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Gigabyte Readies 990FXA-UD5 Socket AM3+ Motherboard

Gigabyte's top-tier socket AM3+ motherboard lineup is shaping up in a big way, with a bleeding-edge GA-990FXA-UD7 at the top of the pile. Gigabyte has yet another motherboard to cater to fans of the AM3+ platform, the GA-990FXA-UD5. The UD5 features a more conventional-looking component layout, with the northbridge located where it usually is. You still get the 10-phase VRM from the UD7, the black Ultra Durable 3 PCB, but this board is designed for multi-GPU setups with up to 3 graphics cards: supporting 3-way SLI and CrossFireX.

Expansion slots include five PCI-Express 2.0 x16, of which three (slots 1,3,5) are PCI-Express 2.0 wired to the AMD 990FX northbridge, with electrical configurations of x16/x16/NC or x16/x8/x8. Slots 2 and 4 are electrical x4, wired to the SB950 southbridge. Other slots include a PCI-E x1, and a legacy PCI. Storage connectivity is similar to that of the UD7, with eight SATA 6 Gb/s internal ports, a power-eSATA, and a normal eSATA.

AMD Bulldozer, Llano Pricing Surface

Here are the first figures made public of the market prices of AMD's upcoming two lines of desktop processors. AMD will approach the desktop PC market with two platforms, the A-Series "Llano" accelerated processing units (APUs), and the FX-series "Zambezi" processors (CPUs). APUs are functionally similar to Intel's Sandy Bridge processors, in having processor cores, a graphics processor, memory controller, and PCI-Express switch packed into a single piece of silicon. AMD is apparently relying on its powerful GPU architecture to make Llano a more wholesome product. Zambezi functionally resembles Intel Westmere/Bloomfield, in having a number of processing cores, a high-bandwidth memory controller, and a large cache packed into a single die, making up for a performance part.

By mid-June, AMD will launch the FX-Series with two a 4-core, a 6-core, and two 8-core parts. The series will be led by eight-core AMD FX-8130P priced at US $320, trailed by FX-8130 at US $290. The former probably is a "unlocked" part. Next up is the six-core FX-6110, priced at $240. Lastly there's the quad-core FX-4110, going for $220. You will notice that the price per core isn't as linear as it was in the previous generation.

ECS Black Series A990FXM-A Motherboard Pictured

A picture of ECS' top of the line socket AM3+ motherboard also made it to the web. Called the ECS Black Series A990FXM-A, the board expands a little on the chipset's features. Its component layout is similar to most AM3+ motherboards we've seen, with the AMD 990FX northbridge being located south of the CPU VRM area, sharing heat with it over a common heatsink. The CPU socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots supporting dual-channel DDR3-1866 standard, and DDR3-2133 MHz by overclocking.

Expansion slots include three PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (x16/NC/x16 or x16/x8/x8), supporting NVIDIA 3-way SLI and AMD CrossFireX. Other expansion slots include two PCI-E x1 and a PCI. Storage connectivity includes six internal SATA 6 Gb/s from the southbridge, and a third-party SATA/IDE controller that gives out an internal IDE connector and two eSATA 3 Gb/s ports. Other connectivity features include 8+2 channel HD audio, dual gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 ports (two by header), and Bluetooth. There are some overclocker-friendly features, such as onboard power/reset, rear-panel CMOS clear, onboard PC speaker, diagnostic LED display, and long 8-pin EPS connector for accessibility. Like most other boards, the ECS A990FXM-A is expected to be out in mid-June.

Source: DonanimHaber

Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 Top-Tier Socket AM3+ Motherboard Pictured

After displays of socket AM3+ motherboards based on AMD 990FX chipset, by ASUS, and MSI were pictured by various tech sites, it's quite expected of Gigabyte's offering to somehow make it to the web. Gigabyte is going full guns with its top AM3+ motherboard, with the GA-990FXA-UD7. Based on the same Black+Graphite+Gold color scheme as the socket LGA1155 "UD7" models based on Intel P67 and Z68, the GA-990FXA-UD7 comes with zesty dimensions that almost make it an EATX form-factor board, although it's not. The AM3+ socket is powered by a 10-phase VRM that is cooled by a long heatsink that appears to be contiguous with the northbridge heatsink, which in turn shares heat with the southbridge over a heat pipe. The socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots supporting DDR3 frequencies in excess of 1866 MHz.

Gigabyte utilized each of the seven expansion slots, packing in six PCI-Express 2.0 x16 neatly spaced out to support NVIDIA 4-way SLI and AMD 4-way CrossFireX; two out of six slots two are electrical x4, wired to the southbridge. A legacy PCI slot is thrown in, just in case you hate to throw away that expensive PCI sound card that still sounds great. Storage connectivity includes eight internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports, six from the SB850 southbridge, and two from a third-party controller. There are two eSATA ports, of which one appears to be power-eSATA.

ASUS 990FX Sabertooth Motherboard Pictured

With the socket AM3+ platform, ASUS wants to rally around its top motherboard brands, including Republic of Gamers (ROG), with the ASUS Crosshair V Formula, and the The Ultimate Force (TUF) Sabertooth 990FX, for AMD's next top of the line 990FX chipset that is designed to run up to four discrete graphics cards. The 990FX Sabertooth keeps up with the color scheme of the other TUF-series members. It boasts of highly durable components. The AM3+ socket is powered by a 10-phase Digi+ VRM. It is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots supporting dual-channel DDR3-1866 MHz memory, and connects to the 990FX chipset over a HyperTransport 3.1 link.

