BIOSTAR Releases the Hi-Fi B85S1 Motherboard

BIOSTAR has released another motherboard and this time it is a business rich option at a value price. The Hi-Fi B85S1 is an mATX motherboard built around the Intel B85 chipset and with support for Intel’s Core i3, i5, i7, and Pentium processors on the LGA 1150 socket. With two DIMM slots, it’s able to handle up to 16GB RAM running at 1600MHz and it comes with one PCIe x16 3.0 and two PCIe x1 2.0 slots.

The board also features BIOSTAR innovative Hi-Fi technology with a powerful built-in headphone amplifier and Super LAN Surge Protection which enhances Ethernet protections and as an Intel board it supports IRST and Intel Small Business Advantage (Intel SBA) which delivers business-centric security protection such as after-hours virus scans and data backup as well as block recognition of unwanted USB drives and Intel’s Smart Connect Technology.

The Hi-Fi B85S1 also works well for entertainment needs with support for Direct3D 11.1 and HDMI. It also has Blu-ray audio and provides a 24 bit/192KHz audio output. BIOSTAR also added the Double Hi-Fi integrated AMP which allows users to enjoy the same high quality of sound on both the front panel and direct IO connectors. It is built with 100% solid capacitors and Super Durable Ferrite Chokes for the best durability and efficiency.

It comes with two PS2 ports, one USB 3.0 header and two port, two USB 2.0 headers and two ports, Gigabit Ethernet powered by a Realtek TRL811G controller, and it has both a VGA port for legacy screens and a DVI port for more modern screens.

The Hi-Fi B85S1 is Windows 8 ready, and supports BIO-Remote2 and BIOS Online Update features for easy management, and it will only cost you $59.00 USD.

ASUS Announces TUF Trooper B85 Motherboard

ASUS’ Republic of Gamers division created a new motherboard that is something a little bit out of the ordinary, the new TUF Trooper B85 motherboard. The new Trooper is built around the B85 Express chipset and with an Intel LGA 1150 socket for the 4th and 5th generation Intel Core CPUs. It uses DDR3 memory of which it supports up to 16GB with the two DIMM slots. Being a TUF board it also comes with all the extra tested and reliable TUF components, and it also has support for Quad-GPU CrossFireX setups.

If you think that the motherboard looks a bit out of shape, then you aren’t wrong. The height is still the standard ATX form factor, but ASUS cut 64mm off the width of the board and moved the southbridge between the PCIe slots. Nothing looks cramped in there and there’s plenty of room for everything, so why not. The long design allows the use of more PCIe cards over a square design such as the mATX.

The TUF Trooper motherboard comes with six SATA ports where four of them are SATA3 and the last two are SATA2 ports. It has onboard headers for both USB 3.0 and 2.0 and also comes with two USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 on the IO panel. The network is covered by an RJ45 gigabit ethernet connector powered by a Realtek 8111GR controller. Users who want a great sound aren’t left out either as the Trooper has an onboard and shielded 8-channel Realtek ALC887 HD codec.

The ASUS TUF series of motherboards isn’t just built with extra reliable components and tested rigorously, they also come with a row of exclusive features. The TUF Thermal Radar Core keeps track of all your components with more sensors than usual and allows for easy setup of your fan profiles. The TUF ESD Guards 2 is the second generation of protection against inadvertent electrostatic discharges when connectors are inserted into the IO panel and it’s been improved with a 30% better resistance over the previous generation.

The TUF LANGuard helps your network to keep a better and more stable network connection, which even improves the throughput with extra surface-mounted capacitors. The TUF Audio design keeps the sound pure with extra shielding that is LED-lit and uses a dedicated audio layer.

Biostar Hi-Fi B85S2G LGA1150 Motherboard Revealed

Biostar are back with their latest motherboard based around the Intel B85 single-chip architecture. The new Hi-Fi B85S2G motherboard supports Intel’s latest 4th generation Core i7 and Core i5 processors (LGA 1150).

