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CPU & Motherboards

MSI’s new Next Generation naming scheme – GAMING 3, GAMING 5, and GAMING 7

MSI’s new Next Generation naming scheme – GAMING 3, GAMING 5, and GAMING 7       MSI are revealing upcoming line of “GAMING” mainboards, designed primarily for enthusiast gamers seeking to get the very most from their hardware to software. They are coming in three distinct flavors: GAMING 3, GAMING 5 and GAMING 7.     MSI USB Audio Power Our next generation GAMING motherboards all feature USB Audio Power, similar to the latest ITX GAMING models. USB Audio Power ensures stable 5V power delivery no matter what. Delivering perfect audio quality for USB headsets and USB DAC devices.       GAMING I/O Panel For our next generation of GAMING motherboards we spend a lot of attention to small details. They will come with a complete black I/O panel without the shiny silver edge you are used to.   Xsplit Gamecaster Show off your GAMING skills to the world with XSplit Gamecaster and MSI. Get a 6 month premium license for free with our upcoming next generation GAMING mainboards.       Audio Boost 2  Our new Audio Boost 2 solution is powered by Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2 and comes with many new features.  The in-game sound has never been as good as before.    



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ECS KBN-I/5200 AMD A6-5200 Mini-ITX Motherboard Review

AMD's APU series market has really picked up pace over the last few years. The most recent updates to their current road map, included the new FM2+ socket A88X based chipset and the Kaveri Processor. This has really generated a great deal of interest with many of today's budget conscious consumers. However, with no updates to AMD's enthusiast FX series chip road map, AMD's APU series is really the only new technology we are seeing at the moment from its consumer line. With that said, we are excited to see that AMD is starting to put more budget friendly APU technology out in the market and we are going to shed some light on what to expect. Today we are looking at a very new low-budget APU inspired motherboard. It includes the Kabini SoC processor (which runs the Jaguar APU Cores) on a Radeon HD8000 series graphics base, and it does it all in a tight nit space. At the beginning of the year, ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) announced this Kabini SoC processing unit which houses an AMD A6-5200 CPU. It also includes a Radeon 8400 GPU all in a small mini-ITX form factor APU combo. Today we got our nitty gritty hands on this tiny power house to put it to the test. We are excited to see what this Quad Core A6-5200 APU can do. Before we jump into the details of the ECS KBN-I/5200 motherboard, lets take a look at ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems).



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AMD to Increase Global Foundries Chip Production

After Global Foundries was formed from the Advanced Micro Devices manufacturing arm, they have flourished into one of the top semiconductor foundries on the global markets. Part of their success can be contributed to their contracts with AMD to produce a portion of their processors. Recently, Global Foundries has been looking to even further increase their size by the potential acquisition of IBM’s semiconductor fabrication facilities. AMD and Global Foundries reached an agreement increasing the amount of production done by the company. With this agreement, AMD projects that they will pay Global Foundries around $1.2 billion by the end of 2014. Their production prices will be fixed for the duration of their agreement. AMD has made this decision reflecting their projections for this year, increasing production quantities of PC semiconductors and some GPU and APU products. Between the increase of production for AMD and the prospective purchase for Global Foundries, both companies seem to be in very good shape for the future. AMD is in a very good position to increase their own sales and finally stand up against the massive Intel market. In all, Global Foundries just continues to grow in success as AMD and other companies increase their demand for semiconductor products. As Originally Written by DanielB Sources: http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2014/04/04/glofo-ibm/1 http://www.amd.com/en-us/press-releases/Pages/amd-amends-wafer-2014apr1.aspx



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Biostar A88W Hi-Fi 3D ATX Motherboard Review

In the past several months, the push for Home Theater PC's (HTPC's for short) has started to grow wildly. The allure of a fully modular home theater machine that does more than just play your movies or music is simply too strong for many to resist, and rightfully so. Oftentimes the question we may ask is "What platform should I build a HTPC on?" The answers vary wildly based on individual hardware preferences. AMD seems to think that one of the best choices out there for the discerning HTPC enthusiast lies with their newest Kaveri APU. While there are many choices out there of associated hardware, with more on the way, Biostar has one now that appeals directly to the audiophile: the A88W Hi-Fi 3D. Designed with both a high-end isolated audio solution and potential for tuning an unlocked APU, this motherboard looks to be a very sensible choice for those who want a little bit from every buffet of tech; the question is, "does it deliver finely tuned notes for enthusiasts of all kinds, or does it fall flat?" We're here to find out just that.



