Gigabyte Z68MX-UD2H-B3 Motherboard Pictured

Subject: Motherboards, Chipsets | May 9, 2011 - 09:11 AM |
Tagged: gigabyte, z68

The slueths over at VR-Zone have come across some photos of the upcoming Gigabyte Z68 motherboard option, the Z68MX-UD2H-B3.  The VRM setup is a 6+1 design which is pretty basic though the inclusion of three full-size PCI Express slots should allow for at least dual-card configurations of SLI and CrossFire and possibly even three cards.  

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VR-Zone has more info on the configuration options as well:

Moving on we have a header for two front USB 3.0 ports via an Etron host controller, no less than five headers for 10 USB 2.0 ports, seven SATA ports of which three are SATA 3Gbps and four are SATA 6Gbps and for some reason a serial port header.

Around the back we have four USB 2.0 ports, another two USB 3.0 ports using another Etron controller, an eSATA port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, a PS/2 port, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out and a set of four display ports consisting of a D-Sub, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort.

For those of you that love the mATX form factor seeing reasonable designs like this one are good indicators that the Z68 market is going to have just many options as the P67 one did.

Source: VR-Zone

AMD commits support to coreboot for the foreseeable future

Subject: General Tech, Motherboards | May 7, 2011 - 10:51 PM |
Tagged: coreboot, amd

When you boot your computer, you probably see a splash screen from whatever motherboard manufacturer or system builder you purchased from. Under that splash screen your computer is busily preparing itself to accept your operating system of choice with a lot of proprietary code. coreboot, formerly LinuxBIOS, is an Free Software project first released over a decade ago designed to replace your aforementioned proprietary BIOS with their own lightweight code. They claim boot times to a Linux console of just 3 seconds.

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AMD Embedded: In this article.

Thursday, AMD announced on their blog that they have committed to supporting coreboot for all future products starting with Llano APU. They claim that support will continue for the foreseeable future for both features and products.

We are not expecting our readers to replace their BIOSes with coreboot except for a small segment of hardcore enthusiasts with a decent understanding of C. That said, the motivation of coreboot is not currently in the consumer market: the embedded market is the focus and AMD’s pledge of continued support should mean that cash registers, kiosks, and set-top boxes will have a little more AMD inside driving them.

Source: AMD Blog

Gigabyte Partners With Lucidlogix To Bring Switchable Graphics To Desktop Enthusiasts

Subject: Motherboards | May 6, 2011 - 10:18 AM |
Tagged: z68, switchable desktop graphics, Lucidlogix, gigabyte

Gigabyte, maker of quality motherboards that are recommended by many enthusiasts for DIY builds, has today announced a long term partnership with Lucidlogix to bring switchable graphics to its Z68 desktop chip set based motherboards.

While notebook users have enjoyed switchable graphics technology like Nvidia's Optimus and AMD's Switchable Graphics for some time, desktop users have not had a widely available solution. DIY (do it yourself) builds have been even further from a workable solution. Today; however, Gigabyte has stepped up to the plate to offer OEMs and enthusiast builders the opportunity to use switchable graphics by using the Lucidlogix Virtu technology.

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So far, Gigabyte has announced three motherboard models that will ship with Lucidlogix’s Virtu technology; the Z68X-UD3H-B3, Z68A-D3H-B3, Z68MX-UD2H-B3, and Z68MA-D2H-B3 specifically. These motherboards support both Virtu and Intel’s LGA 1155 “Sandy Bridge” processors, which include an integrated GPU that Intel dubs “processor graphics.”

While these Intel processor graphics’ gaming capabilities are extremely limited, they do very well running Windows 7’s Aero desktop while sipping power. Dedicated graphics cards on the other hand, tend to draw relatively large amounts of power even at idle. Until now, enthusiasts have had to choose between low power machines that are unable to run the latest games or gaming machines that remain power hungry in everyday non-gaming usage.

What Ludiclogix’s Virtu technology promises for Gigabyte customers is the best of both worlds. By allowing enthusiasts to use both a powerful dedicated graphics card for gaming and a low power card for everyday use, better control, efficiency, and choices become available.

