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CPU & Motherboards
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No Stock Cooler with Skylake? No Problem!

INTEL is deciding that their K-Series of Skylake chips will be shipping without any kind of cooling solution. I’m sure there are going to be some complaints because regardless, somebody will open the box and be upset that the stock cooler isn’t there. Overall, this is a good move and gives further nods to the idea that Skylake is being designed for overclockers. Currently, the two primary SKUs with unlocked multipliers launching are the Core i7 6700K and the Core i5 6600K. Both are rated at 95W TDP with the 6700 having 4 more threads and 2MB more Cache than the 6600K. With the low power rating, it’s possible that these chips will have quite a bit of overhead for enthusiasts to take advantage of. Considering that stock coolers are barely sufficient at factory clocks to begin with, INTEL is making it very clear that these are truly enthusiast level parts and that we have no right to expect insufficient cooling solutions just to get by. Honestly, this sounds like a good move on INTEL’s part. The only question that remains is if this will reflect in pricing. My best guess is it probably won’t, but it would be nice to see the i7 and i5 flagships release at an even $300 and $200 respectively. I’m not holding my breath and most enthusiasts plan on spending extra for good cooling anyways. On the other hand, with the new PCIe 3.0 lanes coming to the Z170 chipset, there could be some pretty intriguing performance increases once Skylake releases. ...



BIOSTAR Releases N3150NH Mini ATX Motherboard

BIOSTAR Releases N3150NH – A Mini-ATX Board with Embedded Value   June 22nd, 2015, Taipei, Taiwan – BIOSTAR is offering the N3150NH motherboard with the on-board Intel® N3150 1.6G Quad-core processor, using a Mini-ATX form factor with a size of 17x17cm, builders are able to make creative designs for many different uses that fit into small enclosures. The N3150NH boards comes with the Intel® Celeron N3150 1.6G Quad-core processor with turbo boost up to 2.08G already installed and it supports up to 8GB Memory for DDR3L-1600 OR 16GB Memory for DDR3L-1066. With the integrated GPU, watching HD content and playing games is no sweat. Expansion includes 1 PCI-E 2.0 slot. Indeed, the N3150NH board is ready for building all kinds of multimedia systems with its HDMI and analog VGA-out, and high definition audio with the Realtek ALC662 6 Channel HD Audio chip.   LAN networking is covered by the Realtek RTL8111H – 10/100/1000 controller and being a BIOSTAR board it has the Smart Speed LAN feature. SmartSpeedLAN is a free software application which monitors and manages your PC’s network behavior. With user-friendly GUI, it allows you to select and prioritize different types of network traffic, including gaming, media streaming, communications or web surfing. You can also set any specific applications, choosing to prioritize or block accordingly. SmartSpeedLAN can feature automatic management options that use adaptive networking intelligence to ensure that you are...



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INTEL Skylake De-lidded, Bad Wolf

It’s time to give ourselves a message through space and time so that we can head over to INTEL and save overclocking (Doctor Who reference for those who have no idea what I’m talking about). Maybe the dilemma isn’t that serious, but if a fuzzy photo is to be believed, then the Skylake processors might be continuing some of the overclocking problems from the past. KitGuru revlealed a shot of a de-lidded Skylake CPU and it looks like INTEL is going to keep using thermal compound instead of soldering. The photo is pretty fuzzy so it’s impossible to verify this claim. The other problem is we’re still a couple months out from the release of Skylake so there could be a couple of possible explanations for this that could be resolved by the time of the official releases. In case you don’t remember, INTEL began using thermal paste with both the i7-3770K and i7-4770K. Of course, overclockers justifiably pointed out that the thermal paste would not be as effective at heat transfer as a soldered lid. The thermal paste was slightly improved with the i7-4790K, but Skylake has already been provisioned to be a good overclocking CPU. Enthusiast hoped that at least the high-end chips would be soldered to the lid again in order to have the best thermal transfer, which would help unlock the highest overclocks. Take this all with a grain of salt for right now but at the moment, this doesn’t look very promising. Overall, this isn’t going to be...



