More fun with AMD's new 990FX chipset

Subject: Motherboards | June 27, 2011 - 03:08 PM |
Tagged: Sabertooth, asus, amd, 990fx

The ASUS Sabertooth 990FX is not a ROG board as you might expect, instead it bears a logo describing it as a member of "THE ULTIMATE FORCE" aka TUF.  This AM3+ board still features some serious extras, from TUF components and MemOK as well as DIGI+ VRM which denotes an 8+2 power phases on the board and the ability to run 2 of it's 3 PCIe slots at a full 16x simultaneously.  Legit Reviews used the Phenom II X6 1100T BE to power the system during their testing as we are still awaiting the release of the AM3+ CPUs from AMD.  From their testing this $200 board takes top spot, USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbp/s performance were significantly ahead of the 890FX board they compared the Sabertooth to, making this a worthy upgrade for AMD users.

LR_ASUS_sabertooth.jpg

"ASUS hit the mark with the Sabertooth 990FX! The Sabertooth 990FX was able to dig its teeth into everything we threw at it and be the dominant force in the charts! If you're in the market for a motherboard the ASUS Sabertooth 990FX should be at the top of your short list..."

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Asus Announces New Feature Rich F1A75 Motherboard Series For Llano APUs

Subject: Motherboards | June 24, 2011 - 02:27 PM |
Tagged: llano, cpu, asus, APU, amd

Asus today launched a new AMD focused F1A75 motherboard series, which the company claims is designed to optimize the performance of AMD’s Llano APUs. Equipped with such Asus features as Dual Intelligent Processors 2 (DIP2), DIGI+ Voltage Regulator Modules, auto-overclocking features, and a UEFI BIOS the new motherboards are packed with features and ready to be paired with a socket FM1 AMD processor thanks to the A75 chipset.  

The most noticeable end-user feature in the new motherboard series will be the UEFI BIOS which does away with the old-school DOS look in favor of a sleek graphical interface that can be navigated via a touchscreen or a mouse (in addition to the obligatory keyboard input).  Further, beyond the EZ mode and auto-tuning functions, it will allow overclockers to enter an Advanced mode to tweak their settings to get the highest overclock possible, and then save screen captures to a thumb drive by pressing the F12 key.

More specifically, the F1A75-V EVO model features the FM1 processor socket as well as two PCI-Express x8 slots for CrossFireX support in addition to native support for USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps standards.

The new boards should be available shortly at your favorite retailer(s).  Be sure to stay tuned to PC Perspective for Llano desktop APU benchmarks.

Source: Asus

One H61 iCafe motherboard please; hold the cream

Subject: Motherboards | June 22, 2011 - 02:51 PM |
Tagged: h61, sandy bridge, Intel

Overshadowed by the release of the high end X68 boards was the release of the Intel H61 Express chipset, the polar opposite of the enthusiast board.  The board is a full sized ATX instead of the mATX you might expect though you only get 4 + 1 phase power which does keep the production costs down.  You are also limited to DDR3-1333 though SATA 6Gb/s and USB 3.0 are available as well as a selection of audio and video out on the back panel and even a UEFI BIOS.  Think Computers rather liked the budget ASRock H61iCafe Intel H61 motherboard; check it out for yourself.

TC_asrock_h61icafe.jpg

"With Intel’s introduction of its second generation Core processors the main chipsets you have been hearing about and we have been covering are the P67, H67 and Z68. These chipsets are the mainstream and enthusiasts chipsets that give you everything you would ever want on a motherboard, but what if you are trying to save money? Or just build a simple machine? ASRock has you covered with the H61iCafe motherboard. This board is of course based on the Intel H61 Express Chipset. This board features USB 3.0 connectivity, Graphical UEFI BIOS, and support for Intel’s second generation processors. Let’s check it out!"

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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.

