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Now that Intel and NVIDIA are butting heads in a legal battle, NVIDIA is focusing a little more on their offerings for AMD fans.
TechPowerUp found out that NVIDIA somewhat silently made the nForce 980a reference board official by adding the board to their product page. The 980a doesn't seem to be anything groundbreaking from NVIDIA, but it does bring AM3 and DDR3 support
What it does bring is yet another choice for AMD processors. Intel has the Core i7 locked down. If you want a Core i7 chip in your PC, you have but one choice, and thats an X58 motherboard.
The nForce 980a SLI motherboard has everything you've come to expect from NVIDIA. Dual gigabit LAN, 3-Way SLI support, lots of USB, and onboard video via the built in GeForce 8300 IGP.
The board pictured is just that of the refernce design. Once NVIDIA's partners get their hands on it, you can bet that their own cooling solutions will make it into the mix.
NVIDIA nForce® 980a SLI® media and communications processors (MCPs) power the most feature rich, high performance motherboards for AMD AM3 CPUs. As a premier enthusiast platform, nForce 980a features SLI technology for maximum graphics performance and are specifically designed to harness the power of GeForce® GPUs for gaming and beyond.
Foxconn has announced another Intel X58 based motherboard, the Renaissance II.
As far as specifications are concerned, the Renaissance II is identical to that of the first iteration of the board. It still has 4 PCIe X16 slots with support for CrossFireX and 3-Way SLI, still has room for 24GB of triple channel DDR3, and still has the same black and orange layout.
The few changes that Foxconn has made are simply those that are irrelevant to all but the most avid enthusiasts. The cooling solution has been changed and the heapipe has been removed. Also removed are the onboard power, reset, and clear CMOS buttons, the two SAS ports, and the debug LED, all of which should have absolutely no effect on performance.
ECS announced the G43T-M3 motherboard which they are touting "delivers the best HD experience."
The new mATX motherboard features the Intel G43 Express chipset and Intel GMA X4500 graphics, which includes built-in support for HD video decoding without the need for any add-on graphics cards.
Should more graphics power be required, the board has a PCIe 2.0 slot. The G43T-M3 has support for up to 12 USB 2.0 ports, 6 SATA ports, and sports DVI and VGA onboard. Unfortunately there is no HDMI or optical/coaxial SPDIF on the back I/O panel, which would make the board welcomed by many HTPC users.
There was no mention of price or availability in the full press release, which is available here.
We discovered an article in Taiwanese magazine PC Home Advance that is sure to get NVIDIA's knickers in somewhat of a knot.
The article explains how to enable SLI support on a motherboard without official NVIDIA SLI certification.
If you recall back a little, NVIDIA made a policy that if motherboard makers wanted to add SLI support to their Intel X58 chipset based motherboards, they would need to pay for certification to enable support in NVIDIA's ForceWare drivers.
PC Home Advance in Taiwan managed to work out if you flash GIGABYTE's EX58-UD4 motherboard with the latest F6 GIGABYTE UD4P BIOS (this board has official SLI support) from the GIGABYTE website, it will enable SLI support on the cheaper UD4 model.
Since you are flashing your board with a different model BIOS, you cannot just use the BIOS QFlash utility or the Windows based @BIOS. Instead, you need to flash your UD4 board with a DOS BIOS flashing program called SPIFLASH - a quick Google reveals it is readily available online. Once you've downloaded the utility, you need to enter DOS mode with a boot disk and simply type in the command "SPIFLASH EX58UD4P.F6", then the BIOS flash update will proceed. Once you've rebooted and gone back into Windows, you'll have SLI support.
Remember that flashing your board with a different BIOS will more than likely void your warranty and do take care if you wish to try it out. Leave your results and comments over at our GIGABYTE tech support forum.
ASUS sent HardOCP some information on the ASUS Rampage II GENE motherboard.
Besides supporting SLI and CrossFireX on the microATX board, it also has five fan connectors, six DIMM slots, seven SATA ports, and onboard X-FI audio.
ASUS says that the Rampage II GENE will hit the shelves with a $259 price tag.
ASUS sent along a handful of pictures of the ASUS Rampage II GENE X58 socket 1366 Core i7 motherboard that supports SLI and CFX in a microATX form factor for your viewing pleasure. We also have a complete list of specs and features to go with the pictures for those of you interested in what ASUS has packed onto this board. MRSP on the Rampage II GENE will be $259.
EVGA launched the X58 Classified Edition motherboard, raising the bar on enthusiast level motherboards.
The new board features never before seen features such as 3-way SLI + PhysX + 1x PCIe device on a single board, 2 8pin +12V connectors capable of delivering 600 watts of power, and 10 phase Digital PWM with a switching frequency of up to 1333KHz.
The board has ten SATA 300 connections, four PCIe X16 slots with support for 3-way SLI and CrossFire, and six DDR3 slots for up to 12GB of triple channel memory, as well as many more enthusiast grade features. Expect to drop US$449.99 on the board once it becomes available.
