TweakTown NewsRefine News by Category:
Most of us would agree that one of the most tedious aspects of using a PC these days isn't so much tapping our fingers on our desk during application or game load times, as modern PCs can do this fairly quickly; rather, it's turning it on each day and watching it step through the BIOS and boot phases, followed by some HDD thrashing and pausing as it makes its way into Vista or XP over a 30 to 50 second period (which feels a lot longer, ugh).
Purchasing a solid state disk certainly helps a lot, providing you don't mind the fact that they still cost a hell of a lot more over traditional mechanical drives, yet carry with them significantly less storage capacity. However, even the use of an SSD isn't as effective as one other option that a lot of you may not even know about.
ASRock is now promoting the technology as their own exclusive 'Instant Boot' feature, but after reading over their official news release, I struggle to see how it differs to what some of us already know as being S3/STR mode, or Suspend To RAM. This power saving mode is available on nearly all modern day motherboards and combined with Vista or XP it allows the user to put their system into 'sleep' mode which effectively shuts the system down almost instantly.
But the best bit comes when you turn it back on, a small trickle of power keeping the RAM modules alive with the data held in place allows the system to quickly wake up again, bypassing the BIOS altogether and bringing up the desktop almost straight away, just like turning on a household electrical device and being ready for action. I have been using this feature on my ROG Blitz Formula for several months now and it is a true god send. I only wish I knew about its existance earlier.
I can also report from experience that there are no ill side effects in using this method to start up your system each time. You just have to make sure the power hasn't been cut to the PSU whilst in sleep (S3/STR) mode, otherwise the necessary data held in your system RAM gets wiped and a full restart is then required.
Why a lot of you may not have heard of this mode before is because oddly, to this day a lot of motherboard BIOS' seem to come shipped with their default power save mode set to S1 standby, preventing the ability of putting the system into a complete sleeping state where power is cut off to everything bar the memory on the motherboard which retains an exact image of what's needed to wake the system up promptly and near instantly.
ASRock has put together a neat little video with two systems side by side; one booting from scratch and the other booting with their Instant Boot feature. You can see just how beneficial it is to make use of this technology if you find yourself shutting your system down a few times a day. Though, there are those of us that leave our PCs on 24/7 just to avoid the waiting when it comes time to fire it back up, but maybe you'll consider changing your habits and saving some power once you see how well it works.
If you haven't already noticed, today is Intel day - Core i7 and X58 Express to be exact.
While ASUS jumped the gun well and truly launching its boards a week or two ago, GIGABYTE waited for the actual launch day. Today GIGABYTE is taking the covers off three brand new Socket 1366 motherboards based on the fresh new X58 Express chipset.
The big daddy of them all is the EX58-EXTREME and it is designed to be the best overclocker of the pack with plenty of overclocker friendly features.
The next on the list coming in a little cheaper is the EX58-UD5, which is quite similar as far as features and ports and what-not go but it lacks the fancy cooling.
The cheapest X58 board from GIGABYTE is the EX58-DS4 and it drops off some features to lower the price tag such as less SATA ports and only a single Gigabit LAN port.
Having received the fruits of its labours by making inroads into the enthusiast motherboard market, rumours are circulating that Foxconn maybe withdrawing from the 'branded' motherboard circuit.
Citing its sources, this report from DIGITIMES claims that Foxconn has instructed its sales department to cease accepting orders for certain models, whilst refraining from gathering order volume forecasts for all new SKUs. It is further suggested that the company is, effectively, clearing out its inventory and is keeping its moves as low profile as possible.
This report from HARDSPELL, however, states that Foxconn's Channel Manager has refuted the rumours, stating that the company has no intention to quit the 'branded' motherboard market at all.
We'll keep you updates as further updates become available.
TechConnect Magazine reports that loyal NVIDIA partner, EVGA, is hard at work on an Intel X58 motherboard solution.
The news, which broke yesterday, has generated a great deal of interest and, today, we can garner a glimpse of EVGA's masterpiece, courtesy of the XtremeSystems Forum.
Going for a striking black PCB, EVGA's solution boasts Intel Core i7 support, triple-channel DDR3 memory support and a mighty cooling solution, to boot.
Together with the usual bells and whistles to be expected on a high-end offering, it is claimed that EVGA may be working on a few tweaks to set its challenger above the competition.
