Gigabyte Launches Flagship AORUS Z390 XTREME Motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | November 7, 2018 - 09:53 PM |
Tagged: gigabyte, aorus, Z390, Intel Z390

Gigabyte is launching a new flagship Z390 chipset-based motherboard under its AORUS brand. The aptly-named Z390 AORUS Xtreme ratchets up the aesthetics, power delivery, connectivity, and the RGB Fusion to prepare for Intel’s newest 9th Generation Core processors including the eight core Core i9 9900K.

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The AORUS Xtreme uses a 16-phase Digital IR power phase design that can self-balance to reduce clocks of VRM controller and heat generated by the various phases especially under heavy overclocking scenarios. Gigabyte continues to include its Fins-Array heatsinks though they have been upgraded to four direct touch heatpipes to help cool the VRM areas. There is also a massive backplate and coating on the underside of the PCB to help dissipate heat though in practice it’s likely more for aesthetics than anything. The LGA 1151 socket is paired with four DDR4 DIMM slots. Sitting below the processor are three PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots, two PCI-E 3.0 x1 slots, and three PCI-E 3.0 x4 M.2 (or SATA) slots with Thermal Guard heatsinks. Further, there are six SATA 6 Gpbs ports in the bottom right corner. As far as power delivery, the board has two 8-pin CPU power connectors, a right-angle solid pin 24-pin ATX connector, and a 6-pin PCI-E connector to provide auxiliary slot power for graphics cards.

The flagship motherboard includes Aquantia 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Intel Gigabit Ethernet, Intel CNVi 802.11ac 160 MHz 2x2 Wi-Fi, ALC1220-VB codec for audio (along with ESS SABRE DAC, Ti Burr-Brown OP Amps, and “studio grade” capacitors), and AORUS’ RGB Fusion LED controller which along with Smart Fan 5 can handle eight fans, eight digital LED strips, and eight RGB LEDs. Overclocking can be done via BIOS, Windows app, or OC Touch.

Rear I/O includes two Wi-Fi antenna connectors (Gigabyte includes a 4 dBi dual antenna with magnetic base), four USB 3.1, two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps), one 10 GbE, one 1 GbE, one HDMI video output, and six audio outputs (five gold plated analog jacks and one S/PDIF optical out).

This extreme motherboard comes packed with just about everything an enthusiast could ask for, but be prepared for an extreme price of $549.99 MSRP.

Source: Aorus

MSI announces two new motherboard families, the ACE and GAMING EDGE

Subject: Motherboards | October 26, 2018 - 04:33 PM |
Tagged: msi, gaming edge, ace, Z390, lga1151

MSI have added two new families of motherboards to their product lines, with the first two models using the Z390 chipset.

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The ACE sports a 12+1 power phase layout and supports DDR4-4500 if you can get your hands on it. The motherboard will have a familiar array of features including Shield Frozr M.2 heatsinks, Mystic Lighting and one touch overclocking with Gaming Boost.

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The Gaming Edge series sports many of the same features, adding impressively sized VRM heatsinks and 8+4 pin CPU power for enhanced stability for overclockers.  The onboard Intel WiFi uses CNVi wave 2 technology to offer wireless transfer speeds up to 1.73GHz.  It also introduces MSI's Dragon Center which offers a unified interface to contol applications like GAME MODE, VOICE BOOST and LIVE UPDATE.

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MEG Z390 ACE - ACE YOUR ENEMY
MEG Z390 ACE is built to win. Outplay any opponent, crush entire teams, and come out on top of every match with a motherboard designed for the world’s best players. MEG Z390 ACE introduces the ACE name to the MEG series, a segment of enthusiast grade motherboards that includes the renowned GODLIKE motherboards from MSI. MEG series motherboards are designed for PC hardware enthusiasts keen on extreme performance and advanced technology features.

MEG Z390 ACE is designed to empower users with incredible potential and dazzle onlookers with its striking appearance. Mystic Light Infinity, an innovative infinity mirror lighting zone, shows millions of colors across 29 dynamic effects. An aggressive 12+1 power phase layout guarantees reliable operation with compatible Intel processors even when overclocked. Up to three high performance NVMe solid state drives can be added with the Triple Turbo M.2 arrangement for blazing fast storage transfer speeds. With a host of other features – Pre-Installed I/O Shielding, Audio Boost HD, Core Boost, DDR4 Boost with Steel Armor, Game Boost dial, Dual Front USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C – make your every play GODLIKE and ACE your enemies.

MEG Z390 ACE - ACE YOUR ENEMY
The MPG GAMING EDGE family clears a path with cutting-edge designs, stylized with sharp lines and a holographic heatsink surface that can split and refract light. The first generation of the MPG Z390 GAMING EDGE family includes products in ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ITX form factors. MPG Z390 GAMING EDGE AC and MPG Z390M GAMING EDGE AC are forged for mainstream gaming performance while the MPG Z390I GAMING EDGE AC is designed for powerful small form factor systems. A Core Boost optimized VRM layout with an Extended Heatsink drive high-end Intel processors even under the harshest conditions. The fastest storage devices are supported by the inclusion of Twin Turbo M.2 and Intel Turbo USB 3.1 Gen2.
Integration of the CNVi wave 2 Wireless solution from Intel introduces Wi-Fi transfer speeds up to 1.73GHz. Pristine 7.1 surround sound audio is achieved through the use of premium audio components mounted onto an isolated circuit.

