ASRock Launches New Mini ITX Motherboard For AMD APUs

Subject: Motherboards | February 14, 2016 - 10:02 AM |
Tagged: mini ITX, FM2+, ddr3, asrock, A88X

ASRock's new A88M-ITX/ac is a tiny new motherboard sporting the FM2+ socket and A88X chipset for AMD APUs. This new board has an interesting design with two DDR3 memory slots set along the top of the board. The FM2+ socket and 5-phase VRM is placed in the center with the chipset and dual band 802.11ac Wi-Fi module sitting between the socket and a single PCI-E x16 slot along the bottom edge. Six SATA 6Gbps ports are nestled in the lower right corner. Power input includes a 24-pin ATX and 8-pin CPU which should help any overclocking should this be for a SFF gaming box.

ASRock A88M-ITXac.jpg

Rear I/O on the A88M-ITX/ac includes:

  • 1 x PS/2
  • 4 x USB 2.0
  • 3 x Video outputs
    • 1 x DVI
    • 1 x HDMI 1.4a
    • 1 x VGA
  • 2 x USB 3.0
  • 1 x GbE (Realtek 8111GR)
  • 3 x Analog Audio (Realtek ALC887 and ELNA audio caps)

This board is clad in black and silver except for the FCH which is copper. While the absence of HDMI 2.0 will be a turn off for those looking for a HTPC to drive a 4K big screen, it could still make for a small budget gaming build. It is nice to see more small form factor options for AMD builds!

Unfortunately, ASRock is not yet talking pricing or availability.

What would you use this Mini ITX AMD motherboard for?

Source: ASRock

DDR3 versus DDR4; the Skylake showdown

Subject: Memory | December 22, 2015 - 08:16 PM |
Tagged: Z170, ddr4, ddr3

In Hardware Canucks recent review, they delve into the differences between running DDR3 versus DDR4 on Intel Z170 boards, which come in two versions each of which is compatible with one of the two types of memory.  They start out with a high level overview of the differences between the two memory technologies as there is more than just a simple difference in frequencies.  After covering some of the specifications which might influence your decision they then delve into the performance numbers.

One system is based on the Gigabyte Z170-HD3 with 8GB of Kingston HyperX Beast DDR3 while the second system uses an ASUS Maximus VIII Impact with Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4, both systems use the Core i7 6700K processor.  The middle of the chart is the most interesting feature, where both memory kits are running at 2400MHz albeit at different timings.  DDR4 does come out on top but the margins are so close that if you need to shave some money off of your planned build you should definitely at least consider DDR3.


"Intel's Skylake architecture is the only one that supports both DDR3 and DDR4 memory. But with all other things being equal, is one really "better" than the other on the Z170 platform?"

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:


Want Haswell-EP Xeons Without Expensive DDR4 Memory?

Subject: General Tech, Motherboards, Processors | September 20, 2014 - 10:51 PM |
Tagged: xeon, Haswell-EP, ddr4, ddr3, Intel

Well this is interesting and, while not new, is news to me.


The upper-tier Haswell processors ushered DDR4 into the desktops for enthusiasts and servers, but DIMMs are quite expensive and incompatible with the DDR3 sticks that your organization might have been stocking up on. Despite the memory controller being placed on the processor, ASRock has a few motherboards which claim DDR3 support. ASRock, responding to Anandtech's inquiry, confirmed that this is not an error and Intel will launch three SKUs, one eight-core, one ten-core, and one twelve-core, with a DDR3-supporting memory controller.

The three models are:

  E5-2629 v3 E5-2649 v3 E5-2669 v3
Cores (Threads) 8 (16) 10 (20) 12 (24)
Clock Rate 2.4 GHz 2.3 GHz 2.3 Ghz
L3 Cache 20MB 25MB 30MB
TDP 85W 105W 120W

The processors, themselves, might not be cheap or easily attainable, though. There are rumors that Intel will require customers purchase at least a minimum amount. It might not be worth buying these processors unless you have a significant server farm (or similar situation).

Source: Anandtech

Kaveri loves fast memory

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | February 25, 2014 - 08:34 PM |
Tagged: ddr3, Kaveri, A10 7850K, amd, linux

You don't often see performance scaling as clean as what Phoronix saw when testing the effect of memory speed on AMD's A10-7850K.  Pick any result and you can clearly see a smooth increase in performance from DDR3-800 to DDR3-2400.  The only time that increase seems to decline slightly is between DDR3-2133 and 2400MHz, with some tests showing little to no increase between those two speeds.  Some tests do still show an improvement, for certain workloads on Linux the extra money is worth it but in other cases you can save a few dollars and limit yourself to the slightly cheaper DDR3-2133.  Check out the full review here.


