ASRock have just given us the heads up that their holding a global event via Facebook they call "Become as ASROck fan on Facebook, win a Free ASRock motherboard" - which as the title says, becoming a fan of ASRock's Facebook page puts you in a lucky draw for the possible winning of one of three ASRock motherboards using the AMD 890GX, 880G and 870 chipsets.
The event will expire on May 16 and the three lucky winners will be announced the following day on ASRock's Facebook page and on their official website. So become a fan today and try your luck - you could well be very greatful next month that you did.
In our most recent poll, we asked our readers what they thought was the most important new motherboard technology. We have had over 5,000 people vote on the poll and the numbers are in for us to go over and examine.
Among TweakTown readers a rather large 29% of the respondents voted that SuperSpeed USB 3.0 was the most important new motherboard tech. The likes of ASUS and GIGABYTE are pushing USB 3.0 on many of their new boards, so it's a good sign for all of you and those interested in replacing aging USB 2.0.
Upgradability to upcoming processors just edged out SATA 3.0 (6Gbps) by one percent and both are clearly important new motherboard features for TweakTown readers as well. Overclockability managed to obtain 12% of the votes with the other voting options being less favored.
For the actual numbers, go here.
In our latest poll, we want to know, Has NVIDIA lost its edge? Let us know! Please go here to vote!
The folks over at GIGABYTE just clued us into this news and probably won't be happy we are breaking it before them, but that's news folks.
Using an upcoming motherboard known as the X58A-UD9 according to the ORB database, GIGABYTE were able to break the 3DMark Vantage performance world record by around 500 points and get itself right to the top of the list. GIGABYTE claimed in a recent phone call that they now have the "fastest desktop system on the planet". You can see the results at this page, which we managed to hunt down pretty easily.
The feat was naturally achieved with Intel's latest Core i7 six-core processor, the 980X. According to the ORB database, the processor was only clocked at 3818MHz, but that was no doubt a reporting error as I'm sure plenty of high octane LN2 and overclocking was involved. The video card used was a GIGABYTE HD5870 SOC, no doubt also running at insane clock speeds. More reporting issues were noticed with the video card with no clock speeds being reported and the card supposedly only having 1MB of memory - obviously another error there, too.
So, congratulations to GIGABYTE for breaking the world record. We want to know what this new surprise UD9 motherboard is all about. Is it some special new board focused just for overclockers? One would guess that would be the case with it being used to break the Vantage world record. We'll push GIGABYTE to invite us to their HQ to take a closer look.
With new AMD processors on the market, it's time for a new high-end mainboard to go along with the processors from Gigabyte. The company is getting a new board based on the AMD 890FX + SB850 chipset.
The new board is the GA-890FXA-UD5 and supports socket AM3 CPUs. The board also supports 4-way ATI CrossFireX. The board features a 10-phase VRM for CPU power and a 2-phase memory VRM setup.
The board will use the Hybrid Silent-Pipe cooler that connects to the CPU VRM, 890FX Northbridge, and SB850 Southbridge. The board also has six SATA 6Gb/s ports, dual USB 3.0 ports, and much more. The board is expected in about a month's time.
The lucky folks at bit-tech were given a final retail sample of MSI's next stab at a board using the X58 chipset for them to check out in detail.
Dubbed the Xpower X58 which is part of MSI's new Big Bang line-up of enthusiast oriented motherboards, this one brings all the latest tricks to the table, including USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps support, as well as support for Gulftown (six-core Core i7s).
Looking at a full shot of the board, what will quickly catch your eye is the six PCI-E x16 slots. However, there's no NF200 chip on the board so it would seem that at best, four of the slots each give eight lanes of bandwidth for multi-GPU setups.
Also standing out physically on the board is the use of MSI's "SuperPipe" branded cooling system, curving around the CPU socket to heatsinks covering the MOSFETs and X58 Northbridge. Another separate large heatsink is seated over the ICH10R Southbridge.
The CPU VRM uses a 16-phase PWM circuit that draws power from two 8-pin power connectors, using MSI's DrMOS chips and High-C capacitors. MSI of course includes a whole bunch of exclusive features and technologies such as OC Genie, OC Dashboard module, V-kit (for manual voltage monitoring) and more.
No word on exact pricing or availability as yet, only that we know it's going to be released very soon.
ASUS has just officially lifted the curtain on its latest rendition of an X58 powered ROG series motherboard in the form of the Rampage III Extreme.
The board of course comes out of the box with six-core support and includes a plethora of overclocking and enthusiast oriented features that will please the most demanding of users. Alongside ASUS' exclusive features such as ROG Connect, RC Bluetooth, ROG Extreme OC Kit, Extreme Engine Digi+ and much more, the board also comes equpped with SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 support via additional controllers.
