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EK Announces Monoblock for ASRock X299 Motherboards

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is releasing its very first monoblock for X299 based ASRock motherboards. The EK-FB ASRock X299 RGB Monoblock has an integrated 4-pin RGB LED strips which make them compatible with ASRock RGB LED, thus offering a full lighting customization experience.

A complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solutions for several ASRock Intel X299 Chipset based motherboards that support new Intel Core X-series LGA-2066 socket processors. This monoblock is compatible with the following ASRock motherboards:
  • ASRock X299 OC Formula
  • ASRock X299 Taichi
  • ASRock Fatal1ty X299 Professional Gaming i9
  • ASRock X299 Killer SLI/ac
  • ASRock Fatal1ty X299 Gaming K6

ASUS Intros the WS X299 SAGE Motherboard

ASUS today introduced the WS X299 SAGE motherboard, a socket LGA2066 motherboard designed for Intel Core X "Skylake-X" processors, in the SSI-CEB form-factor. This board is targeted at the same quasi-workstation crowd that the company's WS X299 Pro and WS X299 Pro SE are designed for, but unlike the latter, it lacks an iKVM remote-management chip. Those looking for more serious workstation builds involving something from Intel's Xeon stable or even 2P setups, should consider the larger WS C621E SAGE. The WS X299 SAGE is targeted at those who need the massive PCIe loadout of the C621E SAGE, but can make do with 1P Core X processors.

The ASUS WS X299 SAGE draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, and a 6-pin PCIe power. An 8-phase VRM powers the CPU, and is rated to power 16-core and 18-core CPU models. The CPU socket is wired to eight DDR4 DIMM slots supporting up to 128 GB of quad-channel DDR4 memory; and seven PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. Storage connectivity includes eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and two each of 32 Gb/s M.2 slots and 32 Gb/s U.2 ports. Four USB 3.1 gen 2 ports, two 1 GbE interfaces, and a dozen USB 3.0 ports make for the rest of it. The company didn't reveal pricing.

ASUS Intros WS X299 Pro SE Motherboard

ASUS today introduced the WS X299 Pro SE motherboard, a variant of the recently announced WS X299 Pro. The new Pro SE comes with an ASUS ASMB9-iKVM IPMI 2.0 compliant remote management chip, which is physically an ASPEED AST2500, but with custom firmware and software by ASUS. This chip provides a host of remote-management features, including iKVM, remote BIOS update, BSOD screen capture, and screen video recording, remote data wipe, etc., all adding to the board's enterprise credentials. The chip is tucked away underneath the secondary VRM heatsink next to the expansion slot area of the motherboard, and dissipates its heat to this heatsink via a thermal pad. The board is otherwise identical to the WS X299 Pro. We expect the WS X299 Pro SE to sell at a premium over the WS X299 Pro.

ASRock Formally Launches the X299 Taichi XE and X299 Professional Gaming i9 XE

ASRock formally launched the XE (extreme edition) variants of its X299 Taichi and X299 Professional Gaming i9 motherboards, denoted by the "XE" suffix in their model names. The boards are identical to the models they're derived from, but come with heavier CPU VRM heatsinks, increased voltage limits across several power domains, and are targeted at enthusiasts with Core i9-7980XE and i9-7960X HEDT processors. On both boards, the CPU VRM heatsinks have been extended from the main heatsink to a secondary heatsink over the rear I/O area, connected by a heat pipe, while getting rid of the rear I/O shroud. The two could sell at a slight premium over the models they're based on.

