Subject: General Tech | September 29, 2017 - 06:19 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Z370, overclocking, msi, LGA 1151, eatx, e-atx, coffee lake
In response to a few questions readers have brought up about the NICs on the MSI Z370 Godlike Gaming; this board to features the Killer xTend technology from Rivet Networks we saw at Computex. The three Killer Ethernet ports and Killer WiFi allow you to use your PC as both a network switch and a WiFi extender. Several of GIGABYTE's AORUS Gaming motherboards will also feature this technology.
*******************Now back to your regularly scheduled PR******************
MSI is entering the Z370 motherboard fray with two flagship boards the ATX MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC and the E-ATX Z370 Godlike Gaming. The latter board takes Z370 to the extreme with more power phases, cooling, expansion, and, of course, RGB LEDs!
The massive motherboard features a massive digital power delivery with solid aluminum heatsinks to keep them cool as well as show off RGB bling. MSI did not specify how it has divided up the phases or the number, but there’s as many as 18 power phases (in reality likely less). Power inputs include both an 8-pin and 4-pin EPS connections along with the standard ATX 12V 24-pin and a 6-pin connector to supply extra power to the PCI-E slots. There are four steel shielded DDR4 DIMM slots with dedicated digital PWM power delivery supporting up to 64 GB at 4133 MHz.
The Z370 Godlike Gaming further features four steel reinforced PCI-E x16 slots, a single PCI-E x1 slot, and three M.2 (key M) slots (using the included PCI-E riser card you can get two extra M.2 slots). On the traditional storage front, the motherboard has six SATA 6 Gbps and one U.2 port. RGB support comes in the form of MSI’s own “Mystic Light” technology that includes on board LEDs as well as a header for RGB strips (and MSI’s site shows the board comes with a Phanteks branded RGB strip) that can be controlled with software. As far as cooling there are headers for a CPU fan, water pump, and eight system fans.
MSI is using a Killer 1535 chip for 802.11ac Wi-Fi (2x2) as well as three Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet NICs. Audio is handled by “MSI Audio Boost” which is two Realtek ALC 1220 based EMI shielded audio processors along with an ESS DAC and amplifier with gold plated audio jacks (including a ¼” jack for high end headphones). MSI claims the LED bordered isolated power audio design includes separate PCB layers for the left and right audio channels and high end WIMA and Nichicon capacitors.
Around back the MSI Z370 Godlike Gaming includes:
- 2 x Wi-Fi antenna connections
- 1 x PS/2
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A
- 6 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
- 3 x Gigabit Ethernet (Killer E2500)
- 7 x Audio
- 5 x 3.5mm
- 1 x 6.35mm
- 1 x S/PDIF
Users can get additional USB 3.1 ports using internal headers powered by ASMedia ASM3142 and ASM1074 chipsets (Gen 2 and Gen 1 respectively).
Retail versions of the motherboard should come with a PCI-E riser card with two M.2 slots, headphone adapter, custom sleeved SATA cables, three I/O backplates, three 2-pin temperature probes, a SLI bridge, and a 400mm LED strip.
I am interested in this board from an overclocking perspective as the beefy power phases and additional CPU power from the 8+4 pin connectors should allow for some extreme overclocking fun to be had and enable higher everyday stable overclocks as well. This board has just about everything you could want from a high-end motherboard (except Intel NICs, 10 GbE, and Thunderbolt but you can't have everything!), but it is sure to come at a hefty premium. MSI is not yet talking pricing or availability though unfortunately.
In other Z370 news:
- ASUS Reveals Entire Z370 Lineup
- GIGABYTE Introduces Z370 AORUS Motherboards
- Gigabyte Teases Z370 AORUS Gaming 7 Motherboard
Subject: Motherboards | July 25, 2017 - 12:16 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ryzen, RGB LED, overclocking, e-atx, asus, AM4
Asus recently took the wraps off of its X370 ROG Crosshair VI Extreme E-ATX motherboard which is the company’s new flagship motherboard for the AMD Ryzen platform. The new board is packed with features and is aimed at extreme overclockers and gaming enthusiasts.
