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ASRock Shows Off New Mini-ITX Gaming System

Apart from motherboards, the only big product segment ASRock made a name for itself is with pre-built mini-PCs. The company wants to put its experience to good use by cashing in for the market's newfound love for compact (mini-ITX) gaming PCs, the ones that save precious real-estate on congested living room TV racks and dorm rooms. Pictured below is the company's first such effort, timed with the launch of Intel's next-generation Core "Haswell" processor, and supporting socket LGA1150 platform based on Z87 Express chipset.

There are three components to ASRock's creation: a unique SFF case, co-designed by BMW Design; the ASRock Z87E-ITX motherboard, and a GeForce GTX 680 graphics card. The case looks pretty slick, coming from BMW. It stays slim by using a PCI-Express riser, allowing you to install graphics cards along the plane of the motherboard. The Z87-E ITX, like most efforts by ASRock in the past, is extremely feature-rich for its size. It uses a 6-phase VRM to power the LGA1150 CPU, features two DDR3 DIMM slots, PCI-Express 3.0 x16 and mini-PCIe 2.0, for the WLAN+Bluetooth card.

First ASRock Socket LGA1150 Motherboards Shown Off at CeBIT

Here is the first selection of ASRock socket LGA1150 motherboards, pictured at the 2013 CeBIT expo being held in Hanover, Germany. Intel's 4th generation Core "Haswell" desktop processor family introduces the new 1150-pin LGA socket and Intel 8-series chipset, to form the platform. An upgrade to to "Haswell" processors should hence also involve buying new motherboards. Top-two motherboard manufacturers ASUS and GIGABYTE reportedly lack booths at CeBIT, leaving only the rest to show off their LGA1150 goods. This first compilation includes boards by ASRock and BIOSTAR. The boards are also a little rough on the edges, as their component/PCB color schemes, heatsinks, etc., haven't been finalized.

ASRock unveiled two LGA1150 motherboard models, the entry-level B85M, and the high-end Z87-Extreme6 (pictured in that order). The B85M, based on the chipset that succeeds today's small business-optimized B75 chipset, is a compact micro-ATX motherboard. It features just the two DDR3 DIMM slots, an expansion area with a PCI-Express 3.0 x16, a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x4), and two legacy PCI slots. Connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, 8-channel HD audio, four USB 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet; DVI, D-Sub, and HDMI display outputs, legacy connections such as COM/LPT over headers, and PS/2 mouse/keyboard connectors.

ASRock Also Unveils FM2A85X Pro ATX Motherboard

In addition to the FM2A85X-ITX, ASRock expanded its socket FM2 motherboard lineup with the FM2A85X Pro. This slim ATX form-factor motherboard, as the name suggests, is based on AMD A85X chipset, supporting socket FM2 APUs. By ATX standards, the board has a very slim feature-set, which should keep its price considerably low. To begin with, the FM2 socket is powered by a cost-effective 5-phase VRM, which draws power from an 8-pin EPS connector. It is wired to just two DDR3 DIMM slots (32 GB max., dual-channel DDR3-1866); and a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 connector.

In addition to a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 that's wired to the APU, the FM2A85X-ITX features another long slot, only this one is electrical 2.0 x4, and wired to the A85X FCH. Three PCI-Express 2.0 x1, and two legacy PCI make for the rest of the expansion slot area. The board features a total of eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, but are spread apart in two clumps of four ports each. Connectivity is pretty basic: dual-link DVI, D-Sub, four USB 3.0 ports (two rear, two by header), 6-channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, PS/2 mouse and keyboard; and a number of USB 2.0/1.1 ports. We expect this one to go for around $80, if not less.

ASRock Unveils FM2A85X-ITX Motherboard

In what could bring an ear-to-ear grin on DIY NAS/home-server builders, ASRock launched the industry's first mini-ITX motherboard with a total of eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports (of which one is eSATA 6 Gb/s). The new FM2A85X-ITX, as the name suggests, is a socket FM2 motherboard based on the AMD A85X chipset, in the mini-ITX form-factor. Everything on this board is just where you'd want it to be: the centrally-located APU socket is powered by a fairly strong 6-phase VRM, which along with ancillary phases, draws power from 24-pin ATX and 4-pin CPU power connectors.

