Gigabyte's new Z68 board with added NF200 goodness

Subject: Motherboards | July 22, 2011 - 12:12 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, gigabyte Z68X-UD7-B3, NF200, z68

ASUS is not the only company with extra PCIe lanes on their X68 board anymore, as Gigabyte's new Z68X-UD7-B3 hits the market.  With an included NF200 chip there are four PCIe 16x slots, two of which run at 8x speeds.  You even get a PCIe x1 slots, and 2 PCI slots though the PCIe 1x is slightly blocked by the heatsink on the NF200.  [H]ard|OCP were very happy with this board, it survived 3 days in their torture chamber before finally crashing when most boards are considered solid it they can survive 24 hours.   If you need a high end SLI board, take a look at this review.

H_gigabyte_z68xud7b3.jpg

"The Z68X-UD7-B3 is GIGABYTE's latest release supporting LGA1155 processors and new Z68 Intel Express Chipset. This motherboard looks to be gunning for a top spot with is mix of performance and features. Is the UD7 worth your hard earned dollars?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Sapphire Introduces New Pure Platinum Motherboard Supporting AMD A-Series APUs

Subject: Motherboards | July 21, 2011 - 11:25 AM |
Tagged: sapphire, motherboard, fusion, APU, amd

Sapphire Technologies, most popular for their line of AMD discrete graphics cards, has recently unveiled a new ATX motherboard supporting AMD’s A-Series APUs. Dubbed the Sapphire Pure Platinum A75, the board supports the latest interface standards including SATA 3 6Gbps, USB 3.0, PCI-E 2, and USB 2.0. Further, the board supports Gigabit LAN, Bluetooth, and four dual channel memory sockets.

Sapphire Pure Platinum A75.jpg

The Pure Platinum A75 motherboard is a full ATX affair that is chock full of expansion slots. Four dual channel DIMM slots for DDR3 memory, two PCI-E 2 x1 slots, one PCI-E 2 x4 slot, one PCI-E 2 x16 slot, and two PCI slots along the bottom of the board. On the storage front, the motherboard contains five SATA 3 6Gbps ports with ACHI and RAID support and a single SATA 2 3Gbps port that is connected to the rear header and is used as an eSATA connection.

Other features of the board include Dual Graphics support when the APU is paired with a AMD HD 6600 or HD 6500 series for a boost in graphics performance by using both the discrete card and APU together. A single digital debug display, push buttons for resetting the BIOS, starting, and restarting the system, Dual BIOS support, and voltage test pads that allow voltage readings of the APU and memory circuits. Further, the motherboard uses gold plated connectors on the USB 3.0 and LAN ports in addition to solid capacitors and Sapphire Diamond Black chokes in the VRM area.

Sapphire Pure Platinum A75_rearIO.jpg

Rear IO of the board includes Display Port, DVI, HDMI, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, one Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR antenna, one eSATA port, and one PS/2 keyboard/mouse combination port. The board also included the standard fair of audio ports, supporting up to 7.1 audio.

According to Sapphire, the board is currently in production and will be available through the usual channel partners and retailers. You can check out more photos of the motherboard here.

Source: Sapphire

Zotac thinks small with their new Z68 motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | July 15, 2011 - 01:50 PM |
Tagged: zotac, mini-itx, z68

If you are looking to bring the benefits of the Z68 chipset to your LAN box, look no further than Zotac's Z68-ITX WiFi mini-ITX board.  They've done everything possible to trim down the size while keeping the functionality you need to play games. While there is only a single PCIe 16x slot and 4 SATA ports in total, you have 8 USB 2.0 ports and a pair of USB 3.0 as well as a variety of audio and video output ports.  As well there is a serious WiFi add on card with dual antenna to get you connected to your friends and enemies.  Check out the full review that TechPowerUp posted here.

TPU_board_front.jpg

"ZOTAC recently announced their mini-ITX Z68 motherboard. Supporting standard desktop parts for expansion, the ZOTAC Z68-ITX WiFi offers all the features of the Intel Z68 chipset, including some decent overclocking. We put the Z68-ITX WiFi through the paces, and take this little roadster for a wild ZOTAC ride."

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Source: TechPowerUp

Gigabyte's high powered A75M-UD2H for the low powered Llano processor

Subject: Motherboards | July 11, 2011 - 05:18 PM |
Tagged: llano, gigabyte, a75, fm1

Gigabyte made sure that a Llano user will be able to get all that they want out of the  A75M-UD2H; 8+2 phase power, five SATA II I ports and an eSATA on the backplate to keep the combo PS/2 port, D-sub port, DVI-D port, HDMI port, DisplayPort, optical SPDIF connector, two USB 2.0, four USB 3.0 port, one FireWire port, the Gigabit Ethernet port, and 8 channel audio ports.  As you can tell that backplate is very full. It also supports Crossfire with a pair of PCIe slots running 8x when both are populated. Taking the board through its paces was only one facet of Bjorn3D's review, they also pair the board and APU with an HD6870 to see how it performs with a powerful GPU.  Check out the review.

b3d_gigabytea75-ud4h.jpg

"When we looked at Llano, we determined that its CPU performance is similar to Athlon II X4 or Phenom II X4 840 processor, so why would a discrete GPU user choose Llano instead of an Athlon II X4 or Phenom II X4? Should the user choose a more expensive CPU for gaming? Firstly, Llano is more power efficient and runs much cooler than the 45nm processors. We'll be testing the second question today.