The new board is aimed at the professional market, ideally for businesses and small firms who need business rich features and a very competitive price to keep their budgets in line. Although the new board is still consumer friendly, and may even prove popular with those who still mine virtual currency thanks to its plentiful selection of PCI-E slots.

All the popular features are here too, including dual gigabit LAN, including load balancing to allow much better networking capabilities. 100% solid capacitors, Intel RST, and most importantly Intel Small Business Advantage for added security.

The Hi-Fi B85S2G comes with support for Direct3D 11.1, HDMI, Blu-ray audio DRM and provides the higher audio output of 24 bit/ 192KHz rather than the 16 bit/ 48KHz from typical motherboards. They’re also Windows 8 ready and have BIOSTAR’s BIO-Remote2 and BIOS Online Update feature for easy management of the system BIOS as well as BIOSTAR’s Charger Booster function.

More details and prices will likely follow soon, but given their target market we expect them to be very competitive.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechPowerUp.

MSI Going Green: Unveils Its New ECO Series Motherboards

The environment isn’t something that interests most people, but when it comes to the cost of electricity most of us are interested in saving a bit of money and if that helps the environment, then great! Enter MSI’s latest motherboard range which is to be dubbed the ECO series. As the name suggests it is about being “environmentally friendly” with the word ECO being derived from ecological. MSI’s new motherboard range features three basic chipsets: H97, B85 and H81. All three support socket LGA 1150 “Haswell” and “Haswell Refresh” based CPUs of all segments and TDPs, but obviously to go along with the “ECO” theme MSI recommends Intel’s S and T series power efficient Haswell processors.

The motherboards themselves appear nothing out of the ordinary and they have been given some rather dubious green packaging and styling to go along with the ECO theme. The main power saving aspects come from the reduced form factor, micro-ATX boards consume less than full ATX. MSI also claim to have a new ground-breaking PCB design where it can actually cut off power to components on the motherboard that are not being used, as opposed to just disabling them. To accompany the new MSI ECO series motherboards MSI has revamped its ECO Center Pro software which it claims when used will offer an additional 40% power consumption reduction on ECO series motherboards, non-ECO series MSI motherboards can still benefit up to a 29% reduction. It does this by disabling power to parts of the board not being used, this works in tandem with the new PCB design.

Back in March MSI detailed that their B85M ECO concept board consumed as little as 17.3W at idle, roughly 12W lower than rival motherboards.

The motherboards certainly sound smart and make sense. For anyone looking to run a 24/7 home server, have an always-on workstation, or for someone who just uses their PC a lot these boards could be an ideal solution to saving a bit of money. I’d like to find out more from MSI in terms of what they do to ensure the boards are “ECO” other than reduce their power consumption. I.e. do they use recycled materials, carbon-offsetting and so on.

What are your thoughts on these ECO series boards? A good idea or a gimmick?

Source: TechPowerUp

Images courtesy of MSI

Gigabyte and ASUSTek To Ship Over 6 Million Motherboards In Q3

2014 looks set to be a successful year for ASUS and Gigabyte according to industry sources. In the second quarter of this year Gigabyte and ASUS are expected to have shipped around 5.1 to 5.2 million of their own motherboards, by the third quarter that is set to rise to staggering six million units. The reason? Well apparently new demand is being driven by the PC DIY market after Intel’s new 9 Series chipset release and Devil’s Canyon Core i7 4790K processor. Devil’s Canyon and Z97 may be popular but the real star of the show is Intel’s Pentium G3258 “Anniversary Edition” unlocked and overclockable dual core processor. This processor is reported to already be driving significant demand for cheaper Intel motherboards based on the H97, H87, B85 and H81 chipsets. Motherboard vendors are optimistic that the G3258 will allow the markets to digest older inventories of H87, B85 and H81 motherboards so they can make way for newer Intel 9 series motherboards. Most motherboard vendors will reportedly achieve a 10-20% sequential growth in shipments in Q3 compared to Q2.

