Intel’s 14nm Broadwell Systems Are here but Might Be Shortlived

Intel’s Broadwell generation ran into some trouble last year and as a result of this, the launch got delayed. In return, this means that the new 5th generation Intel Core processors will have a short lifespan until the 6th generation launches later this year. The Broadwell range of processors might however still be a valid option for many people as it retains the current socket and will be supported by current generation 9-series motherboards.

Major pre-built desktop manufacturers have begun to list systems with the new Broadwell processors and the highlights are the Core i5-5675C and the Core i7-5775C. These processors aren’t exactly successors to the current flagships, but they do come with an unlocked multiplier and a reduced power consumption. Whether the reduced 65W TDP will result in better overclocking abilities is yet to be seen, but in theory it should and they could come out as a winner on that front.

Broadwell is essentially a shrunken Haswell, but Intel did add a couple new features such as ADCX that will improve things, but nothing that is a real game changer. The i5-5675C has 4MB L3 cache and the i7-5775C has 6MB L3 cache, but both feature the Iris Pro 6200 iGPU with full support for DX12 and 4K resolutions. The added 128MB eDRAM cache helps to achieve the new resolution standards such as 4K and 5K by keeping the most relevant information stored here and only using the system memory for the lesser uses resources. The Iris Pro 6200 also supports the VP8 decoder to achieve full hardware decoding that works on any resolution and with cropping.

Where this 5th generation is an entry into the 14nm CPU world, the real change will come with the 6th generation Skylake with support for both DDR3 and DDR4 memory, and that will hopefully also be the time where we’ll see DDR4 memory prices fall to a more consumer-friendly level.

Thank you PConline via TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

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.

BIOSTAR Releases H81MDC-LSP mATX Motherboard

The newest motherboard to come from BIOSTAR is the micro-ATX sized Intel H81-based H81MDC-LSP motherboard. The new motherboard supports Intel’s 4th generation Core i7 and i5 processors and comes with upgraded sound chip and LAN surge protection. The H81 chipset provides the board with two SATA3 and four SATA2 ports, two USB 3.0 ports and support for up to 1600MHz memory of which you can have up to 16GB on the two slots. The new BIOSTAR motherboard looks to be a great combination of features packed in a small form factor with a low cost.

You rarely need more options in an SFF build than one expansion card and two high-speed drives, so why spend money on more than you need. It also supports HDMI video-out through the iGPU, but that must be through an adapter as it doesn’t have a port for it, and it of course also features Intel’s Rapid Start Technology and Smart Connect Technology.

The H81MDC-LSP is built with the X.D.C (eXtreme Durable Capacitors) solid capacitors with a lifetime that can be more than 6.25 times that of ordinary liquid caps. Further protections come in for of the Super LAN Surge protection which provides a LAN port with more advanced anti-static protection capabilities by adding an integrated chip to strengthen electrical stability and prevent damage from lightning strikes and electrical surges.

The boards also feature the latest BIOSTAR technologies such as BIOS Flasher and BIOS Online Update for easy updating and restoration of the BIOS, as well as BIO-Remote2 for remote control of the system via Android and Apple devices.


Lastly, the H81MDC-LSP also features the Charger Booster function for charging those devices that need more power than normal USB ports can provide, such as the iPad, but also works iPhone and Android phones and tablets. It will provide a faster and more efficient charging and can decrease the time needed to charge up to 42%.

The BIOSTAR H81MDC-LSP is a cheap motherboard despite its feature set and the MSRP is set to $49 USD.

BIOSTAR Reveals Hi-Fi B85Z5 Motherboard

BIOSTAR revealed their latest motherboard and this time it is an Intel B85 based one. The new Hi-Fi B85Z5 ATX motherboard has the LGA1150 socket and support for the 4th generation Core i7 and i5 processors as well as up to 32GB RAM.

As the name suggests, this motherboard also comes with BIOSTAR’s hi-fi features for enhances sound with built-in double amplifier and Blu-ray support. Blu-ray provides higher audio output than most typical motherboards in this section, so this is nice to see. The double Hi-Fi integrated AMP allows users to enjoy the same sound quality no matter what port they use, the front or rear.

It is built with 100% solid capacitors and super durable ferrite chokes for durability and efficiency and comes with business-ready SBA features. Intel Small Business Advantage delivers security protections such as after-hours virus scans, data backup, Intel’s smart Connect, as well as detecting and blocking unwanted USB drives.