The massive board surrounds the AMD AM4 socket with four DDR4 DIMM slots, a 12 phase Digi+ VRM, and a plethora of expansion and storage connections including two PCI-E 3.0 x16, one PCI-E 2.0 x16, three PCI-E 2.0 x1, two M.2 slots, and 8 SATA 6Gbps ports. One of the M.2 slots sits under the passive PCH heatsink and connects directly to the CPU while the other M.2 slot does not benefit from the passive heatsink and shares bandwidth with the PCI-E 2.0 lanes coming from the chipset.
The board has a massive VRM heatsink that can also be swapped out for a monoblock that can be integrated into a custom water cooling loop with ASUS partnering with Bitspower for a monoblock that will be sold separately (the board will also work with monoblocks from other manufacturers) and will include sensors to measure flow rate, temperature, and leak detection. The board also has a header that will allow you to attach those same sensors to another point in your loop with all the sensor data being available through ASUS’ Fan Xpert 4 software. There are 13 fans headers on board (16 with fan extension card) with one dedicated pump header and two groups of four fan headers that are placed closed together to make wiring up radiators a bit cleaner. The X370 ROG Crosshair VI Extreme also sports multiple RGB LED lighting zones and two headers that will allow users to extend the lighting to RGB LED strips, fans, and cases (one header is for addressable LEDs and the other is for standard LED strips up to 3A). The on board lighting zones include the IO and VRM cooler, the two SafeSlot (metal-reinforced) PCI-E x16 slots, the chipset heatsink, and the right edge of the board. The audio jacks are also LED color coded which is actually kind of cool since it can be hard to see what colors the jacks are when the case is under a desk! Other useful features include an ROG backplate and a right angle 24-pin power connector to make cable management a bit easier. There are also the usual overclocker friendly error code display, power and reset buttons, and voltage read points for multimeters. Further, the board features a dedicated base clock generator and a “TPU” (TurboV Processing Unit) that helps manage voltage to the VRMs and controls the clock generator. The external clock generator is important when overclocking Ryzen and hitting extremely high memory frequencies.
Asus is using an Intel I211-AT Gigabit Ethernet controller for the wired networking and there is also support for Intel 8265-powered 802.11 ac Wi-Fi. Sound is handled by a SupremeFX S122 codec paired with ES9023P ESS Sabre DAC with high end capacitors and TI op-amps for a 113 dB line in (for recording) and 120 dB output.
Rear I/O is where the Extreme board is a bit wanting with:
- 2 x Antenna connectors
- 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2
- 6 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
- 4 x USB 2.0
- 5 x Gold plated 3.5mm jacks
- 1 x S/PDIF (Optical)
- 2 x Clear CMOS and BIOS Flashback buttons
On one hand, I am not sure what else they could have included (Thunderbolt is really the only missing thing and not strictly needed), but it does look a bit barren even compared to the Crosshair VI Hero.
Asus’ flagship AMD AM4 motherboard will be available in early August with an MSRP of $349.
I am interested to see if the X370 ROG Crosshair VI Extreme really does up the ante especially in the overclocking department versus the ROG Crosshair VI Hero which seems to be a popular choice for overclockers aiming to break records. I am looking forward to reviews to see whether the $100 premium is worth it (the Crosshair VI Hero is $245 or $270 with AC Wi-Fi).
Personally, I think I would rather go with a cheaper motherboard and better graphics card or SSD, but for those not on a budget I can see them opting for the board with all the bells and whistles (and RGB)!
Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 18, 2017 - 03:11 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Lian Li, PC-O12, e-atx
Lian Li's new PC-O12 is an interesting case. It bears many similarities to cases currently on the market, with tempered glass windows, cable management features and a separated chamber at the bottom which holds the PSU and drive cages.
The way it differs is obvious when you look at the back panel and alignment of the four expansion slots for graphics cards. They are designed to allow you to mount your GPUs vertically with the use of a 440mm PCI-E 16X Riser cable. This will let you show off the artwork and LEDs on your card and is touted as increasing cooling efficiency. While this will give you a unique looking system it also adds an impressive price tag of $399.99.
