MSI Launches Z77A-GD80 Motherboard With Thunderbolt

Subject: Motherboards | May 23, 2012 - 05:15 PM |
Tagged: Z77, thunderbolt, msi, motherboard

The MSI Z77A-GD80 motherboard that was first shown off at CES 2012 has officially launched today. The new motherboard is based on the Z77 chipset and supports Intel’s latest 22nm Ivy Bridge processors as well as the new Thunderbolt interface (a demo of Thunderbolt can be found here).

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The MSI board further utilizes their “Military Class III” components, UEFI / Windows GUI ClickBIOS II firmware, and their automatic overclocking OC Genie II software. The board also features four DIMM slots for up to 32GB of DDR3 2800MHz memory, three PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots, four PCI-E 3.0 x1 slots, four SATA II and four SATA III. It also supports two-way SLI or three-way Crossfire for multi-GPU setups and has an additional USB 3.0 header for expansion cards or front panel ports.

Rear IO includes 4 USB 2.0 ports, a combination PS/2 mouse/keyboard port, digital and optical audio outputs, HDMI, Gigabit LAN, two USB 3.0 ports, VGA output, and 6 port analog audio output.Last but not least the Thunderbolt port, resting under the VGA output. MSI is pushing the new transfer technology hard in the press release because of the super fast transfer rates (theoretically up to 10Gbps).

Unfortunately, there is no word on pricing or availability for this motherboard (yet). Stay tuned to future updates as more information is released. More photos of and specification details for the new Thunderbolt equipped motherboard can be found here.

Source: MSI

Thunderbolt for Windows Performance Preview - ASUS P8Z77-V Premium

Subject: General Tech, Motherboards, Storage | May 21, 2012 - 06:57 PM |
Tagged: Z77, thunderbolt, p8z77-v premium, msi, asus

We have really been waiting for this since we first saw the release of Thunderbolt on the Apple MacBooks last year, but we finally have it: Thunderbolt support for PC users!  Both MSI and ASUS today announced availability of motherboards with integrated Thunderbolt connectivity: the ASUS P8Z77-V Premium and the MSI Z77A-GD80 will both get you a single integrated Thunderbolt port.

You can see MSI's full press release right hereWe can't find the ASUS press release anywhere Here is the ASUS press release as well, but here are a few selections:

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"Intel and ASUS have worked closely on the implementation of Thunderbolt technology onto Asus motherboards”, said Jason Ziller, Intel’s Director of Thunderbolt Marketing. “The P8Z77-V PREMIUM is the first Thunderbolt certified motherboard in the industry, a testament to its solid design and compatibility."

...

With its long history of working with high tech vendors, ASUS is able to show its strength and commitment to innovation with a close relationship to three of the leading brands currently producing products with Thunderbolt technology, Elgato, LaCie, and PROMISE.

...

Thunderbolt is a new, high-speed I/O technology designed for performance, simplicity and flexibility, with lightning fast transfer speeds that are twice that of USB 3.0 and up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0. It offers simultaneous bi-directional 10Gbps transfer speeds over a single cable, with the flexibility to daisy-chain up to six Thunderbolt-ready devices with a single connection as well as offering full display port support for a 7th Thunderbolt or display port equipped monitor. This allows for a clutter-free computing experience while offering unprecedented levels of performance. Users can connect multiple Thunderbolt-enabled external storage drives to a Thunderbolt-enabled display and transfer files while watching HD movies, all without experiencing any lag. In addition for content professional this connection has been designed form the ground up for multimedia offering low latency with highly accurate time synchronization for professional audio and video applications. PC enthusiast and gamers can take immediate advantage combining Thunderbolt and on-board Lucid Virtu MVP to enjoy top-notch graphics performance.

Even better, we have some in-action video of the new ASUS Thunderbolt-implementation including performance!

This video was recorded well before today's launch during our Z77 Live Review and clearly shows some of the benefits of Thunderbolt, as well as some of the limitations, you'll find if you pick up the ASUS P8ZZ77-V Premium motherboard!

The new MSI GD65, this time in Z77 flavour

Subject: Motherboards | May 16, 2012 - 01:36 PM |
Tagged: msi, z77a-gd65, lga1155

MSI's Z77A-GD65 comes with a nice set features including THX TruStudio PRO, Lucid’s VirtuMVP, active phase switching, and HDMI 1.4 along with support for both SLI and CrossFireX.  It supports PCIe 3.0 on its three 16x slots, running 8x, 4x, 4x or 8x, 8x, 0x which should still offer enough bandwidth for multiple GPU based systems.   Overclocking Ivy Bridge on this board was not difficult, ignoring the voltage and heat issues common to all Ivy Bridge processors and overall [H]ard|OCP has found the Z77 to be one of the better designed chipsets recently released and like that it doesn't exhibit the growing pains many others  have felt on initial release.  MSI took that solid design and pushed it further, something we've come to expect from their GD65 series motherboards.

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"MSI has been on a roll with its motherboards as of late. It’s because of this that our expectations for MSI’s foray into the world of Z77 chipset based motherboards are so high. MSI’s "GD65" series of motherboards have been an especially solid value and the Z77A-GD65 looks to be no different."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Take a break from Ivy Bridge with the Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5

Subject: Motherboards | May 7, 2012 - 04:07 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, 990FXA-UD5, amd, am3, 990fx

If you need your Intel fix then scroll to the reviews below the fold where you will find a plethora of Z77 and X79 boards, but to provide a little variety check out the Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5 which is available for $180.  As you can tell from the pricing this is from the higher of end AMD motherboards, with four PCIe 16x slots of which two can manage a full 16x, a total of ten SATA6Gb/s ports, two of which are eSATA, fourteen USB 2.0, four USB 3.0 and even a pair of Firewire ports are available.  The variety and number of I/O ports is this boards strongest feature, Neoseeker would not recommend it for heavy overclockers but for someone who needs a workhorse that will handle a huge amount of drives and peripherals it is a very strong choice.

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"The Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5 is a solid motherboard with a nice feature set for the AM3 and AM3+ processors. We pit it against the ASUS Crosshair V Formula, provided with the AMD FX-8150 review kits back at launch, to see how it compares with the incumbent AM3 champ."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

 

Source: Neoseeker

ASUS P8Z77-V Premium motherboard announced.

Subject: General Tech, Motherboards | April 27, 2012 - 02:48 PM |
Tagged: Z77, msata, Ivy Bridge, asus

ASUS announces their upcoming P8Z77-V Premium flagship motherboard for Intel processors. Many features have been included such as 4-way SLi and onboard MSATA support with a 32GB MSATA SSD.

Does anyone know where I can get 4 GTX 680s?

In case you missed it, JJ from ASUS was recently at the PC Perspective offices to announce their Z77 lineup of motherboards. Lots of stuff was given away to live viewers. JJ stuck around after the live stream to record a couple of videos about overclocking Ivy Bridge and WiDi support which were released publicly earlier this week.

Now they reached out to us to announce their flagship P8Z77-V Premium Z77-based motherboard.

The upcoming ASUS flagship P8Z77-V PREMIUM.jpg

Two antennas, why-fi not?

The main features of the motherboard are as follows:

  • USB3 Boost support
  • USB Bios Flashback
  • Dual Intel Gigabit Nics featuring iNetwork Control Packet Priority
  • 4 way SLI and 4 way Crossfire support via a new PLX Gen 3 switch
  • Dual Band Wifi with BT 4.0 featuring WiFi Go! Software Suite ( for DLNA Streaming/Serving, Easy file transfer to android/iOS devices and remote desktop functionality )
  • Onboard MSATA support with 32GB MSATA SSD
  • Digi+ VRM with 3 way Digital power design ( CPU/VRM – DRAM – iGPU )
  • 9 SATA Ports
  • 6 4 Pin PWM Fan Headers featuring Fan Xpert 2 Fan Technology ( for advanced control in UEFI and OS as well as automatic fan calibration )

The feature which sticks out to me the most is the 32 GB mSATA SSD allegedly packaged with the motherboard. That would certainly be nothing to sneer at. Judging by the photos provided by Asus the flash cells appear to be produced by Toshiba.

mSATA based SSD onboard.JPG

Want to see half of a pegasus flashing?

Also visible on the MSATA drive is a chip produced by Nanya which is commonly known for producing RAM. I am, however, not Al and as such will not speculate further about the SSD -- except that my guess is the chip is probably cache. So unfortunately, I do not know which controller it will utilize.

The other feature which catches my eye is the support for 4-way SLi or Crossfire. Not much else to say about that except that knowing somewhere out there someone will be gaming with four GTX 680s and there better be more than a single 60hz 1080p monitor.

Some day.

Source: PCPer

ASUS Overclocks Ivy Bridge To 7 GHz, Breaks World Records

Subject: Motherboards | April 24, 2012 - 11:17 PM |
Tagged:

ASUS recently unveiled a slew of Z77 motherboards for Intel’s latest 22nm Ivy Bridge processors (Check out our coverage of ASUS’ new lineup and new features in video form). Included in the new Z77 lineup is the P8Z77-V DELUXE and Maximus V GENE motherboards which ASUS has managed to push to the extreme.

Specifically, they used their P8Z77-V DELUXE motherboard and a little LN2 to push an Intel Core i7 3770K to a 7 GHz clock frequency. Further, they pushed 16 GB of 2800 MHz DDR3 to 3 GHz+ frequencies. ASUS has stated that the massive overclock is due to their VRM technology and UEFI tuning options.

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The company also used a micro ATX Maximus V GENE motherboard to break five world overclocking records. The new records include:

  • AquaMark 3: 536638 marks using a Radeon™ HD 7970 graphics card clocked at 1600MHz core and 1900MHz GDDR5
  • PiFast: 10.3 seconds with Intel® Core™ i7-3770K set to 6930MHz
  • 3DMark®2001 SE: 164589 marks using a GeForce® GTX 580 clocked at 1553MHz core and 1250MHz GDDR5
  • 3DMark®2001 SE: 164589 marks using a GeForce® GTX 580 clocked at 1553MHz core and 1250MHz GDDR5
  • SuperPi 32M: 4 minutes 52 seconds and 953ms with Intel® Core™ i7 set to 6735MHz (awaiting independent verification)

ASUS claims the records on this board were also the result of their “Extreme Engine Digi+ II” VRM technology and UEFI BIOS.