Source: Digitimes

Image #1 courtesy of Modlabs.net, image #2 courtesy of Intel

ASUS B85-Pro Gamer Motherboard Revealed

ASUS have just announced their new B85 gaming motherboard, a stripped out edition of their higher end gaming boards such as the ROG series. You still get all the features you’ll need for a good gaming system, it just won’t be as over the top or expensive. That means those looking for a more cost effective solution should be very excited about this board. More great news is that this board will be dropping the black and gold theme that Asus have been using, their new z87 and B85 range of boards will be utilizing the black and red that has become rather popular recently.

The B85 ATX isn’t exactly lacking in features and features an 8-phase VRM for its LGA 1150 socket. There are four DDR3 DIMM slots, 1 x PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot, PCI-Express 2.0 x4, three legacy PCI, and two PCI-Express 2.0 x1. There are four SATA 6Gb/s and two SATA 3 Gb/s ports, as well as the usual DVI, D-Sub and HDMI. Like we said, nothing crazy and over the top, but more than enough for a solid mid-high spec gaming system.

Interestingly the board also features the Intel I217V GbE controller, SupremeFX Audio  that sports a 115 dBA SNR CODEC, electrolytic capacitors, a TI-made 300Ω headphones amp, and ground-layer isolation, which are very impressive features to have on any motherboard, especially on one that’s supposed to be more wallet friendly.

Finally you can expect Gamer’s Guardian, ESD dampening circuits, DRAM over-current protection, black solid-state capacitors, Ai-Suite 3 and a whole other host of goodies. Final pricing is unknown, but you can bet it’ll be right along side (or lower) than the MSI B85 Gaming and the ASRock B85 Fatal1ty Killer.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechPowerUp.

ASRock Fatal1ty B85 (LGA 1150) Killer Motherboard Review

Introduction


When it comes to a gaming motherboard for the LGA 1150 socket a B85 motherboard might not be the first motherboard or chipset that comes into your mind. However, given the fact a lot of motherboard vendors are choosing to build attractively priced gaming motherboards based on the B85 chipset, and some motherboard vendors are even outing BIOSes that allow you to overclock K series CPUs on B85 motherboards – B85 motherboards start to look like sensible options for Gamers. Today we have one of those motherboards from ASRock – their Fatal1ty B85 Killer gaming motherboard. This motherboard offers all the premium high end features a gamer would expect like high quality audio enhanced by the ASRock Purity Sound audio package, a Killer E2200 NIC to enhance online gaming performance and networking as well as support for Non-Z overclocking of K series CPUs – aka the Core i5 4670K or Core i7 4770K.

The reason B85 motherboards are used by many vendors for gaming motherboards is due to the fact that Intel charges substantially less for the B85 chipset than it does for the Z87 chipset, I am not sure of the exact figures, but this is because the Z87 chipset is aimed at a more premium user and has more connectivity as a result. By using the cheaper B85 chipset instead of Z87 vendors can offer up more affordable Haswell gaming motherboards. With regards to the overclocking features on B85 motherboards ASRock tell us that using their latest BIOS and any K series CPU you can overclock by enabling the overclocking feature in their UEFI BIOS. If you have a “non-K” Haswell CPU (e.g you DO NOT have a Core i5 4670K or Core i7 4770K) you will NOT be able to overclock on this B85 motherboard. Just to clarify (or potentially make you even more confused) this B85 overclocking is called “non-Z overclocking” by ASRock or in effect its overclocking not on the Z87 chipset.

There’s nothing textbook about what makes a gaming motherboard. However, there are a few mainstays that always seem to pop up – networking, audio and performance.  Addressing networking ASRock have opted for a Killer E2200 Gaming Series NIC to give you super-fast internet and low-latency. Part of the main boost to be had from the Killer E2200 Gigabit NIC is the boost in UDP performance by as much as 5X over other typical network adapters. Of course fast internet is a must but having the hardware to make the most of that is equally as important.

Next up ASRock have gone all out on the audio kitting the Fatal1ty B85 Killer motherboard with their Purity Sound enhanced ALC 1150 codec. The ASRock Purity Sound implementation has Realtek’s ALC1150 codec at its core with EMI shielding, a headset amplifier, differential amplifier and an isolated PCB to further shield it all.

