News Posts matching "LGA1150"

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MSI Unleashes Z87 XPOWER Flagship LGA1150 Motherboard

Z87 MPOWER and Z87 MPOWER MAX, two of MSI's top overclocker-targeted socket LGA1150 motherboards, are joined by the company's new flagship motherboard, the Z87 XPOWER. Built in the XL-ATX (345 x 264 mm) form-factor, this board gets you the best MSI has to offer, and is ideal for both CPU and VGA overclocking benches. The CPU is powered by a gargantuan 32-phase digital-PWM power supply, which draws power from two 8-pin EPS connectors, in addition to the 24-pin ATX, and an optional 6-pin PCI-Express connector.

The CPU socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR3-3000+ memory, and a PLX PEX8747 PCI-Express gen 3.0 bridge chip, which gives out four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, two of which are x16 capable, all four of which are x8-capable. One of the five x16 slots, the second one from top, is directly wired to the CPU, and plugging a graphics card on that slot will bypass the bridge-chip. This slot is ideal for when you have just one card. Two PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots take seat between the x16 slots, wired to the PCH. In addition to 4-way NVIDIA SLI and 4-way AMD CrossFireX, the board includes Lucid Virtu MVP 2.0 software.

EVGA Works On Z87 Stinger-based Pre-Built Gaming Desktops

EVGA is planning a lineup of pre-built mini-ITX gaming desktops, which take advantage of its Z87 Stinger socket LGA1150 motherboard, various choices of 4th generation Core "Haswell" processors, and of course, EVGA-branded graphics cards. These desktops are built into a case custom designed by EVGA called miniBOX, featuring a windowed side-panel, a glossy black front, and a 1U SFF power-supply bearing FSP-Fortron markings. One of the two desktops was fully assembled, running a Z87 Stinger motherboard with Core i7-4770K CPU, a GeForce GTX TITAN, and an SSD. Interestingly, these systems completely lack optical drives, so EVGA will target only those markets in which digital downloads of games (over Steam, Origin, UPlay, etc.,) are prevalent. UPDATE: Actually this units bundle with an 550W FSP PSU and a slimline optical drive which ejects to the side of the case. Currently a DVD-RW is planned, but EVGA is looking to do a BluRay version as well.

Galaxy Shows off Z87 Hall of Fame Motherboard

Galaxy extended its top-end Hall of Fame (HOF) brand extension to motherboards, and unveiled its flagship socket LGA1150 motherboard, the Z87 HOF. The board uses two PEX8747 x48 bridge chips, probably chained, to give out four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, all four of which stay at electrical x16, no matter how you populate them. The board uses a 16-phase VRM to power the CPU, which draws power from two 8-pin EPS connectors, in addition to the 24-pin ATX. The board takes advantage of its unique PCI-Express configuration to support 4-way SLI and CrossFireX.

Sadly, the board doesn't impress quite as much with storage connectivity. You get four SATA 6 Gb/s ports, an mSATA/mPCIe, and an eSATA. DVI, HDMI, 8-channel HD audio, and gigabit Ethernet make for the rest of it. The board gives you plenty of overclocking features, such as onboard OC controls, dual-BIOS, voltage measurement-points, an OC module, and a feature-rich UEFI setup program.

Sapphire Unveils Three APU-based Innovations

While Sapphire's LGA1150 motherboard lineup came across as a little lukewarm, the company more than made up for that with its fleet of motherboards that take advantage of AMD's newest A-series and E-series APUs and SoCs. First, there's the PGS A320M, a micro-ATX motherboard that ships with a FirePro A320 socket FM2 APU pre-installed. Largely identical to an A10-5800K, and based on the "Trinity" micro-architecture, the A320 features FirePro-branded professional graphics that's certified for most modern 3D productivity applications, and can give display output at resolutions as high as 4096 x 2160. The board features one each of DisplayPort 1.2, dual-link DVI-I, and D-Sub display outputs. Other features include eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, four USB 3.0, gigabit Ethernet (Broadcom controller), and 8-channel HD audio.

