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 | August 24, 2017 - 12:30 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: mining, LGA 1151, Intel, cryptocurrency, b250, asus
Asus recently took the wraps off of a monster ATX form factor motherboard aimed squarely at crypto currency miners. The aptly named Asus B250 Expert Mining motherboard is based on Intel's B250 chipset and features an impressive 19 PCI-E slots! The board is based around Intel's budget chipset and is paired with an LGA 1151 socket for Intel Skylake or Kaby Lake CPUs. There are also two DDR4 memory slots and four SATA 6 Gbps ports.
The B250 Expert Mining motherboard is powered by a single 8-pin CPU power connector driving a 6-phase DIGI+ VRM, three (!) 24-pin ATX12V connectors, and three Molex power connectors. The top 24-pin drives the first seven PCI-E slots (including the single PCI-E x16 slot) while the other two 24-pin connectors are responsible for powering 6 of the remaining PCI-E x1 slots each.
Asus claims that the upcoming motherboard has several mining focused features including a tuned BIOS tweaked to improve mining efficiency, a splash screen at startup that shows the state of each PCI-E slot at-a-glance at each boot (Asus Mining Expert software) as well as voltage stabilization capacitors for each GPU slot.
With this motherboard miners will be able to hook up to 19 graphics cards to each motherboard which reduces the number of complete systems they need to build and maintain improving ROI time, increasing power efficiency, and reducing maintenance costs. At the time of writing there is a bit of hiccup with this plan though as miners will not be able to fully take advantage of all 19 slots for graphics cards. First off, miners will have to use Linux and even then they will be limited to a maximum of eight graphics cards from AMD and eight graphics cards from NVIDIA (if they can even get that working reliably...). Not all hope for an uber mining motherboard is lost though as Anandtech reports that AMD is working on a driver update slated for release later this year that will enable miners to use all 19 slots for their graphics cards.
Asus has not yet released pricing, but I would expect it to come at a hefty premium considering it offers the highest number of PCI-E slots on a standard motherboard so far. Asus has reportedly already begun sampling the B250 Expert Mining board to partners and it should be available at retail soon.
Even if you are not into the crypto currency mining scene, it is intriguing seeing the response to miners from the hardware manufacturers with new focused product lines.
- Let's Talk About Mining - Cryptocurrency Revisited
- Donate to the PC Perspective Mining Pool! A NiceHash How-to
- A Quick Look at the SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 470 Mining Edition
- NVIDIA Partners Launching Mining Focused P106-100 and P104-100 Graphics Cards
- Mining specific cards are real - ASUS and Sapphire GP106 and RX 470 show up
Subject: Motherboards | November 17, 2016 - 01:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Z170, ECS, LEE7 Z170-Lightsaber, Intel, LGA 1151
ECS have upgraded their lineup of Z170 motherboards with the LEE7 Z170-Lightsaber, using improved capacitors and offering some new features. The back panel offers a pair of USB 3 ports which receive a steady 5V, perfect for a USB DAC as well as a pair marked in yellow with a polling rate of 1000Hz for your mouse and keyboard, unless you prefer the PS/2 port. There are an additional four USB 3.0 ports and a pair of USB 3.1 Type-A ports as well; the LAN is powered by a Killer E2400 NIC. Drop by Modders Inc for a full review and yes, before you ask, it does have RGB disease.
"The ECS Z170-Lightsaber is a significantly upgraded version of the Z170-Claymore, bringing more competitive features on-board, literally. Buttons directly on the Z170-Claymore motherboard PCB are designed to give users once click access to automatic overclocking, BIOS update, BIOS backup, clear CMOS, UEFI shortcut and more."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- MSI X99A Workstation @ Kitguru
- ASRock X99 Taichi (with Broadwell-E) @ techPowerUp
- Gigabyte X99-Ultra Gaming LGA2011-3 @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech, Motherboards | October 28, 2016 - 12:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Z170, LGA 1151, kaby lake, Intel H170, Intel B150, H110, bios
If you are running an LGA 1151 Gigabyte motherboard then you should stop at this post over at the Guru of 3D some time in the near future and grab an updated BIOS. They were kind enough to provide links for the updates of 47 different motherboards ranging from Z170's down to H110's. Q-Flash means you can update from within the BIOS with USB drive and with Q-Flash Plus you don't even need memory or a CPU installed; we've come a long way from the customized 3.5" boot disks involved in flashing. On the other hand that special thrill of terror has gone away.