BIOSTAR showcases Skylake Motherboard Z170X at Computex

BIOSTAR showcases Gaming Z170X Intel Skylake Motherboard at Computex – Available this August   June 12th, 2015, Taipei, Taiwan – At this year’s Computex trade show in Taipei, BIOSTAR showcased upcoming Intel 100 series chipset motherboards, gaming oriented motherboards and VGA cards as well as mini PCs designed for Karaoke and IPC Embedded solutions.     BIOSTAR “Gaming Z170X” motherboard turned out to be the star product this year at Computex. Based on the Intel Z170 chipset with support for Intel’s Skylake CPU and DDR4 memory, the kit comes with BIOSTAR’s Gaming Commander Box, Gaming Armor design, on-board USB 3.1 Type C connector and Dual GbE LAN (Intel & Killer) along with PCIe M.2, SATA Express and Touch OC. Also on display were the Intel 100 series chipset based motherboards Z170, H170, B150 that support the 6th Gen Intel® Core™ Processor family (codenamed Skylake).     The Gaming Z170X has two LAN connectors, with the most popular Killer LAN and Intel LAN chips. With Dual GbE LAN, the primary advantage is doubling bandwidth from 1G to 2G, and with two high-speed gigabit networks plus zero packet delay that provides super high data transmission efficiency. Another major advantage is “Load Balancing”, it allows a gamer to attach both network adapters to a single network. It will therefore support the aggregation “teaming” function by merging the two connections to support multiple aggregation modes....



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Best of Computex 2015

Computer hardware news is getting pretty stagnant as of late. It’s not that there isn’t new things coming out, it’s just most of the releases I’ve been seeing are hardly more that a slight revamp of what’s already out. That being said though, there are still some components that can turn heads and Computex brought us some intriguing devices that I feel are worth some honorable mentions. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 5 releases in components from Computex 2015. #5 LEPA EXllusion240 It’s going to be pretty apparent why this unit is last on the list. There isn’t very much that separates this unit from just about any other AIO on the market. The ability to add custom dye to the coolant is a neat feature, but isn’t anything revolutionary. The EXllusion240 may be expandable, but I haven’t seen anything that officially confirms that. The only thing that caught my eye is the massive 400w + TDP rating. That’s a huge thresh hold and while other coolers brag about great cooling performance, very few put a number like that on it. We’ll have to wait for some reviews to see how well LEPA lives up to it’s claims, but when all else fails, I would gladly like to break my previous records. http://www.lepatek.com/eng/newscontent/93/ #4 INTEL Z170 Motherboards For the last few generations, INTEL has been giving us minor improvements that involve fairly hefty price tags. About the only notable f...



BIOSTAR Z97X Motherboard Certified for Windows 10

BIOSTAR’S Z97X Gaming Motherboard is first Intel Z97 Motherboard to be Certified for Windows™ 10 June 4th, 2015, Taipei, Taiwan – BIOSTAR’s latest high-end gaming board, the Gaming Z97X, is the first Intel Z97 based motherboard to be certified for Microsoft’s new Windows 10 operating system. The Gaming Z97X is the first complete gaming motherboard designed by BIOSTAR from the ground up. The Gaming Z97X is an ATX form factor board that comes with key features such as USB 3.1, three PCI Express 3.0×16 slots, PCIe M.2 support, Dual GbE LAN and BIOSTAR exclusive Super Hi-Fi Audio technology and support for DisplayPort. The on-board HDMI supports 4K and 2K resolutions. There is also the introduction of the SATA Express Connector which supports both SATA and PCIe storage solutions giving maximum data transfer speed of up to 10Gb/s. BIOSTAR is proud to work with partners like Microsoft and Intel to be the first to bring high-end motherboards like the Gaming Z97X certified for Windows™ 10. For more on the Gaming Z97X go to: http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en/mb/introduction.php?S_ID=784 About BIOSTAR BIOSTAR is a manufacturer dedicated to the production of motherboards, graphics cards and industrial computing systems. Since its establishment in 1986, the BIOSTAR GROUP has become a major motherboard supplier in the PC industry. In order to pursue continuous growth, BIOSTAR has invested heavily in acquiring the physical and human resources to excel at research and dev...