The overall list of features and advantages of running a system with this board is so extensive, it's easier to point you in the direction of the press release that paints the full picture.
We first saw the use of the Lucid Hybrid chip on MSI's new Big Bang P55 based motherboard which is a ground breaking bit of tech that gives the ability to mix up your graphics cards from different makers (NvIDIA + ATI) and still be able to harness the power of them both in a bastardized SLI/Crossfire type fashion.
MSI once again decide to implement it on a board, this time one based on the AMD 870 + SB850 chipset for AM3 processors. MSI calls this board the MSI 870A-GD60 Hydra. While AMD 870 has no PCI-E external switching and only one PCI-E 2.0 x16 link, MSI connected this link to the Hydra chip which in turn gives two full-bandwidth 2.0 x16 links for some mix and matching goodness.
Other specs of the board include a 10-phase DrMOS VRM, four DDR3 slots for dual-channel operation, SATA 6Gbps support thanks to SB850 as well as NEC controlled USB 3.0 ports, FireWire, eSATA and 8 channel HD audio w/ S/PDIF connections.
The board is expected to launch just before AMD rolls out its upcoming Phenom X6 (six-core) processors.
Some images have surfaced on the web of a couple upcoming 890FX based boards from ASUS which go the full hog in features and power under its ROG series.
Dubbed the Crosshair IV Formula and Extreme, these two boards give the best ASUS has to offer in conjunction with the 890FX chipset; this including its own OC buttons, iROG and ROG Connect overclocking features and a specially designed cooling system to give better stability across the board.
Both boards also include four PCIe x16 slots for CrossfireX configs, six SATA 6Gbps ports thanks to the SB850 Southbridge (plus one or two SATA-II ports), Gigabit Ethernet and 7.1 audio.
Both boards should make their debut not long before AMD introduces its Phenom II X6 processors.
As well as the two well presented front on images at the source, you can view more angles of the Formula variant over at TechSweden.
Details of GIGABYTE's first 890GX + SB850 motherboards have come about thanks to a listing that showed up on Newegg.
Dubbed the GA-890GPA-UD3H, this board carries with it both native SATA 6Gbps support and USB 3.0 using NEC's controller. The use of AMD's 890GX chipset gives integrated Radeon HD 4250 graphics and support for existing AM3 socket Athlon II and Phenom II processors as well as the upcoming Phenom II X6 six-core processors.
GIGABYTE gives two PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots on this board for CrossfireX support (electrically running at x8/x8 when both are in use), as well as three PCI-E x1 and two legacy PCI slots.
As you can see from the screenshot above, the IGP can be connected to using D-Sub, DVI and HDMI. You can also see the two blue NEC controlled USB 3.0 ports in the above shot.
Newegg were said to be advertising the GA-890GPA-UD3H at a $139.99 price point, but have since pulled down pricing info until further notice.
Boards based on AMDs new 890GX chipset are starting to show up in final retail form on the web and ASUS has two models in its lineup readied up; the M4A89GTD Pro and M4A89GTD Pro USB3 (with the latter obviously including USB 3.0 connectivity).
In conjunction with the new 890GX chipset, these boards are of course AM3 socket based and use a 10-phase CPU VRM and 2-phase memory VRM with four DDR3 slots resident. 890GX also brings with it integrated DirectX 10.1 compliant graphics and AMD's SB800 Southbridge which gives SATA 6Gbps support (six ports). ASUS also includes a JMicron controller on the board that gives IDE support and an eSATA port on the rear I/O.
As you can see in the picture above, there are two PCI-E x16 slots (electronically running at x8/x8 mode when the two are in use together). Further to those are two legacy PCI slots and a PCIe x4 and x1 slot.
Rounding out the features list, the M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 includes 8+2 HD audio, Gigabit Ethernet and FireWire. Display connectivity includes DVI, D-Sub and HDMI.
Word has it ASUS plans to launch these two boards just before AMD kicks out its new six-core Phenom II X6 CPUs.
Gigabyte makes a ton of mainboards for just about every platform on the market. The company makes some very popular boards for enthusiasts and gamers that want lots of features and stability for overclocking.
Gigabyte has announced the GA-P55A-UD7 mainboard using the Intel P55 chipset. The board is the flagship of the Gigabyte 7 series and uses a 24 Phase power design for stability when overclocking. The board supports both three-way SLI and CrossFireX.
Other features include USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps support. The board features 3x USB power boost to deliver more compatibility and extra power to USB devices that are connected. Support for LGA 1156 Intel processors includes Core i7, i5, and i3 parts. DDR3 up to 2600+ MHz is supported as well. Pricing and availability are unknown.
ASRock has announced a new P55 motherboard today which has it all. Dubbed the P55 Deluxe3, this board is one of ASRock's new True 333 series models which means it has SATA3, eSATA3 and USB 3.0 support.
