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?
EVGA set out to prove it's not the size of the motherboard that matters, but how you use it. And with the release of the X58 SLI Micro, you can use any speed grade Core i7 processor you want along with a pair of Nvidia graphics cards all in a micro-ATX package.
In addition to 2-way SLI support, the new mobo also crams 6 DDR3 memory slots (supporting up to 12GB of triple channel DDR3-1600MHz+) and 6 SATA II 3GB/s ports onto the mATX board. Other features include 100-percent solid state capacitors, VDroop control, an onboard temperature monitor, support for up 12 USB ports, a single LAN port, a passive heatsink for cooling the chipset, RAID 0/1/0+1/5 and JBOD support, and 8-channel onboard audio, all decked out in a red and black color theme.
Let's get this out of the way right off the bat - Asus launched its P6T7 WS SuperComputer motherboard in mid-March, so technically it's not 'new.' But there's no splitting hairs about this workstation board being one of the baddest mobos around thanks to a whopping seven PCI-E x16 slots. Yes, we said SEVEN!
While there's nothing to stop a power user from building a truly brag worthy rig with the P6T7 WS as its foundation, this motherboard was really designed for parallel computing. It's been certified for Nvidia Tesla GPU computing with support for up to three Nvidia Tesla cards and one Nvidia Quadro card. Such a configuration adds up to 960 parallel processing cores pumping out 4 freakin' teraflops of processing power, enough to qualify for a basement level supercomputer.
Other specs include RAID 0/1/5/10 support, up to 12 USB 2.0 ports (6 native and 3 USB connectors supporting an additional 6 ports), 2 eSATA 3Gb/s ports, two nForce 200 chips, three-way ATI CrossFireX and Nvidia SLI support, dual LAN ports, and more.
Taiwan-based Shuttle Inc. is mulling an entry into the notebook market, if the grapevine is to be believed. The rumor gained currency after Elitegroup Computer Systems' (ECS') ex-president of notebook business moved to Shuttle as its new president. However, the company has tried to downplay the rumor by contending that it is a bit farfetched to jump to conclusions based on the professional background of its new president. Shuttle is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of motherboards. Its product portfolio also boasts an assortment of small form factor computers and barebones.
In an effort to help save R&D costs for its own-brand motherboards, Intel will release ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) orders to Taiwan-based motherboard makers, with the first orders belonging exclusively to Foxconn, DigiTimes reports.
As it currently stands, Intel ships between 4-5 million units annually, but although the chip maker is reportedly looking to cut back, the company did say it will continue to design and develop motherboards, as well as closely cooperate with industry players in the motherboard market.
If it turns out to be true, the big loser in the new deal is Pegatron Technology, an Intel OEM partner which will stand on the sidelines for these new orders. Adding salt to the wound, Asus, Pegatron's biggest client, is looking to increase its outsourcing to other companies as well.