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AMD Pulls Catalyst 14.4 WHQL, Reposts it with a Cautionary Note

Over the weekend enthusiasts couldn't find AMD's Catalyst software suite 14.4 WHQL on the company's Game portal. The company reposted it a little later, with a cautionary note about why they had to pull the download. Apparently, the AMD motherboard chipset drivers included in the suite were later found to be unstable on some systems, particularly the southbridge AHCI driver. The issue seems to affect only certain southbridges, the SB700, SB710, and SB750. There's no word on newer generations of southbridges with SATA 6 Gb/s controllers and FIS switches, such as SB850, SB950, and A-series FCH chipsets, being affected. Our SB950-based motherboard isn't showing any signs of instability. AMD rebuilt the suite without the affected driver when it re-posted the suite later on Monday.

MSI Rolls Out 760GMA-P34FX Socket AM3+ Motherboard

MSI rolled out the 760GMA-P34FX, a cost-effective socket AM3+ motherboard in the micro-ATX form-factor, designed with out of the box support for AMD FX "Vishera" processors. Based on the dated AMD 760 chipset with SB710 southbridge, the motherboard still offers modern connectivity, such as SATA 6 Gb/s and USB 3.0, but using third-party controllers.

Drawing power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 4-pin CPU power connectors, the 760GMA-P34FX offers two DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 16 GB of dual-channel DDR3 memory. A PCI-Express 2.0 x16, a PCI-Express 2.0 x1, and a legacy PCI slot make up its expansion area. Storage connectivity includes six SATA 3 Gb/s ports (from the SB710 southbridge), and two SATA 6 Gb/s ports (from an ASMedia ASM1061 controller). Display connectivity includes one each of DVI and D-Sub. The board offers four USB 3.0 ports, two on the rear panel, two by headers. 6-channel HD audio, and gigabit Ethernet make for the rest of the connectivity. Expect this one to be light on your wallet. Really light.

ASUS Packs a Load Onto Mini-ITX for AMD Users

ASUS is ready with a feature-packed socket AM3 motherboard in the mini-ITX form-factor, based on the AMD 880G + SB710 chipset. The ASUS M4A88T-I Deluxe, as it is called, supports AM3 processors, probably with a TDP limited at 95W or 125W, and supports up to 8 GB of dual-channel DDR3 memory using SODIMMs (laptop memory). It far from stops here. The 880G chipset packs a DirectX 10.1 compliant ATI Radeon HD 4290 graphics, complete with SidePort memory and HD video acceleration features. The SB710 gives out five SATA 3 Gb/s ports on this board, of which three are internal, and two eSATA. The lone expansion slot is a PCI-Express 2.0 x16.

Connectivity includes 6-channel HD audio with optical and coaxial SPDIF output, WiFi b/g/n, gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, and display connectivity which includes DVI and HDMI (with 7.1 channel HDMI audio). The SB710 comes with the unintended functionality of unlocking disabled cores on some processors.

ASUS Intros Three 760G Micro-ATX Value Motherboards

ASUS slipped in no less than three value micro-ATX motherboards based on the AMD 760G + SB710 chipset. Two of these, the M4A78L-M LE, M4A78L-M use socket AM2+ to connect to existing AM3 and older AM2(+) processors supporting DDR2 memory, while a third one, the M4A78LT-M LE uses AM3 socket to support AM3 processors and DDR3 memory. All three feature ASUS exclusive features such the EPU (energy processing unit), ExpressGate instant-on OS, and a 'Turbo-key' push-button overclocking feature. All three are to an extant similar, in having two DIMM slots for dual-channel memory, one each of PCI-Express x16, x1, and two PCI, and have an ATI Radeon HD 3000 class IGP.

The differences start with the M4A78L-M LE and M4A78LT-M LE being more office-oriented, with display connectivity being confined to D-Sub, or DVI, presence of legacy serial and parallel ports, a simpler 6-channel audio, and 4-phase CPU VRM, while retaining essential connectivity of the southbridge, including six SATA 3 Gbps ports, and one IDE connector for running two ATA devices. The M4A78L-M is slightly more consumer / home-user oriented, with better display connectivity that includes D-Sub, DVI, and HDMI, 8-channel audio with optical SPDIF output, and a slightly more powerful 4+1 phase VRM. The M4A78L-M LE, M4A78L-M and M4A78LT-M LE are priced at £42.42, £47.87 and £51.68, respectively.

