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CPU & Motherboards

Aorus Z270X-Gaming 7 Motherboard Review

Introduction Well, I’ve finally done it. I’ve decided to dive into reviewing a motherboard. If you’re trying to build your own computer, the motherboard is probably the most important choice you can make. Even if you don’t plan on overclocking, chipsets, features, and quality make a huge impact on how your experience will turn out. I’ve been through my fair share of motherboards, but today I’ll be dealing with not only a new chipset, but a new branding as well. Let’s take a look at Aorus! By now, you’re probably pretty familiar to Gigabyte. They’ve been one of the premier motherboard manufacturers for years now, but in recent times they’ve been way more competitive in the gaming market. Aorus was a branding they used for gaming laptops, but they moved it to their motherboard series starting with the Z270 chipset. This gives Gigabyte a great branding strategy for gamers, but we’re looking for more than just gaming features on the Z270X Gaming 7. We’ll begin looking closer at the board soon, but first let’s take a closer look at Gigabyte as a company. It’s YOU That Matters. GIGABYTE is always consumer-oriented from the very beginning of product design to the end of value chain. With the focus on consumer needs, the delivery of customer experiences has been transformed into tangible and understood customer cares. Therefore, GIGABYTE has integrated the best quality of components to ensure outstandi...



AMD Ryzen 7 1800X Preview: Initial Thoughts with Preliminary Tests

Introduction It’s finally here! We’ve waited, literally for years for this day to arrive and now we finally get to see what AMD has to show for years of hard work and engineering. Unfortunately for Ryzen, the internet can be a harsh and unforgiving place, so it has to be at the top of it’s game in order to save itself from crucifixion. Here at PureOC AMD, gave us the chance to review Ryzen and provided numerous samples for us to put through the paces. This isn’t the review, but since the time it will take to publish that will be a little bit longer, we figured we’d start with a bit of a preview for launch day. In this preview, we’ll mostly talk about first impressions, but there will be a few benchmarks to begin comparing with as well. I also want to talk about the experience. Raw performance numbers should never be overlooked, but building computers is about so much more than numbers for many people out there. Let’s go ahead and begin with some thoughts on how the Ryzen experience felt at first, then bring a few comparitive benchmarks, and finish off with initial thoughts on whether AMD has succeeded with their Ryzen 7 series or not. In this particular preview, we start with the Ryzen 7 1800X and the Aorus AX370 Gaming 5 motherboard, but our reviews will also cover the 1700X, 1700 and Asus Crosshair VI Hero motherboad. Let’s continue on page 2.



Something New on the “Ryzen”

Ok guys, the moment we’ve all been waiting for is soon upon us. Unboxing videos aren’t typically my style, but any of you who have followed me for any extended period of time know that I’ve been paying close attention to AMD for several years now. Ever since Lisa Su became CEO in 2014, I’ve seen team Red make changes that indicated, to me, that AMD was headed down the right track. I’ve had a huge amount of faith in this release for years and while we have to wait on the proof a bit longer, I couldn’t resist videoing my experience. I hope you enjoy watching me act like a 5 year old at Christmas, I hope I don’t embarrass myself too much, and keep coming back to PureOC since we’ll have a lot more to cover in the coming weeks. Catch ya’ soon! – The Hardware Hound http://www.amd.com/en-us/innovations/ryzen-pre-order?ipromo=ryzen-preorder-banner



Because Ryzen is Coming Sounds Better than Winter is Coming!

By Jove, we have an official announcement from AMD about Ryzen. It looks like our first CPUs will be the Ryzen 7 series, which are 8 core 16 thread beasts that range from a really good 95W TDP, to a massively astounding 65W TDP. You might want to check out those release prices in the press statement below since seeing is believing. It looks like AMD was able to get a 4.0 GHz boost on the 1800X which, based on preliminary performance leaks, is very impressive. Keep an eye out on PureOC since we plan to have many more Ryzen details in the future! Innovation and Competition Return to High-Performance PCs March 2nd with Worldwide AMD Ryzen 7 Availability — AMD Ryzen 7 Lineup Includes the World’s Highest Performing and Lowest Powered 8-core Desktop PC Processors; Immediate Pre-order Availability From More Than 180 Retailers and Boutique OEMs — SAN FRANCISCO — Feb. 22, 2017 — AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) today announced the global launch of AMD Ryzen™ 7 desktop processors, with pre-orders starting today from more than 180 global etailers and boutique OEMs, to the delight of PC gamers, content creators, enthusiasts, and fans worldwide. After four years and more than two million engineering hours of development, Ryzen is ready to unleash its powerful purpose, shake up the market, and connect millions more people to high performance personal computing. “Four years ago we began development of our ‘Zen’ processor core with the goal to deliver unprecedented generational perform...



