Subject: Motherboards | July 30, 2013 - 03:33 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Maximus VI Formula, maximus vi, atx, ASUS ROG, asus
ASUS has officially launched the Maximus VI Formula motherboard which the company showed off earlier this year. This board has extensive IO and other enthusiast friendly features and is a complement to the Maximus VI Extreme that PC Perspective reviewed back in June.
The Maximus VI Formula uses the Intel Z87 chipset and supports Intel’s latest 4th Generation Core “Haswell” processors. The board is is clad in ASUS technology and a red and black Republic of Gamers color scheme. A 8+2-phase DIGI+ III VRM feeds the processor and memory on the board and is cooled by a massive CrossChill heatsink that can air cool the VRMs or integrate into your custom water loop. The LGA 1150 socket is paired with four DDR3 DIMM slots, and the board supports a maximum of 32GBs at 3100MHz. The DIGI+ III VRM uses NoFET MOSFETs, 60A BlackWing chokes, and 10K Japanese capacitors.
An integrated SupremeFX audio chipset, Mini-PCI-E Combo II card (802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, and a NGFF slot for SSDs), Intel Gigabit NIC, UEFI BIOS, and ROG Armor with SECC back-plate are also featured on this board. The board also supports the company's OC Panel, which is a hardware box that sits outside the case and allows real time overclocking and monitoring.
The Maximus VI Formula further includes 10 SATA 3 6Gbps ports, three PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots (x8+x8 or x8+x4+x4 when in SLI or 3-way CrossFire), and three PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots. ASUS is bundling GameFirst II (QoS that prioritizes gaming traffic), Sonic Radar (visual cues point out direction noise is coming from in games), and ROG RAMDisk software with the motherboard.
Rear IO on the Maximus VI Formula is extensive and surpasses even the Maximus VI Extreme. Port options include:
- 4 x USB 2.0
- 6 x USB 3.0
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 jack (Intel NIC)
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x DisplayPort
- 1 x optical S/PDIF
- 6 x analog audio
The Maximus VI Formula is shaping up to be a beastly flagship board that enthusiasts should get a lot out of when it comes to features and overclocking ability.
ASUS has not provided official pricing or release dates, but postings around the Internet suggests that it will be available sometime within the first half (first or second week) of August for around $310. An ASUS representative on the company's ROG channel stated that "currently the projected price is 300 to 310." You can find the product page with more photos and specifications on the ASUS website.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 9, 2013 - 05:33 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: n600, n400, mATX, cooler master, atx
Cooler Master recently launched two new N-series ATX computer cases in the US. The new N400 and N600 will join the existing N200 mini tower.
The two new polymer computer cases feature a full mesh front panel, support for 240mm water cooling radiators on the right side panel, seven PCI expansion slots, and room for several storage drives and fans. Front IO on the N400 and N600 cases include two USB 3, two USB 2, and two audio ports.
The N400 is the smaller of the two at 7.5” x 16.7” x 19.7.” It supports graphics cards up to 320mm as well as motherboards of mATX or ATX form factors. Further, the N400 can support two 5.25” optical drives, eight 3.5” hard drives, and three 2.5” solid state drives (SSD).
The case has space for up to eight fans, and Cooler Master has pre-installed two 120mm XtraFlow fans. Dust filters cover the front and side intake vents.
The internals of the N400 are a bit more basic than those of the N600. There are no cable routing grommets or water cooling grommets that pass through the rear panel. As a result, this case should be cheaper than the N600.
The Cooler Master N400 is available now for $60
In addition to the N400 and N200, Cooler Master will be releasing the N600. The N600 builds upon the n400 design by adding more drive space and a few extra features to aid in cooling and cable management. The N600 measures 8.1” x 17.9” x 18.9.”
It supports both Micro ATX and ATX motherboards as well as graphics cards up to 430mm long. As far as cooling goes, users can install up to 10 fans, and Cooler Master bundles in two 120mm XtraFlow fans. A 240mm water cooling radiator can be installed in the right side panel as well as the top panel. Also, water cooling grommets are installed on the back case panel to allow for external water cooling radiators.
