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We managed to get hold of exclusive pictures of the upcoming GIGABYTE P55A-UD7 motherboard. It's labeled as "EXTREME" at the moment, but that's because it's not the final shipping product.
From what we heard from our source, "UD7" is the new name to replace the "EXTREME Series" that GIGABYTE used with a couple of its recent products. Without knowing for sure, we would say that "UD7" is the new name because of the tremendous popularity of the new Windows 7 operating system. It's all about the number seven right now.
So, what's new here and why do we need yet another extreme high-end motherboard from GIGABYTE? Presently the P55A-UD6 is the top dog from the Taiwanese motherboard maker, but the UD7 will introduce some important features for those looking to get full performance out of their Intel P55 Express based Core i5 or i7 Lynnfield system.
Added onto the P55A-UD7, as we can see from the picture above, is a PLX and NF200 chip. Why? NVIDIA's NF200 chip provides an additional 32 PCI-E lanes and the PLX chip provides additional lanes for USB 3.0 and SATA 3 (6Gbps).
So, what is the need for all these additional PCI Express lanes? P55 is a crippled version of the high-end X58 chipset, which comes with loads of lanes. P55 is the cheaper version and hence comes with far fewer lanes. The NF200 chip allows for full speed three-way SLI and Crossfire and as we mentioned above, the PLX chip adds more lanes for the USB 3.0 and SATA 3.
As has been discussed, on the present P55A-UD6 motherboard, there are not enough lanes for the USB 3.0 and SATA 3 to work at full speed, so some lanes had to be diverted away from the video card slots, meaning that video cards will not work at full speed. The fix for users not liking his implementation was GIGABYTE coming out with the P55A-UD7 motherboard.
DFI has won the race when it comes to bringing out the first Mini-ITX sized P55 motherboard. UK website Clunk.org has managed to get hold of details and images of the upcoming LGA-1156 board.
With the PCB of the LANParty MI P55-T36 measuring in at 6.7 x 6.7-inch, the board is equipped with a decent array of specs and features :-
6 Phase PWM with Japanese made solid capacitors
High Frequency Multi Layer Inductors
2 connectors on board for 4 USB 2.0
One 16x PCI-E 2 slot
3x SATA II ports with RAID
2x DDR3 Slots Supporting Dual Channel
Realtek ALC 885 7.1 Audio
Intel GBe LAN
6x USB 2 Connectors
1x Powered e-SATA/USB
Dump-Proof Clear CMOS Button
LED Post Code Display
Availability of this board is said to be very near, but a definitive date has not yet been mentioned. Pricing is also yet to be disclosed.
When you hear the words Big Bang many things come to mind. If you are between the ages of 9-14 you might start laughing (I know I still do), older than that you might have thoughts of galaxies and stars. If you are a computer enthusiast (pronounce that Geek) then you will probably think about MSI and their new Hydra sporting motherboards.
Well MSI is finally releasing one of the Big Bang Series. Unfortunately this one will be without Hydra. The new Hydra-Less board will be called the Trinergy and will have some nice consolations to the lack of the Hydra Chip.
The LGA 1156 board will have support for 4 DDR3 2133 Slots, Active Phase Switching, SuperPipe cooling, a PCI-e x1 Quantum Wave Audio card, dual GbE and true 3 way x16 SLI and Crossfire support. This last one is through the use of an NF200 chip to provide the extra PCI-e lanes.
There is no word on pricing yet and of course no word on when we might see a Hydra version yet. Still this looks like an interesting board to be sure and one that will have the SLI/Crossfire crowd excited about the P55/Lynnfield.
ASRock has just announced its new P55DE3 motherboard for LGA 1156 Core i5 and Core i7 processors which looks to be a well rounded fully featured offering and hopefully very competitively priced.
Some of ASRock's inclusive features on the P55DE3 are OC DNA, C.C.O. (Combo Cooler Option), Multi-Speed Fan Control, Good Night LED, Intel Turbo Boost Monitor and EuP (Energy Using Product).
You can learn more about each of these features and other specifications within the official press release here.
ASRock has also provided a slide which shows the new P55DE3 up against GIGABYTE's highly popular GA-P55-UD6 in the performance stakes - indicating a win under both 3DMark Vantage and PCMark Vantage.
