Of ASRock's consistency and an Extreme X79 motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | January 13, 2012 - 03:21 PM |
Tagged: asrock, x79, X79 Extreme4, lga2011, sandy bridge-e

[H]ard|OCP starts out their review of the ASRock X79 Extreme4 with a tale of two motherboards and the quality issues that they discovered.   In part it is a warning and in part it offers contrast to the decent quality of the review model that they received.  The board did display a few minor problems during testing, which prompted [H] to caution anyone picking this or any other ASRock board that they may need to deal with the RMA process.  Assuming you get a working board the Extreme4 offers a great experience for you.  The two PCIe 16x slots and single 8x slot are all PCIe 2.0 which may disappoint some who plan on upgrading their CPU or installing a PCIe SSD card.  Apart from those two main issues, [H] were quite happy with this board.

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"After the last couple of ASRock boards, I wasn’t sure if I ever wanted to see another one. The ASRock X79 Extreme4 not only surpassed my admittedly low expectations, but proved to be the exact opposite of the last two motherboards. Grab a sandwich and read on. You don’t want to miss this one."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

ASUS Rampage IV Formula and Gene plus dual LGA2011 MB showcased

Subject: Motherboards, Shows and Expos | January 10, 2012 - 08:38 PM |
Tagged: rampage iv gene, rampage iv formula, lga2011, gene, CES, asus

While we have already detailed the ASUS tablet and notebook products shown here at CES, the company didn't leave the enthusiasts and PC builders out in the cold.  In this video we chat with J.J. Guerrero about the upcoming Rampage IV Formula and Gene motherboards that bring some interesting new audio features to the X79 platform.  Oh, and just for fun, a quick look at the upcoming dual-socket LGA2011 Xeon motherboard for those that think 32-thread systems are the way to go.

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

CES 2012: EVGA parties like it's socket 2011 in Viva Las Vegas. Dual-socket SR-X mobo, UV Plus+ 39 video out for USB3, PSUs

Subject: General Tech, Motherboards, Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | January 10, 2012 - 07:22 PM |
Tagged: evga, CES 2012, CES

There are most commonly three types of booths in CES: a display of one or more new and innovative products to hope to blaze their very own trail, a display of one or more intriguing iterations on existing product lines, or a display of some sort of pasta or alcoholic beverage. This year EVGA appears to fit mostly into the middle category; I hear they make good chips, however. The three major iterations this year quite possibly could not be more diverse: a new dual-socket Xeon motherboard, new power supplies, and an update to their UV Plus+ USB video adapter.

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There’s something ironic about HDMI and DVI products by EVGA.

Dual-Socket 2011 SR-X Xeon motherboard

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Not to be outdone by their old pizza box-sized components, EVGA announced their new SR-X motherboard to bring a product like the SR-2 to socket 2011. This time around they retain their 12 DIMM slots update their PCI-E slots to the third generation with 4-way SLI possible. You can also expect 8 SAS/SATA ports to connect a large number of hard drives at 6Gbps to your computer. It is clear that EVGA has aimed this PC motherboard at enthusiasts who want what they want and have the credit to get it.

1500W, 1000W, 750W power supplies

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EVGA has made a few power supplies in the past so why not add a few more products to their portfolio? Partially pictured above is the 1000W unit that can provide 82A over the 12V rail -- which should be useful to pair with a Quad-SLI SR-X rig; and if not, there’s the 1500W one with a stated “customizable number of 12V rails” whatever that actually means.

UV Plus+ 39 video out by USB 3.0

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The general masses regularly ask for methods to connect their computers to their HDTV through their USB ports and are routinely shocked to find that it is not a simple cable solution. Ponder that, USB cannot do everything… or can it? EVGA updated their UV Plus+ 19 with their UV Plus+ 39 to add support for dual-monitor output and USB3.0 for higher bandwidth, though USB 2.0 is still supported. There is no word on whether the maximum resolution would be reduced in dual-monitor mode. If you are worried about graphics acceleration over a USB device, the driver created links to your real video card thus you still have access to your GPU for processing.

Now we just need to find out about their video cards.

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: PCPer

Take a closer look at MSI's new Z77 motherboards

Subject: Motherboards, Shows and Expos | January 10, 2012 - 06:19 PM |
Tagged: Z77, msi, lga1155, Ivy Bridge, CES

You probably saw Scott's coverage of the unveiling of the new Z77 chipset based motherboards from Gigabyte which will support Intel's soon to be released Ivy Bridge family of processors.  This spells a return to LGA 1155, though don't expect your old Sandy Bridge processor to be able to take advantage of all the features of this new high end chipset.

MSI has two brand new boards they are showing off at CES 2012, the Z77A-GD80 and the Z77A-GD65.   The first will be their new flagship motherboard and will feature new versions of ClickBIOS, their UEFI implementation and Multi-BIOS overclocking helper which will allow you to save profiles and recover from BIOS corruption.  The board will continue their tradition of PCIe 3.0 compliance with three 16x slots and it will have four dual dual channel DIMM slots that can accept up to DDR3-2667.  They've also included four USB 3.0 and four SATA 6Gbps ports for your storage needs.