The case can support up to three 5.25” drives (tool-less), seven 3.5” drives, and five 2.5” SSDs (four in an SSD drive cage and one behind the motherboard tray). It also supports a bottom mounted PSU and has various rubber grommets around the motherboard tray for cable management.
The N200, N400, and N600 were available in Europe in June, and now all three are coming to the US. You can grab the N200 and N400 right now for $50 and $60 respectively, but specific pricing and availability on the N600 is not yet available. It should be coming soon for around $90 (estimated), however.
In all, the N400 and N600 seem like decent additions to the company’s N-series lineup. More information can be found on the Cooler Master website.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 24, 2013 - 01:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: enermax, Coenus, atx
Enermax's new case, the Coenis, stands 478 x 234 x 488mm (18.8 x 9.2 x 19.2") which should give you plenty of space for large coolers and larger GPUs. With 10 drive slots total you can also fit quite a bit of storage into the case as well. This case puts the PSU at the bottom of the case, with a vent hole directly beneath it which should hopefully isolate a lot of the heat produced from the rest of the case, beneficial for those thinking of using watercooling. For $70 you can have this case, which picked up a Silver from [H]ard|OCP.
"Enermax marches on in its war against "plain old" ATX computer case. Today we have a chassis that is fit for a king, Alexander the Great to be specific. This case has bottom draft cooling leading its "advanced cooling system," along with a fine feature list. Alexander was undefeated in battle, will Enermax retain that legacy?"
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Corsair 350D @ OCC
- Thermaltake Urban S31 @ eTeknix
- Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 Case Review @ Pro-Clockers
- Thermaltake Urban S21 Elegant Mid Tower Review @ Pro-Clockers
- 14 budget chassis group test: how little should you spend @ Hardware.info
- Cougar Spike Micro ATX Case @ LanOC Reviews
- Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 @ Kitguru
- Streacom FC8 Evo Fanless Chassis Review @ Madshrimps
- Thermaltake Urban S21 Elegant Mid Tower Review @ Pro-Clockers
- Corsair Carbide Air 540 ATX Cube Chassis @ eTeknix
- In Win D-Frame Red Case @ Techspot
- Nanoxia Deep Silence 2 @ techPowerUp
- Cougar Spike Mini Gaming Tower Chassis @ eTeknix
- NZXT Phantom 630 Case @ Kitguru
- NZXT Phantom 630 Ultra Tower @ NikKTech
- Corsair Carbide Series Air 540 Cube Case @ Kitguru
- NZXT Sentry Mix 2 Fan Controller Review @ Hardware Secrets
- LightDims LED Dimming Sticker Review @ Legit Reviews
- NZXT FZ-200 200mm Case Fan Review @ HiTech Legion
- Thermaltake NiC (Non-Interference Cooler) Series F4 CPU Cooler @ eTeknix
- Noctua NH-U14S 140mm U-Type Tower Heatsink Review @ Ninjalane
- Deepcool Gamer Storm Assassin CPU Cooler Review @ Pro-Clockers
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 3, 2013 - 10:53 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: thermaltake, mid tower, case, atx
Thermaltake has released a new mid tower chassis aimed at enthusiasts favoring minimalist designs. Constructed of SECC (Steel, Electrogalvanized, ColdRolled, Coil) steel, the Thermaltake Urban S21 supports ATX motherboards, high-end graphics cards, and both air and water cooling options. It measures 17.2” x 7.5” x 19.6”.
The new chassis is all black and features a brushed metal design on the front panel. The brushed metal front door hides the externally-accessible drives. At the top of the front panel, the case features two USB 3.0 ports and two audio jacks. A power LED along with both power and reset button adorns the top-edge of the case. The side panel has space for one 120mm fan as well as a clear window above it that is about the size of a 120mm fan. Four large case feet hold the mid tower above the floor, allowing the PSU intake and an (optional) additional 120mm fan to bring cool air into the case.
