When vendors previewed the first X79 motherboards in 2011, we were floored by the boatload of SATA ports. Rather than the wimpy six SATA ports (only two of which were SATA 6Gb/s) Intel chipsets usually gave us, the X79 was a he-man’s chipset with a heaping serving of 12 ports.
Note: This review was originally featured in the May 2013 issue of the magazine.
Is the PC market in a slump? That's all we keep hearing about from market research firms, but over here on the do-it-yourself (DIY) side, there's plenty to be excited about. We have new Haswell processors to play with (or Richland if you're rolling with AMD), and AMD and Nvidia continue to try and one-up each other with faster graphics cards and beefier bundles. Now is a great time to be in the market for a new build, and Gigabyte expects to cash in.
If you subscribe to the philosophy that big things come in little packages, you'll love hearing about Zotac's new H87-ITX Wi-Fi motherboard, a tiny slice of silicon designed for Intel's 4th Generation Core processor family (Haswell). It's a mini-ITX board for small form factor (SFF) builds, yet is capable of running Intel's newest processors and up to four SATA 6Gbps drives, plus a spot for an mSATA drive.
If you're looking to upgrade to Haswell, you'll need a new 1150 socket motherboard to go along with it. Luckily today's top deal from Newegg is the ASrock Z87 Extreme6 LGA 1150 mobo which will support Intel's new processor. The deal is running for $175 with free shipping (normally $190) and you'll get 8GB of Crucial memory free with purchase.
Click the "Read More" button for other mobo deals.
I found nestled in my inbox this morning a note from Asus saying it's getting ready to introduce an "even more advanced version of SupremeFX on the upcoming Formula" board built for Haswell. Along with the note, Asus attached a teaser photo marking the recent evolution of SupremeFX (versions III and IV), leaving the world to wonder what it has in store for the next release. Care to venture a guess?
Before self-contained liquid cooling solutions (LCS) became mainstream, water cooling enthusiasts would march over to places like Danger Den (R.I.P.) and order custom parts, fit them together, and then pray to Poseidon that he'd have mercy against leaks. Back then, water cooling aficionados sure could have used a board like any of ASRock's new specially coated 8 Series mobos. Using a layer of "Comformal Coating," ASRock says its treated mobos aren't afraid to get wet, a trait the company hopes the professional overclocking crowd will embrace.
The Mainstream tech media declared the PC dead—yet again—and enthusiasts had a full-on freak-out when rumors surfaced thatIntel intended to dump socketed processors within two years. You can read the details of the story here, but let it be known far and wide, Intel will support socketed processors for the “foreseeable future.” AMD, likewise, had already taken the pledge, saying it would be offering socketed CPUs, too.
Note: This column originally appeared in the February 2013 issue of the magazine.
What better way is there to head into the weekend than by spying a few shots of a swank blacked out motherboard that's to be used for some secret project? If you feel the same way, then give kudos to Asus for supplying a bunch of pictures of its Rampage IV Extreme - Black motherboard, which we've placed into a photo gallery for your convenience. So, what do we know about this motherboard?
Haswell is coming and it appears Asus is prepared.
As summer approaches, so too does the launch of Intel's 22nm Haswell platform, the upcoming successor to Ivy Bridge. Barring any last minute delays, Haswell parts are expected to debut in early June, according to leaked roadmaps that have shown up online. At least one motherboard maker is ready. Asus posted a few teaser shots of its Gryphon Z87 mainboard, a next generation slice of silicon with a new socket.
With our skepticism of Thunderbolt officially blown away (see last month’s Head to Head) we’re now ready to embrace the new I/O interface. But unless you’re one of the lucky few to have an older Asus board with support for the company’s Thunderbolt add-in card, you’ll need to buy a new motherboard to enjoy Tbolt goodness. Luckily, Thunderbolt boards have arrived. To gauge the choices, we gathered up both the priciest and cheapest Tbolt boards we could find and set at them.
The Asus P8Z77-V Premium comes fully loaded with features, including Wi-Fi antennas.