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ASUS further states in the press release that they offer the best performing Z77 motherboards for enthusiasts.

“These accomplishments all point to the investment by ASUS in enabling better and more readily accessible performance tuning. ASUS remains fully committed to the power user and enthusiast markets, offering a range of Intel® Z77-based motherboards designed for overclocking. This includes better materials, smarter layout, and tougher components, but also covers user-friendly features that make tapping computing potential easier. ”

To get a look at some of the other Z77 motherboards available, check out the archived version of this PC Perspective Live stream! Also, please check out our Ivy Bridge processor review to learn about the latest Intel CPUs.

Source: ASUS

Panthers do travel in groups, just look at all these Z77 boards

Subject: Motherboards | April 24, 2012 - 02:43 PM |
Tagged: asus, Sabertooth Z77, panther point, tuf

Now that so much of the functionality that used to be on the motherboard is now handled by the CPU, for instance the memory controller, motherboard releases are not what they used to be.  Motherboard manufacturers have come to terms with this and now it is extra features such as distinctive heatsinks, large amounts of extra ports and other addons that distinguish one board from another.  For instance the ASUS Sabertooth Z77 is a member of their TUF series which means that solid electrolytic capacitors and alloy chokes are used on the board and that it has gone through rigorous testing that goes far beyond electrical verification and includes physical abuse.  As you can see below it also sports a protective shroud over the majority of the components.  See how well it performs and what extras ASUS included on this board at [H]ard|OCP.

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"ASUS brings us another gem in the form of the Sabertooth Z77. It is one of the first in a new generation of Z77 Express chipset based motherboards which many will no doubt consider when Intel’s next generation Ivy Bridge processors drop soon. The beauty of it is, being LGA 1155, Sandy Bridge will work just fine, if not downright well."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

ASUS Demonstrates Z77 Motherboard Features at PC Perspective

Subject: Motherboards, Processors, Chipsets | April 23, 2012 - 12:05 PM |
Tagged: Z77, Ivy Bridge, Intel, asus, 3770k

Last week our good friends at ASUS stopped by the PC Perspective offices to bring along their entire new lineup of Z77 motherboards and show off the changes and new features being offered.  At the time, there we were something we couldn't show you including our overclocking demonstration as it was using the brand new Intel Ivy Bridge processor.  Not only can we now show you that but we have broken up the demo portion of the video in quicker, bite-sized segments. 

Overclocking

JJ Guerrero shows us the basics of overclocking Ivy Bridge both from the updated UEFI and the AI Suite II software.

 

WiDi on the Desktop

Did you know that desktop PCs using the correct Intel wireless controllers will be able to support Wireless Display technology?  

More videos after the break!!

An Intel branded board aimed at the enthusiast - the DZ77GA-70K

Subject: Motherboards | April 19, 2012 - 02:55 PM |
Tagged: DZ77GA-70K, Intel, Ivy Bridge, panther point, Z77

If you have run into motherboards branded with the Intel logo, you most likely did so in a server room as that is the market they have focused on.  With the arrival of Ivy Bridge and Panther Point this has changed, the DZ77GA-70K motherboard even sports a skull on its heatsink to prove it.  The board comes with a fair number of extras, The Tech Report found a mouse pad, a 3.5" drive bay insert with two USB 3.0 ports, a Bluetooth dongle, and PCIe 1x 802.11n WiFi card.  Intel has also included their implementation of UEFI, called the Intel Visual BIOS, though you don't get to see all the screens in this preview as that would spoil a few surprises.  It is still worth checking out; as we impatiently await the release of Ivy Bridge.

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"While preparing for a certain upcoming processor launch, we've been spending some quality time with Intel's DZ77GA-70K motherboard. Read on for a quick look at Intel's latest enthusiast-oriented desktop board."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

 

PC Perspective Live Review Recap: ASUS Z77 Motherboards

Subject: Motherboards, Chipsets | April 16, 2012 - 10:38 PM |
Tagged: asus, Z77, p8z77, video, live review, jj guerrero

A PC Perspective Live Review 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!

Over the weekend we had the pleasure of hosting ASUS' own JJ Guerrero, Senior Technical Marketing Specialist, at the PC Perspective offices.  He stopped by to talk to us, and to our readers, about the new Intel Z77 chipset built for the Ivy Bridge processor.  In the videos below you'll see a replay of JJ's visit where he details all of the launch Z77 motherboards including the P8Z77-V series, Sabertooth Z77, Maximus V Gene and Formula and even a mini-ITX version.

The second video includes some demonstrations of ASUS-exclusive features incluing USB 3 Boost, Fan Xpert 2, iNetwork Control, Wi-Fi GO! and more!

I would like to thank JJ and ASUS for stopping by to share so much information with our fans and we are looking forward to the Ivy Bridge launch coming up very soon!  We'll have a few more videos when that NDA is up detailing topics we couldn't discuss live, so stay tuned!