"Earlier in the week I published benchmarks showing AMD Kaveri's DDR3-800MHz through DDR3-2133MHz system memory performance. Those results showed this latest-generation AMD APU craving -- and being able to take advantage of -- high memory frequencies. Many were curious how DDR3-2400MHz would fair with Kaveri so here's some benchmarks as we test out Kingston's HyperX Beast 8GB DDR3-2400MHz memory kit."

Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:


Source: Phoronix

G.SKILL Achieves World's Fastest Quad Channel Memory Speed at DDR3 4072MHz

Subject: General Tech | September 18, 2013 - 04:31 PM |
Tagged: gskill, ddr3, quad channel

Taipei, Taiwan – 18 September 2013 – No limit is too high for G.SKILL memory. In just a week after the official release of the new Intel Ivy Bridge-E Core i7 Extreme processors, G.SKILL memory is already testing the extreme limits of the Intel processors and broke the world record for fastest DDR3 yet again. This time a 16GB (4x4GB) G.SKILL TridentX memory kit is overclocked to a blistering DD3 4072MHz - the first instance of a quad-channel DDR3 memory kit to break the 4GHz barrier!


This astounding feat was made possible and achieved on the new Intel i7-4960X CPU and the ASUS Rampage IV Black Edition motherboard under LN2 extreme cooling.

rampage-4-black-edition-gskill f3-3000c12q-16gtxdg--2_cr_resize.jpg

Below is a screenshot of the record validation by CPU-Z

GSKILL 4072MHz Record 20130918 CPUZ.png

Source: G.SKILL

Overclockers Push G.Skill RAM To 3,163 MHz At Swiss Gaming Night

Subject: Memory | June 28, 2013 - 05:09 PM |
Tagged: gskill, ddr3, overclocking, LN2, swiss gaming night

G.Skill recently announced that its DDR3 memory modules were used to break three memory frequency records at an overclocking event in Zurich, Switzerland. Professional over lockers Marine, TaPaKaH, and Christian Ney joined in on the fun at Swiss Gaming Night to break the CL5, CL6, and CL7 categories.

DDR3 Memory Overclock Validation GSkill.jpg

CPU-Z Validation Page.

In a system with an Intel Haswell Core i7-4770K and 4GB of dual channel DDR3 G.Skill RAM, the overclockers achieved some impressive results, reaching 2,951 MHz at CL5, 3,136 MHz at CL6, and 3,163 MHz at CL7.

  Clockspeed CAS Latency
4GB DDR3 2,951 MHz 5-11-7-28
4GB DDR3 3,136 MHz 6-11-7-28
4GB DDR3 3,163 MHz 1-12-8-30

These are some impressive overclocks, which were aided by copious amounts of LN2. More information can be found in this press release.

Source: G.Skill

Corsair Adding Gold Vengeance Pro DDR3 Modules To Lineup

Subject: Memory | June 5, 2013 - 02:15 AM |
Tagged: vengeance pro, ddr3, corsair, computex 2013, computex

PC Perspective motherboard reviewer Morry Teitelman posted a review of Corsair's latest Vengeance Pro DDR3 modules yesterday, and the memory did well enough in his testing to earn a PC Perspective Editor's Choice award. The 16GB DDR3-1866MHz Vengeance Pro DIMMS he reviewed are available now for $144. 8GB Vengeance Pro 1866MHz kits are around $80, and 32GB DDR3-1866  memory kits are $295. There are also other SKUs with even higher clockspeeds for bit more money. On the other hand, going with the 1600MHz kits that are available will save you about $20 versus 1866MHz if you will be using these in a systerm where you don't plan to overclock much (if at all). 

In addition to the blue, red, and silver colored Vengeance Pro kits mentioned in our review, Corsair is also making an additional gold colored SKU available. Note that the underlying memory hardware is not changing, just the aesthetics. The gold version was just added into the mix today, so while current reviews may not note a black and gold module option, one is coming.

Corsair Vengeance Pro DDR3 4 DIMMS.png

The new black and gold Vengeance Pro DDR3 DIMMs.

