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We're over in chilly Beijing, China at the moment checking out the 2013 Beat It Grand Finals being hosted by MSI. Between CS:GO games, we went down and hit the floor to see what was going on in the few booths that have been set up by the sponsors of the event.
Two items that really got our attention are the new mITX weapons that MSI are showing off that are due to hit in the first week of December. One is the upcoming Z87I Gaming AC motherboard. As the name suggests it's based on the Z87 chipset.
Alongside that we've also got GTX 760 Gaming ITX, a smaller GTX 760 designed to be installed in a MITX case that you can see above. We've got samples of both products already so keep an eye out for a review in early December. We always love those mITX products and we can't wait to see how they perform.
You might be used to your motherboard with 6, or maybe 8 SATA ports, but ASRock has your back if you want to cram an insane 22 SATA drives onto your system with its latest Z87 Extreme11 motherboard.
The ASRock Z87 Extreme11 leverages the LSI 3008 chip, partnered with a 3X24R expander to provide an insane sixteen SAS-3/SATA 6Gbps ports, as well as the usual 6 SATA 6Gbps ports provided by the chipset on the board. 22 HDDs installed from a single motherboard? This is now possible, thanks to ASRock. The Z87 Extreme11 motherboard is also outfitted with some impressive dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Purity Sound, 12 x USB 3.0 ports, dual GbE, and two mSATA ports.
ASRock make some truly killer motherboards, so it's about time that they used the word 'killer' in one of its motherboards. Introducing the new ASRock Fatal1ty Z87 Killer motherboard, the company's newest motherboard in its Z87 range of motherboards.
The new Fatal1ty Z87 Killer motherboard features a Killer E2200 Intelligent Networking Platform, which should be something online gamers will be interested in, as it reduces the latency in online gaming. ASRock ran some in-house testing, where it saw a reduction in latency in League of Legends, Diablo 3 and DoTA2 by 136%, 60% and 47%, respectively.
ASRock's Fatal1ty Z87 Killer motherboard also features some of the usual high-end features we have come to expect from the motherboard maker, which come in the form of Hi-Density Power Connectors that "reduces 23% power loss and decreases the power connector's temperature." ASRock has also baked in Purity Sound, which is an on-board audio solution and HDMI-in for those who want to use their PC as a video-in device, plugging in their console for example.
While in town for IDF 2013, Intel, Corsair, and ASUS teamed up to put on the OC Main Event nearby. At this event, ASUS unveiled its latest X79 motherboard to complement the newly released Ivy Bridge-E line of processors. While the details are slim, ASUS did mention that they put in 5 times the amount of work on DRAM traces and various other aspects of the board, meaning this should be one heck of a performer.
ASUS has combined the Formula and Extreme versions of their ROG line of motherboards into this beautiful motherboard, which should provide some incredible performance. As soon as we get a full spec list from ASUS, we'll be sure to tell you about it.
IDF 2013 - Today at IDF 2013, GIGABYTE invited us over to their booth to talk about some of their new high-end motherboards that they are unveiling at the show. Up first is a new Z87 motherboard that features two Thunderbolt ports and a red and black color scheme.
GIGABYTE Marketing Director Colin Brix went on to show us another Z87 motherboard featuring Intel's Thunderbolt technology. Finally we were given a preview of a Sniper motherboard that will support Ivy Bridge E.
Early this morning GIGABYTE unveiled the latest addition to its 8 series motherboards. The GIGABYTE H81.AMP-UP supports the latest 4th generation Intel Core processors and is aimed at appeasing audiophiles who enjoy the ability to tune the audio output to fit their personal taste.
The motherboard features and upgradable operational amplifier (OP-Amp), A small chip that users can replace with varying models. This is something that GIGABYTE says has never been seen before on a mainstream platform motherboard. The board's audio circuit is designed around GIGABYTE's exclusive USB DAC-UP circuitry which is said to provide a noise-less USB power to the digital two-to analog converters, and slide switches to boost overall game levels. Additionally high-end Nichicon capacitors are used to help smooth out the audio signals.
"The GIGABYTE H81.AMP-UP is like no other motherboard currently available, addressing the important market of audio enthusiasts that don't necessarily require high-end PC gaming features," commented Henry Kao, Vice President of GIGABYTE Motherboard Business Unit. "Delivering a potent combination of our exclusive audio technologies, and backed by our signature Ultra Durable design philosophy, the GIGABYTE H81.AMP-UP has certainly upped the ante in terms of must have features for mainstream H81 motherboards."
