PCI-Express 2.0 has been here for us for what seems like an eternity in the tech world - so much moving past us in terms of cores on a CPU, the amount of system ram and at the moment the apocolyptic GPU wars between the great AMD and NVIDIA.
PCI-Express 3.0 is the next gen champion to be on your motherboard. It is rumored to be clashing it's hammer with the Sandy Bridge E 'Patsburg' on LGA2011 which is slated for 2011. Depending on whether the LGA2011 becomes the consumer-targetted replacement. The closest definite for PCI-Express 3.0 is for early 2012 when Ivy Bridge hits.
Yesterday we visited the ASRock headquarters here in Taipei and Chris Lee, Marketing Manager, was on hand to give us a full hands-on video look at their upcoming P67 Transformer motherboard.
The Transformer is an upcoming motherboard based on the Intel Sandy Bridge P67 Express chipset and should go on sale in early December. But what is so special about this motherboard and what gives it the right to attain the "Transformer" moniker?
You would expect a P67 motherboard to come with support for an upcoming Socket LGA-1155 processor from Intel, but in typical ASRock style, their on the toes engineers have come up with yet another unique idea. Most users with a current generation LGA-1156 Lynnfield processor now would probably be on a P55 based motherboard. ASRock came up with the idea of allowing users to experience all the new performance benefits of the P67 chipset while using their existing processor.
P55's chipset is PCI Express 1.0, while the upcoming P67 chipset is PCI Express 2.0. Chris commented that the P67 offers better storage performance over SATA 3.0 and USB 3.0 because of the extra bandwidth on offer with PCI Express 2.0.
Watch the video above for the full run-down and what makes this motherboard special. Not a bad idea at all!
Earlier on today we visited the ASRock headquarters here in Taipei and Chris Lee, Marketing Manager, was on hand to give us a full hands-on video look at their upcoming P67 Socket LGA-1155 Sandy Bridge Extreme6 motherboard.
Due to NDA restrictions, we are kind of limited by exactly what we can say and show, but in the video above, you still get a good look at what is on offer. One of the tricks that ASRock has up their sleeves is to do with USB performance. Using the included ASRock XFast USB technology, they claim performance improvements of up to 100% when "turbo mode" is enabled in the small application which pops up whenever a USB device is attached to the motherboard.
All upcoming ASRock P67 motherboard also support UEFI which is a next-generation BIOS that provides a full graphical interface, support for using a mouse as well as support for OS booting 3TB and larger hard drives. Also on the software side, with the P67 series, ASRock is also introducing AXTU which is an all-in-one revised tuning program which holds all of ASRock's software tools in one handy location.
For the full scoop on the P67 Extreme6, you'd be best served watching the video above. Enjoy.
For a long time - Asus have had their ROG (Republic of Gamers) boards, targetted at the enthusiast, overclockers - but gamers? Apart from having mutli-GPU support, there's not much there that a gamer would enjoy.
However, Gigabyte are joining the fight with their own line of gaming motherboards at CES. Gigabyte have blogged saying "Get Ready for a Showdown at CES". There should be multiple boards announced - but for now, they seem to be using the stealth mode from Crysis to hide from us.
ASRock has pulled the wraps off its new line of LGA1155 mainboards. The new line of boards runs the gamut from value up to enthusiast class boards. Enthusiast boards are based on the P67 chipset from Intel with value and mainstream boards using the H67 chipset. At the top of the new range is the P67 Extreme6 mainboard with six SATA 6Gb/s ports, and four external USB 3.0 ports with two more USB 3.0 ports inside. The board also has three PCIe x 16 slots and an 18-phase CPU VRM.
Under that board is the P67 Extreme4 with four SATA 6GB/s ports, four USB 3.0 ports, and the same triple PCIe graphics slots. Under those offerings are the P67 Pro and the P67 Pro 3 sporting two 6Gb/s ports, dual rear USB 3.0 ports and a single PCIe x16 slot and packing a 10-phase CPU VRM. That last feature is very good for the class of board.
USB-IF announces second certified USB3.0 host controller - these are the sweet, sweet words that might help USB3.0 have more market penetration.
