Gigabyte Unveils GA-H77N-WIFI Mini-ITX Motherboard

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Cases and Cooling, Processors, Chipsets, Memory, Displays | August 7, 2012 - 10:07 AM |
Tagged: Z77, motherboard, mini-itx, Intel, gigabyte, ga-h77n-wifi

During a European roadshow, Gigabyte showed off a new Mini-ITX form factor motherboard for the first time. Called the GA-H77N-WIFI, the motherboard is well suited for home theater and home server tasks. Based on the H77 chipset, it is compatible with the latest Intel Core i3 (coming soon), i5, and i7 "Ivy Bridge" processors. The board goes for an all-black PCB with minimal heatsinks on the VRMs, and the form factor is the same size as the motherboard that Ryan recently used in his Mini-ITX HTPC build.

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The GA-H77N-WIFI features a LGA 1155 processor socket, two DDR3 DIMM slots, PCI Express slot, two SATA 3Gbps ports, two SATA 6Gbps ports, and an internal USB 3.0 header. There are also two Realtek Ethernet controller chips and a Realtek audio chip.

Rear IO on the Mini-ITX motherboard includes:
  • 1 PS/2 port
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports
  • 2 HDMI ports
  • 1 DVI port
  • 2 Antenna connectors (WIFI)
  • 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • 1 Optical S/PDIF port
  • 5 Analog audio jacks

The dual Gigabit Ethernet ports are interesting. It could easily be loaded with open source routing software and turned into router/firewall/Wi-Fi access point. To really take advantage of the Ivy Bridge support, you could put together a nice media server and HTPC recording/streaming box (using something like SiliconDust's HDHomeRun networked tuners or Ceton's USB tuner since this board is very scarce in the way of PCI-E slots). What would you do with this Mini-ITX Gigabyte board?

Unfortunately, there is no word yet on pricing or availability, but the motherboard is likely coming soon. You can find more information on the motherboard over at tonymacx86, who managed to snag get some photos of the board.

Source: Tony Mac X86

DRAM Prices Expected To Rise

Subject: Memory | July 18, 2012 - 12:13 PM |
Tagged: price increase, memory, Elpida, ddr3

The memory market has traditionally seen razor thin margins and cheap prices as the various manufacturers crank out DRAM chips to healthy levels. While we are not yet at the point for DDR4 memory to come out with high early-adopter prices, iSuppli believes that we will be seeing increased pricing later this year regardless.

A DDR3 memory module

According to Tom’s Hardware, analysts working for IHS iSuppli have determined that inventory is decreasing this year, and has decreased 4 percent since the fourth quarter of last year. Whereas DRAM suppliers were estimated to have 12.1 weeks of inventory in Q4 2011, they are currently sitting on 11.6 weeks. While supply grew last year and prices fell dramatically, prices have increased by 1.5 percent versus last year. The analysts further expect prices to rise by 7.7 percent and 3.5 percent in Q3 2012 and Q4 2012 respectively.

One possible aspect of the drop in supply is the declaration of bankruptcy and subsequent buyout of Elpida Memory by Micron. As supply goes down and demand stays the same – or continues to rise – prices are naturally going to increase for consumers. Now that there is one less manufacturer to contend with, it is likely that prices will continue to be higher than before. If you have not already upgraded your RAM, now seems to be as good as it’s going to get price-wise, so be sure to jump in on the good deals while you can!

16GB of 1600MHz quad channel DDR3 from Mushkin

Subject: Memory | June 22, 2012 - 04:39 PM |
Tagged: Mushkin, Redline PC3-12800, ridgeback, quad channel, ddr3-1600

While raw speed can be helpful for your memory subsystem, often times tighter timings can have a more noticeable impact, which is what makes Mushkin's Enhanced Redline Ridgeback 16GB kit worth the small premium they charge. It might have a base frequency of 1600MHz but with timings of 7-7-7-24 it has some of the lowest timings we've seen from DDR3.  It also allows you more overclocking choices and when Hi Tech Legion loosened the timings to 8-8-8-24 at a frequency of 1969MHz they saw comparable real world performance to their alternative overclock which left the timings untouched and the frequency at 1702MHz.  If you are looking for quad channel or high capacity dual channel memory this kit is worth investigating.

