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.
Subject: Motherboards | October 18, 2011 - 06:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Z68XP-UD3, x68, sapphire, sandybridge, Pure Platinum Z68, p67, Maximus IV Extreme B3, Intel, gigabyte, G1.Sniper, asus
When building a SandyBridge system you have several types of motherboard chipset to choose from, some with more capabilities than others. The ASUS Maximus IV Extreme B3 is the odd duck in this roundup, being the only P67 board in an Z68 round up which means that it loses out on Intel SRT, which is not a drawback for those planning on using an SSD with a high enough capacity to be used as a main drive. The two Gigabyte boards and the Sapphire board are Z68 and therefore sport all of the bells and whistles that come with that chipset. In terms of pure performance and overclocking ability it is not the feature set that matters, it is the ability of the board its self. Check out which of these 4 boards reigns supreme in Neoseeker's benchmarks here.
"A quartet of motherboards based the Intel P67 and Z68 chipsets arrives at Neoseeker's labs, covering both the value and enthusiast market spectrums. There just might be something for everyone with a Intel LGA 1155 socket CPU in our latest motherboard roundup."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- EVGA X79 Classified E779 Motherboard Pictured At GeForce LAN 6 @ Legit Reviews
- Biostar TZ68K+ - Energy-Efficient LGA1155 Mainboard for Thrifty Users @ X-bit Labs
- ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 Review @ Kitguru
- BIOS Option Of The Week - PCI Clock Synchronization Mode @ Tech ARP
- ASUS M5A99X EVO Motherboard Review @ OCIA
- Sapphire A75 Pure Platinum Review @ OCC
- Gigabyte GA-A55-DSP3 Motherboard Review @ HardwareHeaven
- GIGABYTE Super4 A75-UD4H Socket FM1 Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews
Subject: Motherboards, Chipsets | October 16, 2011 - 10:23 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: evga, x79, classified
NVIDIA held its 6th GeForce LAN this weekend on the USS Hornet aircraft carrier based in Oakland, CA and at that event EVGA took the time to show off its upcoming X79 Classified motherboard. As reported by the guys over at Legit Reviews, there will apparently by three different models available at the time of the Socket 2011, Sandy Bridge-E launch sometime in November.
With plans to release an SLI, FTW and Classified model, EVGA was showcasing the flagship Classified model on stage with overclocker Kingpin. You can see that the board above has some very unique layout points and features including five x16 PCIe slots (with a single x1) and support for Quad SLI all spaced out for large graphics cards. EVGA is using their enthusiast expertise to design a board specifically for power users it appears.
From the back panel it looks like the board will have 8 total USB 3.0 ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet, eSATA and Bluetooth.
Intel was also on the stage and showed off its new Socket 2011 and LGA1366/1155/1156 compatible self-contained water cooler with a custom design from Asetek. It should be available around the same time as the pending Sandy Bridge-E platform release, boxed and sold separately. Interestingly it was pointed out that the fan was designed and built by Intel directly which will "offer a superior single fan cooling solution also optimized for outstanding acoustics." I am eager to see what Intel was able to do differently than other cooling vendors.
There are more photos and details on the EVGA X79 Classified motherboard over at Legit Reviews so head over there for more!
Subject: Motherboards | October 14, 2011 - 04:09 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: z68, pcie 3.0, gen3, asus
Spending time the San Francisco bay area usually results in some interesting finds. The first one I can talk about? An upcoming launch of refreshed Z68 motherboards from ASUS that include support for PCI Express 3.0 technology coming next year.
At first glance the board doesn't appear to be anything really different - it looks much like the Z68 boards currently on the market and the P67 boards before that. The heatsink and blue/black color scheme and the Deluxe moniker has been in use by ASUS since the initial Sandy Bridge processor releases. There are still 4 DIMM slots, 8 SATA ports, USB 3.0, Bluetooth, dual Gigabit Ethernet and more sitting right there, easy for us to see.
But unlike previous boards from ASUS, this one is the first we have seen to offer and validate support for the upcoming PCI Express 3.0 standard rated at 32GB/s rather than 16GB/s. ASUS is actually the last to market with the so-called "PCIe 3.0 ready boards" as we have seen boards from MSI, Gigabyte, ASRock and others on PC Perspective previously. In fact, we just published a review of the MSI Z68A-GD80 (G3) board yesterday that offers the same feature.
Still, ASUS isn't one to sit by and let the competition pass so they built their own Z68 board that is now 100% ready for PCIe 3.0 devices and the pending Ivy Bridge processor from Intel. The board will support full speed PCIe 3.0 speeds in both single GPU and SLI/CrossFire configurations. In fact, ASUS says that both the BIOS and PCIe switches are ready, out of the box, with this new P8Z68 Deluxe GEN3 model, something that some other vendors' boards may not actually be. That would mean the necessity to have a Sandy Bridge processor on-hand to flash the BIOS before an Ivy Bridge CPU would POST. Just something to keep in mind.
