Reviews

Whether you want to build a new Haswell-based HTPC or fully-fledged gaming box, like Valve's STEAMBox, ASRock's Z87E-ITX is ready to meet your needs at a decent price. We take a look at the ASRock Z87E-ITX and perhaps discover why Valve chose the ASRock Z87E-ITX board for their own STEAMBox.
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Score:9.3
Like a mad rush of level 60 rogues, the ECS GANK MACHINE launches its assault on the Intel Haswell platform in a way no other would even attempt, going straight for the kill. Built with gaming in mind, and a bit of overclocking, too, the ECS GANK MACHINE not only surprised me, but left me feeling helpless, and under-skilled.
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Score:9.0
Not everyone needs a board built to push the limits of what is possible with up-to-date silicon, but I and many other enthusiasts most definitely do. Achieving records requires a special board, and ASUS's MAXIMUS VI EXTREME is that board. Is it EXTREME?
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Score:9.8
Gigabyte's Z87X-UD3H is a board I like to refer to as "The Sleeper". Built to meet the needs of most average consumers, it not only comes with everything you need for daily use but also has an overclocking focus, though it may not appear so.
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Score:9.6
MSI has won me over recently with their new dragon-themed GAMING SERIES products for Intel's Z87 platform, but that's not all they have been working on. The MSI Z87 MPOWER MAX, with yellow to match MSI's own Lightning VGAs, makes some big claims, but does it break limits, or is it a MAX failure?
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Score:8.2
I take my first look at ASRock's Z87 products with the Z87 Extreme6/ac. Packed full of connectivity options, it definitely has Extreme connectivity, but is it perhaps also an Extreme disappointment?
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Score:7.8
New to the ASUS ROG line-up, the ASUS MAXIMUS VI HERO is for those looking to get that high-end ROG "GENE" experience in a full ATX format, but does stretching the GENE also stretch the HERO's ability too thin, or has the ASUS MAXIMUS VI HERO come to save the day?
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Score:9.4
Hatched at the same time as MSI's other GAMING Dragon, the Z87-G45 GAMING comes from the same brood as its bigger brother. The genes may be the same, but the abilities offered are different, including the hole the MSI Z87-G45 GAMING is going to burn into your wallet; being smaller sometimes has its benefits.
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Score:8.7
Cooked up from the crazy LN2-cooled insides of a pro overclocker's mind, the Gigabyte GA-Z87X-OC speeds onto my test bench, aiming to finish first in global overclocking rankings while keeping its price so low that anyone can line up at the starting gates. Can the Gigabyte Z87X-OC take the pole position?
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Score:8.6
Like the mix of lion and eagle of legend, the ASUS GRYPHON Z87 is ready to fight over air or water with a giant wingspan of features that cover a broad range of users. A warrior of The Ultimate Force, it also has a suit of fortified GRYPHON ARMOR to back it up when things get rough.
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Score:8.8
Man the ramparts! A dragon is approaching! It's coming to eat our pretty Haswells! Clad in black and red like its older brother, MSI's Z87-GD65 GAMING was genetically engineered out of the base DNA the Z77-GD65 GAMING used, but don't be fooled, the Z87-GD65 GAMING has a few unique abilities.
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Score:9.0
Fourteen SSDs, quad VGAs, 32 GB of RAM, and 8 threads of high performance Intel horsepower--is that what you are looking for? Look no further as the ASRock Z77 Extreme11 offers all that. ASRock's flagship Intel Z77 Express product, the Z77 Extreme11, does it all and includes an LSI SAS controller for an additional eight SATA ports.
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Score:9.7
From within MSI's high-tech laboratories, the MSI Z77A-GD65 GAMING motherboard is a dragon unleashed to deliver the best in gaming performance from every angle. Equipped with a KillerNIC E2205 Ethernet Controller and a high-end Realtek Audio CODEC, the board also has the looks and the performance to bring the latest game to its knees.