In this review, we are not only going to take a look at the GIGABYTE board, but we are also going pair the board with an HD 6870 and run a few games at 1920x1080 resolution with typical settings that average gamers would use to see the impact of CPU performance in games"

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Source: Bjorn3D

Video Perspective: AMD A-series APU Overclocking and Gaming Performance

Subject: Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Processors | July 6, 2011 - 08:15 PM |
Tagged: amd, llano, APU, a-series, a8, a8-3850, overclocking

We have spent quite a bit of time with AMD's latest processor, the A-series of APUs previously known as Llano, but something we didn't cover in the initial review was how overclocking the A8-3850 APU affected gaming performance for the budget-minded gamer.  Wonder no more!

In this short video we took the A8-3850 and pushed the base clock frequency from 100 MHz to 133 MHz and overclocked the CPU clock rate from 2.9 GHz to 3.6 GHz while also pushing the GPU frequency from 600 MHz up to 798 MHz.  All of the clock rates (including CPU, GPU, memory and north bridge) are based on that base frequency so overclocking on the AMD A-series can be pretty simple provided the motherboard vendors provide the multiplier options to go with it.  We tested a system based on a Gigabyte and an ASRock motherboard both with very good results to say the least.  

We tested 3DMark11, Bad Company 2, Lost Planet 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and Dirt 3 to give us a quick overall view of performance increases.  We ran the games at 1680x1050 resolutions and "Medium"-ish quality settings to find a base frame rate on the APU of about 30 FPS.  Then we applied our overclocked settings to see what gains we got.  Honestly, I was surprised by the results.

While overclocking a Llano-based gaming rig won't make it compete against $200 graphics cards, getting a nice 30% boost in performance for a budget minded gamer is basically a no-brainer if you are any kind of self respecting PC enthusiast. 

Source: AMD

The difference a letter can make; 4 LGA1155 boards from Gigabyte

Subject: Motherboards | July 6, 2011 - 06:27 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, sandybridge, ga-z68x, lga1155

Gigabyte's GA-Z68X-UD3P-B3, GA-Z68X-UD4-B3, GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 and GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 are up for review on X-bit Labs right now.   You need to be fairly observant to notice the difference in the models and have a great memory to know which is which at a glance.  They all share some similar characteristics, such as the lack of onboard video out but also share positive traits like Dual BIOS and Phase LEDs and a number of USB 3.0 and SATA 6G ports.  They had a few problems during the review which you might want to find out about before purchasing one of these boards.

xbt_giga1155.jpg

"Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3P-B3, GA-Z68X-UD4-B3, GA-Z68X-UD5-B3 and GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 mainboards do not have video Outs, that is why integrated graphics doesn’t work on them. They can use Intel Smart Response technology, but do not support any of the Lucid Virtu modes. Read our in-depth review to find out about other features of these mainboards."

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Source: X-Bit Labs

MSI Announces New PCI-Express 3 Motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | July 6, 2011 - 04:36 PM |
Tagged: PCI-E 3.0, msi, graphics

MSI recently unveiled a new motherboard supporting the PCI-Express 3.0 standard. The Intel LGA 1155 CPU socket and Z68 chipset are also features of the upcoming motherboard, dubbed the Z68A-GD80 (G3).

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The new MSI board joins ASRock's announcement as one of the first PCI-Express 3.0 motherboards, and is loaded with tons of features. The Z68 chipset naturally supports Intel Sandy Bridge processors, PCI-E 3.0, a UEFI BIOS, OC Genie II, and their signature MIL-810STD military class components. The PCI-E 3.0 slots help AMD CrossFire X and NVIDIA SLI multi GPU solutions fed with plenty of bandwidth. Rear IO includes a PS/2 port, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, DVI, 7.1 audio, Dual Gigabit Ethernet, e-SATA, and firewire.  On board IO includes 3 PCI-E 3.0 slots, 2 PCI slots, and two PCI-E x1 slots, the 1155 CPU socket, and 4 DDR3 DIMMs.

What do you think of the new board; are you ready for PCI-E 3.0?

