and I picked up an 11" model with 256GB SSD.

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Naturally, when I got back to the office there was only one route to take, installing Windows and disassembling it. While Anand uncovered the fact that these MacBooks were hiding a new unadvertised option, in a PCI-Express based SSD, I wanted to check it out for myself.

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When I did some digging, I discovered that while Anand found a Samsung based SSD in his MacBook, mine actually contained a model by Sandisk. I did a quick initial benchmark in OS X, and proceeded to inspect the hardware itself.

Click here to read more!

OCZ Releases Haswell PSU Compatibility List

Subject: General Tech | June 7, 2013 - 07:58 PM |
Tagged: power supply, ocz, haswell, c7, c6

OCZ recently posted a list of its power supplies that are fully compatible with Intel's new 4th Generation Core "Haswell" CPUs and their new C6 and C7 processor sleep states. The new sleep states can draw as little as 0.05A from the 12V rail, and not all power supplies (especially older models) were built with that use case in mind. Somewhat paradoxically, as power supplies have ramped up in Wattage and power delivery characterists, other PC internals have started moving in the other direction towards increased power efficiency and lower power usage overall.

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OCZ seems well prepared for Haswell, however, with a number of PSUs that are already fully compatible with Haswell CPUs. Even going as far back as its Z Series which launched in 2009 are compatible, which is comforting.

The full list of Haswell compatible OCZ power supplies is available below.

  • MK III Silencer
    • PPCMK3S1200
    • PPCMK3S850
    • PPCMK3S750
  • MK II Silencer
    • PPCMK2S950
    • PPCMK2S750
    • PPCMK2S650
  • Fatal1ty Gaming Series
    • OCZ-FTY1000W
  • ZX Series
    • OCZ-ZX1250W
    • OCZ-ZX1000W
    • OCZ-ZX850W
  • Z Series (EOL)
    • OCZZ1000M
    • OCZZ85M

With that said, even if your OCZ (or PC Power & Cooling) power supply is not on this list, it will still work in systems that utilize Intel Haswell processors. However, you will not be able to take advantage of the new power sipping C6 and C7 sleep states.

As the launch of Haswell approaches, more and more PSU manufacturers are releasing compatibility information. So far, the following companies have put together compatibility lists.

Source: OCZ

Computex 2013: New Haswell-Ready PSUs From SeaSonic Pictured

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | June 7, 2013 - 12:56 PM |
Tagged: seasonic, PSU, m12II evo, m12II bronze, haswell, computex 2013, computex

Following Intel's announcement of new Haswell sleep states, various power supply manufacturers have released compatibility lists detailing which PSUs are able to deliver the low load necessary to support the power sipping sleep states on the 12V rail (which has not been much of a concern until Haswell).

One such PSU manufacturer was Seasonic, who has quite a few Haswell-ready power supplies across several lineups including its Platinum, G, and M12II series, among others. Included in that compatibility list were two new power supplies that Seasonic is showing off at Computex this week: the Seasonic Platinum 1200 and Seasonic M12II Bronze Evo Edition.

SeaSonic Platinum 1200

The Platinum 1200 is a high-end modular power supply that is capable of powering beefy multi-GPU setups. It is 80+ Platinum rated and is up to 92% efficient at 50% load.

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Sesonic M12II Bronze Evo Edition

The Seasonic M12II Bronze Evo Edition is an updated version on past models and includes two SKUs that come in at 750W and 850W. It is a fully modular unit with flat black cables and fan control tech. It is 80+ Bronze and Energy Star rated, and is compatible with Intel's 4th Generation Core processors.

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Also read: The full list of Haswell-compatible Seasonic power supplies @ PC Perspective.

Source: SeaSonic

Computex 2013: Intel Demos Baytrail Tablet, Haswell Ultrabook, Ivy Bridge Passive Tablet

Subject: Processors, Mobile | June 6, 2013 - 01:01 PM |
Tagged: computex, computex 2013, Intel, haswell, Ivy Bridge, k900, Lenovo, baytrail, silvermont, ultrabook, acer, aspire s7

Intel had a host of new technologies to show off at Computex this year, starting of course with the Haswell processor launch.  Hopefully you have read our review of the Core i7-4770K LGA1150 CPU already but thanks to some video sent our way, we have other interesting bits to share.

