Shut up! MEG did good at Threadripping

Subject: Motherboards | September 7, 2018 - 02:55 PM |
Tagged: msi, eatx, B350I PRO AC, b350, amd

Threadripper boards are expensive and the MSI MEG X399 Creation is no exception and Guru 3D takes a look to see if it is a good value.  This eATX board sports four PCIe 16x slots and a pair of PCIe 1x slots, support for up to eight DIMMs of DDR4-3600 and three M.2 ports, not counting the M.2 Xpander-Aero PCIe add-in card looks like a GPU but instead adds an additional four M.2 ports.  That barely scratches the surface of what the MEG has to offer; more will be revealed to you if you visit Guru 3D.

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"For Ryzen Threadripper 2000 MSI released a new motherboard which we review, their MEG X399 Creation. The board is stylish, loaded with features has subtle LED effects, terrific WIFI and obviously off..."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

MSI's B350I PRO AC, gone but not forgotten

Subject: Motherboards | August 24, 2018 - 04:15 PM |
Tagged: mini-itx, msi, b350, B350I PRO AC, amd, ryzen

The MSI B350I Pro AC is not a new motherboard but it is worth remembering for anyone looking to build a small system.  However [H]ard|OCP is teasing you a bit; the board was in stock when they started the review but has been discontinued very recently with the B450I Gaming Plus AC replacing it.  Why is it worth looking at, you may ask?  The board is a solid base to build a SFF system off of and will be selling at a discount if you can find it; so keep your eyes open and you might get it for a song.

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"While we might be late to the party with a B350 review, we were running tests with it and were so impressed we thought we would put it through the full review process. MSI’s B350I PRO AC might just have been worth the wait. How does this inexpensive powerhouse fair against more expensive offerings?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Gigabyte Launches X399 Aorus Xtreme Motherboard for Threadripper 2

Subject: Motherboards | August 8, 2018 - 11:41 PM |
Tagged: X399, tr4, threadripper 2, Threadripper, gigabyte, aorus, amd

Gigabyte is gearing up for AMD’s Threadripper 2 processors with the launch of the X399 Aorus Xtreme motherboard which represents the company’s new flagship model for the TR4 socket. The new high end motherboard has been souped-up a bit to support the higher TDP Threadripper 2 processors with a beefed up 10+3 digital power phase and active cooling for the VRMs while also featuring RGB Fusion and modern I/O connectivity options for internal and external components. Gigabyte’s new flagship will be available soon with MSRP pricing of $449.

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The X399 Aorus Xtreme motherboard nestles the TR4 socket in the middle of eight DDR4 DIMM slots (quad channel up to 3466 MHz or 3600+ when overclocking). Along the top edge of the motherboard are 10 50A IR3578 digital power phases with high current mosfets for vCore and there are 3 more phases in the left corner of the board (between the DIMM slot and rear IO) for SOC power. The digital IR power phases are cooled by a direct touch heat pipe where the mosfets make contact using new 5W/mK thermal pads on the top side and also reportedly a bit more cooling from a “nano carbon” baseplate on the underside of the motherboard PCB. The heatpipe runs through one passive and one actively cooled fins array heatsink that uses two 30mm fans hidden under the rear IO armor. The board is powered by two 8-pin CPU power, one 24-pin ATX, and one six pin PCI-E power connectors.

The motherboard further features four PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots, one PCI-E 2.0 x1 slot, three M.2 (PCI-E 3.0 NVMe) slots (two 22110 and one 2280), and six SATA ports. The motherboard supports 4-way graphics card setups with the cards running at x16/x8/x16/x8.

Onboard controllers include audio from Realtek, three Ethernet NICs, and a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth radios. The Aorus AMP UP audio uses a Realtek ALC1220-VB audio codec paired with an ESS 9118EQ SABRE DAC and Nichicon capacitors and gold-plated audio jacks. As for the networking, the board has a single 10 Gigabit Ethernet NIC from Aquantia, two Intel i220AT Gigabit Ethernet NICs, and Intel wireless controller for dual band 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2.

