Posts Tagged ‘motherboard’
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.
Introduction Halloween is coming soon and the eerie light of the moon shines down upon the tech-world. The sounds of howling wolves fill the air. Children dance in the pumpkin patch, and everyone is anxious to go trick or treating. Even the computer enthusiasts are hoping for a special treat. What better treat could there be than a really special motherboard? That’s exactly what we have today. Halloween is bearing down on us, and we have a special treat review in store today. Gigabyte has released their newest motherboard named the GA-Z77X-UP7, and by the look of things, they have brought some real cool Halloween colors into the mix. Is this a coincidence? Probably. However, we certainly appreciate the synergy. Regardless of the season, this new look is great, and the features of the board are massive, so let’s see what it can do! IvyBridge is here for the interim. SandyBridge is being phased out and Haswell is due sometime next year. Those looking into new technology have a boatload of choices, and we have been seeing all motherboard manufacturers introduce some really “kick ass” product lately. Even though market conditions are still relatively slow, companies like Gigabyte have a full line of Z77 motherboards to choose from. So, which one will fit the bill for a top tier system? Perhaps Gigabyte will be able to take a nice chunk of the marketshare with products like this uniquely designed GA-Z77X-UP7. Enough with the hype. Let’s ...
In the past few years, we have seen the motherboard competition heat up. Asus, Gigabyte and ASRock are the leaders in marketshare but we have seen others step up their game lately, especially in their Z77 products. Names like MSI, Biostar and EliteGroup are also highly recognized names in the industry. Recently we have heard rumors that Asus may purchase ASRock, thus improving their marketshare through acquisition. Of course, the other industry leaders aren't going to just let Asus take all the pie. Today we get to take a look at the MSI Z77 MPower, and determine just how much more competitive they have become to reduce the potential dominance of an Asus-ASRock team-up. Last June, we reviewed MSI's Z77-GD65 and Z77-GD55. Both motherboards shined in performance, overclocking and value, showing they can hang with the big boys. Both motherboards overclocked as well as, if not better, than any of the higher-end boards. If you think MSI is going to stay quiet about the potential industry shake up, think twice. With MSI's progression, we can easily see them filling the number 3 spot provided the aqusition goes through. If if doesn't, MSI is still on the rise giving the other big boys a run for their money.
Industry leading companies are not just born. They take time to mature, and as they evolve they slowly rise to the top. Take some of the auto manufacturers like Honda or even more currently, Hyundai, as an example. When both companies were in their infancy, they made rather mediocre looking products, yet they represented a great bang for your buck at the time. Today, Honda is now an industry leader and Hyundai manufactures some really great looking quality products. In relation, ASRock developed their company with a much similiar strategy. Only a few years back, many looked only at Asus and Gigabyte to fill their technological needs, and dismissed ASRock as a secondary company. ASRock made a very good product but they just lacked the marketing hype and reputation. They were missing that extra "thump."
Over the past few years, ASRock has changed the game and is now considered by many to be one of the "Big Three" motherboard companies. In this time frame, Pure Overclock watched ASRock's products and company evolve. Not only have the aesthetics changed from yesteryear, but the quality of the components and overall package has also improved. Now, ASRock brings cutting edge & very innovative features as we recently saw with the X79 Extreme 11. Simply said, ASRock's products are now outstanding.
New products in the desktop sector have taken somewhat of a break for a bit. Intel's latest Ivy Bridge release has settled in and Haswell is slated for mid 2013. As for the immediate future, Intel is on the brink of releasing Ivy Bridge "E" extreme processors in the next quater, and Intel continues socket 2011 with the X79 chipset. In the mean-time, some may have forgotten that Sandy Bridge "E" processors still remain a viable and even better performing platform than Ivy Bridge. Today, we have a dual-motherboard review for you guys today, and both of them are from Gigabyte.
Gigabyte is one of the top tier motherboard manufacturers and there was no mistaking that their last release, the Gigabyte Z77 Sniper M.3, was well executed. The Z77 Sniper boasted more features and benefits than any other Gigabyte motherboard, and we were frankly dazzled by the product. Just as the Z77 chipset upgrades to PCIE and USB 3.0, the X79 chipset already has these features with only one issue: Sandy Bridge "E" processors do not support PCIE 3.0. Still, in many respects, the Sandy Bridge "E" is the best alternative in terms of raw performance, at least until Ivy Bridge "E" is released.
The full array of Z77 motherboards has been introduced throughout the industry and Ivy Bridge is now a mainstay for Intel. With all the hype and migration, many have forgotten about another viable, and arguably better, computing platform. Yes, the X79 platform is still alive and so are Sandy Bridge "E" processors. The Sandy Bridge "E" processors have more computing power over "vanilla" Sandy Bridge and Ivy bridge due to the increased L3 cache. With that said, Ivy Bridge "E" processors are due to arrive 4th quarter 2012. The Ivy Bridge "E" series will carry the same architecture with a die shrink and more transistor density than it's little brother version of Ivy Bridge did. The transistors are Intel's new 3D Tri-Gate Transistors which operate more efficiently and Ivy Bridge "E" still uses socket 2011.
