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GIGABYTE Outs Cost-effective P85-Gaming 3 Motherboard

For those looking to build a gaming rig on a shoestring budget, yet want a "gamer-centric" motherboard that has good onboard audio, GIGABYTE launched just the thing - the P85-Gaming 3. This socket LGA1150 motherboard is based on Intel B85 Express chipset, and derives the "P" in its model name from the fact that it has minimal connectivity for its integrated graphics (just one HDMI port), since its target buyers use discrete graphics cards anyway. The board is built in the slim (190 mm wide) ATX form-factor, and draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors. The CPU is powered by a basic 4-phase VRM.

Expansion slots include one PCI-Express 3.0 x16, a second x16 slot that's electrical gen 2.0 x4 and wired to the PCH; and two each of PCIe 2.0 x1 and legacy PCI. Storage connectivity includes four SATA 6 Gb/s and two SATA 3 Gb/s. Its onboard audio solution features a Realtek ALC892 CODEC, backed by audio-grade electrolytic capacitors, a headphones amp, and ground-layer isolation. Gigabit Ethernet, and four USB 3.0 ports (two on the rear panel, two by headers), make for the rest of it. Expect an attractive sub-$100 price tag.

EVGA Readies X99 Micro2 LGA2011v3 Motherboard

EVGA is giving finishing touches to the X99 Micro2, is latest socket LGA2011v3 motherboard, in the micro-ATX form-factor. The board is characterized by support for two USB 3.1 ports, including a type-C port. Most of the feature-set from the original X99 Micro, is carried over. This includes a 10-phase CPU VRM, three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (full-time x16/x16/x8), a 32 Gb/s M.2 slot, with NVMe BIOS support, making up its expansion area. The board supports up to 64 GB of quad-channel DDR4 memory. Storage connectivity on the X99 Micro2 includes ten SATA 6 Gb/s ports, apart from the 32 Gb/s M.2 slot. Other modern connectivity includes two USB 3.1 ports (at least one of which is type-C), six USB 3.0 ports (four on the rear panel, two by header), 8-channel HD audio with ground-layer isolation, and a headphones amp; and gigabit Ethernet. EVGA didn't announce pricing or availability.

High-value ASRock Z170 Extreme4 Motherboard Detailed

ASRock is seeking to strike a cost-features sweet-spot around the $130-150 mark with the new Z170 Extreme4 motherboard. ASRock didn't finalize the board's heatsink design, but showed it off at Computex. This ATX form-factor, socket LGA1151 motherboard based on Intel's Z170 Express chipset, features four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4-3400 MHz memory. A 10-phase VRM powers the CPU. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors; and with this generation, is appears that ASRock has finally got the onboard electrical distribution right; with the board lacking any additional power inputs.

Expansion slots include two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x16/NC or x8/x8), one PCI-Express x16 (electrical x4) wired to the PCH, and three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. Much like the beefier Z170 Extreme7, this board offers three SATA-Express 16 Gb/s ports, but just one M.2 (32 Gb/s) slot; and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. All other essentials for this generation are covered, with two USB 3.1 ports (one each of Type-C and Type-A), and eight USB 3.0 (four on the rear panel, four by headers); 115 dBA SNR onboard audio with a headphones amp and ground-layer isolation; and a single gigabit Ethernet interface (Intel controller).

ASRock Z170 Extreme7 Motherboard Pictured Up Close

Here's one of the first pictures of ASRock's flagship socket LGA1151 motherboards from its mainline Z170 Extreme series, the Z170 Extreme7. This board offers an exhaustive feature set, and should appeal to gamers and overclockers alike. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, with no other auxiliary inputs. The LGA1151 socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4-3200 MHz memory; and three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/NC/NC or x8/x8/NC or x8/x4/x4); the fourth PCIe x16 slot is electrical x4, wired to the PCH. There's also an mPCIe slot; which will seat a WLAN+Bluetooth card on the /ac variant of this board.

