900 Series: Bulldozer Ready
The rumor on the street is that Asus makes a few motherboards. They may or may not be the world’s leading motherboard manufacturer. Asus may also have a pretty good reputation for quality and innovation in their products. It is tongue in cheek hour at PC Perspective. All joking aside, Asus anymore is the gold standard for quality manufacturing and design in motherboards.
Some months ago AMD released their AM3+ capable chipsets, though the release was not nearly as exciting as we had hoped. The AMD 900 series of chipsets are essentially the same silicon as those that power the non-integrated AMD 800 series. There are three SKUs that are currently available for the 900 series that Asus makes motherboards around.
Subject: Motherboards | November 7, 2011 - 02:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
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.
and a late addition from MSI
Subject: Motherboards | November 6, 2011 - 04:11 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: gigabyte, x79, pattsburg, Intel, SB-E, sandy bridge-e, uefi
Many motherboard manufacturers have phased out the old school BIOS in favor of a shiny graphical user interface (GUI) UEFI BIOS that adds support for booting from larger capacity hard drives and presenting configuration screens that are able to be navigated with mouse or touch controls. Gigabyte has been somewhat quiet on the UEFI BIOS front, until now that is. Starting with Intel’s new X79 chipset based motherboards, the company will begin using a new “3D BIOS.”
Fortunately, red and cyan glasses won’t be required for Gigabyte’s new UEFI BIOS. Instead, the BIOS is only “3D” in the same sense that a computer game is 3D -- meaning a 3D perspective viewed through a 2D window of sorts (the monitor) and this is a good thing.
The way Gigabyte’s 3D BIOS works involves displaying a photo of the user’s motherboard with various hot-spots that display content sensitive information and configuration options when hovered over and clicked on respectively. For example, when hovering over and clicking on the SATA ports in the rotate-able photo of the board, users are presented with options to set the SATA controller mode to IDE, AHCI, or RAID mode. Also, when clicking on the CPU area, the user is able to adjust frequency, voltage, and timing settings for the CPU and RAM. Further, context sensitive help is available for all the various options in each dialog.
For those that prefer a more traditional text based approach, Gigabyte is also including an advanced mode for enthusiasts who like to dig into every setting possible. The advanced mode looks like one would expect a BIOS to - a text based UI with minimal distractions. The ability to use the mouse for navigation is still present, however.
The 3D motherboard will reflect the actual physical motherboard and can be easily rotated to admire the shiny interface. It is certainly an interesting angle and should help new users navigate and find the settings they need. Whether it will be enough to help differentiate the product or not remains to be seen. A video showing off the new 3D BIOS is available below, and more photos can be found here.
Subject: Motherboards | November 3, 2011 - 04:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: p67 b3, asus, P8P67 EVO Rev 3.0
If you are looking to build a low cost machine using the P67 chipset you could do worse than choosing the ASUS P8P67 EVO Rev 3.0 board. Three PCI-Express x16 slots, a pair of PCI-Express x1 slots, and 2 PCI slots flesh out the board and ASUS has designed the layout in such a way that even with a graphics card in the PCIe 16x slot you will still be able to use both PCIe 1x slots. Surprising for a sub-$200 board you get a MemOK button and an EPU switch for low power operation, features that are much more common on a higher end board. [H]ard|OCP paired it with an Intel 2500K and were very impressed with the maturity this chipset displayed, great overclocking, rock solid stability and a very nice component layout all worked together to win a Silver Award.