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The way in which this switchable graphics technology works is that Lucidlogix presents a sort of virtualized graphics card to the operating system. There is then a bit of logic that determines which graphics card will process the various Direct X API calls. When only using the Aero desktop and IntelMedia processor graphics instructions, the dedicated card can be in a low power state while the integrated GPU handles the workload. When running games or when activated by a user (or their profile settings), the virtualized card passed the dedicated card instructions to process that are then routed out the Sandy Bridge video output connection. This allows enthusiasts the best of both power draw and performance worlds that mobile users have enjoyed for some time.

Another important benefit of the Virtu technology is that it will allow enthusiasts to use programs that benefit from Intel's Quick Sync technology.  Programs optimized with Intel Quick Sync in mind use fixed function transistors in the processor graphics of Sandy Bridge CPUs to hardware accelerate such task as video transcoding.  GPU accelerated software such as this is able to generate higher quality encodes at a faster frame rate (using Intel's Quick Sync) than both current Nvidia and AMD graphics cards.  According to Anandtech, when converting The Dark Night from a 12mbps 1080p x264 source video to a 1.5mbps 480p video optimized for the Ipod Touch, the Sandy Bridge's GPU was able to achieve 264.8 frames per second, which results in Quick Sync being "almost 4x faster than the Radeon HD 6970 and twice as fast as everything else."  PC Perspective also found marked improvements in transcoding time using Quick Sync to convert a 450mb Cannon 7D's video file to an ipad optimized format.  In PC Perspective's testing, they saw a 5.2x faster transcode time using Quick Sync versus without (no gpu acceleration). Until now enthusiasts with high end graphics were unable to use the graphics processor in Sandy Bridge CPUs as it automatically disables itself when it detects that a discrete graphics card is present in the system. 

The only drawback for high end gamers lies in issues with setting up multi-monitor rigs as the Virtu technology outputs over the motherboard’s single video output instead of, say, a dedicated card’s traditional multiple video outputs. For single screen gamers; however, Gigabyte motherboards with Virtu technology will be a boon.

Source: Gigabyte

An armour plated Sabertooth from ASUS

Subject: Motherboards | May 5, 2011 - 02:28 PM |
Tagged: p67, thermal, armour, armor, lga1155

The ASUS P67 Sabretooth sports Thermal Armor, a shell over most of the PCB giving it a unique look, but that's not all.  It also helps to spread the heat generated from your components and caps and has thermal sensors embedded within to give you a really good look at the temperature of portions of your board.  The UEFI BIOS caught The Tech Report's eye as did the performance.  They aren't convinced that the board should have you upgrading before the looming release of the Z68 but if that is not within your budget, this board might be.

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"Asus' Sabertooth P67 motherboard offers five-year warranty coverage, loads of temperature sensors, and a novel shroud designed to cool motherboard components. We take a closer look at whether Asus has built the perfect premium P67 board for enthusiasts."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

ZOTAC Introduces FUSION-ITX WiFi A-series

Subject: Motherboards | April 29, 2011 - 07:31 PM |
Tagged: zotac, itx, fusion, amd

“ZOTAC International, a leading innovator and the world’s largest channel manufacturer of graphics cards, motherboards and mini-PCs, today introduces the new FUSION-ITX WiFi A-series – a world-class mainboard that combines the power of AMD Radeon™ HD graphics processing with class-leading energy-efficiency for the ultimate flexible mini-ITX form factor.
 
The ZOTAC® FUSION-ITX WiFi A-series features the AMD E-350 APU platform that incorporates a dual-core 1.6 GHz processor with Microsoft® DirectX® 11 compatible AMD Radeon™ HD 6310 graphics for the ultimate synergy of CPU and GPU performance. The combination enables flawless high-definition Blu-ray and streaming Internet video playback capabilities for a visually rich computing experience in a mini-ITX platform.”
 