You can read the full PR below the specifications.
May 18, 2017, Keelung, Taiwan - Lian-Li Industrial Co. Ltd launches the PC-O12; a compact mid-tower chassis that combines sleek tempered glass panels with strong, but lightweight, steel and aluminum. This new addition to Lian Li’s latest generation O-series chassis range offers unsurpassed style, plus slim design with ample space for a powerful but compact PC build. Thanks to its unique design, it offers space for two vertically placed graphics cards in a separate compartment for gorgeous PC builds.
Tempered glass adds a touch of class
The PC-O12’s flawless tempered glass front and side panels make it a sleek and sophisticated showcase for the latest cutting edge computing technologies. Tempered glass is tough, safe and very durable, providing a ‘fresh from the showroom’ appearance indefinitely. The PC-O12’s alluring black aluminum outer body and panels complete the picture. Internally, a rigid steel frame provides a firm foundation for state of the art features.
Ideal balance of chassis size and features
Despite it’s space-saving format, this mid-tower enclosure offers plenty of room for the most powerful hardware. The 440mm full bandwidth PCI Express 16x riser cable allows flexible vertical graphics card mounting to enhance cooling and to show off the latest graphics technology through the tempered glass side panel. The roomy case interior fits graphics cards up to 340mm long and CPU coolers up to 75mm high.
There’s internal space for up to eight hard disk and SSD drives for terabytes of fast storage capacity. In addition, the newest ultra speedy, powerful external USB 3.1 type C devices are supported, and there are a total of four external USB connectors as standard.
A case with great low-noise cooling performance
With up to five large-format fans, this chassis ensures valuable PC components keep running cool, prolonging life, enhancing performance and reducing noise. There’s space for three 120mm fans at the top of the case, plus two 140mm or 120mm fans at the front. With so many airflow options, users are able to reduce fan speed and reduce noise. In addition, removable mesh dust filters cover the primary fan mounts. The drive cages and PSU mount include rubber vibration dampeners to minimize noise.
Price and Availability
The PC-O12 is now available at Newegg for $399.99 Find detailed specifications for the PC-O12 here
Additional PCI Express riser cables are available at Performance PC starting in June 2017
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 21, 2017 - 03:15 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: XL-ATX, e-atx, dark base pro 900, Dark Base 900, be quiet!
The be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 is impressively large, standing 577x243x585mm (22.7x9.6x23"), supporting even the largest of motherboard model. That size also allows for some impressive cooling options, radiators of up to 420mm in length can be installed in both the front and top of the case. The case ships with three be quiet! SilentWings 3 fans installed, for those who opt to forego watercooling and it is also worth mentioning the filter on the bottom of the case slides out from the front. The side panel is made of tempered glass on the $250 Pro model, the non-Pro has a steel side panel which reduces its cost to $200 and both feature a Qi wireless charging area. Drop by Modders-Inc for a closer look.
"When it comes to system building, size equals convenience with large full-tower cases offering plenty of room to work with. Since the case market is extremely crowded and competitive however, simply creating a large case for the sake of creating a large case is not enough. If it does not have the right set of features and is not designed …"
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Game Max Onyx RGB Tempered Glass Mid-Tower @ eTeknix
- Riotoro CR480 Gaming Case @ Benchmark Reviews
- Be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 XL-ATX Mid-Tower @ NikKTech
- Cooler Master MasterBox 5t Review @ Bjorn3d
- Bitspower Summit EF-X CPU Waterblock @ techPowerUp
- X2 i5 @ techPowerUp
- Raijintek Pallas Low-Profile CPU Cooler @ Kitguru
- Cooler Master MasterAir Pro 3 and MasterAir Pro 4 @ Kitguru
- Cooler Master MasterAir Pro 3 and 4 CPU Cooler @ eTeknix
- ThermalTake Riing Silent 12 Pro Cooler @ Kitguru
Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 10, 2016 - 09:54 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: tempered glass, SSD Chroma, RGB, mid tower, enclosure, e-atx, chassis, case, bitfenix, aurora, ASUS Aura
BitFenix has announced the Aurora chassis, their latest enclosure which features tempered glass side panels and RGB lighting effects.