H_P8P67.jpg

"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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Source: [H]ard|OCP

New Rumor Indicates X79 Chipset Will Support Both 1366 and 2011 Sockets

Subject: Motherboards | June 14, 2011 - 06:35 PM |
Tagged: x79, rumor, lga 2011, lga 1366, Intel, cpu

Xbit Labs recently detailed a new rumor concerning Intel’s upcoming X79 chipset. According to a leaked document viewed by them, X79 will support both Intel’s current and upcoming high end processors sockets in the form of LGA 1366 and LGA 2011. What this means for the end user is that they will be able to purchase a x79 based motherboard that will support either Nehalem or Sandy Bridge-E processors, unless motherboard manufacturers decide to splurge and include both sockets on one board like the Asus’ concept board shown at Computex 2011. This means that while DIY enthusiasts and gamers are not likely to use these motherboards as an upgrade path to Sandy Bridge (as a CPU upgrade would likely still necessitate a motherboard upgrade due to both sockets not being physically present), IT departments will likely appreciate the continued support of the older 1366 processors on new motherboards as it will make replacement parts easy to find for high end 1366 based workstations.

On the other hand, manufacturers will benefit the most from the X79 chipset supporting multiple sockets, and thus reducing costs. This cost reduction may then allow for cheaper end-user costs.

Intel itself is planning to manufacture two X79 motherboards named the DX79SI and DX79TO, will each support LGA 1366 and LGA 2011 respectively. Xbit Labs reports that the DX79SI board is planned to be a feature packed LGA 2011, no-compromise affair, with support for up to 64GB of RAM (eight DIMM slots), three PCI-E 3.0 slots for multi-GPU configurations, 12 SATA (six SATA 3 6GB/s, six SATA 2 3GB/s) ports, four USB 3.0, 14 USB 2.0, 8-channel audio, Wifi and Bluetooth, and two Gigabit Ethernet connections.

In contrast, the DX79TO will feature a LGA 1366 socket, and brings two PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots, 8 SATA connectors (likely four SATA 3, four SATA 2), 2 USB 3.0, 6-channel audio, a single Gigabit Ethernet connection, and DDR3 memory support (there are no details on the exact DIMM configuration supported yet).

By lowering the cost of supporting two high-end CPU lines and platforms, Intel, motherboard manufacturers, and consumers likely have a win-win-win situation, providing that the rumor comes to fruition.

Source: Xbit Labs

Can ASUS' new ASUS P6X58-E WS Workstation board make it in a gaming machine

Subject: Motherboards | June 13, 2011 - 05:29 PM |
Tagged: asus, P6X58-E WS, X58, NF200

With the rise of SandyBridge in the enthusiast market, it seems that motherboard vendors are keeping the X58 chipest alive with server and workstation boards.  Ryan just wrapped up a review of Intel's own Extreme Series DX58SO2 board, which could have gone better for both parties.  [H]ard|OCP picked a different board altogether, the ASUS P6X58-E WS, which sports not only the X58 chipset but also th NF200 bridge chip which helps bring the total count of PCIe x16 slots to five.  The BIOS is the old AMI style, so put down that 3TB drive, you can pump up your storage with the outstanding RAID choices if you wish.  Really the only issue [H] had with the board was its form factor; with that many PCIe slots an eATX sized board seemed more appropriate to them.

H_asus_P6X58-EWS.jpg

"ASUS' X58 member of its Workstation line of motherboards, the P6X58-E WS motherboard, looks to offer an appealing mix of features and functions. With its use of both the Intel X58 and NVIDIA NF200 chipsets, the board offers the potential for unparalleled gaming performance."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Gigabyte Launches New Super4 Motherboards Based On Intel's H61 Chipset

Subject: Motherboards | June 10, 2011 - 04:07 AM |
Tagged: sandybridge, lga1155, Intel, h61, gigabyte

Gigabyte is on a roll lately as far as cranking out new motherboard series, and their latest unveiling introduces a new lineup that the company has dubbed its “Super4” motherboard series. The new motherboards amount to a budget Sandy Bridge platform that is positioned to save budget PC gamers a few bucks compared to the more feature-full, and more expensive, P67 and H67 chipsets by cutting out features that they do not necessarily need.