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Below you will see Intel demonstrating four new products.  First is the Acer Aspire S7 using a Haswell dual-core platform playing back 4K content.  Next up is an Ivy Bridge tablet that is running completely fanless (passive) thus generating no noise at all while still offering impressive CPU and graphics performance.  Intel then pulls a Lenovo K900 Android smartphone out of its pocket powered by the Clovertrail+ enabled Atom Z2580 SoC.  Finally, we get a sneak peak at the next-generation of SoC designs with a look at a Silvermont-based Baytrail tablet running at 2560x1440. 

Podcast #254 - NVIDIA GTX 770, Haswell and Z87 Reviews, AMD Richland APUs and ton of Computex news!

Subject: General Tech | June 6, 2013 - 10:42 AM |
Tagged: podcast, video, haswell, gtx 770, amd, Richland, nvidia, computex, asus, Transformer, 4k

PC Perspective Podcast #254 - 06/06/2013

Join us this week as we discuss the NVIDIA GTX 770, Haswell and Z87 Reviews, AMD Richland APUs and ton of Computex news!

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, Allyn Malventano and Morry Teitelman

Program length: 1:41:16

  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
    1. Jeremy: Something I have to test for work
  3. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  4. Closing/outro

 

Kingston Technology Ships Intel XMP-validated HyperX Memory to Support new ‘Haswell’ Platform

Subject: Memory | June 5, 2013 - 06:17 PM |
Tagged: kingston, haswell

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Fountain Valley, CA -- (June 5, 2013)-- Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced a series of Intel® XMP-validated HyperX® memory solutions for the ‘Haswell’ 4th generation Core™ i7, i5 and i3 processors and Z87 chipset-based platforms.

Kingston® has HyperX memory in frequencies ranging from 1600MHz to 2666MHz, in various kits of two and four. The complete list of HyperX XMP-validated memory can be found here. More information on Kingston’s offerings for this new platform can be found here. HyperX memory is backed by a lifetime warranty and free technical support.

Kingston is celebrating 25 years in the memory industry. The company was founded on October 17, 1987, and has grown to become the largest third-party memory manufacturer in the world. The 25th anniversary video can be found here along with more information, including a timeline of Kingston's history. In addition, HyperX memory is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The first HyperX high-performance memory module was released in November 2002.

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Source: Kingston
Author:
Manufacturer: ASUS

JJ pays PC Perspective a visit!

In case you hadn't heard, on June the 4th, (world famous) JJ Guerrero from ASUS stopped by the PC Perspective offices to help host a live stream focused on Z87 platforms and the Intel Haswell processor.  Since Intel decided to launch on a Saturday morning, you might have missed the boat: the Core i7-4770K was reviewed right here on PC Perspective and the results are pretty good. 

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Motherboards, we got motherboards here!!

Along with Haswell though is the release of the new Z87 chipset and with THAT, about 100 different ASUS motherboards.  I exaggerate, but only a little.  In our live stream that aired for about 4.5 hours, JJ and I discussed about 20 different motherboard ranging from Mini-ITX options to the budget-minded Z87-A and even the ROG Maximus VI Extreme! 

Below you will find an on-demand version of the stream, broken up into five segments. 

 

ASUS Z87 Motherboard Segmentation

This first segment details the mindset ASUS had when creating the four different motherboard product lines: Mainstream, Workstation, TUF and ROG.  Why do they need all of these options and what features and quality points are common across the entire families? 

 

ASUS Mainstream Z87 Motherboard Lineup

ASUS' new mainstream line of motherboards with the z87 chipset range from the Z87-A to the Z87-Deluxe/Dual.  JJ talks about the features that are added as you move up the product stack so that you can find the option that fits your platform needs and budget.

Continue rearding our recap of the ASUS/PC Perspective Z87 live stream for more videos!!