ASUS is hesitant to call the PCIe 3.0 support anything but future-proofing for consumers worried about the next-generation of graphics solutions from NVIDIA and AMD, though I would point out to our readers that any cards that come out in 2012 that do run PCIe 3.0 will still work just fine on PCIe 2.0 boards.
That being said, an ASUS rep did mention in passing that they MIGHT have found another benefit to PCIe 3.0 on current systems and graphics cards: a reduction in microstuttering in PC gaming. Now, I have yet to see this benefit in person and my initial thought was that this was simply a placebo effect, but I am eager to try it out when I get this board at the labs.
Introduction and Features
Courtesy of MSI
Micro-Star International, better known as MSI, has been busy little bees in 2011 to fend off fierce competition from ASUS, Gigabyte and other motherboard vendors. This year's launch of the Z68 chipset from Intel combined the capabilities and features from the H67 and P67 chipsets, and MSI capitalized on this when they joined forces with LucidLogix to include their Virtu technology in their latest Z68A-GD80 motherboard. Lucid's Virtu tech provides users with switchable graphics, which allows users to enjoy both graphics power of integrated GPU and discrete GPU.
Courtesy of MSI
MSI also used the Z68A-GD80 as their first motherboard to support PCI Express 3.0, which boosts 32GB/s of transfer bandwidth and makes this mobo a bit more future proof for users looking for their next hardware upgrade. MSI also upgraded their BIOS system to ClickBIOS II, which provides a consistent user interface both in the UEFI BIOS and in Windows. Users can control their system settings directly from Windows and the GUI also supports touchscreen controls.
Subject: General Tech, Motherboards | October 13, 2011 - 12:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: x79, uefi, roadmap
To call The Tech Report obsessed about motherboards is an understatement, like here at PC Perspective there is never enough information to satisfy us fully. That is probably why we are such suckers for sneak peeks and hints of what is coming up in the next generation of parts. Today it is the new UEFI implementation that we will be seeing from ASUS that will be present on the new family of X79 motherboards. This new type of BIOS is obviously maturing as you can get the same functionality we are used to seeing from GUI based overclocking and monitoring programs except now you are much closer to the metal. Check out the sneak peek and keep an eye out for more information from this super secret meeting.
"Later this week, I embark on a super-secret mission to Silicon Valley to get a sneak peek at Asus' upcoming X79 motherboards. At a similar preview event for Sandy Bridge motherboards last year, I got my first hands-on time with the UEFI—that is, the better, more flexible BIOS replacement—that went on to outclass everything in the industry. Asus will probably have a few new UEFI tricks to show off this time around, and I'm curious to see what's in store. I also have some rather specific thoughts on what should be incorporated in new firmware implementations. When you've been reviewing motherboards for more than a decade, you spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about such things—and have a somewhat inflated sense of the value of your opinions."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Asustek launches Zenbook series ultrabooks @ DigiTimes
- Hackers age 14-18 can compete to put their project into space @ Hack a Day
- Dennis Ritchie, Creator of C Programming Language, Passed Away @ Slashdot
- RIM has restored its systems @ The Inquirer
- iOS 5 reviewed: Notifications, iMessages, and iCloud, oh my! @ Ars Technica
- Seagate, WD update impact of Thai flooding @ DigiTimes
- Windows 7 overtakes XP - finally @ The Register
- SLI Multi-GPU Technology on AMD Platforms - An Interview with Tom Petersen of NVIDIA @ Hi Tech Legion
- Microsoft patches 23 flaws in multiple products @ The Inquirer
- October Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest @ Bjorn3D
Subject: Motherboards | October 11, 2011 - 04:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: mITX, llano, amd, asus, F1A75-I Deluxe, zotac, A75-ITX WiFi
If you are planning a microITX Llano build, it will be well worth your time to drop by The Tech Report as they are comparing two different mITX A75 boards. The ASUS F1A75-I Deluxe and Zotac A75-ITX WiFi boards have many similarities, a pair of DDR3 slots, a single PCIe 16x slot, 4 SATA 6Gbps slots, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort video outputs with audio from the Realtek ALC892. The differences lie in the outputs, where ASUS only has a pair of USB 3.0 ports, Zotac managed to squeeze a half dozen in at the cost of lowering the USB 2.0 port count. To find out if there are any performance differences, you will have to read the full article.
