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.

Shuttle Launches XPC Barebone SH97R6 PC

It’s been almost a month since Shuttle Announced the SH97R6 Barebone PC and now it has launched with an MSRP of €244.00 ex VAT. The tiny system measures just 20cm in height but offers plenty of options and versatile usage.

The XPC SH97R6 is based around the H97 chipset and LGA1150 socket and can handle Intel processors with a TDP up to 95W. It has four DIMM slots for up to 32GB memory and plenty of connectivity. A 300W power supply is included and everything is ready to go once you plug-in your CPU, memory and storage drives. Speaking of storage, it has four SATA3 and two eSATA connectors with space for one 5.25-inch and two 3.5-inch drives; more with the optional PHD3 mounting frame.

Shuttle made sure the SH97R6 has plenty of 4K display support with two DisplayPort (60Hz) and one HDMI (30Hz). If iGPU isn’t enough power or you just need more connections, it has one PCI-Express x16 Gen.3 slot with room for long dual-slot graphics cards. Internally it has two mini-PCI Express slots of which one is prepared for mSATA SSDs.

Peripherals can be connected by the four USB 3.0, six USB 2.0 and 7.1 audio connections. Network is provided by an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet connector and optional W-LAN modules.

The features mentioned here are from the basic model and can be extended with bigger power supplies for example. Shuttle has built a great and modular, tiny yet powerful barebone ready for most things you could do with a tiny cube computer.

Thanks to TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

Images 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, image #2 courtesy of Intel

ASRock Fatal1ty H97 Performance (LGA 1150) Motherboard Review

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

There are plenty of affordable Z97 motherboards on offer, in the UK they start from about £70-80 while in North America they can be had from about $110. However, these entry level Z97 motherboards tend to be fairly basic in their feature set, styling and specifications. If you’re looking for a gaming motherboard at that price point you simply won’t be able to afford one. The reason is that the Z97 chipset costs motherboard vendors quite a lot. However, H97 is a cheaper chipset so motherboard vendors can make a much higher quality H97 motherboard for the same price as an entry level Z97 motherboard because they have lower chipset costs so can afford to allocate more funds to other aspects of the board like buying better power components, better networking components, better audio components and so on. As a result gamers at the really budget price points are better off buying gaming motherboards that aren’t of the “flagship” Intel chipset. We saw this logic applied last year when ASRock released their Fatal1ty B85 motherboard for a a diminuitive £70~ and yet it contained all the “gaming features” of significantly more expensive motherboards such as a Killer NIC, high quality audio, XSplit gaming software and that typical gamer styling. Today we have something very similar to that based on the Intel H97 chipset, the Fatal1ty H97 Performance motherboard. This motherboard takes advantage of the cheaper H97 chipset to offer up a gaming motherboard at the very attractive price of $100, or about £75. If anything this board is quite a step up over the B85 Fatal1ty board from last generation coming with more CPU VRM phases, an improved audio design, Intel Gigabit LAN and more SATA III ports, all while being at a very similar price.

Packaging and Accessories

The packaging is nothing out of the ordinary for an ASRock Fatal1ty product, this board is very clearly positioned as a gaming product from the moment you look at the box.

The back details the key features of this motherboard, some of them seem a bit dubious to call “gaming features” such as Orbweb.Me cloud software or Super Alloy power components. I think ASRock would benefit more from focusing on things like the Intel networking and high quality audio as this is definitely something Gamers will find more alluring.

Included is a user guide, software user guide, ASRock Cloud setup guide, a driver/utility DVD and XSplit Broadcaster 3 month premium certificate.

The accessory pack is very basic: a plain unlabelled I/O shield and a pair of SATA cables. At this price point this is really to be expected.

Intel 9-series Z97, H97 & X99 Chipset Specifications Finalized

Final details of the new Intel 9-Series chipsets has appeared online, giving us the first full look at what we can expect from the chipset platforms. The upper end of the new sets will be the LGA1150 package, and a sole chipset for the LGA2011-3 HEDT platform. This means that we will be getting two new chipsets for LGA1150, the first being Z97 Express and the other being H97 Express. Z97 will be the focus for top-end hardware platforms, so will obviously come with support for the current Haswell line up, the upcoming Haswell refresh and Devil’s Canyon processors. There boards will feature up to three PCI-Express 3.0 slots wired to the CP in configurations of x16/NC/NC, x8/x8/NC, and x8/x4/x4. The Z97 chipsets will feature support for overclocking and while the H97 is similar in most respects, it will lack overclocking support and the PCIe configurations of the Z97 chipset.