MSI Announces X-Slim X430, a Major Breakthrough in Ultra-Thin Mobile Technology

The MSI X-Slim X430 uses AMD's latest second-generation Ultrathin Platform with dual-core processors and Microsoft's newest operating system, Windows 7, to provide users with the ultimate in ultra-thin mobility. MSI's ultra-thin, power-saving X-Slim 14" notebook has evolved once again to feature AMD's 2nd Generation Ultrathin Platform and Microsoft's new Windows 7 operating system in the gorgeous new X-Slim X430.MSI Notebook Marketing Director Sam Chern states that the X430, in addition to maintaining the ultra-thin, power-saving and beautiful exterior design characteristics of the X-Slim series, has bolstered hardware performance not only by the use of a dual-core processor, but also a fully supported HD video output capability that provides users with outstanding image management and visual performance.

MSI Readies 770-G45 AM3 Motherboard

MSI is readying the 770-G45 motherboard, which supports socket AM3 Phenom II and Athlon II series processors from AMD. This is the third in the series of motherboards recently launched by MSI, to be based on the AMD 770 chipset, albeit being the most feature-rich of the lot. The other offerings being 770T-C45, and 770-C35. The motherboard makes use of AMD's SB710 southbridge, and hence supports the ACC feature. The more important feature however, is the provision of two PCI-Express x16 slots, supporting ATI CrossfireX. The second slot however, seems to be wired to the southbridge, and electrical PCI-Express x4.

The CPU is powered by a simple 6 phase VRM circuit, supporting the Active Phase Switching feature, it is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots to support dual-channel memory. All six SATA 3 Gb/s ports are internal. A PCI-E x1 and three PCI slots make for the rest of the expansion. Connectivity includes gigabit Ethernet, a serial port, and a number of USB 2.0 ports. The OC Switch feature aims to simplify overclocking. Ideally, this motherboard should make it around the $100 price point, though the price isn't known at this point.

MSI Announce the CR610 Notebook

The MSI Classic notebook series charm and elegance appear once again. The new large-screen CR610 offers high-performance audio/video while being fashionably light and slender. Specialized craftsman-like techniques give the 45-degree angled edges a smooth, flowing appearance. The case's profile integrates an optical drive and I/O port configuration and design that creates an uninterrupted outline. With a brilliant finish that features a transparent, engraved color film print, the CR610 emits varying color patterns and variations when exposed to light from different angles. The CR610's fashionably expressive exterior radiates a classic sensation.

The CR610 uses AMD's newest Tigris notebook computer platform and comes with Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 7, to provide highly efficient and low power consuming operational capabilities while being capable of outstanding image processing performance. Not only does it possess a strong and powerful image processing core, but the CR610 is fitted with a 16:9 cinematic HD (1366×768) display with high resolution LED backlight so you can enjoy the latest first-class visual feast.

ASRock Also Intros M3A785GM-LE/128M AM3 Motherboard

ASRock also introduced the M3A785GM-LE/128M, a value socket AM3 motherboard, supporting AMD Phenom II and Athlon II series processors. Built in the micro-ATX form-factor, the M3A785GM-LE/128M is based on the AMD 785G + SB710 chipset. The CPU is powered by a simple 4 phase circuit, and is wired to two DDR3 DIMM slots to support up to 8 GB of memory. The AMD 785G northbridge embeds an ATI Radeon HD 4200 class DirectX 10.1 compliant integrated graphics processor, with 128 MB of onboard DDR3 memory across its SidePort memory interface. It makes use of the chipset's features. The expansion slots on this board include one each of PCI-Express 2.0 x16, PCI-E x1, and two PCI slots. The SB710 southbridge provides six internal SATA 3 Gb/s ports. Display connectivity options include DVI-D and D-Sub. 6 channel audio, and gigabit Ethernet make for the rest of the package. Availability and pricing are yet to be known.

