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CES 2016 - AMD unveiled their new Wraith cooler at CES 2016, but had some more surprising news: that their upcoming socket AM4 platform will have a single socket. Yes! A single socket.
This means that there will only be one socket to choose from for the Zen-based CPUs and APUs, bringing their platform into unison. Right now, both AMD and Intel's sockets are fragmented, but everything goes into one path with AM4 which is just so great - not just for consumers, but for system builders, too.
As for Zen, AMD is promising 40% more instructions per clock than the current Excavator cores, by utilizing simultaneous multi-threading (SMT) architecture, that is similar to the way Intel does things with its Core series, compared to the cluster-based multi-threading (CMT) approach.
CES 2016 - GIGABYTE has decided to show off its X170 (C236) and X150 chipset (C232) chipset motherboards. These motherboards carry unique IO shield covers, and in the case of the X170-Gaming 7 WS, an audio cover shield.
If you want to use an LGA1151 Xeon processor with the latest Skylake microarchitecture you must use an X series chipset, and the new chipset doesn't offer support for an iGPU. The X series motherboards also support select i3 and i5 Skylake CPUs, but the i7s and "K" SKUs are not supported. The X170 chipset supports a maximum of eight SATA ports, which is 2 more than the Z170 chipset. If you want support for Intel vPro technology the motherboard must also have an Intel i21X-LM series NIC, which these boards do carry. Some of the motherboards also have discrete clock generators, hinting to the fact that GIGABYTE might provide a method for overclocking non-K series processors, but GIGABYTE did not confirm or deny.
CES 2016 - MSI has just unveiled its latest motherboard for gamers, the new X99A GODLIKE GAMING CARBON Edition, which features MSI's Mystic Light technology. The improved Mystic Light RGB LED feature includes 16.8 million colors, and 16 LED effects to spruce up your X99-powered gaming machine.
The X99A GODLIKE GAMING CARBON Edition features Steel Armor technology, which is now available for DDR4 Boost on the GODLIKE motherboard. This offers up improved EMI-shielding, and even better signal strength for better memory performance.
We also have Audio Boost 3 Pro, Killer DoubleShot-X3 Pro, Turbo M.2 connectivity, two USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C connectors, and much more. MSI has also included its Turbo Socket technology, removing all of the limits for overclocking by providing a total of 2036 pins (up from 2011) for better overclocking on the Intel Extreme processors.
This is a new one: Biostar's latest motherboards -- the Z170GT7, H170GT3, and B150GT5 -- are racing themed. And by that we mean it comes complete with a checkered flag design and a "sports mode" dubbed GT Touch that gives you a performance boost.
Other features include Ferrite chokes, "super durable" solid caps, Intel LAN, SATA Express, a PCI-e M.2 slot, I/O Armor for dust and static protection, customizable LED effects that react to music, and a backup BIOS of sorts should things ever go horribly, horribly wrong. See below for full specifications.
ASUS motherboards are a staple of the PC master race, with the Taiwanese giant teasing its new ROG Maximus VIII Formula motherboard over the Christmas break. The new ROG-powered motherboard is using Intel's Z170 chipset.
The biggest thing here is that ASUS has used RGB lighting on the ROG Maximus VIII Formula, with RGB LEDs placed all around the motherboard that lets users customize their motherboard to their personal liking. It's an interesting move by ASUS, but we've seen other companies pushing into RGB lighting this year, too.
The new Maximus VIII Formula motherboard has some things in store for users that should keep them happy, including a charcoal black PCB with a silver aluminum finish on the PCH heat sink. The entire PCB is also covered by a protective shield that has been used by ASUS since the Maximus VI Formula, otherwise known as ROG Armor.
BioStar brings the performance gains of CPU overclocking to non-K Skylake chips with its new Hyper OC technology.
CPU overclocking has traditionally been reserved for Intel's enthusiast-grade K-series CPUs, however key hardware makers like BioStar and ASRock are bridging the gap to enable overclocking to non-K Skylake processors. BioStar's new HyperOC firmware allows easy overclocking of non-K series Skylake processors on BioStar Z170 motherboards, merging performance with accessibility and convenience.
BioStar's official press release notes that the Hyper OC software can boost the clock speed of entry-level CPU's like Intel's 3.3GHz Pentium G4400 by up to 36%. The company also used its Hyper OC tech to boost an Intel Core i3-6100T by 35% to an overclocked clock frequency of 4.32Ghz. The Hyper OC firmware can be downloaded with a simple BIOS update on select Z170 mobos including BioStar's Z170W, HI-FI Z170Z5, GAMING Z170X and GAMING Z170T models.
Named the EK-FB ASUS M8I Monoblock, this new product is compatible with all ASUS MAXIMUS VIII Impact motherboards, toting Intel LGA-1151 Skylake CPU sockets.
This monoblock aims to cover the LGA-1151 socket and power regulation (MOSFET) module, utilizing the EK-Supremacy EVO cooling engine to ensure cool operations. Said in a recent press release to be designed in cooperation with ASUS, this top of this product is constructed of either POM Acetal or acrylic glass, with both options being available for purchase here.
Manufactured in Slovenia, Europe, this nickel-plated electrolytic copper product has been listed for $122.82 (112.95 Euro) and is available directly from EK through its Webshop.
MSI has launched its C236A and C236M motherboards, intended for workstation, entry server, and datacenter use. In other words: they're high-end.
Both boards support Intel's Xeon E3 v5 series CPUs and are aimed squarely at multi-GPU users, specifically Quadro and FirePro. This is reflected partly in the spatial design of the boards, which look to nicely accommodate multiple GPUs, as well as the Steel Armor reinforced PCI-e slots which are said to handle even the heaviest cards just fine.
ASUS's latest motherboard is the E3 Pro Gaming V5. Designed with the LGA1151 socket and C232 Express chipset, it's the first ASUS motherboard compatible with Intel Xeon E3-1200 v5 processors, though it supports 6th-generation Intel Core, Pentium, and Celeron processors as well.
The V5 supports DDR4 (4x DIMMs, up to 64GB DDR4 2133MHz) and quad-GPU setups, and features USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and reversible USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C (14 ports with data transfer speeds of up to 10Gbit/s) as well an M.2 connection for your SSD. Speaking of storage, up to six SATA drives at 6Gbps are supported.
According to reports published by DigiTimes, 2015 has proven to be a disappointing year for motherboard sales, and the downward trajectory is expected to continue well into 2016.
Major hardware players like GIGABYTE and Asustek have shipped 17 million self-branded motherboards in 2015, down 10% from last year and lower than annual sales forecasts. Both companies originally planned to move 20 million motherboards in 2015, but that projection was scaled down to 18 million in light of early-year earnings reports. Despite the sales slump, ASUS saw impressive sales in November with an month-over-month revenue increase of 21%. GIGABYTE, on the other hand, saw a dip in revenue with an on year sales drop of 13.6% during the same period.
While the sales slump isn't expected to crush either tech titan, smaller-scale companies won't be so lucky. Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS), MSI and Biostar are getting hit by the dip, and Chinese motherboard supplier Onda is expected to pull out of the market completely in 2016.