A pleasant surprise came from GIGABYTE during IDF this past week with both word and somewhat evidential backing to their plan in FINALLY entering the glorious world of graphical mouse-driven BIOS'.
Despite being one of the largest players in the motherboard market, it could never have been predicted that GIGABYTE was going to stick to the ancient old workhorse known as AwardBIOS so long after almost every motherboard manufacturer, including the less influential mobs like BIOSTAR etc. had already turned to UEFI BIos coding.
While voice command tech is nothing new in this day and age, you have to admit this particular implementation has quite the cool factor associated with it.
Apparently MSI is aiming to role in a new technology called "Voice Activated Motherboard" for select models of their mobo lineup which instantly raises a number of questions about how it would work.
Imagine being able to simply look at your PC, then say a given word (or words) that would have it power on from a halted state, go into suspend, or power down. This is what MSI is looking at doing.
The tech works via a daughterboard comprising a mic/line input and taking up a PCI-E x1 slot; it then connects to a header on select motherboards, some boards of which are already on the market. That header is labelled "JDLED3".
IDF 2011 - Gigabyte have shown off their high-end X79-based motherboards at IDF, with the following models on show: GA-X79-UD5, GA-X79-UD7 and the G1.Assassin 2. There is a difference between the UD5 and UD7 this time round, though. Usually the UD7 is jut a beefed-up UD5 with added features and better cooling. This time the two boards are totally different from the PCB to the features they offer.
The UD5 model targets the premium user, with eight DDR3 DIMM slots, and suited to 3-way SLI/CrossFire. The UD7 on the other hand is bleeding-edge with just four DDR3 DIMM slots and support for 4-way SLI/CrossFire with a bunch of overclocking features to boot. Finally there's the G1.Assassin 2 which targets the gamer-overclocker market with features such as hardware-accelerated Creative X-Fi audio, a Bigfoot Killer NIC and support for [only] 3-way SLI/CrossFire.
The above pic is of the GA-X79-UD5 which sports 14-phase CPU VRM, eight DDR3 DIMMS with support for up to 64GB of quad-channel memory. Expansion slots include three PCI-e 3.0 x16 (x16/x8/x8 or x16/NC/x16), two PCI-e 3.0 x1, and a legacy PCI. 12 SATA ports are on the board, 8-channel HD audio, one GbE, four USB 3.0 ports and power-eSATA.
With one of the highest anticipated launches of this year closing in after recent word of a supposed October launch, the lads at VR-Zone have managed to get a peek at an almost finalized (engineering sample) version of the mighty Quantum Force X79 LGA2011 motherboard from Foxconn.
Compared to an earlier revision of the board sighted at Computex earlier in the year, primarily speaking, this new one looks to have a different physical expansion slot arrangement, a more finalized looking heatsink onboard and some front panel header adjustments.
Originating from its own media database to confirm the source, MSI is taking a pretty vicious swipe at GIGABYTE for apparently giving somewhat misleading information to its buyers in the way of native PCI-E Gen 3 support on its motherboards.
Using a batch of freshly produced, detailed slides that are now being distributed about the web, MSI makes an effort to educate people on what a true PCI-E 3.0 board is all about and how to tell if a motherboard carries proper PCI-E 3.0, with its primary intent at this stage of the game to point out that GIGABYTE's boards are lacking in this respect and will not deliver quality PCI-E 3.0 connectivty.
ASUS has just released a new Micro-ATX sized Fusion motherboard to market of which they look to have put a solid amount of effort into. Based on the Fusion "Zacate" processor platform, the new E45M1-M PRO is in most ways similar to another in their existing Fusion line-up, the E35M1-M PRO, but this one's brains are that of the newer, faster E-450 dual-core APU.
The E-450 runs at a clock speed of 1.65GHz using two Bobcat architecture x86-64 cores with Radeon HD 6320 DX11 graphics (80 stream processors), and DDR3-1333MHz memory controller. The board itself runs measurements of 244 x 183 mm and gives a single PCI-E x16 slot, a PCI-E x1 slot and two legacy PCI slots for expansion possibilities.