The board also features 2 DIMM slots, 4 SATA connectors, 4 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out, and a single PCIe x16 connector. Overall the board is pretty plain featuring a black on black color scheme with the gold plated audio circuitry being the main focus. Pricing and availability details were not provided but we expect it will go on sale sometime this coming month.
Today, GIGABYTE announced its first socket LGA 1150 motherboards that are designed around Intel's new H81 chipset for entry-level builds. To kick things off, the company announced three different H81-based mainboards--H81M-DS2, H81M-D2V, and H81M-D3V--which are all based on the micro-ATX PCB standard that measures in at 226mm x 170mm.
H81 Express is said to basically be B85 Express sans the SBA and a lower number of SATA 3 ports. Each board is expected to retail in the $50 range, with the H81M-DS2 focusing in on legacy connectivity by featuring a serial port and parallel port to accommodate older systems such as Point-of-Sale Machines. The H81M-DV2 loses the parallel port but retains the serial port and includes modern display connectivity such as VGA and DVI.
The H81M-DV3 shrugs off all legacy connectivity and includes just a DVI and the VGA port for display outputs. A common PS/2 connector is still available, but the serial and parallel ports are gone making it the ideal motherboard replacement for office PCs. All three boards use a common three-phase CPU power design and feature two DDR3 DIMM slots and a single PCIe-x16 slot.
Today, ASUS officially posted a BIOS update for its socket LGA2011 motherboards that ushers in support for Intel's Core i7 Ivy Bridge-E processors. To install the update, users need an old LGA2011 processor, or they can choose to use the ASUS USB BIOS Flashback utility which requires no CPU or RAM to flash the BIOS. Just a 24pin ATX connector.
The P9X79 series, ROG Rampage series, and TUF Sabertooth X79 series are all supported and Ivy Bridge-E support is denoted by the following BIOS Versions:
- P9X79 LE, P9X79, P9X79 Pro, and P9X79 Deluxe - BIOS version number 4301
- ROG Rampage IV Extreme and Rampage IV Gene - BIOS version number 4401
- ROG Rampage IV Formula - BIOS version number 4402
- TUF Sabertooth X79 - BIOS version number 4309
To download your corresponding BIOS update, head over to Source #1 below.
Today, ASUS announced that it will support Intel's new Thunderbolt 2 technology and unveiled the first motherboard to feature the 20Gb/s interconnect. The Z87-Deluxe/Quad is a Z87-based motherboard that is compatible with Intel's fourth-generation Haswell processors. It boasts impressive features, including 10 SATA 3 6GB/s ports, eight USB 3.0 ports, and three PCIe-x16 slots.
"The Z87-Deluxe/Quad has been subjected to a tremendous amount of compatibility, BIOS, as well as video/audio and other tests to verify its quality and design," claimed Joe Hsieh, general manager for ASUS' motherboard division. "Being the world's first certified motherboard for Thunderbolt 2 technology also means setting the standard for all of the upcoming products, which is something that ASUS has always done."
Although the other specifications are cool, Thunderbolt 2 is what really sets this motherboard apart from the rest. The new interconnect standard works by combining two upstream and downstream channels of the original Thunderbolt standard into a pair of bidirectional channels that are both capable of running at 20Gb/s. The motherboard is able to support up to a total of up to 12 Thunderbolt devices, and the motherboard will be capable of supporting 3 4K ultrahigh definition displays from a single system by using the HDMI port with each of the two Thunderbolt 2 ports.
Today, GIGABYTE announced the launch of a new AMD motherboard to their G1-Killer line of high-end gaming motherboards. The new G1 Sniper A88X boasts many of the features we have come to expect from GIGABYTE's legendary green and black premium line of motherboards.
With the ability to support both FM2 Trinity and Richland APUs and the upcoming FM2+ Keveri processors, this new offering is sure to become a hit among the AMD gaming community. Featuring what appears to be two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, 4 DDR3 DIMM slots, and 6 SATA ports, this motherboard has room for even the most expansive gaming systems.
The most impressive feature, however, lies within its audio configuration. Much like the Intel-based Sniper 5, the G1 Sniper A88X features an upgradable operational amplifier (op-Amp) that allows users to custom tailor their audio output to their specific taste. Additionally, all the USB power connectors are gold plated, with all power sources isolated for a truly noise free environment.
Furthermore, the motherboard's audio circuit features electrostatic shielding between all analog audio components, high-quality Nichion solid capacitors, and a Realtek ALC898 audio processor that is shielded by a gold-plated cover.