Rear I/O on the X399 Aorus Xtreme includes:

  • Two physical buttons for power/reset and clear CMOS
  • 8x USB 3.0 Type-A
  • 2x USB 3.1 (1x Type-A, 1x Type-C)
  • 6x Audio (5x 3.5mm analog, 1x optical S/PDIF)

Of course, no high-end enthusiast motherboard would be complete without RGB, and the X399 Aorus Xtreme has that in spades with built in RGB on the heatsinks and multiple headers for adding even more RGB. The RGB Fusion includes two addressable RGB LED headers and two standard RGBW LED headers. The board also has multiple fan and hybrid cooling headers scattered throughout as part of Gigabyte’s Smart Fan 5 suite.

I am looking forward to the reviews of this and other Threadripper 2 motherboards and in seeing how the beefed up cooling and power might help both second and first generation Threadripper processors especially if overclocking!

Source: Gigabyte
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

The GIGABYTE X470 AORUS Gaming 7 WIFI board features a matte black PCB with with a black armor overlay protecting the rear panel and audio components, as well as an integrated rear panel shield. In keeping with their previous AORUS series board designs, GIGABYTE spread RGB LEDs throughout the board's surface, configurable via the UEFI or the windows app. The board supports the AMD Ryzen 2 series processor line and Dual Channel DDR4 memory via the AMD X470 chipset. The X470 AORUS Gaming 7 WiFi motherboard can be found at most retailers with an MRSP of $239.99

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

The following features have been integrated into the board: six SATA III 6Gbps ports; two M.2 PCIe x4 capable ports (one PCIe 2.0 and one PCIe 3.0); an RJ-45 port featuring an Intel I211-AT Gigabit NIC; dual antennae ports tied to the Intel 802.11ac WiFi controller; three PCI-Express x16 slots; two PCI-Express x1 slots; a Realtek audio CODEC; an integrated HDMI video port; and USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 Type-A and Type-C port support.

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

To power the board, GIGABYTE integrated integrated a 12-phase (10+2) digital power delivery system into the X470 AORUS Gaming 7 WIFI board's design. The digital power system was designed with IR digital power controllers and PowIRstage ICs, Server Level Chokes, and Durable Black capacitors. The power components used are the same as those used to great effect on their AORUS Intel boards.

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

GIGABYTE integrated a variety of fan headers and temperature sensors into the board They integrated temperature sensors into the CPU socket, VRMs, and chipset. Additionally, there are monitored fan headers spread throughout the board's surface, all supporting high current devices (fans or water pumps), rated for up to 24W (2A at 12V).

Continue reading our preview of the GIGABYTE X470 AORUS Gaming 7 WiFi motherboard!

GIGABYTE Announces Aorus B450 Motherboard Series

Subject: Motherboards | July 31, 2018 - 02:52 PM |
Tagged: ryzen, gigabyte, b450, aorus, amd

Aorus have listed their new B450 motherboards which include three ATX boards, two mATX and a single mini-ITX to chose from.

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Aorus have added new audio in the form of the ALC1220 SNR HD Audio with Smart
Headphone Amp which will detect the impedance on your headphones and adjust the power automatically.  Smart Fan 5 with FAN STOP along with the M.2 thermal guards should keep your temperatures under control as well as the sound levels.  As you would expect there are an impressive array of coloured LEDs as well as software to control them. 

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Bucking the trend lately to make determining what a product is by reading the name, Aorus included this slide in their deck to help you translate the various models quickly.  As the B450 series is intended to be a less expensive choice, prices matter and as you can see below, just before the PR, they are quite attractive.

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GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced the release of the new B450 AORUS Motherboard series. These new models support the full spectrum of AMD Ryzen processors and boast innovative technologies, including AMD StoreMI as a way to accelerate traditional HDDs to speed levels only found in SSDs. Premium details such as the integrated I/O shield, next-gen Wi-Fi and USB Type-C connectivity enhance the user experience. A new armor design highlights the contours of the AORUS falcon while providing an advanced cooling solution for one of the most critical areas of the motherboard.

With this launch, GIGABYTE is also introducing a new naming scheme for the AORUS models. It better represents model hierarchy using terminology more familiar to gamers with B450 AORUS PRO and B450 AORUS ELITE as the top options based on the B450 chipset from AMD.

