Released on May 31st by ASUS, the M5A97 EVO is a new AM3+ motherboard, boasting support for AMD's upcoming AM3+ CPUs, as well, as current AM3 Phenom II CPUs. Sporting the now familiar black and blue color scheme from ASUS, the M5A97 EVO seeks, like its brethern, to turn the competition black and blue too.
The ECS P67H2-A2, an ECS Black Series product, seeks to slay the Sandy Bridge dragons, offering an enthusiast package at mainstream pricing. Will the ECS P67H2-A2 prove victorious? Or will it be Sandy Bridge that slays the ECS P67H2-A2?
Bridging the gap from mainstream to enthusiast product lines, the ASUS P8P67 PRO is a natural fighter, built to meet the needs of almost any user. Featuring ASUS' new DIGI+ VRM, and several other uncommon features, and seeking to beat up the competition, the ASUS P8P67 PRO arrives on our testbench, ready for battle.
Supporting Intel Core Generation 2 processors, the Gigabyte P67A-UD4-B3 not only sports a new color scheme, it also attempts to match the sleek new look with serious performance. Built for some serious overclocking, the P67A-UD4-B3 comes ready to reach the finish line first; will it win the race?
ASUS brings the P55 chipset an update in the form of the P7P55D-E PRO, with USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gbps. The P7P55D-E looks to rival other boards on the market, and even potentially some of the up and coming P67-based products. In the face of Intel's latest release, is it still a viable option?
ECS is jumping on the Sandybridge bandwagon, offering a P67 based mainboard aimed at the gamer with a cool look and the Black series branding. We check out the board to show you what you can expect to get out of the box.
The ASUS Maximus III Gene is a reasonably priced microATX motherboard that has loads of features for both normal users and overclockers. It was designed with overclockers in mind which is visible in the board design, the included software, BIOS options and performance that can be reached by some tweaking.
Foxconn details one of their upcoming P67 motherboards for the Sandy Bridge Platform that will be released in January next year. The P67A-S is a mainstream part for the enthusiast who does not want to spend hundreds of dollars but still aims to get as much functionality as possible.
With the A770M-A ECS recently released their first motherboard based on the AMD RX780 chipset which has full support for AM2+ and the Phenom processors. The ECS A770M-A costs less than $70 making it the cheapest offering on the AM2+ market. Even though the price is low ECS has included features like Gigabit Ethernet, 8 channel audio and eSata connectivity.
ECS has released the ECS G31T-M as affordable Core 2 Duo motherboard which supports the latest Quad-Core and 1333 FSB CPUs at an affordable price of less than $75. In our testing we saw that performance is on par with much more expensive high-end motherboards. The integrated Intel VGA is also a nice addition because you don't have to buy a video card for your office machine or can use it to play back video in a Media PC.
Sapphire's latest motherboard is based on AMD's RS690 chipset which features integrated VGA and HDMI output onboard. The board is an excellent choice for media PC systems since it is MicroATX and supports audio via HDMI. Performance is almost equal to much more expensive RD580 motherboards, the BIOS also has a load of overclocking options.
The ASUS M2A-VM is ASUS' first board using the new AMD RS690G chipset. It comes in the small MicroATX form factor and is all passively cooled. This makes the board an ideal candidate for a quiet Media PC system. The integrated VGA with DVI/Analog output has enough power to do video playback and play an occasional game.
Abit has a long history of producing top notch motherboards for overclockers and enthusiasts. Their new AW9D-MAX is designed for Intel's Core 2 platform using the i975X chipset. On the feature list there is everybody you could find useful: Dual Gigabit Ethernet, 8x SATA-II, Firewire and two PCI-Express x16 slots for your video cards. To make your life easier this board includes abit's proprietary UGuru technology. We test the board thoroughly to see if it can live up to the hype, especially when it comes to overclocking.