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Specifications:
Product Name
FUSION-ITX WiFi A-series
Chipset
AMD E-350 APU Platform
South Bridge
AMD M1
GPU
AMD Radeon™ HD 6310
CPU Compatibility
Integrated dual-core 1.6 GHz
System Bus
N/A
Memory support
2 x DDR3-1066 SO-DIMM slots
Memory capacity
Up to 8GB
Expansion
PCI Express x4 (open-end)
Mini-PCI Express (occupied by WiFi card)
SATA
4 SATA 6.0 Gb/s
1 eSATA
Display outputs
DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI-I & VGA (with included adapter)
WiFi
802.11n
Ethernet
10/100/1000Mbps
USB
4 USB 3.0 ports (2 on back panel, 2 via pin headers)
6 USB 2.0 ports (4 on back panel, 2 via pin headers)
Audio
8-channel high-definition audio
HDMI audio output (lossless bit stream ready)
Digital S/PDIF (optical) output
DirectX® support
DirectX® 11 with Shader Model 5
Other hardware features
OpenGL® 3.2, AMD Avivo™ HD technology, AMD Stream technology, dual simultaneous display support
Windows® 7 capability
Certified for Windows® 7 premium®

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 The ZOTAC FUSION-ITX WFi A-series is a great motherboard for a home theater or low power small form factor PC. Being a mini-ITX size motherboard does not mean it lacks features. This mini-ITX motherboard includes the AMD Fusion E350 APU W/ AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics, 2 DDR3 SO-DIMM slots, an open ended PCI Express x4 slot with the capacity of handing a full x16 card, 4 SATAIII ports, 1 eSATA port, 802.11n wireless, gigabit Ethernet, a total of 10 USB ports and 8 channel audio with HDMI audio output.
 
 It is uncommon for any motherboard to include four USB 3.0 ports. The ZOTAC FUSION-ITX WFi A-series has two on the back and two in the front. One thing to keep in mind is most cases don’t officially support USB 3.0 front ports as of yet. Will the current USB 2.0 front panel ports work at USB 3.0 speed?
 
The biggest advantage the AMD Fusion APU’s has over Intel’s Atom’s CPU is the graphics portion. Intel’s Atom graphics have problems with HD 1080p video, unless it is paired with NVidia’s ION graphics. This motherboard supports up to 8GB of ram and should be enough for any HTPC or SFF computer build. No fan over the APU makes for a quiet pc, and thats important if your using this motherboard for a home theater pc.
Source: Zotac

The Biostar THX1138 ... make that TH67XE

Subject: Motherboards | April 29, 2011 - 07:01 PM |
Tagged: biostar, sandy bridge, htpc

Biostar is still kicking and is doing it in style with the Sandy Bridge based TH67XE. With a 7.1 +2 channel Realtek ALC892 HDA codec onboard, Firewire, 2 USB 3.0 ports, up to 14 USB 2.0, VGA, DVI, HDMI 1.4,DisplayPort and even eSATA this is one incredible HTPC board.  Of course this comes with a price as the features leave few PCIe lanes open and overclocking is not good, though not overclocking an HTPC seems like a small sacrifice.  Check iXBT Labs for more.

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"Biostar currently offers as many as five microATX motherboards based on the H67 chipset. And today we shall review the most advanced of those, TH67XE."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Source: iXBT Labs

Gigabyte demos TouchBIOS configuration tool

Subject: Motherboards | April 29, 2011 - 12:52 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, bios, touchbios

For pretty much all of my life, the BIOS of a motherboard has been the same old boring DOS-sytle coloring and controls.  Arrow keys, enter, that's pretty much it.  The recent adoption of the EFI standard is changing that quite a bit and if you look at some of our recent motherboard reviews, you'll notice that BIOS manipulation is now much more intuitive and graphical interesting.  

Gigabyte sent over a link to a video demonstrating their latest enhancement to the BIOS known as "TouchBIOS".  As the name implies, the interface has been tweaked for a touch screen though you can obviously also use a mouse to get the job done.  This is a Windows application however, so keep that in mind - you aren't actually able to use a touch screen when entering the BIOS.  Applying the changes also requires a reboot, so there is no additional magic there.

So what do you guys think?  Is this is a useful addition to the world of BIOS controls?

Source: Gigabyte

More on the Z68's love affair with SSDs

Subject: Motherboards, Storage | April 28, 2011 - 06:49 PM |
Tagged: z68, ssd, ssd caching, Intel

Since it would be cruel to leave you only with the leaked SSD family from Intel and a few hints from ASRock about the performance increase from even a 20GB SSD, here is some more information from VR-Zone.  Bear in mind we are still in the territory of leaked info and informed guessing but the topic is one worth keeping up with.