Things get interesting with a contraption called IPC-FS1r2A75. This board comes in a proprietary IPC form-factor, features an FS1 rev 2.0 socket, which seats R-series APUs, an embedded AMD Radeon E6000 series GPU based on the Graphics CoreNext arhitecture, with its own dedicated GDDR5 memory on-package, and AMD A75 FCH chipset. The board offers six mini-DisplayPort and four HDMI outputs, two DDR3 SO-DIMM slots, an open-ended PCI-Express 2.0 x4 slot, four mPCIe slots (in stacks of two), five SATA 6 Gb/s ports, six USB 3.0 ports, two gigabit Ethernet connections, and 6-channel audio.

Sapphire Unveils its Socket LGA1150 Motherboards

Sapphire unveiled its first socket LGA1150 motherboards, designed for 4th generation Core "Haswell" processors, although they're not completely out of the pipeline, and Sapphire is yet to finalize heatsink designs. Among the boards shown at Computex are the micro-ATX Pure Platinum Z87M-PR, and the ATX Pure Platinum Z87A-MA, both of which offer a pretty mid-range feature-set. The Z87M-PR gives you a 5-phase VRM that powers the CPU, four DDR3 DIMM slots, a single PCI-Express 3.0 x16, and one each of mPCIe, PCIe 2.0 x1, and legacy PCI. The board offers four each of SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3.0 ports, eight USB 2.0/1.1 ports, DVI, D-Sub, and HDMI display outputs, gigabit Ethernet, and 8-channel HD audio.

The Z87A-MA, on the other hand, offers the same CPU VRM as its little sibling, one PCI-Express 3.0 x16, a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical gen 2.0 x4, wired to the PCH), two PCI-Express 2.0 x1, and two legacy PCI. You get six each of SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3.0 ports, but oddly enough, the rest of the connectivity is a notch worse. 8-channel HD audio makes way for 6-channel. Sapphire's other motherboards are more interesting finds, but more on that later.

ECS Shows Off Z87H3-AH Series Flagship Motherboards

ECS' socket LGA1150 motherboard series launch was rather low-key, and with good reason. The company was saving its best, the Z87H3-AH series, for a Computex unveiling. Pictured below are the Z87H3-AH and Z87H3-AH Golden "Gank Machine" motherboards. The non-golden variant doesn't get dull gray this time around, but a red, black, and silver color scheme. The Golden variant, on the other hand, gets gold, silver, and black. Both boards are otherwise identical. The LGA1150 socket is powered by a 12-phase VRM. The bigger of the two VRM clusters is cooled by an active fan-heatsink.

The CPU is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, and three of the board's four PCI-Express x16 slots (electrical gen 3.0 x16/x8/NC or x8/x4/x4), the fourth x16 slot is electrical gen 2.0 x4, wired to the Z87 PCH. On the storage connectivity front, you get six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, an eSATA 6 Gb/s port, and an mSATA 6 Gb/s slot. Display outputs include HDMI and mini-DisplayPort, which doubles up as Thunderbolt. The rest of the board's notable connectivity includes two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, one driven by Bigfoot Killer E2201, and the other by common Realtek fare; 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (using a USB dongle), Creative Sound Core3D 8-channel audio, and ten USB 3.0 ports. The board features several overclocker-friendly features, such as a 3-digit POST diagnostic readout, voltage measurement points, quick CMOS reset/restore, etc.