"Through the P8P67 EVO, ASUS brings a board to the table that raises the bar on its other offerings. Not only does this motherboard perform like a champ, it is packed to the gills with features and integrated functionalities. At less than $165 after MIR, it shows to be a solid value."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASUS Rampage IV Extreme @ OC3D
- Asus Sabertooth X79 Motherboard Preview @ eTeknix
- ASUS Rampage III Black Edition X58 Motherboard @ Pro-Clockers
- ASUS P9X79 Pro @ OC3D
- ASUS X79 Motherboard Preview @ Techgage
- EVGA Z68 FTW Motherboard Review @ Ninjalane
- MSI Z68A-GD80 Revision G3 Review @ OCC
- Upgrading From Intel P55 w/ Lynnfield to Intel Z68 w/ Sandy Bridge @ Legit Reviews
- BIOS Option Of The Week - Split Lock Operations @ TechARP
- MSI 990FXA-GD80 @ iXBT Labs
- ASUS M5A97 EVO, ASUS M5A99X EVO @ iXBT Labs
- ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Professional @ Tweaktown
Subject: Motherboards | November 2, 2011 - 03:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: x79, gigabyte, bluetooth 4.0, G1-Assassin 2, X79-UD7, X79-UD5, bluetooth
Gigabyte is going crazy with the wireless options available to you in their X79 series of motherboards.
With Bluetooth 4.0 available your iPhone 4S will be able to connect seamlessly to your Gigabyte motherboard. The biggest improvement in the new standard is the power savings which it enables, something that iPhone 4S users are desperate for. In fact if the attempt to standardize 3D glasses over Bluetooth 4.0 succeeds then one of these motherboards will be perfect for building a system connected to a 120Hz 3D monitor.
As well, Gigabyte has extended their WiFi support to a dedicated card which sports dual antennas, one for WiFi and one for Bluetooth. They also support the new Bluetooth Smart which is designed to work with a large variety of single use devices. Your blood sugar monitor, house thermostat, security systems and smart watch could all connect to these motherboards as easily as your phone, headset or other Bluetooth devices.
Subject: Motherboards | October 27, 2011 - 06:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, Crosshair V Formula, FX 8150, 990fx, am3+
As sometimes happens when one sets out to write a review, at some point it turns out you aren't reviewing what you had originally intended to. Such happened at Legit Reviews when they tested the ASUS Crosshair V Formula AM3+ board with an FX-8150 as well as an X6 1100T. The motherboard is very interesting; just hard to make out through the wreckage of a big yellow machine lying in front of it. If you can manage to make out the motherboard through the Phenom-enal holes punched in the 'dozer you can see three PCIe 2.0 x16 (dual x16 or x16, x8, x8), a PCIe 2.0 x16 in x4, a PCIe 2.0 x1 slot and even a legacy PCI slot. There are also four USB 3.0 ports and an equal number of USB 2.0 ports (one can be made into an ROG port) and a slew of others including a clear CMOS button for your cat or child to play with.
"This particular article, we went a little bit of a different route. We compared the ASUS Crosshair V Formula with the latest AMD FX-8150 'Bulldozer' processor, to itself with an AMD Phenom II X6 1100T. We wanted to see if there was much of a difference in performance between the two core architectures on the AMD 990FX chipset. The article inadvertently felt more like a shoot out between the two processors, when the focus was meant to be on the ASUS Crosshair V Formula. The performance between the two systems was entirely too similar for my tastes. The AMD FX-8150 didn't run the circles around the Phenom II X6 1100T that I had hoped it would..."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- MSI 990FXA-GD80 AM3+ Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- Foxconn A75M FM1 Motherboard Review @ Madshrimps
- Zotac A75-ITX WiFi Motherboard Review @ TechwareLabs
- ASUS E35M1-M Pro Review - Anyone For Fusion? @ AnandTech
- BIOS Option Of The Week - MPS Control Version For OS @ TechARP
- Mini-ITX Face-Off: Asrock Z68M-ITX-HT vs. Asrock A75M-ITX @ Techspot
- Zotac Z68 ITX WiFi Supreme @ Bjorn3D
- Zotac Z68-ITX WiFi: Mini-ITX Mainboard That Can Overclock LGA1155 Processors @ X-bit Labs
- MSI Z68A-GD80 (G3) – One of the First Mainboards with PCI Express 3.0 Support @ X-bit Labs
- Gigabyte Z68AP-D3 @ OC3D
- Gigabyte Z68XP-UD5 Motherboard Review @ OCIA
- Gigabyte G1.Sniper2 Z68 Motherboard Review @ eTeknix
- Zotac Z68ITX-B-E WiFi Supreme Motherboard Review @Hi Tech Legion
- ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 Intel Motherboard @ TechwareLabs
Subject: Motherboards | October 25, 2011 - 04:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: x79, sabertooth x79, ROG Rampage IV Extreme, p9x79 deluxe, asus
Fremont, California (October 25, 2011) ― ASUS, the world’s leading motherboard maker, is excited to release a complete roster of Intel® X79 Express Chipset-based motherboards with the new LGA 2011 The new ASUS X79 motherboard offerings cover a wide gamut of PC users with the mainstream P9X79 Series, built-rugged TUF Series, feature laden Work Station (WS) Series and the pinnacle of gaming and enthusiast level motherboard design with the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Rampage IV Extreme. This impressive series of motherboards highlight best-in-class performance, stability, features and a user experience that is unmatched.
