Thunderbolt comes to ROG with the Maximus V Extreme

Subject: Motherboards | January 10, 2013 - 04:19 PM |
Tagged: Z77, thunderbolt, ROG, Maximus V Extreme, lga1155, asus

The new ASUS ROG Maximus V Extreme board has a high standard to meet thanks to the performance of previous models of the Maximus Extreme series.  Right off the bat you can tell this board is going to be popular with the enthusiasts as it sports five PCIe slots, capable of running at 8x, 16x, 8x, 8x if you populate four of them, with an extra 4x slot available for another card.  For storage there are a half dozen SATA 6Gbps ports with an additional three of the previous version of SATA as well as a single mSATA port and for peripherals you get 10 USB 3.0 ports plus another four USB 2.0 ports.  More important for some is the existence of a Thunderbolt port, a brand new feature for this family of motherboards.  [H]ard|OCP gave this motherboard a Gold Award, read on to find out why.

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"The Maximus V Extreme falls in line with ASUS' latest design philosophies and succeeds the older Maximus IV Extreme which was introduced during the P67 Express chipset days when the Core i7 2600K was the top end LGA1155 CPU. The last iteration of the Maximus was an absolutely incredible motherboard and like all ROG boards has big shoes to fill."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

CES 2013 Video: Gigabyte Shows 4K Display Support and Thin Mini-ITX Boards

Subject: Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Displays, Systems | January 9, 2013 - 09:38 PM |
Tagged: video, thunderbolt, thin itx, mini ITX, ces 2013, CES, 4k

One of our final stops at CES this year was to visit with our friends at Gigabyte to see what they had to show off.  Right off the bat we found an impressive 4K display configuration with four 1080p monitors.  Running off of Gigabyte's GA-Z77X-UP5TH dual-Thunderbolt motherboard, each of the ports was split using a Lenovo adapter, each connecting to a pair of the monitors on the quad-display stand.  The result is a stunning 3840x2160 display configuration running completely off of the Intel HD 4000 graphics and the Core i7 processor.

Colin also showed us Gigabyte's push into the world of DIY and OEM All-in-One designs with a couple of motherboards based on the thin mini-ITX standard.  These boards are the same X/Y dimensions with a lower Z-height and very specific layout rules so that enclosures, cooling and components can be standardized. 

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

GIGABYTE Dual Thunderbolt Motherboards Debut 4K Resolution on Intel Collage Technology at CES 2013

Subject: General Tech | January 7, 2013 - 11:20 PM |
Tagged: thunderbolt, Intel, gigabyte, dual thunderbolt, collage technology, ces 2013, CES, 4k

Intel has found a way to emulate 4k display resolution using its on chip graphics and Gigabyte's Dual Thunderbolt technology.  The display at CES demonstrated Dual Thunderbolt connectors splitting a 4k signal onto four different 1920 x 1200 displays and successfully displaying every pixel of content as if it was on a single 4k monitor, barring bezels of course.  Gigabyte expects to have drivers available for owners of Z77X-UP5 TH or Z77X-UP4 TH motherboards by the end of the month so you will be able to try this for yourself in the very near future.  There is one big difference between this technology and NVIDIA Surround and EyeFinity, since the graphics are provided by the HD4000 GPU you are not going to be able to effectively play the majority games at these resolutions, though it is still nice to see Intel present a solution for HTPCs and similarly purposed systems.

4K_1.png

Las Vegas, NV, January 7th, 2013 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced support for 4k display resolutions using multiple standard 1080p displays with Intel Collage display technology. The new collage feature is available from an Intel graphics driver update that needs to be individually implemented by motherboard companies before it is available to the user.

Using only the Intel HD4000 Graphics of any 3rd generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, GIGABYTE dual Thunderbolt motherboards with the new 4K Collage Graphics driver can power an Ultra HD 4k resolution video stream across four regular displays. Intel Collage display technology is simple to setup, using dual Thunderbolt ports that can be split into a total of four digital streams giving an incredible combined Ultra HD resolution of 3840 x 2400 pixels.

“Our implementation of Intel’s new Collage display technology means that GIGABYTE’s exclusive dual Thunderbolt motherboards are first to power the very latest Ultra HD resolutions across four of today’s standard displays”, commented Henry Kao, Vice President of GIGABYTE Motherboard Business Unit. ”Offering a wealth of possibilities in commercial markets that include digital signage, surveillance, medical and more, we’re also excited to offer PC DIY customers the opportunity to enjoy 4K resolution support with a simple driver update on their existing hardware, and without a VGA card!”