With dual M.2 design and two M.2 thermal guards, the arsenal of connectivity options extends to the realm of what is typically reserved for high-end enthusiast platforms. This feature is quintessential for reaching and maintaining the highest storage performance possible without worrying about thermal throttling.

B450 AORUS PRO WIFI and B450 I AORUS PRO WIFI feature blazing fast Intel Dual Band 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Despite its compact form factor, the Mini-ITX model steps it up even further with the added benefits of Intel Dual Band 802.11ac Wave 2 technology.

The updated ALC1220-VB audio codec paired with WIMA and Chemicon audio capacitors guarantee a superb onboard audio experience able to provide a whole new universe of immersion while playing games, watching movies or enjoying music. The clarity of voice communication is has also been upgraded, particularly when using the front microphone jack where the SNR is now improved to 110dB(A).

The feature-rich back panel of B450 AORUS motherboards offers all the latest connectivity options, including USB 3.1 Gen2 with both Type-C and Type-A connectors. The I/O shield is now integrated on the motherboard to preserve the premium AORUS look at all times and taking users' convenience in consideration.

Smart Fan 5 with Fan Stop is the highly acclaimed cooling technology found on these motherboards and, it plays a crucial role in cooling the motherboard along with all other components during intensive loading scenarios. Multiple hybrid fan headers and temperature sensors placed along the motherboard are the core of this technology and work in tandem with a powerful software suite to give users full control over their thermal solutions.

B450 AORUS Motherboards offer an unbelievable level of customization. Powered by the advanced RGB Fusion lighting system which offers multiple programmable LED illuminated zones, stunning effects, and 16.8 million colors. Added support for 12V and 5V digital LED strips via 4-pin headers provide endless possiblities to make each computer look unique.

Signature GIGABYTE Ultra Durable components such as PCIe armor, where proprietary metal shielding enhances the strength of the slots to support heavy graphics cards and DualBIOS, the leading protection against common BIOS failures, reinforces the ability of these motherboards to withstand the test of time.

The initial lineup of B450 AORUS Motherboards consists of the B450 AORUS PRO WIFI, the B450 AORUS PRO and the B450 AORUS ELITE using the ATX form factor, B450 AORUS M as the mATX solution, and B450 I AORUS PRO WIFI for Mini-ITX.

Source: Gigabyte

Meet AMD's new B450 chipset, starting with the MSI GAMING PRO CARBON AC

Subject: Motherboards | July 31, 2018 - 02:15 PM |
Tagged: amd, b450, msi, GAMING PRO CARBON AC, B450 GAMING PRO CARBON AC

Today marks the launch of AMD's new B450 series motherboards which bring StorMI as well as Precision Boost Overdrive and Ryzen Master software to lower costs systems, as long as your Ryzen supports that feature.  This is more than just an announcement as several reviews also appeared, including this one from TechPowerUp.  The newest MSI GAMING PRO CARBON AC uses the B450 chipset, along with a variety of of software from MSI to control your RGBs as well as tweaking your clocks.  The board showed excellent potential, a Ryzen 5 2600+ easily hit 4.3 GHz at 1.35V with DDR4 stable at 3466MHz.  Check the full review for all the details.

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"The AMD B450 series chipset is here, with the full-size ATX MSI B450 GAMING PRO CARBON AC. MSI is walking the tightrope of a budget board that still offers a premium experience, for example it has two M.2 slots, full RGB support and WiFi."

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Source: TechPowerUp

ASRock's X470 Taichi Ultimate power up and test

Subject: Motherboards | July 4, 2018 - 05:22 PM |
Tagged: asrock, X470 Taichi Ultimate, x470, amd, ryzen 2

The new generation of AMD boards feature some interesting aesthetic choices, such you can see on ASRock's X470 Taichi Ultimate.  The black and grey theme is contrasted by the RGBs you already knew were present, but it is worth noting that TechPowerUp considered the implementation of the blinken lighten as exceptional.  Sadly the same could not be said of the audio chipset on the board, which they found lacklustre for a flagship model.  Their overclocking tests showed no deficiencies, the boards ability was met or exceeded the other X470 boards they have tried.

As it is a flagship motherboard, there are quite a few features to cover in the review, which you can find here.