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"Intel plans to officially launch Z68 Express chipset on May 18th but you will be able to see reviews online from 12th onwards. Of course, those who can't wait for the official launch can already purchase the Gigabyte Z68X-UD7-B3 board from the retail market, first available in Taiwan and then the rest of the world in the coming weeks. Other brands like ASUS and ASRock are set to hit the retail next. Those enthusiasts hoping they can overclock their Sandy Bridge better on Z68 than the P67 will probably be disappointed but there is one important feature of Z68 that matters, and that is the SSD caching."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Source: VR-Zone

AMD 990FX, 990X and 970 chipsets to get NVIDIA SLI Support

Subject: Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Chipsets | April 28, 2011 - 09:45 AM |
Tagged: sli, nvidia, amd, 990x, 990fx, 970

In a move that is long overdue, NVIDIA's Tom Peteresen announced on a blog post that SLI multi-GPU support was finally going to be offered on AMD platforms with the upcoming launch of the AMD 990FX, 990X and 970 chipsets.  On previous AMD platforms users have not been able to use multiple NVIDIA graphics cards in SLI because NVIDIA simply did not allow licensing of the technology on them.  As of this month, that policy is changing.

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According to the post, NVIDIA has had a change of heart and wants to "make sure gamers can benefit from the new CPU competitive landscape and ensure they have NVIDIA SLI – the highest performance, most stable multi-GPU solution - to game on!"  The lack of SLI on previous chipsets was the result of Intel being the dominate CPU platform of choice for gamers in recent years. 

ASUS, Gigabyte, ASRock, and MSI are going to be the first out of the block with motherboard based on the AMD 990FX, 990X and 970 chipsets with SLI support according to NVIDIA's Petersen. 

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This doesn't change NVIDIA's stance on the whole licensing and charging motherboard vendors to integrate SLI thing, however.  In an ideal world, NVIDIA would have announced that they were opening up SLI to work on ANY motherboard, future or present, that has enough PCI Express slots on them, just like we see today with AMD's own CrossFire technology.  Despite pressure to do that, NVIDIA is standing by its current formula and expanding into the realm of AMD chipsets.  

Regardless, today is a good day for AMD fans and gamers alike that want more choice and more variety in their system build options for the future.  The AMD Llano and Bulldozer-based processors just got a little more gaming friendly.

Source: NVIDIA

Back In Full Black…The Rampage III Black Edition

Subject: Motherboards | April 26, 2011 - 03:12 PM |
Tagged: X58, rampage III, rampage 3, lga1366, ich10r, black edition, asus

Fremont, CA (April 25, 2011) - ASUS Republic Of Gamers (ROG), the most innovative and award winning enthusiast and gaming motherboard brand, is excited to introduce the Rampage III Black Edition. Team ROG is resetting the bar by which motherboards are judged by incorporating new levels of design, quality, functionality and connectivity that enthusiasts and gamers demand in current products.

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Years of Refinement – Today’s Latest Technology
The Rampage III Black Edition combines the years of continued refinement and innovative design its industry leading engineering staff brings to the ROG brand into one board. Not only does the Black Edition board sport the latest design aesthetics featuring a superb layout, ultra-modern finishes, and a revised thermal cooling solution it also features incredible performance.

ASUS has always pushed the performance envelope and the limits of designs with ROG motherboards and the Black Edition is no exception. After listening closely to the gaming and enthusiast communities’ feedback and combining the expertise of ASUS’ performance gurus Peter “Shamino” Tan and Andre Yang, the Rampage III Black Edition provides the most robust and extensive BIOS, software and connectivity options available on a motherboard. It is this dedication to the user community and continual product improvements that separates ASUS ROG from the imitators.

