GIGABYTE launches their 100 Series Motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | August 5, 2015 - 07:00 PM |
Tagged: Z170, lga1151, gigabyte

Gigabyte have launched their Z170 series of LGA1151 motherboard and you have quite a few to choose from.  The 10 motherboards that are being released are the GA-Z170X-UD5, GA-Z170X-UD3, GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, GA-Z170X-Gaming 5, GA-Z170X-Gaming 3, GA-Z170X-Gaming G1, GA-Z170XP-SLI, GA-Z170-HD3P, GA-Z170M-D3H and GA-Z170-HD3.  All the boards have differences of course, but let Gigabyte's PR explain to you the similarities.


City of Industry, California, August 5th, 2015 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards is proud to announce today its new 100 series motherboards based on the Intel Z170 chipset with support for Intel’s new 6th Gen. Core processor. This updated platform marks a new era for the desktop PC with the continued support of DDR4, introduction of USB 3.1 over the new Type-C connector, as well as an array of onboard features and technologies that lets the user unleash the full power of their PC.

"We are very excited to launch our new 100 series motherboards based on Intel’s new Z170 chipset here at Gamescom in Germany, ” commented Henry Kao, Vice President of GIGABYTE Motherboard Business Unit. “We know everyone has been eagerly waiting for this, so we made sure our 100 series motherboards are packed with features which will make them stand out and provide the best possible experience from the latest 6th Gen. Core CPU from Intel.”


GIGABYTE 100 Series Motherboards
With the 100 series, GIGABYTE offers three motherboard segments to satisfy everyone’s specific needs. The Ultra Durable caters to users looking for a board that has long lasting, high quality components while the G1 Gaming targets gamers that demand cutting edge audio and graphics performance, and with the SOC Force GIGABYTE is bringing a solution for those who are looking to push their hardware performance off the charts. GIGABYTE brings a series of features that won’t let anyone down.

Intel 6th Gen. Core CPUs and Z170 Chipset
With its new 6th Gen. Core CPUs and Z170 chipset, Intel provides notable improvements over the previous generation and revolutionary new features such as support for Windows 10 and DirectX 12, the latest and greatest operating system and API from Microsoft which are both supported natively on GIGABYTE motherboards. Additionally, the new LGA 1151 socketed 14nm CPU from Intel brings both DDR4 and DDR3 support as well as enough power to support up to 3 independent digital displays and enhanced full range BCLK overclocking!

Click here for the full PR


ASUS Releases Z170 Signature Motherboards for Intel Skylake

Subject: Motherboards | August 5, 2015 - 03:30 PM |
Tagged: Z170-Deluxe, motherboards, LGA 1151, Intel Z170, deluxe, asus

We previously reported news of the new Maximus lineup for the Z170 platform, but ASUS had more to announce today.


The new signature motherboard lineup (click here for the full comparison chart) includes new Z170 versions of the familiar models from previous chipsets, and they have specifically detailed quite a bit about their new high-end Z170-Deluxe model.

The Z170-Deluxe is crammed with proprietary goodies such as:

5-Way Optimization: "The unbeatable combination of automated overclocking, advanced fan controls, enhanced efficiency, digital power and per-app performance profiles"

 ASUS Pro Clock: "A dedicated base-clock (BCLK) generator designed for 6th-generation Intel processors that allows overclocked base clock frequencies up to 400MHz"

Water Pump Header: "Self-contained and custom water cooling systems now have a dedicated fan header to connect to that provides the required 1A of power for both DC- or PWM-controlled pumps"

Dual PCIe M.2 x4: "The Hyper M.2 x4 card supports a full range of M.2 lengths up to 22110, while providing flexibility to install M.2 drives away from heat-generating sources"

USB 3.1: "With both Type A and Type C USB 3.1 ports onboard, the Z170-Deluxe is capable of handling well as up-and-coming devices"

Crystal Sound 3, Intel Ethernet & Turbo LAN: "Pairing best-in-class integrated audio with low-latency networking on both hardware and software fronts"


And the Deluxe also features advanced cooling capability, with onboard headers individually controllable by assigment to different temp diodes on the motherboard. (The board also supports the awesome-looking "ASUS Fan Extension card" which I feel strangely compelled to purchase - depending on price of course).

