AMD is days away from the huge launch of its next-gen Ryzen processors, but there is another big event happening simultaneously - motherboard makers are preparing their new Ryzen capable motherboards - and they look amazing.
As you can see, ASRock, ASUS, Biostar, GIGABYTE, and MSI all have motherboards ready for Ryzen - with a slew of boards that start with flagship motherboards, mid-range boards, down to the lower-end variety if you don't want to spend $150-$200+ on a new Ryzen motherboard.
What will the different chipsets offer? The enthusiast X370 chipset is where you'll want to be, as it provides everything - USB 3.1 Gen 2 support, overclocking, and CF/SLI support.
But the mainstream B360 chipset is just as good if you're not going to multi-GPU setups, while the A320 chipset is a great mid-range chipset that still has native USB 3.1 support, but no overclocking capabilities or multi-GPU goodness.
AMD's range of Ryzen processors ranges from the high-end/enthusiast 8C/16 threaded CPUs like the Ryzen 7 1800X, but it also goes down to 6C/12T options, as well as 4C/8T options - all compatible with DDR4 RAM.
ASRock looks like its ready to impress AMD Ryzen CPU owners with their upcoming motherboards, led by the flagship ASRock X370 Killer SLI/ac motherboard.
The new ASRock X370 Killer SLI/ac motherboard has two reinforced PCIe 3.0 x16 slots that are ready for SLI and CrossFire setups, but it also features 2 x M.2 slots for super-fast storage solutions. It will also rock 802.11ac wireless connectivity, with a very slick black and white color scheme.
Next up, we have the ASRock AB350 Gaming K4 which also features 2 x M.2 slots - showing us that ASRock is serious about providing high-end features on cheaper motherboards. This board is a mid-range board with the B350 chipset, but it also has 2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots - but no SLI/CF support.
Can you believe we are so close to one of the most important launches from AMD in over half a decade with their next-gen Ryzen CPUs? As we get closer, we're learning more and more about them, and now we're getting some full frontal shots and details on the motherboards from ASUS and GIGABYTE.
Starting with GIGABYTE, we have their upcoming AORUS AX370-Gaming 5 board - which looks slick as hell with its black, silver and orange theme. Both boards are based on the X370 chipset, ready for any Ryzen CPU you throw at it - right up to the flagship Ryzen 7 1800X processor.
ASUS will have its Crosshair VI Hero motherboard, as well as the Prime X370-PRO, which doesn't look as flash as GIGABYTE's offering - but it does feature their Aura Sync technology for some LED goodness.
We should expect some very competitive pricing on the new boards, easily under $200 - a fact that will have lots of gamers and PC users diving onto the new Ryzen CPUs on motherboard savings from the expensive world of Intel.
AMD is preparing the launch of its next-gen Ryzen CPU family, which will reportedly be led by the R7 1800X processor offering 8C/16T of CPU performance at 4GHz. ASRock will be an important motherboard partner for AMD, and now we have a tease of some of their higher-end X370 motherboards.
During a sponsored event in Croatia for DOTA 2, ASRock showed off their new Ryzen-capable motherboards. The boards are still production boards, but we get a better look at the first ASRock enthusiast-aimed X370 motherboards, ready for AMD's new Ryzen processors.
So, you have a Z170 motherboard, and Intel Kaby Lake is the CPU you want? OK, first of all, you must know that even though Kaby Lake is compatible with Intel's Z170 Skylake chipset, the CPU is designed for Intel's Z270 Kaby Lake chipset to use its new features.
As an overclocker, tester, and reviewer, I always move to the latest chipset if I decide to upgrade my CPU, and of course not an H/B or something chipset, I go to the root chipset - that means Z170/Z270. But, if you still want to stay on Z170, here's a comparison of the two designs and a must-do List to make your shiny new Kaby Lake CPU work on it.
Intel Z170 Chipset
It's clear you have more things on Z270 - 2x M.2 SSD, more USB, more SATA ports, etc.
Intel Z270 Chipset
A lot of people kept their Z170 board, sold their Intel Skylake CPU, and bought the new Kaby Lake CPU. Then all you have to do is install the new CPU and be done with it, right? Well, sorry to say it, but no. Infinite loop? Starts and turns off? Error codes? So, should I RMA? No. You should have upgraded your BIOS/UEFI first using your Skylake CPU as most motherboard manufacturers support Intel Kaby Lake on their latest BIOS released early in January. So, most of you I know, you didn't upgrade it. But, there's nothing wrong, I will help you with this.
CES 2017 - MSI had some new Ryzen-capable motherboards on display at CES, with two boards to check out: the B350 Tomahawk, and the higher-end X370 XPower Gaming Titanium.
First up, the MSI B360 Tomahawk - with a slick military style theme, 4 x DDR4 slots (dual-channel support), 8 x USB 3.1 and 6 x USB 2.0 ports. There's also Turbo M.2 support, offering 32Gbps of bandwidth for those high-end storage needs.