FX-8350 CPU and 990FX Chipset Overclocking Guide

It might seem weird to publish this when we’re so close to the release of Ryzen. On the other hand, there’s still a decent number of requests for tips on how to overclock the good ole FX series chips on the 990FX platform. Plus, it’s not like this hardware is going completely away anytime soon. Check out the video for a pretty detailed guide to overclock your own FX CPUs, as well as hardware recommendations and a few tips on best practices. If you’re interested in a particular section, the times for each category will be below as well. As always, keep checking back at PureOC for more content and don’t forget to go to the forums for any extra questions you might have. CPU Configuration Settings 6:20 AI Tweaker Settings 9:23 Digi + Settings 14:41 Voltage Settings 21:25 Stability/Monitoring Programs and Testing 28:50



New Leaked Benchmarks Show Ryzen being Crazy Competitive

Finally! Finally! Finally! We have the first leaked benchmark for Ryzen that shows us AMD is back in a big way!!! Granted, we’re still in the leak/rumor phase of this ordeal, but at this point it’s looking way more realistic to say that AMD is going to be competing heavily with Intel in the CPU market. There’s several performance numbers, but it’s the single-threaded chart and the price leaks that should utterly blow your mind, especially since it’s been so long since we’ve seen something like this on the CPU side. I started trying to get this single threaded benchmark announced earlier this week, but my schedule only allows me to do so much. However, some leaked benchmarks are showing us that AMD seems to be living up to their claims in big way. In two recent cases, the leaks show performance per core that matches the level of Intel Broadwell and Haswell CPUs. Considering many of us would have been happy to merely see Sandy Bridge level of single thread performance, this is huge news. However, the really big deal is the expected pricing schemes of the new chips. Even though the top tier 8 core, 16 thread chip will cost $499, it’s looking like the entry level one will only cost $319. The 6 core 12 thread variants are ranging from $230-$260 and what I would really deem as the i7 killers are the 4 core 8 thread chips that range from $175 to $199. While Kaby Lake looks like it’s going to maintain it’s single core performan...



Intel Responding to Ryzen with i7-7740K and i5-7640K

We keep telling you competition is great for the consumer and this latest bit of news seems to be confirming this rather well. It looks like Intel is going to have an early response to Ryzen by adding a couple of chips to their high-end Kaby Lake lineup. While nothing in the specs are earth shattering, their is one rumor that is particularly intriguing and there’s little doubt that pricing is going to get pretty interesting with the new additions. The subjects of our release discussion are the i7-7740K and the i5-7640K. The 7740K looks like a simple up scaling of the original 7700K, trading higher frequencies for higher TDP. The 7640K is taking a similar approach, but what makes it really interesting is the rumor that it might sport hyper-threading. As all of you probably know, HT is something the i5s have been lacking so if this turns out, the 7640K could be a gamer’s dream come true. It does leave the question of what position the quad core i7s end up in as a result, though. We’ve already seen how close an i3 can come to an i5 when it’s unlocked, so I doubt the 7640K will be far behind it’s bigger brothers if it ends up with HT. The biggest news is that it looks like the pricing is going to be fairly reasonable. It’s not confirmed yet, but the previous versions look like they’ll take a bit of a drop and I imagine the new versions will release at a slightly higher than usual price. If the 7640K ends up around a $275 price point, I...



Wait! Ryzen is Going to be a Success!!!

We’re all biting our nails waiting for Ryzen to release, hoping that the worst doesn’t happen. Any leak that would give away the single-thread performance would go a long way to easing our minds, but I think I found the proof I needed and didn’t even put the pieces together until tonight. I’m going on a limb and saying that Ryzen is going to be a Success! Years ago, I wrote an article about Steamroller and CPU Benchmark. It was there that I saw that those cores would probably never make it to the FX series chips. I checked it out recently, saw some new stuff, and somehow didn’t put the pieces together right away. Did you know we already have an AM4 APU in the market right now? The AMD Pro A12-9800 is out and has a score on CPU Benchmark. Now, the A10-5800K released right at the same time as the FX-8350. As you’d expect, the 8350 has a tiny boost in single-thread performance over the 5800K. The A12-9800 is pushing a respectable 1900+ single-thread score! Is the puzzle starting to come together? This APU is still on the 28nm process and has a meager 2 MB L2 cache with no L3 cache. With Ryzen moving to a much smaller process, having much larger caches and an expected better architectural design, it’s no longer a stretch to believe this release is going to compete with Intel nicely. Did I just get excited? I certainly did! Tom Brady may have one the first Super Bowl that went into overtime, but I had more important things to do tonight...



