MSI shows Gen3 PCIe, X79 Motherboard and GTX 580 Extreme

Subject: Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Shows and Expos | June 1, 2011 - 07:57 AM |
Tagged: computex, msi, pcie, x79, 990fx, z68

MSI had quite a showing at this year's Computex starting with a host of new motherboards based on the Z68 chipset.  The most interesting of which was the new Z68A-GD80 (G3) that in addition to including all the features of the Sandy Bridge processor, SLI, CrossFire, Lucid Virtu and things like OC Genie II and Military Class Components II, is the first motherboard we have seen that integrates support for the PCI Express 3.0 specification.

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MSI was able to do this by simply adhering to the already existing PCIe 3.0 specifications and claims the performance doubles from 8 GB/s up to 16 GB/s (for a x16 connection).  Even though there are no PCIe 3.0 accessories or graphics cards on the market today, MSI has seen performance improvements when testing PCI Express based solid state drives like the OCZ Revo.  We are eager to get this board in the hands of our storage guru and see what advantages it offers users today.

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Next up is the new MSI 990FXA-GD80 motherboard based on AMD's latest 990FX chipset.  We actually have one of these in the office and should have a review up shortly.  With support for today's Phenom processors and tomorrow's Bulldozer-core based designs, I think the 990FX chipset will find its way into a lot of users machines.

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Even further out into the future, we saw a glimpse of an MSI engineering sample for the pending Socket 2011 processors from Intel, the MSI X79A-GD65.  Supporting the upcoming Sandy Bridge-E processor family and a new quad-channel memory controller, you can clearly see the 2011 socket is HUGE and requires the memory slots to be divided up on either side of it. A lot will change more than likely between now and this boards release but it is cool to see a preview of what is in store for us!

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Finally, MSI did have another card in the Lightning series to show off, the N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition.  This card has all the same engineering features of the previous Lightning models but adds in a couple of unique features called Smart Temp Sensor and Dust Removal.

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The Smart Temp Sensor is actually a coating on the fan that changes from blue to white in appearance as the ambient temperature increases.  If the inside of your chassis hits the 45C mark then the fans will be completely white and should give you an indication of system stability.  My only concern is that even users with windows on their cases will have trouble seeing the fans on the graphics card cooler posted at a right angle. 

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The Dust Removal feature is more interesting in that it runs the fans on the Xtreme Edition in the reverse direction for the first 30 seconds of the power cycle and then return to the proper direction for cooling the heatsinks.  The idea is that the 30 second reverse interval will help clear out dust from the heatsink and from the fan blades itself saving users in the long run.

Another interesting feature coming very soon to Android phone users is the ability to monitor and overclock your MSI graphics cards via an Afterburner app for your phone.  This will be available this month or early in July for Android and *maybe* by the end of the year for iPhone.

Computex 2011 Coverage brought to you by MSI Computer and Antec

Source: MSI
June 1, 2011 | 08:40 AM - Posted by leobiendurana

Interesting...

June 1, 2011 | 10:29 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

is that a 8 pin motherboard power pin? New PSU's a coming?

June 1, 2011 | 10:42 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Hmm, good eye. Looks like it. I would guess your 6-pin power supply would work for it as well though.

June 1, 2011 | 08:20 PM - Posted by Mickey21 (not verified)

Are you talking about the 8 pin supply near the top left of the motherboard on the 79 board? That 8 pin power lead has been around on PSU's for some time. Dual 12V power (8pin) power leads to the motherboard have been included on EPSv2 PSU's and higher. Essentially ATX (mostly 20 pin)power supplies were succeeded by ATX12V which many know as the 24 pin power supplies with the added P4 12V power that is dedicated to the processor. EPS12V is like ATX12V but goes further which besides higher wattage ratings includes dual 12V leads which is essentially the 4 pin 12V lead times two to add more power available for just the processor. I have 4 to 6 year old power supplies that still have the 8 pin power supply. Just needs to be a good PSU really. It isnt a new design, but if you dont have a quality built relatively high wattage PSU (like 600W on up), then you will need a replacement EPS based power supply.

June 1, 2011 | 08:22 PM - Posted by Mickey21 (not verified)

Also, FYI current i7's and previous quad core boards already used 8 pin power supplies. The general rule is on boards that had all 8 pins, if you put in a dual core like Core2Duo on an 8 pin board, only a 4 pin connector was needed (due to load), but if you installed a Quad Core (in general), the 8 pin connector was now required.

June 2, 2011 | 02:25 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

You are correct Mickey21, I don't know what I was thinking. :D

June 2, 2011 | 03:01 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

There are already motherboards with 8-pin power connectors, there has been for years, there are plenty of PSU's already that have 4+4 pin (8pin total) or 8-pin motherboard power connectors.

I have not seen a motherboard or PSU with only 4-pin power connector since pentium 4.

To the guy who suggested a "6-pin power connector" may work, there are no 6-pin motherboard power connectors, those 6-pin are for PCI-E cards not motherboard power, there are also 2 different 8-pin connector types (well 3 if you count the 2 different motherboard power connectors), there is a motherboard power 8-pin and a PCI-E 8-pin, do not get them mixed up as they are not cross compatible.

June 1, 2011 | 02:07 PM - Posted by Wrex (not verified)

PCIe 3 will future-proof a Z68 board better.

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