ASUS Intros WS X299 Pro Socket LGA2066 Motherboard

ASUS today rolled out the WS X299 Pro, a feature-rich socket LGA2066 motherboard designed for machines built in the gray-area between high-end desktops (HEDTs) and "real" workstations (based on the Xeon/EPYC platforms). The board is still based on the Intel X299 Express chipset, and will only support Intel Core X "Skylake-X" processors. It features the company's highest-grade electrical components. Built in the ATX form-factor, the board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, a 6-pin PCIe power, and two 8-pin EPS connectors. It conditions power for the CPU using a 9-phase high-current VRM, which puts out heat on not just a primary heatsink making direct contact with the MOSFETs, but also a secondary heatsink over a heat-pipe. This heatsink occupies an area not just behind the rear I/O area, but also extends downwards, to just behind the expansion slots (while not intruding).

The LGA2066 socket is wired to eight reinforced DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 128 GB of quad-channel memory, and four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/x16/NC/x4 or x16/x8/x8/x4 on 44-lane CPUs), and a fifth open-ended x4 slot. Storage connectivity includes two 32 Gbps M.2 slots (both of which feature heatsinks), a 32 Gbps U.2 port, and six SATA 6 Gbps ports. USB connectivity includes four 10 Gbps USB 3.1 ports, and six 5 Gbps USB 3.0 ports. Networking is care of two 1 GbE interfaces, driven by Intel i210-AT controllers. The onboard audio is based around a Realtek ALC1220A CODEC, fronted by a headphones amp, and backed by audio-grade capacitors, and ground-layer isolation. The company didn't reveal pricing or availability.

G.SKILL Releases DDR4-3800MHz 32GB (4x8GB) SO-DIMM Kit for Mini-ITX HEDT Boards

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is thrilled to announce the release of a new high performance DDR4 Ripjaws SO-DIMM series for small-form factor (SFF) platforms, at DDR4-3800 MHz CL18-18-18-38 32 GB (4x 8 GB) at 1.35V, making this the world's fastest SO-DIMM memory kit. In addition, 3 new specifications will be added to the Ripjaws DDR4 SO-DIMM family, including DDR4-3600 MHz CL16-16-16-36 32 GB (4x 8 GB), DDR4-3200 MHz CL16-16-16-36 32 GB (4x 8 GB), and DDR4-3200 MHz CL16-16-16-36 64 GB (4x 16 GB). Such extremely high speed on SO-DIMM modules are achieved with the use of the ultra-high performance Samsung B-die DDR4 ICs.

At Computex 2017 in June, G.SKILL demonstrated high-speed Ripjaws SO-DIMM series at DDR4-3466 MHz, and we are now once again raising the speed of the fastest SO-DIMM memory kit to the intense mind-bending speed of DDR4-3800 MHz. Validated on the latest ASRock X299E-ITX/ac motherboard and the Intel Core i9-7900X X-series Processor, extreme memory performance is now a reality with small-form factor workstations.

ASRock Announces X299E-ITX/ac, World's First Mini ITX LGA2066 Motherboard

Size matters! For years, Big powerful and tons of expandability has been the golden rule for high-end motherboards especially for Intel X299 Platform, but powerful machine doesn't have to be huge and bulky, ASRock has successfully crammed all amazing spec and features into a Mini-ITX sized motherboard, the world's first Mini ITX X299 motherboard is here.

The ultimate Mini-ITX has to have everything, X299E-ITX/ac was built on a X299 platform to give ultimate processing power, dual Intel Gigabit Lan along with dual band 2.4/5GHz 802.11ac WiFi provides the best connectivity, USB3.1 Gen2 Type A+C are also available at the rear of the motherboard, more amazingly this little beast also supports quad channel memory up to DDR4 4000 MHz(OC), stunning performance on such a small motherboard.

EK Water Blocks Releases X-series FC Terminals for Multiple GPU Connectivity

EK Water Blocks, a market leader in high-end liquid cooling for PC products, is releasing all new terminals for multiple Full-Cover GPU water blocks connectivity. The new design is even more minimalistic than the previous ones with the terminal itself having only an engraved EK logo on it. The X series terminals are redesigned in terms of connectivity and all the ports are flush with the body of the terminal - no more recessed ports which means no additional extender fittings required! Another key feature of the new terminals is their compatibility with the newly implemented aesthetic terminal covers on EK-FC series GPU water blocks.