ASRock did it again. The 939SLI32-eSATA is the killer budget board of 2006. It comes with two PCI-Express x16 slots and supports NVIDIA's SLI. Other new features are Gigabit Ethernet and support for eSATA. Also the overclocking has been polished some, the dreaded 275 MHz limit is gone and there are more memory timings options available. With a CPU socket upgrade card this board can even run with AMD's upcoming AM2 CPUs.
ASRock is a subsidiary of ASUS and manufactures low-cost motherboards. The ASRock 775XFire-eSATA2 for Intel Socket LGA775 is based on Intel's i945 chipset and can run ATI Crossfire. Due to a lack of PCI-E lanes in the Intel chipset this is only possible in x16/x4, but this board costs only USD 80.
ASUS was the first motherboard manufacturer to have an ATI Radeon Xpress 3200 motherboard ready. Some retailers even got their shipment early and were selling boards before the official Xpress 3200 launch. It seems ASUS has learned from the A8R-MVP and improved their board in many ways. If all boards with RD580 will work as good as the A8R32-MVP, NVIDIA better starts worrying.
ATI, the company that is most known of their powerful and quality graphic card solutions, released their first Crossfire mainboard chipset with the RD480. Today they present the new Xpress 3200 chipset. The most important feature is support for x16/x16 PCI-Express when running in Crossfire mode. There are also a lot of other interesting changes.
AOpen is offering a wide range of products, many of them geared toward living room multimedia. The dual-core capable AOpen i945Ga-PHS is a motherboard designed to be used for building a Media PC. Its outstanding feature is integrated VGA with analog, TV and HDTV output without the need of any addon card. This gives you everything to build a very low profile Media PC.
ABIT is one of the most popular motherboard manufacturers for enthusiasts and gamers. Their products are full of innovations like UGuru or SilentOTES. The AT8 is the latest Crossfire capable board from ABIT and uses ATI's RD480 chipset. As southbridge the ULI M1575 is used. What makes this board even more interesting is its competitive price which will lie in the USD 120 range.
From a feature perspective ECS offers a very well rounded board with the PF5 Extreme. Having one Gigabit and one Fast Ethernet port is exactly the combination which I think is a good compromise between speed and price. Getting six SATA ports and two PCI-E x16 ports for around $120 is also very nice. However, if you are looking into overclocking more than just a little bit this board might not for you. It has quite a few issues when it comes to overclocking.
The ECS PF88 Extreme is a unique motherboard. Its SIS 656 chipset offers users the possibility to purchase CPU add-in cards, called SIMA cards which allow to run a completely different CPU architecture on the motherboard. At the moment SIMA cards are available for Intel Pentium M Socket 479, AMD Socket 754 and AMD Socket 939. Together with the on-board Socket LGA 775 this means that you can run any mainstream CPU available today. However, there are a few BIOS bugs, one allowed us to get a POST screenshot at 6750 MHz.
ATI video card specialist Sapphire has built this Crossfire-ready motherboard with enthusiasts and gamers in mind. Special care has been given to providing the whole range of needed BIOS options to properly tweak the motherboard. Its unique white design will make the board stand out of the crowd.
When I first heard that DFI is coming up with a new "Expert" version of this board, I was wondering if they could really improve things so much that it warrants a new product. Yes they did! There are a lot of improvements compared to the older LanParty NF4 series. For example you can finally run four 512 MB memory modules at 1T timing.
ASRock has engineered the 939Dual-SATA2 around ULi's new M1695 chipset. The board has both AGP 8x and PCI-Express x16 slots which do not suffer from performance loss like other manufacturers' implementations. You can even use both slots at the same time. General performance is very close to that of the competition. Suprisingly the board is a good overclocker as well, it reached an amazing 380 MHz HTT after some tweaking.
ABIT has engineered the AL8 for Intel Socket775 to be a good compromise between features, performance and price. Apart from the standard features, the motherboard has Gigabit Ethernet, an extra SATA controller, 8 Channel Audio and ABIT's uGuru.
We also found out why other reviewers could not overclock past 220 FSB and describe how to fix it. Our best result was 4568 MHz @ 326 FSB.