Biostar Launches Mini-ITX A68I-350 Deluxe Motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | September 10, 2012 - 09:29 AM |
Tagged: mini-itx, htpc, fusion, biostar, APU, amd, a68i-350 deluxe, a68

While Intel has gotten a lot of Mini-ITX love lately, AMD is not out of the game yet. Motherboard manufacturer Biostar recently launched an AMD Fusion APU powered Mini-ITX motherboard that would make for a nice little HTPC. The A68I-350 Deluxe is based around some of the latest technologies including support for DDR3, PCI-E 3.0, and USB 3.0 standards.

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The A68I-350 Deluxe motherboard measures 17 cm x 17 cm and comes with a bundled dual core AMD Fusion 350D APU. A heatsink and passive cooling for the south bridge are also provided in the package. The graphics card, memory, storage and other accessories are up to you, however. The Mini-ITX board features two DDR3 DIMM slots that support a maximum of 16 GB. Located in the lower right-hand corner are three SATA 3 6Gbps ports. Below that is a single PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot for a graphics card or other peripheral. Additional internal IO includes:

  • 1 x printer header
  • 2 x USB 2.0 header
  • 1 X front panel audio
  • 1 X front panel header (hdd, power, reset, ect)
  • 1 x S/PDIF-OUT header
  • 1 x CPU fan header
  • 1 x system fan header
  • 1 x serial header

According to Biostar, the motherboard also uses all solid capacitors to improve longevity.

Rear IO on the board is not quite as extensive as some of the other offerings available, but is still fairly good for the price. It features two PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse, one HDMI out, one VGA output, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, one Ethernet port (Realtek RTL8111F Gigabit controller), and three audio output jacks (Realtek ALC662 6-channel HD audio).

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The AMD APU that comes with the A68I-350 Deluxe features Radeon 6310 graphics, which are not the fastest but will still provide plenty of oomph for watching videos on the big screen. While it has not yet shown up at online retailers like Amazon and Newegg yet, it is reportedly already shipping and will have an MSRP of € 66 (euros) or approximately $84 USD. Considering the Intel options that have recently surfaced are going for $100+ easily, this Biostar motherboard should provide a nice budget option for your next HTPC or small form factor PC build!

You can find more information on the A68I-350 Deluxe over at the Biostar website.

Read more about Mini-ITX motherboards at PC Perspective.

Source: Biostar

Live Recap: Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 and Z77N-WiFi Motherboard Preview

Subject: Motherboards | September 9, 2012 - 06:14 PM |
Tagged: z77x-up7, z77n-wifi, video, live, h77n-wifi, gigabyte

A PC Perspective Live Recap is a recorded version of a previously live streamed event from http://pcper.com/live.  If you couldn't make the original air time, or simply want to re-watch, the on-demand version is provided below!

On the way to the Intel Developer Forum, Gigabyte's Colin Brix stopped by the PC Perspective offices to talk with us about the new Z77X-UP7 flagship motherboard with some really impressive overclocking features as well as the latest iteration of Gigabyte's Ultra Durable 5 technology. 

While he was here, we also got to see a sneak preview of the mini-ITX motherboard, the Z77N-WiFi!

If you missed the live event you can watch the replay below!

Live Gigabyte Motherboard Q&A - Ask your questions!

Subject: Motherboards | September 9, 2012 - 01:45 AM |
Tagged: Z77, pcper live, gigabyte

If you missed the live event, you can watch the replay with Colin and I right here to learn about the new Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 and Z77N-WiFi!!

On Sunday September 9th at 3pm ET / 12pm PT, Gigabyte will be at the PC Perspective offices doing a live event to show off some new products as well as answer any questions our readers and viewers might have.  It will all be happening on the PC Perspective Live! channel so be sure you are there later today to participate and possibly win some prizes from our friends at Gigabyte!

Just last month Gigabyte announced the release of the flagship Z77X-UP7 motherboard.

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This motherboard features a 32+3+2 power phase technology, Ultra Durable 5 components, an all digital PWM, support for 4-Way graphics configurations and a very unique Direct Link PCIe x16 slot for maximum bandwidth. 

The GIGABYTE Z77X-UP7 motherboard delivers a serious amount of power through its 32+3+2 power phase design (32 CPU phases, 3 Intel® HD Graphics, 2 VTT phases). With the industry’s highest phase count, the Z77X-UP7 motherboard is able to share the workload between 32 phases, ensuring lower working temperatures and maximum CPU power delivery.