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 The Z77A-G65 below sports the same overall features as the GD80 with some changes to the PCB.  Looking to the top of the board you can see the GD65 lacks a heatsink at the very top edge but you can still see that MSI has used Military Class III components on the motherboard and the always on USB charging port.

IMG_7305.JPG

*update*  The missing link has been found that seperates the GD80 from the GD65 and that difference is none other than Thunderbolt.  The Z77A-GA80 has Thunderbolt support, the new interface which allows an external peice of hardware direct access to the PCIe bus and will allow transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps. That speed allows the use of devices like MSI's GUS II, an external video card enclosure that comes with an expensive and sometimes hard to find Thunderbolt cable.  That interface is not limited to GPUs, it will be interesting to see what use enthusiasts who purchase the Z77A-GD80 will put Thunderbolt to.

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: MSI

CES 2012: GIGABYTE unveils Z77 -- big, small, gigabytesized

Subject: General Tech, Motherboards, Shows and Expos | January 10, 2012 - 04:45 AM |
Tagged: gigabyte, CES 2012, CES

The first day of CES is nearly to a close and while I escape the blisters on my feet due to my location a few time zones and one border away from the organized chaos, the callusing of my fingertips has just begun. Allow us to each stretch our hands out, loosen our wrists, and prepare to indulge on distilled product announcements and testimony of how awesome various TVs look. Since we are a computer hardware website, how about indulging in a jackpot of information about Gigabyte’s next generation of Z77 Ivy Bridge motherboards?

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So… uh… did I win?

The Z77 chipset will be Intel’s higher-end platform for the upcoming Ivy Bridge CPUs as well as support for the previous generation of Sandy Bridge processors. While there are some 60-series chipsets that support Ivy Bridge with a BIOS update I am sure Gigabyte, for one, hopes you upgrade to a motherboard more suited for the CPU.

Perhaps you would like a 3D BIOS with that?

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Gigabyte decided to attack the user-interface within the BIOS and chose its weapon to be 3D graphics with their X79 motherboards for Sandy Bridge-E. Tim wrote a little piece on it last November and it looks like the product had enough potential to continue pressing the issue with their Z77 line. The 3D BIOS can also be dropped down into Advanced Mode for those who are not afraid of the more traditional BIOS layout; the advanced mode will apparently still be prettied up, just not at the sacrifice of functionality.

Big sniper, little sniper, green sniper, Killer sniper.

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Two motherboards announced during CES stem from the G1.Sniper product line: one ATX (3), and one Micro-ATX (M3). BigFoot Systems has their Killer (brand name, not adjective) technology present in these products with the larger board also containing a second Intel Gigabit network adapter.

Motherboards for small businesses.

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Gigabyte ended their press release with a few notes about their small business products. As expected, they focused their motherboard on the core needs of what a small business would desire: remote monitoring, backup, and durability.

Setting its sights on the small business market, GIGABYTE will demonstrate the B75M-D3H motherboard that represents a new product range featuring the ability to remotely monitor and manage PC health, installed software, data backup, energy saving and connectivity. This allows system integrators to add value to their products by offering these services to small businesses with between 1 and 6 PCs. Key features and selling points for these models will be manageability, affordability and GIGABYTE’s Ultra Durable design quality.

What do you think about Gigabyte’s product line? Do you desire a Micro ATX gaming machine for your desk or perhaps your home theatre cabinet? Do you own a small business? 

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: PCPer

MSI Launches New X79 Flagship Big Bang-XPower II Motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | January 5, 2012 - 01:44 PM |
Tagged: x79, msi, motherboard, big bang II, big bang 2

MSI is hoping to make a "big bang" with their new flagship Big Bang-XPower II X79 based motherboard. The board itself is full sized ATX, and sports a dark matte gray PCB with glossy black connectors and heat-sinks. The rear IO is aluminum and the PCH heat-sink has six copper heat-pipes (or supa' pipes as we like to call them around the office). The board has quite a few overclocker and enthusiast friendly features.

MSI_Big_Bang_II.jpg

Specifically, the new Big Bang II is based on the X79 chipset and is ready to accept a Sandy Bridge-E (Socket 2011) processor. A total of 8 DIMM slots makes for some quad channel goodness, and MSI claims that the board will be able to support up to 128 GB (RAM Drive anyone!?) of RAM when 16GB DIMMS become available. Further, the motherboard is PCI-E 3.0 compliant and is ready for 4-way SLI or Crossfire multi-gpu setups in addition to sound cards and RAID controllers thanks to its seven total PCI-E expansion slots.

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All this kit is going to need quite a bit of power, and MSI has gone so far as to brand their motherboard with the "Xtreme Power Design," which seems to indicate they mean serious business. More than the name, the two 8 pin and 1 6 pin (in addition to traditional 24 pin ATX power) connectors for the CPU and Graphics/PCI-E 3 devices respectively. The two CPU power connectors deliver 300 watts while the VGA connector can provide an additional 150 watts of power to compliment the total maximum power draw of 770 watts (!). (Needless to say, I would need a new PSU to push this board to its max). Managing this power is a 22 phase PWM "with hybrid design power" using solid and Hi-c capacitors. The VRM area of the board is massive, in other words.