Both sides of the Aurora are covered by tempered glass, with the component side a clear panel, and the back a dark-tinted panel to help hide cables behind the motherboard tray.
One interesting feature is called “SSD Chroma”. BitFenix explains:
“‘ASUS AURA’ certified ‘RGB Chroma Control and SSD Chroma’ are co-developed with Asus Republic of Gamers giving you the ability to customize and illuminate the SSDs.”
Specifications and highlights from BitFenix:
- Colors: Black│White
- Materials: Steel, ABS
- Supported Motherboards: E-ATX│ATX│M-ATX│Mini-ITX
- Expansion Slots: 7
- Drive Bays:
- 3.5”: 2 + 2
- 2.5”: 2 + 1
- Front: 120mm x 2 or 140mm x 2
- Rear: 120mm x 1 (Included)
- Top: 120mm x 2 or 140mm x 2
- Component Clearance:
- CPU Cooler: Up to 160mm height
- Graphic Card Length: Up to 400mm
- Power Supply: Up to 220mm
- I/O: USB 3.0 x 2│USB 2.0 x 2│HD Audio MIC & Headphone
- Weight: 10.58kg
- Dimensions: 215 x 490 x 520mm
Highlights: BitFenix LED Lighting Controller & SSD Lighting Bracket│20-25mm Cable Management Space│Graphic Length up to 400mm│Support Dual 280mm radiator│Removable HDD cage│Removable PSU Dust Filter
Pricing and availablility for this new BitFenix Aurora are
not yet known late August and $99 US.
Subject: Motherboards | October 28, 2015 - 08:38 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Z170, Skylake, Maximus VIII Extreme, e-atx, ddr4, ASUS ROG, asus
Motherboards supporting Intel’s latest “Skylake” processor have been trickling out for months, and ASUS is no stranger to the Z170 chipset. After several months of waiting, its flagship motherboard is now available under the Republic of Gamers brand. The ROG Maximus VIII Extreme is a monster both in size – it’s an E-ATX board – and features. It’s not cheap though with an MSRP of $499.
The Maximus VIII Extreme is clad in black and red with silver capacitors. A massive heatsink keeps the Extreme Engine Digi+ power delivery hardware cool even under heavy overclocking conditions. Nested between the VRMs and the four DDR4 slots (up to 3866MHz) is the LGA 1151 processor socket. This motherboard can be used with the OC Panel II hardware overclocking module which can sit outside the case or in a 5.25” drive bay. There are also overclocking buttons on the top-right corner of the board itself.
Storage options include eight SATA 6Gbps ports (two SATA Express), a M.2, and a separate U.2 MVMe connector. Networking is handled by Intel Gigabit Ethernet (1219-V) and a 3x3 802.11ac WiFi NIC. ASUS is further including its SupremeFX 8-channel audio chipset.
When it comes to PCI-E expansion, this board delivers with four PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots (which can run at x16/x8/x8/x4) and two PCI-E 3.0 x1 slots.
Rear I/O includes:
- 4 x USB 3.0
- 4 x USB 3.1 (3 x Type A + 1 x Type C)
- 6 x USB 2.0
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet
- 5 x Analog Audio
- 1 x S/PDIF optical audio out
- 1 x DisplayPort
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x PS/2 combo port
- 3 x Wi-Fi antenna connectors
- 1 x Clear CMOS + 1 x BIOS Flashback button
Needless to say this board has everything but the kitchen sink (though that might be unlocked with a BIOS update...) in it. It is squarely aimed at extreme overclockers and gamers wanting to run triple or quad multi-GPU setups along with Intel’s latest Skylake CPU. The flagship hardware will cost you though, with street prices just under $500 USD. If you’re interested in this beast, keep an eye out for reviews (which appear to be scarce at the moment).