Lastly, what modern motherboard would be complete without full RGB lighting? If you said "no motherboard is complete without that!" then you won't be disappointed. The Z170-Deluxe, like the Maximus series, contains just this kind of lighting:

"All the Z170 Signature Series motherboards have a 256-color LED that lets users customize the lighting of their builds. This LED can also be set to reflect the CPU temperature or pulse to the beat of the music playing through the system."


The Z170-Deluxe and the rest of the Signature motherboards are said to be available immediately, so keep checking your favorite outlets as they are gradually appearing for sale.

Source: ASUS

ASUS Releases New ROG Maximus VIII Lineup for Intel Z170

Subject: Motherboards | August 5, 2015 - 10:44 AM |
Tagged: Skylake, Maximus VIII, LGA 1151, Intel Z170, ASUS ROG, asus

The 6th-generation Intel Core processors and Z170 chipset are here, and to support Skylake for the enthusiast ASUS has added three new motherboards to their Republic of Gamers ‘Maximus’ lineup: The Maximus VIII Hero, Maximus VIII Ranger, and Maximus VIII Gene.


For those unfamiliar, ASUS includes just about everything (possibly including the kitchen sink, I haven't seen the exact box contents yet) in these Maximus boards, and calling them feature-rich would be an understatement. In addition to the premium construction and overclocking focus there is now a greater emphasis on ease-of-use, with feaures inherited from the company's signature series motherboards. This "5-Way Optimization" includes "all of the enhancements enjoyed by ASUS signature motherboards...complete with award-winning automated overclocking and unmatched fan controls".

There are interesting additions to the new Z170 Maximus lineup, including customizable RGB LED lighting, which can be set to change color based on CPU temperature or “pulsate in time to the beat of your favorite tunes”. Who doesn’t want their motherboard to do that?


The micro-ATX variant: ASUS Maximus VIII Gene

While silent PC enthusiasts might not think aabout a motherboard that's engineered for overclocking performance, fan headers and speed control are a focus with the lineup. In addtion to what's installed on the motherboard ASUS is offering this nice little accessory (as a separate purchase) connects to a header on the motherboard to add an additional three PWM fans with full control.


The ultimate accessory for the enclosure enthusiast? I think so

You could already create some very quiet system builds with Maximus motherboards and the option of adding additional fans with a "Fan Extension card" is a thoughtful one.

The Maximus VIII Hero, Maximus VIII Ranger, and Maximus VIII Gene will be available immediately from the usual retailers, and ASUS states that “other Maximus VIII models will arrive soon”. Pricing was not immediately available at time of publication but I would assume this will mirror that of the existing Maximum VII lineup as in past generations.

Source: ASUS

ASUS Announces the X99-M WS Motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | August 1, 2015 - 11:54 PM |
Tagged: X99, MicroATX, asus

The X99-M WS combines the Haswell-E platform with extra certification for workstation computers, and it does so in a microATX form factor. The WS line goes through extra QA against a variety of accessories and add-in boards, which should lead to less situations where something like a user's wants to install two different video capture cards in their system, but ends up getting random blue screens.


As expected, the motherboard uses the X99 chipset, which allows Core i7 and Xeon processors with up two eighteen cores. It can accept up to 64 GB of DDR4 memory, which can be aligned in a quad-channel formation. It allows dual graphics cards from both AMD and NVIDIA, even though it has three PCIe 3.0 lanes. I assume this is because a dual-slot graphics card would cover up the third x16 bus -- this is a microATX motherboard, after all.

Beyond being a small, workstation-certified motherboard, it also has USB 3.1 (which brings 10 Gbps of bandwidth to external devices). This is obviously useful for external storage, and that has a lot of uses for workstation applications.

The ASUS X99-M is available now for $279.99 MSRP. It is currently listed on Newegg at $275.99 with a three year warranty, but I cannot find an official warranty listing from ASUS to confirm that.