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The overclocker friendly features include voltage check pins for CPU, RAM, and chipset, and a backup BIOS with accompanying switch. Further, a Direct Overclock button to adjust the CPU BCLK (in intervals as small as .1MHz), and power and reset buttons on the board itself are also included. Last up is a feature called PCI-E CeaseFire, which allows users to completely turn off graphics cards without needing to physically remove them from the motherboard by using a series of switches next to the Direct OC buttons. MSI claims that the Big Bang-XPower II is "the optimal weapon for enthusiast overclockers to break world records."

Rear IO includes a PS/2 port, six USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet, six analog audio jacks, S/PDIF optical and coaxial audio outputs, a Clear CMOS button, and a Firewire port.

Needless to say, this board boasts quite a few features! More information can be found here.

Source: MSI

Mixed results from Gigabyte's mid-range GA-X79-UD5

Subject: Motherboards | January 2, 2012 - 02:25 PM |
Tagged: x79, gigabyte, X79-UD5, lga 2011, Sandy Bridge E

A review of Gigabyte's mid-ranged X79-UD5 motherboard has appeared on [H]ard|OCP, though from the $340 price tag it is hard to call it mid-ranged.  It sports three PCIe 3.0 16x slots, though one runs at only 8x, as well as two PCIe 2.0 1x slots and even an old PCI slot.  For storage a half dozen SATA 6Gbps ports are bolstered by four SATA 3Gbps ports, four USB 3.0 ports and over a dozen USB 2.0 ports.  [H]'s experience with the board was mixed, while it was stable during their tests, Gigabyte recently release a statement which seems to imply some users were experiencing heat issues when overclocking that were bad enough to damage hardware.  As well they were unimpressed with Gigabyte's UEFI implementation and found it hard to navigate.  When those issues are combined with the high price, [H] didn't feel this was a board that they could recommend.

H_x79-ud5.jpg

"Gigabyte brings us another beautiful board in the form of the X79-UD5. Should this board be on your short list or is beauty only PCB deep? See how this LGA 2011 socket board stacks up with the Sandy Bridge E boards we have seen so far. This UD5 model is feature rich for a decent price, but, does it blend?"

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

ASUS ROG welcomes 2011 with the Rampage IV Extreme

Subject: Motherboards | December 19, 2011 - 02:30 PM |
Tagged: ROG, Rampage IV Extreme, lga 2011, asus

ASUS' Republic of Gamers family now has a Socket 2011 motherboard in the form of the Rampage IV Extreme.  The ROG boards are the highest end of ASUS' motherboard and the prices reflect this, the board [H]ard|OCP reviewed is $450.  For that you do get a lot, four PCIe 3.0 16x slots of which three can operate at 16x speeds, four SATA 3Gbps ports and four SATA 6Gbps ports, eight USB 3.0 ports and up to a full dozen USB 2.0 ports.  A large assortment of connectors and extras comes packaged with the board, as well as a new version of TurboV EVO, ASUS' monitoring and overclocking software.  Overclocking proved difficult, no matter which cooling solution they tried the CPU would slowly heat up until it began triggering alarms or simply crashed.  As this is an early version of the board you can expect the success rate to change somewhat; head to the review to see the long list of extras ASUS included with this impressive X79 motherboard.

H_ROGIVx.jpg

"ASUS expands its ROG line once again to include offerings based on Intel’s latest X79 chipset and support for the new Sandy Bridge-E processors. The ASUS Rampage IV Extreme comes from a long line of Rampage motherboards most of which have been excellent products. Our expectations are extremely high for this "Extreme" offering."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Another Z68 motherboard from ASRock; boom or bust?

Subject: Motherboards | December 9, 2011 - 01:15 PM |
Tagged: asrock, z68, z68 pro3

Earlier in the month Steve reviewed the ASRock Z68 Extreme 7 Gen 3 motherboard and handed it a Silver Award.  This so called budget brand has been steadily improving over the years and the Extreme 7 was ahead of the curve.  Was that a one off success or can they match the performance of that board with the ASRock Z68 Pro3?  [H]ard|OCP just polished off a review of that board, much less intricate than the Extreme 7 but still based on the same chipset so it should be capable of similar performance.  Will this board live up to the quality we have seen recently or is this board bargain bin bound?  Read on and see.

H_ASROCKx68pro3.jpg

"It’s easy to get hung up on the high end boards. Despite the flare, the coverage, and the amazing features, the bulk of the population and even the bulk of the enthusiast community rarely buys such boards. It is with this in mind that we examine a budget solution in the form of the ASRock Z68 Pro3. Low budget, low expectations?"

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

ECS and their no holds barred approach to the X79 chipset

Subject: Motherboards | November 30, 2011 - 05:29 PM |
Tagged: ECS, X79R-AX Extreme, x79

ECS put out the X79R-AX Extreme and it certainly deserves that moniker.  They went for 4 USB 3.0 ports instead of 2, they included a CLRTC button on the back panel, dual NIC s and Bluetooth and as well as WiFi with an external wire style antenna.  Internally there are 8 SATA 6Gb/s ports and 4 SATA 3Gb/s ports, a diagnostic LED which also displays current CPU temperature and 4 PCIe x16 slots and 2 PCIe x1 slots.  That list goes far beyond the other Extreme X79 boards on the market.  Guru3D warns that the BIOS is more than a little confusing when you overclock but at roughly $300 to pick up when it becomes available this is a sweet example of an X79 motherboard.

g3d_ecsx79.jpg

"Today we take a look at the new motherboard from ECS, the X79R-AX Extreme. We'll throw in a decent photo-shoot and a benchmark suite at the product and get an indication what performance is like with the Intel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E).