Thermaltake includes two 120mm fans, but the case itself can support a maximum of five 120mm fans. The Urban S21 case interior features tool-less drive bays for up to six hard drives and three optical drives. Further, it has cable management holes, water cooling grommets, a bottom-mounted power supply, and a CPU cutout.
Thermaltake’s Urban S21 case looks good and has a decent feature set. The case will reportedly go on sale sometime this month, but the company has not yet announced pricing. Here’s hoping the price is right as it is looking like a nice mid-tower case so far! You can find more specifications on the Urban S21 on this product page.
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of Thermaltake
As the newest member of Thermaltake's Armor Revo case line, the Armor Revo Gene mid-tower case features sleek looks and exudes the humble power that only the war-worn warrior's know. We decided to put the Armor Revo Gene to the test to see how well the case works under a variety of circumstances. At a base price of $129.99, the Armor Revo Gene seems to be a well priced steal for the features designed into it.
Courtesy of Thermaltake
Courtesy of Thermaltake
The Armor Revo Gene features a flat-black, scratch-resistant coating on all surfaces, giving it a sleek and uniformly menacing look. The case's right panel contains a window in it upper half to show off your case innards, bisected by a grilled space for up to a 200mm side fan to help cool your PCI-Express cards. A wing-shaped aluminum front bezel helps to direct air through the front of the case in an optimal manner.
Subject: Motherboards | January 9, 2013 - 08:21 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: msi, fm2, ces 2013, CES, atx, APU, a85xma-e35
MSI has launched another micro ATX motherboard for AMD APUs using the FM2 socket called the A85XMA-E35. Measuring 24.4 x 22.8 cm, the motherboard packs a number of MSI technologies including the company’s ClickBIOS II UEFI BIOS and OC Genie II auto-overclocking software.
The micro ATX board features the FM2 socket, two DDR3 DIMM slots (16GB max), six SATA 6 Gbps ports, the Realtek ALC887 audio chip, a TPM module, PCI slot, two PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots, and a single PCI-E 2.0 x16 expansion slot.
Rear IO on the A85XMA-E35 board includes one PS/2 port, six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, one Gigabit Ethernet port, six analog audio jacks, and VGA, DVI, and HDMI video outputs.
In the end, the A85XMA-E35 board is very similar to the A85XMA-P33 motherboard covered earlier today. MSI has added beefier heatsinks, additional expansion slots, and HDMI output so it should carry a small premium over the other board. MSI has not released official pricing for the board yet, however.
You can find more specifications and photos of the FM2-A85XMA-E35 on company's product page.
Read more about micro ATX motherboards at PC Perspective.
PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 28, 2012 - 01:11 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: white, portable case, case, bitfenix, atx
BitFenix recently announced a new mid-tower computer chassis aimed at gamers and enthusiasts that want a portable PC that easily hosts a full ATX motherboard. Specifically, BitFenix has taken its Survivor case and made an edition clad in white that it has dubbed the Survivor White.
The case features a carrying handle that folds down into the top of the case when not in use, making it easier to carry to LAN parties. It is completely white minus a blue LED-lit BitFenix logo on the front, and features curved edges. There is space for two 200mm fans or three 120mm fans around the case. Also, the new Survivor has three 5.25” expansion bays, holes for passing water cooling tubes though the back panel, a bottom mounted power supply cutout, dust filters, and a hidden IO panel. The front IO includes the power and reset buttons, two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, microphone and headphone jacks, and a single eSATA port. It also has on/off controls for the LED light for the BitFenix logo and for any BitFenix Spectre Pro LED fans (not included).