"The tight integration of AMD's Llano platform is perfectly suited to Mini-ITX motherboards. We test two of 'em from Asus and Zotac to see what's what."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- AMD A75 3-way Motherboard Shootout @ Techspot
- Gigabyte GA-A55M-DS2 Motherboard Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Zotac A75-ITX WiFi Motherboard Review @ t-break
- Asus Crosshair V Formula Motherboard Review @ Niinjalane
- GIGABYTE A55M-S2V (AMD A55) mATX @ Tweaktown
- BIOS Option Of The Week - PEG/Onchip VGA Control @ TechARP
- ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3 @ Tweaktown
- Gigabyte Z68XP-UD5 LGA 1155 Motherboard Review @ Hardware Canucks
- GIGABYTE H61N-USB3 (Intel H61) Mini-ITX @ Tweaktown
- Gigabyte G1.Sniper 2: Military-Style Gaming LGA1155 Mainboard @ X-bit Labs
- Asus Maximus IV Extreme: LGA1155 Mainboard for Three Graphics Cards @ X-bit Labs
Subject: Motherboards | October 3, 2011 - 01:19 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, maximus iv extreme, lga1155, p67, NF200, x68
The ASSU Republic of Gamers is a fast growing family line, the newest arrival being the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme. That pairs the Intel X68 chipset with the nForce 200 MCP to give you additional PCIe lanes. In fact you can manually tweak the PCIe lanes assigned to the PCI3 16x slots, a feature that experienced overclockers will probably use frequently. Speaking to the overclockers, [H]ard|OCP wanted to stress two very important capabilities of the board, not only did it hit 5.1GHz at a CPU voltage of 1.475v, it also boasted the lowest temperatures that [H] saw on their watercooling rig. This board is not for the plug and play crowd but for the enthusiast crowd it will shine.
"ASUS expands its Intel based Republic of Gamers line once again with the Maximus IV Extreme. This motherboard has a lot to live up to as each Maximus before this was nothing short of excellent and quite possibly the best motherboards available at the time of release. The Maximus IV Extreme continues the tradition and exceeds expectations."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 2 @ [H]ard|OCP
- MSI Z68A-GD80-G3 @ kitguru
- Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Z68 @ kitguru
- MSI Z68A GD65 G3 @ OC3D
- Intel D525MW Motherboard Review @ Hardware Secrets
- BIOS Option Of The Week - Refresh Mode Select @ TechARP
- ECS A55F-A Review @ t-break
- Sapphire Pure Platinum A75 (PT-A8A75) @ Bjorn3D
- ASUS F1A75-I Deluxe @ Tweaktown
- ASUS Crosshair V Formula AM3+ Motherboard Review @ Neoseeker
- ASUS F1A75-V Pro Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews
- ASUS F1A75-I Deluxe Review – Llano and Mini-ITX @ AnandTech
- ASUS F1A75-I Deluxe @ kitguru
If you have been visiting PC Perspective at all over the last week there is no doubt you have seen a lot of discussion about the currently running Battlefield 3 beta. We posted an article looking at performance of several different GPUs in the game and then followed it up with a look at older cards like the GeForce 9800 GT. We did a live stream of some PC Perspective staff playing BF3 with readers and fans, showed off and tested the locked Caspian Border map and even looked at multi-GPU scaling performance. It was a lot of testing and a lot of time, but now that we have completed it, we are ready to summarize our findings in a piece that many have been clamoring for - a Battlefield 3 system build guide.
The purpose of this article is simple: gather our many hours or testing and research and present the results in a way that simply says "here is the hardware we recommend." It is a the exact same philosophy that makes our PC Perspective Hardware Leaderboard so successful as it gives the reader all the information they need, all in one place.
Subject: General Tech, Motherboards, Processors | October 1, 2011 - 01:55 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: FX, bulldozer, amd, am3+
AMD has not been too well received in the upper end of CPUs for quite some time now. Once Intel started pushing for performance with their Conroe core, AMD was forced to stay competitive in the mainstream market to survive and that is pretty much where we have been for the last 5 years. Also returning after a nearly 5-year hiatus is the FX moniker for AMD’s flagship products. According to leak(s) from Microcenter that floated past our desks we should see a resurgence of at least one of those two on October 12th, 2011:
"AMD is launching their new AM3+ FX series processors on 10/12/11. We currently have a number of AM3+ compatible motherboards in stock. These motherboards will support the new AM3+ FX processors as well as legacy AM3 processors."
Personally, I would shy away from the words "Bull" and "Dozer" in my product line.
Also from the memo we learned that the new AM3+ FX SKUs that will launch includes: FX-6100, FX-8120, and the FX-8150. The 6000-series parts constitute 6-core processors where the 8000-series parts constitute 8-core parts. To support those processors we shall see three Gigabyte motherboards, four ASUS motherboards, and four ASRock motherboards. Update Oct 1 @ 2pm: There may be more motherboards at launch but since this is a Microcenter leak it only considers their stock.
|ASRock||890FX Deluxe 5|
|ASRock||880G PRO 3*|
|ASRock||890GX PRO 3*|
Each of these motherboards will require a BIOS update to be serviceable though the leak suggests that the update would be performed by Microcenter themselves. If for some reason you have the board on your own you will need an older AM3 processor to perform the update. Also, the last two ASRock motherboards (asterixed) do not yet have a BIOS update for AM3+. AMD is expected to post an official blog about the topic on October 3rd at AMD.com.