The Z170 Extreme7 is the first motherboard to feature three M.2 slots, all three of which are PCIe gen 3.0 x4 (32 Gb/s). Other storage options include three SATA-Express 16 Gb/s, and ten SATA 6 Gb/s ports. The board features two USB 3.1 ports, one each of Type-C and Type-A; and eight USB 3.0 ports, four on the rear panel, four by headers. Display outputs include one each of dual-link DVI, HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2. The onboard audio is an ASRock designed Purity Sound III solution, which combines a Realtek ALC1150 CODEC with ground-layer isolation, a headphones amp, and audio-grade capacitors. Other features include dual-BIOS (manual switching), and a high-quality plastic sheath running along its I/O area.

G.Skill Shows Off Phison-powered Phoenix Blade PCIe Gen 3.0 SSD

G.Skill unveiled a product that makes it abundantly clear that Phison has established itself as not just a cheap SSD controller maker, but one that can cater to the most choosy PC enthusiasts. The second-generation Phoenix Blade PCIe SSD from G.Skill is driven by a Phison PS5007-E7 processor, which features a native PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, wired to up to 1920 GB of MLC NAND flash. The drive succeeds the PCIe 2.0 x8-based first-generation drive which was launched last October. The drive offers sequential transfer rates of up to 2,600 MB/s reads, with up to 1,400 MB/s writes; and 4K random access performance of 300,000 IOPS reads, with up to 200,000 IOPS writes. The drive is designed to compete with the likes of Intel SSD 750 series, and will be competitively priced.

BIOSTAR Shows off Hi-Fi B150Z5 with DDR3 and DDR4 Memory Slots

Here's one of the first glimpses of a socket LGA1151 motherboard featuring both DDR3 and DDR4 memory slots, the Hi-Fi B150Z5 by BIOSTAR. The board supports up to 16 GB of DDR3L-1600, and up to 32 GB of DDR4-2133. The board is driven by Intel's mid-range B150 Express chipset, and should do just fine for gaming builds with single graphics cards. Expansion slots include one PCI-Express 3.0 x16, one PCIe 2.0 x16 (electrical x4), three legacy PCI, and one PCIe 2.0 x1. Storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gb/s (from which two wire out as SATA-Express 16 Gb/s). BIOSTAR's Hi-Fi 6-channel onboard audio solution, gigabit Ethernet (Intel controller), and six USB 3.0 ports, make for the rest of its connectivity. The board features dual-UEFI BIOS.

Team Shows off its Flagship M.2 PCIe SSD

Team Group showed off its flagship M.2 PCIe SSD at Computex, the TM8FP7 series. Available in 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB sizes, the drive takes advantage of PCI-Express 3.0 x4 (32 Gb/s), and offers up to 2,300 MB/s reads with up to 380 MB/s writes on its smallest variant, and up to 2,500 MB/s reads with up to 720 MB/s writes on its biggest one. The drive uses MLC NAND flash, supports DevSleep and TRIM, although there's no word on whether its controller supports NVMe.

MSI Next Generation GAMING Motherboards Pictured

MSI's third-generation "GAMING" series motherboards are almost ready, and the company displayed two of them at Computex. The first is a mid-range socket LGA1151 motherboard, the MSI Z170A-G45 Gaming, and the X99A-GODLIKE Gaming (we kid you not). It looks like MSI is doing away with the "Gaming 3/5/7/9" nomenclature in the wake of GIGABYTE copying it. The Z170A-G41 Gaming offers a decent feature-set for gaming PC builds with up to two graphics cards. This includes an 10-phase CPU VRM, four DDR4 DIMM slots (dual-channel DDR4), three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, two M.2 slots (32 Gb/s and 10 Gb/s); SATA-Express 16 Gb/s, six SATA 6 Gb/s, Killer E2205 networking, and 8-channel HD audio with ground-layer isolation and audio-grade capacitors.

The X99A-GODLIKE Gaming is a different beast. Topping off the company's LGA2011v3 lineup, this board offers top of the line components. It begins with a 12-phase VRM that draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and 4-pin ATX power connectors; five PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots with support for 4-way SLI/CrossFire, 32 Gb/s M.2 slot, and an EMI shield that covers a large part of the front PCB area (a la ASUS TUF), and gaming-centric connectivity that includes two gigabit interfaces, 8-channel audio with onboard 600Ω headphones amp, 802.11 ac Killer ACK Double-Shot WLAN, and USB 3.1 type-C ports.