The new X series terminals can do everything as the old ones, we have just redesigned some of the unnecessary quirks. The design is simplified so that each terminal has a minimalistic look with a small subtle engraved EK logo. The users can still choose either a Parallel or a Serial terminal (you can recognize Serial terminals by the "S" label) for connecting their EK Full-Cover GPU water blocks with the new Terminal X line-up. X-number labeling is intended to indicate the number of GPU water blocks that a certain terminal can connect. For example, EK-FC Terminal X2 S can connect two GPU water blocks and comes in Serial configuration.

ASUS Intros Hyper M.2 x16 Riser Card

ASUS rolled out the Hyper M.2 x16 riser card, an accessory which could prove useful for those who want to add up to four extra M.2 SSDs. The card features a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 upstream interface, which it splits into four 32 Gb/s M.2-22110 slots (up to 110 mm length), with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 wiring, each. The card doesn't have any serious HBA logic of its own, beyond simple circuitry to power the four M.2 drives, and put out power/activity status LEDs for each slot.

A monolithic, stylish brushed aluminium shroud doubles up as a heatsink for the M.2 drives. There's also a lateral-blower fan, which guides air from inside your case through the drives and outside through the perforated rear bracket. You can turn this fan off with a physical switch on the card, although there's no software-based fan-control. The card is 20.2 cm long, 9.6 cm tall, and 1-slot thick. The company is advertising the card to be compatible only with its X299 chipset-based motherboards, for now. The company didn't reveal pricing.

MSI Intros X299M-A Pro Micro-ATX Motherboard

MSI today introduced the X299M-A Pro, a socket LGA2066 motherboard in the micro-ATX form-factor, its second micro-ATX board for the platform after the X299M Gaming Pro Carbon. The X299M-A Pro sticks to the "no frills" design of products such as the X299 Raider and X299 SLI Plus. Unlike the X299M Gaming Pro Carbon, this board is designed for two processor models only - the Core i5-7640X, and the i7-7740X. The board physically lacks DDR4 memory slots for channels 3 and 4, and makes do with the limited PCIe lane budget of the "Kaby Lake-X" processors. This is similar to the Aorus X299 Gaming.

Built in the micro-ATX form-factor, the MSI X299M-A Pro draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and 6-pin PCIe (optional). It uses a 9-phase CPU VRM to condition power for the 112W TDP chips. The CPU socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel memory; and two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x8/x8 with both populated). The third x16 slot is electrical x4, and wired to the X299 PCH. Storage connectivity includes two 32 Gbps M.2 slots, and eight SATA 6 Gbps ports. USB connectivity includes two 10 Gbps USB 3.1 ports (including a type-C port). The onboard audio solution combines a Realtek ALC1220 CODEC with audio-grade capacitors and ground-layer isolation. The board's sole gigabit Ethernet interface is driven by an Intel i219-V controller. The board is expected to be priced around USD $170.

ASRock Intros X299 Taichi XE Motherboard

ASRock today introduced its new flagship socket LGA2066 motherboard, the X299 Taichi XE, recommended for Core i9 processors. This board is quite similar to the X299 Taichi, but features a completely redesigned CPU VRM, which is rated for higher current, and draws power from two 8-pin EPS connectors, instead of one 8-pin EPS on the original X299 Taichi. The CPU VRM heatsink is heavier, and offloads some of its heat onto a secondary heatsink that doubles up as a sort of I/O shroud, using a heat-pipe. This is in contrast to the ASUS ROG Strix X299-E vs. X299-XE, which are practically identical, but for a heavier VRM heatsink on the latter.

