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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI
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The AMD Fusion Processors Arrive

The MSI E350IA-E45 mini-ITX motherboard is the first system to hit our test bench that integrates the AMD E-350 Fusion APU into a desktop-ready configuration. By combining great performance per watt with features like SATA 6.0 Gb/s and USB 3.0, the MSI motherboard would make a great contender for a new low cost home theater build. Does it stand out at all from the reference platform we saw last year though?Introduction

I have been looking forward to retail availability of the AMD Fusion APU based platforms since I first got hands on time with them back at GDC in 2010.  Since then I have gone to AMD's offices once or twice to sit down with marketing, engineers, designers and the hardware itself to really put it to the test and to get AMD's take on the platform, it's stance in the market and the company's goals against Intel.

Last November I was able to actually benchmark and test a reference system at AMD's Austin campus to get a preview of how the performance of Fusion-enabled notebooks and desktops panned out and the initial results were intriguing. 

 Unfortunately, our testing was done on the device you see above - hardly indicative of what end users will see in the market in either desktop or notebook form.  While the performance results were great to see as we were still a ways off from the official product release, I knew that getting retail motherboards like the MSI option we are testing today, were critical to put a final stamp on the both this series of APUs and the Fusion philosophy at AMD completely.

Also, we did have a short preview of a Toshiba C655D 15.6-in notebook last month with a full review pending using a single-core iteration of the platform.  Check that out if you are interested before continuing on with this review below.
 

Author:
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Elitegroup
Tagged:

Introduction and Features

ECS has put together an extremely unique LGA 1155 motherboard that hardcore gamers need to pay attention to in the P67H2-A. While it has all the high-end features available in other P67 offerings, the P67H2-A went a step further and incorporated Lucid Hydra technology that allows gamers to use different GPUs from NVIDIA and AMD in one system. Now gamers can use their legacy cards in tandem with newer graphics cards to boost gaming performance!

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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Gigabyte
Tagged:

Introduction and Features

Gigabyte joins the fray of vendors sporting the new LGA 1155 socket and now defunct P67 chipset on their latest P67A-UD4 motherboard. The P67A-UD4 brings Gigabyte's redesigned heatsinks, black PCB, and a ton of features including a 12-phase power design, USB 3.0, SATA 6GB/s, and support for dual PCIe x16 graphics cards in either SLI or CrossfireX configurations.

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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Asus
Tagged:

Introduction and Features

The fireworks surrounding Intel's "Sandy Bridge" processors have brought mixed reactions about the new CPU's overclockability and graphics prowess. As usual, ASUS leads the way with eight P67 motherboards right out of the gate and we benchmark the P8P67 Pro and others from Gigabyte and ECS to determine which vendor was able to incorporate the right amount of features and performance options.

Author:
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Asus
Tagged:

Not Much Left to Put on There...

Asus has a strong history of high end and expensive motherboards, and they are adding to that resume on the AMD side with the Crosshair IV Extreme. This board features all the bells and whistles that one would expect on a board of this class, and it also integrates the Lucid Hydra technology for multi-GPU functionality across a multitude of card types and manufacturers.

Author:
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Gigabyte
Tagged:

Introduction and Features

Today's mini ITX motherboards are slowing starting to support quad-core CPUs, advanced chipsets, and PCIe 2.0 graphics cards, but only a few vendors are actually taking advantage of it. Gigabyte jumped on the mini ITX train and suited up the H55N-USB3 with support for today's latest LGA 1156 processors, USB 3.0, and DDR3 memory. It should be interesting to see how this board fairs against other form factors that use the same chipset.

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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Elitegroup
Tagged:

Introduction and Features

ECS continues to bring more aggressively priced motherboards to market in both Intel and AMD flavors. Their newest AM3 lineup includes six motherboards sporting the AMD 890GX chipset. We have the A890GXM-A (v1.0) on our test bench to evaluate some of the performance advantages available with this platform as well as the addition of native SATA 6GB/s support via the SB850.

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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Asus
Tagged:

A 890FX By Any Other Name...

Asus has quite the history of designing fairly spectacular motherboards with outstanding performance and near limitless overclocking potential. Ok, perhaps their reputation is more down to Earth than that, but it does not mean that Asus does not design a fine motherboard. The AMD 890FX based Crosshair IV goes under the microscope today, and the results are still pretty good.

Author:
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI
Tagged:

Top of the 890FX Food Chain?

