Asus this week unveiled its TUF Sabertooth X99 motherboard. According to Asus, it's the world's first consumer desktop mobo to support all NVM Express storage devices, including the latest mini-SAS HD (SF-8639) 2.5-inch solid state drives, PCI Express, and M.2 PCI Express drives. The timing of the this board's release comes just days after Intel announced its 750 Series SSDs, which are available in both half-height half-length (HHHL) and 2.5-inch NVMe form factors.
MSI is laying claim to the world's first AMD motherboard with USB 3.1 support. The board in question is MSI's new 970A SLI Krait Edition, which sports a black and white tuxedo theme that would probably look pretty nifty inside a white theme enclosure. But behind the looks is a USB 3.1 interface that allows for transfer speeds of up to 10Gbps, double that of USB 3.0, and 20 times faster than USB 2.0.
Are you planning to build a system around Gigabyte's X99-XOC Champion motherboard? If so, Corsair say its new Dominator Platinum DDR4 3400MHz memory kits are performance tuned to run at that frequency and beyond using air cooling when paired with that specific Gigabyte motherboard. It's a bit of a marketing play, as there shouldn't be anything stopping the same kit from working on other X99-chipset boards that require DDR4 RAM, though you may very well achieve higher overclocks when pairing the two together.
Is it time to start taking Biostar seriously in power user circles? We'll need to spend some more hands on time with the company's products to answer that question, but in the meantime, Biostar continues to release intriguing motherboards aimed at select groups, such as gamers, overclockers, Bitcoin miners, and even those worried about lightning strikes. Biostar's newest motherboard, the Hi-Fi B85Z5, is for budget buyers who want high-quality onboard audio.
Biostar this week released its TA970 Plus motherboard, its latest AMD socket AM3+ offering with AMD OverDrive and a feature called ACC (Advanced Clock Calibration), which is supposed to help with overclocking efforts. Built around AMD's 970 chipset, the board supports AMD six-core and eight-core socket AM3 processors, including the AMD FX, Phenom II, and Athlon II lines.
Rumor has it Intel will finally release its 14nm Broadwell desktop processors in the middle of next quarter (think somewhere around mid-May), so you still have some time to prepare for an upgrade or overhaul, if going that route. Wondering if your motherboard will support Broadwell? At least one company is making it easy -- Asus on Tuesday announced that all of its 9 Series motherboards support Intel's 5th Generation Core lineup.
Once the Game Developers Conference (GDC) comes to an end, attention will turn to PAX East, which takes place in Boston from March 6–8. That means even more product announcements, though some companies are too excited to wait. One of them is MSI, which is bringing an "arsenal of new gaming products" to PAX East, including its Z97A Gaming 6 motherboard and a pair of all-in-one PCs.
Biostar's been making a concerted effort to gain a reputation as a high-end hardware player, and it's doing it by releasing boards with enthusiast grade and sometimes unique feature-sets. We saw it last summer with the release of the TD85, a motherboard with half a dozen PCI-E slots intended for Bitcoin miners, and more recently with the Hi-F iZ97Z7. Continuing the trend, Biostar today launched the first in a new line of gaming hardware, the Gaming Z97X motherboard with USB 3.1 support.
Here's the thing, folks -- if you want to protect your PC from lightning strikes and other electrical surges, plug it into a UPS backup power supply with built-in surge protection. For added caution, shut down and unplug your PC during lightning storms. And if you're super paranoid about your LAN port giving up the ghost, well, you'll be happy to know that Biostar has your back and will begin integrating a chip into its motherboards to strengthen electrical stability.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is just around the corner and, if some recent reports are to be believed, so is the announcement of a new generation of Intel’s Next Unit of Computing (NUC) range of pint-sized PC kits and boards. A bunch of images said to show next-generation NUC units quietly appeared on Intel’s own website late last month, where they sat unnoticed until the folks over at ComputerBase.de stumbled on them a few days back.