Importantly the Purity Sound package results in improved bass performance, essentially for any thumping action game like Battlefield 4.

While ASRock have already gone above and beyond in terms of performance on a B85 chipset – by enabling overclocking – they’ve also sought to tweak the performance of your gaming peripherals. ASRock’s “Key Master” allows you to increase or decrease the speed of your mouse when in Sniper mode making it easier to get those crucial shots. They’ve also added the Fatal1ty mouse port allowing for a increased guaranteed polling rate of 125-1000Hz on your gaming mouse.

Combining all those features together gives ASRock’s Gaming Armor package, be sure to check out more of the motherboard’s features at the official product page here.

ASRock Just Announced The Full Fatal1ty Killer Gaming Motherboard Series

ASRock just unveiled the mew Killer Series motherboards, having exactly as the name states, killer design and performance. The series is made up of the Z87, B85, 990FX and FM2A88X+, all Killer!

Apart from the ludicrously fast Killer LAN that speeds up networking performances up to 5 times faster, this time ASRock has also added more surprising elements into the game, 990FX Killer is the world’s first motherboard to have a PCIe Gen2 x2/SATA M.2 socket.

The onboard M.2 socket is a new interface for connecting Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF) solid state drives or other devices. ASRock’s 990FX Killer supports M.2 SATA3 6.0Gb/s modules and M.2 PCI Express modules up to Gen2 x2 10Gb/s , which is 2X faster compared to other M.2 Gen2 x1 solutions that are limited to 5 Gb/s. It increases the NGFF SSDs performance while reducing the load time and boosting overall performance.

Other features that are included in the Killer gaming motherboard series include Premium Gold Capacitors, Digi Power, Purity Sound 115dB SNR, Gaming Armor, Key Master, F-Stream and XSplit 3 month premium license which is worth $24.95.


Motherboard full specs:

1 – ASRock Fatal1ty Z87 Killer!

  • A-Style : Purity Sound, HDMI-In
  • Gaming Armor
  • » CPU Power – Hi-Density Power Connector
  • » VGA Card – 15μ Gold Finger, SLI/CrossFireX Power Connector
  • » Internet – Qualcomm Atheros Killer LAN
  • » Audio – Purity Sound
  • Supports 4th Gen Intel® Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Xeon® / Pentium® / Celeron® in LGA1150 Package
  • Premium Gold Capacitor Design, Digi Power, 8 Power Phase Design
  • Supports Dual Channel DDR3 3050+(OC)
  • 3 PCIe 3.0 x16, 4 PCIe 2.0 x1
  • Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX, NVIDIA® Quad SLI
  • VGA Output/Input Options : D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI-Out, HDMI-In
  • 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC1150 Audio Codec), Supports DTS Connect
  • Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2200 Series Gigabit LAN
  • Supports A-Style, F-Stream, Key Master, Easy Driver Installer, FAN-Tastic Tuning, USB Key
  • 6 SATA3, 6 USB 3.0 (2 Front, 4 Rear), 8 USB 2.0 (4 Front, 3 Rear, 1 Fatal1ty Mouse Port)
  • Free Bundle : XSplit 3 Months Premium License

2 – ASRock Fatal1ty B85 Killer!

  • A-Style : Purity Sound
  • Gaming Armor
  • » CPU Power – Hi-Density Power Connector
  • » VGA Card – 15μ Gold Finger
  • » Internet – Qualcomm Atheros Killer LAN
  • » Audio – Purity Sound
  • Supports 4th Gen Intel® Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Xeon® / Pentium® / Celeron® in LGA1150 Package
  • Premium Gold Capacitor Design, Digi Power
  • Supports Dual Channel DDR3 1600
  • 1 PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 PCIe 2.0 x16, 2 PCIe 2.0 x1, 3 PCI
  • Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX, CrossFireX
  • VGA Output Options : D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI
  • 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC1150 Audio Codec), Supports DTS Connect
  • Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2200 Series Gigabit LAN
  • Supports A-Style, F-Stream, Key Master, Easy Driver Installer, FAN-Tastic Tuning, USB Key
  • 4 SATA3, 2 SATA2, 4 USB 3.0 (2 Front, 2 Rear), 8 USB 2.0 (4 Front, 3 Rear, 1 Fatal1ty Mouse Port)
  • Free Bundle : XSplit 3 Months Premium License

3 – ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer!