The GA-H61M-USB3-B3 Model Is Part of the New Super4 Series.

To be more specific, the new Super4 series is a new line of Gigabyte motherboards based around Intel’s H61 Express chipset, and supporting Intel’s latest Sandy Bridge socket 1155 processors. This chipset is fairly similar to it’s higher-end H67 brethren; however, it features only a single PCIe 2.0 x16 slot, 10 USB 2.0 ports, and four SATA II (3.0 Gb/s) ports versus the two PCIe 2.0 x16 slots, 14 USB 2.0 ports and six Sata II ports of H67. (A full comparison by Intel of the two chipsets can be found here.  Another differentiator between the two chipsets is the number of RAM DIMM slots available.  Whereas H67 boards could support four DIMM slots, H61 boards will only include two slots.

Gigabyte has then further added USB 3.0 support to their specific motherboards by including two USB 3.0 ports on the rear IO panel powered by an Etron EJ168 chip. Realtek Audio and Gigabit Ethernet is also included and accessible via the rear IO. As far as expansion slots, on the GA-H61M-USB3-B3 for example, Gigabyte has laid out the expansion slots as follows: One PCIe 2.0 x16 (running at x16) slot, one PCIe x1 slot, and two PCI slots. As the motherboards are based on Intel’s “H” chipset variant, their are the traditional DVI-D and VGA video outputs for the Intel processor graphics.

The new Super4 motherboard roll-out currently includes the following models: GA-P61-USB3-B3, GA-P61-DS3-B3, GA-HA65M-D2H-B3, GA-H61M-USB3-B3, GA-H61M-D2-B3, and GA-H61M-S2V-B3.

Gigabyte’s marketing team has appeared in full force, presenting the new Super4 series as “Super Safe, Super Speed, Super Savings, and Super Sound,” where the four pillars make up the motherboards “Super4” moniker.  The boards will likely retail for under $100 USD and will be priced lower than P67 and H67 based boards due to the fewer ports and supported PCIe x16 slots reducing the manufacturing cost. For single graphics card gaming rigs with only one or two storage drives, the new H61 motherboards may well prove to be a viable option. You can learn more about the boards by perusing the press release as well as by staying tuned to PC Perspective.

Source: Gigabyte

Gigabyte makes some interesting choices with the GA-Z68X-UD4-B3

Subject: Motherboards | June 7, 2011 - 01:12 PM |
Tagged: z68, gigabyte, GA-Z68X-UD4-B3

The GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 does not have any video out connectors, a choice which seems very strange for a Z68 based motherboard since it removes the GPU switching ability which is so popular with the new high end SandyBridge board.  Theoretically that should reduce the price of the board, though Gigabyte instead chose to pack it with other extras, a wide variety of output ports on the back panel, the new Touch BIOS and even an ability to switch between two separate 8 phase power planes.  See if the trade offs make sense to you by reading iXBT Labs' full review.

ixbt_ud4b3i68z.jpg

"If the lack of support for integrated graphics doesn't bother you, Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD4-B3 is a good and promising choice. It stands out among typical mid-end solutions by having richer functionality (two USB 3.0 and two additional SATA 6Gbps controllers), comes with a lot of software utilities, and you don't have to pay for extra hardware features you might not need. Also, the Touch BIOS adds nice variety to all those implementations of UEFI."

