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During the fiscal year of 2013, ASUS managed to sell more motherboards than its closest rival, GIGABYTE, but 2014 is shaping up for both companies to go head-to-head in a battle so see who can sell the most boards. In 2013, ASUS managed to sell more than 22 million motherboards, while GIGABYTE came in a very close second at just over 21 million units sold. Newly reported numbers show that GIGABYTE may have taken an early lead for 2014 though.
A new report from DigiTimes says that GIGABYTE is on track to sell more than 5 million motherboards in the first quarter of 2014 alone, with those figures being driven by a strong market in China. China is one of GIGABYTE's biggest markets for 2014, with more than 40-percent of its sales coming from the country. With the 2014 fiscal year just beginning, there is still a lot of time for ASUS to catch up, but with numbers like these being posted, and solid high-end boards being released by GIGABYTE, ASUS has its work cut out if it hopes to surpass the current leader.
CES 2014 - GIGABYTE's marketing director, Colin Brix, took a few moments to walk us through the company's new Brix devices. Up first is the new Brix Pro which features Intel's new Iris Pro Integrated Graphics, and is powerful enough to even run Battlefield 4. The Brix Pro is also Gigabytes official entry into the Steam Machine arena and is Valve approved.
We were also shown a Brix device that is coming out this year that features discrete graphics for more GPU processing power. The unnamed device features both Intel Haswell and AMD processors and will have support for NVIDIA GPUs at a later date. GIGABYTE says that the unnamed device will be perfect for LAN parties, or anywhere you need desktop performance in a small, ultra-portable package.
The last Brix device we got a chance to check out is the new Brix NAS device which is code named Brix MAXX. The device has room for up to four 2.5-inch HDDs or SSDs, and is being billed as a home-sized personal cloud storage device. The Brix NAS supports SMBA, DLNA, as well as other server configurations, and features several RAID features. The Brix NAS is the first Brix device to run Android as its main OS, and features apps for your mobile devices for quick file syncing.
Finally, we were shown GIGABYTE's new Z87X UD7-TH motherboard which features Intel's new Thunderbolt 2 technology. The UD7 board features four-way crossfire, multiple overclocking features, as well as other features you expect to find on GIGABYTE's high-end Z87 motherboards. No pricing information was given on any of the new Brix devices or the Z87X UD7-TH at the time of filming.
Today MSI launched a new variant of its Z87 MPower MAX, the company's flagship LGA1150 motherboard. The new Z87 MPower MAX AC includes an 802.11 ac Wi-Fi interface courtesy of a daughter board that features an Intel communications processor that brings dual-band 802.11 AC Wi-Fi to the popular motherboard.
MSI says that the new Z87 MPower MAX is capable of Wi-Fi speeds up to 867 Mb/s on the 5GHz channel when connected to a compatible router running 802.11 ac. Bluetooth 4.0 is also featured in the new Intel-based daughter board which allows for connectivity of Bluetooth enabled peripherals, accessories and mobile devices. The Z87 MPower MAX AC is a standard ATX form factor motherboard and features all of the same configurations and features of its predecessor, the MSI Z87 MPower MAX which we reviewed last year.
Today BIOSTAR unveiled two new motherboards that it says are the ideal solution for mining Bitcoins. The first board is based on an Intel H81 chipset and supports Intel's socket 1150 CPUs, while the second features an H61B chipset and socket 1155 support. This allows Bitcoin mining using Intel 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation Core processors.
Both of the boards feature PCI-E 3.0 support and include a single 16x slot and 5 PCI-E 1X slots. The Hi-Fi H81S2 V.6.X supports two DDR3 DIMM modules, and connectivity is handled via 2x SATA 3 connectors and 2X SATA 2 connectors. USB 3.0 is featured on two ports while two other ports as well as the USB headers are version 2.0. Gigabit Ethernet is present as well.
The H61B v 6.1 supports socket LGA 1155, and can house up to two DDR3 DIMMs. Four SATA 2 ports are available while all of the on-board USB is version 2.0. Gigabit Ethernet is present as well as on-board VGA graphics and serial out. Load either of these boards up with several AMD Radeon or NVIDIA GeForce GPU's and enjoy all of the bitcoins you can mine!
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.