Motherboards

Thanks largely to all of the attention surrounding the Intel Atom platform and its alternatives like the Via Nano and NVIDIA Ion, small form factor (SFF) systems have been generating tech news in a big way for the past half year. While tiny toaster-sized machines have been relevant for some time, as proven by the continued success of Shuttle Computers, it has been a relative niche that doesn't get nearly as much hype as gigantic, fire-breathing gaming rigs. Historically, there have been very good reasons why tiny little ITX machines weren't more mainstream. Pre-Atom, they have been a rather... Read more...
Nearly every motherboard manufacturer on the market today makes at least one line of products for the "enthusiast" market. Typically, these motherboards are a bit flashier, offer better cooling, enhanced overclocking, more features and are priced significantly higher than their mainstream variants. In the majority of cases, these boards are half-hearted attempts to cash in on unknowing buyers who think that these boards will overclock better than their mainstream siblings. One of the brands that has been producing motherboards, which are actually in tune with what high-end users are demanding,... Read more...
The latest socket AM3 compatible Phenom II processors have been available for several weeks now and they had proven in our initial coverage to be excellent chips, a notable improvement over their predecessors in several respects, including overclocking and in their support for higher clocked DDR3 memory. Thanks to the Phenom II's ability to use both DDR2 and DDR3 memory types, they can be used in existing AM2+ boards, which is an excellent solution for many current AMD users. The AMD 790GX chipset offers an excellent low cost DDR2 solution for Phenom II owners but currently... Read more...
Many positive commentaries have been written about Intel's current flagship Core i7 processors and its companion X58 Express chipset, due to the solid performance gains offered by the platform. In addition to the increased performance offered by Core i7 processors though, the X58 chipset also brings with it native support for ATI CrossFireX and NVIDIA SLI multi-GPU technologies--provided support is available in the BIOS--as well as support for the flexible triple channel memory controller integrated into the Core i7.  What might be concerning for some, however,... Read more...
  When we think about what is perhaps the one draw-back that enthusiasts and gamers could point to with respect to an Intel chipset-based motherboard, historically, it was lack of NVIDIA SLI multi-GPU support.  Though you could drop more than one AMD ATI Radeon-based graphics card into a P45, X38 or X48-chipset based motherboard, for the most part, SLI was a no-go, save perhaps for a few custom OEM solutions.  This wasn't too much of a problem for gaming purists that wanted in on NVIDIA powered multi-GPU action, since there was always the most recent revision of the nForce chipset... Read more...
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...
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