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Intel is about to press the launch button on its upcoming Skylake processors, a range that will include the new flagship Core i7-6700K processor, and while we've seen some of the GIGABYTE and BIOSTAR boards, now we're getting a sneak peak at one of MSI's enthusiast boards.
The MSI Z170A XPOWER Gaming Titanium Edition is a work of art, sporting a beautiful white and black color scheme that is going to look great with the right components. One of the standout features on the new Z170A XPOWER Gaming Titanium Edition motherboard is the inclusion of the 'MSI OC Dashboard'. This dashboard is located next to the DIMMs, and lets you overclock your system very easily.
The MSI OC Dashboard has a few buttons on it that lets you overclock your CPU, but it also features direct BCLK control from the new tool. You can also do a complete discharge of the motherboard, which is a different touch than we're used to. On the board itself, we have two M.2 slots, 8 x SATA 6Gbps ports, two SATA Express ports, two USB 2.0 connectors, a right-angled USB 3.0 connector, and an internal USB 2.0 port.
This socket LGA2011v3 motherboard is based on Intel's X99 Express chipset and is apparently aimed at workstation builds, as claimed by ASUS. Being micro-ATX in size and brandishing three PCI-E x16 slots, this motherboard further supports up to an impressive 64GB of quad-channel DDR4 RAM.
Powered through 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS and 6-pin PCIe connections, this motherboard uses an 8-phase VRM for the CPU and 2+2 phase VRM for memory. Further features include one PCIe x1 slot, eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, one M.2 32 Gb/s slot, two gigabit Ethernet ports driven by Intel I210 controllers and a single 802.11 ac Wi-Fi connection.
Other connectivity and storage options include Bluetooth 4.0, two Type-A USB 3.1 ports, six USB 3.0 ports, USB 2.0 and 1.1 options. As for sound, on offer is 8-channel ASUS CrystalSound 2 audio.
If you're a little short on cash or just crazy about overclocking, MSI is offering up some beastly prizes including its new GODLIKE motherboards alongside Intel CPUs and PCIe NVMe drives, HyperX RAM and HyperX SSDs to winners of this newly-announced event.
These high-end prizes will be distributed to top placing competitors in the wide variety of competitions on offer including 2D battle and 3D battles expanding to categories such as ambient and extreme cooling, with limitations on overclocking specifics and CPU frequencies.
The release of Intel's new processors along with the Z170X chipset is right around the corner, and now we're getting to see what GIGABYTE is preparing for us in the form of the Z170X SOC Force.
GIGABYTE will have a slew of new boards arriving with the Z170X chipset, including: Z170X Gaming G1, Z170X Gaming 7, Z170X Gaming 5, Z170X Gaming 3, Z170X-UD7-TH, Z170X-UD5-TH, Z170X-UD3 and a Mini-ITX Z170X. The GIGABYTE Z170X SOC Force is going to be the flagship motherboard from the company, with an e-ATX design, and the usual orange and black color scheme with silver accents across the board.
GIGABYTE will be providing a 20 Digital Phase Power design with a Gen.4 IR Digital Controller and Gen.3 PoweIRstage ICs. Not only that, but GIGABYTE has provided high-end black capacitors, a Turbo B-Clock chip that provides the ability to push the BCLK frequency between 90-200MHz (instead of 100, 125 and 167MHz). The GIGABYTE Z170X SOC Force features four DDR4 DIMM slots supporting up to 64GB with speeds of up to 3400MHz.
Expansion slot wise, we have four PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (x16/x8/x16/x8), three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots, and three M.2 slots. The three M.2 slots are an interesting take, as it shows that M.2 is truly the future thanks to its radically increased bandwidth. 8 x SATA III 6Gbps ports, three SATA Express ports, and plenty of USB ports, GbE, 7.1-channel audio, and a USB Type-C port.
The MSI X99A GODLIKE Gaming motherboard is one of the best looking motherboards ever made, but some of its custom LEDs and the associated app for it, will have gamers customizing their rigs like never before.
Steven Bassiri, our Motherboard Editor here at TweakTown, has made a video showing off the 'Mystic Light' portion of the X99A GODLIKE Gaming motherboard. The LEDs can be controlled from your smartphone, making for some seriously easily customization of your PC.