Leading Connectivity for the Gamer and PC Enthusiast
The Rampage III Black Edition meets the needs of gamers and enthusiasts alike when it comes to expandability options. The board begins by offering dual-slot GPU spacing to optimize airflow along with (4) PCI-E x16 expansion slots. In addition the Black Edition offers a multitude of leading I/O standards such as USB 3 , SATA 6G, eSATA, Bluetooth 3.0 and 802.11N WiFi. In addition the board features both Intel Gigabit LAN and BIGFOOT Networks Killer™ NIC LAN technology for the best possible online multimedia and gaming experience. The Black Edition motherboard ensures the latest connectivity standards are available for gamers and enthusiasts alike, something the imitators are unable to offer.

Digital Power Delivery and Design – Only the Best for ROG
Like all ROG motherboards, the Rampage III Black Edition uses the latest in high quality and durable components to ensure trouble free operation and long life. Leaving the constraints of analog designs from imitating brands behind, the Black Edition takes the performance leading and award winning ASUS Extreme Engine Digi+ design of the Rampage III Extreme and pushes it even further. Utilization of a super alloy choke and a high-quality dual proadlizer design ensures extremely low ESL and ESR as well as high capacitance and current capabilities for cooler operation while gaming along with leading performance when overclocking. These superior design elements are brought together with ASUS’ other innovative designs such as ROG Connect, OC Zone and AI Suite to give gamers and enthusiasts gamers a board that stands above the rest.

Ultimate Immersion and Superior Performance
Republic Of Gamers always pushes the limits of hardware design and now takes this commitment to the next level with the ThunderBolt card. The ThunderBolt combines the award winning designs of ASUS’ Xonar audio cards as well as specifically designed high performance DAC and headphone amp for the ultimate in ear fidelity and in game positioning. In addition the ThunderBolt card integrates cutting-edge gaming technology from BIGFOOT Networks Killer™ NIC series and brings them together into one card. Plugging the Thunderbolt card into an open PCI-E slot ensures an immersive audio experience and stunning networking performance in a unique design that competing imitators do not offer.

Specifications
Intel LGA1366 socket for Intel Corei7 Processor Extreme Edition / Core™i7 Processor with optimizations for Gulftown 32m based CPUs.

  • Intel® X58/ ICH10R
  • ROG ThunderBolt LAN/Audio Combo with High Quality AMP for headphones , Based on Xonar Audio Design and Killer™ NIC E2100 NPU  (that is the add-in card you can see on the board)
  • Bluetooth v3.0+HS with 802.11n WIFI Support
  • Extreme Engine Digi+ - Powerful combination of analog and digital design elements for Ultimate VRM Performance
  • True USB 3.0 & SATA 6Gb/s Support.
Source: ASUS

NVIDIA Synergy will offer discrete and integrated GPU support on Sandy Bridge

Subject: Graphics Cards, Motherboards | April 26, 2011 - 02:19 PM |
Tagged: virtu, synergy, optimus, nvidia, lucid, gpu

Remember when we previewed a piece of software from Lucid called Virtu that promised the capability to combine processor graphics features of the Intel Sandy Bridge lineup with the performance and DX11 support of discrete graphics cards from NVIDIA and AMD?  The ideas was pretty simple but it addressed one of our major complaints about the initial Sandy Bridge processor launch: the IGP features like fast video transcode acceleration and ultra-low-power video acceleration were unavailable to users that chose to also use a discrete graphics solution.

Lucid's Virtu software running in our previous testing

Lucid's solution was to "virtualize" the GPUs and use a software layer that would decide which applications to run on the discrete GPU and which to run on the integrated processor graphics on the Intel CPU.  There were some limitations including the need to have the displays connected to the IGP outputs rather than the discrete card and that the software worked on a rather clunky white-list implementation.  Also, discrete graphics control panels were a bit of a headache and only worked with NVIDIA cards and not in all cases even then.  

Virtu was to be distributed through motherboard vendors starting with the release of the Z68 chipset (as it was the first mainstream chipset to support overclocking AND display outputs) but now it appears that NVIDIA itself is diving into the same realm with a new piece of software called "Synergy".  

Check out more after the break!

Source: VR-Zone

PCPer v4.0 Giveaway: ASUS Maximus IV Extreme P67 B3 Motherboard

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Motherboards | April 25, 2011 - 03:19 PM |
Tagged: p67 b3, maximus iv extreme, giveaway, contest, asus

As you can no doubt tell, PC Perspective got a HUGE and much needed facelift recently to what we are internally calling "PC Perspective v4.0".  I know there are still some kinks to work out and we are actively addressing any feedback from our readers in this comment thread.  

