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The competition between GIGABYTE and ASUS is as fierce as ever, but ASUS is set to lower the prices of its motherboards, and spend considerable amounts of money on furthering its marketing reach according to DigiTimes' industry sources.
ASUS has reportedly planned multiple promotions, where it will sell bundles with its GPUs and motherboards, hoping to gain thousands more consumers with its impressive line up of GPUs. DigiTimes' sources noted "GIGABYTE's motherboard and video card businesses are separate units and the two departments hardly cooperate over sales and marketing. Although GIGABYTE's motherboard business has been performing strongly recently, Asustek's new strategy is expected to impact GIGABYTE's motherboard business group".
Just how much is ASUS planning to spend on marketing? According to DigiTimes' sources, the Taiwanese manufacturer has already prepared between $32 million and $65 million to boost its marketing. The company is expecting to see its profits for 2014 drop because of this, but the marketing should gain more sales going into 2015. The sources continued "GIGABYTE had profits of NT$3-3.3 billion from the motherboard business in 2013. Although the company's shipments in 2014 are unlikely to achieve the targeted growth of one million units, profits in the year are expected to stay at around NT$3 billion because of the rising proportion of high-end models".
Reports pointed out that AMD is strengthening its partnership with Asustek Computer, one of the tier 1 manufacturer of many components. In this case, AMD is apparently pairing itself with Asustek to boost the sales of its AMD-based products.
In exchange, Asustek gets an exclusive price cut of AMD products. According to sources, AMD's desktop processor currently holds 30% of the desktop processor market. While by theory it looks favourable for AMD, the amount of success from this partnership is something that only time will prove. It is also pointed out that AMD will be using the word 'Zen' to name its next-generation desktop APU that will be coming out in 2016. Of course, the popularity of these hardware components can only stand out if the performance justifies the price against its competition. AMD doesn't have any new architecture for their FX series lineup at the moment, but have been concentrating on APUs.
Of course, that would also mean that it might create issues with other motherboard manufacturers. It's not clear the amount of 'special discount' or what special services that Asustek gets from AMD, or how this would benefit AMD once their upcoming APU is released. That will simply create a friction between AMD and motherboard manufacturers, while other manufacturers may even start to reduce AMD-based projects, which defeats the purpose of having a special alignment with a single tier-1 motherboard manufacturer.
BIOSTAR has announced that it has launched its new Hi-Fi Z97Z7 motherboard, which features "cutting-edge features and innovative durability enhancements". As you can probably tell, the new motherboard is based on Intel's new Z97 chipset, which provides the usual PCI-Express 3.0, PCIe M.2 support, and more. What makes this board stand out from the rest, though, is BIOSTAR's exclusive Super Hi-Fi Audio technology.
The motherboard itself is an ATX board, with four DDR3 slots, HDMI out, SATA Express, and of course: the Super Hi-Fi Audio which provides power regulation upgrades like Hi-Fi Power and Hi-Fi AMP. The HDMI output offers HDCP, paving the way for full video and Hi-Fi 7.1-channel Blu-ray audio support, even through the standard DVI port.
BIOSTAR has driven its durability and stability even higher, offering Super Durable Solid Caps, which the company explains "are the best quality solid state capacitors with ultra low ESR design, which doubles the lifespan. Another feature is 8-phase power design which gives unparalleled overclocking ability and the lowest temperature to reach maximum performance levels". The new BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z97Z7 also features the new Super Durable Ferrite Choke, which provides higher current capacity, lower energy loss, and better power stability to the electric current across the board.
BIOSTAR is pricing the new motherboard with an MSRP of $119.99.
TYAN, an industry-leading, server platform design manufacturer, and subsidiary of MITAC Computing Technology Corporation, launched its full array of platforms supporting the latest Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v3 product family. With 5 products and 10 SKUs in total.
Albert Mu, Vice President of MITAC Computing Technology Corporation's TYAN Business Unit today said "TYAN's new product portfolio was designed with the latest Intel technology and supports the newly launched Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v3 product family. With superior efficiency, higher performance, stronger scalability, and lower costs, TYAN's product line offers multiple solutions that meet the critical demands of HPC, SMB, cloud computing, storage, and other complex applications. Further, TYAN's new product lines are compatible with Intel SSDs, as well as Intel Cache Acceleration Software, which allows companies to process and store massive amounts of data in an easy and intelligent way".
ASRock Rack announces its latest offerings of motherboards that support the new Intel E5-2600 v3 processors and DDR4 memory. These motherboards are more than just simple upgrades to their existing line of boards, they offer major feature upgrades in some cases.
The new motherboards continue ASRock Racks build quality that includes:
Stable - Robust Design, Quality Parts
Green - Less Heat, Less Power Consumption
Open - Industry Standard, Flexible Architecture
On a surprising note with this release, we see motherboards with E5-2600 v3 processor support that includes DDR3 memory. This might open up flexibility in builds that can take advantage of the large stockpiles of current DDR3 memory and still use the latest processors from Intel.
ASRock has unveiled its new X99-based motherboards, with one of the top-end boards being the new X99 Extreme 11 motherboard which features an insane 18 SATA ports.