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Gigabyte X99-UD3P Motherboard Review

Introduction The X99 chipset has now had a little bit of time to mature. During its initial launch Gigabyte sent us the X99-UD4 motherboard for review. The X99-UD4 took home our Great Hardware Award for its simple aesthetics along with a solid performance to value. Now that we are six months into the release of the X99 chipset, we are seeing more motherboards become available at a much more affordable price. Today, we are going to be looking at one of these motherboards that offer a similar performance to the X99-UD4 in a more simplified package and price. We introduce to you the Gigabyte X99-UD3P. Aesthetically, the Gigabyte X99-UD3P is very similar to the UD4 motherboard with some obvious changes. As we continue here, we are going to take a closer look at the Giagbyte X99-UD3P to see exactly what those differences are. Before we do that, let’s move forward and talk about Gigabyte.   About Gigabyte: GIGABYTE was founded in 1986, establishing our uncontested position in continuous technological innovation. By focusing on key technologies and achieving strict quality standards, GIGABYTE has been regarded as an innovative and trusted motherboard leader in the globe. To keep pace in a rapidly changing world, we have offered a comprehensive product line covering Motherboards, Graphics Cards, PC Components, PC Peripherals, Laptops, Slate Devices, Desktop PCs, Network Communications, Servers and Mobile Phones. We are dedicated to building up a full-range digital life,...



BIOSTAR announces support for AMD’s FM2+ “Godavari” APU

BIOSTAR Offers support on New AMD FM2+ “Godavari” APU  May 11th, 2015, Taipei, Taiwan – With AMD’s launch of the FM2+ “Godavari” class of APUs today, Biostar has been in preparation of a complete series of mainboards for the supporting chipsets such as the BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A88W 3D, Hi-Fi A70U3P and Hi-Fi A68U3P. To make upgrading even easier, these boards also have backwards support for previous generation FM2+ / FM2 APUs. These new Godavari AMD APUs are AMD socket FM2+ and will feature an upgraded CPU and GPU architecture. The new Godavari APU are part of the Kaveri-Refresh platform which is aimed to re-fresh the current Kaveri APUs with the new 8000 series branding utilizing the x86 Steamroller core and GCN graphics architecture. The BIOSTAR Hi-Fi A88W 3D, Hi-Fi A70U3P and Hi-Fi A68U3P all have features such as onboard LAN, PCI Express 3.0 x16, SATA 6Gb/s, and USB 3.0. And with BIOSTAR’s enhancements to these new FM2+ boards users will enjoy mainboards that excel in additional areas of BIOSTAR expertise such as the BIOSTAR Audio+, Video+, Speed+, Protection+, Durability+ and DIY+. For more info on BIOSTAR’s AMD motherboards go to: http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en/mb/socket.php?S_ID=21 About BIOSTAR BIOSTAR is a manufacturer dedicated to the production of motherboards, graphics cards and industrial computing systems. Since its establishment in 1986, the BIOSTAR GROUP has become a major motherboard supplier in the PC industry. In order to pursue continuous gr...



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AMD FX 8320E Processor Review

Introduction The AMD FX Series processors are a few years old now and we haven’t seen any really big changes with AMD’s road map for these aging chips. Going back down memory lane a bit, during AMD’s original launch of the Bulldozer FX 8150, many of us had high expectations for AMD’s Piledriver architecture. Unfortunately, the 8 core 32nm processor didn’t match up to the marketing hype, and many folks saw it as a huge failure. Despite that, the engineering behind the architecture was actually a good idea, but the “ecosystem,” as some have put it, just wasn’t ready for AMD’s leap into this territory. Many of today’s applications and software just weren’t designed to adapt to the architecture’s full potential. AMD quickly re-positioned themselves and focused on competing with Intel’s mid-range line up based on price to performance. Shortly after the FX 8150, AMD pushed out their “slightly” revised processor, the FX 8320/8350, which was intended for its flagship AMD line up based on the Vishera platform. The FX 8350 was a little better received and took a strong market hold with solid price to performance, and held its ground for some time. Unfortunately, the platform was not what we would call “new,” and with Intel’s Tick Tock pushing ever forward, AMD again was left behind again. In reality, AMD hasn’t really released a new processor in a little over 2 years...