ASRock Thunderbolt Motherboards Feature DisplayPort Input

Premium socket LGA1150 motherboards shipping with Thunderbolt connectivity hardly surprise us, yet ASRock managed to do so, with a nifty little addition to its functionality. The company's Thunderbolt-equipped motherboards, namely Z87-Extreme4 TB4, Z87-Extreme9/ac and Z87-Extreme11/ac, feature a full-size DisplayPort input in addition to two Thunderbolt ports that each double up as mini-DisplayPort outputs wired to the processor's integrated graphics. This allows you to install a discrete graphics card of your choice, wire its DisplayPort output to the board's input, and get its digital display output relayed through the Thunderbolt ports, using which you can daisy-chain your high-resolution display with other high-bandwidth devices. On its specs sheets, ASRock is dubbing this implementation as an "experimental feature," and isn't making a song-and-dance about it. In any case, it sure gives ASRock a sharp edge over Thunderbolt-equipped motherboards from other brands, and in our opinion, is the best implementation of Thunderbolt to date.

ASUS Maximus VI Formula Completes ROG LGA1150 Lineup

ASUS launched its socket LGA1150 motherboard lineup with three products in its coveted Republic of Gamers (ROG) lineup, the flagship Maximus VI Extreme, the micro-ATX Maximus VI Gene, and the mid-range Maximus VI Hero. A little earlier today, the mini-ITX Maximus VI Impact joined the team with a stunning feature-set for its size. At Computex, we pictured the last piece of the puzzle, the Maximus VI Formula. Pictured below, this ATX motherboard based on the Z87 chipset is best suited for liquid-cooled rigs with 3-way graphics cards. It borrows a piece of technology over from the TUF series, a thermal armor that covers most parts of the board. The armor makes contact with a water block that actively cools the board's CPU VRM.

The Maximus VI Formula uses an identical CPU VRM to the Maximus VI Extreme. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS. A 4-pin ATX and Molex can be optionally connected to stabilize overclocks. The LGA1150 socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, and three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/NC/NC or x8/x8/NC or x8/x4/x4), it lacks the PEX8747 bridge chip of its bigger sibling. Three other PCI-Express 2.0 x1 chips make for the rest of the expansion. Connectivity on the Maximus VI Formula includes ten SATA 6 Gb/s ports, eight USB 3.0 ports, SupremeFX audio, gigabit Ethernet (Intel controller), 802.11 ac WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0. ASUS didn't reveal launch plans.

ASUS Unveils ROG Maximus VI Impact Mini-ITX Motherboard

ASUS announced its first Republic of Gamers (ROG) motherboard in the mini-ITX form-factor, the Maximus VI Impact, which could go on to become choice number one for SFF gaming PC builders. Arguably the most feature-rich mini-ITX motherboard ever made, the Maximus VI Impact is a socket LGA1150 motherboard based on Intel Z87 Express chipset, which supports 4th generation Core "Haswell" processors.

The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, and conditions it using a 10-phase VRM that off-shoots into its own little PCB, with heatsink. The other three daughterboards on the Maximus VI Impact include the SupremeFX Impact, a sound-card with an audiophile-grade 115 dBA DAC, OPAMPs, and audio-grade capacitors; and an mPCIe combo card that lends it 802.11 ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0; and an ImpactControl card that gives overclockers POST diagnostic readouts and CMOS reset/restore at the push of a button, right from the rear panel.

MSI Intros Trio of Mini-ITX LGA1150 Motherboards

MSI rolled out a trio of socket LGA1150 motherboards in the mini-ITX form-factor, Z87I, H87I, and B85I, based on Intel Z87, H87, and B85 chipsets, respectively. Pin-compatibility between the three chipsets means that the three boards are based on a common design. The three feature a 4-phase CPU VRM, two full-size DDR3 DIMM slots, a PCI-Express 3.0 x16, and a combination of 24-pin and 4-pin power connectors.

The Z87I and H87I are nearly identical, with VRM cooling, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0. The Z87I edges past the H87I with support for CPU overclocking, and a second gigabit Ethernet connection. The B85I lacks a VRM heatsink, and the wireless connectivity card. Instead, it gives you a vacant mPCIe slot. It offers 6-channel HD audio, instead of the 8-channel solution, on the other two. All three feature at least one gigabit Ethernet connection, DVI and HDMI display outputs, six USB 3.0 ports, and a number of USB 2.0/1.1 ports.

