Motherboards

AMD has a lot riding on Ryzen, its new generation CPU architecture that is supposed to return the chip designer to its former glory among power users and enthusiasts. We won't say it is a make or break release for AMD—the company has shown an uncanny ability to survive through tough periods—but it is certainly the biggest and most anticipated CPU launch by AMD in several years, and arguably over a decade. To ensure everything goes well without a hitch, AMD has lined up over a dozen high-performance AM4 motherboards from five hardware partners, including ASRock, ASUS, Biostar, Gigabyte, and MSI.... 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...
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...
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...
ASUS, like the other major motherboard manufacturers, has an extensive lineup of boards that now support Intel’s 4th-generation Haswell processors and come packing the Z87 chipset. There are motherboards in ASUS’ quiver that run the gamut from gaming boards to workstation boards to consumer-focused boards and beyond, but the company seems proudest of its Republic Of Gamers (ROG) line. There are multiple Z87-based ROG boards in the series, and we took a look at three of them that represent a nice variety of form factors and features--the Maximus VI Impact, Maximus VI Gene, and the Maximus... Read more...
We have had a few weeks with three A85X motherboards and AMD’s top of the line Trinity APU, the A10-5800K, which combines 4 unlocked Piledriver CPU cores (stock 3.8GHz, turbo 4.2GHz) with an integrated Radeon HD 7600D GPU with 384 Radeon Cores at 800MHz. We’ve written several in-depth articles on AMD’s new Virgo platform--A85X chipset, FM2 socket and Trinity APUs--covering both the basics of the new A85X chipset, as well as CPU and overclocking performance. The FM2 socket is brand new for Trinity APUs and is not backwards compatible with FM1--sorry, Llano owners. Gigabyte... Read more...
ASUS, ever the gracious hosts, had us out to Dallas, TX recently to show us the company’s upcoming motherboard series and let us play with some test systems to see if we could break them. (Full disclosure: We did. But we fixed them, we think.) There is much we learned there that we can’t yet discuss (suffice it to say you’ll want to stay tuned for more on Intel's 3rd generation Core series processors and 7-series chipset), but we can tell you all about the new line of ASUS motherboards based on Intel’s Z77 series chipset. ASUS’ strategy of late has been simple but... Read more...
In preparation for the impending arrival of its Bulldozer-based FX-series of processors, AMD recently released their 9-Series chipsets. The AMD 9-Series currently consists of three products, the 970, the 990X, and the flagship 990FX chipsets. At their core, all of the current AMD 9-Series chipsets are similar, and offer support for socket AM3 and AM3+ processors, DDR3 memory, PCIe 2.0 (with a varying number of lanes), and SATA III (6Gb/s). The chipsets differ in their support for AMD CrossFireX technology, however, due to a different number of PCI Express lanes available on each. The... Read more...
One of the unfortunate consequences of AMD's inability to match Intel's performance at the ultra high-end of the CPU market over the past few years is that there's been a substantial decline in the number of high-end AMD motherboards. NewEgg presently stocks just two AMD motherboards in the $200-$300 price range compared to 36 Intel products. That's not to imply that you have to pay $200 or more for a quality motherboard but it clearly implies that when motherboard manufacturers are thinking about enthusiasts, they're also thinking about Santa Clara. With one exception. Both of the $200+ AMD boards... Read more...
If you're in the market for an X58 motherboard, there are plenty of options available. A quick search fetches countless results that fill a wide range of price points. Budget conscious enthusiasts looking to save some scratch will be happy to find that almost every motherboard maker offers an X58 model under $200. On the other end of the spectrum, companies offer performance enthusiasts and overclockers a number of products that cater to pushing the performance envelope that often manifests itself while attempting to break world records. Asus provides serious hardware enthusiasts an excellent shot... Read more...
When we published our comprehensive P55 motherboard roundup back in early April, one of the boards we discussed and really liked was the Asus P7P55D Deluxe. At $220, that particular board was priced significantly higher than some of the other LGA1156 options we considered. Fast forward a few months and we've got the LGA1156-based P7P55D-E Pro on the table. Its MSRP is considerably lower than the P7P55D Deluxe's ($179.99 vs. $219), and it offers features like USB 3.0 and SATA 6G, both of which aren't available on the other board. The P7P55D-E Pro's features and price make it an attractive... Read more...
It has been quite a while since AMD launched a new high-end desktop chipset. The 790FX has been riding high at the top of AMD's line-up for over two years now. It has been paired to newer Southbridge chips and AMD did follow up with the 790GX about a year and half ago, but for all intents and purposes AMD's flagship desktop chipset has remained unchanged for what is equivalent to an eternity in Internet-years.Today, however, a new chipset will finally supplant the 790FX/GX at the top of AMD's line-up. As its name suggests, the 890GX features an integrated graphics core, but there's more to the... Read more...
Although the Core i7 and X58 combo is a proven performance leader, there are still plenty of Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad CPUs out there in the wild.  The Core 2 is still a very capable processor with many models costing less than half the price the cheapest Core i7 processor, the Core i7 920.  Thus, systems based around the P45 chipset are still a viable option for getting good, if not great, performance at a vastly more affordable price. Up until now, when users thought of a micro-ATX board, they typically expect find a slimmed down version of a full sized product,... Read more...
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