Therefore, if you were waiting for the Vengeance Pro to go on sale, but wishing that it better matched your gold-laden ECS or ASUS Gryphon motherboard, it might be worth holding off until the gold SKU hits the market (which should be very soon).

Also in Corsair news, the company teased an 8GB Vengeance Pro DDR3 memory kit clocked at an impressive 3200MHz (CAS11, 11-14-14-36 timings) at Computex for Haswell-based machines, but it is unclear exactly when this particular 2x4GB kit will be available.

The full press release is available below for reference.

Also read:

Source: Corsair

G.Skill Launches 32GB DDR3 3000MHz TridentX Series Memory

Subject: Memory | June 3, 2013 - 09:50 AM |
Tagged: xmp, overclocking, memory, haswell, G.Skill Trident X, G.Skill, ddr3 3000, ddr3

G.Skill is a company known for its DDR3 memory products and overclocking contests. It recently unveiled a new 32GB DDR3 RAM kit under its TridentX series that is clocked at an impressive 3,000 MHz!

The new G.Skill DDR3 3000MHz 32GB (4 x 8GB) memory kit is aimed at enthusiasts running Intel Haswell processors on Z87 motherboards. It features CAS12 latencies and can be run at 1.65V. It also supports Intel's XMP (Extreme Memory Profiles) standard, which will allow the motherboard to automatically configure the RAM for the full 3000 MHz clockspeed, though it requires a slight CPU overclock as well.

GSkill TridentX DDR3 3000MHz 32GB CAS12 1_65V.jpg

In G.Skill's own benchmark tests, the company managed to run its new 32GB TridentX memory at 3,000 MHz with CAS latencies of 12-14-14-35-CR2 at 1.65V. The Memtest Pro benchmark run was done on a system with an Intel Core i7-4770K and an ASUS Maximus VI Extreme Z87 motherboard. The Intel chip was running with a bus speed of 102.32 MHz and a multiplier of 39 for a total 3.99 GHz core clockspeed with all cores under load. Considering the i7-4770K is only rated for a maximum of DDR3-1600 memory, seeing it running DDR3 at 3GHz is impressive!

The new 32GB (4x8GB) TridentX kit is joined by  8GB (2x4GB) and 16GB (4x8GB) kits that are all rated for DDR3-3000 speeds. The kits continue to be covered by G.Skill's lifetime warranty. The company has not announced pricing or availability, but expect to pay a hefty premium for this super-fast RAM. Think upwards of $1,750 considering the existing 32GB DDR3-2933 C12 G.Skill kit is going for $1,700 on Newegg.

Source: G.Skill

Say farewell to the days of RAM deals

Subject: General Tech | May 9, 2013 - 05:25 PM |
Tagged: ddr3, DRAM

It looks like the days of cheap RAM may be coming to a close, not just for the consumer but also for manufacturers of graphics cards, cellphones and anything else with onboard RAM.  What began as a slow rise in prices is now becoming a shortage, something guaranteed to bring prices up.  In Acer's case they will be out of stock by the end of the month while ASRock stockpiled RAM in this quarter to retain supplies to sell over the coming quarter.  As DigiTimes points out, competition is going to become fierce and you can expect both lower supplies and higher prices on the new components you want to buy over the summer.


"Commenting on the issue, Acer chairman JT Wang pointed out that DRAM prices are likely to continue rising as many DRAM makers have switched their production lines to manufacturing smartphone DRAM, leaving insufficient capacity to supply the PC industry. Even If DRAM makers decide to switch back capacity, it will still take about 3-4 months for the process to be completed, Wang said."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

Bad news GPU fans, prices may be climbing

Subject: General Tech | April 3, 2013 - 05:21 PM |
Tagged: gpu, DRAM, ddr3, price increase

It has taken a while but the climbing price of memory is about to have an effect on the price you pay for your next GPU.  DigiTimes does specifically mention DDR3 but as both GDDR4 and GDDR5 are based off of DDR3 they will suffer the same price increases.  You can expect to see the new prices last as part of the reason for the increase in the price of RAM is the decrease in sales volume.  AMD may be hit harder overall than NVIDIA as they tend to put more memory on their cards and buyers of value cards might see the biggest percentage increase as those cards still sport 1GB or more of memory.


"Since DDR3 memory prices have recently risen by more than 10%, the sources believe the graphics cards are unlikely to see their prices return to previous levels within the next six months unless GPU makers decide to offer promotions for specific models or launch next-generation products."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes