Skylake and Later Will Be Withheld Windows 7 / 8.x Support

Subject: Processors | January 17, 2016 - 02:20 AM |
Tagged: Windows 8.1, Windows 7, windows 10, Skylake, microsoft, kaby lake, Intel, Bristol Ridge, amd

Microsoft has not been doing much to put out the fires in comment threads all over the internet. The latest flare-up involves hardware support with Windows 7 and 8.x. Currently unreleased architectures, such as Intel's Kaby Lake and AMD's Bristol Ridge, will only be supported on Windows 10. This is despite Windows 7 and Windows 8.x being supported until 2020 and 2023, respectively. Microsoft does not believe that they need to support older hardware, though.

windows-10-bandaid.png

This brings us to Skylake. These processors are out, but Microsoft considers them “transition” parts. Microsoft provided PC World with a list of devices that will be gjven Windows 7 and Windows 8.x drivers, which enable support until July 17, 2017. Beyond that date, only a handful of “most critical” updates will be provided until the official end of life.

I am not sure what the cut-off date for unsupported Skylake processors is, though; that is, Skylake processors that do not line up with Microsoft's list could be deprecated at any time. This is especially a problem for the ones that are potentially already sold.

As I hinted earlier, this will probably reinforce the opinion that Microsoft is doing something malicious with Windows 10. As Peter Bright of Ars Technica reports, Windows 10 does not exactly have an equivalent in the server space yet, which makes you wonder what that support cycle will be like. If they can continue to patch Skylake-based servers in Windows Server builds that are derived from Windows 7 and Windows 8.x, like Windows Server 2012 R2, then why are they unwilling to port those changes to the base operating system? If they will not patch current versions of Windows Server, because the Windows 10-derived version still isn't out yet, then what will happen with server farms, like Amazon Web Services, when Xeon v5s are suddenly incompatible with most Windows-based OS images? While this will, no doubt, be taken way out of context, there is room for legitimate commentary about this whole situation.

Of course, supporting new hardware on older operating systems can be difficult, and not just for Microsoft at that. Peter Bright also noted that Intel has a similar, spotty coverage of drivers, although that mostly applies to Windows Vista, which, while still in extended support for another year, doesn't have a significant base of users who are unwilling to switch. The point remains, though, that Microsoft could be doing a favor for their hardware vendor partners.

I'm not sure whether that would be less concerning, or more.

Whatever the reason, this seems like a very silly, stupid move on Microsoft's part, given the current landscape. Windows 10 can become a great operating system, but users need to decide that for themselves. When users are pushed, and an adequate reason is not provided, they will start to assume things. Chances are, it will not be in your favor. Some may put up with it, but others might continue to hold out on older platforms, maybe even including older hardware.

Other users may be able to get away with Windows 7 VMs on a Linux host.

Source: Ars Technica

GIGABYTE launches one new X170 and four X150 motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | January 15, 2016 - 05:24 PM |
Tagged: X170-Extreme ECC, X170, X150M-PRO ECC, X150M-PLUS WS, X150-PRO ECC, X150, gigabyte, GA-X150-PLUS WS

These five motherboards will be more at home powering a server than a high end gaming machine as they fully support Intel's Xeon E3-1200 v5 and other LGA 1151 processors, all but two offer ECC memory compatibility using Intel's C236 and C232 chipset.  That doesn't mean you shouldn't consider them for your next build as they should offer rock solid stability and hey, they're camouflaged!

X170-EXTREME ECC.png

Up first are the X170-EXTREME ECC and X150-PRO ECC, with the first PCIe 3.0 16x slot connected directly to the CPU socket, no detours for that data.  The boards support PCIe Gen.3 x4 NVMe M.2 natively and you can pick up a U.2 converter if that is what you need for your drives and Intel's USB 3.1 controller will give you performance on both the original flavour and Type-C USB ports.  The X170 Extreme comes with a Killer E2400 Gigabit NIC, along with all of the benefits provided by that chip.

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Up next are the X150M-PRO ECC, X150M-PLUS WS and X150-PLUS WS motherboards which are listed on Gigabyte's site.  The X150M-Pro is mATX but Gigabyte still managed two PCIe 16x slots, with one limited to 4x speeds and a pair of PCI slots along with an M.2, 6 SATA 6Gbps and a SEx connector.  The X150M Plus is very similar but sports a single PCIe 16x and a 4x no legacy connectors nor a SEx port.  Finally the full ATX GA-X150-PLUS WS which adds a pair of PCIe x1 slots in addition to two PCIe 16x slots, with one limited to 4x speeds and a pair of PCI slots.

