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A new challenger appears; Toshiba's XG5 is hot on Samsung's heels

Subject: Storage | July 24, 2017 - 05:01 PM |
Tagged: toshiba, ssd, ocz, NVMe, nand, M.2, XG5, BiCS, 64-Layer

We first saw Toshiba's XG5 M.2 SSD at Computex this year but as of yet we have not had a chance to review it.  The Tech Report on the other hand did get their mitts on the 512GB model of this drive and they put it through its paces in this review right here.  Their results show a drive that beats OCZs' RD400 across the board and is impinging on Samsung's 960 Pro and EVO, though they are not quite there yet.  The next generation will improve on performance which should spur Samsung to new heights with their next NVMe product.  At the start of the article is some history on the current state of Toshiba which is worth checking out if you are not familiar with what is going on there.

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"Toshiba's XG5 NVMe SSD is shipping to the company's OEM partners now. We run it through our test suite to see if the company's newfangled 64-layer BiCS NAND helps it compete with the best in the business."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Build your own watercooling loop with the EKWB L360 2.0 Kit

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 24, 2017 - 02:34 PM |
Tagged: watercooler, EKWB, EK-KIT

EKWB's L360 2.0 Kit is a ~$250 pre-compiled watercooling kit which includes a EK-Supremacy MX waterblock, EK-CoolStream PE 360mm radiator with three EK-Vardar F3-120mm fans, EK-XRES 100 DDC MX 3.1 PWM pump and reservoir, 2m of tubing plus compression fittings and a container of EK-Ekoolant EVO Clear coolant concentrate, good for 1l of coolant once diluted. All you need to do is assemble the kit and install it in your system.  Modders-Inc did just that, the installation process was enjoyable and far more effective than air cooling.  If you did plan to add in a GPU waterblock EKWB recommends adding in another radiator which should make your cooling even more effective. 

Check out the full review here.

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"EKWB has been in watercooling since its meager beginnings in 1999. Every package, every kit, every block advancing the genre of watercooling. As the critical mass for watercooling began to grow, and the knowledge barrier for putting these kits into your system began to fall, companies have been putting together pre-compiled kits of components to make it easier on the …"

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

 

Source: Modders Inc

Mark Papermaster on AMD's tiny things

Subject: General Tech | July 24, 2017 - 12:49 PM |
Tagged: amd, 7nm

Over at The Inquirer you can read a condensed version of AMD's Mark Papermaster discussion about the challenges of moving to a 7nm process node.  The size of AMD's design team have prompted them to take a modular approach to design so that circuits can be reused across CPU, GPU and semi-custom designs.  That allows the the same teams to work on multiple projects and for design successes to improve products across multiple lines, a must for a small team with such diverse products.

He also talks about "2.5-D chip stacks", using silicon interposers to connect processors and memory stacks side-by-side as a way to work on reducing to the 7nm node while waiting for foundries like GLOFO to retool to EUV lithography. He ends with a familiar request; that developers switch their focus to taking advantage of high core counts and parallel threads and away from single cores running at high frequencies.

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"Speaking to the EE Times, Papermaster said that, while AMD planned to run its second and third generation Zen architecture x86 microprocessors on 7nm, it would likely be a 'long node', like the 28nm process, "and when you have a long node it lets the design team focus on micro-architecture and systems solutions", rather than simply redesigning standard ‘blocks'."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Inquirer

AMD Teases Ryzen Threadripper Packaging, Lisa Su for Scale

Subject: Processors | July 24, 2017 - 12:19 PM |
Tagged: amd, ryzen, Threadripper, lisa su

The AMD social teams have been had at work this morning, teasing out images of the packaging for its upcoming Ryzen Threadripper retail processor.

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The first image shows a window into the packaging with the Threadripper processor clearly visible behind it. The Ryzen logo dominates the plastic cover though there is a scene of "space" or maybe the Eye of Sauron in the background. The black construction looks to be foam that opens by splitting in half, across the Ryzen logo.

The second image shows the relative size of it all, with AMD CEO Lisa Su for scale. It looks kind of like an old-time portable TV and the depth of the packaging is definitely more substantial from the first image. 

We are getting closer and closer to the official unveiling of this product family and AMD is doing a fantastic job of pulling the community along for the ride.

Source: AMD
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: ZALMAN

A Premium Mechanical Option Under $100

In the past year or two we have seen a number of sub-$100 mechanical gaming keyboards on the market, and several of these have passed through our hands here at the PC Perspective offices. The latest of these to garner our attention is the ZALMAN ZM-K900M, a premium gaming design featuring RGB lighting effects and Kailh Blue key switches, along with a 1000 Hz polling rate and full N-key rollover. It currently retails for $89.99, though it can be found for as little as $79.99 (currently, at least) with a little googling. How impressive is it in person? Read on to find out!

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The ZM-K900M offers a variety of RGB effects

The ZM-K900M certainly checks the right boxes as a gaming keyboard, with the above-mentioned 1000 Hz polling rate (which ZALMAN calls 'Z-Engine') and customizable RGB lighting, supports simulanious key presses for the full 104 keys, and offers programmable macro keys. All of the keyboard features are controlled via hot keys on the ZM-K900M itself, eliminating the need for software.

“The ZM-K900M requires no software installation and is universally compatible with any operating system. The macros automatically remember the time interval between the inputs and run exactly as you typed. The keyboard stores the data inside the keyboard so you can instantly run your macros on any computer.”


Features and specifications from ZALMAN:

  • Simple and minimal design
  • Equipped with Z-Engine
  • Supports USB and PS/2 connection
  • Intelligent hardware macro with option to add mouse clicks
  • Multimedia hotkeys
  • 4-stage macro speed adjustment
  • 6-key and N-Key rollover
  • Option to lock Windows key or entire keyboard
  • High quality laser-etched keycaps

Specifications:

  • Model: ZM-K900M
  • Keyboard Layout: 104-key
  • Key Switch: Kailh Blue mechanical key switch
  • Keyboard Matrix: USB & PS/2 N key rollover (anti-ghost function)
  • Key cap type: Step Sculpture 2
  • Interface: USB
  • Cable length: 5.6 ft
  • Dimensions: 17.32 x 5.51 x 1.34 inches, 2.75 lbs

Continue reading our review of the ZALMAN ZM-K900M RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard!

CRYORIG's A40; two heads are better than one?

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 21, 2017 - 03:49 PM |
Tagged: CRYORIG, CRYORIG A40, AIO, water cooler

The CRYORIG A40 is not a new cooler but its unique design is worth revisiting for those who have forgotten about its existence.  Instead of having a single area in which to dump heat, the pump assembly mounted to the CPU also has its own fan.  That fan did not not noticeably decrease the CPU temperatures when TechPowerUp tested it, however for SFF systems and other builds with components which could benefit from airflow inside the case that fan is more than just a gimmick.  Check out the full review here.

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"The A40 by CRYORIG is the company's entry level offering in their all-in-one hybrid liquid CPU cooler lineup. It lacks the size of the A80 and the radiator thickness of the A40 Ultimate. However, unlike the others, it offers a more affordable price point with all the same features."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

CASES & COOLING

 

Source: TechPowerUp
Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: ASUS

Overview

A few months ago at Computex, NVIDIA announced their "GeForce GTX with Max-Q Design" initiative. Essentially, the heart of this program is the use of specifically binned GTX 1080, 1070 and 1060 GPUs. These GPUs have been tested and selected during the manufacturing process to ensure lower power draw at the same performance levels when compared to the GPUs used in more traditional form factors like desktop graphics cards.

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In order to gain access to these "Max-Q" binned GPUs, notebook manufacturers have to meet specific NVIDIA guidelines on noise levels at thermal load (sub-40 dbA). To be clear, NVIDIA doesn't seem to be offering reference notebook designs (as demonstrated by the variability in design across the Max-Q notebooks) to partners, but rather ideas on how they can accomplish the given goals.

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At the show, NVIDIA and some of their partners showed off several Max-Q notebooks. We hope to take a look at all of these machines in the coming weeks, but today we're focusing on one of the first, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus.