Everything south of the CPU VRM on the ASRock X299 Taichi XE is identical to the X299 Taichi, including the 4-phase memory VRM, four reinforced PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, three 32 Gb/s M.2 slots, ten SATA 6 Gb/s ports, networking that includes Intel-made 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, and gigabit Ethernet controllers; and the onboard audio solution. The rear I/O shroud no longer spans the entire length of the board, and shrouds only the I/O, and an aluminium fin-stack heatsink. ASRock could charge a small premium for the X299 Taichi XE, even though the original X299 Taichi can very much run Core i9 "Skylake-X" processors, including the flagship i9-7980XE.

EVGA and K|NGP|N Break New World Records

Extreme overclocker Vince "K|NGP|N" Lucido has once again set new performance World Records. Armed with the latest EVGA hardware, a new Intel Core i9 7980XE CPU and Liquid Nitrogen cooling, K|NGP|N was able to overclock the EVGA hardware to new heights, setting the standard for PC enthusiast hardware. Upon obtaining these new World Records, K|NGP|N had this to say:

"Using the new Intel Core i9 7980XE CPU at over 5.7GHz on an EVGA X299 Dark and 4x EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti K|NGP|N's at over 2.3GHz, allowed me to annihilate the existing 3DMark Time Spy World Record at 37,596 points! The new Intel Core i9 7980XE CPU, EVGA X299 Dark and EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti K|NGP|N are incredible!"

Intel Core i9-7980XE 18-Core CPU @ 6.1 GHz on All Cores, Consumes up to 1000 W

Overclocker extraordinaire Der8auer has been able to put Intel's flagship, HCC HEDT 7980XE CPU, through its paces under extreme cooling, which resulted in a veritable show of force from the blue giant. Intel's $1,979, 18-core, 36-thread CPU has cemented itself as the flagship consumer CPU of choice, surpassing AMD's 1950X Threadripper in all fields. And yes, we do mean single-core and multi-core benchmarks, but also power consumption figures.

With 18 cores in need of adequate cooling, every piece of real-estate that may serve as an heatsink of sorts comes at a premium; that is why thermal paste for this Intel processor was applied not only to the CPU die itself, but also to the entire PCB around it. Der8auer says that doing this allows heat to be better dissipated form the CPU die, allowing for up to 400 MHz increased clock-speeds under load. Direct contact with the die was also tried, and achieved by cutting off the central pat of the IHS, while keeping the edges of it as a way of better load balancing the weight of the cooler (in this case, an LN2 cooler) over the CPU's PCB, in order to avoid different amounts of pressure on the CPU pins. However, the extreme overclocker ended up not recommending that venue, for it didn't offer consistent success in their extreme cooling efforts.

ASUS Intros ROG Strix X299-XE Gaming Motherboard

ASUS today rolled out its latest socket LGA2066 motherboard under its Republic of Gamers (ROG) Strix brand, the ROG Strix X299-XE, hinting at "readiness" for 18-core i9-7980XE processors, which Intel plans to launch before the end of this year. This board is 99.999% identical to the ROG Strix X299-E Gaming, except for one difference that should make it to the "Spot the Difference" puzzle of your favorite tabloid - the VRM heatsink.

ASUS has given the X299-XE Gaming a slightly heavier CPU VRM heatsink, and has rigorously tested the VRM to not run into thermal throttling issues, especially when powering high core-count Core i9 processors. The Core X socket LGA2066 platform has already been criticized by professional overclockers as being "a VRM disaster." As we mentioned earlier, the Strix X299-XE is otherwise identical to the Strix X299-E, and it would be disappointing if ASUS attaches a premium for a few extra grams of aluminium and quality-control that should have been done for the Strix X299-E in the first place.

EK Intros Monoblocks for ASUS ROG Rampage VI Extreme and Apex

A special motherboard requires a special water block, so the tradition with monoblocks for ASUS ROG RAMPAGE series motherboards continues. EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is releasing new LGA-2066 socket based monoblocks made to fit ASUS ROG RAMPAGE VI Extreme and Apex motherboards. The EK-FB ASUS ROG R6E RGB Monoblocks have integrated 4-pin RGB LED strips which make them compatible with ASUS Aura Sync, thus offering a full lighting customization experience.

