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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.