But for me, it's the upcoming X370 XPower Gaming Titanium that caught my eye. We have a bunch of connectivity, with 2 x M.2 slots, 2-way NVIDIA SLI support and 3-way AMD CrossFire support with its 3 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots.
I've been excited for AMD's next-gen Zen CPU architecture since day one, and that excitement has built up over the last 12 months into the official Ryzen CPU architecture AMD teased earlier this month.
Ryzen will rock up to 16 threads of CPU performance with an 8-core processor starting at 3.4GHz, and performance in the levels of the Core i7-6800K and 6900K from Intel. Now we're hearing that motherboard makers have been "rather aggressive about placing orders" for Ryzen-capable motherboards, as they "believe demand for the new platform will increase AMD's share in the worldwide desktop processor market in the second quarter of 2017", reports DigitTimes.
Better yet, we're getting an idea of how far along the Ryzen CPU and compatible motherboards are, with DigiTimes' report continuing: "The sources pointed out that they have started receiving high-end X370, mainstream B350 and entry-level A320 chipsets from AMD and are now in the final stage of finishing related testing and motherboard designing".
AMD is expected to launch its 8-core/16-thread Ryzen CPU in the final weeks of February, or early March. AMD should fully unveil Ryzen at CES 2017 next week, as well what I'm hoping will be a better look at Vega.
Specs and details ASRock's new Fatal1ty and Extreme4 Z270 motherboards have surfaced, giving us a good look at the boards ahead of their CES 2017 showcase.
With Intel's seventh-gen Kaby Lake CPUs on their way, hardware-makers are busy readying their fleets of new 200-series motherboards, giving consumers lots of possible upgrade mobo paths to Z270 chipset adoption. ASRock's new Fatal1ty Gaming K6 and Extreme4 mobos use the LGA1151 socket and support both 7th-gen Kaby Lake and 6th-gen Skylake processors, and also have native support for Intel's new high-end Optane 3DXpoint 3D NAND SSD storage lineup.
Let's start with ASRock's Extreme4 Z270 motherboard. This is a standard ATX motherboard that features HDMI, DVI-D, and D-Sub display slots (no DisplayPort), three PCIe 3.0 x16 lanes (two of which are outfitted with steel bracing) that support up to three AMD GPUs in CrossFireX or two NVIDIA GPUs in SLI. The Extreme4 Z270's four DDR4 DIMM slots can power up to 64GB of dual-channel DDR4-3866 memory. Storage outlets include eight SATA III 6Gb/s ports and two M.2 sockets. The Extreme4 features eight USB 3.0 ports, and two USB 3.1 ports (Type-A and Type-C) on the rear. Onboard LED and RGB lighting on the header splash some style to the mobo.
'Tis the season for Kaby Lake leaks, with MSI ready to unleash their Z270 and H270 motherboards during CES 2017 - but the leaks are here, and MSI's new boards are looking mighty fine. MSI's 200-series motherboards include the GAMING, Tomahawk, Bazooka, and Pro brands - making me want to build a new gaming PC with a "Bazooka" themed motherboard.
MSI's next-gen 200-series motherboard lineup:
- MSI Z270 Gaming M7
- MSI Z270 Gaming M5
- MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon
- MSI Z270I Gaming Pro Carbon AC
- MSI Z270 KRAIT Gaming
- MSI Z270 TOMAHAWK ARSENAL Gaming
- MSI Z270 SLI PLUS
- MSI Z270 SLI
- MSI Z270 PC Mate
MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon
Now, onto the motherboards that piqued my interest. Starting with the MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon, which rocks some beautiful Mystic Light RGB goodness, we have 4 x DDR4 DIMM slots that support 4000MHz+ RAM in OC mode. The DDR4 DIMM slots are protected by MSI's steel armor which will protect the PCB of the motherboard when installing your RAM.
As you can see, we have 3 x PCIe 3.0 x16 ports for graphics cards, 3 x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots as well as 2 x Turbo M.2 slots. MSI will be shipping the Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon with their new M.2 Shield that will protect, and cool down those super-hot NVMe-based M.2 SSDs that can get ridiculously hot - and lose considerable performance when they do get hot.
Intel is poised to unleash its next-gen Kaby Lake family of processors at CES 2017 in January, and now we're getting a glimpse of Colorful's incredible stack of 200-series motherboards.
Colorful's upcoming 200-series motherboards will use both the Z270 and B250 chipsets, and will fall into the iGame and Tomahawk series. Colorful's iGame Gamer Customization is their high-end motherboard that sports a slick red and black color scheme, and armor plating that is placed across the entire board.
The board will include an 8-pin power connector, 14-phase IPP digital power supply for overclocking, VRMs are found under large heat sinks for heat load management, 4 x DDR4 DIMMs that support up to 64GB, 3 x PCIe 3.0 x16 ports, 4 x PCIe x1 ports, 1 x M.2/U.2 port, and 6 x SATA 6Gbps ports. There's also Killer LAN, HDMI/DisplayPort outputs, USB 3.1, 6 x USB 3.0, and 8 x USB 2.0 ports. We should expect a price of $250 or so.