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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.
ASRock has quickly grown to be one of the foremost motherboard manufacturers in the custom PC world and with Intel's pending release of its new 5th Generation Haswell Processors for 2014, the company has prepared an entire line of Z97-based motherboards for 2014. While we are sure that ASRock will be showing them all of at Computex 2014, TweakTown has been given a special look into the line in the form of 19 photos.
No information was given on each specific motherboard except that they are Z97 based, and will accept Intel's 5th Generation Haswell Processors. Some of the boards will feature the new M.2 SSD connector and will allow the use of M.2 SSD drives with the boards. "M.2, formerly called "Next Generation Form Factor" (NGFF), is the latest I/O solution of replacing Mini-SATA (abbreviated as mSATA) and breaking through the speed limit of the current SATA3 6Gb/s. Leading by Intel Inc., M.2 technology is based on the PCI Express interface and also compatible with the SATA interface," ASRock said in a release.
Information about ASUS motherboard with upcoming Intel Z97 Chipset was leaked in a China based website. According to the information, ASUS is preparing to release six new motherboards with LGA 1150 socket.
The motherboard models are Maximus VII Hero, Maximus VII Gene, Z97 Sabertooth Mark 1, Z97 Deluxe, Z97-WS and Maximus VII Ranger.
The information also provides the specifications and features that ASUS have implemented on the respected models of the motherboards. As one would expect, the enthusiast class motherboards will be with an array of overclocking features.
ASRock is already teasing the next generation of Intel CPUs and motherboards, inviting press to its 9 Series Motherboard launch during Computex 2014. ASRock is holding the session on June 4, just as the event kicks off.
The company will be launching its new 9-series of motherboards, as well as its "latest product features" and exclusive product information to ASRock's closest friends in the media. You can be sure we'll be covering the event itself, and all of the new 9-series products that will be launched at Computex 2014.
If you are the sort of geek that is into projects that require a CPU and board among other things, check this out. A new developer board has landed called the MinnowBoard Max and it is an update to the original MinnowBoard. That original product used an Intel Atom E640 CPU and sold for $199.
The new product offers better hardware and a cheaper price tag. The MinnowBoard Max comes in two versions with the base model selling for $99. For the money, you get a small developer board with a 1.46GHz Intel Atom E3815 CPU and 1GB of RAM.
If you need more performance, you can get an upgraded version with a 1.33GHz dual-core Atom E3825 with 2GB of RAM. That hopped up version sells for $129. The MinnowBoard max supports Android 4.4, Debian Linux, and other operating systems.
GIGABYTE has just taken the wraps off of its new high performance server motherboard, the GA-6PXSVT, the company's first single Socket 2011-based workstation motherboard that features 10GbE.
The GA-6PXSVT supports the Intel Xeon E5-1600 V2 and E5-2600 V2 processors, up to 256GB of ECC memory, and all of the usual features you would find on a high-end workstation motherboard. First we have the single SFP+ 10GbE port that is coupled with two additional GbE ports, making the GA-6PXSVT quite the networking performance powerhouse.
The GA-6PXSVT features Intel's third generation 82599EN 10GbE controller with a low latency SFP+ interface, which means that users benefit from an on-board package which delivers higher bandwidth, lower thermals and footprint, and cost performance compared to the traditional method of adding 10GbE capacity through a PCI-Express expansion card.
Intel is expected to unveil its next-generation Haswell processors in Q2 2014, as well as the new 9-series chipset. The new Haswell refresh will be concentrated on the desktop side of things, with over 20 different SKUs being made available.
The new CPUs will have higher clock speeds, with the new high-end Core i7-4790 being clocked at 3.6GHz. MSI has stepped up to the plate early, announcing that all of its current 8-series motherboards will support the new Haswell processors. With over 20 motherboards on the market, this gives MSI an interesting position in the market, as it will release new 9-series motherboards, but support the new processors on its current motherboards, too.