Stacked full of features and capital letters, MSI has recently announced its X99A GODLIKE GAMING motherboard to the public, set out to support X99 platforms with a Killer DoubleShot-X3 PRO network setup, Turbo M.2 connectivity, USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C, fancy LED schemes and more.
RGB is seemingly everywhere right now, with MSI announcing this model to be its first RGB LED motherboard to market, supporting over 2,000 color variations and plenty of style presets including "breathing, flashing and waving." For those looking into extreme and extended LAN options, the Killer DoubleShot-X3 PRO offers two Killer Ethernet connectors and a Killer 1535 Wi-Fi adapter. Complete with a network manager, traffic will be optimized to ensure no lag is experienced.
Designed for Intel LGA 2011-v3 socket processors including the new Intel Core i7 series, this motherboard contains 10 SATA 6Gb/s ports, one Turbo M.2 32Gb/s SATA option and five PCIe 3.0 x16 slots. As for connectivity, you can expect to see one USB 3.1 Type-C port, one USB 3.1 Type-A port, eight USB 3.0 options and six USB 2.0 connectors.
Centered around the quad-core AMD A4-500 'Kabini' SoC, these two new beauties from ASRock are the mini-ITX QC5000M-ITX/PH and the micro-ATX QC5000M. Both designed to battle Intel's 'Braswell' boards, these new ASRock releases feature heat sink-laden passive cooling.
Almost identical in design, the micro-ATX QC5000M contains two more PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots than its mini-ITX baby brother. With both boards brandishing two DDR3 DIMM slots and a power draw thanks to the help of a 24-pin ATX connector they also offer display options including D-Sub and HDMI.
Other features include the basic additions of 6-channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet and two USB 3.0 ports.
With the launch of Intel's new Skylake processors and chipsets right around the corner, GIGABYTE has begun teasing its new motherboards with a seriously slick new look. GIGABYTE will be kicking off its new Gaming G1 series based on the Z170 chipset, with boards like the one pictured below.
GIGABYTE will include the GA-Z170X Gaming G1, GA-Z170X Gaming 7, GA-Z170X Gaming 5 and the GA-Z170X Gaming 3 motherboards all rocking the Z170 chipset. There will also be other motherboards such as the new GA-Z170X-UD5 TH and GA-Z170X-UD3, which will be joined by the new Z170 SOC Force that will be for the super enthusiasts and overclockers.
The flagship motherboard featuring the Z170 chipset will be the new GA-Z170X Gaming G1, which will feature an E-ATX form factor and the usual arsenal of technologies, features and goodies for enthusiasts and overclockers to enjoy.
Nearly all motherboards feature PCIe 3.0, but we're going to be seeing more and more about PCIe 4.0 in the coming years, now that the PCI Special Interest Group (PCI SIG) getting closer to the final version of the PCIe 4.0 specification.
The PCI SIG has been developing PCI Express 4.0 for a few years now, with the new standard set to feature a huge 16GT/s per lane, which is double that of the 8GT/s that PCIe 3.0 is capable of. The standard isn't finalized jut yet, as there are quite a few steps to overcome first. One of the first is the interconnect attributes, fabric management, and the programming interface that is used to design and build systems and peripherals that are PCIe 4.0 compliant.
PCIe 4.0 will usher in a new connector, but it is backwards compatible with PCIe 3.0 cards. But, PCIe 4.0-based cards will not work with the old PCIe 3.0 ports. Al Yanes, the President of the PCI SIG explained in an interview with EE Times: "We are getting 16GT/s, something no one thought was possible a few years ago. The base distance is still being validated but it's typically 7 inches or so. Longer channels of 15 inches or so with two connectors will have retimers, but Gen 3 has used retimers - now we will need to use them for shorter long channels".
According to an industry insider, we can expect some big things from the upcoming Z170 chipset from Intel, alongside the new processors that will include the flagship Core i7-6700K processor that will launch a week after Windows 10.
Our source has said GIGABYTE will be the first to the market with the 100 series motherboards, with the Z170, H170, B150 and H110 chipsets to launch between August and September, with some boards including Killer NIC chips, USB Type-C and GIGABYTE should be a world-first with PCIe shielding, and much more.