Biostar this week added to its motherboard lineup with the launch of its Hi-Fi B85S2G built around Intel's B85 chipset. The B85 is intended to be a budget option for businesses, though Biostar is reluctant to pigeonhole its board into a single demographic -- the company says it's a suitable option for big IT departments in larger companies, small firms, or even virtual currency miners.
Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) today topped off its crop of Intel Z97 chipset motherboards by introducing the Maximus VII Formula, a mean slab of tasty features for enthusiasts covered in an awesomesauce cooling solution to help with overclocking and stability. This particular flavor of awesomesauce is called CrossChill Copper, which is a hybrid-cooling solution engineered around a highly-conductive, corrosion-resistant copper cooling channel.
Top two motherboard makers fight for pole position
In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't matter if Asus edges out Gigabyte in motherboard shipments, or if Gigabyte manages to swipe the shipment crown by a hair. However, it's fun to watch these two race to the finish line, which is partly why we keep covering it. The other reason is because both companies want the crown, and that could mean price cuts at some point. So, which company is going to win?
Biostar wants gamers and Bitcoin miners to take notice of its new TB85 motherboard. This slice of silicon supports up to Intel's 4th Generation Core i7 processor line in the 1150 package and has six PCI-E slots, though all but one are of the PCI-E x1 variety. Nevertheless, if you want to load up this board with six graphics cards for a dedicated (and value oriented) mining machine, the option is there.
Motherboard built specifically for overclocking doesn't disappoint at Computex 2014
There's no mistaking Gigabyte's Z97X-SOC Force LN2 motherboard for a standard mobo. That slice of silicon is built for the extreme overclocking circuit, which is why there aren't any CPU fan mounting holes -- it's all about liquid nitrogen. Case in point, Gigabyte's Z97X-SOC Force LN2 broke multiple world records at Computex 2014, which includes the highest DDR3 memory frequency every achieved -- 4.56GHz, up from the previous record of 4.4GHz.
Just 100,000 motherboard shipments stand between leader Asus versus Gigabyte in race for first place
It might be a photo finish at the end of the year to determine which top-tier motherboard vendor comes in first. As it stands, only 100,000 motherboard shipments separate Asus and Gigabyte, the big guns in the mobo shootout. For now, Asus can enjoy pole position with 10.4 million motherboard shipments -- just enough to keep Gigabyte at an arm's length with 10.3 million shipments.
MSI is riding high on demand for its gaming motherboards
Competition is downright fierce in the motherboard market where only a handful of players remain. It's the reason why a price war may break out, which in turn could help motherboard makers sell more units. We're not talking about thousands of mobos -- MSI is hoping to ship 7 million branded motherboards in 2014, up from 6 million in 2013. In addition to engaging in a price war, MSI is benefiting from increased demand for its gaming boards.
Your next motherboard purchase may be cheaper than you anticipated
The motherboard market has already whittled itself down to just a handful of key players (remember when DFI was an enthusaist brand?). That's made the landscape hyper-competitive, and with new chipsets and processors prompting upgrades and new builds, motheboard makers are reportedly reducing prices. There's speculation that this might be just the beginning of what ends up being a price war.
Asus didn't make the trip to Computex unprepared, that's for sure. Instead, Asus unloaded a rather large collection of Republic of Gamer (ROG) products, including a new mouse, keyboard, a couple of new motherboards, monitor, gaming laptop, and several other items. There's even a console-like gaming PC in the mix -- it's not a Steam Machine, though it's ready to take residence in your living room or dorm.
More next-generation motherboards show up to the 5th Generation Core party
While we may never know which came first, the chicken or the egg, we do know that next-generation 9 Series motherboards are arriving ahead of Intel's refreshed Haswell launch. Gigabyte is the latest to debut Z97 and H97 motherboards -- about a million of them (slight exaggeration) broken up into four different categories that include the G1 Gaming Series, Ultra Durable Series, Overclocking Series, and Black Edition.