The APU socket, which supports today's AMD A-series "Trinity" APUs, and likely tomorrow's A-series "Richland" APUs, is wired to two DDR3-DIMM slots supporting a maximum of 32 GB of dual-channel DDR3-1866 memory; and the lone expansion slot, a PCI-Express 2.0 x16. The AMD A85X FCH wires out seven internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports (with RAID 0/1/10 support), and an eSATA 6 Gb/s port. Display connectivity includes one each of dual-link DVI, D-Sub, and HDMI. The board features a total of four USB 3.0 ports (two on the rear panel, two by headers). Gigabit Ethernet, 8-channel HD audio, PS/2 keyboard, and a number of USB 2.0/1.1 ports make for the rest of the connectivity. The ASRock FM2A85X-ITX is expected to be priced around US $110.

MSI, ASRock to Increase Focus on Chinese Market

One of the last few bastions where growth prospects of the PC industry are stable, China, will see motherboard makers ASRock and MSI eke it out, for market supremacy. According to industry observer DigiTimes, the two companies, which are the third and fourth biggest players in the motherboard industry, respectively, lagged behind industry leaders ASUS and Gigabyte, and as such hedging their bets on the Chinese market.

MSI held a marketing conference in Kunshan, in which is reportedly laid out a strategy to increase motherboard shipments this year from 5 million to 6-6.5 million this year. ASRock, on the other hand, held overclocking competitions in China, to spice up its credentials as a high-quality board maker, in an effort to raise its annual board shipments number to 9 million.

Source: DigiTimes

ASRock Announces 990FX Extreme9 Flagship AM3+ Motherboard

Leading motherboard manufacturer ASRock has announced today the debut of its most deluxe motherboard of the AM3+ Series – introducing ASRock 990FX Extreme9. Even though packed with the same chipset, this motherboard has added multitudes of features to stir up anticipation for the AMD product lines. Features such as premium gold caps, rock steady power phase design, top notch Intel gigabit LAN solution and also the ASRock exclusive X-Boost for easy and efficient overclocking.

ASRock 990FX Extreme9 is composed by the most luxurious hardware components. It uses AMD 990FX and SB950 chipsets and supports AM3+ processors with up to eight cores, the CPU is provided with high quality power solutions. Premium gold caps that extend the motherboard's life span 2.5 times longer than usual, Digi Power for smoother CPU Vcore voltages, 12+2 power phase design for stable performance and revolutionary Dual-Stack MOSFET for larger die area, lower Rds(on) and better CPU Vcore power efficiency.

ASRock Kicks off FM2 OC Competition

Global leading motherboard brand ASRock announced today to organize ASRock FM2 OC Competition with HWBOT, the top organization hosting the world's only 24/7 overclocking competition to bring together 35,000 participants and feature competitions in thousands of categories. The participants will be competing for the highest CPU-Z or 3DMark Vantage score which is submitted to HWBOT.org.

The contest, sponsored by several prestigious brands including AMD, Kingston and Cooler Master, starts from January 7 and runs until February 4. It is opened to all overclockers with ASRock brand motherboards and AMD Socket FM2 CPUs. The total prize is worth up to 6,740 dollars and the final champions of the CPU-Z and 3DMark Vantage event will be awarded with a top prize worth of 2,170 dollars respectively. The grand prize makes it one of the most eye-catching online OC competitions on FM2 platforms, which is estimated to attract enthusiastic overclockers worldwide.

ASRock Misses Motherboard Sales Target for 2012, Ships 7.5 Million

ASRock joined the likes of ASUS, Gigabyte, and others, in missing its motherboard sales target for 2012. According to the latest figures with DigiTimes, the company shipped 7.5 million motherboards in 2012, which is quite a bit short of its modest target of 9 million, given its 2011 shipments of 8 million.

