Subject: Motherboards | November 29, 2012 - 01:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gigabyte, amd, Intel, Z77, z75, h61, a85, a75, A55
City of Industry, California, October 28, 2012 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today launched its latest HD series motherboards, bringing unprecedented dual digital display support, including HDMI and DVI, to a range of value segment motherboard models.
The new GIGABYTE HD motherboard series defies the current ethos that means true digital display outputs are reserved for upper mainstream models, adding both HDMI and DVI ports to a range of motherboard models at attractive and affordable price points. All DIY enthusiasts can now enjoy true HD display capability using the most commonly integrated digital output technologies on today’s HD displays and TVs.
“The new GIGABYTE HD motherboard series means our customers can get much more bang-per-buck from their value segment motherboards,” commented Henry Kao, Vice President of GIGABYTE Motherboard Business Unit. “Adding dual digital display ports to this segment really sets GIGABYTE apart from the competition, raising the bar for value segment motherboard design.”
HD_WhiteMaking Digital Display Support a Standard Feature
Digital output technologies like HDMI are becoming the de-facto standard on most HDTVs and PC monitors, with the advantage of carrying both HD audio* and video signals over a single cable. As well as offering higher screen resolutions than analog display outputs, digital display outputs also offer support for the latest 3D media content as well as access to protected content via HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection).
Having access to dual digital displays is also a great way to increase productivity, offering much more on-screen real-estate than entry-level motherboards typically provide. GIGABYTE HD series motherboards are ideal for a range of business, office and education scenarios where adding an additional digital display or projector is paramount.
GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 4 Classic
GIGABYTE HD series motherboards integrate GIGABYTE Ultra Durable™ 4 Classic technology with built-in features that prevent common malfunction threats. Protection against humidity, electrostatic damage, power failure and high-temperatures is achieved using a range of technologies and features including glass fabric PCB technology, Lower RDS(on) MOSFETs, anti-surge ICs, solid capacitors and GIGABYTE Dual BIOS™.
You learn more about GIGABYTE Ultra Durable 4 Classic technology here: http://www.gigabyte.us/microsite/297/images/overview.html
Subject: Motherboards | November 26, 2012 - 03:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, a85, socket fm2, biostar, Hi-Fi A85W
Biostar's Hi-Fi A85W is a low cost way to start building a new AMD system, currently after MIR it is $85 on NewEgg and comes with 8GB of free G.SKILL RAM. You get a board that supports Hybrid CrossFire and sports a pait of PCIe 2.0 x16 slots (only one is full speed), two PCIe 2.0 x1 slots and a pair of legacy PCI slots. It has eight SATA 6.0 Gb/s, eight USB 2.0 ports and four USB 3.0 ports to give you a lot of flexibility for drives and peripherals as well as DVI, HDMI and VGA outputs and a feature dubbed "PURO Hi-Fi"; a sheild for the better than average onboard audio codec. TechPowerUp were impressed with the wide variety of overclocking options in the UEFI BIOS, until they tried overclocking and found a variety of issues with TurboCore and other overclocking settings. Hopefully Biostar wil release a BIOS update to fix what is otherwise a solid choice of FM2 motherboard.
"Biostar is at it again with a mid-range entry level product, the Biostar Hi-Fi A85W. Ready to rock out with AMD's new Piledriver FM2 APUs, the Biostar Hi-Fi A85W comes with an audio-oriented theme that's usually reserved for high-end products. Did it play sweet music, or is it a bit out of tune?"
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ECS A85F2-A Golden FM2 Motherboard Review @ TechwareLabs
- Asus F2A55-M LK @ eTeknix
- MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 Review @ HCW
- Gigabyte GA-F2A75M-D3H Budget FM2 @ SPCR
- BIOS Option Of The Week - DQS Training Control @ X-bit Labs
- ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z @ Bjorn3D
- ASRock Z77 Extreme11 Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
Subject: Motherboards | November 19, 2012 - 01:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, Z77A-GD55, lga1155
Right now on NewEgg, the LGA1155 MSI Z77A-GD55 is a great deal at $130 after MIR and comes with a free 8GB dual channel DDR3-1600 Ripjaws kit from G.Skill. For that low price you get a pair of PCIe 3.0 16x slots, a single 4x and four 1x slots along with two SATA 6Gbs ports and four SATA II ports capable of RAID, 10 USB 2.0 ports and a pair of USB 3.0 ports. Those ports, along with the array of audio and video connectors on the backplate should provide enough connectivity for the majority of users with space to upgrade. [H]ard|OCP are not fans of the Double-Click BIOS II, with this implementation being no worse than other MSI boards and they did have some problems with the Control Center software, however with the very stable performance and easy overclocking ability of the board they highly recommend it for anyone looking for a budget conscious Ivy Bridge system.