Source: ASUS

Another look at the Gigabyte Champion Series X99-Gaming 5P

Subject: Motherboards | July 29, 2015 - 05:14 PM |
Tagged: X99-Gaming 5P, LGA2011-v3, Intel X99, Haswell-E, gigabyte

It has been a few months since Morry's review of the Gigabyte Champion Series X99-Gaming 5P and its funky LED enhanced backplate was posted so it seems time for a second opinion from The Tech Report.  The i7-5960X they used was not as forgiving as the one Morry tested, their overclocking topped out at 4.1GHz, while still decent it is a reminder that overclocking results can vary widely on similar equipment.  Read their full review here for a reminder of what this board can do and see if it garnered a recommendation.


"Gigabyte's X99-Gaming 5P gives buyers a full-featured Haswell-E board with a gaming twist. We dug into its features and ran it through our testing gauntlet to figure out what makes this premium motherboard tick."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:



Look at the wee X99 board; ASRock's X99E-ITX/ac

Subject: Motherboards | July 17, 2015 - 05:57 PM |
Tagged: X99, asrock, X99E-ITX/ac, mini-itx

This ASRock board will not be for everyone, many enthusiast who want to build an X99 system are not looking for a mini-ITX board but there are always some who want a lot of power in a small area.  The form factor limits this board to a single PCIe 3.0 16x port but ASRock did manage to incorporate a half sized mini PCIe 1x slot as well.  Storage options are impressive with a half dozen SATA 6Gbps ports, eSATA, a single SEx port and even a four lane M.2 port.  The dozen assorted USB plugs include a pair which support USB 3.1, and there are two LAN ports, on a board this size there is a lot of potential for peripherals and exotic storage solutions.  Of course overall performance is also key to deciding if this board is worth using and after reading the full review at [H]ard|OCP you will have no doubts this is an impressive motherboard.


"There is a small subset of computer enthusiasts that have been asking for an X99 option in the mini-ITX form factor. Ask and you shall receive, right? ASRock steps up to the plate to provide small form factor enthusiasts with just such a motherboard. We evaluate the X99E-ITX/ac and experience the good, the bad, and the ugly...if any."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:


Source: [H]ard|OCP

Asus Launches New Mini ITX Motherboards With Braswell-Based Intel Celeron Processors

Subject: Motherboards | July 4, 2015 - 10:52 PM |
Tagged: SFF, mini ITX, fanless, Braswell, Airmont, asus

Asus has introduced two new small form factor motherboards featuring soldered Intel “Braswell”-based Celeron processors. The Asus N3150I-C and N3050I-C are Mini ITX form factor boards with decent connectivity and lower power draw with the processor options topping out at 6 watts.

Asus Braswell-Based Celeron Mini ITX Motherboards N3150i-c and N3050i-c.jpg

The two SFF motherboards are essentially the same, with the main difference being the bundled processor (see below). The boards have 24+4 pin ATX power inputs, two full-size DDR3 memory slots, two SATA 6 Gbps ports, a single PCI-E 2.0 x4 slot (open ended), and one mini PCI-E connector. The Intel processors on both boards are passively cooled by a large rectangular gold-colored aluminum heatsink.

The rear of the board includes the following I/O ports.

  • 2 x PS/2
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1 x HDMI
  • 1 x VGA
  • 1 x RS232
  • 3 x Audio outputs

The N3150I-C board uses an Intel Celeron N3150 while the N3050I-C uses an Intel Celeron N3050. Both chips are 14nm and based on the newer Airmont architecture. These “Braswell” chips have incremental improvements in CPU performance and more significant graphics performance boosts with the inclusion of up to 16 execution units.

Specifically, the N3150 is a quad core chip clocked at 1.6 GHz base to 2.08 GHz burst with Intel HD Graphics (12 EUs up to 640 MHz) and a 6W TDP. On the other hand, the Celeron N3050 is a dual core chip – also with a 6W TDP – clocked at 1.6 GHz base and 2.16 GHz burst paired with Intel HD Graphics (12 EUs) clocked at up to 600 MHz.

These new boards could be used as the base for a NAS box, home media server, or a router and wireless AP by using those PCI-E and mPCI-E slots. Pricing and availability have not yet been announced, however.