Featuring the award winning GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ 5 technology with high current capable components including 60A rated PowIRstages® from IR, the Z77X-UP7 is able to deliver an astonishing 2,000W of power and at the same time, operate at remarkably low temperatures. This means that even overclocked, water cooled Z77X-UP7 systems are able to provide remarkable levels of performance.

 The GIGABYTE Z77X-UP7 delivers the industry’s most scalable graphics platform, with support for both 4-way ATI CrossfireX™ and Nvidia SLI™. Providing PCI Express 3.0 x8 connectivity on 4 slots, the Z77X-UP7 delivers ultra smooth 3D rendering, blazing-fast frame rates and enhanced graphics capabilities for users wanting to get the highest levels of graphics performance from their system.

You can see the full release on Gigabyte's website here.

We will also touch on a new mini-ITX motherboard from Gigabyte as well - you'll definitely want to see this!

Here's where your participation comes in - submit your questions or thoughts on the products in our comments section below and we'll hand out a couple of prizes to two questions that we think are the best!  There is no registration required, so post away and be sure to join us on Sunday at 3pm ET / 12pm PT at http://pcper.com/live to participate in our live event!

EVGA Mini ITX Z77 Motherboard In the Works

Subject: Motherboards | August 29, 2012 - 02:45 PM |
Tagged: Z77, mini-itx, htpc, evga

There is something alluring about packing high-end motherboard hardware into a mini-ITX form factor, and it looks as though EVGA will be joining the small form factor game with its first Z77 mini-ITX board. German enthusiast site OCaholic managed to get its hands on the board for a short preivew, and with dimensions of 17 cm x 17 cm, the motherboard packs a ton of overclockable hardware into an attractive design. 

The Z77 motherboard features an Intel LGA 1155 socket that can accept either Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge processors in the i3, i5, and i7 flavors. To the left of the CPU socket is an 8-phase power phase with International Rectifier IR3550M MOSFETS. There is also an additional power phase dedicated to getting clean power to the memory. To the right of the CPU socket are two DDR3 memory slots capable of supporting a maximum of 32GB of RAM.

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The top right corner of the mini-ITX motherboard features red power and reset buttons as well as an LED display capable of displaying error codes should you push the board too far and it fails to post. The EVGA motherboard features a UEFI BIOS from which you can overclock or reset the board to defaults that should be similar to the company’s current offering.

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Along the bottom of the Z77 motherboard is a PCI-E 3.0 X16 slot for adding a graphics card. Directly above the PCI-E 3.0 slot (from left to right) is a USB 3.0 header, mSATA connector, southbridge, and four SATA ports. Two are SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports (Intel RAID 0, 1, 4, 0+1), and the other two are SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports that support Intel RAID 0, 1, 5, 0+1, and JBOD. While it should not be a problem for most users, the SATA ports and RAM slot are packed in really close to the PCI-E slot, so if you are using a graphics card that utilizes a large heatsink, you will probably want to avoid this board. Unfortunately, that’s just one of the compromises necessary to get a motherboard this small though. At least the SATA ports are above the PCI-E 3.0 slot and not to the right of it (like some boards are set up).

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Rear IO on the EVGA Z77 mini-ITX motherboard is pretty impressive for a board of this size. You get two USB 2.0 ports, Bluetooth, a small clear CMOS button to reset the BIOS to defaults, four USB 3.0 ports, 1 mini DisplayPort (or possibly Thunderbolt) port, two eSATA 6.0 Gb/s ports, 1 HDMI port, 1 Gigabit LAN port, five audio output jacks courtesy of a Realtek ALC898 8-channel controller, and one optical audio output (S/PDIF).

Unfortunately, there is no word yet on price or availability. Talk around the internet seems to suggest a release date sometime in September and price above $150, but as always you should take those numbers with at least a few grains of salt. Even so, this is an interesting motherboard, and I’m always glad to see more competition in the small form factor and mini-ITX hardware space.

The EVGA board has now joined the Gigabyte GA-H77N WIFI and the ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe in the Z77 Mini ITX game. Here’s hoping the increased competition can bring prices down so I can get to building a nice Mini-ITX powered HTPC like the one Ryan built with an AMD APU (and desktop Trinity’s launch date seems to be getting further away rather than closer).

