News Posts matching "UEFI"

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MSI Z270 Motherboards Automate Core i7-7700K Overclock to 5.20 GHz

The "Game Boost" overclock automation feature the UEFI setup program of MSI Z270 motherboards, apparently is successful in overclocking Core i7-7700K processors to 5.20 GHz with liquid CPU cooling. Most motherboard vendors include some degree of automated overclocking with their motherboards, which let overclocking novices squeeze a little bit of extra performance out of their CPU and memory without having to tinker with settings they know nothing about. These technologies use automated trial-and-error overclocking and stability testing over multiple reboots, to achieve a somewhat high overclock setting that takes system stability and temperatures into account.

The highest automated overclock setting of MSI "Game Boost" within its UEFI setup program of the company's Z270 XPower Gaming Titanium motherboard is having success in getting the CPU to run at 5.20 GHz. The program presents the user with 11 grades of overclock. At its highest grade, the program pushes the CPU all the way to 5.20 GHz, with 52x 100 MHz multiplier/base-clock setting, a vCore voltage of 1.507V, vDIMM of 1.2V, and disabled C-states. Keeping this overclock stable, however, took AIO liquid CPU cooling.

Source: LegitReviews

ASUS Announces its 200-series Chipset Motherboard Family

ASUS today announced its complete 2017 lineup of Z270 motherboards designed to maximize the potential of 7th Generation Intel Core processors. The new range includes the highly-anticipated next-generation Republic of Gamers (ROG) Maximus IX gaming motherboards - with Maximus IX Apex having already secured its place in history by claiming eight world records and 13 global first places in some of the world's toughest benchmarks.

Also included in the lineup are the latest ROG Strix gaming motherboards for style-conscious enthusiast, the all-new ASUS Prime series for everyday customization and tuning, and the latest ASUS TUF boards with 24/7 stability and newly-added overclocking abilities. The ASUS workstation motherboard series has also been updated for the Z270 revolution - and all boards are loaded with exclusive technologies to enable users to extract every ounce of performance from Intel's latest CPUs.

GIGABYTE AX370-Gaming K3 Socket AM4 Motherboard PCB Pictured

The picture of a bare PCB of an upcoming GIGABYTE AX370-Gaming series socket AM4 motherboard is doing rounds on the web. The picture reveals the bare PCB of the motherboard with all its traces and printed markings, but at a stage before surface-mount components can be soldered onto it. One can still make out quite a bit about the board. AMD X370 is the company's upcoming high-end desktop chipset, which will be launched alongside the company's Ryzen 8-core processor, some time in February, 2017.

To begin with, the AX370-Gaming K3 is built in the ATX form-factor. Its AM4 socket supports both Ryzen "Summit Ridge" CPUs and 7th generation A-series "Bristol Ridge" APUs. The board draws power from 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and conditions it for the CPU with a 7-phase VRM. The AM4 socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots. Expansion slots include one PCI-Express 3.0 x16, a second gen 3.0 x16 slot that's electrical x4, and three other gen 3.0 x1 slots. Storage connectivity appears to include at least eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and one 32 Gb/s M.2 slot. 8-channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.1 (including type-C) ports, appear to make for the rest of the connectivity. GIGABYTE's signature Dual-UEFI is featured.
Many Thanks to TheLostSwede and Tomas H. for the tips!

ASUS Rolls Out BIOS Updates for Next-Generation LGA1151 Processors

ASUS today announced that all 100-series motherboards will now support next-generation Intel Core processors. A quick and easy UEFI BIOS update unleashes the full potential of the next-generation high-performance CPUs for socket LGA 1151, reaffirming ASUS as the BEST leading motherboard brand - Best Selling, Easy to Use, Stable and Trusted. Owners of ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG), Pro Gaming, Signature and TUF Z170, H170, B150 and H110 motherboards are able to take advantage of the easy upgrade to the award-winning ASUS UEFI BIOS, which is available today via the relevant ASUS Support web page.

