We know far more about the Z77 chipset than the chips that will go in it

Subject: Motherboards | April 2, 2012 - 01:38 PM |
Tagged: Ivy Bridge, Z77, Gigabyte Z77X-D3H

The Guru of 3D examines the GA-Z77X-D3H, a mainstream Z77 board which is not quite as feature rich or expensive as models like the Sniper, but still offers more than a budget board.  It sports three PCIe 16x slots capable of 2-way SLI or Crossfire, a half dozen USB 3.0 ports, an mSATA connection, support for Lucid Virtu MVP and Quicksync and of course Gigabyte's UEFI implementation, 3D BIOS.  Of course we can't see benchmarks of these boards with an Ivy Bridge processor in them, but it is interesting to note that this is the 10th Ivy Bridge board from Gigabyte.

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"We preview the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H which is intended for Intels 22nm processors that will be coming out later this year based on Socket LGA1155 however the motherboard also supports Sandy bridge processors like the Core i7 2600K.

While we are not allowed to publish any testing results whatsoever related to Ivy Bridge on this GA-Z77X-D3H, we are able to give you a closer look at the motherboard itself. Have a peek at what is about to launch soon."

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Source: Guru3D

ECS trims the fat off and presents two new mini-ITX boards

Subject: Motherboards, Systems | March 29, 2012 - 11:59 AM |
Tagged: ECS, elitegroup, mini ITX, CDC-TI Thin, H61H2-TI Thin, SFF

The CDC-TI Thin Mini-ITX may not interest many readers as it is designed for an Atom processor which have never been terribly popular here at PC Perspective, even for HTPC builds.  The CDC-TI Thin Mini-ITX is a totally different story as it can handle LGA1155 chips and has an HDMI out, making it a beautiful choice for an HTPC or even a SFF portable gaming machine although you might be disappointed by the orientation of the full and half length PCIe slots.  Consider it a challenge and see if you can get a decent half height GPU in there!

Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), the world’s leading motherboard, graphics card, barebone system, notebook and mobile device manufacturer announces a variety of options of Thin Mini-ITX for users to meet their different demands with AIO (All-In-One) and motherboards. To target different segments, ECS Thin Mini-ITX motherboards are not only compatible with AIO but also with small form factor PCs, offering a wide range of solutions including H61H2-TI, H61H2-G11 and CDC-TI. With the growth in popularity of AIO, acceptance of the Thin Mini-ITX platform proves to be leading standard of this new trend, allowing for future-proof upgradeability.

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The brand new CDC-TI Thin Mini-ITX motherboard supports Intel® Atom™ D2700/D2550/D2500 Dual-core processors. The CPU and Memory are supported 100% by Solid Capacitors in order to provide better conductivity and longevity. CDC-TI features 2 x DDR3 SO-DIMM socket supporting up to 4GB, 2 x SATA 3Gb/s, 2 x USB 2.0, 2 Mini-PCIe (1 Full/ 1 Half), VGA, HDMI and LVDS support. It is distinguished by its fan-less design because of the lowest CPU power consumption of <10W TDP. ECS CDC-TI not only works well for Thin Mini-ITX AIOs but also for other form factors that can take advantage of a low-profile board.

H61H2-TI(A)02.jpg

The other H61H2-TI Thin Mini-ITX motherboard can support socket LGA1155 Intel® 2nd and 3rd Generation Core processors. It features Intel® H61 Express chipset with SATA 3Gb/s, 2 x DDR3 SO-DIMM socket up to 16GB, 2 x USB 3.0, 2 Mini-PCIe (1 Full/ 1 Half), 1 x mSATA, and HDMI input/output that deliver you an excellent performance and amazing experience. ECS H61H2-TI provides you a multi-functional solution within a limited space. Small but versatile.

Fatal1ty's Asrock X79 Professional Motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | March 26, 2012 - 03:57 PM |
Tagged: fatal1ty, Asrock X79 Professional, lga 2011, x79

As the ASRock X79 Professional carries the Fatal1ty logo, you can be sure that it is designed for gamers.  That shows in the 4 PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots which can handle 16x, 8x, 16x or x16, x8, x8, x8 depending on if you want a three or four card setup.  Six SATA 6Gbps ports will ensure your SSDs have enough bandwidth to keep them happy, with another four SATA2 ports if you decide to go whole hog on storage.  Funky Kit's overclocking experiments were very impressive with this board especially since they kept the voltage to a relatively safe 1.45V.  If you are going with an X79 based system, this $280 board is worth a look.