Taipei, Taiwan, August 13, 2012 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced the winners of the GIGABYTE Hidden Gems Competition. In celebration of our illustrious history, with 26 years at the heart of the DIY PC industry, GIGABYTE invited all their Facebook fans to share videos and photos of their old GIGABYTE-based DIY PC builds. The older the better! “The Hidden Gems competition proved to be an excellent showcase for GIGABYTE’s Ultra Durable philosophy, with 74% of submissions featuring boards that are older than 5 years, almost 25% of submissions with boards of more than 10 years old and 8% from the 1990’s,” commented Tim Handley, Deputy Director of Motherboard Marketing at GIGABYTE. “Remarkably, the oldest motherboard submitted originates from 1991, and still runs after more than twenty years!” The ‘Grand’ Prize – Victoria Chudinova – GA-586T2 – 1996 The Grand Prize of a GIGABYTE G1.Sniper M3 is awarded to Victoria Chudinova of the Ukraine who submitted an extraordinarily creative video featuring our GA-586T2 motherboard from 1996. Victoria claims this prize by virtue of the fact that her submission gained the more votes than any other submission to the Hidden Gems competition, with a total of 1314 votes. You can find Victoria’s video here: http://youtu.be/i98fzScEXo4 The ‘Team GIGABYTE’ Prize – :Sergey Erofeev – GA-7VA-C – 2002 A GIGABYTE Z77X-UD3H mothe...
Ivy Bridge is in full swing since its introduction months ago, and Ivy Bridge's older brother, Sandy Bridge, will be phased out of Intel's line-up in the Fall of 2012. The best part of Ivy Bridge is a much more energy efficient processor design, and the only downside is some incresed heat. Ivy Bridge brings a performance boost over Sandy Bridge by shrinking the die to 22nm and increasing the transistor density with Intel's new 3D Tri-Gate Transistors. This keeps Intel's Tick Tock strategy rolling along.
ASUS introduced their Z77 motherboards with the P8 series and we have to say, the P8Z77-V Deluxe and Pro we reviewed, are another example of ASUS staying on top of the industry. These boards have some of the most creative and innovative features we have seen in some time. At that time, ASUS did not have any Republic of Gamer (ROG) motherboards ready to rock for the enthusiasts. But, just when you thought things were cooling off, ASUS heats things back up with the Z77 Maximus series. The Maximus series is available in the Gene, Formula and Extreme varieties, giving ASUS a "good / better / best" product lineup of choices for the gaming enthusiast.
Will it live up to The Republic of Gamers tradition? Let's dive in and see. Click through for the full review.
Changes the overclocking game MSI, the most popular overclocking brand is exited to introduce an all-new standard for overclocking stability. MSI’s OC Certified standard is the new baseline for overclocking mainboards. the new MSI Z77 MPOWER, which is OC Certified, is submitted to a Military grade stress-test for overclocking. Where other motherboard manufacturers only test for a limited duration, every MSI Z77 MPOWER is submitted to a 24 hour OC stress-test. Only mainboards surviving 24 hours of Prime95 while heavily overclocked. The conditions of the OC Certified test are rigorous high temperature, no airflow testing OC Certified, the new standard OC Certified is MSI’s OC testing procedure where each Z77 MPOWER mainboard tested for stability with a 24-hour Prime95 stress test. OC Certified test a mainboard in three key areas: OC Performance Stable Power PWM cooling OC Performance means all OC Certified tests are run at a minimum of 4.6 GHz CPU speed. Stable Power is tested by running Prime95 for 24-hours in these conditions. The PWM cooling test ensures that, even without airflow in a high-temperature room (30°C) without airflow from a CPU cooler.. Military Class testing OC Certified is a major extension of MSI’s Military Class III certification. Military Class III certified mainboards already have their component quality tested in rigourous tests to ensure all-round stability. OC Certified puts these components to the ultimate test When an MSI Z77 MPO...
The battle for Z77 motherboards is very hot as of late. We have tested a slew of them and have seen more creative innovation than ever before. ASUS and Gigabyte tend to be the leaders when it comes to new products, but we have seen companies like MSI, Biostar and Elite Group step up their game in both aesthetics and features. Today we have a Sapphire Z77-based board on the bench, and will see how it competes with these others.
Intel recently released Ivy Bridge and it seems to finally be proliferating retailer’s shelves. For those not familiar with Ivy Bridge, it is Intel’s next generation processor spawned from Sandy Bridge. Intel’s Tick Tock strategy brought new architecture with Sandy Bridge (Tock) and Ivy Bridge (Tick) brings a die shrink to 22nm with increased transistors. The new transistors called Tri-Gate 3D bring more efficiency with less voltage, but they do run much hotter than Ivy’s older brother Sandy.
We have the new Sapphire Z77/K Motherboard in for testing, and it looks like it might be a great over-clocker at an affordable price. Click the link to find out more.