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

Subject: Motherboards | June 17, 2011 - 02:58 PM |
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.

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"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
Author:
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI

Introduction and Features

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Courtesy of MSI

In 2011, MSI has based their enthusiast-level Sandy Bridge motherboards on two main features: novice and advanced overclocking and stable and reliable hardware components. We had the opportunity in March to evaluate the sub-$200 P67A-GD65, which flexed its muscles in several benchmarks including PC gaming and general PC tasks and applications.

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Courtesy of MSI

The P67A-GD80 adds a few more ultra-enthusiast features and an additional PCIe x16 slot, which pushes the price of this high-end motherboard to around $229 (before mail-in rebate at Newegg). This board sports Intel's P67 chipset that supports their latest LGA 1155 Sandy Bridge processors. It also has three PCIe x16 slots that are compatible with CrossfireX and SLI graphics card configurations to make this board a fantastic solution for triple-monitor, high-resolution gaming.

Sandy B's Little Sister: New Celeron Details

Subject: General Tech, Processors | May 12, 2011 - 12:34 AM |
Tagged: sandy bridge, celeron

Intel has made a splash with their Sandy Bridge parts; for being in the middle-range they keep up with the higher end of the prior generation in many applications. We have heard rumors of new Atom-level parts from Intel deviating from their on-chip GPU structure that Sandy Bridge promotes. What about the next level? What about Celeron.

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I'm guessing less than an i7.

Details were posted to CPU-World about Intel’s upcoming Sandy Bridge-based Celeron processors. There are three variants listed each supporting Intel’s on-chip GPU. The G440 is a single core part clocked at 1.6 GHz with a 650 MHz GPU where the G530 and G540 are both dual core parts clocked at 2.4 GHz and 2.5 GHz respectively and both with an 850 MHz GPU. The dual core parts have a 2MB L3 cache though the article is inconsistent on whether the single core part has 1 or 2 MB of L3 cache though we will assume 1 MB due to the wording of the article. While the GPU performance differs between the single core and dual core parts both will Turbo Boost to a maximum of 1GHz as need arises.

Functionally the chips will only contain the bare minimum of Sandy Bridge core features like 64-bit and virtualization support. There are still currently no further details on launch date and pricing. But if you are waiting to upgrade your lower end devices rest assured that Sandy B is there for you; at some point, at least.
 

Source: CPU-World

Fancy a peek at the Z68 even without any benchmarks?

Subject: Motherboards | May 10, 2011 - 02:47 PM |
Tagged: z68, sandy bridge, preview, lga1155, Intel

We here at PC Perspective are not big fans of the preview, as seeing a board without any accompanying benchmarks does not really provide us with the level information we crave.  However the wait for this high end Sandy Bridge chipset has been long and painful, as we want to see what the i7 2600K can do when it has a board that can really utilize its abilities.  To that end we take you to VR-Zone who have some pictures of Gigabyte's upcoming GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3.  Now to hope for someone to accidentally release some SSD cache benchmarks!

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Click for a bigger view.

"There has been some "concern" from Gigabyte's competitors that the company wasn't going to offer any Z68 motherboards with display connectivity, in fact, some of its competitors have been so "concerned" that they've sent out material stating this to media in certain parts of the world. Well, it turns out that it couldn't be further from the truth and yesterday you saw the GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3 and today we have a few hands on pictures of the GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 for your ogling pleasure."

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Motherboards

Source: VR-Zone

Eight Core Intel Preview Chip Appears On Auction Site

Subject: Processors | May 8, 2011 - 07:56 PM |
Tagged: sandy bridge, Eight Core, 2011

Although the item is no longer for sale--likely due to threatened legal action from Intel--an Eight core (socket 2011) Sandy Bridge chip briefly went on sale for a sum of $1359.99 on auction site Ebay.

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The chip reads "Intel Confidential Q19D ES 1.60GHz" and is alleged to be a preview chip for a socket 2011 Sandy Bridge processor capable of 8cores/16threads at 1.6Ghz. AMD's Bulldozer chips rocking eight cores have been announced for some time now and are planned to release in the first half of this year.  Intel has been content in fighting AMD's six core chips with its hyperthreaded quad cores; however, as more prevalent and optimized multi-threaded applications take advantage of AMDs higher number of physical cores, Intel may be planning to match AMD physical core for physical core in a plan to keep AMD at bay.