FK_fatal.jpg

"If you are looking for a great overclocking board but do not want to spend a ton of money, this is your board. The X79 Professional easily exceeded my expectations for a board at this price. It easily gives boards that cost twice as much some real tough competition."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

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Source: Funky Kit

An Assassin, just like his father, Gigabyte's new X79 motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | March 16, 2012 - 01:28 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, assassin 2, x79, lga2011

The Gigabyte Assassin 2 carries on with Gigabyte's militaristic theme with a heatsink shaped like a handgun but there are some new features over and above the bright green expansion slots.  The board uses the E-ATX form factor and sports not only Bigfoot's KillerNIC onboard but also a WiFi card with two antenna, giving your next LGA2011 build a lot of networking power.  LanOC's testing revealed that the storage controller on this board lagged behind some similar models and they had some audio issues as well, though it is possible a BIOS update could change that.  They were also disappointed to be limited to 4 DIMMs maximum, as other high end X79 boards sport an extra pair of slots for a truly large memory pool.

LOC_assassin2.jpg

"It seems almost like it was yesterday when I took a close look at Gigabytes Assassin, flagship motherboard on the X58 chipset. Here we are less than a year later with a new chipset and socket available. That means it’s time once again to take a look at Gigabyte’s flagship gaming motherboard, the Assassin 2 X79. With a lower price point, smaller form factor, and all of the features of the original we loved the Assassin 2 should be a great board. Of course we won’t know that for sure until we dig in a little farther, so let’s jump in!"

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Source: LanOC

ASUS gives you previews but MSI gives you full Ivy Bridge reviews

Subject: Motherboards | March 6, 2012 - 05:30 PM |
Tagged: msi, Ivy Bridge, Z77, z77a-gd65, lga1155

Legit Reviews have posted a full review of the Ivy Bridge based MSI Z77A-GD65, with an i7-2600K, 8GB DDR3-1600, a Corsair Force GT 240GB SSD and a Radeon HD6950.  This new platform brings native USB 3.0 to Intel chipsets, but since they don't yet have an Ivy Bridge CPU to test we don't get a chance to see PCIe 3.0 in action, the new SATA 6Gbps controller fared well though.  There is a new UEFI ClickBIOS implementation which some might find a compelling reason to upgrade but if you are currently running a Sandy Bridge machine you are better off to wait until you can get your hands on one of the soon to be released Ivy Bridge processors.

LR_msi-z77a-gd65-layout-2.jpg

"It's going to be an interesting ride for the Intel Z77 chipset. It is looking like the only difference is the addition of the SuperSpeed USB 3.0. The problem with the Intel Z77 chipset is that it doesn't feature anything really worth upgrading for over the Intel Z68 system. If your looking to build a new system with either a Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge processor, the Intel Z77 would be the way to go. If you're on an existing 'Sandy Bridge' system, there really isn't a good reason to make the switch..."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

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Just Delivered: MSI Z77A-GD65 Motherboard Preview

Subject: Motherboards, Processors, Chipsets | February 29, 2012 - 12:03 PM |
Tagged: just delivered, z77a-gd65, Z77, sandy bridge, msi, Ivy Bridge, Intel

In preparation for Intel's 3rd generation of Intel Core microprocessor architecture (can you see we are dancing around things already), MSI has started showing a new line of motherboards.  While at CES in January we saw the Z77A-GD65 option that will be available soon and offers some interesting new specs and features. 

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The Z77A-GD65 sports Military Class III components as well as support for a host of new items including PCI Express 3.0 and USB 3.0.  While we can't share much more than that in terms of details I thought it might be worth showing off a few shots of the upcoming motherboard from our friends at MSI.

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See more photos of the MSI Z77A-GD65!!

Apart from the aesthetics, MSI's X79A-GD65 (8D) is a solid choice for LGA2011 processors

Subject: Motherboards | February 28, 2012 - 02:55 PM |
Tagged: MSI X79A-GD65 (8D), msi, lga2011

The MSI Z79A-GD65 (8D) provoked an immediately negative reaction from [H]ard|OCP as two of the first things they noticed were the inconvenient placing of the CMOS battery and the auxiliary power plug for the PCIe slots.  If you are planning on a triple GPU system you are not going to like this board.  However if you plan on only a single or dual GPU system then these points of contention may not apply to you and other features, such as the impressive overclocking potential, make this board a solid choice.  It seems that it could use a BIOS update though, not only because of strange voltage readings but also because of the clunky implementation of the UEFI aka Click-BIOS.