BIOSTAR releases the Hi-Fi B85S1 Motherboard

BIOSTAR brings out the Small but Powerful Hi-Fi B85S1 Motherboard April 20th, 2015, Taipei, Taiwan – The newest motherboard based on Intel B85 single chip architecture by BIOSTAR is ready to work hard, play hard and fit in. The Hi-Fi B85S1 supports Intel’s 4th generation Core i7 and Core i5 processors in the 1150 package and is value designed in a Micro ATX form factor with 2 channel DDR3 slots for 16GB, enough to handle any modern computing requirements and be usable in small or tight spaces. BIOSTAR’s Hi-Fi B85S1 delivers a business-rich option at a value price compared to the other companies. The Hi-Fi B85S1 features BIOSTAR innovative Hi-Fi technology, a built-in powerful headphone amplifier and Super LAN Surge Protection which enhances Ethernet protections. Being an Intel B85 chipset based system, it comes with features like Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST), for faster system boot and shorter application load time, and Intel® Small Business Advantage (Intel® SBA), which delivers business-centric security protection, such as after-hours virus scans and data backup, and blocks recognition of unwanted USB drives and Intel’s Smart Connect Technology. The BIOSTAR Hi-Fi B85S1 also perfectly fills entertainment needs with support for Direct3D 11.1 and HDMI. It has Blu-ray audio and provides a higher audio output of 24 bit/ 192KHz rather than 16 bit/48KHz from typical motherboards. In addition, the Hi-Fi B85S1 is the first to embed the “Double Hi...



BIOSTAR releases the H81MDC-LSP

BIOSTAR releases the H81MDC-LSP – the latest Micro-ATX Motherboard April 13th, 2015, Taipei, Taiwan – BIOSTAR has released their newest micro-ATX motherboard based on the Intel H81 chipset, the H81MDC-LSP along with an upgraded sound chip and LAN surge protection. The board supports Intel 4th generation Core i7 and Core i5 processors. It features Intel single chip architecture with HD 4600Graphics, along with a new integrated memory controller that will run at speeds up to 1600MHz. The H81 chipset has two SATA 6Gb/s ports (plus four SATA 3Gb/s ports), and two USB 3.0 headers. The H81MDC-LSP supports two DIMMs for a maximum of 16Gigs of RAM. The H81MDC-LSP is a great option for small form factor systems where you rarely have more than one discrete card and two SATA drives and is a great combination for low-cost but with rich features such as HDMI video output. And being Intel based boards, they also feature Intel Rapid Start Technology and Intel Smart Connect Technology.   In addition to the normal specs, the H81MDC-LSP comes with MAGIX multimedia tools designed to enhance your music, videos and photos for free and Simplicheck, a small, intelligent tool by Simplitec GmbH that scans your PC for optimal performance. Simplicheck is based on well-proven scanning technology that has proven successful in everyday customer use. The H81MDC-LSP is also equipped with modern high quality solid capacitors, the X.D.C (eXtreme Durable Capacitors). These are low ESR and high ripp...



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Biostar Hi-FI Z97Z7 MotherBoard Review

iostar has released multiple "Hi-Fi" models over the last few years that were designed to fill the mainstream and multimedia space. With a heavy focus on audio reproduction and connectivity these board have done well in this arena. However none have taken on an appearance that speaks to being a higher end product like the Hi-Fi Z97Z7 has. This new look has genuinely piqued my interest. I do however remain optimistically cautious for fear it may turn out to be a budget board in mid-range product's clothing.