Subject: General Tech | September 11, 2015 - 01:40 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, X99A GODLIKE GAMING, LGA2011-v3, e-atx
Considering its name, the over $500 price tag attached to the MSI X99A GODLIKE GAMING motherboard should not come as too much of a surprise. Capable of handling any LGA2011-v3 processor, including Xeons and supporting up to 128GB of DDR4 the board has a lot of potential. The E-ATX form factor allows the inclusion of five PCIe 3.0 16x slots, 10 SATA 6Gbps ports, a pair of M.2 slots and a SEx port, though you are not going to have enough PCIe lanes to drive all of those at full speed simultaneously even with a Xeon. THE NICs are provided by Killer and include WiFi as well as two LAN ports. [H]ard|OCP were impressed by the overall stability and functionality of the board as well as the behaviour when overclocking but there were one or two things they thought might have been executed better, which you can read about here.
"MSI’s X99A GODLIKE has not only a pretentious name but more features than you can shake a stick at. The decision to use a game reference from a series that long since died out is a puzzling one. While we're not going to pretend to understand MSI’s marketing, it has built what may be one of the best "Red and Black" motherboards of all time. "
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- MSI's Z170A Gaming M5 @ The Tech Report
- Asus Maximus VIII Hero, Z170, Skylakes Hero! @ Bjorn3d
- Gigabyte Z170XP-SLI @ Kitguru
- ASUS Z170 Maximus VIII Hero @ eTeknix
- MSI B150A Gaming PRO Motherboard Review: Mixing Business with Pleasure @ Modders-Inc
- MSI Z97S SLI Krait Edition @ HardwareOverclock
- ASRock N3150B-ITX Motherboard Review @ Hardware Secrets
- ASRock N3700-ITX Motherboard Review @ Hardware Secrets
- AMD FX-8320E CPU & MSI 970 Mobo Review @ OCC
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 4, 2015 - 05:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: thermaltake, Suppressor F51, e-atx
Thermaltake's new Supressor F51 is a hefty case, measuring 523x231x577mm (20.6x9.1x22.7") which allows the use of 360mm and even 420mm radiators. The buttons and front panel plugs have all been moved to the top of the case to give the front a nice clean look, the monolith style which has become so popular as of late. Internally are mounts for boards ranging from Mini-ITX to E-ATX and enough space for three extra long video cards. The drive bays, including the two 5.25" bays, slide out for easy access or full removal and foam dampening covers most of the flat surfaces to reduce noise. [H]ard|OCP were more than impressed, passing on a Gold Award for this case which is due to hit market on 6/29/15 for an MSRP of $120.
"Thermaltake is upping its game with its new Suppressor F51 E-ATX Mid-Tower Chassis. New sound deadening technology, expanded cooling options, all while supporting motherboards from mini-ITX to E-ATX in size. The F51 has a fully modular tool-less design that also has dust filtering in mind."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Thermaltake Suppressor F51 and Water 3.0 Ultimate @ Kitguru
- In Win 707 @ techPowerUp
- Phanteks Enthoo Evolv @ Kitguru
- Zalman ZM-T3 Case Review @ Hardware Secrets
- be quiet! Silent Base 800 Case Review @HiTech Legion
- Deepcool Tristellar @ techPowerUp
- Noctua NH-D9L D-Type CPU Cooler Review @ NikKTech
- Antec P70 Mid-Tower @ [H]ard|OCP
- SilverStone Tundra TD03-E AIO Liquid CPU Cooler @ [H]ard|OCP
- beQuiet! Dark Rock TF Heatsink Review @ Hardware Asylum
- CRYORIG H7 Universal @ techPowerUp
- Scythe Ashura CPU Cooler @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 28, 2013 - 04:18 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Lian Li, Lian Li PC-A79, full tower, e-atx, XL-ATX, hptx, aluminum
Lian Li recently showed off a new full tower case -- clad in the company’s traditional brushed aluminum -- called the PC-A79. The PC-A79 measures 24.3” x 9” x 23.4” and offers up ample space for high end PC components.