H_MSI X79A-GD65_2.jpg

"MSI is known for high quality motherboards, many of which are targeted toward the enthusiast and gamer. It is one of these products we are looking at today in the form of the MSI X79A-GD65 (8D). A mid-range offering in the LGA2011 motherboard market. Sandy Bridge E processor and 8 DIMM slots for your exploitation!"

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Foxconn's Quantum Force gains in reputation

Subject: Motherboards | February 15, 2012 - 06:31 PM |
Tagged: x79, sandy bridge-e, quantumian-1, foxconn

Eagle-eyed readers will recognize this board from the "From the Forums" post that we presented to you last week.  It seems that our stalwart Forum member is not the only one to locate Foxconn's uniquely named X79 board, the Quantumian-1 from their Quantum Force lineup.  NinjaLane has a quick look at the board here and cover some of the features immediately observable on the motherboard.  If you are looking for hard numbers though, Windwithme's Forum post is still the way to go.

NL_quantumian_glam.jpg

"In this preview we will be looking at one of the latest motherboards in the Quantum Force lineup the Quantumian-1 X79. The Quantumian-1n is an enthusiast level motherboard designed for high-end gaming and overclocking using the full set of features common to Quantum Force motherboards."

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Source: Ninjalane

Rawr, ASUS unleashed the X79 Sabertooth

Subject: Motherboards | February 1, 2012 - 05:16 PM |
Tagged: asus, Sabertooth, Patsburg, x79, lga 2011

ASUS Sabretooth TUF series has been growing, from the P67 version on the Intel side to the 990FX version for AMD users and now has an X79 model.  These boards all feature TUF Thermal Armor which not only gives a unique look but is also intended to provide enhanced cooling.  This is a high end family, which features ASUS' customized back panel and a five year warranty to help justify the price.  It sports three PCIe 3.0 slots, two at 16x and one at 8x as well as a pair of PCIe 2.0 1x slots and a legacy PCI slot.  For storage you four SATA 6Gbps ports and two 6Gbps eSATA ports split between three controllers as well as four 3Gbps ports.  You also enjoy a half dozen USB 3.0 ports and even Firewire.  Take a look at one of ASUS best offerings for LGA2011 processors at Hardware Canucks.

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"In mid November we saw the launch of the enthusiast-based Sandy Bridge Extreme platform along with the X79 (code name Patsburg) chipsets and since then we have brought you reviews of the i7-3960X CPU and the Rampage IV Extreme motherboard. Today we continue our walk down the LGA2011 road and bring you another highly anticipated board from ASUS: the Sabertooth X79."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

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Five X79 boards to choose from

Subject: Motherboards | January 23, 2012 - 05:22 PM |
Tagged: x79, asus, asrock, Intel, msi, ECS, lga2011, p9x79 deluxe, X79 Extreme9, X79R-AX, DX79SI, X79A-GD65(8D)

There are five usual suspects when discussing the X79 chipset, Asus's P9X79 Deluxe, the Asrock X79 Extreme9, ECS's X79R-AX, Intel's DX79SI and last but not least, MSI's X79A-GD65(8D).  While very similar overall, each board has distinct features that the companies have introduced as standard over the years, from ASUS' Q-LED to MSI's OC Genie.  TechSpot had their work cut out for them, the boards range in price by $100 and the board that they picked as the winner might just surprise you.

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"Those wanting to build the ultimate performance system will naturally turn to Intel’s new LGA2011 platform which recently made its debut with the Sandy Bridge-E processors. This highly refined architecture takes the original Sandy Bridge design and pumps it full of steroids, while adding a few new things. Moreover, the platform is expected to support enthusiast-level Ivy Bridge processors that are slated for release by the end of 2012, adding to the platform's longevity.

So if you're already spending $600+ on a processor alone, you'll want to make sure your motherboard is equally impressive. Today we are checking out five high-end X79 motherboards from Asus, Asrock, ECS, Intel and MSI."

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Source: TechSpot

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.

H_extreme4.jpg

"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:

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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

EVGA-mobo.jpg

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

EVGA-psu.jpg

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.

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*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?

gigabyte-vegas.png

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.

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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.

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"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?"

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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."

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Source: Guru3D