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ASUS ROG Zephyrus  (configuration as reviewed)
Processor Intel Core i7-7700HQ (Kaby Lake)
Graphics NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1080 with Max-Q Deseign (8GB)
Memory 24GB DDR4  (8GB Soldered + 8GBx2 DIMM)
Screen 15.6-in 1920x1080 120Hz G-SYNC 
Storage

512GB Samsung SM961 NVMe

Camera HD Webcam
Wireless 802.11ac
Connections Thunderbolt 3
HDMI 2.0
4 x USB 3.0
Audio combo jack
Power 50 Wh Battery, 230W AC Adapter
Dimensions 378.9mm x 261.9mm x 17.01-17.78mm (14.92" x 10.31" x 0.67"-0.70")
4.94 lbs. (2240.746 g)
OS Windows 10 Home
Price $2700 - Amazon.com

As you can see, the ASUS ROG Zephyrus has the specifications of a high-end gaming desktop, let alone a gaming notebook. In some gaming notebook designs, the bottleneck comes down to CPU horsepower more than GPU horsepower. That doesn't seem to be the case here. The powerful GTX 1080 GPU is paired with a quad-core HyperThread Intel processor capable of boosting up to 3.8 GHz. 

Continue reading our review of the ASUS Zephyrus Max-Q Gaming Notebook!

Won't someone think of the children? Corsair will!

Subject: General Tech | July 21, 2017 - 01:22 PM |
Tagged: corsair, gaming, charity, Save the Children

Corsair will be hosting a Charity Gaming Marathon on July 29th, livestreamed on Twitch and kicking off at 9AM Pacific.  All donations will go to the Save the Children, an international charity which helps children across the globe get off to a healthy start in life.  Corsair will be matching every dollar donated, up to a total of $25,000.  The event will pit two teams against each other in a variety of MOBA, RTS and first person shooters; when donating you can chose which team you support and can cheer them on and choose some challenges they need to overcome.

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During the event there will be giveaways of gear as certain donation goals are reached including GLAIVE RGB mice, VOID USB headsets, and MM800 RGB POLARIS mouse mats.  If the $25K mark is reached Corsair will be giving away a ONE SFF gaming machine. 

You can learn more about Save the Children on Twitter and Facebook.

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Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Corsair

PCPer Mailbag #1 - 7/20/2017

Subject: General Tech | July 21, 2017 - 11:12 AM |
Tagged: video, pcper mailbag

Our readers and supporters have asked us to do a mailbag-style video series for a while now and I finally got around to starting it. Welcome to the PCPer Mailbag #1! Thanks to the supporters of the PC Perspective Patreon for making it happen!

Questions addressed this week include:

  • Thoughts on when spinning disks will be replaced by SSDs in lower cost systems
  • Mesh vs Infinity Fabric
  • Will GPU prices return to normal?
  • Short history of PCPer
  • ...and more!

Devil's Ivy, a voyeurs dream come true

Subject: General Tech | July 20, 2017 - 03:50 PM |
Tagged: iot, Devil's Ivy, cameras, security, gSOAP

gSOAP is a open-source code library which allows hardware to be configured and controlled via web connections and is used by hundreds of companies including Axis, Microsoft, IBM, Adobe and Xerox.  It has a vulnerability which allows an attacker to trigger a stack overflow by sending a specific POST command over port 80 to a device, which in the case of cameras allows you to watch the live feed.  The vulnerability was patched in an update to gSOAP so future products will not have this issue, however any camera built on that library which currently in use is vulnerable.  The manufacturers would have to create an update to their own software and push it out to all the cameras currently in use to resolve this issue, and if there is one thing we know for sure about IoT products, it is that these patches do not tend to be created, let alone pushed out.

For more depressing details you can pop by The Register.

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"Security researchers investigating internet-connected video cameras have uncovered a bug that could conceivably leave millions of devices open to easy pwnage."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Register

Podcast #459 - Threadripper Pricing, Liquid Cooled VEGA, Intel Rumors, and more!

