Motherboards

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...
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...
As ECS continues to gain respect and attention in the enthusiast motherboard market, the company is of course extending its reach into the segment it is best known for - the budget segment. While high-end and enthusiast-level boards often cost $150 or more, budget and entry-level motherboards can usually be had for $70-90. Entry-level doesn't necessarily equate to a lack of great features though, as demonstrated by the two review candidates on the test bench today. The ECS 945G-M3 motherboard is based on Intel's 945G chipset, while the ECS C19-A SLI motherboard is based on NVIDIA's... Read more...
Looking back on 2005's list of hot products, dual-core CPUs and dual-graphics solutions are a couple of things that immediately come to mind.  Adoption of dual-core processors continues to increase, with both Intel and AMD bringing their own renditions to the frontline.  Both company's products have their own pros and cons, however.  AMD's dual-core processors in general are a bit more expensive, starting at over $300 for the A64 X2 3800+.  This is offset by terrific backward compatibility, though.  Upgrading to a dual-core Athlon 64 X2 usually means nothing more than a... Read more...
If we took a moment to reflect on some of the biggest technological advancements in recent history, SLI has to be on the short list.  Thanks in part to the increased bandwidth of PCI Express, NVIDIA paved the way for running two matching PCI Express based video cards concurrently, resulting in what we know today as SLI.  As with virtually any technology, there are positives and negatives to SLI.  First, the cards used must be the same and designed specifically to support SLI.  Second, the power requirements of today's NVIDIA graphics cards will require many to add a new PSU... Read more...
When Intel released the i925XE chipset, it took their existing line of top-tier motherboards to the next level, by providing additional support for CPUs running on a 1066MHz bus.  The current list of CPUs that run at this speed is, however, quite short. Combine this fact with the imminent release of Intel's dual-core processors and the 955/945 boards that will support them, and the lifespan of the 925XE seems to be waning.  This is the way it has always been; by the time many items hit the retail market there's already newer stuff waiting to replace them.  The "here and... Read more...
Epox 4PDA2+ V2 Motherboard Review One Step Closer to Near-Perfection "Burned" in by Robert Maloney September 3, 2003           Today on HotHardware we have another Springdale-based motherboard to add to the mix. Intel has made some recent comments about "shutting down" the PAT enhancements being done by various OEMs on the i865PE.  However, today's entry, the Epox 4PDA2+ Version 2, has slipped under the wire, with their "Accelerated Memory Mode" (AMM) still a major part of the package. While we did not have a chance... Read more...
ECS P4IBAD versus Transcend TS-ABR4 Budget i845s Do Battle! By, Marco Chiappetta March  28, 2002 When the Pentium 4 was initially introduced, the only motherboards available were based on the Intel i850 chipset, which required the use of relatively expensive (at the time) RDRAM.  While the performance of an i850 / Pentium 4 combo was excellent, the price was prohibitive and kept Intel's new CPU out of the hands of many users.  Intel took too long to ready an alternate chipset that used less expensive memory types, which opened the door for companies like SiS and VIA to snatch up... Read more...
The Epox 8K7A+ AMD 761 / VIA 686B Hybrid Is there a new Sheriff in Town? By, Marco "BigWop" Chiappetta August 9, 2001 If you are a hardware enthusiast and have been following the battle between AMD and Intel, you are no doubt familiar with the Athlon and DDR (Double Data Rate) memory.  When the Pentium 4 was first introduced, even the most die-hard AMD fanatics marveled at the impressive memory bandwidth scores Intel's flagship processor, coupled with RDRAM, was capable of.  Not to be outdone, AMD set out to find an alternative to standard SDRAM that could provide increased... Read more...
The Elitegroup P6BXT-A+ It's two boards in one!   The poeple at ECS really decided to do something different this time. They put their Marketing Hats on and decided to bring the Reseller/Custom Configurers and the End User community a board with a great deal of flexibility! They let go of conventional design practices and really thought "out of the box" with this board! Take a look at the picture below. You aren't seeing things. This board has both a Socket370 and a Slot 1 on it! Now, instead of being limited to only one or the other of the two most recent Intel CPU interfaces, you... Read more...
The ECS P4VXAD -Vs.- The Azza P4X2-AV Battle of the VIA P4X266s! By, Marco Chiappetta November 29, 2001 Intel and VIA are entangled in a nasty legal battle, and because of this, VIA's P4X266 Pentium 4 chipset has been surrounded by much controversy.  Intel is trying to stop the distribution of the P4X266 because they claim VIA is not licensed to use some of their technology, while VIA alleges all of the licenses they need to manufacture this chipset were obtained when they purchased S3.  All of the legal matters surrounding VIA's chipset have prevented some manufacturers from embracing... Read more...
The ECS D6VAA Dual-CPU VIA Powered Motherboard Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun... By, Marco "BigWop" Chiappetta July 26, 2001 Dual-CPU systems, previously reserved for use as high-end servers, have now become affordable due to the efforts of companies like ECS, Abit, Intel and Via (among others).  With the increased popularity of Windows 2000 and relatively "low" prices of SMP capable CPUs like the Pentium III, running a Dual-CPU rig on you desktop is now a viable option to the true hardware enthusiast or discerning power user. There is a common misconception when... Read more...