GIGABYTE has today announced seven new P55 based Intel motherboards which include a trio of the latest technologies that GIGABYTE refers to as GIGABYTE 333 Onboard Acceleration.
GIGABYTE's 333 Onboard Acceleration is seen on GIGABYTE's P55 series boards with USB 3.0, SATA 3.0 and 3X USB Power features.
"GIGABYTE is excited to be able to introduce our latest 333 onboard acceleration technologies on our market leading P55 platform," commented Tony Liao, Associate Vice President of Marketing at GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD. "Through close cooperation with several industry leaders including NEC Electronics Corporation, Marvell, and Seagate, GIGABYTE is able to provide our customers with several next generation data transfer and storage technologies that will have a far reaching impact on how people interact with their digital media for many years to come."
You can learn more about the seven new P55A-series boards from GIGABYTE in the official announcement, located here.
Late last week we gave you an exclusive look at GIGABYTE's upcoming P55A motherboards. We promised this week we would also give you a look at the upcoming GIGABYTE EX-58 EXTREME2 motherboard.
As with the refreshed P55A motherboards, the EX-58 EXTREME2 motherboard carries the same "333" theme. The triple three theme means that SATA3, USB3 and triple power USB has been added to the new version of the popular EXTREME motherboard for the high-end Core i7 processors.
We covered the three new additions to a lot of detail (with pictures) in our post last week about the new P55A motherboards, so we won't go over all that again here. Instead, just visit the news post here.
Below you can watch our exclusive video review of the GIGABYTE EX-58 EXTREME2 motherboard.
Will you be buying one? Let us know by commenting on the video. Don't forget to sign up to our YouTube channel, either!
Zotac is improving their ION line up by offering a high-end ION based Mini-ITX board.
The new board will be dubbed the ITX-F will have the inclusion of a PCI-E x16 slot. It also includes an Atom 330 CPU which should give you enough power to run your Nettop or HTPC. The NVIDIA ION features HDCP outputs through VGA, DVI and HDMI, 802.11n WiFi, Gigabit Lan and two slots for RAM. There is no word on pricing just yet and no mention of any overclocking features that might be hidden in the BIOS but this still looks like it might be an excellent choice for an HTPC.
In our most recent poll, we asked our readers who their favorite motherboard maker was and we had tremendous feedback.
We had a very good number of voters totaling around 9,100 votes. Out in front, 40% of our readers prefer ASUS motherboards, while 28% of our readers prefer GIGABYTE motherboards.
Next up we saw MSI getting 7% of the votes with eVGA coming in at 6%. DFI and ASRock share 4% of the votes.
For the actual numbers, go here.
In our latest poll, we want to know your thoughts about DirectX 11 (DX11). Let us know! Please go here to vote!
Asus loves its high-end customers. First they dropped out the "RoG (Republic of Gamers)" line as their high-end products, now they have their "The Ultimate Force" (TUF) boards.
The first of this new line of board is being called the Sabertooth 55i. This is going to be a P55 with quite a few unique features and improvements over even their RoG boards. The first is the implementation of what Asus is calling E.S.P. this stands for Efficient Switching Power. This is intended to provide clean power to the CPU and memory as well as the PCI-e Slots and controller (now on the CPU). According to the hard-sell from Asus it raises the efficiency of power conversion from 60% to an impressive 90%.
But the fun does not stop there.
Asus has stuffed in extra goodies like ceramics based heatsinks, direct memory cooling (with an optional cooling fan), "military-certified" MOSFETs, and more.
The new color scheme for the board gives it a decidedly military feel. I am sure this is to allow it to compete (in advertising) against Foxconn's military themed products. No word yet on retail availability or pricing but, given its redesign and high-end components you can bet it will not be cheap.
One major complaint with modern computers is the time it takes to get them to a working state. Even the fastest system takes time to boot up and get all the devices in the system checked and working.
Pheonix is working on a BIOS that can speed up the POST time by a considerable marign. How fast? Well according to some of the reports it can actually cut the POST (Power on Self Test) down to one second.
That means that if you combine Windows 7 and its speed up boot time you could be ready and working in around 10-20 seconds. This is extremely fast and something to be seen in action.
What is it I keep saying? The future of computing is looking awfully bright.