Pushing your PC to its limits has obvious inherent dangers; overclocking your CPU can definitely bust your rig if you push it too far. That being said, reasonable overclocking doesn’t actually carry too much risk – normally. Right before Christmas, one overclocker’s Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 mobo crashed, then burned (literally) in the midst of a lightweight stress test. After he posted the video on YouTube, Gigabyte looked into the problem, and apparently, it wasn’t a case of crap luck. Yesterday, Gigabyte’s Chinese branch announced the faulty CPU VRM is a widespread issue and recalled all GA-X79-UD3, GA-X79-UD5, GA-X79-UD7 and G1.Assassin 2 mobos. US users, meanwhile, get a critical BIOS update.
Want a little bit more Autobot in your PC’s life? While everybody was busy making a big deal out of Habro’s trademark lawsuit against the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime – ourselves included – another manufacturer quietly showed off some Transformer-related PC hardware of its own, and these components look like they may actually be licensed! Late last week, ASRock plopped concept pics of Optimus Prime- and Bumblebee-branded X79 mobos up on its Facebook page.
Here’s a product announcement that should come as a surprise to, well, no one. Ever since ASRock inked a deal with John “Fatal1ty” Wendel, the company’s been putting out Fatal1ty-branded mobos designed especially for PC gamers. There’s just one problem: the sole “Professional” board in the line is built for P67, not the top-of-the-line LGA 2011 socket. Don’t worry, Sandy Bridge-E/Fatal1ty lovers, you aren’t getting left in the cold; in fact, ASRock is apparently preparing to ship a Fatal1ty-branded X79 board sometime soon.
The Maximum PC ethos can be summed up in two words: MORE POWER! (Harder, better, faster, stronger would work, too, but that’s twice as many words – not exactly better.) MSI, it seems, heard our Tim Taylor-like grunting from afar. The company just released a modified version of its X79A-GD45 motherboard (which was only released a month ago, mind you) that includes twice the DIMM slots of the original. That means the X79A-GD45 (8D) includes a total of 8 DDR3 DIMM slots and can support up to a whopping 128GB of quad-channel RAM – because 64GB just isn’t enough.
Want to make the jump to LGA2011 and Sandy Bridge-E but don’t quite need all the bells and whistles of the DX79SI? Intel might just have the alternative motherboard for you. The company’s new DX79TO mobo is basically a stripped-down version of its bigger DX79SI brother with fewer bells and whistles. The question is, are the enthusiast-type buyers who are already making the jump to Intel’s latest and greatest chips willing to dump features for a modest price discount?
Sometimes, Maximum PCs can be minimum PCs. Bigger isn’t always better. Gigabyte is giving love to the little guys with their new mini-ITX HTPC motherboard, gracefully named the A75N-USB3. As you may have guessed from the name, it’s based around AMD’s A75 Fusion chipset and packs in four speedy USB 3.0 ports, but that’s not all.
The Computex trade show in Taiwan never disappoints – major manufacturers show up in full force for the event, dragging hot new gear and gargantuan announcements behind them. For Asus, the PadFone garnered the most attention, but they were also showing off other pieces of cool new tech – like the F1A75-I Deluxe motherboard. Even though Computex was months ago, the F1A75-1 only became official yesterday, as Asus issued a press release announcing the F1A75 line, including the F1A75-I Deluxe, the itty-bitty motherboard with big-time connection options.
IHS iSuppli on Thursday published a report about the state of the global microprocessor business in the first quarter. For all you sticklers for terseness, the entire report can be summed up in these five words: Intel can do no wrong! It’s not that it never puts a foot wrong, but its stature allows it to get away with it even when it does. During the first quarter, the world’s premier chip maker successfully overcame a massive chipset recall to further extend its lead over rival AMD. Hit the jump for more.
Everyone expects Intel’s 32nm Sandy Bridge chips with on-die graphics to shed their “upcoming” tag at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, when the chip maker is officially supposed to launch the new CPU range. But that didn’t stop Malaysian computer retailer Compuzone from flaunting pictures of some members of the Sandy Bridge family on its Facebook page, claiming that it already has them in stock. While the photographs have since been taken down, the Sandy Bridge chips along with Socket 1155 motherboards might already be on sale there.
EVGA this week added another X58-based board to an already crowded lineup built around Intel's flagship chipset. It's called the X58 SLI3, which builds upon the X58 SLI LE by adding a pair of USB 3.0 ports and two SATA 6Gb/s ports to the mix.
The board also comes equipped with 6 x SATA 3Gb/s ports and 10 x USB 2.0 ports, as well as a handful of features geared towards overclockers. These include 100 percent solid state capacitors, VDroop control, EVGA's EZ Voltage, and the E-LEET tuning utility software.
The rest if pretty standard fare for a $200 X58 board, including SLI and CrossFireX support, RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, and JBOD configurations, a pair of Ethernet ports, and support for up to 24GB of DDR3-1600+ in tri-channel form.