Admittedly I was a little shocked when the motherboard arrived, as it is probably the most feature rich X79 motherboard we've had in our labs."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

 

Source: Guru3D

Gear Up with MSI: Win Intel Motherboards, GeForce Graphics Cards

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Motherboards | November 30, 2011 - 11:13 AM |
Tagged: z68, x79, sandy bridge-e, msi, GTX 580, GTX 560, giveaway, contest

This is a pretty big week here at PC Perspective as we released our highly anticipated review of the Intel Sandy Bridge-E and X79 platform.  If you haven't read that over, you need to do so, right away!!  But we also have some impressive gear to giveaway thanks to our friends at MSI and their "Gear Up with MSI" campaign!

What are the prizes?  I know that's what you want to know first...

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prize2.jpg

Wow, these are some stellar prizes!  First prize basically gets the components required for one of the fastest gaming rigs on the planet while the 2nd prize will be able to play Batman: Arkham City with all the top settings! 

So what do you have to do to win these prizes?  The steps are simple:

  1. Make a comment on this post thanking MSI for this kick ass contest!!  That's pretty simple right?  You don't have to register, though we would appreciate it!
  2. Like MSI on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MSI.ComputerUS
    1. (Just a hint, they have a lot of Facebook-specific contests throughout the year!)
  3. Like PC Perspective on Facebook: http://facebook.com/pcper
  4. Follow PC Perspective on Twitter: http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. Circle PC Perspective on Google+: http://gplus.to/pcper
    1. (Another hint, comments on our G+ post about this contest get another entry!)

We will pick random winners in our pool of entries on Wednesday, the 7th of December!  Sorry, US and Canada residents only for this one!  If you don't have a Facebook/Twitter/Google+ account commenting here will still enter you.

Oh, and if you haven't seen the other contest MSI is running around the release of Batman: Arkham City, you should check out this page on their site.  Posting a photo of yourself dressed up like Batman has never been so lucrative! 

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The Grand Prize for MSI's Batman Photo Contest!!

Winners Announced!!  Sorry about the late update, but we did pick our winners!  The first prize went to use "Equinox2355" and the second prize went to "Deman".  Thanks to everyone for participating and we'll have more contests very soon!!!

Extreme overclocking potential from the new ASUS ROG Rampage IV Extreme

Subject: Motherboards | November 22, 2011 - 05:14 PM |
Tagged: asus, ROG Rampage IV Extreme, socket 2011, x79, ROG

ASUS had the extreme overclocker in mind when they were building the Rampage III Extreme, not many people need two type-K Probe digital thermometers for operating below 0C nor 6 variable resistors, voltage sensors to monitor your GPUs exact current voltage nor an external device to monitor and tweak settings that doesn't need CPU cycles.  If you are more of a casual overclocker you should not let that scare you off as there is a solid BIOS for more casual tweaking which you can even access using an iPhone/iPad over Bluetooth.  It also sports what ASUS calls the X-Socket which will allow you to use an LGA1366 heatsink on this board.  It might cost almost $500 but once you are done reading Hardware Canucks review you might be trying to find ways to put this board in your next system.

HWC_Rampage.jpg

"You saw them in our i7-3960X review; the much anticipated Sandy Bridge Extreme launch along with the X79 code name Patsburg chipsets. Not only do we have a brand new socket (2011) but motherboard manufacturers have have been quick on the uptake and ASUS is trying to lead the pack with their X79 Rampage IV Extreme."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

 

Free Stuff Wednesday: Gigabyte G1 Assassin X58 Motherboard Giveaway!!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Motherboards | November 16, 2011 - 03:12 PM |
Tagged: X58, giveaway, gigabyte, contest

We have been on a roll recently, trying to clear out as much stuff give away as much stuff to our readers as possible!!  We handed out a free copy of Skyrim and linked you to a contest for a Radeon HD 6870 from XFX just last week. 

Next on our list is a high-end enthusiast level motherboard from Gigabyte, the G1.Assassin X58!!

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This is a great board to upgrade your current LGA1366 system or a great start to build a new one at prices that are likely lower than you expect. 

What do you need to do enter to win this motherboard?  Couldn't be easier!!

  1. Make a comment on this post thanking Gigabyte for this kick ass contest!!  That's pretty simple right?  You don't have to register, though we would appreciate it!
  2. Like Gigabyte on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GIGABYTE.US
  3. Like PC Perspective on Facebook: http://facebook.com/pcper
  4. Follow PC Perspective on Twitter: http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. Circle PC Perspective on Google+: http://gplus.to/pcper
    1. (Another hint, comments on our G+ post about this contest get another entry!)

We will pick a random winner in our pool of entries on Friday, the 18th of November in the afternoon, EST!  Sorry, US and Canada residents only for this one!  If you don't have a Facebook/Twitter/Google+ account commenting here will still enter you.