“We are excited about our collage display feature in our Intel platforms with 3rd generation Core i5 and Core i7 processors using Intel HD Graphics”, said Zane Ball, Intel’s General Manager for Desktop platform. “GIGABYTE’s implementation of two Thunderbolt ports enable consumers to connect four monitors via splitters to a single system and experience UltraHD resolution and is a great example of the innovation enabled on these GIGABYTE Z77 motherboards with Thunderbolt.”

Intel Collage Technology
Vertical Collage Mode Setup using a total resolution of 3840*2400

4K_2.png

Monitor1:1920*1200 and vertically a crossed two displays (1920*1200)*2=>3840*2400

Two DisplayPort to Dual-DisplayPort adaptors were used in GIGABYTE’s testing and implementation of the Intel Collage Display feature.

The new graphics driver is expected to be available for download from the GIGABYTE website by the end of January, 2013. You can find more detailed information including a setup guide and component compatibility list on the GIGABYTE website here: http://www.gigabyte.com/MicroSite/323/4k.html. More pictures are available in a photo album on the GIGABYTE Motherboard Tech Column facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/GIGABYTEmotherboards/photos_albums

You can also find a short video introducing GIGABYTE 4K display support and Intel Collage display technology here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdTMDfh0Hnk

GIGABYTE Motherboard’s Dual Thunderbolt Ports
As the first motherboards to be certified by Intel featuring dual Thunderbolt ports, GIGABYTE’s ‘TH’ models offer up to 10Gbps data transfer speeds from each port; this means you can transfer industry-leading HD graphics and data simultaneously. Each Thunderbolt port complies with the Display Port 1.1 standard (with support for 2K resolutions from each port), and therefore provide a combined throughput of up to 4K for the ultimate in display future-proofing.

For more information about GIGABYTE Thunderbolt motherboards please visit the GIGABYTE Thunderbolt website: http://www.gigabyte.us/microsite/312/images/thunderbolt.html.

GIGABYTE Dual Thunderbolt Models Dual Thunderbolt Ports are featured on the following GIGABYTE motherboard models:

4K_3.png

 

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Gigabyte

CES 2013: Lenovo OneLink Connection Combines HDMI, Audio, Power, Ethernet and more!

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | January 6, 2013 - 06:00 PM |
Tagged: thunderbolt, onelink, Lenovo, ces 2013, CES

An interesting technology from Lenovo is making its debut at CES 2013 as a side-story to an otherwise kind of bland notebook, the ThinkPad Edge E431 and E531.  The notebook itself is based around an Ivy Bridge platform, 14-in or 15-in 1600x900 touch screen, optional discrete graphics and standard storage but what makes it more interesting is that it is the first machine to support Lenovo OneLink.

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Lenovo OneLink is a single connection that promises to "connect and deliver power to everything" and if successful, can reduce cable clutter and simplify connections for consumers and business users that want a laptop as their primary machine with a dockable workstation option for when you are at home or the office.  The capability for OneLink to not only act as the conduit for video, audio, networking, storage and more but also charge your laptop and power those other accessories would be impressive and surpasses Thunderbolt in many ways.  We don't yet know the actual data rate of OneLink so TB may still have an advantage there.

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Lenovo was also showing the first accessory for OneLink, a dock that features a NAS controller, 4 USB ports, Ethernet, native VGA, HDMI and audio.  In a relatively small package you are able to expand the ThinkPad Edge E431/E531 to the connectivity and capability of a full desktop with external storage and added displays.  Lenovo claims the HDMI connection will be completely lag free and support 1080p resolutions. 

Lots of questions remain including when other Lenovo machines will adopt this connection and why Lenovo decided to shun Thunderbolt that would allow them not only support other accessories but sell its accessories (like this dock) to non-Lenovo customers. 

Hopefully we'll get some more details this week!

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Podcast #233 - ThinkPad Twist, Intel's rumored TV service, Frame Latency testing and more!

Subject: General Tech | January 3, 2013 - 02:10 PM |
Tagged: VOD, video capture, twist, tv, thunderbolt, thinkpad twist, Thinkpad, podcast, Lenovo, Intel, Frame Latency testing, ces 2013, CES

PC Perspective Podcast #233 - 01/03/2013

Join us this week as we talk about the ThinkPad Twist, Intel's rumored TV service, Frame Latency testing and more!

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 and Allyn Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:12:43

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:03:35 Thermaltake Soprano VO9000 Case
    2. 0:05:40 Lenovo Thinkpad Twist Convertible Ultrabook
    3. 0:10:15 MSI Z77 MPower Motherboard
    4. 0:14:00 AMD FX-8350 Overclock with AMD LCS
  2. 0:22:12 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  3. News items of interest:
    1. 0:23:45 Video: MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt (and new player)
    2. 0:25:45 Fiber optic Thunderbolt cables ready
    3. 0:30:00 Intel planning at TV service in 2013
    4. 0:42:00 Frame Rating: A New Graphics Performance Metric
    5. 0:53:00 CES Predictions!
  4. Closing:
    1. 1:03:00 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt
      2. Jeremy: Logitech 963290-0403 Extreme 3D Pro USB Joystick
      3. Josh: Who needs 16GB? Who cares!
      4. Allyn: Scosche GoBat II (5AH USB 2.1A battery)
  1. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. Closing/outro

Be sure to subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel!!