You can find more photos of the EVGA Mini-ITX motherboard over at OCaholic, and as always PC Perspective has you covered on mini-ITX motherboard news. Stay tuned for more details on this EVGA board as we get them!

Read more about mini-ITX motherboards.

Source: OCaholic

Gigabyte's Z77X-UD5H is sitting at the high end of mid-range

Subject: Motherboards | August 28, 2012 - 04:18 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, z77x-ud5h, Z77, lga 1155

For just under $200 you can pick up the Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H, a board that is a mix of high end and mid-range motherboard.  On the negative side [H]ard|OCP once again were disappointed by the performance of the mouse in Gigabyte's UEFI, not a big issue but very annoying when you are used to competitors implementations that don't force you back to the keyboard.  There were also a few aesthetic choices that [H] were not impressed by but the actual physical layout was done well.  As there is no PLX chip you will be best off using a pair of GPUs as the maximum which makes it a great mid-range board but misses the high end mark.  Check out how easy it is to overclock this motherboard in their full review.

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"The Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H is a high end board with a mid-range price. Sound too good to be true? Well as it turns out it's still mostly a high end board with a few cost cutting measures here and there. The question I had to ask myself was: Is the Z77X-UD5H a high end dud or a mid-range marvel?"

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Live Review Recap: MSI Z77 MPower Motherboard Preview and GPU Lineup

Subject: Motherboards | August 22, 2012 - 08:35 AM |
Tagged: z77 mpower, Z77, video, msi, mpower, live review, live

Earlier this week MSI's Alex Chang stopped by the PC Perspective office to show off a new motherboard, the Z77 MPower.  If you missed the live stream, you can check out the replay right here below!  Be sure you keep an eye on our LIVE schedule on the right hand side as future events pop up!

MPower introduces a 24-hour burn-in test that is one of a kind. Electronic components are manufactured on an assembly line and then statistical sampling is used to ensure quality of construction. Every MPower board is tested using a full Prime95 burn-in test for 24 hours under a heavy overclock.

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While you can probably reproduce this yourself in the comfort of your own home, MSI basically is doing this at the factory level to ensure every single board performs at the highest level. Not only are we changing the game of overclocking, but we’re also ensuring consistent and enduring performance from a desktop mainboard.

Source: MSI

ASUS' P8Z77V-Pro; trimming the cost without paring off the features

Subject: Motherboards | August 21, 2012 - 06:52 PM |
Tagged: asus, P8Z77-V Pro

At $208 the ASUS P8Z77-Pro might surprise you, with three PCIe 3.0 16x slots (dual GPUs are limited to 8x speeds), two of both PCIe 1x and legacy PCI slots, four each of SATA2 and SATA 6Gbps ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, a half dozen USB 3.0 ports and built in WiFi it is not exactly a basic Z77 board.  It does suffer from the common ailment of Z77/Ivy Bridge systems, the overclocking potential is good but not excellent, though it was rock solid at the 4.79GHz that [H]ard|OCP managed to push it to.  ASUS does offer better Z77 boards at higher prices for the hard core enthusiasts which may be why this board didn't pick up an award.  For those not looking to overclock much and would rather save a few dollars the P8Z77-Pro is a solid contender for your hard earned money.

H_p8z77pro.jpg

"The P8Z77-V Pro is a perfect example of how powerful the ASUS P8xxx series is and what it has to offer. While many would consider it a stripped down model, it is anything but. While not as feature rich as some in the series, the P8Z77-V Pro does have a lot to offer, especially given its price point."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

MSI MPower Motherboard Q&A - Ask your questions!!

Subject: Editorial, Motherboards | August 21, 2012 - 10:18 AM |
Tagged: Z77, msi, mpower, live

Tomorrow on our PC Perspective Live! channel we are going to be hosting MSI's Alex Chang, the man in charge of product marketing for motherboards and GPUs - so you'll definitely want to stop by and see what he has to say!  In preparation for his visit we wanted to give our readers a chance to ask some questions about the new product line coming from MSI, the MPower motherboards. 

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Starting with the Z77 model that has been teased at various locations (including our own PC Perspective Hardware Workshop at Quakecon 2012), the MPower motherboards will be doing some unique things like extending warranties to overclockers and running overclocking tests on EACH motherboard board it ships to retailers.  Here is a quick note from MSI on the topic:

MPower introduces a 24-hour burn-in test that is one of a kind. Electronic components are manufactured on an assembly line and then statistical sampling is used to ensure quality of construction. Every MPower board is tested using a full Prime95 burn-in test for 24 hours under a heavy overclock.

