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: 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 8, 2011 - 02:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, gaming laptop, GT683R
MSI's new gaming notebook has a 2.6GHz i5-2410M, a GTX560M 1.5GB and a strangely unbalanced RAM setup with a single 4GB and a single 2GB stick of DDR3. Externally, two USB 3.0 and two USB2.0 are available, a single eSATA port, four audio jacks, a card reader and HDMI and VGA will give you external video. The external video may be quite important to you if you plan on gaming as the default 1366x768 resolution will not stress the GTX560M. Drop by Madshrimps for a complete look at MSI's competitively priced GT683R gaming laptop.
"After testing MSI's GT780 gaming notebook I must admit I was pretty impressed by it's allround and gaming performance. Of course, a high end gaming notebook also carries a pretty beefy price tag. big screen , decent powerful GPU and CPU, 8Gb of ram, dual harddrives. Well the price tag for the included components was fair, but what happens if you want a gaming notebook and don't have 1500 euros to cash out? Todays reviewed MSI GT683R laptop might have you covered for a fraction of the price. The specifications of the GT683 don't seem that impressive at first glance, but maybe it can still pack some serious punch. Let's open the box and see what's inside."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Asus Zenbook UX31E @ The Inquirer
- Dell Vostro V131 Review @ Tech-Reviews
- Asus U46SV-DH51 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Acer Aspire 5755-6482 Review @ TechReviewSource
- HP EliteBook 8560w Review @ TechReviewSource
- HTC Titan video review @ The Inquirer
- HP TouchSmart 610: For Business or Pleasure @ AnandTech
- Samsung Galaxy Ace Review @ Tech-Reviews
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Review @ Tech-Reviews
- Storage Options 7" Scroll Capacitive Multi-Touch Screen Tablet Review @ eTeknix
- AViiQ Smart Case for iPad 2 @ kitguru
- Cygnett Imperial iPhone 4 Case Review @ ThinkComputers
- Samsung’s Bada 2.0 on the Wave III @ The Inquirer
- Motorola Droid 3 Cell Phone Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Apple iPhone 4S: Thoroughly Reviewed @ AnandTech
- Apple iPhone 4S Review: iOS 5 + Siri @ Techspot
Subject: Motherboards | November 7, 2011 - 02:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: X79MA-GD4, X79A-GD65 8D, X79A-GD65, X79A-GD45, x79, msi
MSI sent us a little tease showing off their upcoming X79 motherboards, with 3 ATX models and an mATX as well. You can see the MSI X79A-GD65 8D, the MSI X79A-GD65, MSI X79A-GD45 and the X79MA-GD4 pictured below. The most obvious difference between the first two models is the number of DIMM slots, with the 8D sporting a total of 8 slots compared to 4 in the second model, though both do support Quad Channel DDR3. The second two have less PCIe slots than the higher end boards, with the X79MA board being the mATX member.
All three full sized boards support OC Genie, and all support THX audio, bear both SLI and CrossFire logos and MSI's Military Class components. The two GD65 models both have V-Points for checking voltages across the board, though only the 8D model has LCD readouts for post codes. Click on the pictures below for much larger versions.
and a late addition from MSI
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 26, 2011 - 05:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hd 6950, amd, gigabyte, msi, xfx, factory overclocked
Heading to The Tech Report will bring you to a round up of HD6950's including Gigabyte's GV-R695OC-1GD, the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC and the XFX HD-695X-ZDDC. The GPU clocks range from 830MHz to 870MHz and RAM ranging from the stock 1250MHz to 1350MHz, with the MSI and XFX offering their own overclocking tools and Gigabyte relying on the Catalyst Control Center for further overclocking. MSI's offering came out looking very good, with the best performance and the best power efficiency and thanks to a mail in rebate it picks up the best ratings in the round up. It is a close race though with the cards performing very similarly, as you can see in the review.
"We've gathered three souped-up Radeon HD 6950 graphics cards from Gigabyte, MSI, and XFX. Which one delivers the most bang for your buck?"