Source: MSI

You seen the processor, now check out the socket FM1 motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | June 30, 2011 - 01:56 PM |
Tagged: fm1, llano, ASUS F1A75-M Pro, amd, a8-3850, lynx

Along with the arrival of the A series of Llano processors comes socket FM1 motherboards and the AMD A75 FCH (Hudson D3) chipset.  Legit Reviews focused on the ASUS F1A75-M Pro motherboard, which supports dual channel RAM and has three PCIe slots, a 16x, a 4x and a 1x as well as six SATA 6Gb/s ports which support Raid 0, 1, 10, and JBOD configurations. It also puts the new UEFI BIOS to good use, if you didn't know you were looking at a BIOS you wouldn't recognize it as one.  At a price of $120, this would allow you to pick up an A8-3850 and this motherboard for about the same price as a Core i5 2500k without the motherboard.  Not too shabby.

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"Where the ASUS F1A75-M Pro truly excelled today was the performance of the integrated graphics. Every one of our graphics tests that we compared the Intel HD Graphics 3000 to the AMD A8-3850 with AMD Radeon HD 6550D there was a clear and decisive winner. For our recap of the graphics performance let's start with Total War: Shogun 2 in DirectX 9 mode. The ASUS F1A75-M Pro was able to pull out an average that was 143.4% faster than the Intel system at a resolution of 1280x1024..."

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New ASRock Z68 Fatal1ty Motherboard Supports PCI-E 3.0

Subject: Motherboards | June 29, 2011 - 08:08 AM |
Tagged: z68, pcie 3.0, motherboard, Intel

ASRock recently unveiled a new enthusiast Z68 chipset based motherboard supporting the PCI-Express 3.0 standard. Dubbed the Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3, the company claims that when coupled with the upcoming Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs, “users are assured to enjoy the full power of PCIe Gen3 standard” as a powerful gaming motherboard.

 

Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3(M).jpg

The board further features the LGA 1155 socket, four DDR3 DIMM slots capable of 2133 Mhz, two PCI-Express 3.0 slots, one PCI-Express 2.0 x16, one PCIe x1 slot, and two PCI slots. IO standards include the latest SATA III 6 Gbps, Intel’s SRT (Smart Response Technology) caching, and USB 3.0. The board is further capable of supporting either NVIDIA Quad SLI or AMD CrossfireX technology. An on-board PLX PEX8608 chip has been added to allow the PCIe 2.0 and PCIe 3.0 ports to coexist at their native speeds.

Rear connections include a special Fatal1ty mouse port that users can adjust the polling rate of to anywhere between 125 Hz to 1000 Hz, eight USB ports (likely four USB 2.0, four USB 3.0), VGA output, two HDMI outputs, Digital audio out, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 7.1 channel THX TruStudio audio outputs.

The ASRock board is ready to get its game on according to the company who stated that “is the world's first motherboard that supports PCIe 3.0 and goes on sale now.”

Source: ASRock

MSI Announces New Llano AMD Motherboard Supporting DirectX 11

Subject: Motherboards | June 28, 2011 - 10:22 PM |
Tagged: msi, llano, a75

Today MSI announced a new motherboard for AMD enthusiasts which brings support for AMD’s Llano APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) and the latest SATA III 6 Gbps and USB 3.0 IO standards. The new board in question has been dubbed in typical leftover scrabble pieces fashion as the A75MA-G55.

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Utilizing the A75 chipset, the new A75MA-G55 is a Micro-ATX form factor that does not skimp on features with 4 DIMM slots for up to 32GB of DDR3 memory and 2 PCI-Express 2.0 slots for discrete graphics cards. Further, a PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slot and a legacy PCI slot are also included on the PCB. Rear IO includes a PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet port, HDMI, VGA, and DVI support along with 7.1 channel audio outputs.

The AMD APU that will be paired with this motherboard will features DirectX 11 graphics and a ‘Steady Video’ feature which utilizes the APU’s GPU to apply image stabilization to video to remove shaky images.

As other enthusiast class motherboards from MSI, the A75MA-G55 features Certified Military Class II components which amounts to solid state capacitors, and super ferrite chokes that seek to extend the longevity of the motherboard versus the old school non-solid capacitors that tended to “burst” after years of heavy use. As a mATX Llano board with lots of features, it is a motherboard that is sure to be right at home HTPC (home theater pc) and SFF (small form factor) enthusiasts.

In response to the Asus F1A75 series, it looks like MSI has a competitive offering on its hands. As always, stay tuned to PC Perspective for more Llano motherboard coverage. Which Llano motherboard are you most excited about?

Source: MSI

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.

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"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.

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"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.

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"ASUS' P67 chipset product portfolio can get fairly confusing at times with the slew of "P8P67" models. This time we are taking a look at the "vanilla" P8P67. Though you could say its vanilla with a lot of twists as this board offers a "B3" stepping version of the supporting chipset and sports a very solid feature set for "vanilla.""

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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.

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"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."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Source: [H]ard|OCP