"This motherboard might be a bit off-the-radar for most enthusiasts since it is a bit "down the scale." However, if you want a lot of bang for your buck, then look no further than MSI's Z77A-GD55. While it's somewhat basic in features it's overclocking performance is stellar for the price, which is very value oriented."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE Review @ OCC
- Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WiFi Review @ OCC
- ASRock Z77 OC Formula Review @ Neoseeker
- Gigabyte Z77X UP7 Overclocking Motherboard Review @ Ninjalane
- Mini-ITX Integrated CPU @ Hardware.info
- Mini-ITX Intel Socket 1155 @ Hardware.info
- CPUID Maximum Value Limit @ Tech ARP
- Mini-ITX AMD Socket FM1 @ Hardware.info
- ECS A85F2-A Golden Board (A85X) Motherboard Review @ eTeknix
- Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4 Motherboard Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Gigabyte F2A85X-UP4 AMD Socket FM2 @ techPowerUp
- ECS A85F2-A Golden @ Guru of 3D
- ASUS M5A99FX Pro R2.0 Motherboard Review @ Hi Tech Legion
Subject: Motherboards | November 14, 2012 - 05:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ECS, Z77H2-A5X Deluxe, thunderbolt, Z77, lga 1155
November 13, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan - Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) today reveals its first motherboard with Thunderbolt support, the Brand-New Black Series Z77H2-A5X Deluxe, based on the new Intel Z77 chipset. The Black Deluxe Series was created with power users and overclockers in mind. The Z77H2-A5X Deluxe embodies these qualities by providing all solid capacitors, triple thickness gold plating and overclocking friendly heatsinks and heatpipes.
The Z77H2-A5X Deluxe combines the latest motherboard technology with the above industry quality control standards set by ECS on the Black Series.
Power user features
For overclockers, the ECS Z77H2-A5X Deluxe provides a wealth of tweaking, control and adjustment features. ECS' Hyper Alloy Chokes give overclockers more stability because of their high energy efficiency and heat reduction. Long-life capacitors in all critical areas guard against failure even in the most challenging conditions. Triple thickness gold plating on CPU, memory and add-on card sockets ensures the Z77H2-A5X Deluxe always provides a reliable connection, even with heavy use and in hostile environments. Improved heavy duty heatsinks and heatpipes help dissipate heat efficiently when overclocking. Thor Ultra Protection offers complete electrostatic discharge protection for VGA, USB, LAN and HDMI ports against component damage from static electricity in dry climates. ECS' latest UEFI II: EZ BIOS also provides a modern high resolution BIOS and Window 8 ready to work with.
A single Thunderbolt port lets you connect high-performance data devices and high-resolution displays to a single port with up to blazing fast 10Gbps data transfer rates. USB 2.0 in comparison only has a max throughput of 480Mbps, about 20x slower. Not only is Thunderbolt fast, but it's also convenient. Up to six Thunderbolt devices can be connected to a single connector on the PC and a native DisplayPort display can be connected at the end of the daisy chain.
Support for 3 way NVIDIA SLI or ATI CrossFireX
The Z77H2-A5X Deluxe is at the forefront of the performance desktop PC market with support for three PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots and additionally, 3-way NVIDIA SLI or ATI CrossFireX support, providing astonishingly realistic high speed graphics and physics performance for the latest games and entertainment.
The latest high speed storage connectivity
The Z77H2-A5X Deluxe provides enormous capacity for ultra high speed storage. The Z77H2-A5X Deluxe is equipped with 2 x SATA 6Gb/s, 3 x SATA 3GB/s, 1 x mSATA 3GB/s (from mini PCIe) and RAID 0,1,5,10 support.
Fast external connectivity
The Z77H2-A5X Deluxe is equipped with all the external connections you need, including on-board Wireless LAN, Gigabit LAN, Bluetooth, 2x USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0, and 8 channel HD audio with ATX software support. The new Intel Z77 chipset at the heart of the Z77H2-A5X Deluxe is the first to include USB 3.0 support without external chips, bringing greater performance, expandability and reliability.
