Biostar today announced the release of its mainstream TH55B HD motherboard, which the company claims balances competitive pricing with "outstanding" overclocking performance.
The TH55B HD is a mATX board decked out with a black PCB, 5-phase X.D.C. solid state power design, high-end Japanese capacitors, and other manufacturing tidbits that have become buzzwords among enthusiasts.
Probably more meaningful to most is the inclusion of 4 DDR3 memory slots with support for 16GB of memory at up to 2000MHz (OC), a full-speed PCI-E x16 port, PCI-E x1 port, two standard PCI ports, 6 SATA 2.0 ports, and "Power" and "Restart" hotkeys. It also boasts HDMI, DVI, and VGA ports.
Worried that Asus might start to turn a blind eye to the motherboard market as it shifts focus to netbooks, e-books, and other Eee-devices? Don't fret, the company has no intention of abandoning mobos, not anytime soon, anyway.
On the contrary, Chewei Lin, VP of Asus' open platform business, says he expects his company to ship 25 million motherboards in 2010. That's a lot of boards, 20 percent more than the 21 million units Asus shipped in 2009.
Asus expects to ship 5 million motherboards in the first quarter alone, driven largely by recovering demand from Europe and the Lunar New Year demand from China. In the second quarter, Asus expects to do a little better and ship 6 million boards, giving the company a total of 11 million units for the first half of the year, leaving 14 million to be shipped in the second half.
Relatively few of these will be equipped with USB 3.0, however. The reason? High costs, Lin says.
MSI has upgraded its product line, offering its second “Big Bang” branded motherboard, the Big Bang-Fuzion. MSI's announcement informs us the Fuzion follows the “great success of the surpassing Big Bang-Trinergy powered by nForce 200 SLI processor.” [sic]
While MSI touts the features of the Fuzion with marketing jargon like “eopchal technology,” “flexible upgradability”, and “near-linear gaming performance”, its announcement is absent any real information--like actual specifications. Luckily, there’s Google. Piecing together bits and pieces from about the Internet, the Fuzion has an LGA1156 socket, capable of supporting Intel’s Core i3/i5/i7 processors, and the Pentium G6950. It uses the Intel P55 chipset, has 3 PCI Express x16 slots, supports SLI and ATI Crossfire and something called Hydra N-, A- and X-modes, a PCI E1 slot with a QuantumWave audio card, and 2 PCI slots. From the looks of it, you’ll only get USB 2.0. It will support 16 GB of 2300+ Mhz DDR3 dual channel memory in four slots.
The unique feature of the Fuzion is the Lucid Hydra chip. The Hydra allows a mixing of graphics cards, which means you don’t have to use twins when cobbling together a dual card system. You can even mix SLI and CrossFire GPUs (or so it's promised).
The Fuzion will only run with Windows Vista and 7--XP is a no go.
MSI says the board will be available mid-January. The Guru of 3D says you can expect a price of about $389.
The new motherboards will support Intel’s latest Core i3 and Core i5 processors, in addition to the Core i7. Most all have four DDR3 DIMM sockets, supporting dual-channel memory up to 2133+ Mhz. All will have onboard VGA, DVI, and HDMI ports, and four will offer Gigabyte’s high performance digital DisplayPort, which delivers up to 10.8 Gbps of bandwidth over standard cables, allowing for fast refresh rates and greater color depths. And all will offer a pair of rear panel USB 3.0 ports.
These motherboards are now available through a number of online retailers. Sorry, but no pricing information was offered.
Motherboard makers are wasting no time pumping out products built around Intel's new H57 and H55 Express chipsets, and that includes EVGA, who just announced three new boards built around the new platform.
Both the H55 (123-CD-E635-KR) and H57 (123-CD-E637-KR) are full sized ATX mobos and both come with four DDR3 slots supporting up to 16GB of memory running at 1333MHz+. So what exactly separates the two? The H57 comes with a whopping 14 USB ports and two PCI-E x1 slots, while the H55 boasts a still impressive 12 USB 2.0 ports and one PCI-E x16 slot.
Finally, there's the H55-V (111-CD-E630-TR) mATX board. This one also comes with four DDR3 slots and features 12 USB ports. No Firewire or IDE connector, though.
Both the H55 and H55-V are available now for $170 and $100, respectively. No word yet on price or availability for the H57.