Thanks for reading PC Perspective and good luck!!!

UPDATE: We have a winner!!!!  After a quick stop to Random.org the person going home (or at least getting shipped) the Gigabyte X58 G1.Assassin motherboard is...."slugbugg55"!!!  Congratulations, an email is on the way to asking for your shipping information!!

Stay tuned to PC Perspective as we head into Thanksgiving week for more contests and giveaways!!

MSI's All-new X79 Series Mainboards Deliver Superior Stability with Military Class III Components

Subject: Motherboards | November 16, 2011 - 02:34 PM |
Tagged: msi, x79, X79A-GD65 (8D), X79A-GD65, X79A-GD45, X79MA-GD45

(Industry, CA) -- Leading international mainboard and graphics card manufacturer MSI today announces the official release of its X79A-GD65 (8D), X79A-GD65, X79A-GD45, and X79MA-GD45 mainboards. The new mainboards are based on Intel's latest X79 chipset and uses the LGA 2011 socket supporting the 2nd generation Core i7 processors. The X79A-GD65 (8D) features with 8 memory DIMMs, supports 16GB DDR3 memory modules, bringing maximum capacity up to a staggering 128GB! For superior quality and stability, MSI X79 series mainboards adopts Military Class III components. With DrMOS II - the next generation of DrMOS with improved double thermal protection - the lifetime of components is maximized, even in warmer environments or when the machine is heavily overclocked. MSI X79 series mainboards also feature the latest PCI Express Gen 3 bus and MSI's proprietary Click BIOS II for maximum performance and user convenience. When taking into account all of the other advanced technologies supported such as 3-Way NVIDIA SLI and 4-way AMD CrossFireX multi-GPU processing technology, THX TruStudio PRO sound, Multi-BIOS II, Control Center II, and Super Charger, MSI X79-series mainboards are simply the best choice for enthusiasts!

MSI_X79.jpg

New Military Class III Components and the Next-gen DrMOS: DrMOS II
MSI X79 series mainboards maintains MSI's commitment to product stability and reliability by introducing Military Class III components. In addition to the use of Tantalum core capacitors (Hi-c CAP), Super Ferrite Chokes (SFC) and Solid Capacitors (Solid CAP), MSI now incorporates next-generation DrMOS II design. While competitors are just beginning to adopt a DrMOS solution, MSI's DrMOS II provides an integrated and fully-automated Double Thermal Protection to maximize the lifespan of components – even in warmer environments or when heavily overclocked. All Military Class III components have passed MIL-STD-810G certification, making MSI's Military Class III components synonymous with premium quality and ultimate stability.

Double the Bandwidth with PCI Express Gen 3
MSI's X79 mainboards support the latest PCI Express Gen 3 standard to deliver a staggering 32GB/s of bandwidth, double that of the previous generation. PCI Express Gen 3 support can also be enabled or disabled through the BIOS interface to ensure compatibility with graphics cards regardless of whether users use a PCI Express Gen 3 graphics card!

World's 1st Unified UEFI & Software Graphical Interface – Click BIOS II
MSI's Click BIOS II is the world's 1st to provide a unified graphical user interface under both UEFI & Windows. System settings can be adjusted using the mouse or even LCD touch control under different environments. Click BIOS II can not only save overclocking settings to a USB storage device but also upload them for sharing with other overclocking enthusiasts. This convenient and intuitive design is the result of continual technological breakthrough developed by MSI for its flagship mainboard line.

Easiest One-second Overclocking Technology – OC Genie II
MSI's proprietary OC Genie II can achieve amazing performance increases in just one second. CPU and memory performance are optimized without compromising system stability, significantly saving the time required by overclockers for fine-tuning. Once the user enables OC Genie on MSI's X79 mainboards, the clock rate on the Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition processor pumped from a default of 3.3GHz to 4.0GHz. The 21% increase enables users to enjoy the performance boost from overclocking with ease.

Comprehensive Support for Multi-GPU Processing Technology
MSI X79 mainboards fully support 4-way AMD CrossFireX and 3-way NVIDIA SLI multi-GPU processing technologies, providing the most scalability and performance for gamers who require extreme gaming performance.

THX TruStudio PRO Surround Sound Technology for the Best Audio Experience
MSI X79 series mainboards are all equipped with THX TruStudio PRO audio technology for the best sound quality. Experience the most immersive surround sound effects when you are watching Blu-ray movies, other media, or playing 3D games!

Multi-BIOS II Offers Safe and Convenient BIOS Switching
MSI's X79 mainboards support the latest Multi-BIOS II technology. The integrated dual BIOS design improves safety and convenience by allowing enthusiasts to use a switch on the mainboard to manually switch between different BIOS setups when one is corrupted by overclocking or other factors.

Super Charger Charges Your iPad / iPhone / Smart Phone, Even When Computer is Powered Off!
MSI's X79 mainboards support Super Charger fast charging technology to deliver triple the current of standard USB 2.0 interfaces. Even if your computer is switched off, you’ll still be able to quickly recharge your iPad/iPhone or smart phone to ensure you always stay connected!

