Motherboards

If the recent release of Intel's X58 chipset has taught us anything, it's that change can be good.  In our first two forays with these new boards and Intel's Core i7 processor, we've been firmly impressed by the performance gains seen over legacy Core 2 architectures, much less AMD's recent advancements and new offerings.  Now, with some time under our belts, we're going to take a look at two new Intel X58 Express chipset based boards from ASUS and MSI that we've put through the test ringer.  Focusing on the upper-tier of the PC market, both come fully stocked with additional components,... Read more...
AMD has been fighting an uphill battle on two fronts for the last few years. For a time, fierce competition from NVIDIA, coupled with some of their own problems executing, put the ATI graphics division in a deep hole. And ever since the introduction of the original Core 2 processors, and more recently the Core i7, AMD's processor division has fallen well behind Intel in terms of overall performance.Starting in November of 2007 though, we got a sense that AMD was slowly, but surely, clawing its way back into the fight. It began with the introduction of the Spider platform, which consisted of AMD's... Read more...
Intel's recent launch of the Core i7 processor and its accompanying chipset platform, was met with plenty of buzz and splash, due not only to the product's architectural enhancements but also its performance gains.  However, the new serially enabled Core i7 also brought fairly significant platform changes as well. Though some folks may be resistant to it, most times, change is good.  And Intel's new, more scalable QPI serial interface was long overdue.  In fact, the Core i7 marks what could be considered one of the most significant changes... Read more...
Here at HotHardware, we have a special place in our hearts for companies that transcend the norm in order to better appeal to the small, niche group of hardware fanatics that we like to call enthusiasts. The end result often times is that new design innovations are also introduced to the mainstream, due in part to this focus on the technophile's requirements.  As such, when we saw EVGA's latest nForce 790i SLI-based motherboard, we had to get it in our labs to take a closer look at it. Today, we finally have the opportunity to present our thoughts and performance results from testing the EVGA... Read more...
Home PCs have reached a new plateau recently with the much heralded release of the Core i7 processor from Intel, which goes hand-in-hand with the X58 Express chipset and the motherboards built upon it.  Although the Core i7 does borrow technology from earlier CPUs, there are some major changes including placing all four cores on a single die, adding the memory controller directly to the die thereby foregoing the Northbridge, and having said memory controller able to support triple-channel DDR3.   Early adopters will be pleased with their performance, as we pointed... Read more...
A few months back, Intel released the P45 Chipset -- at the time it was considered to be their mainstream offering, playing second fiddle to the X48 Express.  With official support of a 1333MHz FSB, PCI-E 2.0, ATI CrossFire, and support for both DDR2 and DDR3 memory, there's a lot of roads to go down with the construction of one of these boards, and MSI went down all of them.  MSI fleshed out a complete top-to-bottom assortment of  boards, which means that they have a P45 motherboard that suits just about every potential buyer's... Read more...
With all of the recent hoopla surrounding Intel and NVIDIA as of late, today's announcement may come as a bit of a surprise to many of you. To say that there has been some tension between Intel and NVIDIA lately would certainly be putting it mildly. But the fact of the matter is, for now at least, the two companies share a somewhat symbiotic relationship. The products we'll be showing you here are proof of this fact.What we have on tap for you today is a new NVIDIA chipset with an mGPU (or IGP) designed for the Intel Socket 775 platform, the GeForce 9300. We should note, however, that NVIDIA is... Read more...
Stop us if you've heard this one before: In this article we will be looking at the latest high-end desktop chipset from Intel, featuring support for DDR2 and DDR3 memory, support for 45nm dual- and quad-core processors, and PCI Express 2.0 connectivity with 16 lanes devoted to each PEG slot and compatibility with ATI's CrossFire technology.  If it all sounds familiar, it's because the Intel X48 Express Chipset that's used on the three boards we'll be looking at here is almost exactly the same as the X38 Express that preceded it a few months back.  In... Read more...
Gigabyte is typically one of the most loyal Intel partners, when it comes to chipsets. While they don’t solely produce Intel motherboards, when Intel does release a new chipset, Gigabyte is almost always there to produce several products on any given chipset.  Most often, we’ll see low-end, mid-range, and high-end products, that are usually enough to satisfy the entire spectrum of the market. With Intel’s new P45 chipset though, Gigabyte has simply gone off the deep end. At the time of writing this, a quick scan at Gigabyte’s website reveals that the company is currently mass producing nine... Read more...
If you've been on top of the PC scene for any length of time, you probably know that whether by choice or necessity, AMD has taken a different tact as of late. Whereas the company was all about bigger, faster, and better during the Athlon's heyday, AMD is now more about touting the performance per dollar and value of their products.  While they may not have a CPU with the horsepower to compete in the benchmark war with Intel's $1000 behemoths, AMD's affordably priced Phenoms do offer good bang for the buck.The value conscious mentality that has permeated AMD's recent graphics card and processor... Read more...
At first glance, Intel's technical documentation for the new P45 / G45 Express series chipsets, you'll note looks alarmingly similar to the previous generation P35 / G35 Express series that this new lineup of chipsets is meant to replace. As the P35 series was a rather successful architecture, this immediately struck us on a positive first note about the P45. The more we read on, the more we realized that the Intel P45 chipset shares many of the same features and attributes as Intel’s high-end X38 / X48 chipsets, just at a much lower price point. Initial... Read more...
Today at Computex, Intel has officially launched their updated lineup of x45-series chipsets, which will likely be the last major mainstream chipset launch from Intel on the Core 2 platform as we know it today. The names and specifications of these products have been rumored and reported on for the past few months, although today everything is set in stone and products are beginning to hit the market. The products which are launching today will make up the lion’s share of Intel’s chipset lineup until their next generation high-end X58 chipset launches with the Core 2’s successor, codenamed Nehalem.... Read more...
As many of you are no doubt aware, Intel is planning to officially release a new mainstream chipset in a few weeks, the P45.  From a feature standpoint, the new P45 is somewhat similar to last year's P35.  The P45, however, will have official support for PCI Express 2.0, with a more flexible lane configuration for multi-GPU graphics, and the chipset itself is being manufactured at 65nm as opposed to 90nm.  Using the more advanced process to build the chips should result in lower power consumption and lower operating temperatures as well.  The P45 will also be... Read more...
Enthusiasts love high-end hardware, and when it comes to Intel chipsets, that means the X48 and X38 Express platforms. The 910GL Express sits at the polar opposite of the company’s lineup, shoring up sales of entry-level systems where price is the principal consideration. In between, you have a massive list of discrete and integrated chipsets with mainstream appeal. These are Intel’s best sellers—the platforms you can find in everything from sub-$100 value boards to $200+ prosumer offerings. The P35, in particular, is a solid win for Intel. From Gigabyte’s $75 P35-S3G to DFI’s $230 LanParty... Read more...
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