Gigabyte is finally showing socket 1155 system builders some weapon themed love with the launch of the G1.Sniper2 motherboard, the 1155 version of the socket 1366 G1.Sniper and little brother to the G1.Assassin we reviewed in the June 2011 issue of Maximum PC (and by "little," we mean it doesn't require a honking XL-ATX chassis, a standard ATX case will do just fine).
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.
As the primary supplier of iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad touch devices, as well as making products for high-profile companies like Acer, Asus, Dell, Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, and others, life is good for Foxconn (or Hon Hai Precision, if you prefer), which collected $59.3 billion in revenue in 2010. Foxconn can afford to go on a spending spree, and in addition to buying one of Cisco's manufacturing facilities in Mexico, the electronics maker is now setting its sights on Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS).
Perhaps Asus knows something the rest of the industry isn't aware of yet, or maybe the company is reacting to recent news of AMD delaying its Bulldozer processor launch. Either way, it appears Asus isn't ultra-confident in there being a high demand for motherboards in the third quarter and has reportedly asked its parts and component suppliers to only ship enough materials to produce between 1 million and 1.5 million motherboards.
Without giving anything away, we can say you won't find VIA's EPIA-M900 mini-ITX motherboard in this year's Dream Machine. Where it will end up is in small form factor (SFF) embedded devices like ATMs and home automation systems, to give just two examples. The main draw here, and one VIA is highly touting, is that the EPIA-M900 is the world's first motherboard to sport a 64-bit Nano X2 E-Series dual-core processor (clocked at 1.6GHz).
Gigabyte still hasn't officially launched its G1.Sniper 2 motherboard that was showcased back at the Computex tradeshow in Taiwan, nor has the company announced pricing information or even put up a product page. But what Gigabyte did so is post several sexy snapshots of one of the hottest looking boards we've ever seen on the company's Facebook page for its motherboard division.
If you're familiar with the ASRock brand, you probably recognize it as a builder of budget motherboards. ASRock has been known to appeal to enthusiasts with next generation and/or unique design decisions, like the 939Dual-SATA2 that combined both an AGP port and PCI-Express ports on the same board so users could have a GPU upgrade path to PCI-E without overhauling their foundation. ASRock's latest concoction is the Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3 motherboard, the first ever to implement PCI-E 3.0 ports.
MSI dabbles in both motherboards and graphics cards (as well as other components and products), and maybe that gives them an advantage when it comes to building boards for AMD's upcoming Fusion processors. Whether or not that's the case, MSI isn't bashful about laying claim to the "world's fastest mainboard with integrated graphics," the newly released A75MA-G55 built around AMD's FM1 socket.
Motherboard makers are preparing for the launch of AMD's upcoming Llano line of Accelerated Processing Units (APUs). That includes Asus who today revealed its first boards sporting the necessary FM1 socket to support AMD's A-series APUs and powered by the AMD A75 chipset. New boards include the F1A75-V EVO and V1A75-V Pro, both of which Asus promises will offer "exceptional overclocking" capabilities and a range of proprietary and next-gen technologies.
There are lots of way you can recycle your old PC parts. Turning your obsolete processor into a keychain is a classic example and one that's easy to do. If you're a bit more skilled and have enough hardware laying around, you can build an entire city model using motherboards. Arizona artist Joe Dragt came up with a different way to breathe new life into old hardware, and his creations are full of win.