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Source: iXBT Labs

ECS Motherboards on display at Computex 2011

Subject: Motherboards, Shows and Expos | June 4, 2011 - 10:42 PM |
Tagged: x79, fusion, ECS, e-350, computex, 990fx

ECS, aka Elitegroup, had a large booth at Computex that focused more on its ODM aspects than consumer aspects, but there were still a couple of interesting designs to look at.

ecs01.jpg

The board we spotted was the new A990FXM-A motherboard that is of course based on the latest 990FX chipset from AMD.  Supporting the AM3+ processor socket and thus the pending AMD Bulldozer processors, the 990FX is going to be a long term product rather than a short term. One interesting addition to the board is found on the chipset heatsink that has a temperature reactive plastic on it that will turn from grey to orange-ish as the ambient case temperature increases.  This could be a great feature to easily gauge the heat level inside a windowed case.  

ecs02.jpg

Also an interesting move, ECS has elongated the receptacle on the 8-pin CPU power connection to make it easier to plug in and to remove.  If you have ever experienced a pinched finger or sliced finger nail from trying to reach down and unplug an ATX connector, you will see this as a nice addition.

ecs03.jpg

ECS also had its X79 motherboard variant on display, showing the company's readiness for the pending Sandy Bridge-E release.

ecs04.jpg

Also on the motherboard wall was the upcoming A75F-A with support for the AMD Llano Fusion-based processors that should be ready later in the summer. 

ecs05.jpg

Finally, a motherboard that we have just recently received for review purposes, the HDC-I is an AMD E-350 or E-240 Zacate platform mini-ITX form factor.  This solution might be a great option for users looking to build an HTPC box so be sure you check out our full review coming shortly.

Computex 2011 Coverage brought to you by MSI Computer and Antec

Source: ECS

One order of 990FX, hold the Zambezi

Subject: Motherboards | June 2, 2011 - 05:09 PM |
Tagged: 990fx, MSI 990FXA-GD80, msi

The MSI 990FXA-GD80 is, as we have come to find out, mostly a rebadged 890FX chipset with Socket AM3+ to allow for Bulldozer support when they eventually hit the market.  In and of its self, the term rebadged carries a fair amount of negative connotations; there is a plus side to this as well, as you can be guaranteed the technology behind it is mature and you shouldn't end up cutting yourself on the leading edge of technology.  [H]ard|OCP found the exception that proved the rule in this board, as the BIOS seemed to give them no end of troubles.  Read on to see exactly what hurdles they encountered and how they overcame them.

You can see Josh contrast the MSI 990FXA-GD80 with the Asus SABERTOOTH 990FX in his review as well.

H_MSI-990FXA-GD80.jpg

"AMD’s new 990FX chipset supports the upcoming Q3 Bulldozer release and now have motherboard manufacturers clamoring to put out new product designed for the Zambezi desktop processors. MSI is no exception and as a result it is introducing its 990FXA-GD80. Sans Zambezi."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Gigabyte X58A-OC Motherboard offers tons of features, removes others

Subject: Motherboards, Shows and Expos | June 2, 2011 - 05:13 AM |
Tagged: X58, overclocking, gigabyte, computex

Releasing a motherboard based on the X58 chipset at this point might seem odd, but when you can offer a unique take on the overclocking market you might just find a niche.  Gigabyte is hoping that is the case with the new X58A-OC model that is going to be priced very competively thanks in large part to the removal of many features.

gb07.jpg

The orange and black color scheme on the board is actually pretty unique while the layout is setup in a way for quad-GPUs - you are going to need that to break those overclocking records. 

gb08.jpg

In the top right hand corner there are a host of overclocking specific features.  The "4G" button will automatically overclock basically any Nehalem processor to something above 4.0 GHz while the Gear button will decrease the size of the increments available to the user on voltage to the processor.  The ratio and frequency +/- buttons are going to be of great use for overclocking a system on the fly without having to go through the trouble of entering a BIOS.  Don't forget you have your power and reset buttons and voltage monitoring leads here too.

gb09.jpg

Where Gigabyte saves a bit of money is with the non-overclocking features; things like eSATA and high-end audio are left out so that the even the classic external connection space is pretty bare. 

gb10.jpg

You will also notice near the SATA data connections some SATA-style power connectors as well.  These are used to supply extra voltage to the PCI Express connections for overclocking and pushing quad graphics cards.  