Source: MSI

GIGABYTE Launches X79 Series Motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | November 15, 2011 - 12:04 PM |
Tagged: X79-UD7, X79-UD5, x79, gigabyte, G1.Assassin 2, bluetooth 4.0

City of Industry, CA, November, 14th 2011 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced the launch of their latest X79 series enthusiast motherboard range. Supporting the latest 2nd Generation Intel Core i7 processor family for high-end desktops (aka Sandy Bridge-E), these new X79 Express Chipset motherboards unite unrivalled desktop PC performance with a new level of hardware flexibility and control. GIGABYTE 3D Power and its all new 3-way Digital Power Engine offers ultimate control of your PC’s power delivery, while GIGABYTE 3D BIOS provides a wholly more intuitive and graphical UEFI BIOS environment.

gigabyte_x79.jpg

“This new GIGABYTE X79 series range of boards are all about giving enthusiasts and professionals unprecedented control over their PC’s hardware,” commented Tim Handley, Deputy Director of Motherboard Marketing at GIGABYTE. “GIGABYTE 3D Power and 3D BIOS give hardcore gamers, extreme overclockers and cutting-edge content creators absolute mastery over every aspect of their PC.”

GIGABYTE 3D Power (patent pending)
GIGABYTE X79 series motherboards take advantage of the new and exclusive GIGABYTE 3D Power, based on a 3-way Digital Power Engine for both the PWM and memory that delivers unprecedented power delivery control. Utilizing a brand new Digital PWM controller, GIGABYTE’s 3D Power features three digital memory controllers for not only the memory, but VTT and VSA, for real-time adjustment and control. The GIGABYTE 3D Power application provides a range of controls via a graphical user interface, allowing adjustment of load line calibration, over voltage protection control and real-time adjustment of CPU, VTT, IMC and four-channel memory frequencies.

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GIGABYTE 3D BIOS (patent pending)
Based on our new UEFI DualBIOS technology, GIGABYTE 3D BIOS re-imagines the traditional BIOS environment to make it more accessible for novice users than ever before. GIGABYTE 3D BIOS provides a full featured advanced mode for veteran BIOS users, alongside a graphical 3D Mode which offers a far more intuitive BIOS experience that makes it easier to understand how BIOS settings affect their PC’s hardware performance.

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Intel X79 Platform Highlights
All GIGABYTE X79 series motherboards are designed to get the absolute best performance from the latest 2nd generation Intel Core i7 processors, bringing a number of new enthusiast-class features to Intel’s latest extreme platform. Featuring the new LGA 2011 socket and based on the latest updated micro-architecture, these new processors feature up to six cores with up to 15MB L3 cache and four-channel DDR3 memory. With an unprecedented 40 PCI Express lanes, enthusiast gamers can also enjoy the absolute maximum GPU performance in Multi-GPU SLI and CrossFireX configurations.

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  GIGABYTE G1.Assassin 2
Designed as the base for the ultimate in gaming PC builds, the GIGABYTE G1.Assassin 2 motherboard combines the unrivalled performance of this new X79 platform with our award-winning G1.Killer design philosophy: onboard discrete-class audio is offered courtesy of the Creative Digital Audio processor (20K2) which offers X-Fi Xtreme Fideility and EAX Advanced HD Audio 5.0 technologies, while the Killer E2100 Game Networking Platform offers advanced network optimization and management for the very best online gaming experience. 3-way SLI and CrossFireX capability means users can really push the boundaries of 3D gaming to new heights.

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GIGABYTE X79-UD7
The GIGABYTE X79-UD7 motherboard is designed to provide CPU performance worthy of champions, with specific built-in technologies for extreme overclocking configurations. The X79-UD7 features an all digital PWM, four full length PCIe slots for 4-way GPU configurations plus a range of features that mean overclockers will never tire of tweaking the latest 2nd generation Intel Core i7 processors. With GIGABYTE’s exclusive OC-VRM, you’ll find POScaps that ensure easy insulation, while OC-Touch lets users tweak in real-time using onboard buttons to change multiplier frequencies. OC-DualBIOS is complimented with a BIOS Switcher button that offers fast back-panel access to two distinct BIOS configurations. A Clear CMOS button is also included along with an OC button for instant OC profile loading. OC-PEG offers additional discrete graphics array power via the SATA rail with two SATA ports, guaranteeing all the power needed for extreme 4-way SLI and CrossfireX configurations.

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GIGABYTE X79-UD5
The GIGABYTE X79-UD5 motherboard provides the ultimate media processing workstation. Design and Engineering professionals that employ the latest CAD and multimedia creation software will be impressed with eight DDR3 memory slots combined with GIGABYTE’s unique 3D Power design to offer the ultimate platform for memory and CPU intensive workloads. We’ve also included back panel access overclocking via a simple OC button so that you can get an instant boost in performance when needed.

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Exclusive GIGABYTE Bluetooth 4.0/Wi-Fi Expansion Card
Bluetooth-Expansion-CardGIGABYTE X79 series motherboards will also include an exclusive PCIe expansion card that offers support for the latest Bluetooth 4.0 and IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity. The new Bluetooth 4.0 standard includes Smart Ready technology that is debuting on mobile devices including the new Apple iPhone 4s. This means that transferring important content from your smart phone or tablet is easier and faster than ever.