 

Video Perspective: MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt for under $160

Subject: Motherboards | December 29, 2012 - 08:15 PM |
Tagged: z77a-g45 thunderbolt, Z77, video, thunderbolt, msi

If you are interested in joining in on the wave of Thunderbolt accessories coming out in 2013 you might want to learn about the new MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt motherboard.  This new board promises to be the least expensive option with an integrated Thunderbolt port while also offering a great overclocking and feature set very similar to that of the MSI Z77A-GD80. 

You can pick it up at Newegg.com today for $159!

Check out our video overview!

 

PS - Let us know if you have any comments on the new video player / configuration!!

ASRock Z77 Extreme6/TB4 Motherboard Offers Thunderbolt with Discrete Graphics

Subject: Motherboards | December 11, 2012 - 10:34 PM |
Tagged: asrock, thunderbolt, Z77

Over the past 6 months or so we have seen most motherboard vendors release a Z77 option with support for the latest Thunderbolt connectivity option.  I did some initial testing on the ASUS P8Z77-V Premium motherboard and found that Thunderbolt was indeed impressive in terms of performance though it remained expensive and had a few hang ups. 

One of those was the need to use integrated graphics when utilizing the DisplayPort pass through of the connection.  Lucid was the first company to offer a solution thanks to their Virtu MVP software solution and GPU virtualization technology.  I tested that and it worked pretty well, allow us to utilize the power of your discrete GPU with a monitor connected through Thunderbolt on the motherboard.

Well ASRock has a new motherboard out, the Z77 Extreme6/TB4, that promises to allow you to use discrete graphics by simply utilizing a DisplayPort connection on the graphics card itself. 

asrock1.jpg

Besides offering a pair of Thunderbolt connections, the motherboard claims to be the "world's only Thunderbolt motherboard supporting discrete VGA card via Thunderbolt port."

asrock2.jpg

Essentially ASRock is taking the DP connection from the discrete graphics card, taking it into the motherboard through a DisplayPort input connection and then sending that back out the motherboard Thunderbolt header.  More than likely this is simple electrical pass through and there isn't much or any logic going on to "trick" the system.  It also raises concerns that the motherboard and display solution won't be officially approved by Intel.  (We are all, after all, still waiting to see the ASUS ThunderboltEX to hit the market...)

Hopefully we'll get one of these new boards in soon to see for ourselves!

Source: ASRock

ECS Reveals its First Motherboard with Thunderbolt Support the Z77H2-A5X Deluxe

Subject: Motherboards | November 14, 2012 - 05:26 PM |
Tagged: ECS, Z77H2-A5X Deluxe, thunderbolt, Z77, lga 1155

Z77H2-A5X DE(V1)02.jpg

November 13, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan - Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) today reveals its first motherboard with Thunderbolt support, the Brand-New Black Series Z77H2-A5X Deluxe, based on the new Intel Z77 chipset. The Black Deluxe Series was created with power users and overclockers in mind. The Z77H2-A5X Deluxe embodies these qualities by providing all solid capacitors, triple thickness gold plating and overclocking friendly heatsinks and heatpipes.

The Z77H2-A5X Deluxe combines the latest motherboard technology with the above industry quality control standards set by ECS on the Black Series.

Power user features
For overclockers, the ECS Z77H2-A5X Deluxe provides a wealth of tweaking, control and adjustment features. ECS' Hyper Alloy Chokes give overclockers more stability because of their high energy efficiency and heat reduction. Long-life capacitors in all critical areas guard against failure even in the most challenging conditions. Triple thickness gold plating on CPU, memory and add-on card sockets ensures the Z77H2-A5X Deluxe always provides a reliable connection, even with heavy use and in hostile environments. Improved heavy duty heatsinks and heatpipes help dissipate heat efficiently when overclocking. Thor Ultra Protection offers complete electrostatic discharge protection for VGA, USB, LAN and HDMI ports against component damage from static electricity in dry climates. ECS' latest UEFI II: EZ BIOS also provides a modern high resolution BIOS and Window 8 ready to work with.

Thunderbolt Support
A single Thunderbolt port lets you connect high-performance data devices and high-resolution displays to a single port with up to blazing fast 10Gbps data transfer rates. USB 2.0 in comparison only has a max throughput of 480Mbps, about 20x slower. Not only is Thunderbolt fast, but it's also convenient. Up to six Thunderbolt devices can be connected to a single connector on the PC and a native DisplayPort display can be connected at the end of the daisy chain.