Computex 2011 Coverage brought to you by MSI Computer and Antec

Source: Gigabyte

New Gigabyte Motherboards: Llano, iSSD and Socket 2011 Models

Subject: Motherboards, Shows and Expos | June 2, 2011 - 04:52 AM |
Tagged: ssd, socket 2011, llano, intel ssd, gigabyte, computex, APU

We stopped by the Gigaybte booth during Computex 2011 this week and found a host of new motherboards that range from the mainstream to the ultra-extreme. 

gb01.jpg

First up is the A75-UD4H that supports the new AMD FM1 socket and the upcoming AMD Llano processor.  Even though the APU will have integrated graphics on die, the Gigabyte board support AMD Dual Graphics technology and CrossFire multi-GPU solutions in conjunction with 8 USB 3.0 ports. 

gb02.jpg

The board will include output connections of VGA, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort along with size USB ports, four of which are USB 3.0. 

gb03.jpg

The Z68XP-UD3 motherboard is one that will be offered in two different ways: one with an SSD and one without.  The "iSSD" model will actually include an mSATA Intel 20GB SLC SSD and should come in at a cost of under $250.  Considering the Larson Creek drive will cost you anywhere from $90-110 on its own, the combination of a Z68 motherboard and SSD is actually very price competitive.  Plus, you get the convenience of having the SSD on the motherboard without it taking up a 3.5-in or 2.5-in drive bay.

gb04.jpg

For those that choose to get the lower cost board without the included Intel SSD you will be able to choose from several other newcomers to the mSATA form factor including Kingston and OCZ.

gb05.jpg

Of course we had to take a look at the Socket 2011 motherboard, the X79A-UD3 with support for the upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge-E processor.  According to the slide information this will include a new version of the SSD caching technology called RSTe (Rapid Storage Technology Enterprise) with support for USB 3.0 and quad-channel DDR3 memory.

gb06.jpg

For those that haven't seen, here is a close up of the Socket 2011 in all its glory - that's a lot of pins!!

Computex 2011 Coverage brought to you by MSI Computer and Antec

Source: Gigabyte

ASUS Danshui Bay Motherboard Combines LGA1366 and Socket 2011

Subject: Motherboards, Processors | June 1, 2011 - 09:40 PM |
Tagged: socket 2011, lga1366, danshui bay, asus

At their Republic of Gamers press conference ASUS showed off a prototype concept motherboard that really got some attention.  The board combines an LGA1366 processor socket for current generation Nehalem processors AND a socket for the upcoming Sandy Bridge-E processors called Socket 2011.  What does a beast like this look like?

 

asusdanshui01.jpg

Okay, so this board probably won't fit in your case and maybe won't even see the light of day outside a few reviews and interesting designs.  But the concept is cool to see: use your LGA1366 processor today and still be able to upgrade to the Socket 2011 platform when those CPUs are released.  You can see each processor has its own seperate memory slots though they share most of the other components. 

The price of this board will also likely make it less than appealing to consumers; even those conscious of upgrade paths. 

Computex 2011 Coverage brought to you by MSI Computer and Antec

Source: ASUS

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.

msi01.jpg

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.

msi03.jpg

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.

msi02.jpg

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!

msi04.jpg

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.

msi05.jpg

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. 

msi06.jpg

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

MSI Officially Unveils AMD 9-Series Motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | May 31, 2011 - 11:49 PM |
Tagged: msi, motherboard, bulldozer, amd, 990fx

Popular enthusiast motherboard maker MSI, today officially launched a new line of motherboards supporting AMD’s 9-Series chipsets. Specifically, the 990FXA-GD80 and the 990FXA-GD65 motherboards bring support for AMDs latest native eight-core AM3+ processors. The high-end motherboard, the 990FXA-GD80, comes equipped with MSI’s OC Genie II overclocking technology as well as “Military Class II components with MIL-STD-810G Certification.”

Further, the new 9-series lineup features support for both NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX multi-GPU technology, USB 3.0, native SATA III 6Gb/s, and THX TruStudio PRO surround sound.