EKWB Releases ASUS PRIME X299 RGB Monoblock for ASUS X299 Motherboards

EK-FB ASUS PRIME X299 RGB Monoblock is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for four ASUS Intel X299 Chipset based motherboards that support new Intel Core X-series LGA-2066 socket processors.

Designed and engineered in cooperation with ASUS, this monoblock uses award-winning EK-Supremacy EVO cooling engine to ensure best possible CPU cooling. This water block directly cools Intel LGA-2066 socket type CPU, as well as the power regulation (MOSFET) module. Liquid flows directly over all critical areas, providing the enthusiasts with a great solution for high and stable overclocks. Like with every EK monoblock, EK-FB ASUS PRIME X299 RGB features high flow design and this monoblock can be easily used with weaker and silent water pump settings as well. This kind of efficient VRM cooling on an X299 platform additionally brings down the CPU temperatures compared to the traditional CPU water block and stock VRM heatsink cooling solution.

Intel Intros Core i9-7920X HEDT Processor

Intel today announced availability of its Core i9-7920X high-end desktop (HEDT) processor in the LGA2066 package, designed for motherboards based on the Intel X299 Express chipset. The chip is priced at USD $1,199 in the retail market, a $200 premium over its previous flagship part, the i9-7900X. The new i9-7920X is a 12-core/24-thread processor based on 14 nm "Skylake-X" silicon, and has a rated TDP of 140W.

The Core i9-7920X features a nominal clock speed of 2.90 GHz, with a maximum Turbo Boost frequency of 4.30 GHz, and Turbo Boost Max 3.0 frequency of 4.40 GHz. It features 1 MB of dedicated L2 cache per core, and 16.50 MB of shared L3 cache. The chip features the full 44-lane PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex available on the silicon, and its quad-channel DDR4 integrated memory interface, supporting up to 128 GB of memory.

ASRock Announces X299 OC Formula Motherboard

Unlike other motherboards that are designed by engineers who don't have adequate experience in extreme overclocking or have never participated in an OC event, X299 OC Formula is the only motherboard in the market that is designed by a genuine overclocker, Nick Shih, who is hands down one of the most talented overclockers alive. ASRock is confident to say that X299 OC Formula is ideally focused on overclocking exclusively, without any other useless features, designs or gimmicks.

Take full control of your system. Hardware components are incredibly the most important. There're plenty of attractive sweeteners to make the newborn X299 OC Formula a more enticing upgrade. A rock-solid CPU VRM design which boasts a whopping 13 power phase to offer unmatched overclocking capabilities and enhanced performance with the lowest temperature. An additional 2 power phase that ensure memory area's stability. Dr. MOS solution that is optimized for monitoring current and temperature of each phase, thus delivering neater and smoother power to the system. An integrated Hyper BCLK Engine III controller that provides a wider range of frequency and more precise clock waveforms. XXL Aluminum Alloy Heatsink/Heatpipe design that effectively take away heat from the MOSFET, thus allowing this mainboard to support up to 450W CPU with airflow condition.

Alienware Announces the Area 51 X299 Configuration With Intel Core i9 Inside

Adding to Alienware's staple of custom-built PCs and their exclusivity deal with AMD to sell pre-built machines with Ryzen Threadripper 16-core CPUs, the company has just announced that their Area 51 desktop solution will now also be available with Intel's latest X299 HEDT platform. Intel Core X-series processors can be configured with a Core i7-7800X, i7-7820X, or i9-7900X processor, and liquid cooling comes standard with the system for these high-performance CPUs. Alienware even ships the Area 51 with an unlocked BIOS so that users can still tap all of the potential inside their new gaming rig.