MSI Prepares 790X-G45 AM2+ Motherboard

MSI is readying a new socket AM2+ motherboard based on the AMD 790X + SB710 chipset. The MSI 790X-G45 is an ATX motherboard that makes use of the chipset's feature-set. The CPU is powered by a 4+1 phase circuit which makes use of MSI's APS (Active Phase Switching) function that turns of redundant phases when the load is low. Supporting most socket AM3, AM2+, and AM2 processors, the motherboard's four DDR2 DIMM slots support DDR2-1066 memory for the K10 generation of AMD processors, and DDR2-1200 by overclocking. Its two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots (electrical x8, x8, when both are in use,) provide support for ATI CrossFireX. The SB710 southbridge takes care of six internal SATA 3.0 Gbps ports, an IDE connector for two devices, 8-channel HD audio, and support for Advanced Clock Calibration. Gigabit Ethernet, six USB ports and a serial port, make for the rest of its connectivity. The MSI 790X-G45 will be available in the weeks to come.

ASRock Innovates Socket 939 Motherboard with AMD 785G Chipset

This creation by ASRock is bound to surprise you. The motherboard specialist used a present-generation AMD 785G + SB710 chipset to drive a socket 939 motherboard, called the ASRock 939A785GMH128M. That's right, socket 939, supporting some of the oldest processors in the Athlon 64 and Sempron 64 series. The socket 939 CPU is powered by a 5-phase power circuit. It is wired to four DDR memory slots, supporting dual-channel DDR memory at speeds of up to DDR-400 MHz.

The AMD 785G chipset packs an ATI Radeon HD 4200 class integrated graphics processor with 128 MB SidePort memory, while the SB710 southbridge provides 5 internal SATA 3 Gb/s ports, and one eSATA port. The expansion slots on this micro-ATX motherboard include one PCI-Express 2.0 x16, one PCI-E x1, and two PCI slots. The IGP connects to its displays using DVI-D, HDMI, and D-Sub. 8-channel audio, and gigabit Ethernet make for the rest of it. There is no word on the availability or pricing as yet.

DFI Announces LANParty BI 785G-M35

Possessing industrial grade technology, DFI LANParty is going to launch the newest Blood Iron series product, 785G-M35 Micro ATX motherboard. Accommodating AMD 785 chipset, BI 785G-M35 incorporates integrated ATI Radeon HD 4200, which supports DirectX10.1, Shader Model 4.1, and UVD 2.0. With 128MB DDR3 Sideport Memory, graphics performance of BI 785G-M35 can be improved up to 10%~15%. What is more, it comes with LANParty exclusive "ABS II" CPU Auto Upgrade technology and leading-edge digital PWM so as to let users enjoy the ultimate high performance and simultaneously save a huge amount of budget and electric pay.

CPU can be upgraded. Users do not need to spend a huge amount of money on high degree CPU, but still can obtain the same high performance. "ABS II" CPU Auto Upgrade Technology exempts users from complicated set-up steps. As long as users choose upgrade option at the first boost time, ABS II then will detect CPU and upgrade it automatically. As a result, performance is improved easily and money is saved accordingly.

Sapphire Announces Pure AMD 785G Motherboard

SAPPHIRE Technology has just released a new feature packed mainboard based on the highly acclaimed 785G chipset from AMD, supporting the latest AMD Phenom ll processor families with DDR3 memory and on-board DX10.1 graphics as well as PCI-Express 2.0.

The SAPPHIRE PURE 785G (part number PI-AM3RS785G) is a fully featured mainboard in standard microATX format combining the powerful AMD 785G Chipset and AMD SB710 south bridge. Two DIMM slots support up to 8GB of DDR3 1333/1600 memory and there is an on-board 128MBit DDR3 sideport memory. The integrated high speed 3GB/s SATA hard drive interface caters for up to 6 devices with optional RAID functions, and there is also an Ultra DMA IDE connector. On board features include GigaBit LAN and 6-channel HD Audio with 3D audio capability as well as support for up to 8 USB 2.0/1.1 devices.

