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Computex 2014 - While being spoken about a little; the upcoming X99 platform continues to be quiet around the show with few companies showing it off. Over at the MSI booth, though, we got a chance to take a look one of their upcoming boards based on the chipset. The blue and black color scheme is fairly common and we'll indeed see it fall under the GD naming scheme.
Taking a look at the specification sheet next to the board you can see a number of the main features including support for HSW-E or Haswell-E 8-Core Extreme Edition processors utilizing the 2011 socket design. 8 DIMM slots give us support for up to 64GB of DDR4 at speeds going too 2666MHz DDR via overclocking.
You can also see that we've got four PCIe x16 slots, two PCIe x4 slots, M.2, SATA Express and SATA III slots along with 12 USB 3.0 ports and Gigabit networking via the I218-V chip. As for MSI specific features you can see Military Class 4 and OC Genie 4 is being offered on the model.
Computex 2014 - ASUS had a huge section dedicated to the Republic of Gamers line at Computex this year; a series that has become extremely popular over the last few years combining quality and performance. Sitting at the top of we have the Maximus VII Formula for people wanting something that truly stands out.
Moving through the rest of the boards we've got the Hero and Ranger version of the boards for people wanting an ATX motherboard but don't quite need the features that are associated with the Formula. It was towards the middle of the cabinet that our attention was drawn, though, with two smaller boards being shown.
In the middle and to the left we have the mean looking GENE version of the Maximus VII which of course translates into a mATX motherboard. If that's still too big for you, though, the mean looking Impact version might be just what you're after. Keep an eye for reviews of some of these ROG boards in the coming weeks and months as ASUS sample us.
Computex 2014 ASUS displayed awhite motherboard, from the TUF Series, at Computex 2014 and they it absolutely stunning.
The SABRANCO even comes with a bit of background detail, adding to the overall experience.
Using the TUF Fortifier metal mousing around the board, on both sides, the motherboard's physical appearance just simply blows your mind with it's presence. This will not be the first white motherboard to hit the market, Sapphire went this direction many years ago on a special edition product but it never looked this good.
To add to the over all look, ASUS displayed a modified case and cooling solution that gives case and system modders a taste of what is possible. Sign me up because the look is worth any premium ASUS wants to add to the cost of the product.
White is also one of the most difficult colors to add to a PCB because the dye needs to be very strong so the original PCB color doesn't bleed through. No word on pricing or availability but we really hope this product comes to market....and quickly.
Computex 2014 - Taking the elevator up to the 36th floor of the beautiful Taipei 101 building we headed to the GIGABYTE suite to see what was being offered by the company. Inside we were greeted with an absolute wealth of motherboards with a large amount of the focus being on the new Z97 chipset from Intel.
Split into three sections we had the Gaming series showing off boards based on the Intel Z97 and H97 chipset along with an AMD A88X based motherboard. Looking at the huge line up of motherboards we can't deny that two particular boards stole our focus. The first based on the H97 chipset. The MATX designed H97M-Gaming 3 looked great with its small foot print. With a strong lineup of features including Killer E2200 networking and support for both SLI and CrossFire this board is no doubt going to be an attractive option for people wanting something that's not too big.
Scanning the rest of the boards the awesome looking MITX Z79N-Gaming 5 was a board I knew instantly I must have. Organizing a sample on the spots the Z97 based motherboard carries with it Killer E2200 networking along with Bluetooth 4.0 and Wireless networking up to 802.11 AC. Keep an eye out for this board as GIGABYTE shoot it over to us after Computex.
Computex 2014 - With everything continuing to be under wraps on the upcoming X99 chipset from Intel due out later this year. The folks over at EVGA where showing off a motherboard with no name what so over. Asking if it was the upcoming X99 the "We're not allowed to mention anything about it" was more than enough to let us know just what was in front of us.
While we don't have any official information we can simply only work off what is in front of us. Looking at the board below you can see we've got eight DIMM slots across the top of the board which will house DDR4. On the right side you can see we have a power and reset button, LED Debug and our main 24-Pin ATX power connector to the right.
Across the bottom of the board you can see we've got five PCIe x16 slots along with a single PCIe x4 slot. The bottom right hand corner also shows off 10 SATA slots; six of which we can assume run off the X99 chipset. While EVGA couldn't confirm; based on the color design and the naming scheme, it's safe to say that this will be the EVGA X99 FTW Motherboard. They did let us know that it hasn't been finalized yet, though, so we could see some changes. Keep an eye out for more on X99 as we draw closer to its late Q3 / early Q4 launch.