HTL_redline1.jpg

"The Mushkin Redline PC3-12800 (994057) 16GB Quad Pack Memory Kit is no different. The Redline 994057 Quad Kit offers the best performance on the market. The 994057 comes with industry leading 7-7-7-24 timings on a 16GB quad channel kit. Along with the fast timings, the 994057 uses high performance Mushkin Ridgeback heatsinks for the best possible cooling. The Redline Quad kit runs at 1.65v and comes with Mushkin's lifetime warranty. All Mushkin memory is hand tested for ultimate quality assurance."

 

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Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR3 memory launches at Computex

Subject: Memory | June 4, 2012 - 06:12 PM |
Tagged: dominator, ddr3, corsair, computex

Corsair is jumping back into the world of high-end consumer memory with a new Dominator series of DDR3 kits that include a customizable light bar, DHX cooling, Corsair Link support and screened, overclockable ICs.

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Available in both quad and dual-channel kits and 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and even 64GB capacities and frequencies as high as 2800 MHz.  All of the Dominator Platinum kits will support Intel's XMP 1.3 profiles for easier overclocking on supporting motherboards.

Maybe more exciting is the new light bar that contains a user interchangeable light pipe with "lets enthusiasts tailor the downwash lighting color to match their PC lighting and components."  While all modules will ship with white lights you will be able to buy additional colors from Corsair to customize your configuration.

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Dominator Platinum memory also supports full Corsair Link connectivity, allowing customers with Corsair Link to monitor DRAM temperature and other parametric data. This feature, unique to Dominator memory, provides end users with the data they need to tune system cooling and monitoring. Dominator Platinum memory kits also support Corsair AirFlow fans and AirFlow Pro™ dynamic temperature and activity displays to provide the low temperatures required for stable and reliable overclocks.

“Dominator has been the choice of performance enthusiasts and overclockers since its release six years ago, and Dominator Platinum will continue to dominate the memory market for many more years to come,” said Thi La, VP of the Memory Business Unit at Corsair. “The stunning new industrial design and customizable light bar makes Dominator Platinum even more special and distinctive, while the patented DHX cooling technology and hand-sorted DRAM ICs deliver the performance and overclockability that enthusiasts demand.”

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Source: Corsair

G.Skill's 8GB Trident X DDR3-2400 carries a large price tag

Subject: Memory | May 25, 2012 - 04:35 PM |
Tagged: 8gb, G.Skill Trident X, DDR3-2400

At $100 G.Skill's 8GB Trident X DDR3-2400 carries a higher price than slightly slower kits which made Neoseeker curious as to why it comes at such a premium.  The kit is certainly attractive looking with its tall red heatspreaders but looks are not everything when it comes to RAM, though the ability to remove the heatspreaders could be quite valuable to those with large heatsinks.  Timings of 10-12-12-31 @2T are not awe inspiring but are comparable to other 2400MHz kits and it seems that the DIMMs cannot provide much more as the overclocking Neoseeker managed was not much of an improvement.  Read on to see if the high speed of the DIMMs can overcome the relatively loose timings in the full review.

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"G.Skill's 8GB Trident X DDR3-2400 memory kit has blazing fast speeds and a modular heatsink design, all in a $99 USD package. The Trident X series was designed from the ground up to be XMP Ready for Intel's 3rd Generation Core processors and Z77 platform (Ivy Bridge), which is where the higher clock speeds come in. It's also practically double the price of other DDR3-2400 dual channel kits, so hit our review to see what level of performance Trident X has to offer for its price premium."

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Source: Neoseeker

Micron also looks to buy Elpida

Subject: General Tech, Memory, Mobile | May 12, 2012 - 06:10 PM |
Tagged: micron, Elpida

Micron Technologies has confirmed that they are in talks to purchase Elpida Memory. Despite Toshiba pulling out of the race, the deal would have a rumored value of 2.51 Billion dollars. This deal would move Micron into the second largest DRAM producer, behind Samsung, with a 25 percent market share globally.

Elpida Memory, Inc. has been having troubles as a company for a couple of years.

Elpida was established as a company from its parent companies, NEC and Hitachi, in 1999 and took its current name the next year. Elpida has been delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange in late March, a month after filing for Bankruptcy.

Multiple companies have come and gone in talks to purchase Elpida. Toshiba and SK hynix have somewhat recently pulled out of negotiations as the American TPG Capital LP and the Chinese Hony Capital shared a bid for the manufacturer.

Elpida.jpg

Or buy us and be #2 : D

Micron has just recently announced that they would place a bid for Elpida which, if completed, would push Micron past Hynix into the second largest DRAM producer by market share. Micron also seems to be interested in purchasing Elpida to access its mobile technology. While the actual bid is not public knowledge, it has been rumored to be worth around 2.51 billion dollars.