Both the new chipsets will come with a range of up to date features, this includes support for super quick PCI-Express M.2 storage, six SATA 6Gb/s ports (with AHCI and RAID support), Rapid Storage Technology, Smart Response Technology, but only the Z97 will feature Dynamic Storage Accelerator. The H97 will offer Small Business Advantage (SBA) exclusively. With both chips packing 8-lane PCI-E gen 2.0 root complexes which will run onboard devices, 14 USB ports and six USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports.

Ready to kick things up a notch? Good! The X99 Express hardware is designed for the upcoming Haswell-E HEDT platform and feature the next-gen LGA2011-3 socket, which is unfortunately incompatible with current LGA2011 chips, but it looks like the upgrade may be worth it. X99 chipset motherboards will support up to five PCI-E 3.0 X16 slots wired to the CPU, this will allow for x16/NC/x16/NC/x8, x16/NC/x8/x8/x8, or x8/x8/x8/x8/x8 configurations. This means you’ll be able to have a PCIe SSD as well as a quad-GPU configuration in your system. If that isn’t enough for you, then you’ll also find a staggering 10-port SATA 6 Gb/s with RST and SRT support coming from the storage controller and SSD TRIM will be supported on RAID 0 configurations. The 8-lane PCI-Express gen 2.0 root complex will be used to run onboard devices like it does in the Z97/H97 hardware, and comes with support for 14 USB 2.0 ports and 6 USB 3.0 ports.

Expect to see the new chipsets and motherboards hit the market Q2-Q3 this year.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp.

Broadwell Based Intel CPUs To Feature Iris Pro Graphics

Intel is rumored to release the first desktop “Broadwell” microprocessors closer to the end of next year. Codenamed Broadwell-K, the CPUs will feature a 1150 socket platform.

The CPUs will also have unlocked clock multiplier and the most interesting feature of new products will be Iris Pro (GT3) graphics with integrated 128 MB eDRAM memory, which will add an 80% graphical performance increase compared to the Core i7-4770K.

The latest Haswell CPUs currently available at retail have lower-performance Iris graphics hardware and CPUs with Iris Pro graphics are only available to manufacturers in quantities of over 1,000 units. Broadwell-K processors will have 4 CPU cores and support Turbo Boost technology and will arrive in two versions, a Core i5 and a Core i7. The Core i7 parts will come with 6 MB L3 cache, and will have Hyper-Threading enabled, while the Core i5 microprocessors will have 4 MB of level 3 cache with no Hyper-Threading.

The CPUs will also require a new 9-series chipset motherboard to support the 1150 socket. This is where Intel announced two new motherboards as well, the Z97 and H97 which will be released at the same time as the new Broadwell-K.

Pricing for both the CPU and motherboards has not been revealed just yet, but we hope to get more insight later on next year.

Thank you CPU World for providing us with this information

Intel May Feature SATA Express Interface In Their Intel 9-Series Chipset

In just 2 months from now, Intel would be launching their 4th Generation Core series ‘Haswell’ processor family followed by 8-Series ‘Lynx Point’ motherboard chips.

The 8 Series Lynx Point Chipset will be providing SATA III bandwidth on all 6 SATA ports. If looking at things with Intel’s current generation of motherboard chipsets, the 7th series chips can only support a combination of 2x SATA III ports.

But according to the roadmap VR-Zone Chinese edition provide, it seems that Intel is preparing 2 new chipset in the 9th Series lineup most likely to be introduced with ‘Broadwell’: Z97 to target enthusiasts and H97 made primarily for mainstream end-users.

The 9 Series maybe the first class of motherboard to feature SATA Express. There’s no clear information yet, but it seems that SATA Express is currently being drafted by the SATA I-O and classified under ‘SATA Rev 3.2’. SATA Express is a SATA link layer over the chipset’s PCIe channels, but it does maintain backward compatibility with existing and older SATA standards, but with reduced performance speed in comparison with this standard.

If this is true and if Intel does implement this on the 9 Series motherboards, SATA Express could provide 1000 MB/s of bandwidth throughput per direction for hard drives.

Via: Techpowerup!