Latest 785G Motherboards Continue to Support Core Unlocking

When it first surfaced that some triple-core and dual-core AMD Phenom series processors could make their disabled cores available under special circumstances thanks to shoddy BIOS-coding associated with the Advanced Clock Calibration (ACC), the anomaly quickly transformed into a potential selling-point for AMD processors, that with the right motherboard, a cheaper AMD processor could be unlocked into a significantly powerful processor for the price. Although AMD made noise calling motherboard vendors to quickly isolate and fix the issue, months on, it hasn't been fixed even with AMD's newest desktop platform based on the AMD 785G+SB710 chipset. An almost deliberate precedent, one we can't have problem with.

Chinese website has learned that MSI's newest AMD 785G motherboard, the 785GM-E65, can not only unlock the two disabled cores on the Phenom II X2 550, but also provide reasonable overclocking stability for the processor. Coolaler used a retail Phenom II X2 550 on the new motherboard, and simply set the ACC feature in the BIOS setup to "auto" (which enables it from the BIOS end). The system booted with all physical cores on the processor enabled, and allowed overclocking it to 3.609 GHz (18 x 200 MHz, 1.344 V). The chip was subjected to full-load using two instances of Orthos to test its stability, to which it emerged fairly stable.

MSI Readies 770T-C45 Motherboard

MSI is working on yet another addition to its AM2+ socket motherboard lineup, this time the 770T-C45. This mainstream ATX motherboards draws more than just its layout from the recently announced 770-C35, and the AM3-based 770-C45, in fact an identical board layout with the addition of a few features. This board is uses an AM2+ socket with support for DDR2 memory, with the AMD 770 + SB710 chipset, which provides support for AMD OverDrive Advanced Clock Calibration feature. The CPU is powered by the same 4+2 phase design featured on the older model. An important difference is that this model features Active Phase Switching, which turns off redundant power phases when the load is low. Another change is the colour scheme for the expansion slots connectors, and heatsinks. It will be priced in the sub-$100 range.

Albatron Unveils K3780E Integrated Platform Motherboard

Albatron Technology Co., LTD., a professional mainboard and graphics card manufacturer, involved in Industry Personal Computer (IPC) area these years. By virtue of sources and experience in the consumer PC market, Albatron developed different products for IPC clients. During Computex Taipei 2009, Albatron unveiled a new product, Albatron K3780E, which combined with System Board and I/O Board. According to customers' demands to adjust I/O interface, SI can apply Albatron K3780E easily on their system with more flexibilities. even praised Albatron K3780E: "Two level mobo wins best of show."

In the diverse IPC industry, Albatron thinks outside the box to provide our clients various options. Unveiled Albatron K3780E shows Albatron's multiple researches and design efforts. As we know customers have their own requests toward I/O interface. If we provide only one solution, it just meets some clients' needs. In addition, restricted by the original design, Albatron will be not able to offer our customers diverse and flexible products.

MSI Intros 760GTM-P33 Motherboard

MSI launched a new AMD AM2+ socket micro-ATX motherboard targeting the value and SME markets. The 760GTM-P33 is based on the AMD 760G + SB710 chipset, and supports DDR2 memory from two DIMM slots. It extends compatibility to AM3-socket processors along the way. The CPU is powered by a 4+1 phase circuit, with support for MSI's APS (active phase switching) feature. The SB710 chipset connects to six SATA II ports internally, and one standard IDE connector. The 760G chipset embeds an ATI Radeon HD 3200 class IGP, with slightly lower clock speeds and higher energy efficiency compared to the 780G. Display connectivity includes DVI and D-Sub ports. 8-channel audio, and gigabit connectors, a PCI-E x16, x1, and two PCI slots make for the rest of the package. The MSI 760GTM-P33 will arrive at stores soon, at an expected price under $100.

Shuttle Introduces Versatile Mini-PC Barebone, supports AMD processors for socket AM3

Shuttle Inc., the market leader in the area of mini-PCs and the manufacturer of multi-form-factor solutions, is now offering another barebone for modern AMD processors. The SA76G2 hits the market with a style not unlike its predecessor, the SN68SG2: classic black G2 design in polished aluminium.

