GIGABYTE Announces the Z170 March OC Madness Competition

Gigabyte is one of the largest motherboard manufacturers in the world and they are no strangers to the overclocking scene either. Many records have already been set using their brand of motherboards and now it can be your chance to set the next as Gigabyte announced the March OC Madness competition for the overclocking community and hosted by HWBOT.org

Whether you are a beginner in the area of one of the world leading overclockers, there is fun to be had, records to be set, and prizes to be won in this competition. The fun is starting on March the 12th and will run until April the 10th where people are encouraged to push their Gigabyte Z170 motherboards and 6th generation Intel processors to the limit.

There are two category main categories to enter, each with three stages to complete. Category one is for Enthusiast, Rookie, and Novice overclockers while the second category is for Elite and Extreme overclockers who take hardware to the next level with sub-zero cooling equipment.

The category one stages consist of XTU, HWBOT x265 1080p, and SPI 32M while the second category mixes it up a little bit with XTU, Maxxmem Read Bandwidth, and Geekbench Single Core stages.

So what can you win? Well, there are a number of cash and hardware prizes for the winners this time. The winner for each category will be awarded a $500 USD cash prize. In addition, participants that submit a score in all stages of their respective categories are eligible to enter a lucky draw for one of three GA-Z170X-Gaming 3 motherboards as the grand prize.

Should want to enter the fun, then you can check out the full details on the official contest page where you also can follow the rest of the overclockers during the event. So, shoot for high scores this March and maybe you’ll walk away with some cash or a new motherboard.

More Lenovo Yoga P40 Details Emerge as First Listings Appear

Lenovo first unveiled their Yoga P40 mobile workstation on December first and around two weeks later they revealed the specifications, at least some of them. When a new product like this is being introduced, we usually only get the top end specifications and not all options available. Top of the line is awesome, but it might simply be too much for some users, both performance and price wise.

I’ve long been on the search for a new mobile workstation to suit my needs, plenty of power, mobility, and universal usage, but there wasn’t such a product on the market. The Microsoft Surface Book came close, but I was seriously disappointed in the specifications and low-end hardware they used. Especially considering the premium asking price of the Surface Book. When Lenovo unveiled the P40, I saw my rescue and have since been waiting for it while scouting for more details.

Initially we got a starting price of $1399 USD at the same time as they revealed the specification. It was clear right away that this wasn’t the price for the model with the revealed specifications. Today, or rather yesterday, I finally discovered the first shop listing of the new Yoga P40 that both provide us with an estimate on a European price, some more specification details, as well as a possible release date.

The initial specifications were a QuadroM500M graphics card, 6th-generation Core i7 processor, 512GB SSD, and 16GB RAM as well as an optional LTE version. Thanks to the first product listings we can elaborate a little more on that.

The 14-inch Lenovo P40 2-in-1 mobile workstation will come with either an i7-6500U or i7-6600U processor and either 8 or 16GB RAM. The SSD isn’t 512 GB in all models either and there will be options with a 256GB SSD instead. So far only models with FullHD resolution have been listed, but there should also come a version with a 1440p display instead.

The first listings come from two different shops which both are located in Poland and both revealed the same information. The prices start at about €1817.00 for an i7-6500U with 8GB RAM and 256GB HDD and goes up to about €2380.00 for an i7-6600U with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. The product listings aren’t complete, but they do give us some more insight into these pretty cool mobile workstations.

While the release date on the Yoga P40 wasn’t listed for either of the shops, there are hints towards when we can expect to see it. Lenovo only revealed that it would be released in Q1 2016, but not when. The official ThinkPad Pen Pro for the Yoga P40 does however have an estimated delivery time set for 3 weeks. While that doesn’t mean that the Yoga P40 will ship at the same time, it makes little sense to sell a stylus for a product that isn’t on the market yet. So fingers crossed if you’re looking to buy one of these sweet machines. The waiting time should be over soon.

BIOSTAR Releases Combo DDR3 & DDR4 Z170 Motherboard

 

Skylake has quickly become the go-to platform for builders since its launch, but for some there’s the issue with memory, or rather an issue of the users wanting to upgrade their memory. DDR4 is upon us and while the current costs of DDR4 are about the same as DDR3, some users don’t wish to upgrade that part yet. BIOSTAR’s latest motherboard release is for just those people as it is one of them that support both DDR3 and DDR4 memory.