Subject: General Tech | July 20, 2017 - 11:53 AM |
Tagged: zenbook, z270, wireless charging, water cooling, VR, video, Vega, TSMC, thermaltake, SILVIA, podcast, Pacific, Oculus, Kabby Lake-R, corsair, Contac, asus, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #459 - 07/20/17

Join us for Threadripper Pricing, Liquid Cooled VEGA, Intel Rumors, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano

Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg, Jim Tanous

Program length: 1:46:03

 
Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
    1. 1:36:30 Jeremy: Deal on a Ryzen 7 1700
    2. 1:41:04 Allyn: Still using WMC? You need EPG123!
  4. Closing/outro

Subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube Channel for more videos, reviews and podcasts!!

Source:

A new BioStar has Ryzen, the Racing X370GT7

Subject: Motherboards | July 19, 2017 - 04:23 PM |
Tagged: x370, ryzen, Racing X370GT7, biostar, amd, AM4

BioStar have greeted the release of AMD's Ryzen with enthusiasm, releasing numerous AM4 boards, some of which are garnering better reviews than the main brands.  [H]ard|OCP tested out their Racing X370GT7, an ATX model with a ~$160 price tag.  The silkscreen on the board is rather unique and the layout is extremely clean.  You get a lot of nice high end features such as a heatsink for the M.2 slot located just below the CPU socket, Realtec ALC1220 8 channel audio and even an LN2 switch for extreme overclockers.  As with many other X370 boards there were some quirks with memory compatibility as well as some questionable UEFI choices specific to this board.  It will offer a solid base for someone building a Ryzen platform and it will likely improve as the AMD Generic Encapsulated Software Architecture for AM4's matures.

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"BIOSTAR isn’t exactly a juggernaut of a manufacturer here in the U.S. Despite stiff competition, the big boys are blowing it bad enough at the X370 Ryzen motherboard game that BIOSTAR’s X370GT7 just might be one of the best AM4 motherboard options around. While we think it might actually be good, it still doesn’t make for a smooth ride."

Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:

Motherboards

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

It's dangerous to go alone; gaming on a Lenovo X1 Carbon ultrabook

Subject: General Tech | July 19, 2017 - 03:01 PM |
Tagged: gaming, ultrabook, Lenovo, ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Techspot recently investigated the ability of current generation ultrabooks to game, without external assistance.  They tested using a Lenovo X1 Carbon, similar to what Ken utilized when he benchmarked the AKiTiO Node external GPU.  Techspot's model had a Core i5-7200U as opposed to the 7300U both chips have the same HD 620 iGPU, but only Ken's had help. 

Techspot focused on the performance the ultrabook could provide in 34 different games, from current and past AAA games as well as eSports and even 2D indie games.  Take a look through their results to see just how far we have come since the original generations of Intel iGPUs which simply could not game at all.  The results show that there is indeed a market for Thunderbolt based external GPUs.

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"With this in mind, we've tested 34 games on the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon: from current AAA titles to older 2D platformers, to give you an idea of what games are actually playable on modern ultraportables."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Gaming

 

Source: Techspot

You've got to go deep before you can be extreme, TSMC is moving to 7nm

Subject: General Tech | July 19, 2017 - 12:41 PM |
Tagged: TSMC, 7nm, duv, N7, euv

TSMC is preparing for the move to a 7nm process by expanding suppliers and tooling up for Deep UV equipment.  Unlike Samsung, who will be using Extreme UV tools for their initial launch of 7nm product in 2018 TSMC have chosen to delay the move to EUV until the technology matures.  They will instead use DUV for its launch of their 7nm products, dubbed 7N, in 2018.  The difference between the two types of UV is the wavelength, DUV can be produced at 248 and 193 nm while EUV is an impressive 13.5nm, which is why the industry (and ourselves) depend on this process maturing and being adopted by manufacturers.  The EUV equipment that is being tested is still relatively new but should produce a better chip in theory, though perhaps not as many usable ones per wafer when first rolled out.  You can pop by DigiTimes for a list of the suppliers TSMC is adopting as well as a bit more detail.

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"Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is expanding the number of suppliers of equipment for its 7nm process in a bid to maintain an ecosystem pricing balance, according to industry sources."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: DigiTimes
Author:
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: SILVIA

Intelligent Gaming

Kal Simpson recently had the chance to sit down and have an extensive interview with SILVIA's Chief Product Officer - Cognitive Code, Alex Mayberry.  SILVIA is a company that specializes on conversational AI that can be adapted to a variety of platforms and applications.  Kal's comments are in bold while Alex's are in italics.