Unprecedented reliability – ECS Nonstop Certified
To ensure maximum reliability and customer satisfaction, ECS has enhanced its already stringent quality control procedures by increasing the testing cycle for its Black Series to three times longer than the industry standard and by raising the burn in testing temperature to 125% of the industry standard. Only those boards that pass ECS' 72 hours burn in test as well as a 50 degrees Celsius severe environment test can be deemed ECS Nonstop Certified.
Subject: Motherboards | November 9, 2012 - 03:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, a85, F2A85-V Pro, trinity
The ASUS F2A85V Pro is a high end AMD board with a quite reasonable price for the features present on the board. The two PCIe-16x slots can handle Crossfire with both cards running at 8x and the spacing between the slots means that even a three slot GPU will fit with no problems. There are 7 SATA 6 Gbps ports which support a variety of RAID settings, as well as four USB 3.0 ports and a single eSATA port but it is the graphics outputs which really shine, HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA and DVI outputs are all available for your Trinity processor. Take a look at those features, the new Network iControl software to manage your connections and the UEFI BIOS at Bjorn3D.
"ASUS has released their the F2A85V-Pro for the socket FM2. The board retails at around $140, but is packed with features."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Sapphire Pure Platinum A85XT @ Hardware.info
- Three AMD A85X Socket FM2 motherboards @ Hardware.info
- Sapphire Pure Black 990FX Review @ OCC
- apphire Pure Platinum A85XT (A85X) Motherboard Review @ eTeknix
- ASRock FM2A85X Extreme6 (A85X) Motherboard Review @ eTeknix.
- BIOS Option Of The Week - FPU OPCODE Compatible Mode @ TechaRP
- Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 @ Kitguru
- ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 Review @ OCC
- EVGA Z75 SLI Motherboard Review @ HCW
- GIGABTYE Z77X-UP7 Motherboard @ Bjorn3D
- ASUS Maximus V Extreme @ Bjorn3D
- ASRock Z77 OC Formula Review @ OCC
- MSI Z77 MPOWER LGA1155 Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- MSI Z77 MPOWER @ Tweaktown
- ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- Asus P8Z77-V Premium Review: Flagship Mainboard from Asus @ X-bit Labs
- Biostar Hi-Fi Z77X @ Hardware.info
- Gigabyte H77N-WiFi Review – First Look at Ivy Bridge with mITX @ AnandTech
- GIGABYTE Z77X-UP7 @ [H]ard|OCP
- GIGABYTE Z77X-UP7 @ Tweaktown
Introduction and Specs
Courtesy of ECS
As part of their Black Extreme line of motherboards, the ECS Z77H2-AX pairs the promise of performance and a mile-long feature list with looks that could kill. We decided to put this board through the paces, throwing our normal suite of benchmark and functionality tests to see how well it lived up to its reputation. The ECS Z77H2-AX seems to be well priced at its $309.99 base price with all the higher-end features and bling built into the board.
Courtesy of ECS
From the initial unboxing of the board, I was dumbstruck. ECS literally gold-plated every heat-producing surface on this board, giving it a very unique look and feel. The board itself has no shortage of features with SATA 2, SATA 3, mSATA, and eSATA ports, support for 3 different networking types, and enough USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports for anyone.
Intro and Tech Specs
Courtesy of ASUS
Today we will be evaluating the ASUS P8Z77 WS motherboard on the test bench, evaluating its performance and functionality in various ways to ensure that the board works up to the standards we’ve come to expect from ASUS. At $339 a base price, this Intel Z77 chipset based board is part of the ASUS Workstation series, designed to meet the needs of the harsh corporate and server environments requiring optimal component functioning over a 24/7 timeframe.
Courtesy of ASUS
The P8Z77 WS is a feature-rich solution with dual Intel-based GigE NICs, an ASUS customized UEFI BIOS, and multi-GPU PCI 3.0 support offered innately through the Intel Z77 chipset as well as the integrated LicidLogix Virtu MVP chipset.
Courtesy of ASUS
Subject: Motherboards | October 31, 2012 - 03:59 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: vishera, phenom, motherboard, ECS, atx, amd, am3, a970m-a deluxe
Elitegroup Computer Systems is on a roll this week for launching motherboards supporting AMD processors. In addition to its mini ITX offerings, the company is launching the A970M-A Deluxe in it’s full gold-clad ATX form factor glory (heh). It offers up support for AMD’s latest FX and Phenom II series processors along with SATA III 6Gbps and USB 3.0 for speedy storage. Unfortunately, there is no PCI-E 3.0. Otherwise, this is a high end motherboard and has the feature set to match.
