Introduction and Features
Courtesy of Gigabyte
We are still making our way through an avalanche of X79 motherboards on our test bench that leverages the power of Sandy Bridge-E CPUs, but we didn't want to wait any longer on powering up Gigabyte's GA-X79-UD5 extended ATX motherboard. Gigabyte has really stepped up their game by offering optimized LGA 2011 for no-nonsense PC builders, hardware enthusiasts, serious overclockers, and even FPS/RPG PC gamers. Our review of the X79-UD5 is going to evaluate every aspect of the board's ability to handle automatic and manual overclocking, DX10/DX11 gaming, and other synthetic and real-world benchmarks.
Courtesy of Gigabyte
The Gigabyte X79-UD5 motherboard takes full advantage of the new features available with the LGA 2011 platform and X79 Express chipset like the abiliy to use up to 64GBs of quad-channel memory via eight DIMMs and support for dual and triple AMD CrossfireX or NVIDIA SLI graphics card configurations for multi-monitor, high-definition gaming. These features should make ultra enthusiasts grin from ear to ear because they will probably be the ones who tandem this board with an Intel Core i7-3960X processor and dual NVIDIA GTX 680s graphics cards that were just released earlier this week. The $299 price tag on this board also places it right in the middle of the pack of LGA 2011 motherboards available on Newegg and other vendors.
7-series based motherboards from ASUS
This is going to be an interesting couple of months as the industry balances the move from Sandy Bridge to the 3rd Generation of Intel Core processor and the 7-series chipsets. We have documented the rumored delays of the Ivy Bridge CPUs but it looks like Intel is moving ahead with the Z77/H77 chipset launch as planned. This means that from now until whenever those new CPUs actually launch we will see quite a few new motherboards announced from the typical vendors claiming "future platform compatibility."
Recently we spent some time with our friends at ASUS to learn about its plans for the Z77 launch and I must say I came away quite impressed with the technology and features being integrated. Today I am allowed to share with you some photos and basic information about the features being offered on the ASUS Z77 lineup, though without much hands-on time we are limited in what we can say.
There are going to be options ranging from the high-end Maximus V Formula to the budget priced P8Z77-V to the ultra-niche with the mini-ITX P8Z77-I Deluxe. Enjoy!
Subject: Motherboards, Processors, Chipsets | February 29, 2012 - 12:03 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: just delivered, z77a-gd65, Z77, sandy bridge, msi, Ivy Bridge, Intel
In preparation for Intel's 3rd generation of Intel Core microprocessor architecture (can you see we are dancing around things already), MSI has started showing a new line of motherboards. While at CES in January we saw the Z77A-GD65 option that will be available soon and offers some interesting new specs and features.
The Z77A-GD65 sports Military Class III components as well as support for a host of new items including PCI Express 3.0 and USB 3.0. While we can't share much more than that in terms of details I thought it might be worth showing off a few shots of the upcoming motherboard from our friends at MSI.
Subject: Processors, Chipsets, Memory | November 7, 2011 - 03:07 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: corsair, vengeance, sandy bridge-e, just delivered
Just Delivered is a new section of PC Perspective where we share some of the goodies that pass through our labs that may or may not see a review, but are pretty cool none the less.
Sometimes we receive interesting packages in the mail and when we get things from Corsair, we tend to pay attention. Oddly, I had not seen a box quite this size before. What comes from Corsair in the shape of a cube?
As it turns out, it was four 16GB DDR3 memory kits, preparing our team for the upcoming Sandy Bridge-E platform reviews!
Each kit includes 4 modules, getting us ready for the quad-channel memory controller on the upcoming Intel CPU. Corsair included both Vengeance and Vengeance LP kits for us, offering an option is lower profile for potentially larger heatsinks.
For motherboards that will ship with 8 DIMM slots, this allows us to test configurations as high as 32GB!! We are going to be covering all of these bases for you in the coming weeks before launch but don't worry - we are going test the standard 4 x 2GB configurations as well. :)
Subject: Motherboards, Chipsets | October 16, 2011 - 10:23 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: evga, x79, classified
NVIDIA held its 6th GeForce LAN this weekend on the USS Hornet aircraft carrier based in Oakland, CA and at that event EVGA took the time to show off its upcoming X79 Classified motherboard. As reported by the guys over at Legit Reviews, there will apparently by three different models available at the time of the Socket 2011, Sandy Bridge-E launch sometime in November.
With plans to release an SLI, FTW and Classified model, EVGA was showcasing the flagship Classified model on stage with overclocker Kingpin. You can see that the board above has some very unique layout points and features including five x16 PCIe slots (with a single x1) and support for Quad SLI all spaced out for large graphics cards. EVGA is using their enthusiast expertise to design a board specifically for power users it appears.
From the back panel it looks like the board will have 8 total USB 3.0 ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet, eSATA and Bluetooth.
Intel was also on the stage and showed off its new Socket 2011 and LGA1366/1155/1156 compatible self-contained water cooler with a custom design from Asetek. It should be available around the same time as the pending Sandy Bridge-E platform release, boxed and sold separately. Interestingly it was pointed out that the fan was designed and built by Intel directly which will "offer a superior single fan cooling solution also optimized for outstanding acoustics." I am eager to see what Intel was able to do differently than other cooling vendors.
There are more photos and details on the EVGA X79 Classified motherboard over at Legit Reviews so head over there for more!
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Processors, Chipsets, Systems, Storage, Mobile, Shows and Expos | September 15, 2011 - 12:15 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: live blog, Intel, idf 2011, idf
PC Perspective is all over the 2011 Intel Developer Forum and we'll be covering it LIVE here all week. Expect to hear news about Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge-E, SSDs, X79 chipsets, 22nm tri-gate transistors and more! We will have specific news posts about the major topics but if you want to keep up with our information to the minute, then you'll want to migrate to this page throughout Tuesday, Wednesay and Thursday morning.