Even at only 30 x 20 x 18.5 cm (DxWxH), the compact device is the first mini-PC barebone from Shuttle to support AMD processors for socket AM3. Processors with AM2 and AM2+ sockets can also be used, ensuring maximum compatibility and long-term upgrade options. This versatility comes thanks to the AMD RS760/SB710 chipset inside.

ASUS M4A785-M EVO Motherboard Pictured, Another One to the RS880 League

Days after releasing its high-end Crosshair III Formula, ASUS is readying another motherboard, this time based on AMD's new 785G + SB710 chipset. This AM2+ micro-ATX board offers a fairly standard feature-set. The AM2+ socket supports nearly every AM2, AM2+, AM3 socket CPU ever made, while the four DDR2 DIMMs support up to 1200 MHz DDR2 by overclocking, while DDR2-1066 is a standard for AM2+/AM3 CPUs. The southbridge provides five SATA II ports, with a sixth one positioned as eSATA on the rear-panel. Display connectivity options include DVI, D-Sub and HDMI. The motherboard may be released during the upcoming Computed 2009 event.

The source also revealed a bit about the AMD 785G chipset, confirming our earlier assumption that it was based on the RS880 core. The chip embeds an RV620 graphics processor, which will be named as the Radeon HD 4200 IGP. It features UVD 2.0 video hardware decoder, and supports DirectX 10.1. It also supports SidePort auxiliary memory, apart from the usual UMA. AMD notes that the IGP will be slightly faster than the RS780, while being significantly faster than Intel G45 and NVIDIA's GeForce 8200 (although NVIDIA's fasted IGP for the AMD platform is GeForce 8300).

AMD SB850 Southbridge to Pack Gen. 3 SATA 6 Gbps Support

As the market receives AMD's homegrown chipsets well since its successful 7-series, the company is preparing a new breed of platform core-logic technologies that will serve present and upcoming generations of the company's processors. From what we know so far, the company has designed the RD8xx and RS880, and has reportedly prepared prototype motherboards based on the chipsets. Several motherboard vendors have already prepared their upcoming SKUs based on the RS880 (AMD 880G), though all of these feature current SB710/SB750 series southbridge chips.

The successor, SB850, has been known to bring in an expanded feature set, and more importantly, an update with its storage controller. The southbridge will be one of the first ones to feature the third-generation SATA interface, that offers a maximum bandwidth of 6 Gbps between the system and the storage device, in comparison to 3 Gbps SATA II offers. In RAID mode, the controller will provide RAID 0, 1, JBOD, and RAID 5 modes. Six SATA channels will be supported in all. Other known features include support for 14 USB ports, albeit USB 2.0. AMD won't be embracing USB 3.0 just yet. The new southbridge will be released in Q4 2009 according to a portion of a roadmap slide by the company.

MSI Slips In 770-C35 AM3 Motherboard

With its new 790FX-GD70 receiving good reviews at the high-end AMD segment, MSI is quietly filling up its AM3 socket lineup. Its newest entry is the 770-C35. The board is MSI's first AM3 offering based on the RX780 (AMD 770) chipset. It is paired with the SB710 southbridge, that retains most of the SB750's feature-set except some RAID modes. Advanced Clock Calibration is supported. Four DDR3 DIMM slots support DDR3 memory at speeds of up to 1600 MHz. A single PCI-Express 2.0 x16, two PCI-E x1, and three PCI slots provide expansion. The SB710 southbridge provides support for six SATA devices. The 770-C35 should release soon, at a sub-$100 price-point.

Biostar Rolls-Out First AMD 760G Motherboards

Following the launch of AMD's newest value northbridge, the AMD 760G, and the SB710 southbridge, Biostar prepared its first offerings based on the 760G + SB710 chipset: the TA760G M2+ and A760G M2+. Both motherboards are built in the Micro-ATX form factor, measuring 24.4cm X 20cm. Both models are essentially the same, except for the TA760G M2+ featuring four DDR2 DIMM slots, instead of two on the A760G M2+.