Computex 2011 Coverage brought to you by MSI Computer and Antec

 

Source: MSI

ASUS Launches New AMD 9 Series Motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | May 31, 2011 - 12:19 PM |
Tagged: motherboard, cpus, computex, asus, amd

Taipei, Taiwan (May 31th, 2011) ASUS has announced a new lineup of AMD based motherboards that support the 990FX/990X/970 chipsets and AM3+ CPUs, the first company in the market to provide fully compatible AM3+ motherboards. The models available are the M5A99/97 Series, the TUF SABERTOOTH 990FX and the ROG Crosshair V Formula. The M5A99/97 Series feature ASUS exclusive Dual Intelligent Processors (DIP), comprised of the TurboV Processor Unit (TPU) and Energy Processor Unit (EPU), which has been stated to be the “best power management technology” by worldwide media. Premium models also feature UEFI BIOS and the second generation of DIP that contains DIGI+ VRM (Digital power design), a first for AMD based boards. The new motherboards will be the first on the AMD chipset based platform to support both multi-GPU technologies AMD CrossFireX™ and NVIDIA® SLI™.


M5A99X EVO 3D -1.jpg

 

Dual Intelligent Processors 2 with DIGI+ VRM

The ASUS M5A99/97 Series motherboards offer unsurpassed compatibility with new AMD AM3+ socket CPUs, while also being backwards compatible with the previous generation AM3 CPU. The M5A99/97 core series is equipped with DIP2, which features DIGI+ VRM technology in addition to the TPU and EPU. DIGI+ VRM power delivery allows a user to precisely adjust and control power settings digitally for precise power control and flexible tuning of their system, perfectly serving the AM3+ CPU specification’s power demand. Digital control differs from analog controls by eliminating digital-to-analog conversion lag, which helps to improve overclocking capabilities. This means precise power flow adjustment and management as well as easy and flexible tuning, including extra DRAM power control for the AMD platform. It’s the most precise power delivery available, providing the best-in-class in power efficiency, performance and stability while also helping to maximize the overall overclocking potential. Also included on the M5A99/97 Series motherboards is the intuitive UEFI BIOS menu interface. UEFI BIOS allows a user to control and adjust their BIOS settings through the use of a mouse-enabled interface for more user-friendly navigation. The built-in EZ Mode option also provides a drag-and-drop boot priority option, for easier management of boot devices.

 

Specs:

 

Taipei, Taiwan (May 31th, 2011) ASUS has announced a new lineup of AMD based motherboards that support the 990FX/990X/970 chipsets and AM3+ CPUs, the first company in the market to provide fully compatible AM3+ motherboards. The models available are the M5A99/97 Series, the TUF SABERTOOTH 990FX and the ROG Crosshair V Formula. The M5A99/97 Series feature ASUS exclusive Dual Intelligent Processors (DIP), comprised of the TurboV Processor Unit (TPU) and Energy Processor Unit (EPU), which has been stated to be the “best power management technology” by worldwide media. Premium models also feature UEFI BIOS and the second generation of DIP that contains DIGI+ VRM (Digital power design), a first for AMD based boards. The new motherboards will be the first on the AMD chipset based platform to support both multi-GPU technologies AMD CrossFireX™ and NVIDIA® SLI™.


M5A99X EVO 3D -1.jpg

 

Dual Intelligent Processors 2 with DIGI+ VRM

The ASUS M5A99/97 Series motherboards offer unsurpassed compatibility with new AMD AM3+ socket CPUs, while also being backwards compatible with the previous generation AM3 CPU. The M5A99/97 core series is equipped with DIP2, which features DIGI+ VRM technology in addition to the TPU and EPU. DIGI+ VRM power delivery allows a user to precisely adjust and control power settings digitally for precise power control and flexible tuning of their system, perfectly serving the AM3+ CPU specification’s power demand. Digital control differs from analog controls by eliminating digital-to-analog conversion lag, which helps to improve overclocking capabilities. This means precise power flow adjustment and management as well as easy and flexible tuning, including extra DRAM power control for the AMD platform. It’s the most precise power delivery available, providing the best-in-class in power efficiency, performance and stability while also helping to maximize the overall overclocking potential. Also included on the M5A99/97 Series motherboards is the intuitive UEFI BIOS menu interface. UEFI BIOS allows a user to control and adjust their BIOS settings through the use of a mouse-enabled interface for more user-friendly navigation. The built-in EZ Mode option also provides a drag-and-drop boot priority option, for easier management of boot devices.