According to industry analysts, the Pegatron subsidiary is expected to see a flat performance at best, in 2013, despite the fact that Intel is launching a brand new socket (LGA1150), prompting higher motherboard sales. In 2012, Intel retained its LGA1155 socket from the 2011-launched "Sandy Brige" platform, and inter-compatibility between its 2nd and 3rd generation Core processors may have stunted sales of its 7-series chipset products.

Source: DigiTimes

Nick Shih hits 7.93GHz With AMD A10-5800K Overclocked To 7.93GHz

The most talented overclocker in the world, Nick Shih breaks another record. Well, actually it's more likely the other way around. World record breaker Nick Shih overclocks again! This time he has reached an unearthly 7930.69 MHz with the new socket FM2 APU and ASRock's FM2A85X Extreme6 motherboard, which places him numero uno on HWBOT again.

"I absolutely love having fun with some of the best gizmos around, such as the new socket FM2 APUs and ASRock FM2A85X Extreme6. You can always expect amazing results when you are dealing with these reliable hardware. For me, 7.93 GHz is merely a warm up. 8 GHz ready or not, here I come!" exclaimed the much excited Nick Shih.

ASRock Readies the A55 Pro FM1 Motherboard

ASRock will soon be adding a new budget board to its portfolio, the A55 Pro model which is powered by AMD's A55 chipset and supports AMD FM1 processors. Seen below, this ATX board has a 4+1 power design, two DDR3-1866 memory slots, six SATA 3.0 Gbps ports, and two PCIe x16 and three PCIe x1 slots.

The A55 Pro includes 5.1-channel onboard audio, Gigabit Ethernet, UEFI BIOS, six USB 2.0 ports, plus D-Sub and DVI outputs and comes with support for multiple ASRock features like Instant Boot, Instant Flash, APP Charger, XFast USB, XFast LAN and XFast RAM. The board's price tag has not been announced.

ASUS Could Fail to Meet 2012 Motherboard Shipment Target

In late-2011, ASUS set itself a target of shipping 25 million PC motherboards in the following year. Contributing to its optimism were three new platform launches - Intel Core "Ivy Bridge" (7-series chipset), AMD "Trinity" (socket FM2), and AMD Vishera; and Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system, prompting PC upgrades. Falling demand in US and Europe, and weaker-than-expected shipment growth in China forced ASUS to trim its 2012 target down from 25 million to 22.2 million. In 2011, the company shipped 23.2 million motherboards.

In the first three quarters, ASUS shipped 16.7 million motherboards, and expects to ship no more than 5.5 million; down 5% sequentially, and flat year-over-year. The company faced severe competition from Gigabyte, which shipped 14 million motherboards in the three quarters thus far, and expects to ship 4.5 million in Q4, totaling 18.5 million for the year. The third biggest motherboard vendor, ASRock, is astray from its 2012 goal of 9 million shipments, and is hoping for a more conservative 7 million units target for 2012.

Source: DigiTimes

ASRock Launches the Z77 Extreme6/TB4 Motherboard with Thunderbolt

Few things in life are more complicated than the ports on a motherboard's rear panel. Not only do they disguise themselves in different shapes and sizes, they also serve for unique purposes and offer distinct performance. However, currently there is one in particular that stands out and deserves recognition - Thunderbolt! The leading motherboard manufacturer ASRock is joyous to announce that its new motherboard Z77 Extreme6/TB4 is equipped with two new Thunderbolt ports that support the revolutionary new file transfer technology.

ASRock Announces A Pair of New Socket FM2 Motherboards

ASRock made two additions to its socket FM2 motherboard lineup, based on the AMD A85X chipset. These include the FM2A85X Extreme4 (ATX form-factor), and FM2A85X Extreme4-M (micro-ATX). The FM2A85X Extreme4 is a notch below the feature-rich FM2A85X Extreme6. Built in the slim ATX form-factor, the board uses a simple 6-phase VRM to power the APU socket, which is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR3-1866 MHz memory, and a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot. While it has two long PCIe slots, one of them is electrical x4, wired to the FCH. Other expansion slots include two PCI-Express 2.0 x1, and three legacy PCI. Seven out of eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports are assigned as internal ports, with one eSATA. The board features four USB 3.0 ports in total. HDMI, DVI, and D-Sub make up display inputs, gigabit Ethernet, and 8-channel audio make for the rest of the connectivity.