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Great Value from Sapphire: Radeon HD 6870 Dirt 3 Edition and Radeon HD 6850 Vapor-X @ X-bit Labs
- Inexpensive Hi-End: MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1 GD5 Power Edition/OC @ X-bit Labs
- Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 DiRT 3 Special Edition Review @ OCC
- AMD’s flagship HD6990: is silent air cooling possible? @ kitguru
- Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- Mobile GPU Comparison Guide @ X-bit Labs
- EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Classified 3 GB @ X-bit Labs
- Gigabyte GTX580 Super Overclock @ OC3D
- Palit GTX 560 Ti Twin Light Turbo 1GB @ Tweaktown
- ZOTAC GeForce GTX 550 Ti Video Card Drawing @ Legit Reviews
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti @ Phoronix
- Palit GTX 560 Ti Twin Light Turbo Graphics Card Review @ HardwareHeaven
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 17, 2011 - 12:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: R6950 1GB Twin Frozr III Power Edition, msi, hd6950, factory overclocked
The MSI R6950 1GB Twin Frozr III Power Edition is a bit of an odd duck. While it comes with MSI's custom cooler, the Twin Frozr III, and a 50MHz overclock on both the RAM and GPU, it sports only 1GB of GDDR5 which is half of what a reference card possesses. On the other hand MSI has given you direct control over the voltages being fed to the GPU, memory and VDDCI, overclockers might find themselves more interested than they might have thought at first. [H]ard|OCP compared it to a reference 2GB HD6950 and only saw issues with the smaller memory size when enabling anti-aliasing on games which did not support FXAA or MLAA, apart from that there was little real impact from having 1GB of RAM. On the other hand the overclocking showed a lot of potential, though [H] did feel that they could have pushed the card further with updated MSI Afterburner overclocking software.
"Today we will be looking at a 1GB Radeon HD 6950 from MSI sporting its latest cooling innovation, the Twin Frozr III. Will 1GB of VRAM constrain the Twin Frozr III, or will Triple Over-Voltage support give it enough boost to soar past a 2GB HD 6950 and GeForce GTX 570?"
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 Dirt 3 Edition @ TechwareLabs
- MSI's R6870 Hawk Review @ Madshrimps
- ASUS EAH6770 DC SL/2DI/1GD5 @ Hardwareoverclock
- XFX HD6950 DD, HD6870 DD and HD6790 DD @ kitguru
- Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 Dirt 3 1GB Dual Fan Video Card Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- HIS Radeon HD 6970 IceQ MIX 2GB Review @ Real World Labs
- Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 FleX Edition 2GB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- Silent Games: Three Unique Graphics Accelerators on Radeon HD 67xx with Passive Coolers @ X-bit Labs
- Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo 6990 Cooler Review @ Kitguru
- Deepcool Dracula: Super Efficiency without Much Noise @ X-bit Labs
- x264 HD Benchmark 4.0 @ TechARP
- NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 Kit Review @ Hardware Canucks
- NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 w/ 3D LightBoost Review @ Legit Reviews
- Asus GeForce Matrix GTX 580 Platinum 1536MB Graphics Card Review @ eTeknix
- EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Classified Video Card @ Benchmark Reviews
Introduction and Features
Courtesy of MSI
Micro-Star International, better known as MSI, has been busy little bees in 2011 to fend off fierce competition from ASUS, Gigabyte and other motherboard vendors. This year's launch of the Z68 chipset from Intel combined the capabilities and features from the H67 and P67 chipsets, and MSI capitalized on this when they joined forces with LucidLogix to include their Virtu technology in their latest Z68A-GD80 motherboard. Lucid's Virtu tech provides users with switchable graphics, which allows users to enjoy both graphics power of integrated GPU and discrete GPU.
Courtesy of MSI
MSI also used the Z68A-GD80 as their first motherboard to support PCI Express 3.0, which boosts 32GB/s of transfer bandwidth and makes this mobo a bit more future proof for users looking for their next hardware upgrade. MSI also upgraded their BIOS system to ClickBIOS II, which provides a consistent user interface both in the UEFI BIOS and in Windows. Users can control their system settings directly from Windows and the GUI also supports touchscreen controls.
Introduction and Design
When the Apple MacBook Air originally debuted, geeks took note, and Windows laptop manufacturers ramped up efforts to meet that super-thin laptop on its own turf. Surprisingly, one of the first to respond was MSI, a company that is still struggling to define itself among a mainstream American market dominated by the likes of HP, Toshiba, Dell, and others.
MSI managed to significantly undercut the Air with its X340, but the build quality was also nowhere near what Cupertino’s engineers had managed. Yet MSI is not one to give up, and they’ve made moves to refine the X series over the years. As the price has dropped further, and the processor selection changed, comparisons to the Air have become less obvious.
That’s particularly true with this latest MSI X370, which now makes use of the AMD E-350 Fusion APU. This processor is nothing new, and we’ve tested it before at PC Perspective. Yet this laptop is different from any previously we’ve reviewed product with this processor because of its size.