All ASUS 100-series motherboards that include the ASUS USB BIOS Flashback feature allow users to apply UEFI BIOS updates with ease. For other ASUS 100-series motherboards the necessary UEFI BIOS update takes just one click in an easy-to-use Windows-based BIOS updater application, ASUS EZ Update, which is available to download from the ASUS website.

MSI Also Unveils the 970A Gaming Pro Carbon Motherboard

In addition to the X99A-SLI, MSI today unveiled the 970A Gaming Pro Carbon socket AM3+ motherboard. The board is based on AMD 970 + SB950 chipset, and is based on a new PCB design. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, conditioning it for the CPU with an 8-phase VRM. Expansion slots include two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (x8/x8 when both are populated), three PCI-Express 2.0 x1, and one legacy PCI. The x16 slots feature metal reinforcement braces. The board features chunkier heatsinks over the VRM and the AMD 970 northbridge, than what we're used to seeing on older boards by MSI on this platform.

The 970A Gaming Pro Carbon gets its name from RGB LED lighting on the SB950 southbridge heatsink, and the PCB ground-layer isolation trace that separates the onboard audio area from the rest of the PCB. Storage connectivity includes a 20 Gb/s M.2 slot, and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Modern connectivity includes two USB 3.1 ports (both type-A), four USB 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet, and a high-grade onboard audio solution that includes a 115 dBA SNR CODEC, ground-layer isolation, heasdet OPAMP, and audio-grade capacitors. The board is driven by UEFI BIOS, and supports NVMe booting.

Microsoft Botches Up UEFI Support for Windows 7 on ASUS Motherboards

Microsoft inadvertently bricked a vast number of PCs running Windows 7, by changing the priority of an erroneous software update. Earlier this month, Microsoft changed the priority of an obscure-sounding security update for Windows 7 from "Optional" to "Recommended," (which by default gets automatically downloaded and installed). This update, KB3133977, bricks machines running ASUS motherboards, in the UEFI mode.

Windows 7 inherently does not support Secure Boot, a feature introduced with Windows 8, which takes advantage of UEFI to provide users with a layer of system integrity throughout the boot process. With KB3133977 installed on Windows 7 machines that use UEFI boot, the motherboard senses a Secure Boot violation, and invalidates the boot device (refuses to boot from it). ASUS recommended a BIOS setting with which you can deactivate Secure Boot while making your motherboard continuing to boot in UEFI mode.

Sources: InfoWorld, Forbes. Many Thanks to revin for the tip.

AMD Outs Video BIOS Update for R9 Fury Series with Improved UEFI Support

AMD released an official video-card BIOS update for the Radeon R9 Fury X and Radeon R9 Nano graphics cards, which improve UEFI BIOS support. End users on our forums are also reporting improved overclocking stability. UEFI support at the video-BIOS level is required for the card to run without CSM at the system-BIOS end, in turn enabling useful OS features such as Secure Boot. Several of AMD's add-in board (AIB) partners already ship their cards with UEFI-ready BIOS. AMD is distributing the BIOS as ROM images, and it takes thorough knowledge of how to flash your graphics card's BIOS, to make use of these ROM images.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Video BIOS Update for Radeon R9 Nano | Radeon R9 Fury X | From AMD Website

ASUS Announces Support for Upcoming Intel Core i7 X-Series Processors

ASUS today announced support for the upcoming Intel Core i7 X-Series processors and Intel Xeon processors, with UEFI BIOS updates available immediately for ASUS X99 Signature, TUF, and ROG Series motherboards.

Easy BIOS updates with ASUS USB BIOS Flashback and EZ Flash 2
ASUS X99 Series motherboards include the renowned ASUS USB BIOS Flashback feature, which enables users to apply UEFI BIOS updates with ease. This tool downloads the latest BIOS to a USB flash drive, enabling users to update the ASUS UEFI BIOS quickly and easily. The motherboard does not even need to have a CPU or DRAM modules in place; simply connect the power supply, plug in a FAT32 formatted USB drive, press the USB BIOS Flashback or ROG Connect button and then sit back and wait until the flash process is complete.