5 Year Warranty in USA and Canada
GIGABYTE is now offering an extended 5 year warranty for its entire X79 Motherboards in USA and Canada, customers can enjoy an additional 2 years warranty with the extended 5 year warranty service by registering their new X79 motherboards. For more details, please check GIGABYTE's website at GIGABYTE 5 Year Warranty.

Source: Gigabyte

A new processor needs a new home; meet the X79 chipset

Subject: Motherboards | November 14, 2011 - 04:02 PM |
Tagged: X79A-GD65 (8D), X79-UD5, x79, P8X79 PRO, msi, lga2011, Intel, gigabyte, DX79SI, asus

If you want to run a Sandy Bridge E chip, you are going to need a new motherboard as they use a brand new socket.  The upgrade isn't just about the socket though, as there is a noticeable increase in PCIe 3.0 lanes possible on the X79 chipset as well quad channel memory.  At The Tech Report is a look at motherboards from four major vendors, the Asus P8X79 PRO, Gigabyte X79-UD5, Intel DX79SI, and the MSI X79A-GD65 (8D).  Unfortunately Intel is plagued by issues with storage, while not the same as we saw in their previous chipset the port count is still lower than we expected and the RAID software is still labelled as a beta product.  Indeed by the end of the review it seems that each board did at least one thing to disappoint The Tech Report, though they hold hope for future revisions.

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"If you want to get in on Intel's new Sandy Bridge-E CPU, you'll need an LGA2011 motherboard. We've gathered four examples from Asus, Gigabyte, Intel, and MSI to see which one makes the best foundation for an Extreme Sandy build."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

 

ASUS Launches the Most Complete and Innovative X79 Motherboard Lineup

Subject: Motherboards | November 14, 2011 - 12:59 PM |
Tagged: asus, x79, p9x79 deluxe, P9X79 PRO, P9X79, P9X79 WS, TUF SABERTOOTH X79, ROG Rampage IV Extreme

Fremont, CA (November 14, 2011) - ASUS, maker of the world’s best-selling and most innovative motherboards, is excited to release a wide range of new X79 motherboards. All feature the new Intel® X79 Express Chipset, with support for 2nd generation Core™ i7 processors in the new LGA 2011 Socket. The complete lineup includes P9X79 Series motherboards with total performance tuning and control, the enthusiast-centric ROG Rampage IV Extreme, the ultra-reliable TUF SABERTOOTH X79, and the professional P9X79 WorkStation Series supporting NVIDIA® 4-way SLI™ and AMD CrossFireX™.

All motherboards feature ASUS Dual Intelligent Processor 3 technology with the latest ASUS DIGI+ Power Control design providing three digital voltage controllers onboard, one for the CPU and two for DRAM. ASUS’ class-leading Digital Power designs result in better performance, greater stability, and enhanced overclocking for all users. All of the new motherboards ship with multi-GPU support, PCI Express 3.0 capabilities*, exclusive ASUS UEFI and up to 64GB of quad-channel DDR3 support via 8-DIMM slots.

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P9X79 Series: The ideal choice for unmatched features and user-friendly innovation
ASUS has developed the best power, system, and BIOS tuning options available for users to ensure an optimized computing experience on the new P9X79 Deluxe, P9X79 Pro, and P9X79 motherboards. Each feature ASUS’ new DIGI+ Power Control and DIGI+ Memory voltage options that allow users to reach higher processor and DRAM overclocks with the upmost stability and reliability.

An 8-DIMM quad-channel design supports up to 64GB of DDR3 memory that takes full advantage of 64-bit applications. Additional memory capacity assists with intensive data, image, and video processing applications while users can also set up large RAM disks to greatly accelerate system performance. ASUS SSD Caching is extremely user-friendly with one-click speedup functionality that combines solid state drive speeds with mechanical hard drive capacities, providing up to three times faster storage performance.

The ASUS UEFI BIOS has won media and user acclaim for its intuitive and easy GUI interaction. The latest version has been upgraded with the industry first F12 BIOS snapshot hotkey, the F3 system info shortcut, and DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect), which offers advanced support for memory troubleshooting. USB BIOS Flashback enables true plug and play UEFI flashing with any USB storage device. It works even without powering up the PC, using only standby power without a CPU, Video card or memory installed. Optional BT GO 3.0! consists of an onboard Bluetooth v3.0 +HS module that offers wireless 802.11n support, adding instant access point detection and setup for Wi-Fi everywhere.

The exclusive ASUS BT suite includes several special functions, allowing users to easily sync and transfer files between PC and mobile devices, and even use smartphones to overclock or monitor their PC. ASUS USB 3.0 Boost adds new UASP support to accelerate USB 3.0 performance by almost three times over standard protocols with supported devices.

ROG Rampage IV Extreme: The best choice for gamers and enthusiasts
The Rampage IV Extreme supports 4-way NVIDIA® SLI™ and AMD CrossFireX™ and is designed to empower overclockers to reach new records while also offering the absolute best gaming performance and stability. It comes loaded with overclocking features well-suited to competitive benchmarking. Exclusive ROG X-Socket™ means LGA 1366 based CPU coolers and LN2 containers can be used as-is with the new board. OC Key™ is an ROG-designed device that connects to the DVI port of any graphics card to display performance and overclocking info on the screen independent of system resources. Users can make changes with no additional software, and without slowing their PC down.