Subject: Motherboards | September 26, 2011 - 04:56 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: z68, msi, Z68A-GD65-G3, sandy bridge, lga1155
When [H]ard|OCP reviewed the MSI Z68A-UD3H B3, they took some time examining MSI's version of UEFI called Click BIOS; it did not come out well, they panned it as horrible. MSI listened to their suggestions as well as comments from other sites and users and developed the Click BIOS 2, which is first hitting the market in the Z68A-GD65-G3. That BIOS, barring a few small issues, came out much better and seemed more in line with the other main release of the UEFI from ASUS. Apart from that feature, the board also a pair of PCIe 16x slots (which happen to be Version 3.0) as well as three PCIe 1x slots. Externally it sports HDMI and DVI out, as well optical and analog SP/DIF ports, two USB 3.0 ports as well as four USB 2.0 ports; internally four SATA 6GB/s and four SATA II ports will keep storage fanatics happy. The bundled control software received poor marks but for manual overclockers [H] leaves you with this comment ... "the only motherboard we have ever tested that allowed us to stably overclock our 2500K CPUs to 5GHz"
"In the motherboard business, it’s about differentiating the product. Once in awhile a motherboard manufacturer like MSI does just that before "the other guy." And that’s where the Z68A-GD65-G3 comes in bringing PCI-Express Generation 3 support and a new UEFI interface to the table."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 @ hardCOREware
- MSI Z68A-GD80 (G3) @ Bjorn3D
- ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3 Motherboard Review @ Madshrimps
- MSI Z68A-GD80 Motherboard Review @ Neoseeker
- ASRock Z68M-ITX HT @ Tweaktown
- GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 2 @ Bjorn3D
- MSI Z68A-GD65(G3) Motherboard Review @Hi Tech Legion
- Zotac Z68-ITX WiFi @ Funky Kit
- Zotac Z68ITX-A-E Wifi @ AnandTech
- GIGABYTE Z68XP-UD3-iSSD @ Tweaktown
- Three LGA1155 Mainboards from ASUSTeK on Intel Z68 Express @ X-bit Labs
- Z68 Motherboard Roundup @ OCC
- ASUS P8H67-M EVO Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- Intel DH67GD Motherboard Review @ HardwareLOOK
- BIOS Option Of The Week - On-Chip Frame Buffer Size @ TechARP
- BIOS Option Of The Week - PIRQ x Use IRQ No@ TechARP
- ASRock A75 Extreme 6 @ kitguru
- AMD Lynx Platform (Llano A6-3650 CPU, ECS A75F-A Motherboard) Review @ Madshrimps
- ASRock 890FX Deluxe5 AMD Motherboard Review @ ThinkComputers
- Zotac A75-ITX WiFi vs ASUS F1A75-I Deluxe Mini-ITX Motherboards Review @ HardwareHeaven
- ECS A75F-A AMD FM1 @ techPowerUp
Subject: Motherboards, Processors | September 14, 2011 - 10:59 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: x79, sandy bridge-e, msi, idf 2011, idf
Many of Intel's partners are on hand at IDF to showcase upcoming products and I was able to stop by the MSI booth yesterday to get a peek into the future of the X79 chipset. This chipset will launch with the upcoming Sandy Bridge-E processors (for enthusiast) sometime later this year and introduce a new processor socket (Socket 2011) as well as some new features like dozens of PCI Express connections and quad-channel memory.
The flagship board on display was the X79A-GD65 (8D) that is one of the few X79 boards I have seen sporting 8 DIMM slots (hence the name) and capacities as high as 64GB! Most of the MSI features we have come to love on current motherboards are going to be on this line as well including Military Class components, OC Genie II and the much updated and improved ClickBIOS II.
The board is completely 3-Way SLI ready (and CrossFire as well) and sports three total PCI Express 3.0 slots at x16 bandwidth but also adds in three more PCIe 2.0 slots for good measure.
There are 4x USB 3.0 ports, 12x USB 2.0 ports, 4x SATA 6G ports and 4x SATA 3G ports. Needless to say the X79 platforms are going to be an enthusiast's dream.
MSI is also likely to include a new breakout box with X79 motherboards that will reside in a 5.25-in bay slot on your case (and honestly I need more things to use up there these days) and give you a couple of USB ports, an OC Genie button that will double as a BIOS reset button when held down, and even integrated WiFi and Bluetooth. The above photo is just a mock up but the plans are in place to deliver them with these new boards.
Finally, MSI did have the much improved and updated ClickBIOS II UEFI on display and without a doubt it kicks the first version's ass. We are working on a review that includes this new implementation so expect more on that soon.