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Always good to speak with you Alex. Whether it's the latest Triple-A video game release or the progress being made in changing the way we play, virtual reality for instance – your views and developments within the gaming space as a whole remains impressive. Before we begin, I’d like to give the audience a brief flashback of your career history. Prominent within the video game industry you’ve been involved with many, many titles – primarily within the PC gaming space. Quake 2: The Reckoning, America’s Army, a plethora of World of Warcraft titles.

Those more familiar with your work know you as the lead game producer for Diablo 3 / Reaper of Souls, as well as the executive producer for Star Citizen. The former of which we spoke on during the release of the game for PC, PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, back in 2014.

So I ask, given your huge involvement with some of the most popular titles, what sparked your interest within the development of intelligent computing platforms? No-doubt the technology can be adapted to applications within gaming, but what’s the initial factor that drove you to Cognitive Code – the SILVIA technology?

AM: Conversational intelligence was something that I had never even thought about in terms of game development. My experience arguing with my Xbox and trying to get it to change my television channel left me pretty sceptical about the technology. But after leaving Star Citizen, my paths crossed with Leslie Spring, the CEO and Founder of Cognitive Code, and the creator of the SILVIA platform. Initially, Leslie was helping me out with some engineering work on VR projects I was spinning up. After collaborating for a bit, he introduced me to his AI, and I became intrigued by it. Although I was still very focused on VR at the time, my mind kept drifting to SILVIA.

I kept pestering Leslie with questions about the technology, and he continued to share some of the things that it could do. It was when I saw one of his game engine demos showing off a sci-fi world with freely conversant robots that the light went on in my head, and I suddenly got way more interested in artificial intelligence. At the same time, I was discovering challenges in VR that needed solutions. Not having a keyboard in VR creates an obstacle for capturing user input, and floating text in your field of view is really detrimental to the immersion of the experience. Also, when you have life-size characters in VR, you naturally want to speak to them. This is when I got interested in using SILVIA to introduce an entirely new mechanic to gaming and interactive entertainment. No more do we have to rely on conversation trees and scripted responses.

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No more do we have to read a wall of text from a quest giver. With this technology, we can have a realistic and free-form conversation with our game characters, and speak to them as if they are alive. This is such a powerful tool for interactive storytelling, and it will allow us to breathe life into virtual characters in a way that’s never before been possible. Seeing the opportunity in front of me, I joined up with Cognitive Code and have spent the last 18 months exploring how to design conversationally intelligent avatars. And I’ve been having a blast doing it.

Click here to continue reading the entire interview!

Rumor: Corsair Could Be Purchased for >$500 Million USD

Subject: General Tech | July 19, 2017 - 07:01 AM |
Tagged: corsair

According to Reuters, who claims to have two anonymous sources, Corsair “is in advanced discussions” to be acquired by EagleTree Capital. They claim that the transaction, if it goes through in its current form, will be worth more than $500 million USD. EagleTree has several backers, including Goldman Sachs, Macquarie Group, and BNP Paribas.

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From my perspective, this would be an interesting transaction. The company, being private, hasn’t published their finances recently, but annual revenue was as high as $455 million in 2011. Their catalog has since diversified heavily, especially with their seemingly successful power supply, case, and liquid cooling product lines. At first, the rumor felt a little high, because half-of-a-billion dollars is a lot of money, but they’re certainly selling a lot of stock. At the same time, they don't do a lot of their own production, but they do spend a lot of effort in their designs and making them fit a unique niche in one way or another.

Thanks to TechSpot for noticing this!

Source: Reuters

X points to the spot; in 3D!

Subject: Storage | July 18, 2017 - 07:31 PM |
Tagged: XPoint, srt, rst, Optane Memory, Optane, Intel, hybrid, CrossPoint, cache, 32GB, 16GB

It has been a few months since Al looked at Intel's Optane and its impressive performance and price.  This is why it seems appropriate to revist the 2280 M.2 stick with a PCIe 3.0 x2 interface.  It is not just the performance which is interesting but the technology behind Optane and the limitations.  For anyone looking to utilize Optane is is worth reminding you of the compatibility limitations Intel requires, only Kaby Lake processors with Core i7, i5 or i3 heritage.  If you do qualify already or are planning a system build, you can revisit the performance numbers over at Kitguru.