Most motherboards have at least 2 USB3.0 ports these days - but with this news, it is only a step in the right direction.
This is the working of Intel's "tick, tock" method - the Sandy Bridge being the "tock" and bringing a 32nm fabrication process. Arriving on the same train will be the 6-series core-logic chipsets. These new chipsets will be on a slew of updated LGA1155 socket motherboards.
Sandy Bridge's arrival is quite close - so motherboard makers are tent-poling to show their line ups. Today, we have the Asus 6-series motherboards to have a quick look through. As with other quite long articles, I'll post a quick speel and the pictures for you to tent-pole over yourself, there's a few surprises throughout!
Gigabyte has given the world a sneak preview at their upcoming motherboards for Intel's Sandy Bridge platform. Like usual, Gigabyte has a widespread amount of boards for every budget.
Most of the boards will support will support USB 3.0 as well as SATA 6Gbps speed for lightning fast data transfers. There are even a couple of boards with black PCBs for those who may prefer that over Gigabyte's familiar light blue color scheme. Gigabyte's 3x USB Power design with On/Off Charging USB ports, DualBIOS technology, and Ultra Durable™ 3 design with 2x Copper PCB will also be implemented. Not much on launch dates or prices at this time, but there's tons more photos after the break.
Is it just me, or does even a sneak peak at hardware get you all red faced and jealous?
Gigabyte are about to unleash motherboards that support Intel's upcoming second-generation Intel Core processors (codenamed Sandy Bridge):
First off, we have the P67-UD3R:
When it comes to HTPC and nettop computers, most people look for the smallest machines they can find that offer the most performance. A small HTPC that supports 1080p HD video is what many consumers are looking for and with the ION 2 packing machines on the market the number of options is growing all the time. Habey has unveiled a new mini ITX mainboard called the MITX-6564 that is aimed directly at nettop and HTPC use.
The mainboard is called the MITX-6564. The machine is a low profile mini-ITX mainboard with ION 2 Graphics and an Intel Atom D510 dual-core processor inside. The thin mainboard is under an inch thick and is designed to be very quiet during operation. The ION 2 GPU has 16 CUDA cores and supports resolution up to 2560 x 1600 and full 1080p HD video. Connectivity includes VGA and HDMI.
Biostar have some new boards coming out in their LGA1156 range.
The TH67XE is based on the H67 chipset, which supports the integrated graphics processor - when used on the correct Intel CPU. They give you USB 3.0 support and SATA 6 Gb/s. It also includes PCI-Express 2.0 x16 port, one PCI-Express x16, and PCI-Express x1, last but not least the older PCI slot. Extras include 8-channel HD audio, FireWire and Gigabit Ethernet. For displays, it comes with DVI and D-Sub.
Asus have finally let the ROG Crosshair IV Extreme board out of their secret, batman style hideout.
It was announced and shown in March of this year as the 'suped' up version of it's little brother the ROG Crosshair IV Formula. But, the Extreme board has some extra super powers it's little brother does not, in the name of Lucid's Hydra chip.
Lucid Hydra can allow users to use BOTH NVIDIA and AMD GPU's at the same time... yes, no more "SLI" and "Crossfire", but this little chip on the board can handle both - simultaneously, also, without the use of bridges or cables! Purely through the PCI-e slots.
The Extreme is a little different to it's little brother, but not by much (apart from the Hydra chip) it has thicker, bulkier heatsinks near the CPU VRM and IOMMU as well as a beefier one that keeps the Lucid Hydra chip cool.
Gigabyte has some of the most popular mainboards around for enthusiasts and gamers that like to roll their own computers. The company has been around for a long time and offers a lot more than mainboards. For many enthusiasts what hardware looks like is almost as important as how well that hardware performance.
Gigabyte has unveiled its first mainboards that use black PCBs. The black PCB looks a lot better than the old and boring green I typically see on a mainboard today or the blue Gigabyte usually offers. The new boards are the P67A-UD5 and the P67A-UD7. The boards are the new high-end LGA1155 parts from Gigabyte. To keep with the dark stealth look of the mainboard Gigabyte also uses dark graphite color heat sinks.