Coinciding with the launch of Intel's next-gen 32nm Clarkdale processors and H55 chipset, Biostar this week announced three new boards built around the freshly minted platform, including the TH55 XE, TH55 HD, and TH55B HD.
The TH55 XE stands out as a mATX mobo designed with a "stylish black PCB" in a segment typically neglected in the aesthetics department. Biostar says it serves up support for Clarkdale Core i5/i3/Pentium 45/32nm series chips. It also comes with all solid caps, a 7-phase CPU power supply, and a Japan made PSE capacitor for better heat dissipation.
Other features include four memory slots with support for dual-channel DDR3-2000, a single PCI-E x16 slot, PCI-E x1, two PCI slots, 8-channel audio, and HDMI.
The TH55 HD also shares the same mATX form factor and black PCB design, though memory support tops out at DDR3-1800. Same deal with the TH55B HD, except it also drops down to a 5-phase power design.
In the days leading up to CES, EVGA's big attraction has been photo'd, spec'd, and drooled over. After all, it's hard not to salivate at the prospect of running two LGA 1366 processors on a single motherboard, but there's even more here to lust over.
EVGA's server hybrid board also comes equipped with no less than seven PCI-E x16 slots, all decked out in red. Naturally, the board also supports both USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s. But unlike your standard-fare LGA 1366 mobo, EVGA's dual-slot monster includes 12 DDR3 memory slots (that's six for each processor) and two NF200 SLI bridge chips.
Having been finalized for awhile now, the USB 3.0 spec has lost some of the glitz and glamor that accompany new technology announcements, but it's not all old news just yet. On the contrary, Gigabyte has taken to thumping its chest over its GA-P55A-UD3 becoming "the world's first motherboard to pass USB-IF (Universal Serial Bus-Implementers Forum) certification," paving the way for the company to plaster the SuperSpeed USB logo on its product.
Gigabyte claims its GA-P55A-UD3 "underwent strict compliance and product quality testing from the USB-IF" before receiving its certification. The mobo maker also said several other models with onboard USB 3.0 are currently being tested and are expected to pass certification within the next couple of weeks.
In addition to onboard USB 3.0, the GA-P55A-UD3 also boasts SATA 6Gb/s support, a 2-ounce copper PCB leading to lower temps and better power efficiency, DDR3-2000+ support, CrossFireX support, and several other features.
When it comes to hardcore overclocking, we can remember a time when it used to be DFI, and then everyone else. Those days seem like a distant memory now, and as of late, rumors have begun popping up writing the motherboard maker's obituary. Just stop it, says DFI, who insists it's here to stay.
According to Fudzilla, who had a chat with DFI, the mobo maker is still getting caught off guard by the recent rumors, even though this isn't the first time such rumors have surfaced. The speculation is so far out there, says DFI, that the notion of closing shop has never even been brought up within the company.
DFI contends it's currently focused on new products and BIOS updates, including bringing support for Intel's upcoming 6-core Gulftown chips on its X58-based motherboards. DFI is also busy promoting its Hybrid P45/Nvidia Ion mobo, as well as more motherboards in its Lanparty MI (Mini ITX) series.
Not everyone needs a rocking socket 1366 platform crammed with high-end parts and prepped for Intel's upcoming 6-core Gulftown chips, and even the more affordable (and mainstream) socket 1156 might be too much. Budget conscious shoppers not looking to push the envelope instead turn to IGP solutions, but if you're planning a build based on Intel's G41 chipset, you may want to hop off the fence and make it happen.
Wait too long and you may find that mobo of choice is out of stock. That's because supplies of Intel's G41 chipsets are falling short, a situation sources from motherboard makers say is due to insufficient capacity at the company's 8-inch Fab and a turnaround in orders by mobo makers.
In somewhat of an attempt to play hardball, motherboard manufacturers tried to push demand for Intel's G31 chipset, a part that costs about $4-5 less than G41. The idea was to force Intel to maintain its output of the older chipset, but Intel has held firm on transitioning to G41, causing mobo makers to place orders for the newer part.
The sudden turnaround, sources say, has resulted in a surge in demand that Intel's maximum supply volume simply can't keep up with.
Much ado about nothing? Perhaps. Intel says the situation is typical of a product transition and that it is working closely with customers to satisfy demand.