Intel Desktop Board DZ87KLT-75K Pictured

Ahead of its grand Computex launch alongside the Core "Haswell" processor family, Intel's homebrew socket LGA1150 Desktop Board products are being previewed online. One such covers the company's flagship motherboard, the DZ87KLT-75K "Kinsley." The board features a CPU power supply that's most compliant to Intel's iVR design for Core "Haswell" processors, with an 8-phase design. You'll either love or hate the new heatsink design. Expansion slots include three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x16/x8/x4), three PCI-Express 2.0 x1, and surprisingly, a legacy PCI.

Storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gb/s ports from the Z87 PCH, two from a third-party controller, and an mSATA 6 Gb/s. The board features a single first-generation Thunderbolt port, which doubles up as mini-DisplayPort, the only other display output than HDMI. A variant of this board without Thunderbolt (in which the port works only as mini-DisplayPort), could be sold as DZ87KL-70K. Rest of the board's connectivity include eight USB 3.0 ports (six rear, two by header), eight USB 2.0/1.1 ports, two 800 Mbps FireWire ports (one rear, one by header), 8-channel HD audio with optical SPDIF, two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, and an optional front-panel module that gives the board front-panel USB 3.0 ports, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0. In addition to the five 4-pin PWM fan headers, the board appears to feature several overclocker-friendly features. Find a video presentation at the source.

Source: eTeknix

Trio of Value-Oriented GIGABYTE LGA1150 Motherboards Detailed

We've had GIGABYTE's premium mainline socket LGA1150 motherboards, the Z87-UD4H and Z87-UD5H detailed last week. A little earlier, we've been through the company's gamer-centric G1.Sniper series, and Z87 OC Force. Below are pictures of the company's sub-$150 lineup based on the Z87 Express and B85 Express chipsets, the B85M-D3H, the Z87-D3HP, and the Z87-UD3H.

The B85M-D3H, as the name might give away, is based on Intel's B85 chipset that gives you most of the platform's feature-set, including Small Business Advantage, but excluding CPU overclocking features. Built in the micro-ATX form-factor, the board offers a simple 4-phase CPU power supply, four DDR3 DIMM slots, a single PCI-Express 3.0 x16, a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x4), two legacy PCI, four SATA 6 Gb/s and two SATA 3 Gb/s, four USB 3.0 ports (two rear, two by header), a combination of DVI, HDMI, and D-Sub display outputs; gigabit Ethernet, and 8-channel HD audio.

GIGABYTE Also Unveils Z87X-UD4H and Z87X-UD5H Motherboards

In addition to the Z87N-WiFi mini-ITX motherboard, GIGABYTE showed off a couple of its top ATX products from its mainline Z87X series, the Z87X-UD4H and Z87X-UD5H. The two mark GIGABYTE's complete breakaway from the blue color scheme, and lack the color even on their heatsinks. The Z87X-UD4H features a hot-rod red+silver+black color-scheme, while the Z87X-UD5H features gold+silver+black. Both boards are based on the company's Ultra Durable 5 construction. Both boards appear to offer overclocker-friendly features that are reserved for the high-end, such as redundant BIOS, diagnostic LEDs and measurement points for each power domain, and high-grade electrical components.

The Z87X-UD4H offers a 16-phase CPU power supply, three each of PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (electrical x16/x8/x4), PCI-Express 2.0 x1, and a legacy PCI. It offers eight internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports, two eSATA 6 Gb/s, ten USB 3.0 ports (six on the rear panel, four by headers), 8-channel HD audio, and display outputs that include DVI, D-Sub, HDMI, and DisplayPort. The Z87X-UD5H, on the other hand, offers the same 16-phase CPU VRM and the same expansion slot layout as its sibling, but tops it up with ten internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports, dual gigabit Ethernet, a second DVI connector instead of D-Sub, and FireWire (by header). The two will most likely be part of GIGABYTE's first wave of socket LGA1150 motherboards, and could be priced above $150.