P9X79 Series ― Impressive Control Features for Absolute Performance and Reliability
Several exclusive ASUS features make this series of motherboards the ideal choice for PC users who require a combination of performance, enhanced flexibility and incredible system control. This series offers an update to ASUS’ award winning UEFI graphical user interface for system options and the next-generation Dual Intelligent Processors 3 architecture, featuring the latest DIGI+ Power and new Digi+ DRAM technology. ASUS’ exclusive Digi+ technology offers the industry’s leading all-digital power control design that older analog solutions cannot match in performance, stability and control options.
Users will benefit from ASUS SSD Caching, which uses solid state drive speeds to intelligently accelerate frequently-accessed tasks and applications. Offering speeds up to three times faster than mechanical hard drives in most applications, ASUS SSD Caching features an exclusive user interface and storage control options that boosts performance with one click.
Other user enhancements include ASUS USB BIOS Flashback that allows for quick and easy BIOS flashing without the need for a video card, CPU or hard drive attached to the system. BT GO 3.0! with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi onboard enables faster connectivity and convenience without extra adapters, making wireless devices instantly accessible with improved compatibility and versatility on select boards.
TUF SABERTOOTH X79 ― Ultimate in Control and Stability
Ruggedized and server-grade tested TUF boards have quickly garnered a reputation for the best cooling and stability in their class. The TUF Sabertooth X79 continues this tradition with a new generation of TUF Thermal Armor and new DIGI+ Power technology that is perfect for non-stop commercial use and demanding 24/7 applications. New Thermal Radar technology consists of 12 embedded sensors that detect heat levels across the board, adjusting fan speeds automatically or manually to ensure optimized cooling for improved reliability and stability.
ROG Rampage IV Extreme – The Best Platform for Gaming or Overclocking
The new ROG Rampage IV Extreme motherboard puts the new Intel® X79 to perfect use for the highest-spec overclocking or gaming performance available to PC enthusiasts. It offers the ultimate enthusiast platform, providing gamers or enthusiasts with a rich selection of exclusive technologies that will be revealed shortly.
Subject: Motherboards | October 25, 2011 - 04:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: x79, gigabyte, G1-Assassin 2, X79-UD7, X79-UD5, X79-UD3
While we don't have much in the way of information about the capabilities of Gigabyte's new X79 boards we sure do have a lot of pictures.
First off is the successor to the popular G1. Assassin first introduced at CES in January.
Next you can see the biggest of three brothers, the X79 UD7
Which is followed by the middle child, the X79 UD5
And last but not least in any test is the X79 UD3
Subject: Motherboards | October 25, 2011 - 03:33 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: x79, socket 2011, sandy bridge-e, ROG, asus
Asus recently unveiled a new X79 socket 2011 motherboard specifically for Sandy Bridge-E, and it looks rather impressive. The new motherboard is a red and black affair that hold several overclocking friendly features and plenty of expansion options. Dubbed the Rampage IV Extreme, the X79 motherboard is part of Asus' Republic of Gamers lineup.
