The Maximum PC ethos can be summed up in two words: MORE POWER! (Harder, better, faster, stronger would work, too, but that’s twice as many words – not exactly better.) MSI, it seems, heard our Tim Taylor-like grunting from afar. The company just released a modified version of its X79A-GD45 motherboard (which was only released a month ago, mind you) that includes twice the DIMM slots of the original. That means the X79A-GD45 (8D) includes a total of 8 DDR3 DIMM slots and can support up to a whopping 128GB of quad-channel RAM – because 64GB just isn’t enough.
Want to make the jump to LGA2011 and Sandy Bridge-E but don’t quite need all the bells and whistles of the DX79SI? Intel might just have the alternative motherboard for you. The company’s new DX79TO mobo is basically a stripped-down version of its bigger DX79SI brother with fewer bells and whistles. The question is, are the enthusiast-type buyers who are already making the jump to Intel’s latest and greatest chips willing to dump features for a modest price discount?
You can argue the Earth is flat or that man never really landed on the moon, but if you really want to avoid looking foolish, then don't tell anyone Intel is deliberately stalling USB 3.0 long enough for LightPeak to drive a stake in the competing transfer interface. Actually, Intel has long held that the two aren't really competitors at all, and putting its money where its mouth is, Intel went out and received SuperSpeed USB 3.0 certification for its upcoming 7 Series and C216 chipset families.
Intel's Sandy Bridge-E is the talk of the town right now, but let's not forget about another little chip maker named Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). Sapphire certainly hasn't forgotten about AMD, nor has it blanked out on how to build a high end motherboard. Proving both is Sapphire's new Pure Black 990FX board with support for the latest AMD processors.
It's hard to believe, but it's been a whole decade since VIA created the Mini-ITX form factor with the launch of its Mini-ITX VT6010. The rest is ongoing history, but what's really cool is how VIA is celebrating the occasion. It's doing so with the launch of its "Small is Beautiful: 10 Years of Mini-ITX" eBook, and while that might seem like a ho-hum read at first, it's not often that we're given an inside glimpse of things straight from the source.
Wait, wait, wait just a minute, isn't the Killer E2100 Network Processing Unit a product of Bigfoot Networks? It most certainly is, but what many people don't know is that Qualcomm Atheros somewhat quietly scooped Bigfoot up a couple of months ago, a purchase that made sense considering Bigfoot was using Qualcomm hardware anyway and tweaking it with their own software. In any event, Qualcomm Atheros is now fully in charge and the company really wants to get the word out that its Killer E2100 NIC is integrated and available in new Gigabyte G1.Assassin 2 motherboards based on Intel's X79 Express chipset. So does Gigabyte.
In preparation for Intel's upcoming 22nm processor refresh, Biostar wants to get the word out that each and every one of its 6 Series motherboards fully support native PCI-E Gen. 3 when paired with chipzilla's next generation Ivy Bridge CPUs. According to Biostar, each board is able to pass the signal test of PCI-E Gen. 3 technology without any hardware changes, unlike at least one other board maker who was accused of having "fake" PCI-E Gen. 3 support.
VIA announced the immediate availability of its new VE-900 Mini-ITX motherboard and is hoping it will appeal to DIY enthusiasts aiming to put together a stylish home desktop or media center PC. The tiny board measures 17cm x 17cm and pairs a VIA Nano X2 dual-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz with the VIA VX900 unified all-in-one media system processor (MSP).
VIA just rolled out what the company claims is the industry's first ever dual-core Pico-ITX motherboard. The VIA EPIA-P900 packs a dual-core VIA Eden X2 1GHz x86 processor and VIA VX900H Media System Processor into the smallest commercialized form factor there is. The result is a pint-sized system that's capable of advanced multitasking and multimedia chores, including "flawless" Full HD video rendering.
Woe is you if your hard drive gives up the ghost, and not just because of the hassle involved with restoring data from your backups (because you are backing up your files, right?). The other reason it sucks to lose a hard drive right now is because recent flooding in Thailand hit HDD makers pretty hard, resulting in a shortage, which itself has resulted in higher prices. Unfortantely, the trickle down effect doesn't stop there.