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AMD Owning Intel with Windows 10

Intel has long owned the market when it comes to CPU performance for sometime now. With multi-threaded support, AMD could hold in there, but once the benchmarks switched to single-threaded performance, INTEL wins by a huge margin. Many people believe that while AMD has the hardware, they just didn’t have the driver or software support to take advantage of it. But that’s all starting to change the closer we get to the release of Windows 10. Right now, the highest performance INTEL CPU in single-threaded testing is the i7 4790k. On CPU Benchmark, it averages about a 2500 score in single thread performance. The test that was done on the FX-8370 put it almost an entire 20% higher with a score of 2956! And that’s just the 8370. Unfortunately, the benchmarks haven’t surfaced for the FX-9590 yet. That leap is insane, and while I’m slightly confused at how Windows 10 managed to pull that off, it looks like things are gonna get extremely competitive. AMD even saw some multi-threaded performance boost but the increase wasn’t nearly as huge as the single-thread performance. While AMD fans will see this as a huge victory, hardware enthusiasts everywhere should be excited as well. This will definitely force INTEL to get on the ball with innovation as well as prodding them into some new pricing structures. Either way, consumers win. DirectX 12 may have been getting all the attention, but it looks like Microsoft is doing huge things for the industry a...



BIOSTAR reveals Hi-Fi B85Z5 Motherboard

 BIOSTAR reveals Hi-Fi B85Z5 Motherboard March 23rd, 2015, Taipei, Taiwan – The newest motherboard based on Intel B85 single chip architecture by BIOSTAR is ready to work hard and play hard. The Hi-Fi B85Z5 supports Intel’s 4th generation Core i7 and Core i5 processors in the 1150 package and is ready for a work out with 4 channel DDR3 slots for maximum memory support of up to 32GB. BIOSTAR’s Hi-Fi B85Z5 delivers a business-rich option at a value price compared to the other companies. The Hi-Fi B85Z5 features BIOSTAR innovative Hi-Fi technology, a built-in powerful headphone amplifier and Super LAN Surge Protection which enhances Ethernet protections. Being an Intel B85 chipset based system, it comes with features like Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST), for faster system boot and shorter application load time, and Intel® Small Business Advantage (Intel® SBA), which delivers business-centric security protection, such as after-hours virus scans and data backup, and blocks recognition of unwanted USB drives and Intel’s Smart Connect Technology. The BIOSTAR Hi-Fi B85Z5 also perfectly fills entertainment needs with support for Direct3D 11.1 and HDMI. It has Blu-ray audio and provides a higher audio output of 24 bit/ 192KHz rather than 16 bit/48KHz from typical motherboards. In addition, the Hi-Fi B85Z5 is the first to embed the “Double Hi-Fi” integrated AMP which allows users to enjoy the same high quality of sound; whether the sound source o...



BIOSTAR Reveals the TA970 Plus

 BIOSTAR Reveals the TA970 Plus AMD Mainboard with Advanced Clock Calibration March 9th, 2015, Taipei, Taiwan – BIOSTAR has released an AMD socket AM3+ motherboard, the TA970 Plus with AMD OverDrive™ and the ACC (Advanced Clock Calibration) feature. This AMD 970 chipset board supports AMD multi-Core (x8, x6) and Socket AM3 processors including the AMD FX/ Phenom II and Athlon II versions. This is a powerful platform for gamers and enthusiasts. The TA970 Plus is a full sized ATX board with 4 DDR3 DIMM slots and mSATA/Mini PCI-E combo connector. It supports SATA 6Gb/s speeds, which are two times the speed of current SATA 3G. Of course there is USB 3.0 support as well. Powerful graphics are supported with AMD’s CrossfireX capability. To get every power advantage the TA970 Plus features the AMD OverDrive™ and the ACC (Advanced Clock Calibration) function. This allows power users to overclock their system by precisely calibrating the clock timings between the processor and RAM chips. These timings are critical in maintaining system stability when overclocking, otherwise you will end up with a system that crashes often. As they say, “Timing is Everything” and the TA970 Plus allows you to get it right. Premium BIOSTAR exclusive features of the TA970 Plus include the BIO-Remote II, Smart Speed LAN and PURO Hi-Fi technology. The PURO Hi-Fi technology features an integrated independent audio power design with a built-in amplifier. The technology utilizes audio component...






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