GIGABYTE Unveils the 990FX-Gaming Socket AM3+ Motherboard

GIGABYTE unveiled its flagship socket AM3+ motherboard featuring an up-to-date feature-set, the 990FX-Gaming. The board is part of the new wave of socket AM3+ motherboards AMD promised, in its recent AMD FX + Wraith release, to serve up modern connectivity such as USB 3.1 and M.2 slots with NVMe support. The board supports 220W FX-9000 series processors, in addition to the latest FX-8370, out of the box. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and conditions it using a 10-phase VRM.

The AM3+ socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR3-2400 MHz memory; and the AMD 990FX north bridge. This chip puts out two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slots. The board's third PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot is electrical x4, and wired to the SB950 southbridge. Storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and an M.2 (20 Gb/s) slot. The board features GIGABYTE's top of the line AMP-Up onboard audio implementation, including a 110 dBA SNR CODEC, a TI Burr Brown OPA2134 user-replaceable OPAMP, Nichicon Muse capacitors, and ground-layer isolation. Networking is care of a Killer E2201 controller. Modern connectivity includes two USB 3.1 ports, and four USB 3.0 ports. The board is driven by UEFI BIOS, and features GIGABYTE's dual-UEFI tech. GIGABYTE is pricing the 990FX-Gaming at US $150.

MSI Intros 970A-G43 Plus Socket AM3+ Motherboard

MSI unveiled the 970A-G43 Plus socket AM3+ motherboard. Priced under $100, this board offers a modern feature-set for mid-range gaming PC builds based on AMD FX processors. The board supports socket AM3+ processors with TDP of up to 125W. The board is based on AMD 970 + SB950 chipset. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and conditions it for the CPU with a 4+1 phase VRM. The CPU socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, which support up to 32 GB of DDR3-2133 MHz memory.

Expansion slots include one PCI-Express 2.0 x16, featuring a reinforcement brace; one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x4), and two each of PCIe 2.0 x1 and legacy PCI. Storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Modern connectivity includes two USB 3.1 (10 Gb/s) ports; two USB 3.0 (front-panel) ports, 8-channel HD audio (Realtek ALC892), and gigabit Ethernet (Realtek controller). The board is driven by UEFI firmware, and supports modern Windows 8.1/10 features.

American Megatrends Adds UEFI Bluetooth Keyboard Support to UEFI Firmware

American Megatrends, Inc. (AMI), a global leader in BIOS, remote management tools, network data storage products and unique solutions based on the Linux and Android operating systems, is pleased to announce the addition of UEFI Bluetooth keyboard and pointing device support to its flagship Aptio V UEFI Firmware.

By adding Bluetooth support to Aptio V UEFI Firmware, users of small form factor, all-in-one and touch-enabled devices can now access the UEFI BIOS settings via a Bluetooth keyboard and pointing device to make BIOS customizations. This newly-added capability empowers end users to easily modify the BIOS settings of their systems in a number of ways and configure these products according to their personal preferences.

"The addition of Bluetooth keyboard support to Aptio V UEFI Firmware opens up a world of options for users of small form factor and touch-enabled devices, showing once again how AMI has its ear finely tuned to the present and future needs of our OEM customers and their end user consumers," commented Subramonian Shankar, President and CEO of American Megatrends.

GIGABYTE Intros H170-Gaming 3 D3 Motherboard for Budget Upgrades

GIGABYTE introduced the H170-Gaming 3 D3 motherboard to help you better spread your upgrade budget. Say you just bought a fast 16 GB dual-channel memory kit recently, to use on your older machine, and want to upgrade to Core "Skylake," choosing a DDR3-based socket LGA1151 motherboard will let you spend the money saved on buying a DDR4 memory kit on a better processor. The H170-Gaming 3 D3 is built in the ATX form-factor, taking in power from 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors. It uses a 7-phase VRM to condition power to the CPU. The CPU is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, and one PCI-Express 3.0 x16.

