Just how influential is Intel? If the fact that the company owns over 80 percent of the global microprocessor market doesn’t do anything for you, how about this: Intel’s upcoming Ivy Bridge line haven’t even been released yet – that’s why they’re “upcoming” – but manufacturers have already begun offering motherboards capable of utilizing the PCIe 3.0 slots supported by the chips. MSI kicked off the trend, and Asus’ German arm has pulled the veil off of three new Ivy Bridge mobos of its own.
VIA this week announced its next generation EPIA-M720 mini-ITX board with an embedded 1GHz C7 processor. The C7 is a x86 chip that runs in tandem with VIA's VX900 MSP. Along with improved connectivity options and modern features like DDR3 memory support and a SATA II interface, the new board serves as an upgrade from VIA's EPIA-LN.
Biostar has been trying to reinvent itself as an enthusiast brand, a hard sell considering most seasoned vets have a hard time shaking the notion that Biostar's focus is squarely on the budget buyer. The truth of the matter is Biostar holds several overclocking records under its belt, and it's because of high end boards like the new TA990FXE.
Maybe you're aware that DDR3 memory is nearly as cheap as tap water these days. That means you can totally justify stocking up on gobs of RAM, but at what point do you stop? Long before 288GB, which is more than your motherboard or any consumer board supports, but is exactly the amount you can stick in Gigabyte's GA-7TESM motherboard.
By itself, Intel's 20GB 311 Series "Larsen Creek" solid state drive commands around $115 street. But when bundled with select Gigabyte motherboards, that price drops below $100. It's part of an extended promotion that now applies to two Gigabyte motherboards instead of just one, in which 11 participating retailers offer a $20 discount when purchased together. But is it worth it?
Through a series of BIOS updates, Gigabyte last month announced it added native support for PCI Express Gen. 3 technology on over 40 of its existing motherboards, and along with support for Intel's 22nm Ivy Bridge processors, it was a solid announcement for system builders looking to future proof. At least it should have been, only MSI is taking Gigabyte to task over its PCI-E Gen. 3 claims.
AMD today rolled out its E45M1-Pro micro-ATX motherboard built around AMD's Fusion-powered "Zacate" platform. Browsing through Asus' product pages, it's the only board we could find to come embedded with AMD's dual-core E-450 APU (accelerated processing unit), AMD's fastest Zacate APU to date with a 1.65GHz clockspeed and integrated Radeon HD 6320 graphics.
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.
It's impossible to outrun technology, though updated drivers, software, and firmware can keep your gear current for as long as possible. That typically means you have to rely on hardware manufacturers to play ball, and Gigabyte 6 Series motherboard owners will be happy to know Gigabyte is keeping them in the game with significant BIOS updates for its entire 6 Series mobo line.
Building a socket 1155 system? If so, EVGA is making a pitch for its recently announced Z68 motherboard series. The hardware maker is taking aim at enthusiasts who live to overclock, especially with the company's Z68 FTW board, which comes loaded with OC-friendly features like EVGA Vdroop control, one-touch overclocking, 12-phase PWM, voltage read points, onboard clear CMOS, power, and reset buttons, and more.