While you can probably reproduce this yourself in the comfort of your own home, MSI basically is doing this at the factory level to ensure every single board performs at the highest level. Not only are we changing the game of overclocking, but we’re also ensuring consistent and enduring performance from a desktop mainboard.

MSI has posted some new information on its website recently as well including some details on the overclocking burn-in tests:

OC Certified is MSI's OC testing procedure where Z77 MPOWER mainboards tested for stability with a 24-hour Prime95 stress test. OC Certified test a mainboard in three key areas:
• Higher Performance
• Enhanced PWM Cooling
• Better Power Stability

Higher Performance means all OC Certified tests are run at 4.6 GHz CPU speed. The Enhanced PWM Cooling test ensures that, even without airflow in a high-temperature room (30°C) without airflow from a CPU cooler. Better Power Stability is tested by running Prime95 for 24-hours in these conditions.

I would imagine that you have some questions about the product - its features, its new warranty, the overclocking capability for it, etc. and we want to offer you the chance to ASK those questions of MSI directly. 

You can comment on our post here (no registration is required) and then join us tomorrow at 1pm ET / 10am PT for the LIVE discussion and presentation of the MSI MPower Z77 motherboard.  We will have some prizes for those of you that ask the best questions so be sure to get your question in EARLY!

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Intel brings skulls back to the motherboard with the DZ77GA-70K

Subject: Motherboards | August 13, 2012 - 04:26 PM |
Tagged: lga 1155, Intel, DZ77GA-70K

The DZ77GA-70K is not exactly the rebirth of Intel's SkullTrail series but it certainly does bear similar branding.  Instead it is a high end Z77 based board which features integral Bluetooth and WiFi, 8 USB 3.0 ports, three PCIe 3.0 16x slots, a pair of PCIe 1x slots and even two PCI slots.  [H]ard|OCP liked the UEFI BIOS that Intel has included, though they feel it is lacking in the overclocking settings you would expect from an 'Extreme Motherboard'.  They have only good things to say about the stability of the board, so if you need a rock solid system with a lot of expansion capabilities more than you need a good overclocker, this might be the board for you.

H_dz77ga-70k.jpg

"We'll be taking a look at one of Intel's motherboards today, specifically the Intel DZ77GA-70K which is part of its Extreme Motherboard series. How can you tell it's an extreme motherboard? Why it has a skull on it of course! All kidding aside there is more to the DZ77GA-70K than just marketing."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

Source: [H]ard|OCP

PC Perspective Hardware Workshop 2012 @ Quakecon 2012 in Dallas, TX

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Cases and Cooling, Processors, Memory, Systems, Storage, Mobile, Shows and Expos | August 9, 2012 - 10:30 PM |
Tagged: video, workshop, streaming, quakecon, prizes, live, giveaways

It is that time of year again: another installment of the PC Perspective Hardware Workshop!  Once again we will be presenting on the main stage at Quakecon 2012 being held in Dallas, TX August 2-5th.  

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Main Stage - Quakecon 2012

Saturday, August 4th, 2pm CT

Our thanks go out to the organizers of Quakecon for allowing us and our partners to put together a show that we are proud of every year.  We love giving back to the community of enthusiasts and gamers that drive us to do what we do!  Get ready for 2 hours of prizes, games and raffles and the chances are pretty good that you'll take something out with you - really, they are pretty good!

Our thanks for this year's workshop logo goes to John Pastor!!

Our primary partners at the event are those that threw in for our ability to host the workshop at Quakecon and for the hundreds of shirts we have ready to toss out!  Our thanks to NVIDIA, MSI Computer and Corsair!!

 

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Live Streaming

If you can't make it to the workshop - don't worry!  You can still watch the workshop live on our page right here as we stream it over one of several online services.  Just remember this URL: http://pcper.com/workshop and you will find your way!

Case Mod Competition

Along with the Hardware Workshop, PC Perspective is working with Modders Inc on the annual case mod contest!  There are two categories for the competition: "Scratch Built" and "In the Box" that will allow those that build their computer enclosures from the ground up to compete separately from those that heavily modify their existing cases and systems.

For more details, be sure to check out the on going thread at the Modders Inc Forums!

Prize List (will continue to grow!)

Continue reading to see the list of prizes for the workshop!!!

Source: PCPer