"Following MSI and ASUS, Gigabyte now as well offers Kaby Lake compatible BIOS updates for their Z170, H170, B150 and H110 series motherboards. "
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Samsung's free-falling financial flameout @ The Register
- Samsung teases Galaxy S8 with 'slick' new design and AI smarts @ The Inquirer
- Chapeau Is Exactly What the Linux Desktop Needs @ Linux.com
- Divide the internet into compartments to save us from the IoT fail whale @ The Register
- AMD will sell server CPUs at Happy Meal prices so you can supersize servers @ The Register
- Google's AI machines are sending encrypted messages to each other and it's creepy @ The Inquirer
Subject: Motherboards | October 5, 2016 - 06:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: LGA 1151, kaby lake, asus
ASUS is releasing UEFI updates for 87 LGA 1151 motherboard models which will add support for Intel's Kaby Lake processors. They have a table listing all models and UEFI versions which you should update to in order to get full support for the new processors. If you are wondering about picking up one of these motherboards during the inital release of Kaby Lake, ASUS has tested and verified that their USB BIOS flashback tool will enable you to update your UEFI even if it does not want to immediately boot with a Kaby Lake processor installed.
They have spent the last few months with samples of Kaby Lake chips and have tested them for compatibility as well as enhancing the features the motherboard can take advantage of to ensure you get the most out of your shiny new CPU. Regardless if you use a Z170, H110 or even a C232 chipset your motherboard will be compatible. Get out your USB drives and download the new versions to flash to or use EZ Flash 3's Internet option to get the latest version right from ASUS.
Subject: Motherboards | January 28, 2016 - 03:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gigabyte, Z170X-UD5, LGA 1151
What is special about the Z170X-UD5 that would make you pick it over other boards? A $190 price tag is impressive for a Z170, the design is very clean and would look great in a windowed case, USB 3.1 including a Type-C connection, a pair of M.2 slots along with eight SATA and three SEx ports and it even supports three way GPU setups. Not a bad list of features, though it is missing the Thunderbolt support of its more expensive sibling. [H]ard|OCP found it easy to overclock using either EZ-Tune or doing it manually and the watchdog system was great when things did not work out so well. Check out the full review to learn more about this board that matches up affordability with a nice list of features.
"GIGABYTE’s mid-range Z170X-UD5 has some impressive specifications, a lengthy feature set, and comes in with a sub-$200 street price. This motherboard has all the ingredients for a spectacular enthusiast option on paper. But how does it do in the real world when you put it to the test? It actually does very well."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASRock Z170 Extreme4 @ TechARP
- ASUS RoG Maximus VIII Extreme Motherboard Review @ Hardware Canucks
- ASRock Fatal1ty Z97X Killer/3.1 mainboard @ HardwareOverclock
- ASRock X99 WS-E/10G @ Kitguru
Subject: Motherboards | January 14, 2016 - 08:04 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: unlocked, overclocking, oc, LGA 1151, Intel K series, Intel, evga, bios, BCLK
An upcoming BIOS update for EVGA Z170 motherboards to allow BCLK overclocking on non-K Intel processors.
The news came from EVGA Product Manager Jacob Freeman via Twitter this afternoon:
New Z170 BIOS for BCLK OC'ing on non K CPU's coming right up
— Jacob Freeman (@EVGA_JacobF) January 15, 2016
Update: The new BIOS 1.07 enabling non-K BLCK OC is now available from EVGA.
We have been following the story of BCLK overclocking of locked Skylake CPUs since early last month, when Techspot published benchmarks from an Intel Core i3-6100 clocked at 4.70 GHz - thanks to a pre-release ASRock BIOS. The BIOS has since been released, and other vendors are updating their Z170 motherboards to support these locked processors as well, the latest being EVGA.
It remains to be seen if Intel will have anything to say about their cheaper "locked" processors becoming more attractive to potential overclockers, as the unlocked K parts have provided a nice profit margin for the company. So far, board partners are moving forward seemingly unimpeded with the updates to remove the overclocking limitations, and that's great news for enthusiasts.
Subject: Motherboards | January 13, 2016 - 07:00 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: small form factor, SFF, mini-stx, LGA 1151, Intel H110, ECS, CES 2016, CES
ECS has entered the brand new Mini-STX market with their H110SU-02 motherboard, one of our first looks at a motherboard based on Intel's 5x5 concept for a sub-mITX form-factor.