Moving on, the FM2A85X Extreme4-M is a compressed variant of the FM2A85X Extreme4, which features an expansion slot layout of one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 wired to the APU, a PCI-Express 2.0 x4 (physical x16) wired to the FCH, and one each of PCI-Express 2.0 x1 and legacy PCI. Much like the FM2A85X Extreme4, its display connectivity features DVI, D-Sub, and HDMI; seven out of eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports are internal, with an eSATA port; gigabit Ethernet and 8-channel HD audio make for the rest of the connectivity. The two are priced in the US $90-$110 range.

ASRock is First to Offer Intel Smart Response Technology on X79 Motherboards

Have you ever wondered why Intel Smart Response Technology is missing from the X79 chipset feature support list? It could have been fate, a conspiracy, a sacrifice for world peace, or merely an accident? At the headquarters of ASRock Inc., instead of screaming why through gritted teeth, we said why not and decided to fix this against all odds! Now ASRock is proud to announce that our X79 Extreme11 is the world's first X79 platform to support Intel Smart Response Technology. By downloading the new driver and upgrading to the latest BIOS, ASRock X79 Extreme11 users may reunite with Intel Smart Response Technology.

Just to refresh your memory in case you forgot, Intel Smart Response Technology makes your solid state drive function as the cache for your hard disk drives, so that you may possess the speed of solid state drives and the capacity of hard disk drives simultaneously. Users can update the latest Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver (ver. 3.5.0.1101 or 11.6) and P1.60 BIOS to witness the speed boost by Intel Smart Response Technology right now.

ASRock Announces the Release of its Top Tier Z77 Extreme11 Motherboard

For those who haven't taken a leap to Intel's Z77 and Ivy Bridge combo yet, either you're cultivating self discipline or you're planning to prey upon something big. Well, now is the big moment, because ASRock is releasing its beastlike Z77 Extreme11!

This tiptop motherboard has 8 SAS2/SATA3 connectors supported by an LSI SAS2308 PCIe 3.0 x8 controller. For extreme graphics, 3-Way SLI/4-Way CrossFireX is supported via a PLX PEX 8747 bridge. The LAN solution is also tempting. Two Intel LAN chips to support dual LAN and teaming, while there's also a 2T2R Dual Band WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0 module and a bundled Wi-SB Box. Specially designed for computer enthusiasts, Z77 Extreme11 possesses unbeatable hardware and extreme powers waiting to be unleashed.

ASRock to Offer Better Browsing with New Google Options

Wonderful news for everyone who loves to go online! From this day on, "Google Chrome" and "Google Toolbar" will be included in every support CD that comes with ASRock motherboards, so everyone can try the faster, easier and safer way of web surfing after installing the two applications.

James Lee, V.P. of Sales and Marketing at ASRock said "If there is one thing in common for all computer users, then it's the need of a browser that does not only work, but works excellent in every aspect. The two new tools will completely change the way you interact with the internet."

ASRock Unveils its Socket FM2 Motherboard Lineup for Overclockers

ASRock unveiled a new line of motherboards for socket FM2 AMD A-Series "Trinity" accelerated processors. Spread across three chipsets - AMD A55, AMD A75, and AMD A85X; and three form-factors - ATX, micro-ATX, and mini-ITX; ASRock's lineup includes a total of six models. Leading the pack is the FM2A85X Extreme6 (ATX, A85X), followed by the FM2A75 Pro4 (ATX, A75), FM2A75 Pro4-M (micro-ATX, A75), FM2A75M-DGS (micro-ATX, A75), FM2A55M-DGS (micro-ATX, A55), and FM2A75M-ITX (mini-ITX, A75).