Other expansion slots include a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (electrical gen 3.0 x4, wired to the PCH), and two each of PCIe 3.0 x1 and legacy PCI. Storage connectivity includes two M.2 32 Gb/s slots, two SATA-Express 16 Gb/s, and six SATA 6 Gb/s. USB connectivity includes eight USB 3.0 ports (four on the rear panel, four by headers). Display outputs include one each of HDMI, DVI, and D-Sub. The AMP-UP onboard audio solution combines a 115 dBA SNR 8-channel CODEC with ground layer isolation, audio-grade capacitors, and a user-replaceable OPAMP chip. Networking is care of Killer E2200 NIC. UEFI dual-BIOS makes for the rest of it. Expect this board to be priced around $100-$120.

GIGABYTE Intros Z170N-Gaming 5 Mini-ITX Motherboard

GIGABYTE rolled out its premium SFF gaming PC motherboard that supports 6th generation Core processors, the Z170N-Gaming 5. Bearing the company's coveted G1.Gaming branding, this mini-ITX motherboard supports socket LGA1151 processors, with dual-channel DDR4 memory. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and conditions it for the CPU using a 5-phase VRM. The CPU is wired to two full-size DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel memory; and the board's lone expansion slot, a PCI-Express 3.0 x16, with a reinforcing brace.

Storage connectivity on the Z170N-Gaming 5 includes an M.2 slot with 32 Gb/s bandwidth (reverse side of the board), two SATA-Express 16 Gb/s ports, and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Display outputs include dual-link DVI and HDMI. USB connectivity includes two USB 3.1 ports (one type-C, one type-A), five USB 3.0 ports (three on the rear panel, two by header), and four USB 2.0/1.1 ports by headers. Network connectivity includes gigabit Ethernet (Killer E2200 controller), 802.11 ac WLAN (up to 867 Mbps), and Bluetooth 4.2. The onboard 8-channel audio solution combines a 115 dBA SNR CODEC with audio-grade electrolytic capacitors, and a headphones amp. Dual-UEFI BIOS makes for the rest of it. Expect premium pricing that's just north of $150.

TechPowerUp Builders Digest - $1700

We are bang in the middle of an inflection point where the latest generation of CPUs, GPUs, motherboards, memory, displays, and software (Windows 10) just launched. To help our readers wanting to save big on their first gaming PC builds [and because the news is slow these days], TechPowerUp brings to you its Builder's Digest series of guides, on which components we would choose, to build a gaming or media PC from the ground up, at a given price-point.

In this episode, we're trying to build the best gaming PC possible, under $1,700. Our definition of "best" includes not just performance, but also energy-efficiency and noise. $1,700 is a great budget to get building your first serious gaming PC from scratch. Your only semblance of a PC right now is probably a notebook you take to school, and so you need to buy everything that makes up a desktop. Here's how TechPowerUp will spend that money.

GIGABYTE's Next Gaming 3 Motherboard Pictured

Here's the first picture of GIGABYTE's upcoming Gaming 3 motherboard. We're not allowed to name the chipset, that's as well-guarded a secret as Coca Cola's recipe, so you'll just have to use your imagination. This socket LGA1151 motherboard, is designed to strike a price-features sweetspot, and supports 2-way NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX. Built in the ATX form-factor, the board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, and offers a 7-phase CPU VRM. The socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, and two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x8/x8, when both are populated). A third PCI-Express x16 slot (electrical gen 3.0 x4), is wired to the PCH, along with three other PCI-Express 3.0 x1 slots.