In typical ECS fashion, the company has outfitted the board with gold colored heatsinks, EZ BIOS, solid capacitors, “Thor Ultra Protection,” a dust shield, and support for up to 140W TDP processors, among other features. The EZ BIOS is actually a uEFI BIOS that allows you to tweak settings using a graphical interface as well as automatic overclocking functionality that can overclock the AMD processor for you (to an extent).
Internal IO and board layout
The board has several gold-colored heatsinks over the VRM and southbridge hardware. Along the top of the board lies the AM3+ CPU socket and four DDR3 DIMM slots. The board supports up to 2133 MHz memory when overclocked and up to 32 GB of RAM (when using 8GB DIMMs). Expansion slots include two PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots, two PCI-E x1 slots, and two legacy PCI slots. The lower-right corner features five SATA III 6Gbps ports – two of which are positioned at right angles to the board. Expansion headers include three fan headers, one COM header, and three USB 2.0 headers (up to 6 additional ports) are also included on the board.
The rear panel IO includes:
- 1 x PS/2 combo port
- 1 x RJ45 port (Realtek 8111E Gigabit LAN Controller)
- 1 x eSATA 6Gbps port
- 2 x USB 3.0 ports
- 8 x USB 2.0 ports
- 5 x Analog audio jacks (4 line out, 1 line in. Realtek ALC892 codec)
- 1 x S/PDIF optical audio output
While we do not yet have US pricing, when converted from the stated RS 9,000 (according to Think Digit)to USD, the board is just under $170. No word yet on stateside availability. You can find more information on the ECS specifcations page.
Subject: Motherboards | October 31, 2012 - 11:21 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: motherboard, mini-itx, hdc-12/e-350d2, ECS, e-350d, amd
Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) has launched a new motherboard and processor combination that pairs a mini-itx form factor board with an AMD E-350D Accelerated Processing Unit (APU). Measuring 17cm x 17cm, the HDC-12/E-350D2 is similar to the Biostar product covered previously, except for feature set. The ECS model uses the cheaper A45 FCH chipset and does away with modern expansion ports such as PCI-E 3.0 and USB 3.0. While it is less capable, it is also less expensive that the other boards.
The board has a bundled AMD E-350D APU with dual CPU cores and integrated HD 6130 graphics. The memory controller supports a maximum of 16GB of DDR3 RAM running at 1066MHz via two DIMM slots on the motherboard. The A45 chipset supports two SATA II 3 Gbps ports, and that is one area where the low cost nature (and associated compromises) of the A45 chipset hits home as the higher end boards have more ports and support for SATA III 6 Gbps. Aside from some fan headers and headers for USB ports, the only other expansion option is a single legacy PCI slot at the bottom of the board.
External IO options include:
- 8 x USB 2.0
- 1 x VGA
- 1 x DVI
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
- 3 x analog audio jacks
The lack of an optical audio output is disappointing as well, but the board can be powered by a single 24 pix ATX cable – no 4 or 8 pin CPU power required. In the end it is a cheap base for a low power system. It would make a great router / firewall device with the addition of a PCI Ethernet NIC, for example. The only real downside would be wireless as you would need to use USB NICs to add that capability. This could also make for an entry level HTPC build as the APU is capable of hardware accelerating 1080p video.
Along with the HTPC vein, ECS is bundling coupons for free copies of Cyberlink's MediaEspresso 6.5 LE and MediaShow 5.1 LE transcoding and playback software with the motherboard.
The ECS HDC-12/E-350D2 will retail for a sub-$100 price, and should be available for purchase soon.
Read more about Mini ITX motherboards at PC Perspective.
Today we are taking a look at MSI’s flagship Z77 motherboard, the Z77A-GD80. Beyond being the GD80 SKU, which for several generations now has been given MSI’s premiere options, this GD80 in particular is an innovative board. This is due to the Z77A-GD80 being the first Windows motherboard that was certified for Intel’s Thunderbolt technology.
As many of you may know, Thunderbolt has 10 Gbps of bandwidth, as well as integrates Mini DisplayPort for video. With all of this bandwidth, Thunderbolt is an exciting standard, which we will focus on in depth later in this review.