But we want to celebrate the launch of the new site in style!!  Some of our site sponsors have very generously offered up some prizes for us to give out throughout the coming days...

The sixth prize is truly a killer motherboard, the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme P67 B3!

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This motherboard from ASUS has just about anything an enthusiast could ask for including:

  • ROG Connect: Plug and Overclock - Tweak it the hardcore way!
  • ROG iDirect : Tune your PC from your iPhone or iPad now!
  • RC Bluetooth: Smashes through all the barriers of conventional overclocking!
  • Extreme Engine Digi+: Smashes through all the barriers of conventional overclocking!
  • USB BIOS Flashback: Refresh the BIOS can never be that easy

How can you win this wonderful piece of engineering that currently sells for more than $360???

Couldn't be easier: post a comment in this post thanking ASUS for its sponsorship of PC Perspective as well as any ideas you have for the NEXT super-motherboard.  What other features would you like to see from ASUS? 

You should probably have a registered account or at least be sure you include your email address in the appropriate field so we can contact you!

We will pick the winners soon and move on to the next hardware that finds its way to PC Perspective offices.  Good luck and thanks for reading!!

Source: ASUS

Rampage III Formula Intel X58, ROG performance without breaking the bank?

Subject: Motherboards | April 22, 2011 - 06:38 PM |
Tagged:

At a mere $299 the Rampage III Formula Intel X58 board is actually a mid-range ROG part, the Extreme version will run you an extra $80.  The question that Think Computers wanted to answer is simple, is there anything on the Formula that makes it worth the extra dough compared to a non-ROG board?  By the time they were finished with the board they were sold on it.

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"ASUS’s top tier line of products is the Republic of Gamers line of products otherwise known as ROG. If you are purchasing an ROG product you know you are getting the best of the best and something that is going to last you a long time. With any line it is broken up into segments, Extreme being the highest, Formula being in the middle and Gene at the lower end. Today we will be taking a look at the Rampage III Formula board and from the name we know it sits in the middle. This is an Intel X58 board that has many of the features of its more expensive brother the Rampage III Extreme for a more reasonable price. Let’s take a look and see if this board is perfect for your next build!"

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Trimming the fluff and leaving the functional; the MSI 890FXA-GD65

Subject: Motherboards | April 15, 2011 - 03:14 PM |
Tagged: SB850, msi, amd, am3, 890fx

[H]ard|OCP offers a second opinion on the Socket AM3 motherboard that Josh enjoyed so much, the MSI 890FXA-GD65.  This board differs significantly from other economy class motherboards because MSI redesigned it from the ground up instead of just cutting off pieces from a more expensive model.   

Drop by for a look at [H]'s testing results.

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"With LGA1155 boards being all the rage, it’s easy to forget about those who are using the AM3 platform. We rectify that by taking a long [H]ard look at the MSI 890FXA-GD65. A simple and very basic design that makes up for its lack of features in many ways. For around $130 it may be just what the OC Genie ordered."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Intel rolls their own X58 motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | April 1, 2011 - 02:33 PM |
Tagged:

If you are shopping for an Intel branded board; not an Intel based board but a board actually branded as Intel, then you are likely shopping for parts for a new server.  Skulltrail is an example of a board branded as Intel that did gain some attention from the enthusiast segment, but that was quite a while ago.  New to the market is the Intel DX58SO2 LGA 1366 X58 and it underwent some tough scrutiny at [H]ard|OCP.  There were issues and disappointments but in the end they concluded "

Source: [H]ard|OCP

A last grasp at the perfect MSI 890FX board

Subject: Motherboards | March 24, 2011 - 01:08 PM |
Tagged:

The new MSI 890FXA-GD65 represents perhaps the last of the AM3 boards from MSI and so they did a good job of ensuring the motherboard takes advantage of the newest features.  They've included their Military Class II ICs and capacitors, eight USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports at the rear and support for up to six SATA 6Gb/s devices as well as overclocking friendly placement of the DIMM slots and an extra PCIe 6 pin power connector.  They did trim some extras, IDE connectors, front panel USB 3.0, Bluetooth and the OC dial were removed which keeps the price reasonable but doesn't sacrifice any important features.  Check out Hi Tech Legion's review here.