Source: LegitReviews

GIGABYTE Shows Off First Z87 Mini-ITX Motherboard

GIGABYTE unveiled the first mini-ITX motherboard based on Intel's upcoming Z87 Express chipset, ready for 4th generation Core "Haswell" processors in the LGA1150 package. The Z87N-WiFi from GIGABYTE takes advantage of the smaller package size of the Z87 PCH, to cram in every feature you'll need, on the space constrained form-factor. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin and 4-pin ATX connectors. It uses a 4-phase power supply for the CPU, which is wired to a pair of DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting dual-channel memory, and a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. The only other expansion slot is an mPCIe, populated by the board's WiFi card. Storage connectivity on the Z87N-WiFi includes four SATA 6 Gb/s ports, all from the PCH. A pair of HDMI connectors, and dual-link DVI make for its display connectivity. Two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, 8-channel HD audio with optical SPDIF, six USB 3.0 ports (four rear, two by header), and 802.11ac WLAN make for the rest of it. The Z87N-WiFi could be part of the first wave of LGA1150 motherboards by GIGABYTE.

Source: LegitReviews

Xigmatek Announces Janus Low-profile CPU Cooler

Xigmatek rolled out the Janus low-profile CPU Cooler. It uses a C-type aluminum fin-array design. From a mirror-polished nickel-plated copper base, six 6 mm-thick heat pipes convey heat to an aluminum fin-stack arranged along the plane of the motherboard. It is ventilated by two fans arranged in a top-flow push-pull configuration. The top fan is a 10 mm-thick 120 mm spinner, while the bottom one is a 15 mm-thick 80 mm one. The bigger fan spins at 800-1200 RPM, pushing up to 38.42 CFM of air; while the smaller one does around 2000 RPM, pushing 13.53 CFM. Measuring 120 x 110 x 45 mm (WxDxH), the Janus weighs about 430 g. It supports most modern CPU socket types, including Intel LGA1150, LGA1155, LGA1156, LGA2011, LGA1366, and LGA775; and AMD AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2, FM2/FM1.

ASUS Announces its Mainline Z87 Classic Series, with a New Look

ASUS announced a fleet of socket LGA1150 motherboards, covering its mainline (classic), Republic of Gamers (ROG), and The Ultimate Force (TUF) lines. With this series, ASUS is adopting a new color scheme for its mainline motherboards, breaking away from the black PCB with blue heatsinks scheme it maintained since the first LGA1156 motherboards, almost four years ago. The new mainline motherboards from ASUS feature black PCBs with golden-colored heatsinks covering the VRM and PCH, and simpler naming. ASUS' first wave of Z87-based mainline (classic) motherboards include the entry-level Z87-C and Z87-A, mid-range Z87-PLUS and Z87-PRO, and premium Z87-DELUXE.

ASUS Unveils its Z87 TUF Series

ASUS' TUF (The Ultimate Force) line of extra-durable motherboards will include two socket LGA1150 models, the Z87-Sabertooth, and the Z87-Gryphon. The more familiar-sounding Z87-Sabertooth, is built in the conventional ATX form-factor, featuring an 8-phase CPU power supply, thermal armor covering most parts of the board, dust-covers or dummy-spacers for most ports, slots, and headers, yet an active fan-based air-circulation within the thermal armor. Connectivity includes eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots wired to the CPU, 8-channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, eight USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, and a number of conventional USB 2.0/1.1 ports.

The Z87-Gryphon is the first micro-ATX motherboard in the TUF series, featuring an optional thermal armor kit, 8-phase CPU power, expansion slots that include two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x16/NC or x8/x8), a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x4, wired to the PCH), six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, four USB 3.0 ports, 8-channel HD audio with optical SPDIF output, gigabit Ethernet, and display outputs that include DVI and HDMI.