On the outside, the Lian Li PC-A79 is covered in dark brushed aluminum. It has two front case feet and two rear wheels to make transporting the system easier. The front of the case hosts 12 individually filtered mesh 5.25” bay covers. There are also two LEDs for power and HDD activity in the top right corner of the front panel. The bezel surrounding the bay covers can be removed with needing tools to allow for easy removal of the bay covers and hard drives (depending on which way you install the hard drive cages). The left side panel comes with two pre-installed 120mm fans. Interestingly, Lian Li has designed a connector and routed the fan wires such that the side panel can be removed without needing to worry about disconnecting the fans. Additionally, the top of the case has a filtered vent that can hold up to two 140mm fans (or a 280mm radiator). The fans get screwed into a bracket which in turn is screwed into the top panel, making installation a bit easier.
Front IO on the PC-A79 is hidden under a cover on the front edge of the top panel. IO options include two audio jacks, four USB 3.0 ports, and a single eSATA port.
Rear IO includes six water cooling grommets, a single 120mm exhaust fan, a bottom-mounted PSU, and 11 PCI slots. There is a filter for the bottom mounted power supply that can be removed from the side of the case which is a nice option to have.
Internally, the full tower supports motherboards up to HTPX, E-ATX and XL-ATX in size, graphics cards up to 350mm (13.78”) in length, and CPU coolers up to 165mm (5.7”) tall. The PC-A79 comes with three hard drive cages, each of which can hold three 3.5” hard drives and two 2.5” solid state drives. In addition to the drive cages, users can mount two 2.5” drives on the bottom of the case for a total of nine 3.5” drives and eight SSDs. The drives mount into the cages using brushed aluminum brackets that double as handles. The drives slide into the cages and are locked in place by a thumbscrew latch. The case features a removable motherboard tray with a large CPU cutout and eight rubber grommets that allow for routing cables behind the motherboard tray.
The case supports up to seven total fans (not counting the PSU fan), including:
- 2 x 120mm side panel fans
- 3 x 120mm front panel fans (mounted on hard drive cages)
- 2 x 120 or 140mm fans on top panel
The massive full tower case will be available in September with an MSRP of $389. While PC gamers may opt for more sylish cases, the Lian Li PC-A79 would be a good fit for workstation builds.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 3, 2013 - 02:57 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: thermaltake, full tower, e-atx, urban s71
Thermaltake recently launched the Urban S71 full tower chassis to round out its Urban line of cases (like its Urban S21 mid-tower). The S71 is constructed of SECC steel, weighs approximately 24 pounds, and measures 21 x 8.4 x 23-inches (534 x 213 x 584mm). The black brushed metal design is aesthetically pleasing and sound dampening foam reduces noise. Thermaltake is offering up two models: the VP500M1W2N with a side panel window and the VP500M1N2N without a window (and with more sound dampening foam).
The Urban S71 chassis features a brushed aluminum front door that conceals three 5.25" bays and one 3.5" drive bay. The top of the case hosts a docking station for a 2.5" or 3.5" hard drive. The top-front of the case includes the following IO options:
- 2 x USB 3.0
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 1 x Mic In
- 1 x Headphone Out
- 1 x Power button (plus LED)
- 1 x Reset button (plus LED)
Pre-installed cooling options include two 200mm fans (at the front and top vents) and one 120mm high speed rear fan. The case includes removable dust filters on the top, front, and bottom vents. There is also room for a fan in bottom of the case, but is not included out of the box.
The interior of Thermaltake's Urban S71 chassis includes support for motherboards up to E-ATX in size and graphics cards up to 344mm in length. Cable routing and water cooling grommets are included on the motherboard tray and rear IO respectively. There are also eight total expansion slots and 6 3.5" drive bays (one externally-accessible). The top case ventilation slot(s) can support up to a 240mm water cooling radiator as well (like the Corsair H100).
In all, the Urban S71 is an impressive case with quite a few useful features. There is no word on pricing or availability yet, however.