  • A-Style : Purity Sound
  • Gaming Armor
  • » CPU Power – Hi-Density Power Connector
  • » VGA Card – 15μ Gold Finger, SLI/CrossFireX Power Connector
  • » Internet – Qualcomm Atheros Killer LAN
  • » Audio – Purity Sound
  • Supports Socket AM3+ / AM3 processors
  • Supports 8-Core CPUs
  • Premium Gold Capacitor Design, Digi Power, 8 + 2 Power Phase Design
  • Supports Dual Channel DDR3 2450(OC)
  • 3 PCIe 3.0 x16, 2 PCIe 2.0 x1
  • Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX, NVIDIA® Quad SLI
  • 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC1150 Audio Codec), Supports DTS Connect
  • Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2200 Series Gigabit LAN
  • Supports A-Style, F-Stream, Key Master, X-Boost, XFast RAM, Easy Driver Installer
  • 5 SATA3, 1 M.2 (NGFF) Socket, 1 eSATA3
  • 7 USB 3.0 (2 Front, 4 Rear, 1 Vertical Type A), 10 USB 2.0 (4 Front, 5 Rear, 1 Fatal1ty Mouse Port)
  • Free Bundle : XSplit 3 Months Premium License

4 – ASRock Fatal1ty FM2A88X+ Killer!

  • A-Style : Purity Sound
  • Gaming Armor
  • » CPU Power – Hi-Density Power Connector
  • » VGA Card – 15μ Gold Finger, SLI/CrossFireX Power Connector
  • » Internet – Qualcomm Atheros Killer LAN
  • » Audio – Purity Sound
  • Supports Socket FM2+ 95W / FM2 100W processors
  • Premium Gold Capacitor Design, Digi Power
  • Supports Dual Channel DDR3 2600+(OC)
  • 1 PCIe 3.0 x16, 1 PCIe 2.0 x16, 2 PCIe 2.0 x1, 3 PCI
  • Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX, CrossFireX and Dual Graphics
  • Graphics Output Options : D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI
  • 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC1150 Audio Codec), Supports DTS Connect
  • Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2200 Series Gigabit LAN
  • Supports A-Style, Key Master, F-Stream, X-Boost, XFast RAM, Easy Driver Installer, USB Key
  • 8 SATA3, 6 USB 3.0 (2 Front, 4 Rear), 10 USB 2.0 (6 Front, 3 Rear, 1 Fatal1ty Mouse Port)
  • Free Bundle : XSplit 3 Months Premium License

For more information please refer to the ASRock Fatal1ty website.

Thank you ASRock for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of ASRock

Revised Intel 8 Series (Haswell) Motherboards Available In September

Digitimes reports that Intel’s new C2 stepping 8 Series (Z87/Z85/H87/H81/B85) Haswell motherboards will be available from September to consumers. The issue with the current C1 stepping is a design flaw with the USB 3.0 host controllers that caused connected USB devices through the USB 3.0 ports to improperly restart on resume from sleep state such as S3 suspend to RAM. This means users have to uplug and refit USB devices, a significant hassle if you are running USB storage devices via your USB 3.0 ports.

The issue came to light back in March, and we brought you the news, but it was too late to fix since it needed a hardware fix and motherboard vendors had already begun finalising the first wave of LGA 1150 motherboards. While the error is a minor one for some people it has been off-putting but you will only have to wait until September to pick up C2 revisions of the current Intel 8 Series motherboards. Of course users are advised to check with their retailer first if they are looking for a C2 revision as C1 revision stock are likely to remain in the retail channel until the end of the year.