Expansion slots include four PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (configurable as x16/x4/x8/x8, x16/x4/x16/NC, depending on how they're populated); The electrical x4 slot is wired to the SB950 southbridge, and is placed there to hold PCI-Express SSDs. One each of PCI-E x1 and PCI make for the rest of the expansion. Storage connectivity includes six internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports supporting RAID, two internal SATA 3 Gb/s from a third-party controller, one power-eSATA/USB combo, and one normal eSATA on the rear panel.

FinalWire Releases AIDA64 v1.70

FinalWire today released the latest version of AIDA64, the industry's popular system diagnostic tool for IT administrators, engineers, and PC enthusiasts. Version 1.70 of AIDA64 includes mainly updated device support database. To begin with, AIDA64 features the ability to tell LGA1155 motherboards with B3 stepping Cougar Point chipsets from the older stepping; it features preliminary support for AMD's upcoming FX-Series CPUs, and A-Series APUs.

A host of new SATA SSDs are supported, including Intel 320 series, OCZ Vertex 3 series, and Samsung PM810. Support is added for AMD Mobility Radeon HD 6770M and Radeon HD 6790 GPUs. Support is also added for a scores of NVIDIA GeForce 500 series GPUs, including GT 520, GT 520M, GT 550M, GT 555M, GTX 550 Ti, GTX 590.



DOWNLOAD: AIDA64 v1.70 EXE Installer, ZIP Portable Package

AMD FX Series and A Series First Performance Projections Surface

Here are the first performance projections of the AMD FX-series processors. FX-series is the market name of the latest line of 8-core, 6-core, and 4-core processors by AMD, based on its new Bulldozer architecture. The performance projections come from AMD's internal presentations to its industry partners, which was leaked to sections of the media.

In the performance projection, a compound bar graph, an AMD platform comprising of an 8-core FX series processor (unknown model, clock speed) with AMD Radeon HD 6670 discrete graphics, was pitted against its main competitor, Intel Core i7-2600K with its integrated Intel HD graphics. Perhaps AMD is suggesting that FX 8-core model used here along with a HD 6690 graphics card costs the same as a Core i7-2600K.

ASRock Uses ''Real'' AM3+ Sockets, Lists Out Advantages Over AM3

ASRock launched a new marketing campaign for its AMD platform motherboards, claiming to be the first manufacturer to be out with motherboards that use real AM3+ sockets. AM3+ is the FCPGA socket that has been designed for upcoming AMD FX series "Zambezi" processors based on the "Bulldozer" architecture. As a part of its campaign, ASRock highlighted the benefits of opting for its AM3+ motherboards. In the process, it ended up disclosing quite some technical information about AM3+, and why AMD designed it in the first place, when apparently AM3 can run Zambezi with a BIOS update.

To begin with, ASRock started with the socket itself, showing that AM3+ sockets can be identified by "AM3b" written on the socket, and have wider pin-holes (0.51 mm vs. 0.45 mm of AM3). It is possible that future (retail?) versions of the CPU, if not the engineering samples doing rounds, could use packages with thicker pins that are incompatible with AM3. The thicker pins add durability, and are designed for a different set of electrical specifications.

NVIDIA SLI on AMD Chipset Motherboards Soon

NVIDIA SLI multi-GPU technology is going through a rough patch on the AMD platform, with very few NVIDIA nForce 900 series motherboards available/sold. With AMD looking to come back strong in the performance CPU market (which might cause high-end gaming PC users to switch platforms), it is wise on the part of NVIDIA to make SLI available to AMD platform users in some form. NVIDIA is making a cautious move: licensing SLI to motherboard vendors in the same protocol in which it licenses them to provide NVIDIA SLI support on Intel 5-series and 6-series chipset based motherboards.

This move is particularly wise because NVIDIA wouldn't need to invest on making a chipset (though it can) for AMD's upcoming "Bulldozer" CPUs, and still get licensing fees for NVIDIA SLI. That way, it wouldn't have to rely on the platform's overall market success. NVIDIA will offer SLI licenses to motherboards based on AMD's upcoming 9-series chipset, particularly to models that lack integrated Radeon graphics (that's AMD 990FX, and AMD 990X). It will offer 2-way SLI licenses to motherboards running AMD 990X, and 3-way/2-way licenses to boards based on AMD 990FX. It won't offer nForce 200 bridge chips. Further, only those motherboard manufacturers that are currently tied up with NVIDIA for SLI licenses on Intel platform, will be granted SLI licenses on AMD platform.

AMD FX-Series Processors Releasing on June 11

AMD's next-generation high-end desktop processor line, the AMD FX-series, is inching toward a June 11 launch, according to DonanimHaber. FX-Series is hyped for being based on the company's next-generation "Bulldozer" architecture, which is a built from ground up x86-64 processor design. AMD's FX-series will include 8-core, 6-core, and 4-core models, and will optimally run on a new socket currently referred to as "AM3+". Major motherboard vendors are expected to release AM3+ motherboards based on various chipsets around the same time.

Source: DonanimHaber
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