The ECS H110SU-02 (Image credit: Maximum PC)
As you can see this tiny motherboard offers a standard LGA 1151 socket for Intel processors up to 65W, and uses SoDIMM memory (DDR4). The board only offers one SATA port, with a pair of M.2 slots in a stacked configuration for both full-length (2280) SSDs and the shorter (2230) cards such as wireless network adapters.
- Platform: Intel H110/B150 chipset
- CPU: LGA1151 socket for Intel i3/i5/i7/Pentium/Celeron Processors (65W)
- Memory: 2x SO-DIMM DDR4 slots
- Storage: 1x M.2 Slot (2280); 1x SATA
- Networking: RJ45; 1x M.2 Slot (2230) for Wi-Fi/Bluetooth 4.0 card
- USB: 1x USB 3.1 Type-C; 2x USB 3.0 ports
- Audio: 3.5 mm combo jack
- Power Supply: DC-in 19V, 90W
- Dimensions (W x D) 140 x 147 mm
Mini-SFX vs. Mini-ITX comparison (Image credit: Maximum PC)
Maximum PC posted this video with their overview of the motherboard:
With no PCI Express slot and the limitation of a 65W processor (which eliminates current high-end models such as the Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K, both at 91W) this is targeting a different audience than those choosing mini-ITX for a small gaming rig, for example. Still, there will undoubtedly be a number of applications for a system of just over 5 inches square; though Intel's existing NUC platform provides essentially the same experience in a smaller package, minus the socketed desktop CPU support, of course.
No details were given on pricing or availability.
Subject: Motherboards | November 20, 2015 - 02:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: asus, TUF SABERTOOTH Z170, LGA 1151
It has been a while since we saw a new Sabertooth motherboard from the other side of ASUS, The Ultimate Force, up for review but [H]ard|OCP has remedied that with the new Z170 member of this line of products. It bears the same Thermal Armour design as previous models, adding a small fan that doesn't quite fit in with the overall design of the motherboard. As well you will notice an absence of a visible CMOS battery, it is indeed buried under the armour. [H]ard|OCP were less than impressed with the memory subsystem, the board is rated for DDR4 2400MHz DIMMs maximum and no higher. On the other hand the incredible stability of this board and the amount of features available on this relatively inexpensive Z170 board did garner a Gold Award. Read the full review to understand the benefits and drawbacks of this motherboard.
"In our opinion ASUS’ TUF series motherboards target the sweet spot in regard to features, price, and performance. TUF motherboards give you more features than most mid-range motherboards but lack certain features found on the high end. The Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 is the flagship part of the current TUF series."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASRock Fatal1ty Z170 GAMING K6+ (Intel LGA-1151) @ techPowerUp
- Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 Review @ OCC
- ASUS Z170I PRO GAMING @ eTeknix
- ASUS Maximus VIII Gene Motherboard Review @ Hardware Canucks
- MSI X99A SLI Plus @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | November 16, 2015 - 03:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Skylake, LGA 1151, leak, kaby lake, intel 200, Intel, cannon lake
Benchlife.info got hold of two slides from an Intel presentation for Kaby Lake which cover some of the features you can expect to find on the new processor family. As with all leaks you should ensure you take a dosage of Sodium Chloride while looking through the information.
The Intel 200 chipset will provide up to 30 PCIe lanes, 24 of which can be dedicated to PCIe slots and another half dozen for SATA 6Gbps. The chipset can also manage up to 10 USB 3.0 ports though do not expect to see all of these present on a board at the same time, there is only so much bandwidth to go around, as M.2 slots were not mentioned and will also share the PCIe pool. If you are wondering what Intel Optane Technology is you can be forgiven as apparently calling it NVME support would be too easy.
As for the processor, it will remain LGA 1151 with power ranging from 35W to 95W which means it should be compatible with existing boards, assuming a UEFI update is released. The processor will support hardware acceleration for 10-bit VP9 playback and 10-bit HVEC encoding, as well as supporting 5K video at 30Hz and 60Hz, impressive for an onboard GPU. The processors will be unlocked and have enhanced BCLK overclocking as well. As you would expect the CPU is ready for NVMe, Thunderbolt 3 and even Intel RealSense. Follow the link if you want to give your translator program a workout.