Image courtesy of Intel, Information via TechPowerUp

Gigabyte Release Beta BIOS For H87 and B85 Overclocking

ECS, Biostar and ASRock have all released their H81/H87/B85 overclocking BIOS’ for K series CPUs. Yet it was only a matter of time before one of the other big boys in the motherboard market (Gigabyte/ASUS) came out with their own. Gigabyte have duly delivered and have announced a beta BIOS update for their B85 and H87 motherboards that will allow you to overclock Haswell LGA 1150 CPUs providing they are K Series and have an unlocked multiplier.

With so many motherboard vendors finding a way around this limitation so quickly we wonder whether Intel has authorised such a move to enhance their competitiveness with AMD in the low-end price segment of the market. The BIOS from Gigabyte is only in its beta form but if you are using a Core i5 4670K or Core i7 4770K with a Gigabyte B85/H87 motherboard, such as the B85-HD3 pictured above, then you can now tackle some overclocking by playing around with the base-clock multipliers.

BIOS updates will be available for download on the respective product pages of your Gigabyte H87/B85 motherboards at the Gigabyte website in the downloads tab.

Image courtesy of Gigabyte

Biostar Enables H87/H81/B85 Overclocking With BIOS Update

We have now seen ASRock and ECS both announce H87/B85 overclocking with their new BIOS updates. They are now joined by Biostar who have also released a wave of BIOS updates for their motherboards to allow for non-Z series K overclocking. Intel’s H87 and B85 chipsets are not typically supportive of overclocking, even with unlocked K-series CPUs. With the support of overclocking of K-series CPUs on these non-Z chipsets Intel is now able to steal some of AMD’s thunder by offering cheap motherboards for overclocking.

The BIOS update they provide isn’t too revolutionary and offers a multiplier adjustment option which you can tweak if you have a K-Series CPU. Biostar will be rolling the update out for their H87/H81/B85 chipset motherboards over the coming months so if you’ve got a Biostar Haswell motherboard then be sure to check these BIOS updates out. Given that Biostar already offer some of the most affordable motherboards on the market this latest update will make getting a Haswell overclocked system even cheaper.

Image courtesy of Biostar

ECS Introduces H87/B85/H81 Overclocking Too

Just a week ago ASRock revealed to us that they had been able to enable overclocking of K series CPUs on the H87 and B85 chipsets. These are chipsets that typically do not allow for overclocking even with K series CPUs that have unlocked multipliers. Now ECS are following their lead and announcing something similar, while I’ve already heard that Gigabyte are preparing the feature too and no doubt other motherboard vendors will all follow suit.

What is slighty different about ECS’ announcement is that they mention H81 too in addition to H87 and B85. ECS have not allotted any particular name to this feature but what it does is pretty clear cut and that is it allows you to adjust the multiplier of an unlocked processor on non-Z chipsets, aka not Z87. ECS’ BIOS now offers an option to adjust the CPU multiplier within the BIOS and again this should allow for gaming systems to be build on a much tighter budget because H81/H87/B85 motherboards can be picked up for much cheaper than their Z87 Haswell counterparts.

Image courtesy of ECS

ASRock Demonstrate Overclocking On H87 And B85

The belief that only the highest end chipset motherboards can overclocked has be common place. In fact during Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge Core series Intel processor generations all the low end chipsets did not support overclocking. However, ASRock show that something has changed with Haswell and they are demonstrating overclocking of K Series CPUs on H87 and B85 Haswell chipsets. As far as I am aware ASRock are the only motherboard vendor who offer overclocking of K Series CPUs on H87 and B85 motherboards and this is a pretty cool development in my opinion.