Source: Asus

When the going gets tough, the TUF get going to ASUS

Subject: Motherboards | July 2, 2015 - 06:17 PM |
Tagged: Sabertooth X99, asus, tuf

The TUF series of ASUS boards are recognizable thanks to the Thermal Armour which covers the vast majority of the board and are marketed as having mil-spec components to outlast other motherboards using the same chipset.  This board supports quad GPU setups but keep in mind that there is also an M.2 port, that you need a more expensive CPU and the fact that there are only three PCIe 16x 3.0 slots, the other card will be in a PCIe 4x 2.0 slot, leaving a single 1x slot for other cards. The AI Suite III overclocking software is not supported on this TUF board but [H]ard|OCP had great success overclocking manually, some of their reviewers more so than others though.  Check out the full review if you are comparison shopping for an X99 motherboard.


"ASUS’ SABERTOOTH X99 promises premium quality and unmatched stability alongside industry leading fan control. Saberooth motherboards have in the past all been universally excellent and this motherboard is one of the newest in the TUF series. Can ASUS keep that streak going? It's going to be TUF."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:


Source: [H]ard|OCP

ECS getting out of the retail motherboard business?

Subject: General Tech | June 24, 2015 - 01:38 PM |
Tagged: ECS, motherboards, rumours

According to rumours DigiTimes has heard, ECS motherboards may no longer be sold by themselves and will only be found in OEM builds.  With the slowdown in the DIY PC market, arguably caused in part by a lack of reasons to completely upgrade gaming systems, ECS may be withdrawing from the market.  This bears to reason as their motherboard families have been much smaller than the competitions for a while now and you do not see much marketing for them on sites recently. It is always sad to see the marketplace shrink, hopefully this will give them the ability to focus more on their tablets and laptops and make those products more competitive; though that market is even tougher to succeed at than the motherboard business.


"Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) has announced that it will no longer actively market own-brand DIY motherboards but will undertake ODM/OEM production if clients have demand, and this is the equivalent of a gradual withdrawal from the global own-brand DIY motherboard market, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

MSI's X99A MPower has a bit of personality

Subject: Motherboards | June 16, 2015 - 01:45 PM |
Tagged: msi, X99, X99A MPower

MSI's X99A MPower board sports the new USB 3.1 but not the new plugs if you were hoping for USB ports that do not have an orientation.  Depending on the CPU installed, he four PCIe 16x slots can support up to three GPUs at once if you use the M.2 port, otherwise four cards can be run.  The Realtek ALC1150 7.1 codec is compatible with S/PDIF and provides optical out as well as 5 mini-jacks for speakers.  [H]ard|OCP preferred manually overclocking to the use of the OC Genie or the Command Center software and two of the reviewers experience some quirky behaviour which prevented the board from winning an award but once the settings were tweaked the board performed admirably.


"MSI’s X99A MPower promises to deliver a ton of features at a reasonable price. SATA Express, full speed M.2 support, and USB 3.1 compatibility are all examples of what this motherboard has to offer. The MSI MPower series has never disappointed us before, so we have high hopes for this motherboard."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:


Source: [H]ard|OCP

Computex 2015: ASRock Shows Off Skylake-Based Z170 Gaming Mini ITX Motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | June 10, 2015 - 01:42 AM |
Tagged: Z170, Skylake, mini ITX, Intel Skylake, computex 2015, computex, asrock

ASRock had some nice looking motherboards on display at Computex, but one in particular caught my attention. The ASRock Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac is a Mini ITX motherboard ready to support Intel's upcoming Skylake processor, DDR4 memory, and a slew of speedy connectivity options.

Asrock Z170 Gaming-ITXac Mini ITX Motherboard.jpg

The LGA 1151 socket is situated in the middle of the compact board and is surrounded by a 6+2 power phase, two DDR4 memory slots, the PCH with red heatsink and ASRock Gaming logo, a mini PCI-E slot with pre-installed 802.11ac Wi-Fi card, and a single PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot snuggled along the bottom edge. Storage support includes four SATA 3 ports and a single SATA Express port in the bottom right corner. Several websites are also reporting that this board has an Ultra M.2 port as well, which may be located on the underside of the board like existing Mini ITX motherboard implementations (for space reasons). Unfortunately, I was not able to dig up any photos of the back so we will have to wait for reviews to confirm this. 