 

Specs:

 

Model

M5A99X EVO

M5A97 EVO

M5A97 PRO

M5A97

CPU Socket

AMD Socket AM3+ for AMD FX Series CPU up to 8-core, Compatible with AMD Socket AM3 for AMD Phenom™ II /Athlon™ II /Sempron™ 100 Series Processors

 

Chipset

AMD 990X/SB950

AMD 970/SB950

 

Memory

DDR3 2133(O.C.) / 1866 / 1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz Support

 

Power Phase Design

DIGI+ VRM 6+2

4+2

 

PCIe x16 Slots

3

2

 

Multi-GPU

CrossFireX / SLI

CrossFireX

 

LAN

Realtek® Gigabit LAN

 

Audio

8 - Channel HD, DTS

8 - Channel HD

 

Storage

6 x SATA 6Gb/s
2 x SATA 3Gb/s
1 x Power eSATA
1 x eSATA

6 x SATA 6Gb/s
2 x eSATA

6 x SATA 6Gb/s

 

USB

4 x USB 3.0 (2 ports at back panel, 2 ports at front panel), 14 x USB 2.0

2 x USB 3.0 (back), 14 x USB 2.0

2 x USB 3.0 (back), 12 x USB 2.0

 

Dual Intelligent Processors 2 with DIGI+ VRM

V

V

V

 

UEFI BIOS

V

V

V

V

TPU (with onboard switch)

V

V

V (without onboard switch)

V (without onboard switch)

EPU (with onboard switch)

V

V

V (without onboard switch)

V (without onboard switch)

 

Source: Asus

ASUS Launches new line of ROG Motherboards for Core i7, Bulldozer

Subject: Motherboards, Chipsets | May 31, 2011 - 02:35 AM |
Tagged: computex, ROG, asus, crosshair, z68, maximus

On the first day of Computex 2011, ASUS held an event in Taipei to announce a host of new ROG (Republic of Gamers) branded devices including motherboards, displays, headphones, notebooks and even a desktop system.

03-genez.jpg

For the Intel Sandy Bridge platform ASUS is releasing the Maximus IV GENE-Z and Maximus IV Extreme-Z that will both obviously use the Intel Z68 chipset and support the host of new features it introduces including Smart Response Technology and dual-graphics capability with Lucid Virtu. The GENE model is the micro-ATX variant that that supports SLI and CrossFire in addition to the Sandy Bridge graphics technology. For a full size solution the Maximus IV Extreme-Z offers four full-size PCIe x16 slots and support for 3-Way SLI and CrossFireX.

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For the AMD platform the Crosshair V Formula is the first ROG board to use the new AMD 990FX chipset as well as the first AMD board in a LONG time with support SLI in addition to CrossFire graphics scaling. Not only that, but this board will be the first ASUS option to offer the innovative UEFI BIOS that users on the Intel front have had access to for some time. While the Crosshair V Formula will work with current Phenom processors the big selling point is that it will support the upcoming AMD Bulldozer-based processors with the AM3+ socket due later in 2011.

A slightly more expensive Crosshair V Formula/Thunderbolt SKU will be available as well that will include an ASUS Thunderbolt card that combines ASUS Xonar audio capability (and built-in headphone amplifier) with the BigFoot Networks Killer NIC E2100 NPU. We can debate the value of Killer NIC addition to your system all day, but if you want it, that option will be available from ASUS in July.

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All three boards will include the overclocking and performance features that users of the ROG brand have come to expect and will be available this month. Be sure to check out PC Perspective for reviews of all the new ROG offerings!

