Computex Taipei 2013 - ASUS were showing off their TUF motherboards at Computex 2013, with four boards in the range. The first of which is the Mecha TUF, which uses the TUF Sabertooth Z87 motherboard with a striking design that is very robotic.
Moving on, we have the Thermal Universe Finder, which again uses the TUF Sabertooth Z87 motherboard and was designed by Tod's Factory Custom Studio and has loads of gears, rocket exhausts and all sorts of tank-themed goodies. The next board is the MATX Ranger, which uses the TUF Gryphon Z87 motherboard, Gryphon Armor kit and was designed by Lee Han-Sheng and Han-Sheng Environmental Art.
The final board in the range showed off at the show was the Winger Charger, which uses the TUF Gryphon Z87 motherboard with the Armor Kit and was designed by Tod's Factory Custom Studio.
Computex Taipei 2013 - Having found ourselves already impressed with the upcoming ASRock Z87 OC Formula/AC we today got a chance to test one of the features that we really wouldn't get to test ourselves. While not something that we would really make use of as we deal with just standard cooling setups. The new Waterproof by Conformal Coating is a really cool feature that protects the board from moisture when it comes to the most extreme overclocking.
While we were actually at the event today we heard from an overclocker that a couple of boards had died today due to the humidity in the air. When the benchmarking was finished the board was just dripping in water. Thanks to this new feature from ASRock it's really something overclockers won't have to worry about.
Computex Taipei 2013 - Going hand in hand with all the memory that is being shown off this year we've got a ton of motherboards that support the latest chipset from Intel. We headed over to the MSI booth this afternoon to have a look at what is exactly on offer.
One board that really took our eye is the upcoming Z87 XPOWER which is due in the coming weeks. Sporting the PLX chip for faster 4-Way GPU support the upcoming board which isn't quite ready yet looks good. Along with the PLX chip we've got the Sound Blaster X-Fi3 HD audio chip.
Computex Taipei 2013 - This morning we got the chance to head over to the EVGA Suite at the popular Grand Hyatt to check out some of the latest offerings that the company was going to be offering us in the coming months. Working hard recently to become a competitor in the extremely tough motherboard segment we saw EVGA show off a number of upcoming motherboards based on the new Z87 chipset that was just released by Intel over the past weekend.
The first board we saw was the upcoming Z87 Stinger based on the Mini-ITX form factor which we saw sitting in the new Mini-ITX barebone system that EVGA had just launched. In Typical Mini-ITX fashion there's not a whole lot to the motherboard due it's small nature. Looks wise it's pretty nice, though, with the black PCB and red highlights which is very typical EVGA.
Moving away from the Mini-ITX based board we had a look at two of the larger options from the company which include the Z87 FTP which is the more mainstream board while users looking for something a little more powerful will indeed be eyeing off the Z87 Classified.
Computex Taipei 2013 - GIGABYTE has added a new LGA 1150-based motherboard to its gaming line of motherboards. The G1.Sniper 5 is designed for gamers making use of Intel's latest Core CPUs. Sniper series motherboards come with features that gamers care about.
The new G1.Sniper 5 comes with the Killer E2200 Series gaming networking platform, providing the best possible network connection for gamers who need that extra few milliseconds. The G1.Sniper 5 also comes with a front headphone jack amplifier for gamers using a headset plugged into the front audio jack.
The G1.Sniper 5 features four PCIe-x16 expansion slots, spaced every other expansion slot. The remaining expansion slots are all PCIe-x1, perfect for that sound card or other expansion device. The G1.Sniper can easily support four-way SLI and Crossfire thanks to the layout of its expansion ports.
Pricing and availability for the motherboard are not currently available, but we should learn more in the coming days and weeks.
Computex Taipei 2013 - GIGABYTE has debuted a new Z87-based motherboard for Intel's new Haswell line of processors. The Z87X-OC, as its known, is GIGABYTE's offering to the overclocking community. The board has been designed for overclockers, by overclockers.
As you can see above, the board carries an orange and black theme, deviating from GIGABYTE's older blue theme. Next to the four RAM DIMM slots is the OC Touch, an exclusive GIGABYTE feature. OC Touch offers up buttons to make overclocking easy and "enjoyable."