The FM2A85X Extreme6 comes fully-loaded with a 10-phase CPU VRM, 3-way multi-GPU support (x16/NC/NC; x8/x8/NC; x8/x4/x4), DDR3-2600+ memory support, seven SATA 6 Gb/s + one eSATA 6 Gb/s ports, and a suite of ASRock XFast technologies. The board eyes a price tag around US $149. The only other ATX socket FM2 model in ASRock's lineup, the FM2A75 Pro4, features a simpler 6-phase CPU VRM, single PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (the other long slot being electrical x4), with just about all the features accommodated by the AMD A75 chipset. The FM2A75 Pro4-M is a slightly miniaturized version of this board, which retains most of its features, with fewer PCI-Express x1 and legacy PCI slots.

AMD Announces Retail Availability of A-Series "Trinity" Desktop APUs

AMD today announced retail and distribution channel availability of its second generation AMD A-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) for desktop, small form-factor and home theater PCs. These new APUs target do-it-yourself (DIY) PC builders, mainstream gamers and value-added resellers who want to upgrade their PC infrastructure with affordable performance, discrete-level graphics, multiple cores and fast processing for outstanding responsiveness.

The second generation desktop AMD A-Series APU is available at prices ranging from $53 to $122 USD. Compared to similarly priced competitive offerings, the new APUs offer more cores, more speed, best-in-class entertainment experiences and an easy upgrade path based on a stable socket infrastructure. AMD APU users also gain access to the AMD AppZone and a comprehensive list of accelerated applications that leverage the full compute power of the APU. With hardware-accelerated support for DirectX 11 on AMD Radeon graphics and AMD Eyefinity technology delivering a more immersive experience, the AMD A-Series APUs are the ideal solution for systems running the highly-anticipated Microsoft Windows 8 and today's Microsoft Windows 7 operating systems.

ASRock Z77 OC Formula Sets a New World Record

Behold, the new world record of CPU overclocking! The World’s Legendary Overclocker Nick Shih has overclocked an Ivy Bridge Core i7 377oK processor to a mind blowing 7.136GHz with the newly released ASRock Z77 OC Formula. The world leading motherboard manufacturer, ASRock Inc., is overjoyed to announce that we have landed on the number one spot on HWBOT and also set a new overclocking world record.

The overclocking world champion, Nick Shih, exclaimed “Hitting number one on HWBOT makes my day, but scoring number one with the motherboard I designed is like the wildest dream come true! Thanks to everyone who helped make my dream, ASRock Z77 OC Formula, into reality.

TechPowerUp & PowerColor "Pimp my Rig" 2012 - Details and Goodies for our Readers

TechPowerUp and PowerColor get together once again to bring you "Pimp my Rig" Contest 2012. Pimp my Rig is our undying quest for the fastest slowest rig on the planet, which will be pimped up with some rad new hardware courtesy of PowerColor, AMD, ASRock, and Cooler Master. The contest is divided into two rounds, 1 and 2. Winners of the first round, who qualify for the second round, stand to win prizes including Cooler Master HAF-XM chassis, CM Storm QuickFire Rapid keyboard, CM Storm Sentinel Adv. II mouse, AMD FX-8150 eight-core processor, and ASRock 990FX Extreme3 motherboard. The winner of the second and final round stands to win the grand prize - a PowerColor Radeon HD 7990 Devil13 dual-GPU graphics card. Contest rules and fine-print can be found in the link below. Good hunting!

More information and to participate - TechPowerUp and PowerColor Pimp my Rig 2012

GELID GC-Extreme Included in ASRock OC-oriented Z77 OC Formula Motherboard

Thermal Solutions specialist GELID Solutions has teamed up with ASRock to offer multi award-winning “GC-Extreme” thermal compound for ASRock’s first OC-oriented mainboard “Z77 OC Formula”. Exclusively designed by the world's OC legacy performer, Nick Shih, this board aims at the enthusiast end of the market and is full to the brim with features. This celebrity board opens up overclocking possibilities and delivers control opportunities in every way, featuring the most detailed and considerate design of any overclocking motherboard.