Intel's Post-2017 "Purley" Enterprise Platform Detailed

Intel's future enterprise computing business, post-2017, could see a unification of its 2-socket (2S), 4-socket (4S), and >8-socket (8S+) platforms unify into one, codenamed "Purley." The platform will consist of multiple SKUs, but a common socket type (Socket-P), and a new interconnect technology replacing InfiniBand, which will wire the sockets and core-logic across multiple server blades, together. Called Omni-Path Interconnect, the tech appears to be fiber-optic at the physical layer, with extremely thin cables, and bandwidths could start at 100 Gbps, for the first generation. The controller driving it will be codenamed "Storm Lake." The inter-socket communication will be care of a newer 10.4 GT/s UPI interconnect, each socket will feature three such UPI channels. The platform will support up to eight sockets per blade, with more sockets across neighboring blades over Omni-Path.

"Purley" will feature a new platform core-logic, in the form of the "Lewisburg" PCH. It will feature the new DMI3 chipset-bus, which is PCI-Express 3.0 x4 at the physical layer. This chipset will support up to four 10 GbE interfaces. On the processor front, will be as processors based on the "Skylake" micro-architecture. Intel will carve out several silicons based on "Skylake," the biggest one will feature 28 physical CPU cores, with HyperThreading enabling 56 logical CPUs, and for the first time, a six-channel (384-bit wide) DDR4 integrated memory controller, with support for DDR4-2666. On the flip side, this IMC only supports one DIMM per channel (DPC). The 3DPC support from previous platforms is gone. These chips will be built on the 14 nm silicon fab process, and their TDP will range between 45W and 165W, depending on the number of cores and clock speeds.

Source: AnandTech Forums

Gigabyte Intros Z97X-Game Plus Motherboard

From a sea of black and red, Gigabyte brushed a refreshing stroke of green, with its latest socket LGA1150 motherboard, the Z97X-Game Plus. Designed to compete with $150-ish mainline products such as ASUS Z97-Pro Gamer, which are loaded with gamer-centric features and product design, though barely missing premium gaming brands such as ROG or G1.Gaming; the new Z97X Game Plus could be particularly appealing to gamers with "green" (read: reference NVIDIA) gaming PC builds. The Z97X-Game Plus is a socket LGA1150 motherboard, with out of the box support for 5th gen Core "Broadwell" processors, in addition to Core "Haswell."

The board draws power from 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors. An 8-phase VRM conditions it for the CPU, which 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). Other expansion slots include three PCI-Express 2.0 x1 and one legacy PCI. Storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gb/s ports (from which two wire out as SATA-Express 10 Gb/s), and one M.2 (PCIe 2.0 x2 physical layer). Notable features include Gigabyte's famed AMP-UP onboard audio, with an EMI-shielded 115 dBA SNR CODEC, ground-layer isolation, audio-grade electrolytic caps, and an OPAMP with tuning for music and gaming; Broadcom Killer E2200 gigabit Ethernet, six USB 3.0 ports, and dual-UEFI BIOS. Expect a $140-150 pricing.

ASRock Develops Mini-ITX LGA2011v3 Motherboard with Quad-Channel Memory

They've done it! After building the first LGA2011v3 motherboard in the mini-ITX form-factor, letting you cram up to 8 "Haswell" cores into a lunchbox-sized PC, albeit having to make do with just dual-channel memory; ASRock developed the first mini-ITX motherboard with not just LGA2011v3, but also its full quad-channel memory interface, called the EPC612D4I. There's just one rider, which shouldn't really be a dealbreaker - this is a server-grade motherboard, and is bound to be expensive.

The EPC612D4I achieves its quad-channel memory chops by using smaller DDR4 SO-DIMM slots instead of standard-sized DIMM slots. Availability of aftermarket DDR4 SO-DIMM memory is close to non-existent, but that could change with 6th Generation Core processor notebooks hitting the shelves by Holiday 2015. As an enterprise board, it also supports Xeon E5-1600 V3 and E5-2600 V3 processors.

GIGABYTE Rolls Out the X99-SLI Motherboard

Trying to squeeze revenues from the high-end desktop (HEDT) market to its last drop by saturating it with as many catchy-named models as possible, GIGABYTE launched the X99-SLI socket LGA2011v3 motherboard. This board will likely be priced between $199 and $249, and will compete against the likes of ASUS X99-A and MSI X99S Gaming 7, enabling it to make the most out of the crucial pre-Summer sales season. Built in the standard ATX form-factor, the X99-SLI offers a feature-set that's nearly identical to the company's X99-UD4. It's not a rebrand, because the PCB is different between the two. The X99-SLI could end up being cheaper.

The X99-SLI draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, with an optional 4-pin Molex input to stabilize multiple graphics cards that rely on the PCI-Express slot for power. Power to the CPU is conditioned by a 6-phase VRM. The CPU is wired to eight DDR4 DIMM slots, four on either sides, and four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/NC/x16/NC or x16/NC/x8/x8 or x8/x8/x8/x8 on i7-5930K and i7-5960X; x16/NC/x4 or x8/x8/x4 on i7-5820K), supporting 4-way SLI and CrossFireX. The board supports DDR4-3333 MHz with overclocking.

AMD "Zen" CPU Core Block Diagram Surfaces

As a quick follow up to our older report on AMD's upcoming "Zen" CPU core micro-architecture being a reversion to the monolithic core design, and a departure from its "Bulldozer" multicore module design which isn't exactly flying off the shelves, a leaked company slide provides us the first glimpse into the core design. Zen looks a lot like "Stars," the core design AMD launched with its Phenom series, except it has a lot more muscle, and one could see significant IPC improvements over the current architecture.

To begin with, Zen features monolithic fetch and decode units. On Bulldozer, two cores inside a module featured dedicated decode and integer units with shared floating-point units. On Zen, there's a monolithic decode unit, and single integer and floating points. The integer unit has 6 pipelines, compared to 4 per core on Bulldozer. The floating point unit has two large 256-bit FMAC (fused-multiply accumulate) units, compared to two 128-bit ones on Bulldozer. The core has a dedicated 512 KB L2 cache. This may be much smaller than the 2 MB per module on Bulldozer, but also indicate that the core is able to push through things fast enough to not need cushioning by a cache (much like Intel's Haswell architecture featuring just 256 KB per core). In a typical multi-core Zen chip, the cores will converge at a large last-level cache, which routes data between them to the processor's uncore, which will feature a DDR4 IMC and a PCI-Express 3.0 root complex.
Source: Planet3DNow, Many Thanks to qubit for the tip.

ASRock Unveils X99M-Killer USB 3.1 Socket LGA2011v3 Motherboard

ASRock unveiled its latest socket LGA2011v3 motherboard for Core i7 "Haswell-E" processors, the X99M-Killer USB 3.1. Characterized by its micro-ATX form-factor and two 10 Gb/s USB 3.1 ports, the board offers a pretty tight feature-set. To begin with, the board draws power from 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and an optional 4-pin Molex. A 12-phase VRM conditions it for the CPU, which is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting quad-channel memory. Expansion slots include two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 wired to the CPU, and one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x4), wired to the PCH.

Storage connectivity on the X99M-Killer USB 3.1 include ten SATA 6 Gb/s, from which two turn into SATA-Express 10 Gb/s, an eSATA 6 Gb/s, and one Ultra M.2 (PCI-Express 3.0 x4 physical-layer). Modern connectivity includes ASRock's Purity Sound 2 onboard audio solution, featuring a 115 dBA SNR CODEC, audio-grade capacitors, a headphones amplifier, and ground-layer isolation on the PCB; two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, one driven by a Killer E2205, and another by Intel i218-V controller; two USB 3.1 ports (type-A connectors), six USB 3.0 (four on the rear panel, two by header), and a pair of low-latency, power-stabilized USB 2.0 ports, meant for gaming mice or keyboards. Also featured is dual-BIOS, with manual switching between two physical EEPROMs. ASRock didn't announce pricing or availability.

ASRock Announces X99 WS-E Socket LGA2011v3 Motherboard

ASRock announced its latest high-end socket LGA2011v3 motherboard for enthusiast PC/workstation builds, the X99 WS-E. Built in the EATX form-factor, this board is driven by Intel X99 Express chipset, and can run the company's Core i7 "Haswell-E" HEDT, and Xeon E5-2600 series "Haswell-EP" processors, out of the box. The board draws power from a 24-pin ATX, an 8-pin EPS, and two optional 4-pin Molex connectors. It offers a 12-phase CPU VRM, and a 4-phase memory VRM. The CPU socket is wired to eight DDR4 DIMM slots, which can seat up to 128 GB of quad-channel memory.

Expansion slots include seven PCI-Express 3.0 x16. The board features two PLX PEX-8747 bridge chips, which take in two x16 links from the CPU, and turn them into a total of four Gen 3.0 x16 slots that run at x16 bandwidth all the time. A third PCIe 3.0 x8 slot from the CPU is directly wired out. Both these PEX-8747 chips have bypass slots, so if you have just two VGA cards and want direct paths between them and the CPU, you can have it your way. Storage includes a total of 10 SATA 6 Gb/s ports driven by the PCH, from which two convert to a single SATA-Express connector, two additional 6 Gb/s ports from a Marvell-made controller, and an M.2 (physical PCIe 2.0 x4) slot.

BIOSTAR Announces the GAMING Z97X and Z97W Motherboards

BIOSTAR announced its latest flagship socket LGA1150 motherboard, the GAMING Z97X. With a design focus on gaming PC builds that are high on connectivity, with a little bit of overclocking thrown in, rather than an all-out focus on overclocking (TPower), this board punches well above its weight with its feature-set. To begin with, the board features a rustic, industrial design, featuring a brown/gold+black color scheme for the various slots and connectors; and a black plastic shroud running the board's length. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors. A 12-phase VRM conditions it for the CPU.

Expansion slots include three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (electrical x16/NC/NC or x8/x8/NC or x8/x4/x4); and three PCI-Express 2.0 x1, wired to the PCH. Storage connectivity includes SATA-Express, six SATA 6 Gb/s, and an M.2 (electrical PCIe 2.0 x2) connector. This board also offers two supercharged USB 3.1 (10 Gb/s) ports, in addition to six other USB 3.0 ports, and a number of USB 2.0/1.1 ports. There are two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, one driven by an Intel-made controller, and another by Qualcomm Killer E2200, so you get to choose between Killer and Intel. The onboard audio features a 110 dBA SNR CODEC, a 600Ω headphones amp, and ground-layer isolation. Also included is a 5.25-inch front-panel head-unit BIOSTAR calls the "Gaming Commander," which gives you front-panel audio outputs with a volume control, amplifier control, diagnostic LEDs, and a CPU temperature indicator. A variant of this motherboard, which lacks the third PCIe x16 slot, offers a 10-phase CPU VRM, and goes easy on some other features, called the GAMING Z97W, was also released.

OCZ JetExpress SSD Controller is its Newest and Fastest

In a bid to stay current, with the advent of M.2, PCI-Express, and NVMe, OCZ announced its newest homebrew SSD controller. Called JetExpress, this controller has the potential to be the industry's fastest, rivaled only by Samsung, and its SM951 drives. The controller features a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, with 4 GB/s of bandwidth per direction, 8 GB/s in total. The controller supports 8-16 ONFI channels, 1-2 GB of DDR3 DRAM cache, and power loss protection circuits. It supports three popular form-factors, including M.2, 2.5-inch (likely SATA-Express), and SFF-8639. M.2 PCIe prototypes were put up for our lenses. The company plans to make both PC enthusiast and enterprise products using this controller.

Galaxy Intros Single-slot GeForce GTX 750 Ti Razor Graphics Card

Galaxy launched its single-slot GeForce GTX 750 Ti Razor graphics card in Europe, under the Galax and phasing-out KFA2 brands. This the second such single-slot GTX 750 Ti cards, after ELSA launched one such card, in certain APAC markets. Galaxy's card uses a typical nickel-plated copper channel heatsink, which draws heat from a copper plate, which makes contact with the GPU, memory and VRM. The card relies entirely on the PCI-Express 3.0 x16 bus for its power. Display outputs include one each of D-Sub, dual-link DVI, and HDMI. The card ships with clock speeds of 1020 MHz core, 1080 MHz GPU Boost, and 5.40 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory. Available now, the card is priced at 139.90€, including taxes.

ECS Announces the Z97I-DRONE and H97I-DRONE Mini-ITX Motherboards

ECS launched the Z97I-DRONE and H97I-DRONE mini-ITX, socket LGA1150 motherboards, which it first unveiled at Computex 2014. The two are identical to each other, with the only difference being the chipset. The Z97I-DRONE supports CPU and memory overclocking. Drawing power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, the board features a 5-phase CPU VRM. The CPU socket is wired to a lone PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot, and two full-length DDR3 DIMM slots. The only other expansion slot is an mPCIe 2.0 x1. Storage connectivity includes five SATA 6 Gb/s. Display connectivity includes one each of dual-link DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort. Six USB 3.0 ports (four on the rear panel, two by headers), 8-channel HD audio with TOSLINK SPDIF output, and gigabit Ethernet make for the rest of them.

Lian Li Shows Off PC-05, PC-06, and PC-07 Case Prototypes

Lian Li showed off prototypes of its new breed of cases, which can be used either as flat-bed open-air cases, or as towers. These include the mini-ITX PC-05, the micro-ATX PC-06, and the ATX PC-07. Their design is extremely simple. A tub-shaped metal structure holds key PC components along its tray, while a tempered glass panel tops it off. You can either place the case flat-on, making it an open-air case with its clear-acrylic panel removed, or you can place it along its side, to resemble a tower. The three feature a forward-oriented standard ATX PSU bay, a slimline optical drive bay, two or more 3.5-inch/2.5-inch drive bays, and a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 riser, letting you install a graphics card. Lian Li is seeking feedback that will help it perfect the three. Leave them in the comments.

First Intel Core M "Broadwell" Benchmarks Surface

Here are some of the first benchmarks of Intel's ambitious Core M processor, a performance-segment dual-core processor with a thermal envelope of just 4.5W, making it ideal for tablets, ultra-portables, and mainstream desktops. At IDF 2014, Intel showed off a 12.5-inch tablet running a Core M 5Y70 chip. An MCM of the CPU and PCH dies, the CPU die features two "Broadwell" 64-bit x86 cores, a large new graphics processor with 24 execution units and 192 stream engines, 4 MB of shared L3 cache, a dual-channel LPDDR3 memory controller, and a PCI-Express 3.0 root complex. The PCH die wires out the platform's various connectivity options.

The 12.5-inch Core M tablet was put through three tests, Cinebench R11.5, SunSpider 1.0.2, and 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited. With the multi-threaded CPU-intensive Cinebench R11.5, the Core M scores a respectable 17 FPS in the GL bench, with 2.48 pts CPU. That's about 60 percent the performance of a Core i7-870. Significantly higher than anything Atom, Pentium, or AMD E-Series. With SunSpider, the Core M put out a score of 142.8, under Internet Explorer 12 running under Windows 8.1. With 3DMark IceStorm Unlimited, the Core M sprung up a surprise - 50,985 points. That over double that of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, and faster than the IGPs AMD E-Series APUs ship with. Color us interested.

Source: HotHardware

ASUS' Entry Level X99-A LGA2011v3 Motherboard Starts Selling

ASUS' entry-level socket LGA2011-v3 motherboard, the X99-A, began selling. Although announced along with ASUS' mainline flagship, the X99-Deluxe, the X99-A, along with mid-range X99-Pro, weren't available immediately, as the company decided to go in with three flagship LGA2011-v3 products, the ROG Rampage V Extreme and X99-WS being the other two. The X99-A appears to be based on a slightly watered down version of a PCB it shares with the X99-Pro; different from that of the X99-Deluxe. It's targeted at high-end gaming PC and mid-range content-creation builds.