Pricing information is unavailable at the time of going to press.
There's certainly been a fair share of early looks at upcoming X58 motherboards from the likes of ASUS, GIGABYTE, MSI, Foxconn and others, but you 'aint seen nothing yet. Hows this for eye candy :-
XFastest recently got hold of some of the most talked about and extreme X58 boards we've seen to date for an all out photo shoot. There's absolutely no shortage of angles and closeups in this compilation.
The boards comprise ASUS' well regarded P6T Deluxe and Rampage II Extreme, GIGABYTEs GA-EX58-DS4 and GA-EX58-EXTREME, as well as MSIs X58 Eclipse and Foxconn's Digital Life Renaissance.
Head over to this section of XFastest's forums to see the complete collection.
We've seen GIGABYTEs top-end EX58-Extreme motherboard in all its heat-pipe weilding glory. And while the board is certainly worthy of its "Extreme" title, the thought of its associated price tag would be enough to tone down much of the excitement for many.
However, another very similar board has now been spotted from the giant mobo maker, the EX58-UD5. XFastest managed to
get a shot of it in its final revision form for us all to feast our eyes on.
Using their latest Ultra Durable 3 construction, the board also carries across almost all of the features the Extreme variant boasts, but it sports a different colour sceheme we haven't seen in the past and also does away with the massive cooling system in replacement for a (still quite impressive looking) design.
Whilst in attendance at IDF Tapei, the folks at Fudzilla have snapped some nicely presented photos of a bunch of X58 motherboards, some of which we haven't seen until now.
This is one particular offering I don't believe has been spotted before; ECS' X58B-A. And it would appear this one's in its final revision state with a rather healthy looking cooling system in place.
Another sighting of the mighty Blood Rage from Foxconn, this time showing the board from a different angle to the shots we first saw recently. Please note that the cooling system shown here is not final; as mentioned the other day, Foxconn has a full heatpipe system ready for the board with interchangeable cooling options on the Northbridge, including a waterblock.
Fudzilla spotted something else quite nifty about this board; it has two holes for the CPU heatsink legs; one set of holes to suit your existing LGA775 cooler. Let's hope we see some of the other manufacturers doing this.
You can view shots of several other boards here, including a bit of an odd ball offering from Shuttle and a beefy workstation solution from Supermicro.
A forum user over at XtremeSystems, by the name of Ivanqu, has managed to take an MSI P45 Platinum motherboard to a whole new level by reaching an incredibly high FSB.
Use plenty of LN2 loving, he managed to take an Intel 45nm Wolfdale Core 2 Duo E8400 (only one core enabled, though and with just one stick of 512MB memory in single channel mode) to a clock speed of 4235MHz but that is not the impressive part. By using liquid nitrogen on the Northbridge, Ivanqu managed to pump the FSB all the way up to an amazing 705MHz with the CPU multiplier running at six.
You can read more over at the XtremeSystems forum thread here and the CPU-Z Validated page is right here.
Yet another X58 based Nehalem board for the desktop market gets an early showing, this time from SUPoX which, if you weren't already aware, was actually once EPoX before it faded away and the new company was born.
This here is a viewing of their AP58+ GTR; a full featured board with a quite serious looking copper cooling system. Features include CrossfireX and most likely SLI, eight SATA ports, dual Gigabit, reset and CMOS clear buttons, three x16 PCIe slots, six DDR3 slots for triple channel memory configurations and 7.1 integrated audio.
The board is being promised for release upon the Nehalem launch date; we're not yet aware of pricing.
XFX reckons and we aren't kidding, Now You Can Have the "Mother" You've Always Wanted.
Yep, that's right, as you can see above in the marketing poster. XFX is out with its brand new nForce 750i SLI motherboard and now usually wwe don't get excited because XFX normally use NVIDIA made boards but from what we can see, this board looks to be made and designed by XFX.
It features an XFX designed passively cooled heatpipe, "tweaked" FSB good up to 450MHz, overclocked DDR2 good up to 1600MHz DDR, all Japanese made solid capacitors, clear CMOS on rear I/O panel and more.
It probably won't help you to break any world records but for the price, this board will give you plenty of bang for buck. You can get the full lowdown from the press release, which is right here.