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ASRock Fatal1ty B85 Killer Board Review

Far too often we pay attention to the biggest and best boards on the market and overlook the ones that actually make up a large portion of the sales. Entry to mid range components are used by the majority system builders to do a specific function and to keep costs down. Today we will be looking at a board from ASRock that falls right into the Mid-Range market but does so without skimping on features. The Fatal1ty B85 Killer is directed right at system builders that are also hardcore gamers. The Fatal1ty series of products are made to address the desires of all gamers: quality audio, network lag and FPS. The B85 Killer is one of four new boards from ASRock to carry the Fatal1ty name.



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The Story of Steamroller, CPU Benchmark, and FX

A terrible cry of despair could be heard around the world when AMD announced they would not be developing their steamroller cores into the FX CPU line up. If that wasn’t bad enough, leaked road maps showed us no future for the flagship series making it very hard to believe that AMD cares about high end at all. This is a dark time in the CPU world in that AMD fans have lost all hope and Intel can have a monopoly on the high end. But maybe there’s a glimmer of hope which might bring vibrant competition in the future. If you haven’t heard of cpubenchmark.net, go there, and let’s take a stab at what the future might hold for hardware enthusiasts. If you ever plan to purchase a new processor and know you have a limited budget, CPU Benchmark should be the first place you go to. They have performance graphs of almost every chip on the market showing overall performance, overclocking, single thread performance and even power to performance ratio. While the website does its own testing, they also pull their benchmarks from thousands of users who buy the software to bench their own systems giving a convenient average score to help users decide on a chip. This will help you find a good range of chips to sort through, then you can look at more specific reviews to make the best decision. It was from these charts that something interesting appeared about the new Steamroller chips, specifically the A10-7850K. When compared to the previous flagship APU, (the A10-68...



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Biostar Hi-Fi B85N-3D Motherboard Review

Biostar has been in the motherboard business since the early 80's. While they were not always the preferred brand that enthusiasts turn to, they have definitely improved in this arena in the last few years. We saw a big improvement in their motherboard sector with the Z77 chipset launch. Now that Biostar has had this chance to improve today's newer chipset, we are going to be looking at a budget friendly chipset on the B85N-3D motherboard. This motherboard was developed on the mini-ITX platform, and, while this isn't Biostar's flagship motherboard, we are here today to put this Small Form Factor (SFF) motherboard to the test. The popularity of Small Form Factor motherboards has been on the rise, and Biostar's B85N-3D has been developed for customers looking for an HTPC or Media platform with a focus around 3D audio support. Will this motherboard be able to keep up with some of the high-end mainstream motherboards? Let's dive in and find out.



Newegg Hybrid Center Launch Party with AORUS

Sometimes being located in Southern California can have its benefits, and we’re not talking about the weather here. California being one of the larger states in the US houses most of today’s PC hardware and software companies. One of these companies is Newegg, and if you haven’t heard of Newegg; we have to say… you need to stop hiding under that rock. Newegg is one of the largest electronics e-tailers in the nation today. If you have ever thought about building a PC or looking for some of today’s latest gadgets, the one place you have probably searched is Newegg.com. Newegg houses some of the largest range of products available today in stock in their inventory and its where most of us PC enthusiasts turn to for some of the geek shopping. Today, at spur of the moment I was notified by a good friend of mine from NZXT (thanks Eric!) that Newegg was hosting a launch party at their new hybrid center. Newegg’s “will call” is located in City of Industry and has housed a space for many local consumers to be able to pick up their online orders; this allowed some of us locals to pick up the items and save some shipping costs if the item isn’t shipped for free. However, the space here was previously pretty empty and houses some chairs and seating in the waiting area and a counter to pick up your packages. But that wasn’t good enough for Newegg and now they have opened the “Hybrid Center,” which has some of today’s latest ...