You can also hit up http://www.pcper.com/category/tags/idf to see all of the posts relating to and coming from IDF this week!
Feel free to leave comments for me on what exactly you want to know and I will do my best to address your questions as the day progresses.
Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Motherboards, Processors, Chipsets | September 12, 2011 - 10:22 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Intel, idf 2011, idf
It is once again time for our annual pilgrimage to the land of the Golden Gate to spend a few days with our friends at Intel and the Intel Developer Forum. IDF is one of the most informative events that I attend and I am always impressed by the openness and detail with which Intel showcases its upcoming products and future roadmap. This year looks to be no different.
What do we have on the agenda? First and foremost, we expect to hear all about Ivy Bridge and the architecture changes it brings to the Sandy Bridge CPUs currently in the market. Will we see increased x86 performance or maybe increases in the likelihood of us recommending the integrated graphics? More information is set to be revealed on the 22nm tri-gate transistor as well as the X79 chipset and the Sandy Bridge-E enthusiast platform. SSDs and Ultrabooks are also set on the docket. It's going to be busy.
But what would a week in downtown San Francisco be without visits from other companies as well? We are set to meet with Lucid, MSI, ASUS, Gigabyte, Corsair, HP and of course, AMD. I expect we will have just as much to say about what each of these companies has on display as we do Intel's event.
I am planning on live blogging many of the sessions I will be attending so stay tuned to PC Perspective all week for the latest!!
Subject: Processors, Chipsets, Mobile | July 6, 2011 - 04:09 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: WTI, VIA, S3 Graphics, htc
Low power x86 processor maker VIA Technologies today announced that it is selling off the entirety of its stake in S3 Graphics to popular phone manufacturer HTC. Having acquired S3 Graphics in 2001, the company planned to integrate graphics capabilities into its processors and chipsets. In 2005 S3 graphics became under capitalized and VIA brought in WTI a private investment company to fun operations and R&D initiatives. Cher Wang, the chairman of VIA is a “significant shareholder.”
Under the agreement, all of VIA’s shares in S3 Graphics are worth $300 million. VIA will receive $147 million while WTI will receive $153 million. Of the $147 million, VIA will recognize a capital gain of $37 million and a paid-in-capital of $115 million.
The Senior Vice President and Board Director of VIA, Tzu-mu Lin, stated that “The Transaction would allow VIA to monetize a portion of its rich IP portfolio, yet retain its graphics capabilities to support the development and sale of its processors and chipsets.” The transaction is subject to approvals from the board directors of VIA, WTI, and HTC and is expected to close before the end of the year.
HTC seems to be interested in acquiring graphics IP, which begs the question whether the phone manufacturer is planning to design its own ARM S3 graphics chips for its future phones. What do you think of the deal?
Subject: Motherboards, Chipsets | May 31, 2011 - 02:35 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: computex, ROG, asus, crosshair, z68, maximus
On the first day of Computex 2011, ASUS held an event in Taipei to announce a host of new ROG (Republic of Gamers) branded devices including motherboards, displays, headphones, notebooks and even a desktop system.
For the Intel Sandy Bridge platform ASUS is releasing the Maximus IV GENE-Z and Maximus IV Extreme-Z that will both obviously use the Intel Z68 chipset and support the host of new features it introduces including Smart Response Technology and dual-graphics capability with Lucid Virtu. The GENE model is the micro-ATX variant that that supports SLI and CrossFire in addition to the Sandy Bridge graphics technology. For a full size solution the Maximus IV Extreme-Z offers four full-size PCIe x16 slots and support for 3-Way SLI and CrossFireX.
For the AMD platform the Crosshair V Formula is the first ROG board to use the new AMD 990FX chipset as well as the first AMD board in a LONG time with support SLI in addition to CrossFire graphics scaling. Not only that, but this board will be the first ASUS option to offer the innovative UEFI BIOS that users on the Intel front have had access to for some time. While the Crosshair V Formula will work with current Phenom processors the big selling point is that it will support the upcoming AMD Bulldozer-based processors with the AM3+ socket due later in 2011.
A slightly more expensive Crosshair V Formula/Thunderbolt SKU will be available as well that will include an ASUS Thunderbolt card that combines ASUS Xonar audio capability (and built-in headphone amplifier) with the BigFoot Networks Killer NIC E2100 NPU. We can debate the value of Killer NIC addition to your system all day, but if you want it, that option will be available from ASUS in July.
All three boards will include the overclocking and performance features that users of the ROG brand have come to expect and will be available this month. Be sure to check out PC Perspective for reviews of all the new ROG offerings!
Subject: Processors, Chipsets, Systems | May 19, 2011 - 06:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: sapphire, ion 2, htpc
At an estimated $450, the Sapphire Edge HD mini PC, powered by a dual core Atom D510 1.66 GHz with ION 2 graphics is a pretty good deal for those looking for a nettop. With only 250GB of storage you will probably want this connected to a large storage device either over ethernet or USB, though with services like Google Music Beta, Wolfgang's Vault and YouTube that might not be a problem. From InsideHW's testing you certainly won't have to worry about videos skipping just because your email is open.
"A dual-core CPU that won’t be stricken down by several programs running at the same time, GeForce that chews on any video that you put in front of it, sufficient RAM to make Windows 7 jump around, complete support for all types of video/audio formats and subtitles, and all this for a price of a good Blu-ray player - what else could you wish for?"
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- ECS HDC-I Mini-ITX Fusion Board Review @ Madshrimps
- Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 @ iXBT Labs
- ASUS E35M1-I DELUXE @ Tweaktown
- Sony VAIO VPC-L218FX Review @ TechReviewSource