ASUS Debuts its Z87 Republic of Gamers Motherboard Series

Along with the Z87 mainline (classic) series, ASUS unveiled its premium gamer-overclocker targeted Republic of Gamers (ROG) Maximus VI series, consisting of three models, the Maximus VI Hero, the Maximus VI Gene, and the Maximus VI Extreme. The Maximus VI Hero is the more affordable ATX model among the three; the Maximus VI Gene is the only micro-ATX offering, while the Maximus VI Extreme is the flagship motherboard from ASUS for socket LGA1150.

The Maximus VI Hero offers a 12-phase CPU power supply, most ROG-exclusive features, expansion slots that include three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x16/NC/NC or x8/x8/NC or x8/x4/x4), eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, SupremeFX onboard audio with ground-layer isolation, and essential connectivity options that include four USB 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet, and HDMI display output. We won't be surprised if Maximus VI Hero ends up being a sub-$200 option, to compete against similarly priced alternatives from ASRock and MSI.

MSI Z87 MPower Pictured

Here are some of the first clear pictures of MSI Z87 MPower, one of the company's top socket LGA1150 motherboards, which will be unveiled a little later. The board retains the black+yellow color-scheme from its predecessor, the Z77 MPower, built more solidly. The board appears to feature a 16-phase CPU power delivery, which uses a combination of SFC chokes, DrMOS, and high-C tantalum capacitors. It draws power from two 8-pin EPS connectors, in addition to the 24-pin ATX.

The CPU socket on the Z87 MPower is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel memory, and three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/NC/NC or x8/x8/NC or x8/x4/x4); three PCI-Express x1 slots make for the rest of the expansion area. Connectivity includes an enhanced onboard audio solution named "Audio Boost," which we imagine is an onboard amp for select channels; gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WLAN, Bluetooth, display outputs that include dual-HDMI and DisplayPort connectors, and a number of USB 3.0 ports. Storage connectivity includes eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Find more pictures at the source.

Source: 59Hardware.net

Next-Gen ASRock Motherboards Waterproof

Among the pile of new features motherboard makers are coming up with, for their next-generation socket LGA1150 motherboards, this one from ASRock is bound to stand out. Select ASRock 8-series motherboards will feature water-proofing. Why do you need it? Because the enthusiast crowd likes to use water-cooling, and custom-built water-cooling loops are prone to leaks and spills, if not done right. Water-proofing ensures the board is more resilient to coolant spills. ASRock doesn't guarantee protection from all kinds of liquid coolants, but at least it's a step in the right direction. Other innovations by ASRock include enhanced onboard audio, HDMI in (for video recording), 802.11 ac WLAN, and HomeCloud software.

ASRock Z87 Motherboard Series Detailed

ASRock is serious about breaking the 1 million motherboards-shipped mark for this year. The company is going into the emerging Intel Z87 chipset-based socket LGA1150 motherboard market with an extremely strong lineup covering a wide range of price-points. The company is preparing as many as three OC series models, two Fatal1ty series ones, and six Extreme series models. A defining feature of ASRock's lineup is the introduction of onboard 802.11 ac WLAN controllers on select models. The "/ac" brand extension denotes this feature.

Three of the company's top models based on the Z87 Express chipset include the Z87 Extreme11, Z87 Fatal1ty Professional, and Z87 OC Formula. The Z87 Extreme11, available with the /ac option, is the company's flagship socket LGA1150 motherboard, maxing out the platform's feature-set, and augmenting it with an additional PCI-Express lane budget, Thunderbolt, 802.11 ac, and a plethora of connectivity options. The Extreme series targets consumers who want the most connectivity. Other models in the series include the Z87 Extreme 9(/ac), Z87 Extreme6(/ac), Z87 Extreme 4, and the micro-ATX Z87M Extreme4.