ASRock’s Fatal1ty H87 motherboard is the first to allow for such Haswell overclocking using ASRock’s “Non-Z OC” feature which is placed within their UEFI BIOS. If you already have a Fatal1ty H87 Performance motherboard then ASRock are providing a new BIOS update with the Non-Z OC feature. I am certainly hoping that more motherboard vendors take this feature on and offer overclocking because if it can hit mainstream H87 and B85 motherboards then we could easily see budget Intel gaming systems become more affordable as you can pick up B85 and H87 motherboards for around 30% cheaper than the cheapest Z87 motherboards. Of course if it only comes with the Fatal1ty H87 motherboard then it is a kind-of pointless feature and this motherboard is a lot more expensive than many Z87 motherboards.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLrk5WAA0Y8[/youtube]

Image(s) courtesy of ASRock

Computex: Gigabyte Announce Trio B85 Haswell Motherboards

While Haswell’s Z87 chipset motherboards have stolen the show with the fancy designs and innovative features, motherboard vendors still haven’t neglected the B85 chipset for Haswell. This chipset is aimed at businesses and office users and comes with Intel’s Small Business Advantage package. Gigabyte are ready with three new motherboards for the B85 chipset at computex. First up is the GA-B85M-HD3 motherboard which is basically an ATX B85 motherboard. It features support for fourth-gen Haswell CPUs, Gigabyte Ultra Durable 4 components, Gigabyte’s Hybrid digital power engine and their UEFI DualBIOS. There is USB 3.0, SATA III and 3X USB power for faster charging which forms Gigabyte’s “333” feature.

Connectivity includes a full length PCI Express lane, a legacy PCI and two PCI Express 1 X lanes. There are six SATA ports which are configured with four SATA III and two SATA II. LAN with high ESD protection, display outputs of HDMI 1.4, DVI and VGA and Intel’s SBA package make up the rest of the main features.

Next up is the GA-B85M-D3H. This is a micro-ATX form factor motherboard and is literally identically spec’d to the motherboard above except with a slightly different PCI configuration. It uses two full length PCI Express 16X slots (which gives it multi-GPU support unlike the top motherboard) and two legacy PCI slots.

Finally we have the GA-B85M-D3P motherboard and it is very similar to the micro-ATX GA-B85M-D3H except that it swaps out of the legacy PCI slots for a PCI express 1X slot and has SATA ports relocated to a different part of the motherboard.

Stay tuned to eTeknix for more Computex coverage in our Computex section.

Image(s) courtesy of eTeknix at Computex

Computex: MSI Announce Mini-ITX LGA 1150 Z87I/B85I/H87I Motherboards

Mini ITX motherboards are all the rage these days and as far as I am aware MSI have been a bit late to the Mini ITX party, up until now that is. MSI have released a new Mini-ITX motherboard for the LGA 1150 socket that will be available with Z87, B85 or H87 chipsets. Like most mini-ITX motherboards connectivity is limited to one PCI Express slot and two DIMM slots because of the compact form factor. Yet you can still run a Core i7 4770K Haswell chip on this motherboard with a pair of high spec DDR3 DIMMs in dual channel and a power single GPU graphics card like a GTX Titan.

Naturally each chipset caters for something different so Z87 will be ideal for mini gaming rigs, H87 for media PCs and HTPCs and B85 for compact low power office systems. This MSI Mini ITX motherboard will support all Haswell LGA 1150 CPUs from the entry level Celeron to the highest spec Core i7. There are four SATA ports provided, whether they are SATA III or SATA II will depend on the chipset as far as I am aware. MSI appear to have integrated a wireless card into their mini ITX motherboard. Other features like Military Class 4, OC Genie 4 (for Z87 only), 4K UHD support and USB DAC power are all supported.

Stay tuned to eTeknix for more Computex coverage in our Computex section.

Image(s) courtesy of eTeknix at Computex

Computex: Gigabyte Reveal G1.Sniper B5 Haswell B85 Motherboard

Gigabyte are really going all out with their G1.Sniper series and releasing it for as many different chipsets as possible. They’ve just shown it off their first AMD G1.Sniper motherboard for the FM2/A85 platform and now they’ve got one for the Intel B85 chipset. This G1.Sniper B5 motherboard is designed to support LGA 1150 Haswell CPUs only but being the B75 chipset it won’t have any overclocking capabilities as is aimed at users of Intel’s Small Business Advantage package.