The Z87X-OC features four PCIe-x16 expansion slots and supports up to four-way Crossfire and SLI. The arrangement of the PCIe expansion slots makes it easy to install four high-powered GPUs as they are spaced every other expansion slot, leaving room for dual-slot coolers.
It features six USB 3.0/2.0 ports and two exclusively USB 2.0 ports. Gigabit Ethernet is provided through an Intel networking chip. The board also features 8 channel audio thanks to an ALC892 audio controller. Pricing and availability is not currently known.
Computex Taipei 2013 - EVGA has debuted their Z87 Classified motherboard at Computex. The Z87 Classified is the perfect foundation for your new Haswell-based desktop. Graphics could be provided by EVGA's recently unveiled GTX 780 Classified GPU.
The Z87 Classified motherboard utilizes Intel's Z87 chipset for the recently released Haswell line of processors. It features support for up to 4-way Crossfire or SLI, thanks to having five PCIe-x16 expansion slots. The layout of the expansion slots allows for four dual-slot graphics cards, meaning you could theoretically slot in four GTX 780 Classifieds.
The board, as seen above, is mainly black with a few red accents. EVGA has even go so far as to redesign the memory trace layout and PCI-E layout. According to EVGA, the board has been "engineered for overclocking." Pricing and availability are currently unknown.
Computex Taipei 2013 - ASUS has debuted their new Z87 motherboard. Dubbed the Z87-A, the new motherboard is compatible with Intel's recently released fourth-generation line of Core processors. These new Haswell-powered processors bring many improvements to the table and so does ASUS' new board.
As you can see above, the new Z87-A motherboard features a black and gold color scheme. The main features of the board include support for LGA 1150-based processors, which are the Haswell-powered processors debuted by Intel this year at Computex. It features 4 DIMM slots and a maximum of 32GB of memory running at speeds of 2933.
The motherboard comes with six SATA 3 6Gbps ports, providing plenty of SATA ports for your hard drives and solid state drives. Three PCIe-x16 expansion slots allow you to due tri-SLI or quad-SLI with two dual-GPU cards. Crossfire is also supported, with quad-Crossfire requiring dual-GPU cards as well.
Computex Taipei 2013 - Yesterday we were kindly invited to the GIGABYTE headquarters here in Taipei, Taiwan where we got a full introduction to its line-up of new Intel Z87 Express "Haswell" based motherboards, ahead of Computex Taipei 2013 which begins next week.
We got a look at its new gaming, overclocking and mainstream boards. Stew from GIGABYTE was kind enough to run us through the range. We get a look at the G1.Sniper 5, G1.Sniper M5, Z87X-OC, Z87X-OC Force, Z87X-UD5H and more.
It was clear from our visit that GIGABYTE has focused heavily on audio for this range of boards with some pretty amazing features such as its O-AMP Premium audio system. My first impression of all the boards was that they all look great. It's not unusual to have a couple good looking boards in a series, but when they all look good, it was a big surprise, in a good way.
Our reviews of these Z87 boards will be published on TweakTown over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
Computex Taipei 2013 - We visited GIGABYTE's HQ last night and were greeted to their new ultra compact PC, the BRIX. The fun didn't end there, as well as a tease of their upcoming BIOS for their Haswell-based motherboard range.
As you have probably seen in the video above, the user interface is gorgeous. GIGABYTE have packed the new-look BIOS with some serious details, which give you a run down of what your system is doing temperature wise, and much more. The background is customizable, so you can actually chuck in your own pictures if that's what you want to see. The entire UI runs in 1920x1080, which is something I think I can get used to.
GIGABYTE should win many more fans over with their new-look BIOS, on top of their boards looking incredibly sexy yet again.
ASRock shows off Dual Band Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Waterproof Conformal Coating on Intel 8-Series motherboards
When we last took a look at ASRock's microsite for its upcoming Intel 8-Series motherboards, we learned of the new HDMI-In feature and before that, we got a glimpse of their new Purity Sound hardware. This morning ASRock has unveiled two new features present on its Intel 8-Series boards.