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"In addition to the new features brought to the X470 chipset, the Taichi Ultimate offers additional SATA ports, 10 gigabit Ethernet, and superior control in overclocking using the Hyper BCLK Engine II, just to name a few. ASRock's Taichi line of motherboards have traditionally been top performers. Can the ASRock X470 Taichi Ultimate and X470 chipset match up?"

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Source: TechPowerUp
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Introduction and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

The X299 Designare EX motherboard is GIGiABYTE's latest flagship product offering support for Intel's HEDT chipset and processor line. With it's late entry into the fray, GIGABYTE was able to tweak its layout and feature set to make the Designare board a more appealing product over previously introduced boards. Built around the Intel X299 chlipset, the board supports the Intel LGA2066 processor line, including the Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors, with support for Quad-Channel DDR4 memory running at a 2667MHz speed. The X299 Designare EX can be found in retail with an MRSP of around $500.00.

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

GIGABYTE integrated the following features into the X299 Designare EX motherboard: eight SATA III 6Gbps ports; three M.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 32Gbps capable ports with Intel Optane support built-in; dual Intel Gigabit RJ-45 ports - Intel I219-V Gigabit and Intel I211 controllers; an Intel 8265 802.11ac WiFi controller; five PCI-Express x16 slots; Realtek® ALC1220 8-Channel audio subsystem; and USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 Type-A and Type-C port support. GIGABYTE also integrated there steel-based armor slots for the board's PCIe and memory slots, giving them added strength and durability.

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

For added strength, rigidity, and underside protection, GIGABYTE integrated a metal armor under plate onto the board's underside much like that seen on ASUS' TUF board line. The under plate also acts as a secondary heat dissipation path. Further, GIGABYTE integrated a metal rear I/O Shield over the rear panel components, adding out of the box protection for those normal exposed ports.

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

To power the board, GIGABYTE integrated integrated a 13-phase digital power delivery system into the X299 Designare EX's design. The digital power system was designed with IR digital power controllers and PowIRstage ICs, Server Level Chokes, and Durable Black capacitors.

Continue reading our preview of the GIGABYTE X299 Designare EX motherboard!

Gigabyte bakes Optane right into their latest Z370 motherboards

Subject: Motherboards | June 13, 2018 - 04:27 PM |
Tagged: Z370, gigabyte, aorus, GAMING 7-OP, ULTRA GAMING WIFI-OP, ULTRA GAMING 2.0-OP, HD3-OP

A limited number of Gigabyte's new Z370 motherboards will come with 32GB of Optane built  in the board, or at least that is how the PR describes it.

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The boards will ship with Gigabyte's M.2 Thermal Guard installed which leads one to surmise that these are not permanently connected to the motherboard similar to how a BGA processor is installed but are instead already installed in an M.2 slot.  Regardless of how they attached it, you get the benefits of Optane memory right from the beginning, which is not a bad thing in any way.

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This is not their first bundle, you can still grab an Ultra Gaming + 32GB Optane on Amazon, which gives us an idea of the price.  Lets hope we don't see branding which describes the board as coming with 32GB of RAM already installed as this could lead to a lot of disappointment for someone who didn't pick up any DDR4. 

You can see the effect of using Optane memory on your computer in Ken's review.

 

 

Source: Gigabyte

He's a VII time Crosshair Hero!

Subject: Motherboards | June 8, 2018 - 04:36 PM |
Tagged: asus, x470, amd, ryzen, crosshair vii hero, AM4

Even after years of suggestions and beratement, CMOS battery placement remains a sore spot for a variety of reveiwers.  The Crosshair VII Hero is no exception, where the battery will be buried under you GPU; what is exceptional is that this is the sole shortcoming to this AM4 board.  [H]ard|OCP were duly impressed by the features and performance of this board, as well as the price tag, which is nicely under $300.   Whether you plan on taking advantage of Precision Boost 2 or manually overclocking, this is a board worth checking out.

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"Along with the second generation AMD Ryzen CPUs, we are getting the new and somewhat improved X470 chipset motherboards. We have been beating on the Crosshair VII Hero for about a month now and have figured out what we like about, outside of it being an excellent overclocker for the Ryzen 7 CPUs."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP