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Cheaper Intel 300-series Chipset Motherboards Around the Corner

Right now, it makes little sense to pick up Intel's Core i3 quad-core and cheaper Core i5 six-core chips, only to pair them with the company's premium Z370 Express chipset-based motherboards, which start around $139. The company had promised a second wave of Core i3 and Core i5 "Coffee Lake" processors, and newer Pentium Gold and Celeron parts based on the silicon; alongside three cheaper motherboard chipsets - H370 Express, B360 Express, and H310 Express; for launch some time in Q1-2018. We're getting word that March could be a busy month for PC hardware retailers.

The H370 has an almost identical feature-set to the Z370, except its lack of support for CPU overclocking and multi-GPU (PCIe segmentation). The B360 is slightly cheaper, and has fewer connectivity options. The H310 is entry-level, and has the least connectivity options. H370-based motherboards could be priced between $100 to $170; B360-based ones $80 to $130, and H310-based ones $50 to $70. Online retailers have already begun listing some of these motherboards. A list was compiled by Redditor dayman56. It includes links to over a dozen such listings of ASRock and GIGABYTE motherboards that, if not anything else, confirm model names.

EK Announces Monoblock for MSI X399 Motherboards

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is releasing a new Socket TR4 based monoblock made for several MSI X399 motherboards. The EK-FB MSI X399 Gaming RGB Monoblock has an integrated 4-pin RGB LED strip which makes it compatible with MSI Mystic Light, thus offering a full lighting customization experience.

This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for two MSI AMD X399 Chipset based motherboards that support AMD Socket TR4 AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors. This monoblock is compatible with the following MSI motherboards:
  • MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC
  • MSI X399 SLI Plus

EK Announces Monoblock for GIGABYTE X399 Motherboards

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is releasing a new Socket TR4 based monoblock made for several GIGABYTE X399 motherboards. The EK-FB GA X399 GAMING RGB Monoblock has an integrated 3-pin RGB Digital LED strip which makes it compatible with GIGABYTE Fusion, thus offering a full lighting customization experience.

This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for two GIGABYTE AMD X399 Chipset based motherboards that support AMD Socket TR4 AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors. This monoblock is compatible with the following GIGABYTE motherboards:
  • GIGABYTE X399 Aorus Gaming 7 (rev.1.0)
  • GIGABYTE X399 Designare EX (rev.1.0)

GIGABYTE Outs Aorus Z370 Ultra Gaming 2.0 with Improved VRM

GIGABYTE released a major revision of Aorus Z370 Ultra Gaming motherboard. This isn't just marked "Rev 2.0" in some obscure corner of the PCB, but is part of the model name - Z370 Ultra Gaming 2.0. It replaces the 7-phase CPU VRM of the original with a new 11-phase setup that uses stronger ferrite-core chokes that don't whine when stressed. The company is also including one M.2 SSD heatsink for the upper M.2-22110 slot, which the original lacks.

Besides these, the Aorus Z370 Ultra Gaming 2.0 is identical to the original, including its RGB LED diffusers, multiple RGB headers governed by GIGABYTE RGB Fusion software, two reinforced PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x8/x8 when both are populated) with NVIDIA SLI support, one gigabit Ethernet interface driven by an Intel i219-V controller, and a premium onboard audio solution with a headphones amplifier and 120 dBA SNR CODEC (Realtek ALC1220); and a price ranging between $150-$170.

GIGABYTE Adds Support for AMD "Raven Ridge" to AM4 Motherboards

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, has released new BIOS for the GIGABYTE AM4 motherboards based on the AMD X370, B350, A320 chipsets. With the latest BIOS update, the AM4 motherboards support the newest AMD Ryzen Desktop Processors with Radeon Vega Graphics, which fuse both CPU and GPU functions together through new architecture. Not only does this synergy allow for solid processor performance, it also produces impressive graphics performance even without the addition of dedicated graphics cards. By upgrading their firmware with the newest BIOS updates available on the GIGABYTE official website, users can bring out the full potential of these AM4 motherboards with exclusive Smart Fan 5 Technology for effective cooling and Ultra-Durable PCIe armor for added durability.

GIGABYTE Unleashes the B250-FinTech Motherboard with 12 PCIe Slots

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, presents the new B250-FinTech motherboard based on the Intel B250 Chipset. Featuring GIGABYTE Ultra Durable components and a native 12 PCIe slot configuration, this new crypto mining focused motherboard maximizes efficiency and yield potential for miners. The B250-FinTech motherboard's 3-for-1 power cable and fine-tuned BIOS Mining Mode are some of the many attributes that make this motherboard a fantastic choice for experienced as well as prospective miners.

"The interest for crypto mining has grown throughout the years but has skyrocketed in recent times. With close regard for consumer needs, GIGABYTE has developed the B250-FinTech motherboard as the quintessential mining platform for all who are interested in mining." GIGABYTE Deputy Director Jackson Hsu stated. "Through extensive research and an exceptionally thorough development process, we have produced a mining motherboard with a robust native PCIe slot configuration for impressive mining efficiency."

iBase MBN806, the First AMD Snowy Owl Motherboard to Appear in the Wild

Taiwanese industrial computer manufacturer iBase has listed what appears to be the first motherboard for AMD's Snowy Owl platform. Based on the BGA2028 socket, the iBase MBN806 is powered by an eight-core, eight-thread EPYC Embedded 3201 SoC with a clock speed up to 2.3 GHz. The motherboard has four DDR4 memory slots and supports up to 128GB of registered memory or 64GB of unregistered memory (ECC/non-ECC) at a maximum frequency of 2667 MHz. A lonely PCIe x8 also slot sits near the memory slots. As for storage options, the MBN806 comes with two SATA III ports and a PCIe x4 M.2 slot that supports both the SATA and PCIe protocols. By default, there are no integrated display outputs, but consumers can purchase a separate IPMI module to add a VGA port to the motherboard. Ethernet connectivity is present via an Intel I210-AT GbE controller.

MSI Outs Socket AM4 Motherboard BIOS Updates for "Raven Ridge" APU Support

MSI is among the first motherboard manufacturers to release BIOS updates for its entire socket AM4 motherboard lineup, to enable support for Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G APUs, based on the "Raven Ridge" silicon. With the two chips installed, you will finally be able to use the DVI, D-Sub, HDMI or DisplayPort connectors on the rear-panel of your socket AM4 motherboards. Motherboards based on AMD's upcoming 400-series chipset, will come with support for "Raven Ridge" APUs out of the box, among other chips, such as the company's upcoming 12 nm "Pinnacle Ridge" processors.

Among MSI's 300-series chipset socket AM4 motherboards to receive "Raven Ridge" support, are the X370 XPower Gaming Titanium, the X370 Gaming M7 ACK, the X370 Gaming Pro Carbon, the X370 Gaming Pro, X370 Gaming Plus, X370 SLI Plus, X370 Krait Gaming; the B350 Tomahawk Plus, the B350 Tomahawk, the B350 Tomahawk Arctic, B350 PC Mate, B350M Gaming Pro, B350M Mortar, B350M Bazooka, B350M Pro-VDH, and A320M Gaming Pro. You'll find the BIOS ROM files in the downloads section of your motherboard's product page on MSI website.

BIOSTAR Releases Entry-Level A68MDE: Micro-ATX FM2+ for Home Entertainment

BIOSTAR introduces the A68MDE micro-ATX motherboard for home entertainment PCs. This is the latest addition to BIOSTAR's line-up of AMD FM2+ motherboards and features the entry-level A68H chipset which is AMD Radeon Dual Graphics-capable. The A68MDE supports the previous generation AMD APUs with up to 32GB of the more affordable DDR3 memory up to 2600MHz when overclocked. The BIOSTAR A68MDE offers instant savings when paired up with older but still-capable technologies.

Easy-to-Build Entry-Level Motherboard
The BIOSTAR A68MDE uses the smaller and widely compatible micro-ATX motherboard form factor. The AMD APUs offers improved graphics performance when set up with Hybrid Crossfire to instantly upgrade your system with better graphics for gaming and entertainment. With DDR4 prices on a hike today, the A68MDE's DDR3 support offers huge savings for builders on a tight budget. It also comes bundled with a free BullGuard Antivirus Software, another instant saving for builders.

An EPYC Threadripper: Der8auer Gets EPYC CPU Working on X399 Motherboard

So, maybe it isn't really working - but at least the system boots up all the way to the BIOS memory checks, where it then stops emitting life signs. Der8auer went through a sort of blind process to discover that there is a particular ID pin on EPYC that when covered, allows the CPU to be booted up by a X399 motherboard (in this case, an ASUS X399 Zenith Extreme). ID pins are nothing new, and basically tell sockets whether or not they should be powering up a particular CPU.

So what exactly does this mean? Nothing much - only that the sockets and pinouts are the same. The approach towards detecting the ID pin was a crude, brute force one, appending a piece of electrical tape to different parts of the CPU, narrowing down the search for a single pin. When this particular pin was covered, standby power finally kept on, and the motherboard ran through some initial boot steps until stopping at the D0 memory boot code. Der8auer thinks that a "simple" BIOS switch on this TR4 motherboard to an EPYC motherboard's BIOS would suffice to get the EPYC CPU running on this Threadripper motherboard. Check out the full video after the break.

BIOSTAR Introduces H110MDE Motherboard

BIOSTAR presents another entry-level micro-ATX form factor motherboard - the BIOSTAR H110MDE. This motherboard sports the entry-level Intel H110 chipset that supports the Socket LGA 1151 7th and 6th generation Intel Core processors. The BIOSTAR H110MDE is the perfect solution for desktop users on a tight budget by opting for Kaby Lake and Skylake processors. The compact micro-ATX form factor ensures high compatibility with most desktop cases in the market today. It also comes bundled with a free BullGuard Antivirus Software, another instant saving for builders.

The BIOSTAR H110MDE features the entry-level Intel H110 chipset for the 7th and 6th generation Intel Core processors offering builders instant savings by opting for the previous generation Intel processors. Still, the H110MDE offers the essential features and performance you need for daily computing with its dual DIMM slots supporting up to 32GB of 2400MHz DDR4 memory and a single PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot that supports high-end graphics card and NVMe solid-state drives if desired. As for connectivity, the H110MDE packs a Realtek RTL8111G offering up to 100 MB/s Ethernet connectivity along with two USB 3.1 Gen1 ports and a USB 3.1 Gen1 header offering high-speed data transfers for portable storage drives.

ASRock Intros a Pair of Celeron "Gemini Lake" ITX Motherboards

ASRock introduced a pair of mini-ITX desktop motherboards implementing Intel's new Celeron "Gemini Lake" SoCs. The ASRock J4105-ITX and J4105B-ITX, as their names suggest, are powered by Celeron J4105 "Gemini Lake" SoCs, which combine a quad-core "Goldmont Plus" CPU ticking at 2.50 GHz, with new Intel UHD 600 Graphics. The integrated graphics features hardware-acceleration of 10bpc HEVC video encoding and decoding in addition to new DRM standards, which should enable Netflix 4K, and other on-demand video services at 4K UHD resolution. The J4105-ITX and J4105B-ITX are similar, but for the latter featuring legacy connectivity such as LPT and RS232 COM ports, replacing 8-channel HD audio with 6-channel, and a DVI port. While the former has a PCIe x1 slot, the latter has an x16 slot with x2 wiring.

The board draws power from a 24-pin ATX connector. The SoC is cooled by a fan-less heatsink, and is wired to DDR4 SO-DIMM slots, supporting up to 8 GB of dual-channel DDR4-2400 memory. The 22 mm M.2 slot that has x1 wiring, is recommended only for a WLAN card. Storage connectivity includes four SATA 6 Gbps ports on the J4105-ITX, and two ports on the J4105B-ITX. Both boards come with gigabit Ethernet. Display outputs include DVI, HDMI, and D-Sub on the J4105-ITX; while the J4105B-ITX features D-Sub and HDMI. Both boards are expected to be priced around $170, given that the SoC itself costs $107.

NZXT Updates Price of N7 Z370 Motherboard

Based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers since the launch of the new N7 Z370 motherboard, today NZXT is announcing a change to the product and a price reduction from $299.99 to $249.99, both effective immediately.

"We were surprised-and humbled-by the PC gaming community's reaction to our new N7 motherboard. Our focus on simplifying the assembly process for users building their own gaming PC and our unconventional, minimalist approach to design that makes the motherboard disappear into the case has really resonated with people," says Johnny Hou, NZXT's founder, and CEO. "The feedback we received was, that while the thoughtful layout and beautiful all-metal cover are appealing, the price is a bit too high. We've taken steps to address that today with changes to the configuration and price."

Biostar Announces B250MDC Motherboard

BIOSTAR introduces the B250MDC motherboard offering a well-balanced set of features without the premium price point making it ideal for casual users on a budget. The BIOSTAR B250MDC motherboard is the perfect solution for an entry-level desktop computer for daily multitasking use, office application and home entertainment. The B250MDC features a compact micro-ATX form factor that fits in most budget cases. The B250MDC also uses the Intel B250 chipset, perfect for a daily driver with its high-efficiency performance.

The BIOSTAR B250MDC features the Intel B250 chipset offering everything essential for desktop users without compromise. The B250MDC features a single PCIe 3.0x16 slot that can fully utilize high-end graphics cards and NVMe solid-state drives; dual DDR4 DIMM slots supporting up to 43GB of 2400MHz memory; four speedy USB 3.1 Gen1 ports and a DVI-D output port for basic setups without discrete graphics. Users will also enjoy the board's 7.1 channel High-Definition Audio.

MSI Releases Motherboard BIOS Updates Addressing Recent CPU Vulnerabilities

MSI, one of the world leading motherboard developers, has been working swift on solutions ever since receiving a formal notice from Intel stating that the current Intel microcode version might be subject to recently identified security vulnerabilities. To ensure any system powered by MSI Z370-series motherboards is operating securely, Intel and MSI have been working around the clock to prepare updated microcode and release new BIOS updates, which are now available for download. More information from Intel on the updated microcode can be found here.

MSI strongly recommends its users to update their systems by downloading and applying the latest BIOS. It is recommended to review Intel's Security Advisory, for more information, including appropriate identification and mitigation measures. Furthermore, MSI is preparing updates for its X299-series, 200-series, 100-series and X99-series motherboards. For these platforms, BIOS versions containing similar security patches are expected to be ready very soon. Keep an eye on the product pages to check for their availability.

Easily Build a Quiet and Gorgeous System with NZXT's N7 Z370 Motherboard

NZXT today announces the N7 Z370, its first motherboard. Built around Intel's Z370 chipset, the N7 delivers everything you need to build a powerful, gorgeous gaming PC right out-of-the-box. All the essentials are included, along with a built-in digital fan controller and integrated RGB lighting channels. The all-metal motherboard cover perfectly matches the color and finish of your case, creating a visually seamless backdrop for your components. Using NZXT's CAM software, you have full control over your system's lighting, cooling, and performance.

"Leveraging our years of experience as professional PC builders, we've designed the N7 motherboard with a completely new approach. In the face of increasing complexity in the PC gaming market, we want to make building easier and more enjoyable, with the N7 as a cornerstone for this new experience. Everything you need--from easy layout and obvious connections to digital fan control and RGB lighting--is included. We've also designed a completely unique motherboard cover so it's both beautiful and powerful. You can't build a quieter, better-looking system as easily as you can with our new N7 motherboard." says Johnny Hou, NZXT's founder, and CEO.

ASRock Announces X399M Taichi Motherboard for Ryzen Threadripper

ASRock today unveiled the industry's first micro-ATX form-factor motherboard for AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors, the X399M Taichi. The board supports a full-featured Threadripper HEDT build. Drawing power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, it uses an 8-phase VRM to power the CPU. MOSFETs of this VRM vent heat onto both a smaller primary heatsink, and a larger secondary heatsink, via a heat-pipe. The TR4 socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting quad-channel DDR4 memory; and three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (from which at least two run at full x16 bandwidth at all times).

Storage connectivity on the ASRock X399M Taichi includes three 32 Gb/s M.2 slots, one 32 Gb/s U.2 port, and eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Networking connectivity includes 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.x WLAN, and two 1 GbE interfaces. USB connectivity includes eight USB 3.0 and two USB 3.1 (including a type-C) ports on the rear panel, and four USB 3.0 ports via headers. ASRock deployed its highest-grade onboard audio solution, which takes advantage of a 120 dBA SNR CODEC, audio-grade capacitors, and ground-layer isolation. The company will showcase this board at the 2018 International CES.

MSI Announces B350I Pro AC Motherboard

MSI, one of the world leading motherboard developers, is pleased to introduce the new Mini-ITX B350I PRO AC motherboard, ready for AMD SocketAM4 and the latest RYZEN processors. Building a small form factor PC, whether it's for professional, multimedia or gaming use, has never been more interesting on the AM4 platform with this comprehensive, feature packed solution.

A strong 9-phase PWM design (6+2+1), unseen on any AM4 Mini-ITX motherboard, the use of Military Class components and inclusion of DDR4 Boost, ensures a perfectly stable system under any condition with top performance. It also features DisplayPort, a HDMI output and 2x pin headers for RGB strips.The new B350I PRO AC even comes with Mystic Light, allowing anyone to change the system LED colors while applying lighting effects.

Motherboard Shipments Expected to Take 10% Dip in 2018

DigiTimes, citing sources from the "upstream supply chain", has advanced a report stating that global branded motherboards' shipments are expected to decline by 10% YoY in 2018. The report further states that the DIY PC market is expected to shrink by up to 15% this year. These decreases follow a down trendline starting in 2013, where motherboard shipments peaked at 75 million. This number has seen continuous reductions since then, with less than 50 million shipments in 2016, and decreased further towards an estimated 43 million units in 2017.

Motherboard makers are looking towards the still expanding gaming sector (and gaming motherboards) as a way to increase shipments and revenue, due to higher ASP (average selling price) of all things gaming branded. Manufacturers are looking at an uphill battle against ASUSTeK, however, which has done a tremendous job in marketing and brand recognition with its ROG line of gaming products, and has consequently locked in around 70% of the gaming product market.

EVGA Announces the X299 DARK Motherboard

EVGA introduces you to the ultimate in raw performance for the next-gen Intel Extreme lineup, the EVGA X299 Dark. The Dark is crafted from the ground up to be the performance apex with everything you need to make a record-breaking benching run or a 24/7 number cruncher, and nothing you don't - a board that is as reliable as it is fast.

Thermaltake's New LED Hub Provides Limitless Lighting Possibilities for Your PC

Thermaltake, a leading brand in PC chassis, power supply units and cooling markets, is thrilled to launch the all-new 9 port LED hub crafted for Thermaltake Plus RGB Family - TT Sync Controller TT Premium Edition. Manufactured with a stable SATA power input, the controller is designed for synchronizing Thermaltake Plus RGB series addressable LED products with selected ASUS, GIGABYTE and MSI motherboards. The supported product list includes Riing Plus RGB Series radiator fans, Pacific W4 Plus CPU waterblock, Pacific V-GTX 1080Ti Plus Transparent Series GPU waterblocks, Pacific PR22-D5 Plus Reservoir/Pump Combo, Pacific RL360 Plus RGB Radiator and Pacific Lumi Plus LED Strips. Once users have connected the aforementioned products with the controller and downloaded ASUS Aura Sync, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion or MSI Mystic Light Sync on the PC, they can control the light directly from the software without installing Riing Plus RGB software and any extra lighting controllers.

Corsair Launches the World's Fastest DDR4 SODIMM 32GB Memory Kit

CORSAIR, a world leader in PC components high-performance gaming hardware and enthusiast memory, today announced the launch of the new CORSAIR VENGEANCE SODIMM DDR4 4,000MHz 32GB (4x8GB) kit, the world's fastest DDR4 SODIMM DDR4 memory kit.

While PC enthusiasts might be more familiar with SODIMM memory from laptops or all-in-one PCs, CORSAIR VENGEANCE SODIMM DDR4 4x8GB 4,000MHz is designed to power the latest small-form-factor systems running Intel's high-end-desktop X299 motherboard platform. Motherboards such as the ASRock X299E-ITX are able to fit all the power and performance of Intel's high-end motherboard chipset into a tiny Mini-ITX form factor but have, until now, been limited on memory frequency and bandwidth. With CORSAIR VENGEANCE SODIMM DDR4 4x8GB 4,000MHz, PC builders and enthusiasts can now pack 32GB of high-frequency quad-channel 4,000MHz DDR4 alongside Intel's Core i9 processors, for up to 36 threads of processing power and massive memory bandwidth, in Mini-ITX small-form-factor PCs.

ASUS Intros B250 Mining Expert Motherboard with 19 PCIe Slots

ASUS dropped its hat into the DIY crypto-currency mining hardware craze, with the introduction of the B250 Mining Expert motherboard. This ATX form-factor motherboard comes with a jaw-dropping eighteen PCI-Express gen 3.0 x1 slots, in addition to a PCI-Express gen 3.0 x16, taking full advantage of the 200-series platform's PCIe lane budget. The board draws power from three 24-pin ATX, one 8-pin EPS, and three 4-pin Molex connectors, although besides one ATX and EPS, the other connectors are optional for the machine to start, but required for some of those PCIe slots to work.

Based on the Intel B250 Express chipset, the board supports 6th and 7th generation "Skylake" and "Kaby Lake" processors. The rest of the board is pretty spartan, with just enough connectivity to make the machine work. You get two DDR4 DIMM slots supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel memory, four SATA 6 Gbps ports, six USB 3.0 ports (two via header), a gigabit Ethernet connection, 6-channel HD audio, HDMI display output, and legacy PS/2 connectors. The company didn't reveal pricing.

GIGABYTE Intros Aorus X299 Ultra Gaming Pro Motherboard

GIGABYTE today introduced the Aorus X299 Ultra Gaming Pro motherboard, a similar revision to the original X299 Ultra Gaming, as the recently announced X299 Gaming 7 Pro is to the original X299 Gaming 7. The board is nearly identical to the X299 Ultra Gaming, but comes with an added wireless networking module.

GIGABYTE deployed the Killer Wireless-AC 1535 module, which provides 802.11ac 2x2 (dual-band) Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity. The wired networking is still handled by an Intel i219-V controller, with an included license to cFosSpeed, a traffic-shaping utility that you can use to improve online gaming latencies. The Aorus X299 Ultra Gaming Pro will be priced roughly 20% higher than the X299 Ultra Gaming.

MSI Releases TXE 3.0 Vulnerability Fix for Intel LGA1151 Motherboards

In order to avoid severe security vulnerabilities for the platforms, MSI motherboards now support the latest Intel Trusted Execution Engine (TXE) 3.0 for safer system protection. According to recent Intel comprehensive security review, security vulnerabilities are identified and could potentially allow attackers to gain unauthorized access to platforms features, secrets and 3rdparty secrets protected by Intel TXE. Therefore, Intel has validated and released Intel TXE 3.0 updates to address the encountered security situations.

Currently all MSI 100,200 and 300 series motherboards are supporting the newest Intel TXE 3.0 by updating to the latest BIOS and installing the latest software updates. MSI always places strong emphasis on security and anti-hack issues to makes sure all MSI motherboard users are operating under the most secure circumstances. MSI will continue to provide additional updates if necessary to ensure maximum platform security protection for users.
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