"The MSI 890FXA-GD65 motherboard is a low cost option for value-minded enthusiasts. The 890FXA- GD65 is part of MSI’s gaming series of motherboards, featuring Military Class II high quality components and high overclockability. The MSI 890FXA-GD65 supports all the latest AM3 processors and has two PCIE x16 slots for AMD CrossFireX. Despite being a budget 890FX board, the MSI 890FXA-GD65 is rife with connectivity options, with eight USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports at the rear and support for up to six SATA 6Gb/s devices."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

  Motherboards

Low priced 880G/SB850 motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | March 17, 2011 - 12:14 PM |
Tagged:

Well, we might still be anxiously awaiting Socket AM3+ boards to arrive, anyone looking for a minor upgrade to their AMD system is probably looking to 880 chipset motherboard prices falling.  Hardware Canucks have two possibilities for you, the M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 and the M4A88TD-M/USB3 both around $100 and offering some nice new features, obviously including USB 3.   Drop by Hardware Canucks for a look.

"AMD has made it a point of marketing to concentrate upon adding value to certain price segments and their supporting motherboard manufacturers have really caught on. Today we will be taking a look at two products which take this mantra to heart: the sub-$110 ASUS M4A88TD-M/USB3 and M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3. Both use the 880G/SB850 chipset combination and are looking to offer consumers a broad range of features for a budget friendly price."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

  Motherboards

ASUS P8P67 Deluxe, for advanced and basic overclockers both

Subject: Motherboards | March 9, 2011 - 03:33 PM |
Tagged:

Now that the channel is once again receiving SandyBridge boards, [H]ard|OCP took the opportunity to release their review of the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe.  As the name implies this is not a barebones motherboard, the Deluxe sports everything from Bluetooth support, UEFI, USB 3.0, SATA 6G as far as hardware goes, to a long list of ASUS features to improve your experience.  It came away with a Silver Award, partly due to the solidity of the overclocking software for those who do not want to do it manually.

"ASUS has a ton of P8P67 variants. Some are light on features, some aren’t. The P8P67 Deluxe is certainly anything but light on features but how does it perform? How does it stack up in the sea of recent P67 Express based boards?"

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

  Motherboards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

ASUS Launches Updated P67/H67 B3 Revision Motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | March 7, 2011 - 02:49 PM |
Tagged:

Fremont, CA (March 7, 2011) - ASUS is excited to announce availability of its highly acclaimed and award winning series of P67 and H67 B3 revision motherboards that have garnered critical praise from technical media outlets, industry veterans and users alike. Since the launch of Intel’s 2nd Generation Core (Sandy Bridge) Processors, ASUS has led the industry in performance, reliability, ensured functionality and superior features with its supporting motherboards. This impressive track record continues with the B3 revision motherboards that features Intel’s latest update to its 6 Series (Cougar Point) chipset. Besides the B3 revision update, ASUS provides the latest in digital power design and delivery with its DIGI+VRM design, the latest UEFI design with advanced support for new hardware features, industry leading I/O connectivity options, and superior monitoring and user control capabilities in the new AI Suite II software package.

ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 2 with DIGI+VRM - Setting a new standard of digital power design and power delivery
Consumers and technology media have welcomed the latest innovations in ASUS’ P67-based motherboards since their launch, and B3 revision models are set to continue this trend. One of the biggest attractions has been the second-generation Dual Intelligent Processors 2 architecture with ASUS’ exclusive DIGI+ VRM power delivery system. This exclusive ASUS architecture offers revolutionary digital CPU voltage regulation for improved reliability, stability and performance not available with yesterday’s analog technology.

These new motherboards also feature Dual Intelligent Processors 2 technology, which consists of twin embedded co-processors that ensure optimized energy consumption and enhanced performance controls not available in other motherboards. Consisting of the Energy Processing Unit (EPU) and TurboV Processing Unit (TPU), this unique technology delivers a potent combination of streamlined system-wide energy consumption and enhanced PC performance.