Many Manufacturers are stuffing the CPU Core Power Circuitry with endless phases without looking at the big picture. We take a very first to very last approach instead." said Peter "Shamino" Tan, Overclocking Evangelist for EVGA. "First the +12v comes into the board through the 8 pin CPU Power Connector. We remove the bottleneck here by doubling the current input capability with dual +12v. Next, the +12v is processed through a beefy 10 phase Digital PWM with a switching frequency of up to 1,333KHz, twice the speed of typical Digital PWMs and three times the speed of typical Analogue! Furthermore, you can adjust the switching frequency through the BIOS from 800KHz to 1,333KHz, deciding between power efficiency and heavy overclocking or benching.
Next, a super-low ESR and ESL film capacitor placed right behind the CPU socket ensures the cleanest power goes into your CPU. This finally passes on to a high quality CPU socket with three times the normal amount of gold content for the lowest impedance and highest current transfer, and of course, the socket is anodized a slick shiny black!
Until now, users with AMD's AM3 processors have been forced to choose between motherboards that supported only DDR2 or DDR3. Now you can choose both. MSI showed their 790GX-8D motherboard at CeBIT, which is aimed to give users an easier upgrade path with AM3 CPU's.
The 790GX-8D has four DDR2 slots as well as four DDR3 slots, two PCIe X16 slots, two PCIe x1 slots, and a single PCI slot. The new board supports CrossfireX and Hybrid CrossfireX using the onboard graphics.
It also featurs MSI's APS power saving technology and DrMOS voltage converters.
Folding@Home and Multi-GPU users rejoice. Asus in a fit of creativity has created a mainboard based on the X58 chipset with...Seven PCI-e slots, that's right I said Seven.
This board which will be called the P6T7 WS Supercomputer, is related to the amazing P6T6 WS Revolution. It will have a whopping four x16 PCI-E slots and three x8 Electrical slots.
Other specifications are similar to the P6T6 WS.
Pricing is not mentioned but with the P6T6 WS running at almost $400 you can bet the P6T7 will be quite expensive.
Read a little more here at Fudzilla.
The ASUS P6T7 WS Supercomputer is a newly announced X58 motherboard that sports no less than seven PCI-E 2.0 slots controlled by two nForce 200 SLI chips. More specifically, four of these slots are x16 and three are x8 electrical, and 3-way SLI and CrossFire are also supported.
Additional features of this board include six memory slots for up to 24GB of DDR3, six SATA II ports, two SAS ports supporting RAID 0, 1, 10, two eSATA ports and the usual 7.1 onboard sound and dual Gigabit Ethernet.
Obviously, this board brings some optimistic hope for Folding@home enthusiasts, as it has been said to be the "best choice for intensive parallel computing demand."
While we are still many months away from seeing Lynnfield chips on the shelves, PC Games Hardware managed to get a bunch of pictures of upcomming ASUS boards.
ASUS has two boards with the LGA 1160 socket: the P7U and P7U Pro. The only notable difference between the two appears to be the second PCIe x16 slot on the Pro, while the P7U has a PCIe X1 slot in place of it.
The latch on the LGA 1160 socket has undergone a slight redesign, perhaps to make it a little more secure. It is also a little odd that both of the boards still have the LGA 1160 socket, as Intel removed four pins from the chip back in October to make it LGA 1156
MSI is also showing off a P55 motherboard, the G9P55-DC. This board will support tri-SLI and as the board is pre-production, the cooling solution shown on the board will be upgraded before release.
The CPU is fuelled by two independent 6-phase power circuits. Four DDR3 DIMM slots support dual-channel memory. Storage comes in the form of six SATA II ports routed to the P55 chip, with four (blue) SATA II ports and an IDE connector courtesy of an additional controller. The board features two PCI slots, a PCI-E x1 slot to hold a "hardware" sound card (part of the package), an open-ended PCI-E x4 slot and three PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots. In case you're wondering how the 16 PCI-E lanes the CPU ends up sparing for graphics ends up into a 3-Way SLI supportive solution, take a look at what would trick you for a southbridge. That, infact is the NVIDIA BR-03 chip. It can provide two PCI-E x16 links, or PCI-E x16, x8, x8 connections to the three slots, much like in the nForce 780a SLI solutions for the AMD platform.
ASUS has leaked some pictures of a concept motherboard they will be showing off at CeBIT this year, the Marine Cool.
Little is known about the board but some assumptions can be made from the pictures. The board has dual PCI-E x16, x1, and legacy PCI slots as well as two SO-DIMM slots for memory. It seems quite odd that a motherboard that would clearly be targeted towards enthusiasts would resort to utilizing SO-DIMMs despite the lack of space required to implement them.
The bottom of the board has a unique micro-porous ceramic backplate that is said to provide better cooling and improved stability.