Source: Gigabyte

Silicon Power Slim S55, a drive for systems on a diet

Subject: Storage | January 15, 2016 - 01:53 PM |
Tagged: silicon power, Slim S55, 240gb, Phison PS3110-S10, tlc

At 7mm the Silicon Power Slim S55 is perfect for older ultraportables that need a drive upgrade, though they will certainly slip into a 2.5" bay in any system.  The drive uses the Phison PS3110-S10, found in a variety of drives which Al compared last summer.  The controller is paired with a 128MB cache of Nanya DDR3 and TLC NAND, which lowers the price to an impressive $65 for the 240GB model.  It also performs decently, eTeknix saw 556MB/s in ATTO and 530MB/s in CDM; you can check out more tests in their full review here.

SP_S55-Photo-pcb-top.jpg

"Silicon Power’s Slim series of solid state drives all come with a 7mm thickness, making them perfect for ultrabooks and similar portable computers that require this form factor. Traditional 2.5-inch mechanical drives mostly come with a 9.5mm thickness, ruling them out as an option. The Slim S55 SSD is the little brother in this series, but it doesn’t need to be ashamed of that."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

 

Source: eTeknix

Intel still manages a profit in a tough year

Subject: General Tech | January 15, 2016 - 12:55 PM |
Tagged: Intel, earnings

Even with the difficulties the PC market encountered over 2015 Intel still managed to make a good sized profit.  Compared to Q4 of 2014 their profits shrank a mere 1% down to $8.76bn,  a feat unequalled by other silicon slingers as the entire market shrunk by about 10%.  Their data centre group provided the most impressive results, a 5% increase in revenue likely spurred by the growth of hosting providers for the various Clouds which formed or grew over the past year.  The Inquirer also points out the release of the sixth generation of the Core family of processors certainly didn't hurt them either.

intel.jpg

"INTEL HAS POSTED strong quarterly profits in its fourth quarter earnings, revealing results that were higher than Wall Street was expecting despite a tough year for the PC market."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

EVGA Z170 Motherboards to Support BCLK Overclocking Non-K CPUs

Subject: Motherboards | January 14, 2016 - 08:04 PM |
Tagged: unlocked, overclocking, oc, LGA 1151, Intel K series, Intel, evga, bios, BCLK

An upcoming BIOS update for EVGA Z170 motherboards to allow BCLK overclocking on non-K Intel processors.

z170.jpg

The news came from EVGA Product Manager Jacob Freeman via Twitter this afternoon:

Update: The new BIOS 1.07 enabling non-K BLCK OC is now available from EVGA.

We have been following the story of BCLK overclocking of locked Skylake CPUs since early last month, when Techspot published benchmarks from an Intel Core i3-6100 clocked at 4.70 GHz - thanks to a pre-release ASRock BIOS. The BIOS has since been released, and other vendors are updating their Z170 motherboards to support these locked processors as well, the latest being EVGA.

It remains to be seen if Intel will have anything to say about their cheaper "locked" processors becoming more attractive to potential overclockers, as the unlocked K parts have provided a nice profit margin for the company. So far, board partners are moving forward seemingly unimpeded with the updates to remove the overclocking limitations, and that's great news for enthusiasts.

Source: Twitter

Fatal1ty lends his Firepower to this 750W PSU

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 14, 2016 - 03:44 PM |
Tagged: modular psu, firepower 750W, fatal1ty, 80 Plus Gold

Bear with us on this one as there is a long strange story behind the new PSU maker which calls themselves Firepower.  A long time ago was PSU maker that ruled the roost who called themselves PC Power & Cooling, charging a premium over the competition but being worth every penny.  As the markets changed PCP&P found themselves lagging and so an apparently successful company called OCZ purchased them wholesale and begat their own line of PSUs.  Sadly all was not as it seemed at OCZ, the deals they offered were indeed too good to be true and to survive they had to amputate some portions of themselves and sell them.  The PSU portion, including the patents, was sold in 2014 to a new company which called themselves Firepower Technology and so we come to the FirePower Fatal1ty 750W.

