ATX and E-ATX boards displayed at show, Brix machines doing better than expected
Gigabyte brought out the largest number of motherboards for Intel's Haswell Extreme Processors to Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle over the weekend, showing off six X99 boards for consumers. From high-end gaming boards to the affordable Ultra Durable line, Gigabyte wanted to project a leading position for consumers that want to jump into Intel's most recent technology.
Pricing set at three different levels, finer details seen in GT72 Dominator Pro
During Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, a number of hardware companies made official announcements to line up with Intel's release of the Haswell Extreme Edition processors. MSI had a big presence at the expo, including the display of three of its X99 motherboards and laptops like the GT72 Dominator Pro for use in tournaments.
Expansion adds Thunderbolt to Asus 7-series motherboards
ASUS has demonstrated its first Thunderbolt-based monitor at Computex. It is the first PC display to use the technology outside of Apple's display range suggesting that the new high-speed I/O standard is starting to gain momentum. The 27-inch screen using the connection was shown at the same time it revealed an adapter for ASUS 7-series motherboards that added the port as an extra connectivity option.
MSI Z77A-GD80 laboratory tested by Anandtech
Following Apple's introduction of Thunderbolt on commercial systems with the Macbook Pro 2011 line in February of 2011, it was expected that Thunderbolt would soon be supported on Windows. The first motherboards with integrated Thunderbolt are starting to see the light of day just now, more than a year after the initial introduction of the technology. Anandtech recently had the opportunity to test the first draft motherboard from manufacturer MSI featuring Thunderbolt -- the MSI Z77A-GD80.
Processors aimed at performance market
Intel's upcoming Sandy Bridge processors are set to account for 20 percent of the company's desktop lineup by the first quarter of 2011, sources have told DigiTimes. Several motherboard makers are said to be preparing for an influx of compatible motherboards, which will be aimed at the performance market.
Firmware managed by new graphical interface
Following the introduction of several new motherboards designed for Intel's upcoming Sandy Bridge processors, ASUS has also demonstrated its new UEFI system and a graphical management interface. Images posted on the Swedish site SweClockers show the new UI, which has been modernized well beyond the simple keyboard-input system of BIOS firmware.
ASUS, MSI motherboards remain troublesome
Gigabyte has released a new beta BIOS for its GA-P55-UD4P motherboard, addressing problems with iPhone sync on certain Windows 7 systems. Issues are said to remain with ASUS and MSI motherboards, for which no patched software is available. People may nevertheless be able to solve errors by upgrading to the latest available BIOS and chipset drivers, or running Windows in Vista SP2 compatibility mode.
Will allow pairing of disparate video cards
Taiwan's MSI has uncovered the Big Bang, an upcoming PC motherboard. The hardware is based on Intel's P55 platform for Core i5 and i7 processors, but is most notable for integrating the Lucid HYDRA 200 chipset. The technology copes with a recurring problem in video cards, which prevents ones from different manufacturers from being used simultaneously.
ABIT to close
Component manufacturer ABIT is set to cease operations on December 31st, according to TweakTown. The company gained notoriety and success in the early 1990s for producing motherboards that were preferred by many overclocking enthusiasts. The components offered Softmenu jumperless technology that allowed CPU configurations to be adjusted from the BIOS. The development lead to the integration of a chip onto ABIT motherboards that allowed adjustments to be made while the operating system was running.
Nvidia nForce 780i board
Nvidia has introduced a new nForce motherboard, the 780i. Like the 680i, the 780 is able to link an unusual three Nvidia cards together in SLI mode, resulting in performance up to 2.8 times faster than a single card; this is purportedly enough to play Crysis with maximum detail at 1900x1200, or Call of Duty 4 at 2500x1600. The 780i is specifically tailored to Intel's Yorkfield (QX9650) processor, which is rated at 3GHz and has a 1.33GHz front-side bus.