It may also be possible that none of the above deals would go through. Reuters reports that a group of debt holders for Elpida might push for their own plan if they feel that none of the current deals would suffice.

Source: Reuters

Who needs DDR4 with Kingston's DDR3-2800 kit?

Subject: Memory | May 8, 2012 - 06:56 PM |
Tagged: kingston hyper x, dual channel, ddr3-2800, ddr3, 4GB

If you have a dual channel motherboard that can handle the fastest RAM on the market, why not find out if it can support Kingston's Hyper T1 DDR3-2800 4GB kit?  Legit Reviews tried it on the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H at both 2800MHz @ 12-14-14-32 as well as 2666MHz @ 11-14-14-30.  Don't expect much overclocking potential at this speed unfortunately, nor are all motherboards going to support the full speed XMP of these DIMMs but Kingston can be proud of the speed at which they've pushed these DIMMs to.

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"The Kingston Hyper T1 4GB 2800MHz memory kit that we looked at here today did a superb job on our motherboard that features the Intel Z77 Express chipset and the Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge processor. We ran this kit from 800MHZ with CL6 timings all they way up to 2800MHz with CL12 timings. It is pretty wild to see a 2000MHz spread with a memory kit, but this kit was up for the task..."

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A high price to pay for high speed RAM which

Subject: Memory | April 23, 2012 - 12:05 PM |
Tagged: VisionTek, Ultimate Performance, PC3-17000, Red Label

Timings of 11-11-11-30-2T might look slow but you must make allowances for the fact that the DIMMs are running at 2133MHz.  The 8GB VisionTek Ultimate Performance PC3-17000 kit is built for either dual or quad channel systems on motherboards that can support their full speed.  While Neoseeker did not have any troubles getting these DIMMs running at full speed on their test systems, they did have some trouble discerning an impact on real world gaming performance from these DIMMs.  They do recommend them for those who want the best of the best, but when DDR3-1600 kits can provide almost all the performance for about half the price, the market for these high speed DIMMs is fairly limited.

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"We've got another quad-channel memory kit from VisionTek on the review bench today. Hit our link to see how the sub-$100 Ultimate Performance 8GB PC3-17000 memory kit (featuring 11-11-11-30-2T timings) compares against similarly priced offerings from the competition."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

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Source: Neoseeker

Full speed ahead! 8GB of 2400MHz quad channel madness

Subject: Memory | April 10, 2012 - 05:55 PM |
Tagged: kingston, 2400MHz, quad channel, xmp

Kingston's new quad channel 8GB kit is advertised to run at 2400MHz via XMP, which should mean that as long as your motherboard supports that speed you should be able to set that speed in your BIOS, no tweaking needed.  Bjorn3D tried it out and it worked with no problems at all, though no matter what they tried when manually overclocking the DIMMs, they could not surpass the 2.4GHz mark.  That is certainly a point in Kingston's favour but there is also one major problem with these DIMMs and that would be price.  At the price of $208.00 that Bjorn3D found these chips for sale at you could pick up 16GB of 2133MHz RAM from Corsair and have enough change left in your pocket for dinner.

b3d_Kquad.jpg

"Today we take a look at an 8GB high performance memory offering from Kingston. These modules run at a blazing fast speed of 2400MHz while offering full stability in quad channel."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

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Source: Bjorn3D

Samsung's lean green random access memory machine

Subject: Memory | March 23, 2012 - 03:56 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, Samsung Green PC3-12800, low profile, low power

There is a reason that Samsung's branding of these new DIMMs is green; they suck a mere 1.35V at their full speed of DDR3 1600MHz @ 11-11-11-28 and with the low profile they will fit in just about any machine.  Of more interest to some readers would be their overclocking potential, which TechPowerUp explored and discovered that 2400 MHz with 1.575V was not only possible but also stable.  They also went the other way and discovered the DIMMs could still run at stock speeds at 1.2V which gives you a lot to tweak on this RAM.  Read on to see how the DIMMs performed and to learn a little about tWCL as well.

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"Several tech forums are buzzing about Samsung's lastest "Green" 30 nm DDR3, that sips the voltage, and sits on a tiny low-profile PCB. We snagged a pair to see what all the fuss is about, and boy, were we surprised!"

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Source: TechPowerUp