A Walk Down Memory Lane: Baeca, Bulldozer and Zen

Remember when off the wall rumors at the end of 2013 told us that AMD had a monster chip coming? Pepperidge Farms remembers! At the time, the rumor was so far fetched that nobody gave it a second thought. If you’re still a bit hazy on the details, check out the following link so you can get a refresher on it. http://www.eteknix.com/amd-phenom-iv-x12-170-baeca-25nm-cpu-leaked-has-12-cores-6-ghz-core-clock-and-am4-socket-compatbility/ The rumor seemed absolutely ridiculous, yet today we’re staring into the face of a CPU that has 8 cores, 16 threads and runs off of a meager 95W of power. Here’s why I think this rumor is interesting. Jim Keller rejoined AMD in 2012 to begin helping them redesign their architecture from the ground up and it was only a year later that this rumor surfaced. It’s extremely possible that Baeca was an early engineering attempt that, while being a failure in and of itself, was a crucial step towards bringing Ryzen to the market. Let’s take a journey and see what’s bringing us to one of the most anticipated releases in quite a while. For starters, let’s hop back on the Baeca train for a little bit. The term is pretty obscure, but a quick google search led me to an interesting horoscope definition. It’s the idea of someone who’s mind is going a mile a minute, always sees the lighter side of a situation and believes something new is always on the ho-“Ryzen.” Could be a coincidence, but the...



Ryzen AM4 Motherboards Resurface: Aorus, Titanium and Crosshair VI in the Mix

For anyone looking for mini-ITX love today, I’m sorry I don’t have that for you. For those wanting to see AMD have high-end ATX motherboards again, I’ve got ya’ covered. AMD had a “Meet The Experts” webinar recently which revealed more details on the new AM4 boards coming with Ryzen. It’s been so long since we’ve seen fully up-to-date boards for team Red that I had to show off some of the great additions coming from Gigabyte, MSI and Asus. Let’s start off with Gigabyte’s big showing since this board already looks very impressive. If you’ve followed Gigabyte recently, you know they started a new branding of high end motherboards by putting them under the Aorus badge. It looks like the board from the slide is named the AX370 Gaming 5, which is interesting because that leaves room for even beefier boards down the road. I also say interesting because the Gaming 5 looks very impressive in its own right. A quick count indicates a 10 phase VRM, support for the new RGB fusion feature and other Aorus features like Smart Fan. Having been on AM3+ since Vishera, you can imagine I’m quivering with excitement at how excellent this board is looking in comparison. MSI is bringing their big guns to the designing table by introducing AM4 to their Titanium series lineup. Titanium is the overclocker’s dream in a lot of ways, but I still can’t get over how great that silver PCB looks on the design. It still see...



How did I miss this Intel Pentium Chip!?!

Let me start off by saying that a large part of the “how” is the fact that things have been quite busy as of late. That said, I still have to wonder how I missed this release!!! Intel has been upping their game in the budget sector and the Kaby Lake Pentium series are bound to open up great budget opportunities for those trying to make affordable gaming rigs. Computer Base did some pretty extensive testing of the Pentium G4560 and the results are rather impressive for a chip that is extremely cost effective. The review article isn’t in English, so I figured I should mention that you might want to use a browser that has a translation feature for the link below. That said, the graphs easily show what’s happening with this chip. While the FX-6300 has long been my favorite budget CPU, Intel really changes everything with a dual core design that can outperform a 6 core chip. When you consider that the price on this guy is $64, it’s hard to argue against recommending it, even if the 6300 can be overclocked. The hidden secret that’s giving these great performance numbers is the fact that these Pentium chips introduced hyper-threading to the dual-core design. That little bit of extra data piping adds a solid amount of extra performance, while still keeping the chip at an extremely cost effective price point. The single core performance has always been great so gaming rigs and workstations alike will see a huge benefit to using the G4560 in walle...



CES 2017 Best of Show

CES may have their own awards, but we had our own ideas of who deserved the best of show from our trip. As always, let us know what your favorite picks were in the forums and stay tuned for more news and reviews coming in 2017!



CES 2017: RBT, Samsung, Nvidia, Intel

This is it, the last bit of our coverage of CES 2017. We’ll have one more piece that will go through our top picks, but this is the last of the show floors we were able to get to. We had a mouse that’s trying to put an end to carpal tunnel, some great storage and monitor solutions from Samsung, the HDR display I’ve been dreaming of and some better explanations of what is going on with the architecture in Kaby Lake. CES 2017 was a great show and it sets us up for a great looking year for PC hardware. As always, feel free to leave your comments about what you loved in the forums and keep checking PureOC for more upcoming news and reviews!



CES 2017: Geil, Deepcool, MSI, AMD Ryzen and Vega

CES 2017 coverage marches right along with another great set of show floors from some great companies. Geil showed off some excellent peripherals, Deepcool blew our minds with awesome looking cases and fans, and MSI continues to deliver great motherboards. However, we finally got to catch up with AMD and get a solid look at what to expect with the Ryzen and Vega releases. We have a little bit longer to wait before full specs arrive, but confidence is certainly rising in what team Red is trying to deliver. As always, check out the video below for the full details and don’t forget to leave some comments in the forums!



CES 2017: HyperX, Enermax/Lepa, Gigabyte

The Hardware Hound continues his coverage of CES 2017! We’re already to the point that it isn’t quite what day it is, but how much we could fit in one episode for a given episode, so sit back, enjoy the hardware news and keep checking back because more is still coming. This time we get to see some more RGB RAM kits from HyperX, some great cases and reservoirs from Enermax, plus some excellent motherboards from Gigabyte. Does anyone smell some Z270 and X370 chipsets?






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