Stay sharp with the MPG Z390 GAMING EDGE family.

 

Source: MSI

ASUS ROG STRIX B360-I Gaming, a small motherboard at a small price

Subject: Motherboards | October 25, 2018 - 02:01 PM |
Tagged: asus, ROG Strix, B360-I Gaming, lga1151, RGB, mini-itx

For someone looking to build a small system for a reasonable price and doesn't want or need to put effort into tweaking it, this ASUS ROG Strix motherboard is a decent choice.  The chipset simply doesn't support overclocking which also means less to break when investigating the UEFI.  With the small size, single PCIe 16x slot and two DIMM slots it will not satisfy a power user, but a build for a friend or family member who has fairly basic needs it might be perfect. 

[H]ard|OCP provides a full review here.

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"It seems there is a new mini-ITX motherboard model every time you turn around. We’ve often looked at the higher end of the spectrum on these little power houses. This time we switch gears and look at a more budget oriented option than we are used to, how does this $128 motherboard hold up to its more expensive brethren? "

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

MEG in the centerfold! A peek at MSI's new Z390 Godlike motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | October 9, 2018 - 03:39 PM |
Tagged: msi, meg Z390 godlike, Z390, Intel

We are currently limited to unboxing and showing off Z390 motherboards; no performance reviews yet.  MSI's MEG was the queen of X399 motherboards so it will be interesting to see if they can replicate their success on the Z390 chipset. As you can see below there are a large amount of features; those metal shields cover the three M.2 ports with a U.2 hidden away as well, with the option to add another pair of M.2 with an adapter.  For PCIe you have four 16x slots as well as a 1x, so you know you are going to have a fair number of PCIe lanes available on the chip and motherboard. 

TechPowerUp has more in their preview here.

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"MSI pulled out all the stops for their massive, EATX-sized MEG Z390 Godlike motherboard, which comes with three M.2 slots, full RGB support, and an adapter to add two more M.2 NVMe slots. You also get an OLED screen that can display pre-programmed stats and messages."

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Source: TechPowerUp
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Preview and Technical Specifications

Introduction

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

With the release of Intel's lastest consumer-oriented chipset, the Z390, GIGABYTE released the details of their Z390 board line. GIGABYTE's initial sampling to PC Perspective was their Z390 AORUS Pro motherboard, featuring a matte black PCB and an armored rear panel assembly and 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 Windows applet. The board offers support for the latest Intel 9th genation processors (as well as maintaining support for the 8th generation processors) and Dual Channel DDR4 memory via the Intel Z390 chipset.

Board Features

Courtesy of GIGABYTE

  • Supports 9th and 8th Intel® Core™ Processors
  • Dual Channel Non-ECC Unbuffered DDR4, 4 DIMMs
  • Intel® Optane™ Memory Ready
  • 12+1 Phase Digital VRM Solution with DrMOS
  • Advanced Thermal Design with Screw mounted Heatsinks and Heatpipe
  • ALC1220-VB Enhance 114dB(Rear)/ 110dB(Front) SNR in Microphone with WIMA Audio Capacitors
  • Intel® Gigabit LAN with cFos Speed
  • RGB FUSION with Multi-Zone LED Light Show design, support Addressable LED & RGB LED strips
  • Smart Fan 5 features Multiple Temperature Sensors and Hybrid Fan Headers with FAN STOP
  • Front USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C™ Header
  • Dual Ultra-Fast NVMe PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 with Thermal Guards
  • CEC 2019 Ready, Save the Power as Easy as One Click

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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 Gen3 x4 32Gbps capable ports; an RJ-45 port featuring an Intel I219-V Gigabit NIC; three PCI-Express x16 slots; three PCI-Express x1 slots; a Realtek ALC1220-VB 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

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Courtesy of GIGABYTE

To power the board, GIGABYTE integrated integrated a 13-phase (12+1) digital power delivery system into the Z390 AORUS Pro board's design. The digital power system was designed with an IR Digital PWM Controller and DrMOS ICs, high grade choke, and all-metal long-life capacitors. The power circuitry and board trace design works together to give the board its excellent overclockability when used in combination with the Intel 9th generation processors.

Continue reading our preview of the GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS Pro motherboard!

Feast your eyes on ASRock's complete Z390 lineup

Subject: Motherboards | October 5, 2018 - 04:31 PM |
Tagged: Z390, socket 1151, Intel

Here's a fresh leak for Friday, grabbed before they are inevitably taken down.  Pop over quickly for a closer look.  Click on the pictures to be able read them.

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Click through for the rest!

Source: ASRock

Shut up! MEG is the best of the X399s?!

Subject: Motherboards | September 25, 2018 - 02:35 PM |
Tagged: amd, X399, Threadripper, msi, METG X399 Creation

The joke might be getting old but Threadripper motherboard reviews certainly are not.  MSI's MEG Creation has been the base of [H]ard|OCP's Threadripper testing from the start and they have gotten to know the board completely.  It is expensive, with a price around $500, however if you can afford it there are an immense amount of features on this board and the performance is top notch.  Drop by for a closer look at one of the most impressive consumer motherboards currently on the market.

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"MSI’s MEG X399 CREATION motherboard gets put to the test like no motherboard we’ve ever reviewed to date. We beat the hell out of this motherboard on all of our test benches over the last month. We used the MEG for most all our Threadripper 2990WX and 2950X testing so we have a good handle on just how good it is."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

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