To begin with, the X99-A is built in the standard ATX form-factor. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors. An 8-phase VRM conditions power for the CPU, with a 2+2 phase VRM for the eight DDR4 DIMM slots flanking the CPU socket on either sides. The CPU socket is wired to three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/x16/NC or x16/x8/x8 on i7-5960X and i7-5930K; and x16/NC/NC or x8/x8/NC or x8/x4/x4 on i7-5820K), and a 32 Gb/s M.2 slot, which features a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 physical layer. Other expansion slots include one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x4), and two PCI-Express 2.0 x1. The board supports 3-way NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX.

ELSA Announces Single-slot GeForce GTX 750 Ti Graphics Card

ELSA announced the GeForce GTX 750 Ti SP, a single slot, air-cooled graphics card based on NVIDIA's first "Maxwell" based GPU. Sticking to single-slot dimensions, the card is 18.4 cm long, featuring a full-length metal shroud covering a nickel-plated copper channel heatsink, which is ventilated by a 70 mm spinner. The card draws all its power from the PCI-Express 3.0 bus interface. Display outputs include two dual-link DVI, and one mini-HDMI. That's not all, it also comes with a tiny factory-overclock. The core runs at 1045 MHz (vs. 1020 MHz reference), and memory at 4.40 GHz (vs. 4.34 GHz reference). The card will release in the Japanese market first, on the 23rd of September

Source: Hermitage Akihabara

ASUS X99-Deluxe Leads Company's Mainline

ASUS will address the socket LGA2011-3 motherboard market with three of its brands, the gamer and overclocker-centric ROG (Republic of Gamers), the durable TUF (The Ultimate Force) brand, and its mainline brand, which features a balanced feature-set between the two. Its flagship motherboard will be the X99-Deluxe. Pictured below, this ATX motherboard is one of the most feature-rich ever built by ASUS. It draws power from 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors. The CPU is powered by an 8-phase VRM, and the memory by a 4-phase one. The socket is flanked by eight DDR4 DIMM slots. Expansion slots include four PCI-Express 3.0 x16, one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x4), and an additional PCI-Express 2.0 x4.

Storage connectivity on the ASUS X99-Deluxe includes twelve SATA 6 Gb/s ports, one SATA-Express 10 Gb/s port, and a "standing" M.2 slot with PCI-Express 2.0 x4 physical layer. There are 14 USB 3.0 ports in all (ten on the rear panel, four by headers). Network connectivity includes two gigabit Ethernet interfaces (both driven by Intel-made controllers), 802.11 ac WLAN, and Bluetooth 4.0. The 8-channel onboard audio, dubbed Crystal Sound 2, features a high SNR DAC, audio-grade electrolytic capacitors, a headphones amp circuit, and ground-layer isolation.

ASRock X99 OC Formula Pictured

Here are the first pictures of ASRock X99 OC Formula, the Nick Shih-designed socket LGA2011-3 motherboard for professional overclockers. Designed for CPU and memory overclocking, apart from running up to four graphics cards in multi-GPU configs, the board can supply a claimed "1300W" of maximum CPU power, using its 12-phase CPU VRM. Memory is care of a 4-phase VRM. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, 4-pin ATX, and 4-pin Molex power connectors, to stabilize the various power domains.

The LGA2011-3 socket is wired to eight DDR4 DIMM slots, which can support up to 64 GB of quad-channel DDR4 memory. The board features BIOS options that can let you crank DRAM frequencies over 4000 MHz. Expansion slots include four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x16/x8/x16/x8), an mPCIe 2.0 x1 (for WLAN cards), and one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (physical x4). Storage connectivity includes two M.2 slots, from which one is an "Ultra M.2" slot, which is wired to the CPU, and features physical-layer PCI-Express 3.0 x4; and ten SATA 6 Gb/s ports. The board offers ten USB 3.0 ports (six on the rear panel, four by headers). 8-channel HD audio with audio-grade capacitors and ground-layer isolation; two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, at least one of which is Intel-made, make for the rest of it.
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