Support for 3 way NVIDIA SLI or ATI CrossFireX
The Z77H2-A5X Deluxe is at the forefront of the performance desktop PC market with support for three PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots and additionally, 3-way NVIDIA SLI or ATI CrossFireX support, providing astonishingly realistic high speed graphics and physics performance for the latest games and entertainment.

The latest high speed storage connectivity
The Z77H2-A5X Deluxe provides enormous capacity for ultra high speed storage. The Z77H2-A5X Deluxe is equipped with 2 x SATA 6Gb/s, 3 x SATA 3GB/s, 1 x mSATA 3GB/s (from mini PCIe) and RAID 0,1,5,10 support.

Z77H2-A5X DE(V1)IO.jpg

Fast external connectivity
The Z77H2-A5X Deluxe is equipped with all the external connections you need, including on-board Wireless LAN, Gigabit LAN, Bluetooth, 2x USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0, and 8 channel HD audio with ATX software support. The new Intel Z77 chipset at the heart of the Z77H2-A5X Deluxe is the first to include USB 3.0 support without external chips, bringing greater performance, expandability and reliability.

Unprecedented reliability – ECS Nonstop Certified
To ensure maximum reliability and customer satisfaction, ECS has enhanced its already stringent quality control procedures by increasing the testing cycle for its Black Series to three times longer than the industry standard and by raising the burn in testing temperature to 125% of the industry standard. Only those boards that pass ECS' 72 hours burn in test as well as a 50 degrees Celsius severe environment test can be deemed ECS Nonstop Certified.

Source: ECS

Podcast #225 - Intel's New Low Priced 240GB SSD, Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 Convertible Ultrabook, AMD ARM processors, and more!

Subject: General Tech | November 1, 2012 - 03:04 PM |
Tagged: z77a-gd80, yoga 13, thunderbolt, podcast, pcper, msi, Lenovo, intel ssd, intel 335, Intel, Ideapad, asus, arm, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #225 - 11/01/2012

Join us this week as we talk about Intel's New Low Priced 240GB SSD, Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 Convertible Ultrabook, AMD ARM processors, and more!

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, Allyn Malventano, and Chris Barbere

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:10:09

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:01:40 The Windows You Love is Gone
    2. 0:07:30 Intel SSD 335 Series 240GB Full Review - Intel's first 20nm SSD
    3. 0:15:30 MSI Z77A-GD80 with Thunderbolt Motherboard Review
    4. 0:20:20 Video Perspective: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 Windows 8 Ultrabook Preview
  2. 0:29:22 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  3. News items of interest:
    1. 0:30:35 Corsair Announces new products
      1. Corsair Announces Vengeance MM200 and MM400 gaming mouse mats
      2. Corsair Announces Updated Hydro Series H60 and New Hydro Series H55
    2. 0:36:10 ASUS Launches Line of VivoBook Laptops Running Windows 8
      1. Asus Zenbook Refresh Introduces Several New Ultrabooks
    3. 0:42:05 How to Build a PC with Windows 8 - PC Perspective Live!
    4. 0:43:50 Microsoft Giving Away Free Media Center Keys For Windows 8
    5. 0:46:30 ASRock Launches Extreme6/TB4 Motherboard With Two Thunderbolt Ports
    6. 0:47:30 AMD Announces It Will Build 64-bit ARM Processors for Server Markets
    7. 0:53:15 Intel Wants To See 48-Core Processors In Future Smartphones
    8. 0:56:30 NZXT Unleashes the Kraken -- World's first all-in-one 140mm & 280mm liquid-cooler
  4. Closing:
    1. 1:00:20 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: Symphony on Steam - Free Keys to Give Away!!
      2. Jeremy: Grab media centre, even if you don't plan on getting Win 8 yet
      3. Allyn: Start8 - for you Windows 8 users
      4. Chris: MechWarrior Online
  1. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. Closing/outro

Be sure to subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel!!

Author:
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI

Overview

Today we are taking a look at MSI’s flagship Z77 motherboard, the Z77A-GD80. Beyond being the GD80 SKU, which for several generations now has been given MSI’s premiere options, this GD80 in particular is an innovative board. This is due to the Z77A-GD80 being the first Windows motherboard that was certified for Intel’s Thunderbolt technology.

IMG_8239.JPG

As many of you may know, Thunderbolt has 10 Gbps of bandwidth, as well as integrates Mini DisplayPort for video. With all of this bandwidth, Thunderbolt is an exciting standard, which we will focus on in depth later in this review.

Continue reading our review of the MSI Z77A-GD80 Thunderbolt Motherboard!