In addition to that, the “GC-Extreme” makes the OC oriented mainboard even more attractive as the ultimate heat conductivity makes the “GC-Extreme” the leader of all thermal compounds. It doesn’t just help to break records but even makes overclocking with LN2 possible. “GC-Extreme” is non-electrical conductive, non-corrosive, no bleeding and non-curing. Created for the extreme users, the “GC-Extreme” thermal compound provides the best heat transfer from your CPU, VGA or even Chipset.

ASRock Develops First Web-Update Tool Within BIOS Setup Program

A decade ago, updating system BIOS was a cumbersome and risky task that required you to have spare bootable disks and the know-how of flashing from MS-DOS command-line. One wrong command-line argument, and your motherboard is bricked. Then came utilities that flashed BIOS for you, if you specified the updated BIOS ROM image files located on a floppy. As these image files grew in file-size these utilities added support for bigger media, such as USB flash drives. ASRock's latest innovation could see you getting rid of storage media holding BIOS images.

ASRock has developed an update to its UEFI BIOS program that lets it update itself from the web. All you have to do is point it to a working internet connection that uses the motherboard's onboard Ethernet controller. Once configured, the utility calls home to ASRock, checks if a newer version of the BIOS is available, downloads it, and updates itself, with minimal user-intervention. The feature cuts down time spent in finding the right BIOS ROM image online, and copying it to a USB flash drive. Unlike Intel's Express BIOS Update program, it does not need the motherboard to have any storage devices connected. Upcoming ASRock motherboards could ship with the feature, and select current ones could get this feature via a BIOS update.

Source: Expreview

Lucid Virtu MVP Now Available Through 100 Intel and AMD Motherboard Models

LucidLogix (Lucid), GPU virtualization software leader, today announced that Virtu and Virtu MVP GPU virtualization product family is now found in more than 100 Intel and AMD motherboard models, setting the standard for improved integrated and discrete GPU utilization, visual quality, power management and system responsiveness.

"High quality products and great service are what Asus products are all about. Virtu MVP adds that value across our line of motherboards, allowing users to enjoy best of both Intel graphics on one hand and on the other, enjoy discrete graphics with sharpest images and highest frame rates with MVP's Virtual Vsync," said Joe Hsieh, Asus Corporate Vice President & General Manager Motherboard Business Unit & Desktop System Business Unit. "We understand the importance of a responsive immersive gaming experience and with Virtu MVP's HyperFormance, we are able to provide that for the majority of popular PC titles."

ASRock FM2 Lineup Topped Off with FM2A75 Pro4

Although ASRock was bold enough to give its upcoming entry-level FM2A75M-DGS socket FM2 motherboard the SATA 6 Gb/s equipped AMD A75 FCH, the company did not have any motherboards based on the new AMD A85 FCH chipset, on show. It's fair to assume that the company's mid-range ATX motherboard, the FM2A75 Pro4, will be topping up its socket FM2 lineup. Pictured below, the ASRock FM2A75 Pro4 utilizes everything the chipset provides, and adds a few third-party controllers.

The FM2 socket, which supports upcoming AMD "Trinity" APUs, is powered by a 6-phase VRM. There are four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting DDR3-2400+ MHz by overclocking. The socket is also wired to a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot. The second x16 slot is electrical x4, and wired to the A75 FCH. ASRock somehow found it necessary to add three legacy PCI slots, and just two PCI-Express 2.0 x1.

ASRock Z77 OC Formula Motherboard Detailed

ASRock showed off its new high-end socket LGA1155 motherboard for overclocking, the Z77 OC Formula. The new product sits several notches above its Extreme and Fatal1ty series. Its design focus is on CPU overclocking potential, with ASRock cramming in strong VRM circuitry, active-cooling for the CPU VRM area, and a load of overclocker-friendly features, at the expense of connectivity.

The CPU is powered by a 12+4 phase DigiPower VRM that uses high-current chokes, tantalum capacitors, and active cooling to the MOSFETs. The VRM active-cooler packs a coolant channel, as well as a 40 mm fan. The CPU is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting dual-channel DDR3-3000+ MHz memory, by overclocking. A staggering 8-phase VRM powers the memory, preventing even the slightest voltage droop.
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