AMD's latest 800 series of motherboards have seemingly taken over the marketplace, and with native SATA 6G and the ubiquitous NEC USB 3.0 controller, as well as cost effective 6-core processors, there is a new push for high end AMD motherboards. MSI is attempting to dominate the high end with an affordable and powerful solution with the 890FXA-G70.

Author:
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Elitegroup
Tagged:

Introduction and Features

Companies like ASRock and ECS are working to compete with giants in the motherboard industry like ASUS and Gigabyte, but they are taking a different path to winning over the hearts and minds of consumers. ECS is developing mobos that not only meet the performance needs of consumers, but they are also working to bring similar technologies and chipsets to market at a lower cost. The H55H-M is one of those boards selling for around $65 from most vendors, but it gives users a capable board that can handle any LGA 1156 processor and even a decent PCI-E graphics card to boot.

Author:
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI
Tagged:

Board Features

MSI started the Big Bang series of motherboard to attempt to take back some of the ultra high-end market from the competition and the new XPower option takes it to a new level by offering impressive power and stability options along with overclocking goods and the ability to support as many as six graphics cards! Let's see if the performance and features on the board are worth the fairly high cost.

Author:
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI
Tagged:

Introduction and Features

This platform supports all of today’s latest HD formats as well like 720p, 1080i, and 1080p, which makes it a great upgrade for home theater PC builders. MSI built the H55M-ED55 around this chipset, but added more overclocking capabilities through their OCGenie technology that allows one-click overclocking through a nifty button located right on the motherboard. This board also supports overclocked DDR3-2133 memory, two PCIe 2.0 graphics cards, and 8.1 high definition audio.

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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASRock
Tagged:

Introduction and Specifications

Mini ITX motherboards are growing in popularity because of their low power consumption, good performance, and support for high definition video and audio. They are also a good solution for users on a budget because most (if not all) are being outfitted with integrated video and CPUs like the ASRock A330ION we are evaluating today. The A330ION brings together NVidia's MCP7A-ION platform and Intel's dual core Atom 330 processor to create a small form factor HTPC solution that's capable of lower-end gaming and Blu-ray 1080p playback right out of the box.

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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Gigabyte
Tagged:

Introduction and Specifications

Gigabyte has been all over the new SATA 3.0 and USB 3.0 technologies with their latest line of X58A-based motherboards and we finally got the opportunity to test drive an X58A-UD3R. This motherboard has been winning hardware review awards left and right from across the tech review empire so it will be interesting to evaluate it against a few X58 offerings.

Author:
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI
Tagged:

XPower to the people

MSI continues to brand their Big Bang series of motherboards as THE top solution for enthusiasts, overclockers and gamers. The new XPower motherboard brings that to the X58 chipset and the Intel Bloomfield processors for the first time. Come check out our video preview to see the overview of features and specs before the full review!

Author:
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASRock
Tagged:

Introduction and Specifications

ASRock has added four H55 solutions to their line of Intel motherboards. We received the H55DE3, which is a budget board that includes some higher-end features like quad CrossfireX support, full 1080p Blu-ray playback, and multiple video output options built right into the board. The H55 chipset itself delivers new capabilities for digital home, small office, and home office consumers, and this is the centerpiece for ASRock to build the H55DE3 around.

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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASRock
Tagged:

Introduction and Specifications

ASRock shipped us one of their P55 Extreme motherboards to review, which was created for the LGA 1156 crowd and comes bundled with decent features like quad CrossfireX and SLI support, an add-on card for SATA 6GB/s devices, and custom overclocking options that will make newcomers to overclocking foam at the mouth.

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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Asus
Tagged:

Get a little work done at your station

The ASUS Workstation line of motherboards offers a set of features that very few other motherboards can including up to 7 individual PCI Express x16 slots and even SAS storage support. If you need that kind of connectivity then you will likely be interested in what the P6T7 and P7P55 WS provide!

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Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: AMD
Tagged:

SATA 6G and USB 3.0 Support... Sorta

AMD's history of chipset releases have been bittersweet. Featuring cutting edge graphics and excellent performance, AMD's chipsets have often been held back by their mediocre southbridge and I/O performance. AMD is hoping to change that by introducing the new 890GX, which features a redesigned northbridge as well as a new southbridge featuring the first native SATA 6G support.

Author:
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Gigabyte
Tagged:

Introduction and Specifications

Gigabyte's micro ATX motherboards have become a staple in the industry for providing the speed and power usually reserved for full ATX motherboards. The GA-P55M-UD4 is one of their latest creations for the LGA 1156 platform and it includes a couple unique features like CrossfireX and SLI graphics support (x16 and x8), DDR3 2200, and 7.1 high definition audio.