The motherboards feature AM2+ sockets, supporting Athlon, and Phenom series processors with TDP ratings of up to 95W. For the Phenom and Athlon X2 7000 series chips, the DDR2-1066 memory standard is supported. Featuring the new SB710 southbridge, up to six SATA II drives are supported. The rest of the feature set takes care of the essentials, with the onboard ATI Radeon HD 3200-class IGP running at 350 MHz, supporting Hybrid CrossFire, with dual-head outputs that include a DVI connector. A gigabit LAN and six-channel audio makes for the rest of it. Prelimnary reviews of the AMD 760G show it to outclass the Intel G41 chipset (priced in the same range) both in IGP performance and video acceleration. These motherboards will be priced well under US $100 to cater to its segment.

AMD 880G AM3 Chipset Details Emerge

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is planning on releasing a new 55nm chipset by Q3 next year, that will power the company's Socket AM3 processors (Athlon X4, Phenom II X3, Phenom II X4). Codenamed AMD 880G, this chipset will become part of the AMD Live! "Pisces" platform. AMD 880G will feature an integrated Radeon HD 3450 (RV620) DX10.1 graphics core, support for DDR3 memory, HyperTransport 3.0, Universal Video Decoder 2 (UVD 2), Hybrid Crossfire with the on-board Radeon HD 3450 graphics core and a PCIe 2.0 x16 discrete card, Display Port/HDMI/DVI/SurroundView support. The 880G chipset will be paired up with a SB710 southbridge to deliver 12x USB ports and 6x SATA ports. This chipset is also said to bring OverDrive 3.0 to AM3 platforms.

AMD RS880 Details Trickle in

AMD processors finally get to address DDR3 memory on the new AM3 socket. Compatible processors under the Phenom II and Athlon X3, X4 banners that come in AM3 socket packages, will run initially on updated AMD 7-series chipset variants, and later be succeeded by the the company's RD890 and RS880 chipset cores. HKEPC compiled some information on the RS880 core logic. The "RS" prefix for AMD GPG chipsets mark the presence of integrated graphics. Based on the performance efficiency of the RSx80 dice, they're branded into the mainstream RSx80 product (eg: RS780 for AMD 780G), RSx80C for a value product (eg: RS780C for AMD 740G) and a high-end RSx80D (eg: in AMD 790GX).

The RS880 will use feature-set refresh, though will embed a rather dated RV620-class graphics processor. The IGP will have DirectX 10.1 API compliance. Specifications-wise it is identical to the RS780, both sport 40 stream processors, 8 texture address and 4 texture filtering units, though the core speed on the RS880 is expected to be significantly higher. The feature-set refresh, as stated earlier, includes support for Universal Video Decoder 2 (UVD-2), in addition to 100% hardware acceleration for VC-1, H.264 and MPEG-2 bitstream decoding. Also provided is video dynamic-contrast. The IGP supports HDMI with audio routing, and DisplayPort. The chipset will be released in Q3 2009. Like the current RS780, the RS880 will be manufactured on the 55nm node of TSMC. It will be used on motherboards with companion SB710 or SB800 southbridge chips.

AMD Chalks-Out Chipset Launch Schedule for 2009

The year 2009 could be very decisive for AMD, with a fleet of desktop processors awaiting launch within H1, 2009. The company will also be preparing supportive core logic for compatibility with AM3 socket CPUs. Listed, are the highlights for the chipset division's product plans, as compiled by industry observer DigiTimes:
  • The introduction of a value-oriented IGP chipset in January 2009, the AMD 760G, based on the RS780 architecture. This is expected to replace AMD 740G. It offers a DirectX 10 IGP without support for UVD, Hybrid Crossfire or DisplayPort. To be accompanied by AMD SB710 southbridge.
  • The introduction of high-end AMD 790FX and 790GX chipsets that have been upgraded with native AM3 socket support, in May or June. To be accompanied by AMD SB750 southbridge.
  • The company will introduce the RX780-based AMD 770, which also gets its share of changes that bring in AM3 socket compatibility, in July or August. To be accompanied by SB710.
  • A next generation IGP-based RS880 northbridge would be introduced in May or June, also accompanied by SB710.
  • Finally in September, the company will launch a proper successor to the 790FX, in the form of RD890, and the introduction of the new SB800 southbridge.
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