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.
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).