Intel Core i7-4770K Overclocked to 7 GHz

Launch of Intel's Core i7-4770K "Haswell" processor may be a month away, but the chip has been in circulation for some time now. An overclocker going by the handle "rtiueuiurei" managed to get an engineering sample of the chip past the 7 GHz mark, 7012.65 MHz to be precise. A base clock of 91.07 MHz, multiplier of 77.0x, and a staggering 2.56V core voltage, unless CPU-Z read it wrong. A single 2 GB memory module was used; no other details were revealed. Core i7-4770K and a fleet of compatible socket LGA1150 motherboards launch around the first week of June.

Source: OCaholic

Intel Brands Haswell GT3 "Iris", Desktop Variants Planned

With its 4th generation Core "Haswell" processors, Intel is putting in a serious effort to improve integrated graphics (IGP) performance to catch up with AMD's Radeon HD 8600 series on its latest APUs. There are three classes of Intel IGPs for Haswell, the GT1, which features 10 execution units (EUs), and will feature on entry-thru-mainstream Pentium, Core i3, and Core i5 chips; GT2, which features 20 EUs, featuring on mainstream-thru-performance Core i5 and Core i7 chips; and GT3, a large 40-EU IGP, which uses an L4 eDRAM cache. Chips with GT3 graphics are multi-chip modules (MCMs) of the CPU die and this eDRAM due, as detailed earlier. It was earlier believed that Haswell chips with GT3 graphics cores will be confined to notebook and Ultrabook-specific CPU models, but it turns out that it will make an appearance on the desktop platform as well.

GIGABYTE G1.Sniper 5 and G1.Sniper M5 Motherboards Pictured

At a media event held in its Taipei headquarters, GIGABYTE demonstrated its AMP-UP integrated audio solution that will feature on some of its upcoming motherboards. On that pretense, it even got to show of two of its top socket LGA1150 motherboards, built for Core "Haswell" processors, the G1.Sniper 5, and the G1.Sniper M5. Positioned in gamer-overclocker targeted G1.Killer series, the two boards are based on Intel Z87 Express chipset. The G1.Sniper 5 is the larger standard ATX motherboard; while the M5 is a compact micro-ATX offering. The pictures also confirm that socket LGA1150 retention module and bolt-spacing is identical to sockets LGA1155 and LGA1156.

The G1.Sniper 5 appears to feature a 16-phase VRM, which uses ferrite-core chokes, and the same International Rectifier PowIRstage components as Ultra Durable 5 motherboards from the previous generation. This time around, the CPU plays a greater role in voltage regulation. The driver-MOSFETs on the board are cooled by an active fan-heatsink, which also has a liquid channel running through it, so you could make it part of your CPU loop. Thankfully GIGABYTE didn't let its imagination run away with designs of the other heatsinks on the board, one of which cools the Z87 Express chipset, and the other we imagine, a PLX PEX8747 48-lane PCI-Express 3.0 bridge chip. This chip gets you 4-way SLI/CrossFireX support.

MSI Big Bang Z87 XPower Motherboard Teased

With Computex 2013 a little over a month away, alongside which Intel plans to launch its 4th generation Core "Haswell" family, motherboard manufacturers are gearing up for another summer of product launches, with compatible socket LGA1150 motherboards. Among these is MSI, which teased its flagship motherboard that targets overclockers and PC enthusiasts interested in taking the Core i7-4770K and Core i5-4670K for a spin. This motherboard falls inside the company's Big Bang series, bearing the name Z87 XPower. As the name suggests, it's based on Intel's Z87 Express chipset.

Not much is known about the Big Bang Z87 XPower, except what the teaser video (after the break) and a couple of corner-shots reveal. Expect a fancy new color scheme (probably a combination of gold and black), a new design scheme for the VRM and chipset heatsinks with a glowy "X" sign, the usual plethora of overclocking options MSI packs with its high-end motherboards, and what appears to be an mSATA or mPCIe slot, in one of the pictures.
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