The ASRock X99 Extreme 11 motherboard is built on the same Super Alloy design that has been deployed on the rest of ASRock's X99 motherboards, with the PCB being built on a high-quality design and components, with the XXL aluminum alloy heat sinks being placed across the board. In order to cool down the extra storage and PCI-e controllers near the PCH, ASRock has provided an active fan cooling solution, bringing back memories of yesteryear.
Up to 128GB of DDR4 memory can be installed onto the X99 Extreme 11, at up to 3300MHz for the overclockers out there. Power requirements sit at the usual 8-pin EPS and 24-pin ATX connectors, but let's get to the 18 SATA ports. 10 of the SATA ports are powered through the PCH, while the remaining 8 are powered through a separate SAS controller, but each and every SATA port is of the SATA 6Gbps variety. We also have two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 headers at the bottom of the board, too.
What's a new X99 motherboard without expansion slots? Where we have enough spacing and slots to provide four-way GPU support, with five PCI-e x16 slots on the board in total. Storage fans should already be happy enough with 18 SATA ports, but ASRock has also deployed two Ultra M.2 slots which support NGFF SSDs for even more storage.
The X99 chipset tease continues, with GIGABYTE now offering its X99 Gaming G1 Wi-Fi motherboard up to gander at. GIGABYTE has used a truly gorgeous black-and-red theme on its X99-powered motherboard. There's also some hints of white, grey and green across the board.
The company is using a full 4-way PCIe layout, with 8 DIMM slots, 10 SATA 6Gbps ports, two of the SATA feature SATA Express capabilities, which goes hand-in-hand with the M.2 slot smack bang in the middle of hte PCIe slots. There's also a mini-PCIe slot which looks like it contains the Wi-Fi module, with an antenna that is connected through the rear panel near the audio ports.
At the bottom of the motherboard, it looks like there are two USB 3.0 headers, two USB 2.0 headers and a Thunderbolt header. The X99 Gaming G1 Wi-Fi also looks like it has a Sound Core 3D audio chip with filter caps, PCB separation, an EMI shield on the codec, an audio gain switch and switchable op-amp. Up in the top right, we have multiple buttons and switches for the usual dual BIOS/selectable BIOS functionality, and much more. We should expect the GIGABYTE G1 Gaming Wi-Fi motherboard to be higher up on the X99 food chain for GIGABYTE, with more boards to be unveiled in the coming weeks.
GIGABYTE is already breaking various records with its LN2-only motherboard, the Z97X-SOC Force LN2. Today, the company has announced that the new SOC Force LN2 motherboard has broken the DDR3 memory world record, not once, but twice.
Once at launch, hitting 4.5GHz, and then just three days later, the motherboard was used for another world record. The second time was at the Kingston HyperX OC Takeover World Finals, where a team of overclockers breached the massive 4.56GHz speed. If you thought this was the end, you were wrong. After a bunch of reports hitting the Internet of suspicious memory overclocks, GIGABYTE took it upon itself to pull out the big guns with its Z97X-SOC Force LN2 motherboard.
Using this motherboard, the GIGABYTE overclocking team smashed the DDR3 memory world record once again, reaching a gigantic 4.62GHz. This was achieved using Kingston's HyperX Predator DDR3 RAM. It looks like these days, posting a score with clear pictures of your work on HWBOT.org isn't enough for these super overclocks. To make sure nothing was left out, and that the public could see the overclocker's work, they uploaded everything onto YouTube.
Computex 2014 - USB 3.1 isn't something we've heard a ton about yet but with its eye clearly set on destroying Thunderbolt MSI has jumped to the party early showing off a motherboard utilizing the upcoming technology. While we don't have much in the way of the model or anything like that, putting the pieces together we can see this upcoming Z97 motherboard which will fall under the GD series offers us USB 3.1 technology via the ASMedia ASM1142 controller.
Looking above you can see the next generation USB connectivity will offer up to 10Gbps; twice as much as the current generation USB 3.0 connectivity. Along with the massive boost in performance the technology will continue to support USB 3.0 devices with no issue.
As for the actual board you can see we've got all the standard Z97 features with an M.2 slot sitting in the middle along with SATA Express support towards the bottom right of the board alongside two SATA III connectors. We're not quite sure when we'll see this board as USB 3.1 devices aren't something that are being promoted too heavily at the moment.
Computex 2014 - While being spoken about a little; the upcoming X99 platform continues to be quiet around the show with few companies showing it off. Over at the MSI booth, though, we got a chance to take a look one of their upcoming boards based on the chipset. The blue and black color scheme is fairly common and we'll indeed see it fall under the GD naming scheme.
Taking a look at the specification sheet next to the board you can see a number of the main features including support for HSW-E or Haswell-E 8-Core Extreme Edition processors utilizing the 2011 socket design. 8 DIMM slots give us support for up to 64GB of DDR4 at speeds going too 2666MHz DDR via overclocking.
You can also see that we've got four PCIe x16 slots, two PCIe x4 slots, M.2, SATA Express and SATA III slots along with 12 USB 3.0 ports and Gigabit networking via the I218-V chip. As for MSI specific features you can see Military Class 4 and OC Genie 4 is being offered on the model.