This PSU is rated as a 80 Plus Gold model with a 5 year warranty which speaks to the confidence of Firepower.  It uses a single 12V rail capable of delivering 62.5A and the modular cables include four 6+2 PCIe, six Molex , and eight SATA connectors, enough to power a dual GPU system. [H]ard|OCP cracked the PSU open and found it to be the same design as a SilverStone ST75F-GS V2 with a mix of components, none of which stood out as being top of the line.  In the end the design was good enough to pass every test [H] threw at it but with a relatively high price it did not come off with an award.

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"The Fatal1ty Series PSUs by Firepower Technology may seem to be something new in the world of computer power supplies, but really it is not. That said, Firepower is somewhat new in the PSU world, so let's see where they are headed right now."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Meet the new AMD Opteron A1100 Series SoC with ARM onboard

Subject: Processors | January 14, 2016 - 02:26 PM |
Tagged: opteron a1100, amd

The chip once known as Seattle has arrived from AMD, the Opteron A1100 Series which is built upon up to eight cores based on a 64-bit ARM Cortex-A57.  The chips will have up to 4 MB of shared L2 cache and 8 MB L3 cache with an integrated dual-channel memory controller that supports up to 128 GB of DDR3 or DDR4 memory.  For connectivity options you will have two 10Gb Ethernet ports, 8 lanes of PCIe 3.0 and up to 14 SATA3 devices.

a1100models.PNG

As you can see above the TDPs range from 25W to 32W, perfect for power conscious data centres.  The SoftIron Overdrive 3000 systems will use the new A1100 chips and AMD is working with Silver Lining Systems to integrate SLS’ fabric technology for interconnecting systems. 

a1100.PNG

TechARP has posted a number of slides from AMD's presentation or you can head straight over to AMD to get the scoop.  You won't see these chips on the desktop but new server chips are great news for AMD's bottom line in the coming year.  They also speak well of AMD's continued innovations, using low powered and low cost 64-bit ARM chips, combined with their interconnect technologies opens up a new market for AMD.

Full PR is available after the break.

Source: AMD

BitFenix Introduces Spectre Xtreme Fans for CPU Coolers

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 14, 2016 - 01:59 PM |
Tagged: bitfenix, case fan, cpu fan, static pressure, air cooling, Spectre Xtreme

BitFenix has introduced a line of Spectre dual-frame fans based on the Pro series with their new Xtreme high static pressure fans. These are made with CPU cooling in mind, and are available in both black (without LEDs) and multiple color LED options.

SX-Blk-MasterImage.png

The Spectre Xtreme fans operate from 950 - 2000 RPM with newly-designed fan blades for airflow up to 66 CFM with "optimum static pressure", making them "an ideal choice for liquid cooling solutions". The fans use fluid dynamic bearings for reduced noise levels, as well as increased efficiency and life expectancy, according to BitFenix.

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"With the introduction of dual frame design of the BitFenix Spectre Pro series we raised the standards of system fans to a new level. The new BitFenix Spectre Xtreme fans offer many features redefining the standards of cooling fans. Spectre Xtreme gives you the best performance and aesthetics using the latest in cooling fan technology and innovative designs.

Cooling fans used in liquid cooling systems not only need to have a high airflow but also they need to be optimized for static pressure. The newly designed blades of the Spectre Xtreme not only look good but also improve the airflow of the fan to 66CFM while maintaining optimum static pressure. This makes the Spectre Xtreme fans an ideal choice for liquid cooling solutions."

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In addition to black, the LED versions are available in white, blue, red, and a green color which BitFenix has taken “special care…to match the Green LED with the light emitted from NVIDIA GeForce GTX stock coolers”.

Source: BitFenix

Intel expands its grasp into wearables and robots

Subject: General Tech | January 14, 2016 - 01:15 PM |
Tagged: Intel, drone, wearables, realsense, DOMINATION

Intel is planning on getting inside a wider variety of pants, as well as drones and robots in the very near future, diversifying out of a PC market which has not been growing at an attractive place for over a year.  They certainly have the budget to do so as well as several technologies which will give them powerful leverage in those markets.  One example that immediately leaps to mind is selling drones with Intel RealSense sensors installed, the extra functionality that would be added to the drone would be impressive.  Intel's Curie SoC will be found in eyeglasses and clothing in the not too distant future and they have partnered with robot manufacturers to ensure their chips will compatible with the wide variety of operating systems used in controlling robots.  You can glean more about their plans over at The Register.

Intel-RealSense-Camera.jpg

"The need to control not just the processor itself, but the whole surrounding software and connectivity platform, was very clear in Intel’s launches and keynotes a last week's Consumer Electronics Show."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

Podcast #382 - News from CES 2016, R9 Nano price cut, 13TB SSD and more

Subject: General Tech | January 14, 2016 - 12:53 PM |
Tagged: video, ultrasharp, synology, supermicro, Seagate, r9 nano, podcast, oled, dell, Dark Power Pro, CES 2016, CES, carizzo, be quiet!, amd, 13tb ssd, 10TB

PC Perspective Podcast #382 - 01/14/2016

Join us this week as we wrap up news from CES 2016, discuss the R9 Nano price cut, ponder a 13TB SSD and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano

Subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube Channel for more videos, reviews and podcasts!!

Fixstars Launches 13TB 2.5" SATA SSD Geared Towards Media Streaming

Subject: Storage | January 13, 2016 - 09:57 PM |
Tagged: ssd, sata, Fixstars, 13TB

Got a high bandwidth video camera that fills a piddly 4TB SSD in too short of a time? How about a 13TB SSD!

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Fixstars certainly gets cool points for launching such a high capacity SSD, but there are a few things to consider here. These are not meant to be written in a random fashion and are primarily geared towards media creation (8k RAW video). Filling at saturated SATA bandwidth, these will take about 7 hours to fill, and just as long to empty onto that crazy high end editing machine. But hey, if you can afford 13TB of flash (likely ~$13,000) just to record your video content, then your desktop should be even beefier.

The take home point here is that this is not a consumer device, and it would not work out well even for pro gamers with money to burn. The random write performance is likely poor enough that it could not handle a Steam download over a high end broadband link.

Full press blast after the break.

Source: Fixstars

Microsoft Releases Windows 10 Insider Build 11099

Subject: General Tech | January 13, 2016 - 08:18 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10

The second Insider release on the “Redstone” branch has been pushed to Fast ring users. Once again, this has basically no release notes because a lot of features are “under the hood.” The push with Windows 10 since just before the holidays is to create a sensible structure for various teams to target with their changes. You could imagine how difficult this gets when you're dealing with phones, IoT, tablets and convertibles, HoloLens, and high-performance workstations, across a few different architectures.

windows-10.png

Insiders who are interested in UX updates and other features will probably be best to switch to “Slow” for a handful of builds once they find one that's stable for them. I can't really see this being useful for most Insiders, because unlike open-source previews where you can contribute to (or develop software alongside of) the internal tweaks, all you really can do is report when something is broken or acting funny. If that's what you want, then it's great that Microsoft is providing these previews.

Source: Microsoft

Catalyst Crimson Edition 16.1 Hotfix Drivers Released

Subject: Graphics Cards | January 13, 2016 - 07:42 PM |
Tagged: graphics drivers, amd

AMD's recent “Hotfix” drivers don't seem to mean what NVIDIA's does. In the Green Team's case, they usually fix one or two issues that slipped past QA. While they likely won't break anything, they are probably a bad idea to install if you're not experiencing the listed problems. The changelog on AMD's drivers are significantly longer with a list of known issues that is roughly the same size.

amd-2015-crimson-logo.png

So should you install it? That depends. It's a little less cut-and-dry than NVIDIA's hotfixes, which are only useful for a handful of people. It sounds like the worst known issue is “Game stuttering may be experienced when running two Radeon R9 295X2 graphics cards in CrossFire mode” and “Display corruption may occur on multiple display systems when it has been running idle for some time.” The latter would affect me greatly, because I run four displays and basically never sleep or shutdown (except for updates). On the other hand, it fixes a variety of crash, hang, and flicker issues.

Check it out. If it sounds good, then pick it up. Otherwise, wait for the next Beta or WHQL driver.

Source: AMD

Seagate Breaks into Helium Market with 10TB Enterprise Capacity Hard Drive

Subject: Storage | January 13, 2016 - 02:38 PM |
Tagged: Seagate, helium, hdd, enterprise, 3.5, 10TB

Seagate updated their Enterprise Capacity line of HDDs this morning with a monster of a 10TB unit:

Seagate 10TB Helium.jpg

To achieve this capacity, Seagate switched over to a sealed, Helium filled design (similar to what HGST has been doing for a few years now). Since filling the space of a HDD with Helium helps reduce head flutter and platter thickness, Seagate was able to fit seven platters into a standard 3.5" housing. As an additional note, this drive uses the same PMR (Perpendicular Magnetic Recording) as other recent generation units, and not the SMR (Shingled) employed in their recent 8TB Archive HDD. PMR is a good thing here, as it enables random write access without the performance penalty incurred when attempting the same on an SMR drive.

The Helium filling pushes the MTBF up to 2.5 million hours. Unfortunately the release was light on the other details, and we do not have pricing as of yet, but we will certainly be keeping an eye on this one. Seagate states they are 'shipping to select customers', but given that those customers are ordering by the truckload, it may be some time before we see them in the OEM aftermarket channels.

Full press blast after the break.

Source: BusinessWire

Need a hand picking a low power ARM system?

Subject: Systems | January 13, 2016 - 02:36 PM |
Tagged: arm, raspberry pi zero, jetson tk1, JetsonTX1

If you are curious how the various ARM powered boards currently on the market compare to each other then the gang over at Phoronix has a real treat for you.  They have assembled a plethora of systems including the ODROID C1+, Raspberry Pi Zero, Raspberry Pi 2, Orange Pi Plus, Orange Pi PC, Banana Pi M2 as well as the Jetson TK1, and Jetson TX1 for comparison purposes.  Most of the systems use a Cortex A7 though you will also see an A5 as well as an A57.  The tests are varied as it can be difficult to determine what performance should be benchmarked on these systems although some like the OpenSSL test are obvious.  Since part of the reason you would choose a low power ARM system is the price, they wrap up with a performance-per-dollar rating to help you choose the best valued system for what you need it to do.

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"For those interested in small, low-power ARM single-board computers, up for your viewing pleasure today are benchmarks of several different boards from the Raspberry Pi Zero to the Banana Pi M2."

Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:

Systems

Source: Phoronix

Just when I thought I was out you pull me back in again; Goat Simulator Payday tomorrow!

Subject: General Tech | January 13, 2016 - 01:36 PM |
Tagged: gaming, goat simulator, payday, kick ass

Coffee Stain Studios is at it again with another update to Goat Simulator, this time themed after the Payday series of games.  Four goats, Valentino "The Flamingo" Salami, Dolph "The Dolphin" Spaghetti, Humphrey "The Camel" Ciabatta and Don "The Enforcer" Pastrami will hit the streets and start carjacking, water spitting, collecting masks and just generally wreaking chaos upon an unsuspecting world.  The addin will be released tomorrow and if it is like GoatZ it will cost you a couple of bucks for a lot of entertainment.  Watch the video below or just head over to the official site for a look at flying cars and the Goat Squad in action.

"Use your goat crew to smash & grab, then blast away all your money at Mahatma Gambling and the Indian casino just like in that Al Cappuccino movie"

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

 

Synology Launches DiskStation DS416j NAS

Subject: Storage | January 13, 2016 - 01:20 PM |
Tagged: synology, NAS, DSM, DS416j, diskstation

Synology has updated their popular DiskStation line with a new sleek looking 4-bay unit:

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The DiskStation DS416j is equipped with a Marvell Armada 88F6828 dual-core CPU running at 1.3 GHz coupled to 512MB of DDR3. This boost in specs enables a claimed 37% increase in write speed performance, bringing that spec up to just over 100 MB/sec. Reads are claimed at 112 MB/sec, which basically means it is saturating its Gigabit Ethernet link.

DS416j.png

In addition to the four installed HDDs, the DS416j can accept additional external drives via its rear panel USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports (one each). The new DSM 5.2 should run even smother and faster on this updated hardware. Despite the speed increase, the new model looks to be very power efficient, claiming 13W in hibernation (HDDs spun down) and 22W during access.

Full press blast appears after the break.