Kingston's HyperX 2933 MHz memory comes standard (up to 64 GB in 4x 16 GB configuration), and the graphics processing can be configured with either AMD (RX 560, 570, and 580) or NVIDIA cards (GTX 1050 Ti, GTX 1060 (6GB), GTX 1070, GTX 1080 or GTX 1080 Ti.) The absence of AMD's Vega graphics cards should come as a surprise for red-team fans. There are also dual and triple-GPU configurations available, though with the slow, choking death of multi-GPU support, that might not be the best inroad for a high performance computer. A 2 TB HDD takes care of storage, and SSD goodness can come in 256, 512 GB, or 1 TB in the M.2 form-factor. There's Intel Optane support (in 16 GB or 32 GB), and the power supply can range from an 850 W unit up to a 1500 W one. There is a total of 8x USB 3.0 ports (2x front, 6x rear) and 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports (1x Type-A, 1x Type-C). Dual gigabit LAN is provided by a Qualcomm Killer E2500 NIC, while wireless connectivity is available in the form of Killer 1535 or Dell 1820 802.11ac WiFi.

Source: Tom's Hardware

EK Water Blocks Releases Monoblock for Gigabyte Aorus X299 Lineup

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is still dictating the pace as they are releasing their third LGA-2066 socket based monoblock made to fit several GIGABYTE X299 motherboards. The EK-FB GA X299 GAMING RGB Monoblock has an integrated 3-pin Digital RGB LED strip which makes it compatible with GIGABYTE Fusion, thus offering a full lighting customization experience!

EK-FB GA X299 GAMING RGB Monoblock
This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for five GIGABYTE Intel X299 Chipset based motherboards that support new Intel Core X-series LGA-2066 socket processors. This monoblock is compatible with the following GIGABYTE motherboards:
  • GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Gaming 3 (rev.1.0)
  • GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Gaming 7 (rev.1.0)
  • GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Gaming 9 (rev.1.0)
  • GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Ultra Gaming (rev.1.0)
  • GIGABYTE X299 UD4 (rev.1.0)

MSI Announces X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC Motherboard

MSI, the leading gaming motherboard brand, is proud to announce the X299M GAMING PRO CARBON AC, world's fastest microATX X299 motherboard. Built on the Intel LGA Socket 2066 means it offers up to 44 PCIe lanes and Quad Channel DDR4 memory support. This model is specifically designed for Intel Skylake-X processors to ensure a flawless operation of any heavy gaming rig during long gaming sessions. The new X299M GAMING PRO CARBON AC is future-proof, ready for the upcoming 12,14,16 and 18-core Intel Core-X Series CPUs.

By adding a 16 GB Intel Optane Memory device on the 2 new OPT BOOST motherboards, MSI not only delivers support for the latest Intel technology, besides this you get an added value of $50,-. Optimize your computer by delivering a responsive computer experience with short boot times, fast application launches, extraordinary gaming, and responsive browsing. Gamers can now enjoy SSD levels of high performance and have a large storage capacity at the same time.

Fractal Design Adds X299, X399 Support to Celsius AIO Lineup

Like many other manufacturers, Fractal Design isn't sleeping under the proverbial palm tree with their products. They too have sought to keep after the most promising high performance platforms for their Celsius AIOs, and have announced compatibility with Intel's latest X299 platform and AMD's X399. The S24 is one of the best 240 mm AIO coolers out there, apparently; models of this lineup feature a 12 V ceramic bearing water pump equipped with a copper cold plate. The Celsius line of coolers also come equipped with an integrated fan hub that allows end users to plug the cooler fans directly into the radiator instead of the motherboard - leaving those fan headers free for other pieces of hardware.

The compatibility will be achieved, as usual, through a separate bracket. AMD Threadripper users will be able to rest assured, since their purchase of a Threadripper CPU will already come with a Asetek retention kit inside the box (compatible with Fractal Design's coolers, naturally.) Intel X299 users will find full compatibility for the socket via the included 2011-v3 kit inside the Fractal Design Celsius AIO packaging.