For enhanced and modified cooling, ROG has developed Subzero Sense™, which detects cooling system temperatures as low as -193゚C. ROG Extreme Engine Digi+ II and specially sourced high-grade capacitors ensure long lasting and high-endurance power delivery demanded by gamers and competitive overclockers. The Rampage IV Extreme comes bundled with the hit game Battlefield 3™ from EA and DICE, which uses the Frostbite 2 engine to showcase the latest in DirectX® 11 technology and graphics effects.

TUF SABERTOOTH X79: The reliability choice for rugged engineering and long-life
The new TUF SABERTOOTH X79 ships with an intelligent thermal design, military grade-tested TUF components, and exclusive cooling features for enhanced system stability under the harshest conditions. TUF Thermal Armor with dual fans expands cooling and precise airflow for more effective heat dissipation, improving system reliability and performance. TUF Thermal Radar monitors real-time temps via 12 sensors in strategic locations on the board, automatically adjusting fan speeds to maintain extended stability and prevent overheating. Military-grade TUF components include capacitors, chokes, and MOSFETs. Their heat and stress tolerance allows ASUS to offer an exclusive 5-year warranty on the SABERTOOTH X79. Additionally, the new model includes the new DIGI+ Power Control design and UEFI, giving it the same precision, performance, and user friendly options offered by the P9X79 Series.

P9X79 WS:
The ideal professional choice for multi-GPU expandability Enhanced features and absolute stability is required from professional users and the P9X79 WS delivers, beginning with NVIDIA® 4-way SLI™ and AMD CrossFireX™ and dual hardware-accelerated Intel® LAN ports, which reduces CPU utilization for netcode processing by up to 71%. The P9X79 Work Station supports both Intel® Core™ i7 processors and the upcoming workstation-specific Xeon® family, and maintains compatibility with multiple memory, operating system, and RAID card selections. ASUS SSD Caching and USB BIOS Flashback are included along with ASUS’ DIGI+ Power Control design and award winning UEFI.

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Source: ASUS

X79 Motherboard Roundup Video Preview

Subject: Motherboards | November 14, 2011 - 02:51 AM |
Tagged: x79, video, msi, Intel, gigabyte, asus

I am sure by now you have been reading our review of the new Sandy Bridge-E processors, in particular the Core i7-3960X, but we only had a brief mention of the various X79 motherboards we had in-house in that article.  (Which if you haven't read yet, you definitely should!)

Over the course of the last 14 days or so, we have seen and played with:

  • ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
  • ASUS Sabertooth X79
  • ASUS P9X79 Pro
  • MSI X79A-GD65 8D
  • Gigabyte X79-UD3
  • Intel DX79SI

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We will have reviews of all of these boards in the coming days, but I wanted to at least make sure you saw each of these motherboards in our video roundup and preview.

Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more on the X79 platform and Sandy Bridge-E!!

Can ASRock manage to make an extreme motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | November 10, 2011 - 02:35 PM |
Tagged: asrock, Z68 Extreme4 Gen3, ga-z68x

Taking a break from reviewing the major names in motherboards, [H]ard|OCP took hold of ASRock's Z68 Extreme4 Gen3 motherboard to see what that companies flagship motherboard is capable of.  The motherboard arrived for review in an impressive stainless steel box, unfortunately once the box was opened the review started on a downhill trend.  [H] didn't say that the board had the worst layout they've seen but had serious concerns with the placement of PCIe slots as well as the location of the auxiliary power connection.  Once the board was hooked up [H] tried the UEFI BIOS that ASRock implemented with moderate success, they had better luck with the included overclocking software.  Even with the problems they describe in the review, the board did survive their stability testing with no problems whatsoever.

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"Several people on our forums wanted to see a little more brand diversity when it comes to motherboard reviews. Ask and you shall receive. We take our first look at one of ASRock’s "finest" motherboards. The Z68 Extreme4 Gen3. Long name, lots of features, and a big steaming bowl of disappointment."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Meet MSI's new X79 series

Subject: Motherboards | November 7, 2011 - 02:35 PM |
Tagged: X79MA-GD4, X79A-GD65 8D, X79A-GD65, X79A-GD45, x79, msi

MSI sent us a little tease showing off their upcoming X79 motherboards, with 3 ATX models and an mATX as well.  You can see the MSI X79A-GD65 8D, the MSI X79A-GD65, MSI X79A-GD45 and the X79MA-GD4 pictured below.  The most obvious difference between the first two models is the number of DIMM slots, with the 8D sporting a total of 8 slots compared to 4 in the second model, though both do support Quad Channel DDR3.  The second two have less PCIe slots than the higher end boards, with the X79MA board being the mATX member.

All three full sized boards support OC Genie, and all support THX audio, bear both SLI and CrossFire logos and MSI's Military Class components.  The two GD65 models both have V-Points for checking voltages across the board, though only the 8D model has LCD readouts for post codes.  Click on the pictures below for much larger versions.

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and a late addition from MSI

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Source: MSI