Source: Synology

It's fixed now but for a while there your Ring let people into more than just the door

Subject: General Tech | January 13, 2016 - 12:27 PM |
Tagged: ring, iot, security, gainspan

The Ring WiFi enabled video doorbell, with optional smartlock compatibility to let visitors in remotely, would also share your WiFi password to anyone who knew how to ask.  Just use a Torx screwdriver to pop the doorbell off, press the setup button on the back and connect to the Ring and you can get the networks SSID and PSK in plain text.  Thankfully Ring has pushed out an update to resolve this issue but it is a perfect demonstration of the abysmal security on IoT devices and the lack of any thought about security implications by users or makers of these new devices.  The Register also mentions the Fitbit Aria bathroom scale as being vulnerable in the exact same way as it also uses Gainspan wireless, though at least the scale is inside your house, not accessible to anyone wandering by.

ring.jpg

"Security researchers have discovered a glaring security hole that exposes the home network password of users of a Wi-Fi-enabled video doorbell. The issue – now resolved – underlines how default configurations of IoT components can introduce easy to exploit security holes."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register

EKWB Issues Recall for v1.0 Predator 240 / 360 Liquid CPU Coolers

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 13, 2016 - 12:11 PM |
Tagged: water cooling, recall, Predator 360, predator 240, liquid CPU cooler, EKWB, ek, AIO

EKWB has issued a recall for all first-generation Predator 240 and 360 liquid CPU coolers due to risk of leakage. A new version (v1.1) of both self-contained coolers has been introduced to address the issue, and EK will provide one of the new units for those seeking a replacement.

revisions.jpg

Visual differences between Revision 1.0 (left) and Revision 1.1 (right) (via EKWB)

EKWB is also taking responsibility for any component damage that may have resulted from any leaks, offering refunds for defective units (if a replacement is not desired) and affected components.

From EKWB:

"All Revision 1.0 units produced from October 2015 until end of December 2015 are potentially affected by the risk of leakage and in order to prevent any computer component damage, the units need to be replaced. The leakage may occur between copper cold plate and bracket on the water block after it is heated up and pressure rises. Current statistics show that 1 out of 10 units leaks.

We are warning all customers of EK XLC-Predator units to discontinue use of cooling device and contact EKWB for replacement unit or refund. EKWB is taking full responsibility for this issue and will be:

  • Replacing or refunding all returned units to the customers
  • Refunding the customer any computer component damage created by a leakage

EKWB has redesigned and released a new version of EK-XLC Predator (Revision 1.1) on the 4th of January 2016 that prevents any leakage under normal working modes. All customers with Revision 1.0 units will be offered a replacement R1.1 unit or a full refund. Revision 1.0 backplate is not compatible with Revision 1.1 backplate!"

The full notice from the EKWB page is reproduced after the break.

Source: EKWB

Mini-STX Has Arrived: Meet the ECS H110SU-02 Motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | January 13, 2016 - 07:00 AM |
Tagged: small form factor, SFF, mini-stx, LGA 1151, Intel H110, ECS, CES 2016, CES

ECS has entered the brand new Mini-STX market with their H110SU-02 motherboard, one of our first looks at a motherboard based on Intel's 5x5 concept for a sub-mITX form-factor.

ecs_mstx_1.jpg

The ECS H110SU-02 (Image credit: Maximum PC)

As you can see this tiny motherboard offers a standard LGA 1151 socket for Intel processors up to 65W, and uses SoDIMM memory (DDR4). The board only offers one SATA port, with a pair of M.2 slots in a stacked configuration for both full-length (2280) SSDs and the shorter (2230) cards such as wireless network adapters.

Specifications:

  • Platform: Intel H110/B150 chipset
  • CPU: LGA1151 socket for Intel i3/i5/i7/Pentium/Celeron Processors (65W)
  • Memory: 2x SO-DIMM DDR4 slots
  • Storage: 1x M.2 Slot (2280); 1x SATA
  • Networking: RJ45; 1x M.2 Slot (2230) for Wi-Fi/Bluetooth 4.0 card
  • USB: 1x USB 3.1 Type-C; 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Audio: 3.5 mm combo jack
  • Power Supply: DC-in 19V, 90W
  • Dimensions (W x D) 140 x 147 mm

ecs_mstx_2.jpg

Mini-SFX vs. Mini-ITX comparison (Image credit: Maximum PC)

Maximum PC posted this video with their overview of the motherboard:

With no PCI Express slot and the limitation of a 65W processor (which eliminates current high-end models such as the Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K, both at 91W) this is targeting a different audience than those choosing mini-ITX for a small gaming rig, for example. Still, there will undoubtedly be a number of applications for a system of just over 5 inches square; though Intel's existing NUC platform provides essentially the same experience in a smaller package, minus the socketed desktop CPU support, of course.

No details were given on pricing or availability.

Source: Maximum PC