On the inside of the Survivor-series chassis, you will find a removable hard drive cage, CPU cutout on the motherboard tray, and cable management grommets. The inside of the case is the same white color as the outside, and the hard drive cage features tool-less mounting brackets. These are all things that are coming standard on enthusiast cases these days, but are nice to see nonetheless (especially for the price). With the hard drive cage installed, the case can hold up to seven 2.5” SSDs or six 3.5” hard drives.
BitFenix has stated that the white colored Survivor case will be available at the end of November for $109 USD or 99€ (including 19% VAT).
What do you think about the new Survivor SKU?
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 15, 2012 - 03:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Z77, biostar, Hi-Fi Z77X, lga 1155, htpc, atx
While you might not think of a full ATX board being the basis for an HTPC system, BIOSTAR is hoping that you will consider their Hi-Fi Z77X when you next spec out a possible system. The extra size allows you to have more add-in card options with three 16x PCIe slots (8x, 8x, 4x) and two PCIe 1x slots, which simply would not fit on a mATX board. The back panel offers VGA, HDMI and DVI out, so even without a discrete card you have quite a few output options as long as Intel onboard graphics are enough to meet your needs. They also include a Realtec CODEC which is better than [H]ard|OCP expected on a sub-$150 motherboard and were also impressed by the overclocking ability on this value board, not as good as an enthusiast board but still pleasantly capable.
"BIOSTAR generally has a reputation for making low end or budget oriented motherboards. Fortunately that isn't all BIOSTAR designs and builds. The Hi-Fi Z77X is an unusual motherboard in that it seems to be targeted towards HTPC and media type duties while still addressing enthusiast hardware and overclocking concerns."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Gigabyte Z77X-UP4-TH @ [H]ard|OCP
- ASUS Maximus V Formula @ Bjorn3D
- Gigabyte Z77MX D3H TH @ Guru of 3D
- ASRock Z77 OC Formula @ X-bit Labs
- ASRock Z77 OC Formula Intel LGA 1155 @ techPowerUp
- LGA 1155 Mainboard with Everything You Need and Nothing You Don’t: Asus P8Z77-V LX @ X-bit Labs
- ASRock Z77 OC Formula @ Hardware.info
- MSI Z77A-G43 Socket 1155 Motherboard Review @ Madshrimps
- MSI Z77IA-E53 Mini-ITX @ Kitguru
- MSI Z77 MPower @ Hardware.info
- Biostar Hi-Fi Z77X Intel ATX Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- Gigabyte Z77X-UP4 TH Motherboard Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- ASUS P8Z77-V LE Plus LGA1155 Motherboard Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- BIOS Option Of The Week - Byte Merge @ TechARP
- Sapphire Pure Black 990FX Motherboard Review @ Neoseeker
- Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7 Rev 1.1 Review @ OCC
- MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 (A85X) Motherboard Preview @ eTeknix
- MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 (A85X) Motherboard Review @ eTeknix
- MSI FM2-A85XA-GD65 Motherboard Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Gigabyte F2A85X-UP4 (A85X) Motherboard Review @ eTeknix
- Gigabyte GA-F2A85X UP4 @ Guru of 3D
- Asus F2A55-M (A55) Motherboard Review @ eTeknix
- ASUS F2A85-V Pro Review: A Look at FM2 with A85X @ AnandTech
- GIGABYTE GA-A75-D3H FM1 Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews
- ASRock FM2A85X Extreme6 Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- MSI FM2-A85XA-GD65 Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of ASUS
It's been a couple months since we've had a chance to evaluate a Z77-based motherboard, so we are taking this opportunity to throw ASUS's P8Z77-V Deluxe on our test bench to put it through our comprehensive real-world and synthetic benchmarks. This $279 board has been available for several months and supports the LGA 1155 platform that includes Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors.
Courtesy of ASUS
There are many features to drool over about the ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe, but my favorite ones include the board's unique power management features, Wi-Fi functionality with remote access, and customized UEFI BIOS. This board also includes other enhancements that focus on support for faster USB 3.0 and PCIe 3.0 integration as well as extra SATA 6GB/s ports that provide double the bandwidth of current bus systems.