ASUS has decked it with a 3-phase VRM and an EPU chip to help improve on energy efficiency. A couple DDR3 DIMM slots reside on the board and give a single channel config. The most eye catching feature is the large passive heatsink setup that manages to cover both the APU and Hudson M1 chipset. If you feel it's necessary, there is also the option of attaching a fan to it to help lower temps further.
Here's a lovely candidate for pairing with the SVD-NC11-4 we mentioned a little earlier, as well as being a quick eye opener for HTPC or LAN builders looking to get a compact, budget build underway. A new Mini-ITX sized A75 chipset motherboard has reached shelves in Japan from ASRock, dubbed the A75M-ITX.
Japanese tech site Akiba PC has managed to get some hands on with it and ascertain what ASRock have packed onto this confined space. It's got a 4 phase power arrangement with two DDR3 memory slots, four SATA 6Gb/s ports and a dedicated x16 PCI-E slot.
The I/O area doesn't look to be lacking for a board of this stature with a combo PS/2 port, four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA port, both VGA and HDMI (w/ 1.4a support) display output and ASRock's XFast USB technology on tap.
We're yet to see it emerge in other markets, but to give you an idea on price, it's now shifting in Japan for about 8980 Yen ($116 US).
ASUS today have announced the launch of their new Mini-ITX motherboard based on the AMD A75 chipset, the F1A75-I DELUXE motherboard. Powered by the Fusion APU, the F1A75-I DELUXE has the power to deliver amazing graphics performance when combined with a discrete GPU for Dual Graphics capabilities. Built on the Mini-ITX format, the board is only 170x170mm and ships with a convenient wireless USB remote control that also has a full keyboard for typing on the backside.
A first, for sure and something like this is a huge bonus for HTPC builders. The F1A75-I DELUXE also fills out with DIGI+ VRM, a first on a Mini-ITX board. As well as ASUS throwing in its unique UEFI BIOS, flexible and user friendly, mouse-controlled graphical user interface and ASUS Exclusive EZ mode design can help tune a HTPC easier.
The F1A75-I DELUXE also includes built-in 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Gigabit Ethernet. PCI-Express 2.0 16x slot is included as well as four SATA 6Gb/s connectors, with one an eSATA port and four USB 3.0 connections.
If you're on the hunt for an aggressively priced A55 chipset motherboard, budget conscious motherboard maker ECS could well be the go with three models introduced today.
These FM1 socket motherboards, suited to the AMD A-Series APUs (Llano) include the full ATX sized A55F-A for the home/budget gamer crowd, microATX sized A55F-M2 which would be a good little base for a HTPC, and also the mATX sized A55F-M3 that looks to be more so aimed toward office desktop machines.
All three have a single PCI-E x16 slot for discrete graphics options if more VGA grunt is needed down the road, but many will find the quite capable integrated GPU core in the A-Series APUs more than decent enough for a budget build while also giving the ability to get a bit of 720p gaming in too.
Since Sapphire jumped on the Intel chipset wagon early this year producing boards of their own under the Pure series, we've reviewed several models from the company and been impressed overall. With each consecutive iteration in the lineup, Sapphire is doing a little more tweaking and fine tuning to give a more competitive enthusiast board to consumers.
We most recently checked out Sapphire's Pure Platinum A75 offering for the AMD Llano platform and had nothing but good things to say about it, and so the news today of an upcoming Z68 chipset offering under Sapphire's Pure Platinum lineup comes much welcomed and anticipated.
The folks at eTeknix have managed to catch a sighting of the board on video camera along with a couple shots of the boxing and board itself.
GIGABYTE has today announced that their entire 6-series of motherboard are set to support the next-generation Intel 22nm CPUs on the LGA1155 socket, as well as providing support for PCI Express Gen 3 technology which delivers the maximum data bandwidth for future discrete graphics cards. GIGABYTE have enabled PCIe 3.0 support across the entire 6-series range, including the recently launched G1.Sniper 2 motherboard.