The BIOS comes with online update feature which is a really handy feature. No need to boot into an OS and download a file, all you need is to enter your BIOS and update. Other features include Intel RST, Super LAN Surge protection, BIO-Remote2 and Charger Booster.

The new BIOSTAR Hi-Fi B85Z5 comes with an MSRP of $89, but no word on when it will be available yet.

Thanks to BIOSTAR for providing us with this information


BIOSTAR Announces the GAMING Z97X and Z97W Motherboards

BIOSTAR has announced their latest flagship socket LGA1150 motherboard, the GAMING Z97X. The Z97X is designed with gamers in mind and is built with a high amount of connectivity and a little bit of overclocking rather than just being focused on the best overclocking potential.

The brown-gold and black colour scheme along with the plastic shroud at the rear give the board a unique appearance. The CPU gets its power from a 12-phase VRM and the board has three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 and three PCI-Express 2.0 x1 expansion slots wired to the PCH.

Storage connectivity includes SATA-Express, six SATA 6 Gb/s, and an M.2 (PCIe 2.0 x2) connector. The board also offers two supercharged USB 3.1 (10 Gb/s) ports, in addition to six normal USB 3.0 ports, and a number of USB 2.0 ports. As mentioned, this board is focused on connectivity and further has two gigabit Ethernet interfaces that sadly won’t allow for bridging as one is driven by an Intel controller and the other by a Qualcomm Killer E2200; those are still two great choices to have.

The onboard audio features a 110 dBA SNR CODEC, a 600Ω headphones amp, and ground-layer isolation and comes bundled with a 5.25-inch front-panel head-unit BIOSTAR calls the Gaming Commander. It doesn’t just provide front-panel audio outputs and control, but also diagnostic LEDs and temperature indicator.

The GAMING Z97W was released at the same time and is a slightly slimmed down version without the third PCIe x16 slot and with a 10-phase CPU VRM.

 Thanks to TechPowerU  for providing us with this information

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

Shuttle Launches XPC Barebone SH81R4 for LGA1150 Processors

Shuttle is a well-known brand for their barebones and compact systems and they’ve strengthened their portfolio once again with the cube formatted SH81R4 model; a 19 cm tall barebone for the fourth generation of Intel Core processors using the LGA1150 socket.

“With the SH81R4 we now have an entry-level machine in cube format based on Intel’s latest generation of Core processors,” says Tom Seiffert, Head of Marketing & PR at Shuttle. “The SH81R4 is following in the footsteps of its predecessor, the SH61R4, and offers high performance and flexibility at an attractive price.”

The new barebones system is built around an aluminium case with a customisable front panel. It has a speed-controlled heatpipe cooling system with a 92 mm fan to keep everything running smoothly and the power comes from the built-in 300W bronze certified mini power supply.

The motherboard is based on the Intel H81 chipset and has two 240-pin memory slots that support up to 16 GB dual-channel DDR3-1600 memory. It has two SATA-3 ports for high-speed SSDs and a SATA-2 port for a 5.25″ optical drive or hard disk. It further has a PCI-Express x16 Gen3 slot for dual-slot high-powered graphic cards as well as a PCI-Express x1 slot for additional expansion cards. As additional expansion slots the system provides two Mini-PCI-Express slots, one of which also accepts mSATA-SSDs.

The connectivity on the SH81R4 looks pretty great as well with two USB 3.0 and eight USB 2.0 ports. Network is provided by a RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port and it has HDMI and DVI connections for processors with built-in GPU . It has three 3.5mm audio jacks for a 5.1 channel audio setup as well as S/PDIF. It also has a CMOS button on the back.

Shuttle’s new XPC Barebone SH81R4 is only measuring 32.5 x 21.5 x 19cm (DWH) and has a MSRP of just €179,00 excl. VAT and is now available from specialist retailers around Europe.

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The list of optional accessories include a 500W PSU, a H-RS232 serial interface, a mounting frame for 2.5″ drives and a WiFi kit. With all its features and compatibility, the XPC Barebone SH81R4 can suit a whole list of operations from tiny gaming PC to workstation or mobile data processor.

Thank you Shuttle for providing us with these information

Images and video courtesy of Shuttle

Biostar Ready to Launch Hi-Fi Z97Z7 Motherboard

BIOSTAR has announced that they’re getting ready to launch the newest member of their Hi-Fi motherboard series, the BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z97Z7. With a name that already has Hi-Fi in it, we expect it to be have some solid audio functions. And it has, packed with Gold Plated Audio Connectors and Hi-Fi 7.1 channel Blu-Ray Audio.