As far as external I/O, the motherboard has the following ports on the rear panel:

  • 1 x PS/2
  • 3 x Video outputs (two HDMI and one DisplayPort)
  • 2 x USB 3.1
  • 6 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x Gigabit LAN (from Intel)
  • 3 x Analog audio output
  • 1 x Optical audio output

In all, this pint-size motherboard packs a punch and will make for a powerful small form factor gaming PC when paired with a Skylake CPU and dedicated graphics card! Of course, the all-important pricing and availability were not announced at the show.

Source: VR-Zone

The new Broadwell on MSI Z97 and H97

Subject: Motherboards | June 3, 2015 - 05:03 PM |
Tagged: msi, z97, h97, LGA1150, broadcom

If you had any worries about being able to use the new Broadwell processors on your LGA 1150 board you can feel much better after this press release from MSI.  They have announce full support for Intel's new processors when they arrive on the market, after applying an update to your motherboards Click BIOS 4.


MSI, leading in motherboard design, is proud to announce that our Z97 & H97 motherboards fully support the 5th Generation Intel® Core™ processors! With the latest BIOS update, current MSI Z97 & H97 motherboards are completely compatible with the 5th Gen Intel® Core™ processors, and able to unleash your system’s full performance. Committed to ensuring compatibility and performance, the MSI R&D team is making sure you never have to worry about your MSI Z97 & H97 motherboard supporting the latest generation of Intel® Core™ processors. If you want to fully enjoy all the advantages of the 5th Generation Intel® Core™ processors, MSI Z97 & H97 motherboards are definitely your best choice.


Click BIOS 4, the highly-awarded UEFI design
MSI Click BIOS 4 is optimized for the 5th Generation Intel® Core™ processors. The highly awarded design is reliable, easy to use, and able to unleash your system’s performance. Besides providing great performance and stability, MSI Click BIOS 4 is recognized as an extraordinary piece of kit which allows you to fully customize your PCs setup.


Source: MSI

Computex 2015: MSI Announces X99A GODLIKE GAMING Motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | June 2, 2015 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: X99A GODLIKE GAMING, RGB, msi, motherboard, Intel X99, gaming, computex 2015, computex

In the spirit of being un-subtle (and writing things in all-caps) MSI has introduced its new ultra high-end X99 platform motherboard, the X99A GODLIKE GAMING.


MSI says the X99A GODLIKE GAMING is the “world’s first RGB LED motherboard, supporting more than 2000 colors and many style presets such as breathing, flashing and waving”. Flashing and waving? Two things my motherboard has always needed. And breathing? Well, we all have to do that.

In all seriousness however (that name notwithstanding) the X99A GODLIKE GAMING looks like a really interesting product for a gaming market permeated by RGB-adorned peripherals and enclosures.

From MSI:

“The X99A GODLIKE GAMING employs the latest Audio Boost 3 PRO technology to deliver crystal clear sound quality and lossless audio compression. For efficient data transfer, Turbo M.2, SATA Express and USB 3.1 are supported. The X99A GODLIKE GAMING also adopts the latest Killer DoubleShot-X3 PRO. Smart teaming with two Killer Ethernet chips and Killer 1535 Wi-Fi module, X99A GODLIKE GAMING can provide up to 2.867Gbps of network bandwidth for hardcore gamers. The Mystic Light, another special feature, lets users easily control the LED light effects with the MSI Gaming APP on OS and the Mystic Light APP on Android mobile devices.”

No details yet on pricing or availability for this “god-like” motherboard just yet.

Source: MSI

Support for AMD A-Series ‘Godavari’ APUs

Subject: Motherboards | May 29, 2015 - 04:03 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, Godavari, asus, amd

If you are running an ASUS FM2+ board and you want to install the shiny new AMD A10-7870K Godavari processor then it is time to fire up either the ASUS USB BIOS Flashback or ASUS EZ Update tools.   Below is a list of all of UEFI versions for all compatible motherboards which you will need to update to in order to boot the new processor.  If you do not see your motherboard on the list then it is likely it will not support the new processor, keep an eye on the relevant page on ASUS for more information.


Gigabyte has also release updates to support the new APU, head to their downloads page and search for the model of motherboard you are currently using for the latest UEFI BIOS to flash to.