The new motherboard is the BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z170Z5 and as the name suggests, it’s based on the Z170 chipset and comes with BIOSTAR’s enhanced audio features. You can use either dual-channel DDR3L 1333/1600MHz memory or dual channel DDR4 1866/2133MHz memory, but not both at the same time. It does however allow for a more seamless upgrade off individual parts along your upgrade way.

The motherboard is ATX sized and provides both modern and legacy connection types in a somewhat weird combination for these days. There are only two PCI-E x16 3.0 slots where one runs at x16 speed and one at x4 speed. There is also a single PCI-E x1 3.0 slot. The somewhat weird thing is the inclusion of three legacy PCI slots.

As the Hi-Fi branding and the heatsink layout suggests, this motherboard’s main features are the audio specific ones. The Hi-Fi Z170Z5 features Blu-Ray audio and built-in amplifier. The audio components use an independent power delivery system for significant reduction in electronic noise and good sound quality. BIOSTAR also included their SmartSpeedLAN software that’s essentially a QoS that prioritizes the traffic you want. Charge Booster allows you to charge mobile devices faster and you can remote control the system via BIO-Remote2 for Android and Apple devices, and much more.

 

BIOSTAR didn’t reveal a price at this time, but the Hi-Fi Z170Z5 should be available very soon and then we’ll find out. It should however be one of the cheaper boards judging from the feature list and available connections.

Gigabyte Motherboards at Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – Gigabyte didn’t just bring along their laptops at Computex, they also got their motherboards with them and we took a look at them. The highlights are with no doubt the new Z170 based motherboards for Intel’s next and 6th generation processors.

The motherboards are packed with the best of features, from the new high-speed USB 3.1 type-C ports that can provide up to 36W power, 4-way SLI capabilities and 4K output in 60Hz thanks to the HDMI 2.0 connector. We’re used to a lot from Gigabyte, and they didn’t let us down.

Intel H170 chipset based boards such as the GA-H170-Gaming 3 were also on display, perfect for people that don’t overclock their processors and don’t need as many amazing features in their PCs.

Gigabyte Updates With Support for Upcoming 5th Gen Intel Core Processors

One of the real pains in building computers comes at the times where you need to upgrade several components in order to keep everything compatible to the one new component that you actually had the intention to upgrade. This won’t be an issue if you plans are to invest in the upcoming and fifth generation of Intel Core processors and you own a Gigabyte Z97 or H97 based motherboard.

GIGABYTE’s engineers have been busy in their labs and they have tested and verified that the new generation of Intel Core processors all work perfectly on their H97 and Z97 chipset based motherboards and offer an optimal performance.

So users who wish to take advantage of Intel’s new processor generation as soon as possible can rest assured that their GIGABYTE motherboards will support it. You will need to download and install the latest BIOS to make sure that everything runs smoothly and that every function is properly supported, but that is kind of a normal thing and one that you have to do with each new generation of processors.

You can find and download the latest UEFI BIOS files for your 9 Series motherboards directly on GIGABYTE’s own website and be ready for the upcoming launch.

Intel Skylake Will Support Ultra-Fast Face Recognition with RealSense 3D Technology

Intel’s 6th generation Core processors codenamed Skylake got some extra attention on the first day of the IDF15 in Shenzhen and it looks like everything is going as scheduled with the chips. One of the mentioned highlights was the RealSense 3D technology that allows for much better facial recognition support that works much faster than current methods and apps.

The new family of processors will feature the upgraded 9th generation graphics core and the memory controller will support both DDR3 and DDR4 memory. The socket will be the LGA1151 and it will use the new 100 series chipsets. The flagship chipset will be the Z170 with support for RST 14 storage technology, SRT intelligent response technology, and up to 14 USB ports of which the 10 are USB 3.0.  It will support 6 SATA ports and have 20 PCI-E channels with support for up to three SATA Express x2 interfaces, and three PCI-E with RST storage device support.

More and more companies set on alternative login methods besides the manual password and the new Intel processors will support facial recognition based on the RealSense 3D technology. Different from traditional face recognition, the new face unlock on RealSense is much faster and will unlock your system in just a second.

Using photos or cell phone shots to login won’t work, as the stereoscopic 3D will notice that. So it won’t be that easy to get past this security feature. The first products with this technology are said to come out before the end of the year and it’s expected to gain large popularity.

Thanks to DigiTech for providing us with this information