The board is ATX form factor and features the Z97 chipset and LGA 1150 CPU socket and has 4x DDR3 2900(OC) memory slots. An 8 Phase Power Design and Super Conductive Heat sinks as well as Super Durable Solid Capacitors are among the assets of this board.

The I/O area looks to have 4x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet and 6x Audio connectors for the surround sound. HDMI 4k is also supported and there are DVI and D-SUB connectors as well.

In addition, the board will feature new BIOSTAR innovations that improve durability and stability such as Super Rapid Debug3, Super Durable Box Headers, Super Durable Solid Capacitors and Super Durable Ferrite Chokes.

Other features worth mentioning are the PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot and an M.2 slot wired through PCI Express. The press release was very short, but I’m sure we’ll see more news on this board very soon. No word on price or availability yet.

Thank you BIOSTAR for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of BIOSTAR.

ASUS Maximus VII Impact Gets Five Daughterboards

To be able to cram all the things onto this mITX mainboard that ASUS wanted, they had to become masters of daughterboards first. They did this by adding not one, not two, but five of them to this beautiful little cove of treasures. In the past we’ve seen the VRM board that added 8- to 10-phase CPU VRM, and the new ASUS board has grown from that concept. The Maximus VII Impact is based on the Intel Z97 Express chipset for LGA1150 processors.

The first of the five daughterboards is the 8-phase CPU VRM that we’ve seen similar already. The second is called ImpactControl II and has an on-board power, reset and clear CMOS button. It also features the ROG connect and has a row of POST LEDs in the rear I/O shield. The third is called CoolHub and is as the name suggest for the cooling. It has two 4-pin PWM fan header and a LN2 mode toggle. As Fourth card we find the mPCIe Combo IV board with mPCIe x1 slot on the one side and an M.2 slot with PCIe 2.0 x4 on the other side. The mPCIe slot is occupied by the 802.11 AC WLAN card. The fifth and last board is the SupremeFX Impact II audio board that is EMI shielded and has a 110 DBA SNR codec. Build with audio grade capacitors and inherent ground layer isolation, good sound should be guaranteed. It of course also has a headphones amp build in.

To provide enough power for enthusiast overclockers, the Maximus VII Impact gets its power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors. Being a mITX board we only see two DDR3 memory slots and a single PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot. Apart from the M.2 x4 from the daughterboard, the board offers four SATA3 ports. The wired network is handled by an Intel Gigabit Ethernet chip. Other I/O connections are four USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, a combination PS2 port and audio connections.

Thank you techpowerup for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of techpowerup.

Kotetsu CPU Cooler Released by Scythe

With the announcement of the new Kotetsu CPU Cooler, Japanese cooling expert Scythe is going forth to offer a 120 mm tower model with an aggressive pricing and great cost/performance ratio.

With the Kotetsu CPU Cooler, Scythe is able to prove that great performance does not necessarily require the heatsink to be very heavy. Kotetsu is equipped with four high-quality six millimeter copper heatpipes, an optimized aluminum fin-structure and an all-copper base-plate, yet puts up a weight of merely 480 grams.

Fast dissipation of heat from the fins is managed by the pre-mounted 120 mm Glide Steam axial fan, which rotates in a range between 400 and 1.400 rpm thanks to the PWM-support. The noise level varies between inaudible 5,3 dBa to still very silent 28,0 dBA. Although being very silent, supplied Glide Stream axial fan is able to move from 63,49 to 165,10 cubic meter per hour, respectively 20,7 to 79,0 cubic feet per minute. Similar to other Scythe CPU Cooler models, Kotetsu can also be equipped with an addition case fan, to create a Push-Pull constellation.

Another great feature of the new Kotetsu CPU Cooler is its compact size of 130 x 58 x 160 mm (W x H x D). Hence allows it to be used even for gaming systems based on Mini-ATX and Micro-ATX form-factor. Such systems have usually high restriction when it comes to the height and size of the built-in components. Scythe utilized the „H.P.M.S.” mounting system in addition, to assure an easy and fast mounting procedure.

Compatibility to a big variety of sockets is yet another specialty of Scythe. The Kotetsu CPU Cooler supports the Intel sockets LGA1150, LGA775, LGA1155, LGA1156 and LGA1366 as well as AMD sockets AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1 and FM2. All required mounting clips for the screw-based mounting system, alongside one wrench and thermal grease, are supplied as well.

Scythe Kotetsu CPU Cooler is available at a price of $38 / €28 / £23.

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