Subject: Motherboards | February 2, 2019 - 10:12 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: mini ITX, LGA 1151, Intel, coffee lake, asrock
ASRock is preparing to launch a new Mini ITX motherboard based on Intel’s B365 chipset. The aptly-named ASRock B365M-ITX/ac pairs the new (but based on older 22nm fabrication processes) chipset with the LGA 1151 socket and support for the latest 8th and 9th Generation Intel Core processors along with support for up to 64GB of DDR4 memory in two DIMM slots (specifications aren’t clear if the new 32GB DC-DIMMs are supported or if this is just for future reference). The B365M-ITX/ac takes advantage of ASRock’s “Super Alloy” suite of technologies which includes five phase digital power delivery, 60-amp chokes and dual stacked MOSFETs along with the black glass PCB.
The Mini ITX motherboard supports Intel processors up to 95W. Connectivity includes a single PCI-E x16 slot, one M.2 Key E for Wi-Fi modules in line with the rear I/O (with an included Intel 802.11ac + BT 4.2 module), one M.2 22110 slot for solid state drives (B365 does support Optane), and four SATA 3 ports. ASRock uses an Intel I219V NIC for Gigabit Ethernet and while the B365 chipset does not have built-in Wi-Fi there is an Intel wireless module for 802.11ac 2.4GHz/5GHz Wi-Fi bundled with the board. Audio is handled by a 7.1 channel Realtek ALC887 codec that has been spruced up slightly with ELNA capacitors.
Rear I/O on the B365M-ITX/ac includes HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort video outputs up top followed by one PS/2 port, four USB 3.1 Gen 1 (10Gbps), one RJ45 jack for Gigabit Ethernet, two Wi-Fi antenna connectors, and three 3.5mm audio outputs.
Unfortunately pricing and availability have not been announced yet. With that said, looking around online, I would guess that the B365-based board will launch somewhere around $100 at retail (MSRP may be a bit higher) with the B360M-ITX/ac board sitting at around $90 right now and the higher end Fatality boards using the higher end Z chipsets sitting around $120+.
The B365M-ITX/ac appears to be an interesting board that will hopefully fall on the budget side of pricing. I am looking forward to the reviews on this as the spacing seems better than average (Morry will appreciate the CMOS battery placement), and I/O is decent. The audio doesn’t seem to be as beefed up as some of the competition, however, and USB 3.1 Gen 2 or Thunderbolt would have been nice-to-have along with right angled power connectors but all that would add to the cost. In any event, the more small form factor options, the merrier (so long as the quality is there)!
What are your thoughts on ASRock’s latest SFF offering?
- Mini ITX Motherboards @ PC Perspective
- Intel Adds B365 Chipset to Lineup: The Return of 22nm @ AnandTech
Subject: Cases and Cooling | June 26, 2018 - 03:12 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: thermaltake, SFF, LGA 1151, lga 1150, Intel
Following the release of the Engine 27 two years ago, Thermaltake is taking another stab at the Sandia Labs and CoolChip Technologies inspired air bearing metallic fan heatsink with the tiny Engine 17 cooler which, at a mere 17mm tall, is suitable for even the smallest SFF systems. The Engine 17 CPU cooler is compatible with the newer Intel 115x sockets (LGA 1150, 1151, 1155, and 1156). Measuring 95.1mm x 95.1mm x 17mm, the heatsink features a round nickel plated copper base that contacts the CPU IHS. A metallic PWM fan (9 CFM) with 40 blades spins at at 1,500 to 2,500 RPM while a thin layer of air acts as both a bearing and a heat exchange layer. A ring of 119 angled stationary fins surround the fan and help with cooling.
The Engine 17 cooler has a notably small footprint with the entire cooler staying well within the bounds of the socket mounting holes and barely covering the VRMs in Thermaltake's demo images. There is definitely no need to worry about RAM compatibility with this cooler. The downside, of course, is that the size limits the processors it can cool. Thermaltake claims that the smaller Engine 17 cooler can cool up to 35W TDP processors and while it may not win any temperature feats, it should at least be fairly quiet (it is rated at 11 to 23 dBA). It would enable a very thin SFF system with an AMD Ryzen 5 2400GE or Ryzen 3 2200GE or Intel Coffee Lake T-series e.g. i7-8700T) CPU. Such a system could be used as a quiet and discreet home theater PC or game streaming endpoint or (as Thermaltake is playing up) in a 1U server for low power servers and networking devices.
The Thermaltake Engine 17 will be available soon though exact dates and pricing are still to be determined. It will likely be a bit less than the larger $47 Engine 27 cooler though.
- CoolChip Technologies Teases New Kinetic Cooler For Skylake Processors
- CoolChip Technologies and Cooler Master Show Kinetic Cooling - CES 2015 [Video]
- The fanless heatsink: Silent, dust-immune, and almost ready for prime time @ ExtremeTech
Subject: Cases and Cooling | March 6, 2018 - 01:41 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: LGA 1151, Intel, watercooler, Ncore, V1, waterblock
If you delidded your LGA 1151 the chances are you are overclocking and are looking for even more efficient ways to move heat away from your processor. [H]ard|OCP just took a look at a unique new prototype from Ncore that might be the solution you are looking for. The waterblock lacks a mounting frame, sitting directly on top of the CPU socket and using the socket locking mechanism to secure it to your processor. A KickStarter for this cooler will begin on April 1st, for now you can check out the video showing you how the cooler mounts as well as a teardown.
"Ncore is a prototype water block that has made its way to us for testing, and it is interesting enough for use to give it some test bench time. This V1 model of the Ncore uses the LGA 1151 socket to mount it to your delidded Intel processor. This block is tiny compared to almost any other air or water cooler on the market. Let's see what it is about."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- A Look At Enermax’s Equilence Mid-tower Chassis & Liqtech TR4 280 AIO Cooler @ Techgage
- IceMan Ryzen Threadripper CPU Water Block @ [H]ard|OCP
- Deepcool Captain 240EX RGB @ TechPowerUp
- Cooler Master MA620P RGB @ Kitguru
- CRYORIG H7 Quad Lumi @ [H]ard|OCP
- The Best CPU Coolers @ Techspot
- Silverstone FHP141 Fan @ TechPowerUp
- Phanteks Eclipse P400S Review @ OCC
- Ostrog Lite @ Modders-Inc
- Fractal Design Meshify Mini C @ Guru of 3D
- NZXT H700i Mid-Tower ATX @ Benchmark Reviews
- Fractal Design: Meshify C Mini - Tempered Glass Edition @ Modders-Inc
- Corsair Carbide 275R @ Guru of 3D
- MasterBox Q300L @ Modders Inc
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.