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ASUS Z87 WS Motherboard Review

Introduction In the world of custom PC Building, consumers and builders frequently ask what the best motherboards are for Gaming PC Builds. While these are always valid questions, some folks are looking to build a high end rendering or workstation PC. The Z87 series chipset has plenty of options from the budget friendly models to enthusiast gaming motherboards; however, workstation motherboards are not as readily available. That changes today. We are going to be looking at a motherboard from ASUS, one of the few manufacturers who created a Z87 chipset based WS (workstation) motherboard to meet this niche market. We have the ASUS Z87 WS on our test bench, and we are going to put this baby to through the ringer. As an interesting aside, one of the few features of this motherboard which immediately caught our attention is the available support of Quad SLI and Crossfire with 4 PCIe slots available. Not many Z87 motherboards offer this out of the box. There are also tons of other features that we typically don’t see with your “typical” Z87 chipset motherboard. Does this bode well for this unique new board? Read on to find out! Let’s get the review started by talking about the 8 Series chipset, but first here’s a quick word about Asus:   Origin of the Name “Asus” ASUS comes from the last four letters of Pegasus, the winged horse in Greek mythology that represents the inspiration of art and learning. ASUS embodies the strength, cre...



MSI Intel 8 Series Motherboards Ready For Next Gen Intel Processors

MSI Intel 8 Series Motherboards Fully Support Next Generation Processors MSI, world leader in motherboards, announces support for the soon to be revealed next generation Intel CPUs for all MSI motherboards sporting Intel 8 series chipsets. Saving MSI motherboard owners a lot of time and work, users can simply update to the latest BIOS prior to installing the newest Intel CPU and start enjoying next generation performance straight away. Multimedia user, gamer or overclocker, MSI 8 series motherboards offer unmatched performance. Inheriting years of building the best motherboards and closely working with world’s best gamers, MSI has introduced the popular GAMING series. Collecting over 200 awards from worldwide media, equipped with the best audio solution called Audio Boost, Killer Networking and other key gaming features, MSI GAMING series has set a new standard for gamers seeking the best performing motherboards. For overclocking enthusiasts, MSI continued using the design standards which have passed the OC Certified tests, creating the all new OC series. This series made an incredible debut by setting the CPU Frequency World Record at 7.14GHz for an Intel 4770K and is used by top overclockers around the world relying on nothing but the best. MSI uses award-winning Military Class 4 components. Military Class 4 is the next step in high quality components. Hi-C CAPs, Solid CAPs, Dark CAPs, together with SFC and Dark Chokes, ensure your PC runs stable under extreme conditio...



MSI announces FM2+ Mini-ITX A88XI AC motherboard

MSI announces FM2+ Mini-ITX A88XI AC motherboard The ideal small form factor all-round solution MSI, a world leader in motherboards, debuts its first AMD FM2+ socket based Mini-ITX motherboard, the MSI A88XI AC. The MSI A88XI AC supports the new AMD Kaveri APU and is FM2 backwards compatible (Richland and Trinity). Equipped with a rich feature set including Intel Dual Band Wireless AC WiFi/Bluetooth and PCIe Gen 3.0 support, the MSI AX88XI AC is the ideal small form factor multimedia, office or gaming solution without compromising on features. The ideal small form factor multimedia, office and gaming solution The MSI A88XI AC motherboard features a wide variety of multimedia solutions such as H.264 hardware decoding, support for 4K UHD video, Blu-ray playback and 8-channel HD Audio through HDMI. When combined with today’s processors featuring advanced integrated graphics, MSI motherboards support triple display configurations for more efficiency and flexibility of the desktop layout. The MSI A88XI AC motherboard is ready for 4K UHD resolution with support up to 4096 x 2160. 4K UHD and triple display support deliver an amazing experience when watching movies and playing games. The MSI A88XI AC also features two DDR3 DIMMslots (up to 32GB 2400(OC) MHz Dual Channel Memory, with AMP & XMP support), four SATA 6Gb/s ports with RAID support, one PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, one Mini-PCIe slot, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and HDMI 1.4a output. To top it off, the MSI A88XI AC is equi...



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Intel Improves Performance by 80%!!! There’s a Catch Though

In a world where every regime is trying to topple the current controlling empire, even small performance gains can become big news. Typically, a 10-15% performance gain on a new generation of CPUs is expected, but if that performance is increased by 20-25%, then excitement goes through the roof! Intel isn’t bragging about a mere 25% though. In their newest line up of Xeon processors, they are claiming up to an 80% increase in performance! At first glance, this is nothing short of astronomical, but upon further investigation, the implications of this move may not be the best thing for the PC gamer. Intel’s new family is the Xeon E7 V2. Depending on whether businesses want power or cores, they have a 6 core chip at 3.4 GHz and a 15 core chip at 2.8 GHz, as well as plenty of chips to fill in everywhere else. They also sport up to a 37.5 MB cache. Another point of interest in these specs is the die size. While the 6 core chips run a fairly standard 257mm2 die size, the 15 core chips are a massive 541mm2! To put this in perspective, an AMD FX-8350 has a die size of 315mm2. Unfortunately, this carries some of the same vibes that Haswell had when it released. While Haswell did increase performance, it felt very much like a factory overclocked Ivybridge chip. To initially sum up these new server chips, it feels like Intel simply decided that bigger is better. But what about that 80% performance increase? Here’s where In-Memory Analytics comes into play. For giant businesses ...