Both SLI and Crossfire(X) are of course supported on this full ATX sized motherboard via the two residing PCI-E x16 slots. Also, what's nice to see here is that ASRock recognise the P55 chipset taxes needed bandwidth from the x16 PCI-E slots for SATA3 and USB 3.0 operation, so they have incorporated an additional bridge to take care of it so there are no tradeoffs no matter what your configuration is.
Along with P55's usual six SATA-II connectors, there are two additional white connectors controlled by Marvell's 6Gbps controller, and also a third powered eSATA-III/USB2.0 connector on the rear I/O.
You can also see the two blue USB 3.0 sockets which typically run off an NEC controller.
For further details on the board, check out ASRock's full PR here.
BIOSTAR today revealed details of its upcoming TA980GXE motherboard for AMD AM3 CPUs, this based on the new 890GX chipset.
Whilst they haven't provided any images of the board yet, we can get a bit of a picture in our mind from the information outlaid in their press release.
With support for AMD's upcoming Thuban 6 core processor, this 890GX/SB850 full ATX sized board includes four DDR3 memory slots, an integrated DirectX 10.1 graphics processor clocked at 700MHz linked to 128MB of SidePort memory and support for CrossFireX and Hybrid Crossfire with its two residing PCI-E x16 slots.
Other features include SATA 6Gbps, Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1 channel audio and FireWire. However, there is no USB 3.0 on this particular model.
For added measure, BIOSTAR also includes some of its own technologies including GPU II - Green Power Utility, DPU - Digital Power Unit and BIO-Remote Utility, all of which you can read more about in the official press release.
We should be hearing (and seeing) more on this board come CeBIT next month, with a proposed launch date sometime in Q2.
With MSI's Big Bang enthusiast oriented mainboards fast gathering attention, MSI chose to keep riding the wave with the series and have thus introduced yet another model into the Big Bang lineup, the XPower.
As the folks at VR-Zone have learned, this model is even meaner and richer in features than the previous offerings. It's using Intel's LGA-1366 based X58 chipset and gives graphics card junkies all they desire and more with six PCI-E x16 slots onboard for CrossFireX and SLI support whilst leaving plenty of room for other PCI-E devices.
Of course, MSI has made sure to put all the latest technologies on this variant with both SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 support. Meanwhile, overclocking should prove to give excellent results with a 16-phase DrMOS PWM (drawing power from two 8-pin connectors for added stability) and the use of High-C capacitors for superior durability. Meanwhile, the six DDR3 memory slots are powered by a 3-phase VRM.
The included audio is also impressive on this mode, based off a "Quantum Wave Audio card" it nestles into the residing PCI-E x1 slot and gives 7.1 audio with support for THX TruStudio PC Suite and EAX 5.0 HD.
Rounding out the features list, as mentioned before, it includes two USB 3.0 ports (along with a bunch of USB 2.0 ports), FireWire, two Gigabit ethernet ports, two power eSATA ports and eight SATA ports (six being 3Gbps from the ICH10R and two 6Gbps ports from a separate controller).
The board is said to become available by sometime in March, but at what hefty price tag exactly, we're not yet sure.
MSI's marketing team recently invited 19 famous overclockers to Taiwan to do some first-hand overclocking on their new Big Bang Trinergy/Fuzion P55 based motherboards. Anticipation is high for this weapon and MSI had total confidence in seeing top notch results.
Sure enough, they got what they wanted. After MSI took notice, recognizing and resolving a known coldbug issue on P55 (when used in conjunction with Clarkdale processors) that limits extreme overclockers from touching the skies and beyond in the overclocking realm, famous overclocker Massman got stuck back into the board and came out with flying colours, breaking a WPrime 32M world record @ 7sec 329ms with a clock rate of 6485MHz.
MSI has since also bettered its P55-GD80 and P55-GD85 models by removing the Clarkdale coldbug issue on these boards, too.
We've gotten our hands on some details of ASRock's little Clarkdale supporting H55 chipset based H55M-LE motherboard which ASRock says will hit the market by mid next month.
This motherboard is micro ATX sized with one PCI-E x16 slot, one PCI-E x1 slot and a couple of legacy PCI slots. The rest of the features are a pretty standard affair for H55 chipset boards, though ASRock has colored it some more with proprietory features of its own including "Turbo 50" (whereby an option in the BIOS automatically overclocks the CPU, memory and GPU frequencies along with all related voltages).
ASRock has also stamped the board with a logo stating that it has up to DDR3 2600+ support. Other ASRock specific features include Good Night LED, Multi Speed Fan Control, C.C.O. *Combo Cooler Option", OC DNA, EuP and Instant Boot.
You can learn more about each of these features as well as viewing the full specifications of the board in this PDF formatted slide.