The new Intel chips should help to slow AMD's rise in server market share, while also trickling down the idea of (further optimized) multi-threaded applications to consumer markets. With that said, even though consumer level applications cannot currently fully utilize sixteen threads, the Tim Taylor-esque part of many hardware enthusiasts (especially folders) would love to have one anyway!

Source: Maximum PC
Author:
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: AMD

Phenom II End of Line

It was January, 2009 when AMD released their first 45 nm product to the desktop market.  While the server market actually received the first 45 nm parts some months earlier, they were pretty rare until AMD finished ramping production and was able to release the next generation of Phenom parts into the wild.  The Phenom II proved an able competitor to Intel’s seemingly unstoppable Core 2 architecture.  While the Phenom II typically had to be clocked slightly higher than the competing products, they held up well in terms of price and performance.

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AMD was finally able to overcome the stigma of the original Phenom launch, which was late, slow, and featured that wonderful revision B2 bug.  The Phenom II showed none of those problems, per clock performance was enhanced, and the chips were able to run at speeds of 3.0 GHz.  These chips were able to hit speeds of 4+ GHz on water cooling, and 5+ GHz using LNO2.  AMD seemed finally back in the game.  The Phenom II looked to propel AMD back into competitiveness with Intel, and the leaks pertaining to the 6 core versions of the architecture only made consumers all the more excited for what was to come.

Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Design

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The last three years have been great for ultraportables and netbooks. Laptops with displays below fourteen inches in size have exploded in popularity thanks not only to Intel's Atom, but also a wide selection of Intel ultra-low voltage products. Many of the laptops that we've reviewed over the past year, such as the Lenovo IdeaPad U260 and the Alienware M11x, would have been impossible prior to the release of those processors. 

Mainstream laptops have enjoyed less progress, however. The 15.6" laptop remains the most popular category with consumers, but while it has enjoyed a boost in performance with the release of the original Core i series processors, issues like battery life and graphics performance remained largely unaddressed. These mainstream laptops have continued to represent a major compromise, as they've been unable to provide great battery life but also (unless supplimented with a discrete GPU) lack the chops to play any but the most basic 3D games. 

According to Intel, these flaws could soon be addressed. Intel's Sandy Bridge mobile processors are nothing short of the savior of mainstream laptops. These processors not only offer the typical improvements in speed but also drastically improved integrated graphics and provide much better battery life. 

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Or, at least, that's what Intel says. They've said such things in the past, however - Intel's IGPs have often promised more than they can deliver. But every piece of hardware deserves a fair shake, and now it's time for Intel's Sandy Bridge to step up to the plate, appearing today in the form of the ASUS K53E. Let's see what is under the hood.

The Biostar THX1138 ... make that TH67XE

Subject: Motherboards | April 29, 2011 - 07:01 PM |
Tagged: biostar, sandy bridge, htpc

Biostar is still kicking and is doing it in style with the Sandy Bridge based TH67XE. With a 7.1 +2 channel Realtek ALC892 HDA codec onboard, Firewire, 2 USB 3.0 ports, up to 14 USB 2.0, VGA, DVI, HDMI 1.4,DisplayPort and even eSATA this is one incredible HTPC board.  Of course this comes with a price as the features leave few PCIe lanes open and overclocking is not good, though not overclocking an HTPC seems like a small sacrifice.  Check iXBT Labs for more.

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"Biostar currently offers as many as five microATX motherboards based on the H67 chipset. And today we shall review the most advanced of those, TH67XE."

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Source: iXBT Labs

Watt matters to energy efficient system users

Subject: Processors | April 21, 2011 - 04:57 PM |
Tagged: atom, brazos, sandy bridge, energy efficient

On the AMD side there is the Brazos E-350 based platform and on the other is the Intel Core i3-2100T.  One other choice would be to compare it to the aging Atom platform, which is missing some of the enhancements the more modern platforms have but is certainly energy efficient.  Check out who can score the lowest at X-Bit Labs.

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"The variety of components for small energy-efficient systems keeps growing day by day. In this review we are going to talk about energy-efficiency processors: AMD E-350 (Zacate) and Intel Core i3-2100T (Sandy Bridge). We will also discuss new Mini-ITX mainboards: Gigabyte E350N-USB3 (AMD Brazos platform) and Zotac H67-ITX WiFi (for LGA1155 processors)."

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Source: X-Bit Labs