All that is required is a new BIOS to be installed and users can rest assured that they are ready to power the latest and greatest when it becomes available. If you're packing a 6-series GIGABYTE board, grab the latest BIOS update for your motherboard.
GIGABYTE has extended its enthusiast class G1-Killer series of motherboards today with the launch of the Z68 chipset based G1.Sniper 2.
Like the original G1.Sniper based on the aging X58 chipset, the new model looks similar at first glance with the same black and green color scheme going on. But apart from the improved 'locked and loaded' heatpipe cooling system onboard, the simalarities don't extend much beyond that point.
Designed for "extreme gaming", this motherboard has had pretty much everything thrown into it, including future Ivy Bridge support with its PCI Express Gen 3 setup (the first implementation from GIGABYTE), ready and waiting for upcoming PCI-E 3.0 cards requesting additional bandwidth.
The board boasts a 12-phase power setup, GIGABYTE's Ultra Durable 3 design, a couple PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots (backward compatible with PCI-E 2.0/.1 of course) enabling 2-way SLI or CrossfireX, and also LucidLogix Virtu GPU virtualization support for dynamic switching between the built-in graphics and discrete graphics, resulting in reduced overall power consumption.
ASUS are readying up a standout AMD A75 powered motherboard for launch very soon which HTPC and SFF builders will primarily be attracted to. The new F1A75-I Deluxe is a Mini-ITX based Socket FM1 board which packs a ton of features given its stature.
Using a 4+1 phase CPU VRM setup, it also has a couple DDR3 slots supporting dual channel DDR3-1866 memory and a dedicated PCI-E x16 slot for discrete add-in GPUs should you not already be satisfied with the kickass built-in GPU on the new A-series APU's.
Looking elsewhere on the board, we've got four SATA 6Gbps ports, one eSATA 6Gbps port, 6-channel HD audio with optical S/PDIF, four USB 3.0 ports (two in the form of headers, the other two on the rear I/O), built in WiFi b/g/n support, Gigabit ethernet, Bluetooth and a range of USB 2.0 ports.
If you're looking for a decent entry level Z68 on the cheap, you may be interested to know that Biostar are delivering what looks to be a fairly well rounded budget board in the new TZ68K+ that they've just launched this week.
Biostar actually already has what looks like an identical board in its current lineup, the TZ68A+, however the new TZ68K+ differs in that it sports a stronger CPU VRM arrangement with 8 phases vs. the 4-phase VRM setup on the TZ68A+, making it a bit more attractive if you want to get a decent overclock. As a result of the chunkier VRM setup, it now has its own heatsink to assist in keeping temps at bay.
ASRock seem to be pumping out an astonishing number of feature packed motherboards these days, with most of them looking quite respectable indeed and select models even getting some additional support from Mr. Fatal1ty these days. Gone are the days when everyone was so fast to think ASRock was all about budget level 'dodgey' offerings any enthusiast wouldn't go near.
If you're not up to date on the type of quality assurance and attention to detail ASRock has peaked at these days, just check out the large batch of ASRock motherboard reviews here at TweakTown over the past few months. Our picky motherboard reviewing extraordinaire Shane generally finds they're leaps and bounds ahead compared to years past.
Having said that, ASRock has just dished up another very attractive board for those looking to build a compact high performance system or HTPC. Their new Z68M-ITX/HT was revealed to the world today which is a mini-ITX motherboard using the Intel Z68 chipset. As far as we're aware, only two other Z68 based mini-ITX offerings are currently on the market, both of which are from ZOTAC.
EVGA lift the skirt on their X79 Express motherboard, stand over a vent and it blows in the air, oops!