Sources: Tom's Hardware, Guru 3D

Intel Unveils Full Intel Core X-series Processor Family Specs; 14- to 18-Core

Today, Intel is releasing the specifications for the 12- to 18-core processors: Intel Core i9-7920X, Intel Core i9-7940X, Intel Core i9-7960X and the Extreme Edition Intel Core i9-7980XE processors. Announced at Computex 2017, the Intel Core X-series processor family is the most powerful, scalable and accessible high-end desktop platform offered by Intel, designed to deliver the performance needed to meet extreme computing demands for virtual reality (VR), content creation, gaming and overclocking.

The new X-series processor family is the ultimate platform for content creators and gamers. Multitasking becomes extreme mega-tasking with simultaneous, compute-intensive, multithreaded workloads aligned in purpose, powered by up to 18 cores and 36 threads. And, with up to 68 PCIe 3.0 lanes on the platform, people have the ability to expand their systems with fast SSDs, up to four discrete GFX cards and ultrafast Thunderbolt 3 solutions.

GIGABYTE Intros Aorus X299 Gaming Motherboard for Kaby Lake-X Processors

Intel created quad-core "Kaby Lake-X" processors for its latest HEDT platform as they provide an affordable entry to the segment, with a potential to upgrade to larger 6-core, 8-core, 10-core, 12-core, 16-core, and even 18-core processors. The two "Kaby Lake-X" SKUs launched are merely adaptations of the Core i7-7700K and i5-7600K for the LGA2066 socket, as they feature just 256 KB of L2 cache per core (and not 1 MB per core of "Skylake-X"), just a dual-channel DDR4 controller, even though the socket supports quad-channel memory; and just a 16-lane PCIe (while the platform supports up to 44 lanes). While the Core i7-7740X and i5-7640X are priced more or less on par with their LGA1151 twins, motherboards on this platform aren't cheap, with the cheapest LGA2066 motherboard priced a little over $200. GIGABYTE senses an opportunity in all this, in launching the Aorus X299 Gaming. This LGA2066 motherboard only supports the i7-7740X and i5-7640X, and no other LGA2066 Core i7 or Core i9 chip.

Built in the ATX form-factor, you could be mistaken for thinking the Aorus X299 Gaming to be a mainstream-desktop motherboard based on the Z270 chipset, were it not for the unmistakable LGA2066 socket. The board features four DDR4 DIMM slots, all towards the east of the socket, and so it only supports up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory. On boards with four DDR4 slots, yet quad-channel memory support, you typically find the memory slots split in groups of two, on either sides of the CPU socket. This "Kaby Lake-X" specificity carries over to even the PCI-Express slots, where there's only one slot with full x16 wiring, the second slot only features x8 wiring, while the third slot is x4. You can use up to two graphics cards in multi-GPU, where the first and second x16 slots configure as electrical x8/x8.

Alienware Area 51 Ryzen Threadripper System Benchmarked

LinusTechTips has received an Alienware Area 51, the boutique system which Alienware has developed through its exclusive partnership with AMD for the 16-core, 32-thread Threadripper CPUs.

The system was tested using a proprietary Dell/Alienware motherboard, as well as 32 GB (4x 8 GB) of 2666 MHz DDR4 RAM. Graphics were handled by a Founders Edition GTX 1080 Ti, and storage was etched on a SanDisk A400 256 GB NVME drive (Up to 2050/700 MB/s Sequential Read/Write). The nature of the benchmarked systems, with their myriad of hardware parts, means that the benchmarks are not 100% representative of CPU performance deltas between the tested processors; however, they do put out some interesting numbers. The other HEDT system to be tested was an Intel-based X299 system with a stock Intel Core i9-7900X (10 cores, 20 threads) on an ASUS Prime X299 Deluxe, 4x 8 GB of 3200 MHz DDR4 memory, the same GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition, and a 512 GB Samsung 950 Pro NVME SSD.
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