Source: ASUS

Another skinny Z97 board, Gigabyte's Z97-HD3

Subject: Motherboards | May 28, 2015 - 02:16 PM |
Tagged: Z97-HD3, gigabyte, z97

The Z97-HD3 Rev. 2 is a trimmed down board, both literally and figuratively as it is a mere 19cm (7.5") wide and lacks the LEDs, gold heatsinks and Nichicon caps that the initial release did.  It is also less expensive, $80 after MIR which is a bonus for someone looking to build an entry level machine.  The topmost 16x PCIe slot is a 3.0 slot and perfect for single GPU systems, the second is 2.0 and a maximum of 4x which takes SLI out of the picture but will handle Crossfire, not something to be overly worried about for an entry level system.  Do these cost cutting measures also impact the performance and stability of the board?  Check out The Tech Report's full review to find out.


"At $100, the Z97-HD3 is Gigabyte's most affordable full-sized Z97 board. We've taken a closer look at what the board has to offer, and we've paired it with a Pentium Anniversary Edition for some overclocking fun. Read on to see if it's worth opening your wallet."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:


MSI X99A Motherboards Win Computex Best Choice Awards

Subject: Motherboards, Shows and Expos | May 27, 2015 - 08:01 PM |
Tagged: computex, computex 2015, msi, x99a xpower ac, x99a gaming 9 ack, X99

Even though COMPUTEX 2015 doesn't begin for almost a week, the organizers have presented their “Best Choice Award”. Many devices won from a variety of categories, such as the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet and the 19” Stainless Fanless Industrial Panel PC from Wincomm Corporation. Being COMPUTEX, they appreciate PC gaming and overclocking, which led to MSI winning a pair of awards for its X99-based motherboards.

The MSI X99A GAMING 9 ACK motherboard won the Best Choice Golden Award for Gaming and Entertainment because of its Streaming Engine Module. This feature uses an AVerMedia encoder to stream 60 megabit, 1080p, H.264 gaming video over the internet, to compensate for the lack of Intel Quicksync on Haswell-E. I have never seen it in action, but it seems to have interested the judges. MSI's second award is for the MSI X99A XPOWER AC motherboard, which won the Best Choice Award for Computer and System because of its overclocking capability.

COMPUTEX starts on June 2nd in Taiwan, which is next week, but expect more news before then.

Source: Computex

Just Arrived: MSI 990FXA-Gaming Motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | May 21, 2015 - 11:34 PM |
Tagged: msi, amd, 990fx, FX-8370, FX-9590, sli, crossfire, SoundBlaster, killer nic, usb 3.1

Several weeks ago MSI officially announced the 990FXA-Gaming motherboard for the AM3+ market.  The board is based on the tried and true 990FX and SB950 combo, but it adds a new wrinkle to the game: USB 3.1 support.  MSI has released the other AMD based USB 3.1 board on the market, the 970 Krait.


Quite a few people were excited about this part, as the AM3+ market has been pretty stagnant as of late.  This is not necessarily surprising considering that AMD has not launched a new AM3+ chip since Fall of 2014 with a couple of "efficiency" chips as well as the slightly faster FX-8370.


There was some speculation based on early photographs that the board could have a more robust power delivery system than previous AM3+ boards, but alas, that is not the case.  Upon closer inspection it appears as though MSI has gone the 6+2 phase route.  If there are good quality components in there, you can potentially run the 220 watt TDP FX-9000 series parts, but these puppies are not officially supported.  In fact, I received an email saying that I might want to be really careful in my choice of CPUs as well as being extremely careful when overclocking.

The board still has some real potential at being a really nice home for the 125 watt TDP and below parts.  The audio portion looks very well designed and features the SoundBlaster Cinema 2.  It supports both SLI and CrossFire in native 2 x 16x (highly doubtful with 3 cards with the way the slots are configured).  It has the Killer NIC ethernet suite which may or may not be a selling point, depending on who you ask.


Overall the board is an interesting addition to the club, but I really wouldn't trust it with the FX-9000 series chips.  I have a 970 Gaming that came with the FX-9590 that had a similar power delivery system, and it ran like a champ; there is a possibility that the board will run this combination.  This is going to be installed this weekend and I will start the benchmarking!  Keep tuned!

