Motherboards

Today we are going to take a look at Gigabyte’s Z170X-Designare motherboard, one of the company's more recent Socket 1151-based boards for Intel's 6th Generation Skylake-based processors. At first glance this is an unassuming board, at least in terms of its appearance. It features a dark and subdued black PCB with chrome highlights and nothing overly dramatic or gaudy. Yet for the sub-$250 price tag, this motherboard is loaded up with a strong array of cutting edge technologies. Among them is support for Intel Thunderbolt 3 across the board’s USB Type-c connection on the back I/O. This... Read more...
Rivet Networks recently announced its latest Killer networking product, the Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet Controller. For the uninitiated, the very first Killer Networking cards were introduced way back in 2005 and were designed to maximize throughput and minimize ping times for gamers. While total throughput is often similar between network controllers today, Killer networking products reckon they can still deliver a superior experience through improved ping times and quality-of-service (QoS) prioritization.While the Killer lineup has shifted hands a time or two, from Bigfoot Networks to Qualcomm... Read more...
We have another premium Z170-based motherboard on the test bench today, by way of MSI. The MSI Z170A Gaming M9 ACK motherboard is the company’s top end gaming board for use with Intel 6th Generation Skylake-based Core series processors. The MSI Z170A Gaming M9 is packed with a host of premium features aimed at improving and enhancing your experience. Like most gaming enthusiast boards, this one also commands top dollar, but still manages to ring in $100 shy of the wallet-busting ASUS Z170 ROG Maximus VIII we previously reviewed. Some of the more notable features on this motherboard include a built-in... Read more...
Gigabyte, Corsair and Intel held a press event in California on June 30th to show off some of their new hardware. Though Intel just talked broadly about its thoughts on the PC gaming market (it's growing, and they are committed to it, basically), Gigabyte and Corsair both demo'd high-end gear it first unveiled at Computex. We were on-hand to check everything out, and have the details lined up for you here. First up, we have some video of many of the products... IntelIntel didn't have anything new to show, but wanted to reiterate its commitment to the PC gaming and high-end desktop spaces, as evidenced... Read more...
The Asus Z170 ROG Maximus VIII Extreme motherboard is the latest in Asus' flagship line of enthusiast-class motherboards for gamers. It’s a top-end premium solution with a dizzying array of tuning options to supercharge your next build and tweak overall performance in games, networking and more. Our previous motherboard eval featured the Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 Ultra Durable, which was a budget-friendly Z170 motherboard that offered strong performance, without a ton of superfluous bells and whistles. Yet the Gigabyte board was quite the performer, holding its own in most tests and even coming out ahead... Read more...
To expand on our coverage of Intel’s Z170-chipset, we now turn our focus to another Gigabyte motherboard for Intel Skylake CPUs. The Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 Ultra Durable motherboard is up at the plate and has the budget-builder firmly in its sights. Conversely, the company’s pricey Z170X-Gaming G1 motherboard, which we previously reviewed, is loaded with premium features that enthusiast gamers crave. Features such as Bluetooth, WiFi, 4-way CrossFire and SLI support, baked-in liquid cooling accommodations, and the like, are all absent on this more svelte GB product. With much of the fat trimmed, Gigabyte... Read more...
Although Intel is holding many of the architectural details regarding its latest Skylake-based, 6th generation Core processors back until the Intel Developers Forum goes down in San Francisco in a couple of weeks, the company is announcing a pair of new processors and a companion chipset today. Skylake is a “tock” in Intel’s release cadence, which signifies a new microarchitecture, built using a mature process—in this case the same 14nm process that brought us Broadwell. The new Skylake-based Core i7-6700K and Core i5-6600K squarely target performance enthusiasts, and pack all of the goodness we’ve... Read more...
Intel Skylake processors have landed and motherboard manufacturers now have a wide range of boards sporting the necessary LGA 1151 socket and Z170 chipset to support the CPUs. Under the microscope today we have a high-end model from Gigabyte, the formidable Z170X-Gaming G1—a board that's virtually bursting at the seams with top-end features for the discriminating enthusiast. It's got everything from a 22 phase power array, to support for USB 3.1, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, quad GPUs, Gen3 x4 M.2 connectors and dedicated network processing via onboard Killer DoubleShot Pro X3 NICs—just to name a few.Gigabyte... Read more...
We are back with another high-end X99-based motherboard on the test bed. This time around we've got the latest from ASUS, the Sabertooth X99 TUF motherboard, which supports USB 3.1 and sports ASUS' "OC Socket". The first wave of motherboards based on Intel’s X99 chipset launched with attractive features and eye-catching designs. But as time has passed, most motherboard manufacturers have continued to update and optimize their X99-based offerings.  ASUS had already offered some stand-out features in its first salvo of boards. This was largely thanks to the company’s OC Socket used on its X99-based... Read more...
When it launched its initial line-up of Haswell-E based processors and the companion X99 chipset, Intel’s motherboard partners hit the ground running with some fairly exciting products. At the time of the launch, we featured a few offerings in our review—you can check them out right here. But, as is sometimes the case, the second wave of products based on a particular technology are sometimes more exotic and may offer features not found on the first release. Such is the case with the motherboards we’re going to show you here from Gigabyte. Although they’re based on the same chipset, the Gigabyte... Read more...
Intel's X99 chipset, aka Wellsburg, is the company’s latest chipset for the high-end desktop market segment. Motherboards making use of the chipset have been readily available since last summer of 2014. Still, it took some time for motherboard manufacturers to kick out boards which can better take advantage of the supported Haswell-E processor family, and the promised drool-worthy feature set. With several Z97 chipset motherboards tested and reviewed, we now levy our attention toward the ASRock X99 Extreme 11 motherboard. This one stands atop the pile as the company’s flagship offering with a features... Read more...
Now that Intel's newest LGA 1150 motherboard chipset is out in full force, numerous enthusiast-class boards abound. We've already taken a look at five Z97 motherboards from Gigabyte, EVGA, and MSI, and this time around we're reviewing the Asus Z97-Pro (Wi-Fi ac). This board is one of Asus' mid-range offerings in the $200 price range and is interesting on the storage front as it includes both M.2 and SATA Express, so its as future proof as it gets when it comes to storage options--at least for today. This board also comes in a non-Wi-Fi version, dubbed simply "Pro," as well as versions that are... Read more...
Although Intel isn’t quite ready to take the wraps off of its updated Haswell-based processors (codenamed Devil’s Canyon) or its next-gen Broadwell-based processors, the company is at the ready with a brand new chipset that ups the ante in terms of features and overall performance. Intel’s 9-series chipset isn’t quite as extensive as previous families (there are just two options at this time), but the new capabilities it brings to the table will be welcomed by everyone from hardcore overclockers to IT types and business users. Z97 Based Motherboard From Gigabyte, EVGA, and... Read more...
We’ve already had a taste of what ASUS and Gigabyte have to offer in the way of Z87 motherboards, and now it’s time to give MSI’s lineup a spin. MSI’s offering of Z87 motherboards has essentially three tiers: the “POWER” series (which includes four XPOWER and MPOWER boards), a trio of gaming boards, and five mainstream boards. The company sent us a motherboard from each area to put through their paces. The Z87 chipset goes hand-in-hand with Intel’s 4th-generation Haswell processors, and we outfitted the three MSI boards--the tiny Z87I, the Z87-G45 Gamer,... Read more...
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