As Intel's socket 1156-based Core i5 and Core i7 processors inch closer to an official release, look for motherboard vendors to start rolling out new mobos built around Intel's P55 chipset. That's exactly what Foxconn has done, who over the weekend unveiled its Inferno Katana motherboard as part of the company's Quantum Force series.
There's a lot to like about the Inferno Katana, at least on paper. Power user features are aplenty, including a 12 phase hybrid PWM and DirectFET MOSFET technology, 2 phase for VTT and memory, and a "Fuzzy Equalizer," which is an LED indicator light for displaying the PWM loading status.
Other specs include support for up to 16GB of dual-channel DDR3-1800, 8 SATA ports, 7.1 channel onboard audio with Dolby DTS, 3 PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots, 8 USB 2.0 ports, and "performance comparable to if not better than the C/P ratio of the Core i7."
Many motherboard makers believe that the desktop PC market is unlikely to see a comeback in the near future.
Intel recently held a summit in China in the interest of remedying this, but there are still those that hold their concerns. Many are already focusing on diversification into other markets, and have been for some time. Though, there are others that see Intel’s effort slowing the decline of desktop PCs.
What do you think? Are desktop PCs going to be a thing of the past, or will be they around for decades to come? Let us know in the comments.
Nvidia on Monday announced that Intel and leading motherboard manufacturers have licensed the graphic chip maker's SLI technology for use in Intel's P55 Express chipset. This will include boards from Asus, EVGA, Gigabyte, and MSI.
"Nvidia technology is a perfect complement to the processing prowess of our new Core i7 and Intel DP55KG desktop brand," said Clem Russo, VP and General Manager of Intel Client Board Division. "Nvidia and Intel share a combined passion for furthering the PC as the definitive platform for gaming, and this combination will surely be attractive to anyone building or purchasing a brand new PC this fall."
By adding the P55 chipset under SLI's licensing umbrella, SLI is now available for all consumer PC platforms, including the Intel Core i7, Core i5, Core 2 Quad, and Core 2 Duo processor, in addition to those based on the AMD Phenom II CPU, Nvidia points out.
USB 2.0 rated at 480Mbit/s sounded great when it was released back in April 2000, but more than 9 years later its becoming pretty easy to saturate with our never-ending collection of high speed external drives. USB 3.0 clocks in at a much more respectable 4.8 Gbit/s, but those patiently awaiting hardware will have to cool their heels just a bit longer.
According to the Inquirer, Asus is cancelling what would have been the world’s first USB 3.0 motherboard the P6X58. The company hasn’t given any specific comment on it’s reason for the cancellation, but I would surmise it has something to do with the fact that you still can’t find any devices to pair up with it yet.
Speculation aside, I’m sure Asus still has USB 3.0 on it’s roadmap, but we still have no idea when the first motherboards / devices will hit the market. Want to learn more about the new standard? Make sure to take a look at our comprehensive guide to all things USB 3.0.
The four horsemen may be saddling up and Gozer the Gozerian might soon appear, but that doesn’t mean it’s all bad news. With people digging in the couch crevices for dropped coins to build a new system, AMD’s back on the menu again. Don’t believe us?
We recently added up the cost differential of building a Core i7 machine versus a Phenom II rig and the AMD system saved us at least $200. Sure, the Core i7 will whup any Phenom II up and down the block, but $200 gets you a hell of a lot more videocard, hard drive, or power supply. If you’re thinking, “Why not Core 2?” our reasons are simple: legs. We don’t have faith Intel will push out faster and better Core 2 procs, but AMD will support AM2+ for at least 12 months through newer and faster AM3 CPUs.
Now that Core i7 has carved out an enthusiast following and Core i5 just around the corner, it would seem that the days of LGA775-based platforms are numbered. Don't go ringing the death knell just yet.
DFI today adds another LGA775 board under its belt with the release of the LanParty BI G41-T33 motherboard. As the name suggests, the mobo is built around Intel's G41 chipset and offers up support for Intel Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors, dual-channel DDR3-800/1066 memory, and up to a 1333MHz frontside bus. The board also sports DFI's ABS II technology, which the company claims "will automatically detect the CPU installed and upgrade the efficiency of the CPU."
No word yet on price or availability, nor could we spot a product page. However, DFI says it's aiming for "a quite reasonable price." Your guess is as good as ours.
MSI has unfurled a couple of AMD-based products. One of those two products is its 760GTM-P33 motherboard based on the AMD 760G chipset. The motherboard features an integrated ATI Radeon HD 3000 graphics core and supports DirectX 10 and Hybrid CrossFireX. To boot, MSI has packed the motherboard with some proprietary technologies: Active Phase Switching (APS) for managing power usage, Easy OC Switch technology for one-click overclocking and TPM for data encryption and storage. The other AMD-based product that MSI introduced is the R4890 Cyclone series graphics card – the fastest clocked HD 4890 hitherto, which was covered in a previous article.
Asus recently announced the Xtreme Design motherboard series, a new designation the company claims denotes "ground-breaking design innovations." The P6TD Deluxe will be one of Asus' existing boards to receive the Xtreme makeover.
One of those "innovations" comes in the form of improved cooling. Dubbed "Stack Cool3," Asus says it re-engineered the original copper cooling solution found on the P5E64 WS motherboard with an enhanced PCB layer, a move Asus claims will result in substantially improved heat dissipation.
Also traits of the Xtreme Design series, designated boards will feature an improved phase design, Turbo V overclocking for "an overwhelming boost of up to 51 percent in processing throughput," and more stringent Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) testing.
Rifling through the box that the Intel DX58SO “Smackover” board came in, we were surprised not to find “love” and “hate” brass knuckles, because the motherboard definitely conjures feelings of both extremes.
If you think we’re being disrespectful, just take one look at the board’s SATA ports. That will tell you that somebody at Intel still doesn’t know that today’s graphics cards are big, huge, honking affairs. Since Intel oriented all the SATA ports vertically, you’ll have a hell of a time accessing the ports with a dual-slot GPU parked overhead.
And if that doesn’t make you bust out the hate knuckles, the memory slots might. We’ve seen four previous boards for the Core i7—two from Asus, one from DFI, and an MSI mobo—and all have had six DIMM slots so you could run up to 12GB of RAM and maintain tri-channel mode. Not Intel’s.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Gigabyte should be blushing. Why? Because Asus, highly regarded among power users for the company's high-end motherboards, has taken a page from Gigabyte and quietly outfitted some of its motherboards with 2-ounce copper PCBs (printed circuit boards).
Well over half of Gigabyte-brand motherboards shipped during the week before Computex were 2-ounce copper, and by the end of the year, Gigabyte predicts the copper design will account for 80 percent of its boards. But what's interesting about Asus following suit is that Asrock, an Asus subsidiary, at one time decried Gigabyte's copper design as completely unnecessary.
Asrock went on a rampage sending out PowerPoint presentations to the press that not only said a 2-ounce copper design didn't benefit cooling, but was actually harming the environment as well. Funny how watching another company gain marketshare can change one's perspective, isn't it?