Whilst we've previously seen pictures of GIGABYTE's top of the line LGA-1156 based GA-P55A-UD7 motherboard as far back as November of last year, it is only now a confirmed final design candidate has been spotted which has several notable changes from the production sample we've seen previously.
Aside from having both USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s support, the retail model also has four PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots instead of three on the earlier production model. Further to that is the nuse of NVIDIA's nForce 200 PCI-E bridge chip which provides two x16 links that can be split into four x8 links for each slot. GIGABYTE has also added a PLX-bridge chip to provide additional PCI-E 2.0 lanes that assist the USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s controllers.
Both the nForce 200 and PLX bridge chips are situated in the same area that would otherwise be used for a Northbridge on older gen motherboards. They are cooled by a fusion heatsink that can be connected to a water-cooling loop and also has the ability to offload heat from the VPU VRM and PCH heatsinks.
There are ten internal SATA ports, six of which are provided by Intel's P55 PCH. Two others are 3 Gb/s ports run off GIGABYTE's own GSATA2 controller (of which this same controller also provides an IDE port onboard), and the final two ports are 6 Gb/s ports controlled by Marvell.
Rounding out the features list, there are two color-coded USB 3.0 ports along with a bunch of USB 2.0 ports, FireWire support, two Gigabit ethernet ports and 8-channel audio with optical and coaxial S/PDIF outputs.
MSI's upcoming Big Bang Fuzion motherboard has gathered much attention due to the use of Lucid's Hydra chip which provides much more flexible graphics technology in the sense that graphics cards from both ATI and NVIDIA can be added to provide better performance; similar to SLI or CrossFire but without the restriction of sticking to two or more of the same manufacturer and model cards.
We've seen the odd photo of the board show up on the web here and there recently, but finally a Japanese website has really got the goods in hand, having spotted the board available for purchase in the country at 39,000 YEN (430 USD).
At a Japanese gallery MSI decided to show off the board's overclocking prowess by pushing a Core i5 670 processor up to 6GHz with extreme cooling.
We've managed to get hold of some images of ASUS' upcoming M4A89GTD PRO motherboard which is based on AMD's new 890FX chipset.
As well as sporting both SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 support, this board also features a DirectX 10.1 IGP with 128MB of Sideport memory.
Seen above are a couple dip switches; one labeled "Core Unlocker" and the other "Turbo Key II". Certainly enticing additions for overclockers, though we won't know for sure how well these features work until we get our hands on a sample and test it out.
We'll keep you posted when more specific details about the board surface.
Reminiscing of the dodgey capacitor woes occuring left, right and centre on motherboards of a decade or more ago, it's been discovered by Lars over at SemiAccurate that the same nightmare is potentially unfolding yet again, although not with regard to capacitors (thankfully they're solid state these days to ensure no issues with age), but rather the chokes onboard.
You can see from the picture above that the chokes on this board are rusting. These are iron core chokes; cheaper than ferrite core chokes so therefore used on low to mid-range motherboards. Unlike ferrite core chokes, they have iron in them which is a metal that easily rusts when it has come into contact with water at some point. Here's an extract of the most probable explanation of this from the source :-
The iron powder used to make the iron core chokes had water added to it during the milling process and the iron powder was then not dried sufficiently before the chokes were made. The moisture trapped inside the chokes has then started to rust the chokes from the inside out during the time these boards have been sitting in the warehouse.
So far it's only the one board manufacturer with affected boards (of which thus far seem to be limited to P43, G31 and AMD 785G based models). It's been said that only boards inside of Taiwan and Singapore have been spotted with the rusty choke issue so far, but there's nothing to say it's not a much more widespread problem and only time will tell for sure.
What's of most concern is that the motherboard maker is aware of these affected boards and instead of simply pulling them off the market, they're apparently shifting them with lower pricing to help clear their inventory. The particularly scarey thing about this is that the issue, in time, could eventually develop into catastrophic failure whereby not only the motherboard would become useless, but it could also potentially kill the CPU residing in its socket.
You know I am all for smaller computers. I am really tired of these gigantic cases sitting by my desk that make lots of noise with all the fans for cooling. It would be great to build a powerful computer that was dead silent and could sit on my desk, or better yet behind my LCD.
A tiny Core i7 mainboard has turned up that might just let me do that called the conga-BM57. The board measures at a scant 5" x 3.7" and sports a 2.66 GHz Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, Intel integrated graphics, five PCI Express lanes, and eight USB ports.
That's not all either; the tiny board also packs in three SATA ports, one EIDE port, and one Gigabit Ethernet port. It can also support dual displays with VGA, LVDA, HDMI, and DisplayPort options. We aren't sure how much the thing will cost or when it will show up, but I want one if the price is right.