Up first is built-in functionality for the next-generation Wi-Fi standard. 802.11ac Wi-Fi is a new wireless computer networking standard that provides high-throughput wireless local area networks on the 5GHz band with data transferring speeds up to 867Mbps. The new boards will feature ASRock's 2T2R Dual Band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth v4.0.
Up next is a new conformal coating that renders the boards waterproof for use in systems that feature liquid cooling. This cool new feature will also come in handy for the extreme overclockers who worry about frost build up shorting out components when using LN2. The coating is said to protect the board from conductive liquids, dust, corrosion and extreme temperatures.
This morning ECS officially announced its upcoming line of Intel 8-Series motherboards designed around the new 4th generation Intel Core processors. The new motherboard line will come in three flavors: Pro, Deluxe and Essentials.
The Pro series will be optimized for power computing, while the Deluxe line will be geared towards home and office use. The Essentials series will be better suited towards the home theatre or media center crowd who needs the power, but not necessarily the larger footprint of more feature rich boards.
All boards will feature ECS's new Durathon durability technology, which features triple density PCBs, solid capacitors and extreme testing. Additional features include ECS's exclusive Hyper Alloy Choke technology, Sound Blaster Cinema technology, 4-way video output (DVI, HDMI, Display Port and D-Sub VGA), EZ quick charger, Motherboard Intelligent BIOS III, 4K video output, ECS EZ Bios and ECS ADS (Anti-Dust Shield).
ASRock has announced that their top-of-the-line Z87 Extreme9/ac is the first Intel 8 Series motherboard to be awarded Thunderbolt certification from Intel. The Z87 Extreme9/ac is ASRock's highest performance motherboard designed for Intel's upcoming Haswell CPU's.
Now the maestros of motherboard manufacturing, ASRock is the world's first to add more of these wonderful Thunderbolt ports to the upcoming Intel 8 Series motherboards! What's more, the company's top-of-the-line Z87 Extreme9/ac motherboard is the world's first Intel 8 Series motherboard to pass the Intel Thunderbolt certification. These Thunderbolt ports will come on ASRock's Z87 Extreme9/ac, which are allegedly arriving to the market very soon, along with dozens of other exciting new features, such as ASRock's A-Style.
We expect to see the Z87 Extreme9/ac at Computex during the first part of June. It, along with Intel's Haswell CPU's, should be one of the main highlights of the show.
For those who don't know, Thunderbolt is a connectivity platform developed by Intel that provides the ability to daisy-chain devices through a single Thunderbolt port.
A few days ago I broke the news on ASRock's upcoming 8 Series motherboards, and at that time the only detailed information available was on the audio hardware that would be featured on the upcoming boards. This morning ASRock has released a new slide and video on their 8 Series microsite that details how the technology really works.
In the video above it appears that the HDMI-in port functions as a pass-through to feed your devices HDMI signal to your monitor for things such as video streaming, gaming and large screen functionality. The HDMI-in feature works even when the PC is turned off, which I feel could come in very handy.
While this new HDMI-in feature is very cool, I personally am waiting on the demo video of the waterproof conformal coating that ASRock has said all the 8 Series boards would be coated in. This will greatly hinder board repairability, but with the high-end components being used these days, we no longer have to worry about leaking capacitors and burnt mosfets as much as we use to.
We're seeing more and more details from motherboard manufacturers and their upcoming Haswell-capable motherboards, with ASRock walking into the spotlight today with a bunch of details on their entire Z87 lineup of motherboards.
ASRock will be releasing 11 motherboards in the Haswell range, with top three of these boards featuring the Z87 Express chipset: the Z87 Extreme11, Z87 Fatal1ty Professional and Z87 OC Formula. The Z87 Extreme11 is available in the /ac option, which is on-board 802.11ac Wi-Fi for some seriously high-end wireless networking. This is ASRock's best board, and features everything you'd need - Thunderbolt, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, SLI/CrossFire compatibility, and more.
PC & Tech Authority have just posted a bunch of pictures of their exclusive look at Gigabyte's Z87X-UD3H motherboard, and boy does it look good. The Haswell-capable board features a slick color scheme consisting of black, grey and blue.
The Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H comes with three full-sized x16 PCIe slots, three x1 PCIe slots, and still, a PCI slot. There's eight SATA ports, 4 DIMM slots, on-board power/reset/CMOS clear buttons, and a SATA power connection that will give the motherboard more power if needed. Gone are the usual molex connectors for some more power, thankfully.
We had a very nice look at Gigabyte's Z87 G1-Killer motherboard yesterday and now we get to have a glimpse at their UEFI DualBIOS, which is looking absolutely gorgeous. It features the orange and black theme that we know and love from Gigabyte's high-end boards, which looks amazing.
There seems to be something I think Gigabyte should patent here, something along the lines of 'everything but the kitchen sink' when it comes to BIOS options. The new UEFI DualBIOS looks incredibly detailed, and should cater perfectly to enthusiasts and power users. I can't wait to get my hands on a few of these bad boys.
This seems to be the morning of microsite product teasers. ASRock has just released a microsite that is showcasing some of the upcoming features on the company's upcoming Intel 8 Series motherboards. We can expect to see features like next-gen Wi-Fi, waterproof coatings and custom cloud storage features.
The first teaser we get is on ASRock's Purity Sound technology, which is a combination of hardware and software audio solutions that feature 115dB sound to noise ratio. This is achieved by a Realtek ALC1150 chip feeding the data into a Texas Instruments NE5532 Differential Amplifier, which produces better sound quality over traditional Chip to Audio Capacitor technology.
Purity Sound will also be able to handle up to 600ohm headphones, and will reportedly feature ultra-clear bass with much less sound distortion. ASRock is also teasing us with several other features which the company will disclose more information on in the coming days.
Most notably is HDMI-IN, 2T2R Dual Bands 802.11 AC Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 support. Additionally, we can expect to see the motherboards waterproofed by a conformal coating, which should make the water cooling and LN2 crowd very happy indeed.
Gamers Arena have posted a couple of pictures of Gigabyte's upcoming Haswell-compatible motherboard, the Z87 G1-Killer. There's two pictures that we've posted below, check them out.
The first one is a close-up of the motherboard, showing us that there is a lot going on around the CPU socket, with some extra cooling for the VRMs which is great to see. The second shot is a full photo of the motherboard, which has me in goosebumps. It looks awesome, and I want one, now.
Gigabyte have pushed out a bunch of teaser images on their upcoming Haswell-capable Z87 G1-Killer motherboard. Gigabyte's G1 Killer series is the company's top-tier motherboard, which offers some high-end on-board solutions from companies like Creative and Bigfoot Networks.
What makes this tease very interesting is that the Z87 G1-Killer sports an internal liquid cooling solution, something that has been featured on ASUS' Maximus V Formula. Gigabyte's solution offers both air cooling through the heatsink and liquid cooling through an internally built water channel which transfers the coolant through all-copper made heatpipes. Gigabyte will be offering the board some serious Ultra Durable components, such as IR3550 PowIRstage, 2X Copper PCB, High Capacity Ferrite Core Chokes and more.
Gigabyte's Z87 G1-Killer includes 8 VRM phases on one side of the board, and if we're lucky, we could see 8 more VRMs on the other side of the board, providing a total of 16 VRMs. We should expect the Z87 G1-Killer to ship with Intel XMP profile support, pushing DDR3 right up to 3200MHz. This will be on top of the usual slew of crazy overclocking features that this motherboard is set to include.
We should hear more on this motherboard before Computex, which is just over a month away now!
We haven't even had our hands grace the next-gen CPU that is Haswell yet, but Intel are already talking about their chipset destined for 2014 - Intel's 9-series chipsets.
These chipsets will support Serial ATA Express, which is based on the PCI Express protocol and will pave the way for some seriously high-bandwidth storage devices. Intel's 9-series chipsets will include core-logic sets such as Z97 and H97, and will support SATA Express by default. There will also be an all-new Intel device protection technology with boot guard built into the chipset, enhancing the security against low-level malware attacks on the upcoming next-gen platform.
What can we expect from SATA Express on Intel's 9-series motherboards? Well, we should see a cost-effective means to deliver interface speeds between 8Gb/s and 16Gb/s compared to the 6Gb/s maximum that the SATA III specification allows now. The specification will define new device and motherboard connects that will support both the current SATA devices, and the new SATA Express devices.