Source: MSI

First Glimpse of the MSI 990FXA-Gaming Motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | May 6, 2015 - 10:21 AM |
Tagged: usb 3.1, sli, piledriver, msi, gaming, crossfire, amd, am3+, 990FXA-Gaming, 990fx

Some months ago MSI announced that they are releasing a slew of USB 3.1 compliant parts.  What was surprising was the mention of a brand new AM3+ board based on the now nearly geriatric AMD 990FX chipset.  The 990FX has had quite a lifespan with PCI-E 2.0 support and the accompanying SB950 southbridge with USB 2.0 and SATA6G features.


It looks as if MSI is doing a clean sheet design for the 990FXA-Gaming.  This looks to be a class leading product with plenty of features.  Not only does it have the USB 3.1 support, but it also implements the enhanced audio design that we have seen on other top end boards from MSI.  It also embraces the Killer ethernet software suite (utilizing Qualcomm's Atheros Gig-E chip).

The power delivery system looks to be a full 8+2 unit, so it can officially handle the 220 watt TDP FX-9000 series of CPUs.  It supports both SLI and CrossFire.  The cooling on the board looks to be top notch as well, with a heatpipe stretching from the Southbridge, through the Northbridge, and finally to the VRMs.

We expect these boards to be available sometime around the middle of this month.  We should also be receiving a sample for testing around then.  It is nice to see new support for AMD's FX CPUs, and this should be a cost effective member of the club.  Though AM3+ is a dead end in terms of socket infrastructure, there is still a lot of value in AMD's FX CPU line.

There is no word on pricing at this time, but I would not be surprised to see it hit the $149 mark.  It does not seem as decked out as the 990FXA-GD80 which is priced around $179.  With the robust featureset that they do implement, it does look to be a value if it can hit that aggressive price point.

Source: MSI

The Asus Z97-P; yours for just over $110

Subject: Motherboards | May 5, 2015 - 03:53 PM |
Tagged: asus, Z97-P

If you are looking for a low priced Z97 system you could do worse than base it off of the ASUS Z97-P.  It is a trimmed down ATX board, only 21.3cm wide which unfortunately leads to a relatively crowded CPU socket and you would be wise to double check the size of the cooler you intend to use.  You will also be limited to a single GPU as only one of the PCIe slots is 16x Gen3, the other 16x slot is in fact a 2x though that does leave enough lanes for the board to sport an M.2 slot.  There are sacrifices made on the board but the general high quality of ASUS firmware ensures you get stable performance and, in The Tech Reports' opinion, justifies the slightly higher cost when compared to some of the other budget Z97 boards on the market.


"Asus' entry-level Z97 board is the Z97-P. Does the P in the model name signify that all it can hope for is a passing grade compared to its straight-As brother, the Z97-A? Read on to find out."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:


MSI Launches 8 New FM2+ Motherboards Supporting AMD Godavari CPUs

Subject: Motherboards | May 4, 2015 - 02:49 PM |
Tagged: processor, msi, motherboard, Godavari, FM2+, cpu, APU, amd

MSI has revealed a new FM2+ motherboard lineup with support for upcoming AMD Godavari processors, further indicating the launch of these new CPUs will be very soon though no official announcement has yet been made by AMD.


As reported back in January when the lineup allegedly leaked the new Godavari SKUs feature higher clocks on both processor and, more significantly, in GPU cores in upcoming APUs like the rumored 8850K. MSI states that "these new models are available in ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ATX form factors and are backwards compatible with FM2 processors (Kaveri, Richland, Trinity, 6000 and 5000 series)", so it makes sense to consider these new models for future compatibility if shopping for an FM2 motherboard today. It remains to be seen if vendors will offer support for Godavari through BIOS updates, though it does at least seem likely.

For those interested here is the list of new MSI AMD FM2+/FM2 motherboard models:

  • A68HM-E33 V2
  • A88XM-E45 V2
  • A78M-E35 V2
  • A88XM-P33 V2
  • A78M-E45 V2
  • A88X-G41 PC Mate V2
  • A88XM-E35 V2
  • A88XI AC V2

The familiar Military Class 4 and OC Genie 4 branding is visible across the lineup, and the new models also feature "a rich blend of features and technologies, such as onboard LAN, PCI Express 3.0 x16, SATA 6Gb/s, USB 3.0 and multiple display support".

Source: MSI