EVGA have just pulled a Marilyn Monroe and teased the world with their latest X79 motherboard. The picture below shows off the LGA2011 socket as well as two DIMMs on each side. These four DIMMs are part of the new quad-channel, 256-bit memory controller which will require all four DIMMs to be occupied to take advantage of it. The advantage? DDR3-1600 memory support with a theoretical system bandwidth of an insane 50GB/sec, DDR3-1866 will see 58.3GB/sec whilst those who want to live life on the edge and want DDR3-2133 will see 66.6GB/sec.
EVGA's spice on their board is an 8-pin CPU power, 24-pin angled power plug, nickel-plated heatpipe leading to an aluminum heatsink. EVGA reps are keeping their mouths zipped, but this board should arrive in time to dance along side AMD's upcoming Bulldozer which is expected to arrive in Q4 2011, unless delayed into 2012.
Mr. Fatal1ty has certainly been rather busy in affliation with ASRock of late, with quite the range of Fatal1ty branded motherboards hammering out one after the other. And now we have another to add to ASRock's fast growing portfolio, the new Fatal1ty 990FX Professional that has launched today.
As the name denotes, this is an AMD 990FX based enthusiast class full ATX board crammed with plenty of goodies, ready and waiting for a nice new 8-core Bulldozer to be slid right in.
Folling an announcement from ASRock a couple weeks back which unveiled the world's first PCI-E 3.0 equipped motherboard in the form of the Fatal1ty Z68 Professional, ASRock has now provided us with some details of their entire new "Gen3" lineup sporting next-gen PCI-E 3.0 architecture.
As you can see, PCI-E 3.0 provides up to double the amount of bandwidth possible from the current 2.0/.1 standard, with a raw bit rate of 8.0GT/s.
As you can see above, ASRock is kicking out five Gen3 Series boards.
Today the new GA-X58A-OC motherboard has proven itself to be a supreme overclocking board, breaking the long standing X58 base clock world record. After seeing Ed's third place entry last week of 269.28 Bclk with the new X58A-OC motherboard, we knew he would soon secure the first place position, overtaking the previous record of 271.51 held by PSYCHO a.k.a. "kurumi" since September of 2010.
Anxiously wanting to secure that top position after seeing it within his grasp, TweakTown Forum helper Lsdmeasap quickly got to to work and began overclocking, and ultimately reached a record breaking 276.42 Bclk. This result was emblazoned on his LCD screen over the past weekend, using the extreme temperatures of dry ice cooling. Ed was able to achieve these results only days after our previous news post last week on his Bclk ventures...
Today we have seen a new record set for Bclk (Base Clock) with the X58A-OC board, this was done by TweakTown forum helper Ed a.k.a - Lsdmeasap. He accomplished this feat using the new GA-X58A-OC from GIGABYTE and this was done using phase cooling, an Intel 920 processor and Mushkin memory.
On May 5, 2011 the GA-X58A-OC motherboard started shipping to retailers worldwide from the Gigabyte factory in Taiwan, since that time, and before, it has been breaking motherboard benchmarking records around every corner. Pushing the boundaries of motherboard design, Hicookie and GIGABYTE have designed the GA-X58A-OC from the ground up with extreme overclocking as its designated purpose.
Ed was able to reach 269.28 base clock, which is quite an amazing result considering that in the past many motherboards have only been able to reach a limit of 222 Bclk without needing hardware modifications... and many still have this limit...
Hot on the heels of AMD's much anticipated LLano APU launch, GIGABYTE has gone all out in diversifying its range straight off the bat and kicks out no less than seven accompanying A75 chipset, FM1 socket motherboards.
THe boards in question are the GA-A75-UD4H, GA-A75-D3H, GA-A75-DS3P, GA-A75M-UD2H, GA-A75M-D2H, GA-A75M-S2V and GA-A75N-USB3, with the non "M" branded models being of full ATX stature, and the others mATX based.
To give you an idea on A75 GIGABYTE style (at least, as good an idea as one can have minus the actual APU that's still under wraps until the 30th of this month), Shane recently checked out the A75H-UD4H variant in detail with plenty of pics and info on all the incorporated and exclusive features GIGABYTE pairs it up with.