VIA has all sorts of products from mainboards for all manner of computer systems to CPUs and other offerings. The company has many embedded offerings that have the mainboard along with the CPU for various uses in the business and enterprise markets. VIA unveiled its newest embedded offering today called the EPIA-M850 aimed at commercial use.
The mainboard is a mini-ITX offering with the latest 64-bit VIA Nano E-series processor inside. The CPU is paired with a VIA VX900 media system processor to create a complete platform for commercial embedded multimedia and media center uses. The board can be had with two models of the Nano processor.
ASRock makes some nice mainboards for enthusiasts and gamers. The company has announced a new mainboard and has offered us the details of the board. The new offering is called the X58 Extreme6 and it uses the Intel X58+ ICH10R chipsets. The board is cool looking too with a black PCB with white and blue accents. The board has all sorts of nice features too like a front panel USB 3.0 port adapter.
The board supports Intel 1366 CPUs up to the Core i7 extreme edition processors. The board uses passive cooling with heat pipes and has six DDR3 DIMMS for system memory. Audio is supported up to 7.1 channel HD audio a Blu-ray playback is supported with the audio device along with THX. The chipset allows support for both NVIDIA SLI and CrossFire from ATI.
I think the thing that most gamers and computer enthusiasts expect from their hardware to start with is performance. If we have more than one option offering the same performance and one looks cooler, it's usually a no brainer to buy the good looking schwag. This is especially true if you are using a PC chassis with windows. ECS has unveiled a cool looking new mainboard called the P55H-AK.
The mainboard is aimed directly at the hardcore gamer and enthusiast and has a slick design that is black and white in color. This is one of the best looking mainboards I have seen. The big feature of the board isn't the good looks though; it's the performance and overclocking promise. The board is designed to deliver massive overclocking potential to the enthusiast.
Zotac has tossed a new mainboard onto the market for users looking for a very small system. The new board is called the H55-ITX WiFi Mini-ITX platform. The little board packs in USB 3.0 and more for small form factor machines.
The platform supports Intel Core i7 800 series CPUs and has a passive heat sink for cool temps and less noise production. The machine has a pair of external USB 3.0 ports and integrated WiFi. The board also supports Core i3 and Core i5 CPUs.
If you're an aussie who's purchased an ASUS H55 or P55 based motherboard between June 1st and now, or is planning to buy before July 31st, you're eligible to enter an AU only competition ASUS is running at the moment.
The luckiest of all involved will win an ASUS Gaming Pack valued at 7 Grand, whilst there will also be prizes handed out to 30 other folks; 10 x ASUS O!Play Air, 10 x ASUS EAH7750 Formula and 10 x ASUS Wireless N Router RT-N13U B1 products.
You can get to the official competition page here where you can sign up for a chance to win. Good luck fellow aussies!
ASRock makes all sorts of mainboards for enthusiasts and general computer users that take advantage of just about any platform and CPU option around. The company has announced its latest mainboard called the P55 Extreme4.
This new board uses the Intel P55 chipset and features support for SLI and CrossFire X. It supports all manner of Intel CPUs including the Core i7 and more. It has four DR3 DIMM slots, two PCI-E x16 slots, 3 PCI-e x1 slots, and dual PCI slots.
Via has announced a new embedded mainboard and CPU combination for industrial use in kiosks, automation, POI, and HMI applications. The new board is called the EPIA-M840.
It packs in a Via NANO E-series CPU running at 1.6GHz. The machine also has a VIA VX800 media system processor and can support two DDR2 DIMMS for memory.
J&W are a quiet little motherboard maker that are proven to have talent when it comes to cramming impressive feature-sets into confined spaces.
Their latest number could well be their finest yet in this regard. The new Minix 890GX-USB3 has just been announced by the company and it really is quite an impressive little board with some nice future-proofing attributes.
While being just Mini-ITX sized, this AMD 890GX chipset motherboard would be a terrific candidate for a HTPC or compact sleeper platform with such features as USB 3.0 support, SATA 6Gbps support and even Core unlocking support to squeeze an extra core or two out of your hindered AM3 processor.