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"Optane is Intel’s brand name for their 3D XPoint memory technology. The first Optane product to break cover was the Optane PC P4800X, a very high-performance SSD aimed at the Enterprise segment. Now we have the second product using the technology, this time aimed at the consumer market segment – the Intel Optane Memory module."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:

Memory

Source: Kitguru

HyperX types again, the Alloy Elite

Subject: General Tech | July 18, 2017 - 02:31 PM |
Tagged: input, hyperx, Alloy Elite, cherry mx red, cherry mx brown, cherry mx blue, mechanical keyboard

As with the previous model, HyperX has chosen a metal body for the Alloy Elite.  This one is larger than that model, at 17.5" x 6.6" which leaves space for a light bar containing 18 red LEDs as well as media keys.  HyperX offers you the choice between MX Blue, Brown, or Red switches, optional silvery WASD keycaps and a removable wrist rest.  The Tech Report had a good experience with the keyboard, however if you consider custom macros, profiles, and lighting features to be critical then perhaps this board is not for you.

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"HyperX has made a name for itself with gaming gear that forgoes frills in favor of function. Its Alloy Elite mechanical gaming keyboard takes a different tack by adding flourishes and dedicated controls to the formula. We got the Alloy Elite under our fingers to see whether HyperX struck the right balance."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Move over HoloLens, enterprising new Glassholes are on the scene

Subject: General Tech | July 18, 2017 - 01:43 PM |
Tagged: hololens, AR, google glass, alphabet

Google Glass is back, but this time the users should be safely contained in manufacturing facilities and corporate buildings.  The initial launch lead to what many felt was a breach of public etiquette as there were many people who did not like the idea of being recorded with the AR glasses.  The new incarnation, Glass Enterprise Edition has an improved 8MP camera and a new red light that turns on when the glasses are recording video.  The WiFi bandwidth has been increased but Alphabet has not yet released the technical specifications publicly.  The Inquirer has a bit more information but nothing on the price, you will need to negotiate with Alphabet or one of it's partners to find that out, but you can expect it to be similar to the price of Microsoft's HoloLens.

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"This is good news, as it means you won't see glassholes wandering the streets in the space-age spectacles. Instead, Google Glass Enterprise Edition is being used by more than 50 businesses in the US, including AGCO, DHL, Dignity Health, NSF International, Sutter Health, The Boeing Company and Volkswagen. "

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: The Register
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of ASUS

With the latest revision of the TUF line, ASUS made the decision to drop the well-known "Sabertooth" moniker from the board's name, naming the board with the TUF branding only. The TUF Z270 Mark 1 motherboard is the flagship board in ASUS' TUF (The Ultimate Force) product line designed with the Intel Z270 chipset. The board offers support for the latest Intel Kaby Lake processor line as well as Dual Channel DDR 4 memory because of its integrated Intel Z270 chipset. While the MSRP for the board may be a bit higher than expected, its $239 price is more than justified by the board's build quality and "armored" offerings.

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Courtesy of ASUS

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Courtesy of ASUS

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Courtesy of ASUS

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Courtesy of ASUS

The TUF Z270 Mark 1 motherboard is built with the same quality and attention to detail that you've come to expect from TUF-branded motherboards. Its appearance follows the standard tan plastic armor overlay on the top with a 10-phase digital power system. ASUS also chose to include the armored backplate with the TUF Z270 Mark 1 motherboard, dubbed the "TUF Fortifier". The board contains the following integrated features: six SATA 3 ports; two M.2 PCIe x4 capable ports; dual GigE controllers - an Intel I219-V Gigabit NIC and an Intel I211 Gigabit NIC; three PCI-Express x16 slots; three PCI-Express x1 slots; an 8-channel audio subsystem; MEM OK! and USB BIOS Flashback buttons; integrated DisplayPort and HDMI; and USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 Type-A and Type-C port support.

Continue reading our preview of the ASUS TUF Z270 Mark 1 motherboard!