Storage connectivity includes two 32 Gb/s M.2 slots, three SATA-Express 16 Gb/s, and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Among the USB connectivity are two USB 3.1 ports (with at least one type-C port), at least eight USB 3.0 ports (from which four are given out via headers), and a number of USB 2.0/1.1 ports. The AMP-UP audio solution combines a 115 dBA SNR CODEC with ground-layer isolation, an OPAMP tuned for gaming and music, audio-grade capacitors, and EMI shielding. Networking is care of a Killer E2200 chip. Display outputs include D-Sub, DVI, and HDMI. GIGABYTE-exclusive Dual-UEFI BIOS is featured. Also offered is TurboOverclock+, a hardware-based overclock automation and stability testing system. This board will be a part of GIGABYTE's first wave of next-generation motherboards. It will include keys to some cool World of Tanks DLC.

TechPowerUp Announces GPU-Z 0.8.4 and PowerColor Fury X Giveaway

TechPowerUp announced GPU-Z version 0.8.4. The latest version of the popular video subsystem information, monitoring, and diagnostic utility, comes with full support for AMD Radeon R9 Fury X graphics card, and support for two other chips, namely the Radeon R7 370, and Intel "Broadwell" GT3e. The user-interface has been polished up, to include high-DPI aware visual elements, such as vendor logos. The video BIOS UEFI support indicator has been improved.

With GPU-Z 0.8.4, TechPowerUp and PowerColor bring you a new GPU-Z Giveaway! Two lucky winners stand to win a PowerColor Radeon R9 Fury X graphics card, each, by simply filling up a small form, and answering a simple question, in the "PowerColor Giveaway" tab of the main version of GPU-Z. The Radeon R9 Fury X is AMD's new flagship graphics card. Good Luck!
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.8.4 | GPU-Z 0.8.4 ASUS ROG Themed

The change-log follows.

All MSI Z97 and H97 Motherboards Support 5th Gen. Core Processors

MSI, leading in motherboard design, is proud to announce that our Z97 & H97 motherboards fully support the 5th Generation Intel Core processors! With the latest BIOS update, current MSI Z97 & H97 motherboards are completely compatible with the 5th Gen Intel Core processors, and able to unleash your system's full performance.

Committed to ensuring compatibility and performance, the MSI R&D team is making sure you never have to worry about your MSI Z97 & H97 motherboard supporting the latest generation of Intel Core processors. If you want to fully enjoy all the advantages of the 5th Generation Intel Core processors, MSI Z97 & H97 motherboards are definitely your best choice.

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.

TechPowerUp Announces GPU-Z 0.8.3

TechPowerUp announced the latest version of GPU-Z, the popular graphics system information, monitoring, and diagnostic utility. Version 0.8.3 adds support for new GPUs, updates support for existing ones, adds new features, and addresses some bugs. To begin with, GPU-Z adds a new feature that tells you if the video BIOS embeds a UEFI module or not, letting you use some of the newer OS features such as Secure Boot and Fast Boot.

GPU-Z 0.8.3 comes with support for new and upcoming GPUs, such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti, GTX 965M, GTX 950M, NVS315, and GT 750 (GK106). On the AMD front, it adds support for AMD "Fiji" GPU, with its new memory technology; and "Mullins" APU (Radeon R2 and R3 series). It also adds support for the integrated graphics cores inside several Intel Core "Broadwell" CPUs. OpenCL detection code is improved, and a missing PerfCap sensor bug is fixed.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.8.3 | GPU-Z 0.8.3 ASUS ROG Themed

The complete change-log follows.

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.

GIGABYTE Enables Support for Upcoming 5th Gen Intel Core Processors

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards is proud to announce their entire line-up of Z97 and H97 motherboards now support the soon-to-launch 5th Generation Intel Core processors.

GIGABYTE engineers have tested and validated all GIGABYTE 9 series motherboards including Z97 and H97 chipset-based motherboards to ensure optimal performance for 5th Generation Intel Core processors. Users wanting to take advantage of all the features of 5th Gen Intel Core processors have to offer at launch, simply need to download the latest UEFI BIOS from the GIGABYTE website.

