Prodigy chassis reborn as Prodigy M for slightly bigger builds
The boys and girls at BitFenix claim the hardware community has been clamoring for a version of the Prodigy that supports micro ATX motherboards rather than limiting support to mini ITX builds, and so the company answered their collective call with the Prodigy M. The new Prodigy M is a reimagined and reengineered version of the original with the same svelte dimensions, only now you can squeeze a micro ATX motherboard inside and even run with dual graphics cards in CrossFire or SLI, if that's what floats your gaming boat.
Out of all the X79 motherboard pictures we've seen in recent weeks -- and we've seen a whole bunch of them -- not a single one has been representative of a micro-ATX mainboard. ASRock just changed that by releasing photos and information of its upcoming X79 Extreme4-M, a pint-sized board built around Intel's socket LGA2011 for Sandy Bridge-E.
MSI today announced its first motherboard based on AMD's A55 chipset for Llano. The A55M-P35 is a micro ATX motherboard with an FM1 socket, two DDR3-1600 DIMM slots, six SATA 6Gbps ports, a single PCI-Express x16 slot, GbE LAN, 7.1 channel audio, all solid capacitors, and a handful of overclocking friendly features.
Boutique system builder Digital Storm says you can throw overclocking caution to the wind with its new pint-sized Enix system built around Intel's Sandy Bridge platform.
"By disregarding the common wisdom that bigger is better, the Enix's small profile takes full advantage of the Micro ATX format," Digital Storms says. "Overclocks of 4.7GHz and above are easily achieved thanks to the Enix's vertically cooled chassis and Intel's new powerful Sandy Bridge architecture."
Further helping your overclocking adventures, Digital Storm says the motherboard is rotated 90 degrees, aiding heat's natural tendency to rise.
"Enix's design is a dramatic departure from any system we've ever built in the past. By rethinking conventional PC design the Enix provides our customers with every imaginable advantage over other machines," said Rajeev Kuruppu, Digital Storm's Director of Product Development. "Accessibility to all the components is unparalleled and the vertically designed chassis keeps everything cool and quiet. Couple that with an outrageously overclocked Sandy Bridge chip and you have one of the most efficient and powerful machines on the market."
Pricing starts out at $1,132 and includes an Intel Core i3 2100 (3.10GHz), 4GB DDR3-1600 RAM, Asus P8P67-M motherboard, 750W power supply, 1TB 7200RPM hard drive, DVD writer, GeForce GT 220 graphics, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Digital Storm also says it will overclock the processor to between 3.6GHz and 3.9GHz at no charge, between 4.0GHz and 4.7GHz for $49 (cooling upgraded recommended), and between 4.7GHz to 5.2GHz for $99 (liquid cooling upgrade recommended).
Power users rarely consider a micro ATX case because of the space constraints for high end hardware, but with the introduction of NZXT's Vulcan chassis, perhaps it's time to rethink that philosophy. This thing was built with the LAN gamer in mind, and as such, it comes ready to house not only one, but two full-sized ATI Radeon HD 5970 videocards.
"Most Micro ATX cases currently on the market make a lot of sacrifices to save space" said Johnny Hou, Chief Designer at NZXT. "With Vulcan, we’re making a huge statement by empowering gamers with a portable solution that is 40% more compact than ATX full towers that still offers superior cooling and space for larger heatsinks and the most demanding graphics cards like the Radeon 5970 in CrossFire."
The Vulcan retains NZXT's flair for gaming oriented designs and shares similar traits with full-sized ATX enclosures. Features include an all-black interior, two 5.25-inch and four 3.5-inch slots, non-slip finish, dual 8W fan control, watercooling cutouts, two top mounted 120mm fans with support for a 200mm side fan, routing holes for easier cable management, removable hard drive cage, and thumbscrews for all drives.
NZXT tells us the Vulcan will be available by the end of the month for $70.
Not everything being shown off at CeBIT will actually make it to retail, so we may never actually see Lian Li's PC-T1R chassis. Judging by the pictures, that might not be a bad thing.
Lian Li certainly found itself thinking outside the box on this one, perhaps a bit too far. At first glance, the PC-T1R looks like a gigantic metal spider, but that's not even the quirkiest part. What we can't wrap our heads around is why the oversized contraption only accommodates micro-ATX motherboards. The whole point of building a mATX system is to save space, but good luck stuffing the PC-T1R into your home theater cabinet or any other tight squeezes.
Misgivings aside, the PC-T1R also makes room for a hard drive, optical drive, and power supply. There's an on/off switch, and according to news and rumor site Fudzilla, should this make it past CeBIT, you'll be able to buy it in red or black for about $225.
Who says you have to sacrifice functionality when putting together a micro-ATX build? Not MSI, who just unveiled its 890GXM-G65 motherboard.
MSI's latest board includes a bevy of higher-end and forward-thinking features, including SATA 3.0 support. Perhaps more usable in the short-term, the 890GXM-G65 also boasts native support for USB 3.0.
You'll also find a few goodies of interest to overclockers that aren't often found on mATX boards. MSI touts "military-grade" electronics components, all solid caps, solid state choke to reduce noise, a heatpipe design MSI claims can result in average operating temps of 52C, and the company's latest OC Genie Lite overclocking technology.
Other features include HDMI and DVI outputs, integrated ATI Radeon HD 4290 graphics, and lossless 24-bit/192kHz HD audio.
Biostar today announced the release of its mainstream TH55B HD motherboard, which the company claims balances competitive pricing with "outstanding" overclocking performance.
The TH55B HD is a mATX board decked out with a black PCB, 5-phase X.D.C. solid state power design, high-end Japanese capacitors, and other manufacturing tidbits that have become buzzwords among enthusiasts.
Probably more meaningful to most is the inclusion of 4 DDR3 memory slots with support for 16GB of memory at up to 2000MHz (OC), a full-speed PCI-E x16 port, PCI-E x1 port, two standard PCI ports, 6 SATA 2.0 ports, and "Power" and "Restart" hotkeys. It also boasts HDMI, DVI, and VGA ports.
EVGA set out to prove it's not the size of the motherboard that matters, but how you use it. And with the release of the X58 SLI Micro, you can use any speed grade Core i7 processor you want along with a pair of Nvidia graphics cards all in a micro-ATX package.
In addition to 2-way SLI support, the new mobo also crams 6 DDR3 memory slots (supporting up to 12GB of triple channel DDR3-1600MHz+) and 6 SATA II 3GB/s ports onto the mATX board. Other features include 100-percent solid state capacitors, VDroop control, an onboard temperature monitor, support for up 12 USB ports, a single LAN port, a passive heatsink for cooling the chipset, RAID 0/1/0+1/5 and JBOD support, and 8-channel onboard audio, all decked out in a red and black color theme.