The new motherboard supports Intel's new socket 2011 CPU, eight DDR3 quad channel RAM slots, five PCI-E 3.0 slots (one rated at PCI-E x16 speeds and four at X8 speeds), one further PCI-E 3.0 x1 (physical) slot, and a host of SATA ports. Specifically, the X79 chipset powers two SATA 3 6Gbps and four SATA 2 3Gbps ports while the ASMedia controller powers an additional two SATA 3 6Gbps ports.
Rear IO on the board includes eight USB 2.0 ports, a PS/2 keyboard/mouse port, ROG Connect and CMOS reset buttons, four USB 3.0 ports, two eSATA 6Gbps ports, Gigabit LAN, Realtek audio powered 5.1 surround sound via five 3.5mm jacks or an optical output. The motherboard further supports Bluetooth version 2.1+EDR.
While the basic specifications of the motherboard are really nice, the most important aspects of the republic of gamers Rampage IV Extreme board are the overclocking features and diagnostics, and there are quite a few. Around the processor socket, there are chokes rated up to 50 amps and have VRMs cooled by a large black heatspreader. The RAM power circuitry, CPU VRMs, and chipsets are all cooled by heatspreaders and connected by aluminum heatpipes. The only issue that some people might run into is with CPU coolers that have wide bases as the heatpipe connecting the VRMs and chipset heatspreader is close to the processor socket, though most coolers will likely work fine.
Moving to the right of the Sandy Bridge-E socket, Asus has provided several handy overclocking tools including the "MEMOK!" RAM diagnostic button that will either reset the settings to get the board to boot or switch to overclocked profiles if activated after the motherboard has gotten past POST. Above that is a set of 4 dip switches to enable or disable the various PCI-E slots. A power and reset button are above those switches and will come in handy for overclocking the board outside of a typical case. Further, there is a diagnostic LED display in the upper right as well as a switch to enable a slow boot mode when using LN2 (liquid nitrogen) cooling. On the voltage front, there are numerous measurement points for CPU, RAM, and chipset voltages. Finally, next to the SATA ports is a odd looking four slot block that allows enthusiasts to measure temperatures of the various physical temperature diodes on the motherboard using "K-type thermocouple" device.
Needless to say, this new X79 based motherboard looks to be living up to its Republic of Gamers heritage thanks to its slew of overclocking and expansion features. If you're interested in seeing more pictures of this shiny bit of hardware, check out this VR-Zone story.
Subject: Motherboards | October 21, 2011 - 01:46 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: xeon, x79, SB-E, sandy bridge-e, motherboard, Intel, evga
Jacob Freeman of EVGA Google + fame recently posted a teaser photo of a certain shiny piece of X79 chipset baked silicon in the form of a new SR3 Super Record series motherboard. This monster of a board is packed to the brim with features, and mid tower cases need not apply.
Starting at the top of the board and working our way down, we are presented with not one but two socket 2011 Sandy Bridge-E Xeon processor sockets! One processor will have access to eight DDR3 DIMM slots while the other will have access to four DDR3 DIMM slots. While the RAM configuration may seem odd, EVGA wanted to make the transition from the boards SR2 predecesor as easy as possible, by allowing users to transfer all 12, triple channel DIMMs to the new SR3 motherboard. When all 12 RAM slots are populated, the board will run in triple channel mode, and when four or eight slots are populated, the motherboard will utilize the new quad channel interface. The RAM will be fed power via a eight phase PWM (pulse width modulation) circuitry. The board also features two eight pin EPS and two six pin PCI-E connectors, and seven PCI-E 3.0 slots that are all capable of running at least PCI-E 3.0 x8 and four of them are capable of providing PCI-E 3.0 x16 bandwidth, more than enough for even the beefiest SLI setup.
On the storage and IO front, the SR3 motherboard has 14 SATA ports, HD Audio via six 3.5mm jacks, USB 3.0 ports (the total amount is unclear), and eSATA support. The bottom right corner of the board lies a handy diagnostic screen to report error codes. Further, the motherboard will come with the new UEFI BIOS. Mr. Freeman states that the x79 motherboard is fully furnished with solid state capacitors from Sanyo (specifically POSCAP).
In short, this motherboard is a total beast. Please excuse me as I try to remove my jaw from the floor cartoon style.