The DIGI+ VRM design sets a new standard in digital power management. DIGI+ VRM replaces analog voltage regulator module (VRM) controllers with a digital programmable microprocessor that fully integrates Intel’s VRD 12 CPU power delivery system to eliminate digital-analog conversion used on competing P67 motherboards with outdated analog power delivery systems. Since it is designed with 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processors in mind, DIGI+ VRM improves PC performance from the ground up, increasing overclocking capabilities while improving power efficiency, system stability and reliability.

AiSuite II with DIGI+ VRM Controls – Putting easy to use yet advanced hardware level controls and monitoring into users hands
The Digi+ VRM provides leading performance in regards to power delivery, transient response, temperature and flexibility for adjustment. This gives users an unprecedented amount of control over the fine-tuning of their PC. Overclocking is simple, easy and stable with the dynamic real-time Auto Tune overclock mode in AiSuite II. Enthusiasts can fine tune their systems using advanced controls in AiSuite II that include five fine-tuning modes offering increased precision for loadline, CPU current, VRM frequency, power-phase and duty control settings. Enhanced digital controls allow users to make extremely precise adjustments for increased efficiency and overclocking potential compared to analog solutions. The degree of flexibility and reliability offered by AiSuite II gives users access to a new standard of control and monitoring and ensures ASUS P8P67 series motherboards are the ideal platform for the 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processors.

UEFI Bios Replacement - User-friendly, intuitive graphic interface
The exclusive ASUS UEFI BIOS provides users with an industry leading intuitive graphical interface for control over both basic and advanced BIOS settings with mouse or keyboard input. Changing system settings becomes more accessible and much easier than with traditional text-based BIOS versions, as consumers can choose between different levels of tuning, from EZ Mode for basic settings, monitoring and boot device selection to advanced mode all for extensive adjustment and customization of performance board level parameters.

Industry leading I/O Connectivity – BT GO! Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and Intel LAN
BT GO! is another ASUS exclusive feature, combining seven Bluetooth modes in one easy to use interface within the award winning AiSuite II. With consumers operating more and more wireless devices, especially smart phones and tablets that require seamless integration via their PC’s, ASUS has crafted BT GO! to meet this demand right on the motherboard; no additional adapters required. BT GO! is a hardware based Bluetooth 2.1+EDR controller that offers advanced functionality within AiSuite II like BT Net (internet sharing), Music Player/Streaming, Folder/Contact Sync and also offers general peripheral connectivity for mice, keyboards or headsets speakers. In addition to BT GO!, USB3 and additional SATA6G ports ASUS is also implements the native Intel Gigabit Ethernet controller on select P8P67 Series of motherboards. The Intel controller distinguishes itself with superior throughput, large packet performance and reduces CPU utilization; lastly its software support for varied applications and environments is unmatched within the industry. These implementations continue to show why ASUS is at the forefront of the industry in providing leading I/O connectivity options on its motherboard.

Source: ASUS

A non-mobile Zacate for the HTPC fan

Subject: Motherboards | March 2, 2011 - 12:19 PM |
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Ryan investigated MSI's E350IA-E45 AMD Brazos Fusion APU Platform, one of the first non-mobile implementations of the Zacate platform.  Outputs on the mini-ITX board include 8-channel audio with optical and coaxial connections, VGA and HDMI which supports streaming uncompressed audio to a high-end receiver, a single Gigabit NIC (no inbuilt wireless), a single PS2 port, six USB 2.0 ports and two USB 3.0 ports.  It also sports a cooling fan that was Ryan's favourite part of the whole system. 

Check out the full review.

 

"The MSI E350IA-E45 mini-ITX Fusion APU motherboard is our first experience with a desktop form factor iteration of AMD's latest CPU technology and we came away very impressed by the implementation. The board is low cost yet offers features that will prevent your system from being outdated quickly like support for SATA 6.0 Gb/s storage and USB 3.0 devices. With relatively low power consumption and performance that beats the best that Intel's Atom can throw at it, the MSI E350IA-E45 is a fantastic option for consumer looking for a mini-ITX system."

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