ASUS Announces that All its Z97 and X99 Motherboards Support NVMe

ASUS today announced that it is the world's first motherboard brand to support all NVM Express (NVMe) storage devices via a simple UEFI BIOS update and optional ASUS Hyper Kit expansion card.

The free UEFI BIOS update enable all ASUS X99 and Z97 motherboards to be compatible with the latest NVMe storage devices, including those with PCI Express (PCIe) and M.2 (PCIe) interfaces. All ASUS X99 motherboards are also compatible with the latest 2.5-inch NVMe SFF-8639 solid-state drives (SSDs), via the exclusive ASUS Hyper Kit expansion card - for ultimate data-transfer bandwidth up to 32 Gbit/s.

ASRock Also Announces 970M Pro3 Micro-ATX Socket AM3+ Motherboard

In addition to the high bang-for-buck Fatal1ty 970 Performance, ASRock announced one of the very few AMD 9-series chipset based socket AM3+ motherboards in the micro-ATX form-factor, the 970M Pro3. Based on the AMD 970 chipset, and built to be priced well under $99, the 970M Pro3 supports AMD FX processors with TDP of up to 125W (that excludes FX-9000 series). Drawing power from a 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS, the board offers a 5-phase CPU VRM. Expansion slots include one PCI-Express 2.0 x16, one PCIe 2.0 x16 (electrical x4, wired to the southbridge), and one each of PCIe 2.0 x1 and legacy PCI. Storage connectivity on the 970M Pro3 includes six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. 6-channel HD audio with ELNA capacitors, gigabit Ethernet, and four USB 3.0 ports (two on the rear panel, two by header), make for the rest of its modern connectivity. The board is driven by UEFI BIOS.

ASRock Unveils Fatal1ty 970 Performance Socket AM3+ Motherboard

ASRock unveiled its newest socket AM3+ motherboard for gamers with on a budget, the Fatal1ty 970 Performance. Based on the AMD 970 chipset with SB950 southbridge, this board offers a slick feature-set for its potentially two-figure price. Built in the ATX form-factor, the board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors. An optional 4-pin Molex power connector is required, if you have two cards that rely solely on the expansion slot power. The board features a 10-phase CPU VRM, and supports 220W TDP chips such as the FX-9370 and FX-9590.

Expansion slots include two PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (x8/x8 when both are populated), a third PCI-Express 2.0 x16, which is electrical x4 and wired to the southbridge, a legacy PCI, and two PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots. Storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and an M.2 slot (electrical PCIe 2.0 x4). Other modern connectivity includes six USB 3.0 ports (four on the rear panel, two by headers), an electrically-reinforced Fatal1ty Mouse port, ASRock Purity Sound 2 on-board audio with a 115 dBA SNR CODEC, audio-grade electrolytic capacitors, headphones amp, and ground-layer isolation, and gigabit Ethernet (Realtek-made controller). The board is driven by UEFI BIOS, and supports Windows 8.1 features such as Secure Boot and Fast Boot. Expect this board to be priced at $99.

ASUS Announces BIOS Updates for 5th Gen Core Processor Support

ASUS today announced that all 9 Series motherboards offer support for 5th-generation Intel Core processors, assuring a quick, safe, and smooth upgrade - immediately. The easy-to-use ASUS USB BIOS Flashback or BIOS Updater tools enable users to update the UEFI BIOS quickly, unleashing the great performance of the latest high-performance CPUs.

ASUS 9 Series motherboards that include the renowned ASUS USB BIOS Flashback feature enable users to apply UEFI BIOS updates with incredible ease. This innovative tool downloads the latest BIOS to a USB flash drive, enabling users to update the award-winning ASUS UEFI BIOS quickly and easily. The motherboard does not even need to have a CPU or DRAM modules in place: users can simply connect the power supply, plug in their USB drive, press the USB BIOS Flashback or Reset button and then sit back and wait - there's nothing else to do.
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