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Score:9.4
Dropped like a block of gold on your foot, the ECS A85F2-A Golden arrived on my doorstep, nearly blinding me with its flashy package. The ECS A85F2-A Deluxe is ECS's high-end AMD APU offering right now, and it is sure to add that "bling" to any new AMD APU build.
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Score:8.6
ASUS's monsterous ROG flagship is here! The ASUS Maximus V Extreme is built for the hardcore overclocker, with its sights firmly set at knocking the competition off of the top overclocking global records. Packed full of overclocking features and options, I get to see if I can make this lion purr. Turns out, it's easier than I had hoped.
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Score:9.8
Looking at overclocking your new AMD FM2 APU to the max? Just want to build a light-budget gaming rig with a ton of features? The ASRock FM2A85X Extreme6 is ready for both. It is ASRock's top AMD A85 chipset offering, packed full of features, including one or two no other FM2 board provides.
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Score:9.8
Looking to build a tiny HTPC, or a diminutive LAN box? Shopping for a board that fits? Today, we take a look at the Gigabyte Z77N-WiFi, a mini-ITX Intel Z77 Express motherboard fitted with a slew of options including Intel's WiDi for wireless video connectivity.
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Score:9.8
Built with one of the most crazy power designs ever, featuring no less than 40 phases for CPU and memory, each capable of 60 Amps, the Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 is Gigabyte's new flagship model. This board does it all and has Quad SLI & CrossFire support. But do Gigabyte's words "A New Legend is Born?" ring true?
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Score:9.7
Biostar is at it again with a mid-range entry level product, the Biostar Hi-Fi A85W. Ready to rock out with AMD's new Piledriver FM2 APUs, the Biostar Hi-Fi A85W comes with an audio-oriented theme that's usually reserved for high-end products. Did it play sweet music, or is it a bit out of tune?
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Got a shiny new FM2 APU, and want to clock the snot out of it? Looking to add a couple of RAID controllers to house a storage monster? Gigabyte's got the F2A85X-UP4 for you! Built with enthusiasts in mind, the F2A85X-UP4 comes with a lot of overclocking features.
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Fresh on store shelves is Biostar with a completely new take on budget-board features through none other than the Hi-Fi Z77X. Bringing upgraded audio functions to the entry-level market, the Biostar Hi-Fi Z77X is going to rock your socks off.
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Like a high-priced premium sports car, the ASRock Z77 OC Formula races to the finish line, equipped with XFast speed. Bred with nothing other in mind than breaking clock limits while retaining full stability, ASRock has enrolled Nick Shih, to help them design one of the best overclocking-centric products.
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Score:9.5
A few weeks ago, we saw MSI's OC Certified memory launch, which is now available in stores, and those DIMMs sported a pretty fancy color scheme that matches their Lightning VGAs. That set of hardware would not be complete without a board to run those other two in, and today we look at that board, called the MSI Big Bang Z77 MPower. Like the recently-launched memory, the MSI Big Bang Z77 MPower comes "OC Certified", ready to be the base of getting the most out of your other MSI products.
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
Got a ton of hard drives, and not enough ports? Looking to buy a RAID card, and found the $400+ pricing too much? What if you could get a motherboard, and a RAID controller, for less than a RAID card itself? Gigabyte says you can! The Gigabyte X79S-UP5 WiFi is no normal LGA2011 board - fitted with an Intel C606 chip instead of a standard Intel X79 Express, this Workstation product not only has eight SAS ports, but also everything else you need to build your own supercomputer.
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards
The ultra-high-end ASRock X79 Extreme11 is fitted with an onboard PCIe 3.0 LSI RAID controller, and not just one, but TWO PLX PEX8747 PCIE 3.0 switches. The ASRock X79 Extreme11 really does take it to the Extreme, offering functionality and capabilities no other motherboard can claim. But does it perform to the Extreme?
Posted:
Author:cadaveca
In:Motherboards