Computex 2011 Coverage brought to you by MSI Computer and Antec

Source: ASUS

The backwards compatible 990FX has arrived; before the AM3+ chips even

Subject: Motherboards | May 30, 2011 - 12:44 PM |
Tagged: am3+, 990fx, amd

Hi Tech Legion has published their review of the ASUS Crosshair V Formula 990FX, the new AM3+ chipset from AMD.  While it is intended for the upcoming Bulldozer chips it is compatible with AM3 chips like the Phenom II X6 1090T they used to test.  It has three PCIe 2.0 x16 slots and two PCIe slots, one a x4 slot and one a 1x and even a legacy PCI slot.  The SB950 South Bridge supports six SATA 6Gb/s ports with RAID 0,1,5,10 and AMD's Asmedia USB 3.0 controller offers six USB 3.0 ports.  Audio is handled by the upremeFX X-Fi 2 and there are a host of other features available which you can read about in the full review.

Also keep an eye out on our front page, as Josh is finishing up his review as well.

HTL_CrossharV_990FX.jpg

"The ASUS Crosshair V Formula is an AM3+ motherboard from the Republic of Gamers lineup. The Crosshair V Formula is designed for hardcore gamers and overclockers who want the best and latest AM3+ motherboard. The ASUS Crosshair V Formula ROG motherboard is equipped with the 990FX/SB950 chipset, featuring native SATA 6Gb/s support and full compatibility with upcoming Bulldozer based 32nm AMD processors. For additional high-speed connectivity, the ASUS Crosshair V Formula is also equipped with an Asmedia USB 3.0 controller, boasting superior performance over the NEC USB 3.0 controller prevalent among the latest motherboards in the market. As with all the recent ROG-series boards, the ASUS Crosshair V Formula is powered by the Extreme Engine DIGI+ design, providing highly efficient and superior power delivery on the AM3+ platform."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Gigabyte Offers Z68 Motherboard With Bundled Intel 311 mSATA SSD

Subject: Motherboards | May 27, 2011 - 10:25 AM |
Tagged: z68, intel 311, gigabyte

Gigabyte has been on the ball as far as new Intel based Z68 motherboard launches go, and today is no different as they announce a new motherboard that will ship with an included Intel 311 mSATA SSD that is ready to power Intel's Smart Response Technology.

Gigabyte_Plus_Intel311.jpg

The new motherboard has been dubbed the Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3-iSSD, and is a Z68 based affair with an included 20GB SLC caching-ready solid state drive. Richard Chen, the VP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing for the motherboard manufacturer was especially enthusiastic about the launch, stating that "our customers realize the performance benefits that Intel Smart Response Technology has to offer, and the Z68XP-UD3-iSSD is the easiest way for them to instantly take advantage of the performance boost."

The bundle in question will be available from “selected online retailers” worldwide stating in early June of this year. Unfortunately, there is no word on pricing for the motherboard plus SSD; however, if priced right it will no doubt be a boon to first time builders in making their DIY rig that much easier to assemble.

Source: Gigabyte

Sneak Peak at the MSI 990FXA-GD65

Subject: Motherboards | May 24, 2011 - 05:20 PM |
Tagged: sb950, msi, amd, am3+, 990fx

 

AMD’s 900 series chipsets are coming.  Not exactly news here.  What is news it that we will be seeing them very soon.  Details are scarce, but from what all we can gather the 900 series will not be all that different from the 800 series.  The SB950 looks to be a tweaked SB850, but with no real new features over the older part.  The Northbridge portions should remain relatively unchanged, but again we could see a few tweaks and fixes applied throughout.  So in other words, no PCI-E 3.0 here or a significant die shrink.

We have on hand a few “spy shots” for the upcoming MSI 990FXA-GD65.  For those who pay attention, this sounds very familiar to the 890FXA-GD65.  When we take a look at the snapshots, we will see that the resemblance is more than just the name.

990FXA_GD65_1.jpg

 

More after the break...