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GIGABYTE Gives AMD X570 the Full Aorus Treatment: ITX to Xtreme

Motherboard vendors are betting big on the success of AMD's "Valhalla" desktop platform that combines a Ryzen 3000-series Zen 2 processor with an AMD X570 chipset motherboard, and have responded with some mighty premium board designs. GIGABYTE deployed its full spectrum of Aorus branding, including Ultra, Elite, ITX Pro, Master, and Xtreme. The X570 I Aorus Pro WiFi mini-ITX motherboard is an impressive feat of engineering despite its designers having to wrestle with the feisty new PCIe gen 4 chipset. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin and 8-pin connectors, and conditions power for the SoC with an impressive 8-phase VRM that uses high-grade PowIRstage components. A rather tall fan-heatsink cools the X570 chipset, with a 30 mm fan.

Connectivity options on the X570 I Aorus Pro WiFi are surprisingly aplenty. The sole expansion slot is a PCI-Express 4.0 x16, but the storage connectivity includes not one, but two M.2-2280 slots (reverse side of the PCB), each with PCI-Express 4.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring. Four SATA 6 Gbps ports make for the rest of the storage connectivity. Networking options include 2.4 Gbps 802.11ax WLAN, Bluetooth 5.0 (Intel , and 1 GbE, all pulled by Intel-made controllers. USB connectivity includes six 5 Gbps USB 3.2 gen 1, and two 10 Gbps USB 3.2 gen 2 ports (of which one is type-C), and two 5 Gbps ports by headers. The onboard audio solution has 6-channel analog output, but is backed by a premium Realtek ALC1220VB Enhance CODEC (114 dBA SNR).

GIGABYTE Unveils Three New X299 Motherboards at Computex 2019

At Computex 2019, we spotted three new socket LGA2066 motherboards from GIGABYTE, and several other manufacturers. At its Computex 2019 keynote, Intel announced that in Q3 2019, the company is launching new Core X series HEDT processor models "for creators." When combined with the handful new LGA2066 motherboard models we've spotted, it becomes highly likely that the processors Intel is launching this Fall could be LGA2066-compatible. Without further ado, the X299G Aorus Master, the X299G Aorus Xtreme Waterforce, and the X299G Designare 10G.

The X299G Aorus Master is different from the X299 Aorus Master launched last November, and the X299G Designare 10G is different from the X299 Designare EX launched way back in 2017. The X299G Aorus Xtreme Waterforce is the first "Xtreme" sub-branded LGA2066 product. What's common to these three boards is out-of-the-box support for the upcoming HEDT processor models, besides 9th generation "Skylake-X" Refresh processors, and the original "Skylake-X" chips.

GIGABYTE Intros X299 Aorus Master Motherboard

GIGABYTE today announced its almost-flagship socket LGA2066 motherboard, the X299 Aorus Master. The Master brand-extension, if you'll recall, is positioned just a notch below the flagship Aorus Xtreme, which makes this board a successor to the X299 Aorus Gaming 7. The X299 Aorus Gaming 9 and Designare-EX remain the company's flagship LGA2066 products, until they're succeeded by a new Aorus Xtreme product. There's still plenty to go around with the new X299 Aorus Master, beginning with its updated design scheme that's in sync with the company's latest Z390 motherboard lineup. It ships with out-of-the-box support for Core X 9000-series processors. The board is wider than ATX, although not quite E-ATX. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, and an optional 6-pin PCIe power. A 12-phase VRM powers the CPU, cooled by a 2-stage heatsink. Expansion slots include four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x16/NC/x16/NC or x16/NC/x8/x8 or x8/x8/x8/x8). The DIMM and PCIe slots feature metal reinforcement.

Storage connectivity on the GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Master includes three M.2 slots with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 wiring, each with heatsinks; and eight SATA 6 Gbps ports. Networking includes a 2.5 GbE wired interface driven by Realtek Dragon 8125AG controller, a 1 GbE driven by Intel i219-V controller, and 802.11 ac + Bluetooth 5 interface driven by Intel 9260 WLAN card. USB connectivity includes four USB 3.1 gen 2 ports (two on the rear panel including a type-C, two by header), driven by a combination of ASMedia ASM1142 controller and the X299 PCH. The onboard audio solution is quite something. An ESS Sabre 9218 DAC (130 dBA SNR!) drives the main front + headphones channel with Ti Burr Brown OPA2111KP OPAMPs and WIMA capacitors; while a 120 dBA SNR Realtek ALC1220VB pulls the remaining channels. Manually-switchable dual-BIOS, 7-segment POST code readout, USB flash-back, and a boatload of other overclocker-friendly features complete the board. Expect it to be priced around USD $399.

GIGABYTE Announces the AORUS X399 XTREME Motherboard

GIGABYTE today announced its flagship socket TR4 motherboard for AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors, with out-of-the-box compatibility with 2nd generation 32-core Threadrippers. The new Aorus X399 XTREME board is part of a new breed of X399-TR4 motherboards launched/unveiled in the past few months, with reinforced VRM to cope better with the upcoming 250W TDP 24-core and 32-core processors, such as the MSI MEG X399 Creation. A brochure of this board was leaked to the web last month, and now we see it in the flesh. Technically still an ATX board, the Aorus X399 Xtreme is slightly broader, and is recommended to be installed in EATX-capable cases. Power is drawn from a 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, and an optional 6-pin PCIe power. A 10-phase VRM powers the CPU.

Expansion includes four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/NC/x16/NC or x16/NC/x8/x8 or x8/x8/x8/x8), and an x1 slot. Storage connectivity includes three M.2 slots with gen 3.0 x4 wiring, each; and six SATA 6 Gbps ports, from which four come directly from the CPU. The onboard audio is top of the line, with an ESS Sabre DAC working the main stereo out, and a Realtek ALC1220VB handling the other 8 channels. The Sabre is slaved to the ALC1220VB, so the system only sees one audio controller. There are four network interfaces - a 10 GbE driven by an Aquantia-made controller, two 1 GbE pulled by Intel i219-V, and an 802.11ac driven by an Intel 9260 WLAN card, which also handles Bluetooth 5.0. There are 10 USB 3.1 ports at the integrated rear panel (eight running at 5 Gbps, and two at 10 Gbps, one of which is type-C). Four other 5 Gbps ports are wired internally. Of course there's the full-shebang of RGB lighting and control. Available from 8th August, the board will be priced at USD $499.99.

Zorloo Announces Their Second-Generation Portable USB-DAC

Zorloo is pleased to introduce its second-generation portable USB-DAC product, ZuperDAC-S, today. It builds on its wildly praised ZuperDAC to enable computers or mobile phones an unprecedented HiFi music experience. Today, computers and mobile phones are powerful enough to handle different audio protocols. However, the last but most critical step in the entire digital-to-analog conversion process, i.e. turning musical data 0 and 1 into audible sound waves, always sucks. Constrained by the limitation of this internal conversion process, audio may also have to be re-sampled to fit the pipeline.

Bypassing the internal conversion with ZuperDAC-S drastically improves sound quality to a new level. It supports up to 192kHz sampling frequency and 24-bit depth, which eliminates unnecessary sample rate and bit depth conversion. The music output from ZuperDAC-S is exactly what was recorded. ZuperDAC-S uses the ESS Sabre 9018 audiodac and delivers a stunning 120dB SNR and 0.0005% THD+N performance. It delivers a balanced, clear and articulated sound in a wide soundstage. The integrated headphone amplifier output can connect directly to headphones, or go through the amplifier systems.
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