MSI Launches New Pro 24 2M All-In-One PC

MSI has been busy getting everything updated and ready for the Windows 10 launch and we’ve seen quite a few new products launched these few days. The latest on is an all-in-one PC called the Pro 24 2M and it is as the name suggests from the professional series of all-in-one PCs.

The Pro 24 2M is fully compatible with Windows 10 and also comes with the brand new operating system installed. It is  based on an Intel Core i5-4460S CPU and the Intel H81 chipset. It comes with 4GB DDR3 memory and can be upgraded to 16GB total. The 500GB 3.5-inch hard drive takes care of the storage while it also features a card reader and plenty of other connectivity options.

The Pro 24 2M can be used with two types of stands. By default it is delivered with the holder, in this diagonal stance it’s an ideal standing work solution. Optional there is a foot stand, which makes it possible to make use of more flexible modes and angles.

You get Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 2.0, and four USB 3.0 ports next to the HDMI and D-Sub VGA outs. It also features two serial ports and audio jacks. The monitor is a 23.6-inch LED backlight panel with full HD resolution and 2-point touch. It also comes with a front facing 1MP web camera.

Shuttle Releases 12Volt Based 4K HTPC Barebone

Who ever said that 4K multimedia was just for the living room didn’t have Shuttle in mind when they said it (if someone did say so). As such, Shuttle has announced their new low-power slim-PC for automotive and industrial application, the DS81L with support for Intel’s 4th generation i3, i5 and i7 processors.

The DS81L runs on 12 volt power input and consumes a maximum of 84 watts. It’s based upon the Intel H81 chipset and supports CPUs up to 65W TDP. The intended area of use is interactive applications and 4k video content with dual-display support in HD or a single for UHD. It can handle up to 16GB DDR3 memory and two built-in mini PCIe slots for mSATA or WiFi modules and much more.

In and output is covered by a card reader, two USB 3.0 ports, six USB 2.0 ports, dual Gigabit LAN, two DisplayPorts, one HDMI, two COM ports, and headphone and microphone jacks. The entire thing is VESA mountable for easy compatibility and stowaway.

Thanks to Shuttle for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Shuttle

Gigabyte G1.Gaming H81 Motherboard Revealed

If you’re on the market for an entry-level micro-ATX motherboard, then today is a good day. The new Gigabyte G1.Gaming may not pack waves of ultra high-end features, but for those on a tighter budget, it packs more than enough features to get a good gaming rig off the ground.

Equipped with the modest H81 chipset, the board is almost identical to the older H81M-WW motherboard. The big changes would be that there’s a second PCIe 2.0 x1 slot instead of a legacy PCI, and the PCH heatsink is a nicer design. The board comes equipped with the ALC892 CODEC for onboard audio, audio-grade electrolytic capacitors and a ground-layer isolation.

It comes equipped with a good quality Intel gigabit Ethernet controller, not the cheaper Realtek ones that are featured on the older H81M-WW motherboard.

There are no details on pricing just yet, but since this board has been stripped back to the bare essentials, we would expect it to be fiercely 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

Two Bitcoin Mining Motherboards Introduced By BIOSTAR

For those interested in mining bitcons, take a look at BIOSTAR’s two motherboards dedicated for such operations. The company has two ATX motherboards that are perfect for setting up a Bitcoin mining machine. One is based on the Intel H81 chipset with an Intel socket 1150 board and the other is a H61B with a socket 1155 board, both having support for Intel 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation Core i7/i5 and i3 CPUs.

For those who do not know, mining is the process of adding transaction records to Bitcoin’s public ledger of past transactions. This ledger of past transactions is called the block chain as it is a chain of blocks. The block chain serves to confirm transactions to the rest of the network as having taken place. Bitcoin nodes use the block chain to distinguish legitimate Bitcoin transactions from attempts to re-spend coins that have already been spent elsewhere. A “mining rig” is a computer system used for mining Bitcoins. It can be built specifically for mining or it could be your everyday computer for gaming and surfing, and is used to mine only on a part-time basis.

With the rising price of Bitcoins, now about $1000.00 USD for one Bitcoin, GPU mining can theoretically be profitable. What you need is a system that can do enormous amounts of mathematical calculations. The best way to do this is the GPUs in graphics cards. Motherboards with on-board graphics (also referred to as integrated graphics) are not as good as a dedicated GPU card. You should therefore choose a motherboard with multiple PCI slots to fit in 2, 3 or 4 high-powered graphics cards like the Radeon series from AMD.

To create a dedicated mining machine, getting a value oriented motherboard that you can load up graphics cards is the ideal strategy. BIOSTAR’s Hi-Fi H81 S2 and H61B with PCI-E Gen 3.0 are perfect choices. PCI-E 3.0 is the next evolution of the ubiquitous and general-purpose PCI Express I/O standard and is perfect for high-end AMD or NVIDIA graphics cards.

These boards will proudly show off BIOSTAR’s in-house technology, such as audio and power regulation upgrades such as Hi-Fi Power and Hi-Fi AMP. The video output includes HDMI with HDCP which allows full video & audio support via standard DVI output.

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

Gigabyte Introduce H81 “Amp-Up” Motherboard

Gigabyte have just unveiled their latest high performance H81 Haswell motherboard. The new Gigabyte H81 Amp-Up motherboard is using Intel’s mainstream H81 chipset but it is geared towards users looking for a high end audio solution. The motherboard features an onboard operational amplifier which is physically changeable so users can choose between a variety of operational amps, which can be purchase separately, all of which change the overall audio experience.

The Gigabyte H81.Amp-Up features gain boost to select between 2.5X and 6X amplication modes which devices that have high impedance headroom. USB DAC-UP is the next feature and the motherboard has a noise free digital to analogue converter with an isolated power source to minimise interference.  The Realtek ALC898 audio procesor features an audio noise guard which separates the audio section at the PCB level to minimise interference. Gigabyte equip Nichicon Pro Audio Caps and used gold plated audio hardware to boost the overall quality of the audio solution.

The rest of the motherboard is made from Gigabyte mainstays such as Ultra Durable 4, High ESD protection, UEFI DualBIOS and so on. More details can be found here.

Image courtesy of Gigabyte

ASUS Launch Haswell H81 Series Motherboards

ASUS have just announced their entire series of H81 chipset Haswell motherboards. The line up includes H81M-Plus, H81M-A, H81M-C and H81M-E Micro-ATX motherboards; and the H81I-Plus Mini-ITX  (from left to right). All models feature two DDR3 DIMM Slots, one PCI Express X16 slot and two SATA III slots. All models are also equipped with the latest ASUS UEFI BIOS, Realtek 7.1 audio and USB 3.0 Boost technology using a customised USB protocol.

The ASUS H81-Plus, H81M-Plus, H81M-A and H81M-E motherboards feature exclusive ASUS 5X Protection technology which is said to give ” reliable, long-term computing. DIGI+ VRM digital voltage regulation enhances system stability, while resettable fuses protect I/O ports and DIMM slots from short circuits and voltage spikes”. All of the motherboards also feature ESD Guards and 5K Solid Capacitors for over 50 years of continous usage at typical load temperatures of 65 degrees.

You will be able to find ASUS’ new H81 motherboards from retailers now, prices and availability will of course vary by region and by model.

Image courtesy of ASUS

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

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