Gigabyte haven’t slacked on quality though as they’ve gone for their Ultra Durable 4 Plus components and a hybrid digital power engine to delivery clean power to the CPU. Like all other G1.Sniper motherboards it features a UEFI dualBIOS. Furthermore Gigabyte have included their updated sound package on this motherboard which includes their AMP-UP audio tech, the Realtek ALC898 audio codec, upgradeable OP-AMPs, a headphone amplifier. Nichicon MUSE audio capacitors and an Audio Noise Guard with LED path lighting.

Furthermore Gigabyte are providing multi-GPU support via the two PCI Express lanes which will probably both support 8X/8X PCI Express Gen 3 speeds when populated. To top it all off their is Intel LAN with high ESB protection and Intel’s Small Business Advantage package.

Stay tuned to eTeknix for more Computex coverage in our Computex section.

Image courtesy of eTeknix at Computex 2013.

Intel’s Not Done With Motherboards Yet, 4 More On The Way For Haswell

Around a month ago we brought you the news of what we thought would be Intel’s last ever motherboard, the DZ87KLT-75K. After Intel talked about exiting from the motherboard business we genuinely thought that was going to be the last motherboard and that’s what everyone else thought too. Not to mention the fact Intel made no attempts at refuting the claims of its exit from the business.

Now it appears that Intel actually has another four motherboards coming in addition to that one. Unfortunately there is nothing in the way of pictures but here are the full specifications of the other four Intel motherboards they are going to be releasing for the upcoming Haswell LGA 1150 platform:

DB85FL (Frost Lake)

  • Intel B85 Express chipset
  • Smart Connect / Small Business Advantage
  • 1 PCIe 3.0 x16 slot + 2 PCIe 2.0 x1
  • 4 SATA 6Gb/s + 2 SATA 3Gb/s
  • 8 USB 2.0 + 4 USB 3.0
  • 8-channel audio
  • DVI-I + HDMI display output (dual independent displays)
  • MicroATX

DH87MC (Meadow Creek)

  • Intel H87 Express chipset
  • Rapid Storage Technology (RAID 0/1/5/10) / Smart Response / Rapid Start / Smart Connect
  • 1 PCIe 3.0 x16 slot + 2 PCIe 2.0 x1 + 1 PCIe 2.0 x4 + 1 Full-size/Half-size mPCIe
  • 6 SATA 6Gb/s (one via mSATA)
  • 10 USB 2.0 + 4 USB 3.0
  • 10-channel audio
  • DVI-I + HDMI + DisplayPort (triple independent displays)
  • ATX

DH87MC (Round Lake)

  • Intel H87 Express chipset
  • Rapid Storage Technology (RAID 0/1/5/10) / Smart Response / Rapid Start / Smart Connect
  • 1 PCIe 3.0 x16 + 3 PCIe 2.0 x1 + 1 Full-size/Half-size mPCIe
  • 6 SATA 6Gb/s (one via mSATA)
  • 6 USB 2.0 + 8 USB 3.0
  • 10-channel audio
  • DVI-I + HDMI + DisplayPort (triple independent displays)
  • MicroATX

DQ87PG (Spring Cave)

  • Intel Q87 Express Chipset
  • vPro with AMT 9.0 / Identity Protection / Anti-theft Technology / Smart Response / Rapid Storage Technology (RAID 0/1/5/10)
  • 1 PCIe 3.0 x16 slot + 1 PCIe 2.0 x1 + 2 PCI
  • 6 SATA 6Gb/s (one via mSATA)
  • 6 USB 2.0 + 8 USB 3.0 + Parallel/Serial Port + PS/2
  • DisplayPort + DVI-D + Analog D-SUB
  • MicroATX

Naturally how good these motherboards are is going to be very dependent on their price, their performance and how they look. All three of those things remain unknown but if previous Intel motherboards are anything to go by then the performance and looks will be both be pretty good, while the pricing is normally a little bit on the high side but that’s the price you pay for an Intel warranty and Intel reliability (hence why their SSDs cost so much more than everyone elses).

What are your thoughts on these new motherboards from Intel?

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