Computex 2014 - At GIGABYTE's Computex 2014 Press Conference, some serious overclocking was taking place. dinos22 and HiCookie were at their battle station, rocking GIGABYTE's impressive new Z97X-SOC Force LN2 board - built for LN2 use.
We asked GIGABYTE if this board would be sold to consumers, which it will, so serious overclockers can now get a board that is even more catered to overclockers. dinos22 took to his Facebook page, posting the glorious screenshot showing that they hit a massive 2250.8MHz, which would equate to around DDR3-4500... yes, DDR3-4500.
The new Z97X-SOC Force LN2 doesn't even support air-cooled CPU coolers, as there are no holes in support for this. This motherboard is for serious overclockers only.
Computex 2014 - GIGABYTE unveiled its new Black Edition motherboards here in Taiwan at Computex 2014, but one of the stars of the show would have to be the new Z97X-UD5H-BK motherboard. Why? Because it has SATA Express, which is capable of 10Gbps, or 1GB/sec transfers on capable drives.
GIGABYTE teamed up with Western Digital, using its awesome PCIe-based WD40RUNVS HDD, a 4TB drive with 128GB of SSD on-board. This provides the drive the best of both world's, super-fast flash storage that is capable of 10Gbps for SATA Express, and 4TB of storage.
Intel's Devil's Canyon CPUs are the next thing to be excited about, but most thought they would require an upgraded motherboard for the new CPUs to work - an upgrade to Z97. Well, that isn't the case for ASUS at least.
ASUS has pushed back at Intel, providing support for Devil's Canyon-based CPUs on its Z87 motherboards - something that was posted on the XtremeSystems forums. The post says: "Most, if not all of their Z87 boards have received a BIOS update allowing the use of Intel's devil canyon processors. This is also backed up on their Cpu support lists".
This is a good thing for owners of Z87-based motherboards who were waiting on the new CPUs, or would like to upgrade to the new CPUs, without having to upgrade to a new motherboard, too. Especially when you may have plunked down $400+ on a high-end board.
ASRock has just unveiled its new Ultra M.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 connection interface that is said to double its transfer speed bandwidth, and blow SATA 3 6GB/s out of the water. The new Ulra M.2 interface is much faster due to a direct connection to the CPU, whereas older M.2 interfaces passed through the chipset before being routed to the CPU. This means that the latency is much lower and faster transfer speeds are the result.
"The theoretical speed of Ultra M.2 is 32Gb/s, which is 6X faster than PCIe x1 M.2, and 3X faster than PCIe x2 M.2. As for Ultra M.2 vs. normal M.2 comparison, we tested the read speed of Samsung XP941 PCIe x4 M.2 SSD on Ultra M.2 socket and reached 1.16GB/s, 46% faster than PCIe x2 M.2 socket. We also tested a PCIe x2 M.2 SSD on Ultra M.2 socket. Benefited from the direct linkage between Ultra M.2 interface and CPU, the PCIe x2 M.2 SSD read speed on Ultra M.2 socket is 8.8% faster than on normal M.2 socket. As shown in Chart 3, the lower latency of Ultra M.2 design does matter," ASRock said in a release.
During the last week we've seen a variety of motherboards launched using Intel's new Z97 chipset, all before Computex kicks off for another year in June. MSI broke out of the gate with some delicious motherboards, launching its new OC Series of motherboards.
MSI has snapped its Z97 Express-based motherboards into two lines of boards, the Gaming Series and OC Series. The new Gaming Series is priced between $100-$220, offering features that are aimed at gamers with decent overclocks. The OC Series however, is priced at $200-$400 and is geared toward professional and competitive overclockers.
MSI's new OC Series includes the Z97 MPower, Z97 MPower MAX AC, and the Z97 XPower AC. Starting with MSI's flagship motherboard, the Z97 XPower AC, which is made for seriously high-end builds. It features strong CPU and RAM overclocking capabilities, as well as 3- and 4-way GPU setups. We have the PEX8747 bridge chip from the folks at PLX, allowing you to drive four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, an an overriding single PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. When this slot is used, it wires the add-on card directly to the CPU's root complex, bypassing the PLX chip.
The MSI Z97 XPower AC sports 10 x SATA 6Gbps ports, an M.2 slot, 12 x USB 3.0 ports, AudioBoost audio with a built-in headphone amp, 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit Ethernet - something that is powered by an Intel-made controller. On top of this, we also have a slew of OC features, something that includes a coolant channel for watercooling the CPU VRM, voltage measurement points, on-board OC/voltage fine-tuning buttons, and a redundant BIOS.