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CES Las Vegas 2014 MSI overview with PureOC

MSI CES 2014 – Overview This year we had the opportunity to meet with MSI at CES 2014 Las Vegas. We were excited to take a glimpse at what we can expect from MSI this year, but before we go over that, let’s cover something else first. Over the last few years, MSI has taken a leap in marketshare. We have seen this with their Gaming Series, their MPower line of motherboards, and with their Gaming and Lighting Series graphics cards. Their recent release with the NVIDIA and AMD line up really sparked a lot of interested with fans, and we hope to see MSI continue this trend in 2014. Thanks to MSI for spending time with us at CES! Now, let’s have a look at what we saw from MSI at CES 2014. We will first star off with MSI’s Intel line up. The Z87 Gaming and MPower series motherboards have been well received by consumers during the launch of Haswell. One item in particular which that sparked our interest was MSI’s new mITX format Gaming Series Z87 chipset motherboard. With the popular and growing demand of small form factor builds recently, we weren’t surprised that MSI started growing their Gaming series line up. Here is a glimpse at what we saw. We were quite impressed with the features this board offers. It also has great aesthetic appeal, which it shares with its bigger brothers the Z87M Gaming and Z87A Gaming Edition motherboards. The fact that it was shrunken down in size and now offers an on-board Wifi Adapter was a pleasant surprise. We ...



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ECS Introduces Z87H3-M Motherboard

Introduction On January, 15th, 2014 ECS announced the Z87H3-M - the smartest Z87 MicroATX motherboard. This motherboard comes with the Intel Z87 Chipset, 4K Resolution Support, and Fast Crossfire X Graphics. This unit is an ECS Durathon board. This means it has the Triple Density moisture-proof PCB, ultra-high Extreme Temperature Resistance, and extra-stringent testing. ECS Z87H3-M features 100% durable, heat-resistant solid capacitors which typically provide a lifetime 6 times longer than the electrolytic capacitors. Meanwhile the board’s external connectors, such as VGA, USB and LAN ports, feature heavy-duty ESD (electrostatic discharge) protection, to protect from static and other electrical disturbances. Specifications CPU º Supports new 4rd gen Intel® Core™ family, Pentium, Celeron series processors in LGA1150 socket º DMI 5.0GT/s º 3 Phase Thermal Design Power º VRD 12.5 º 100% Solid capacitor design º Supports Intel® Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology º Supports Intel® Hyper-Threading Technology º Intel® K Series Unlock CPU Support º Please refer to CPU support list for details CHIPSET º Intel® Z87 Express Chipset º Intel® Smart Response Technology, Intel® Smart Connect Technology & Intel® Rapid Start Technolog º Supports Intel® Identity Protection Technology GRAPHICS º Support Intel® HD Graphics 4000/4600 º Supports DirectX® 11 .1 º Supports Intel® HD Graphics, InTru™ 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology,...



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ASUS P9X79-E WS Motherboard Review

Introduction The X79 based chipset motherboards have been out for quite some time now and with the recent launch of Intel Ivy-Bridge E chips, Intel didn’t do much at this time to improve the chipset. Some will say it’s not needed and some will advise against this and say go for the new release of the Z87 based chipset. While the Z87 base chipset did have great improvements for the newly release Haswell chips, we still see a strong stand from the X79 chipset. Today, we are going to take a look at a board from ASUS that has given the X79 chipset a revision which will push the limits and take full use on Ivy-B E. This is the new ASUS P9X79-E WS motherboard. What does WS stand for? Well this is designed to be a workstation motherboard for those serious video encoders or server and workload crunching. Of course, it makes for a great enthusiast’s motherboard too.   While this P9X79-E WS (workstation) motherboard is not as mainstream as some of the newer Z87 chipset based boards, ASUS has put together some unique touches to offer better performance and features. Let’s dive in a talk more about what this X79 chipset based board can do.  






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