Motherboards

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...
When Intel initially launched their second generation Core processor family, also known as Sandy Bridge, the processors were widely praised for their strong performance and power efficiency. Shortly thereafter, however, a defect in the processor’s companion 6-Series chipsets, which affected the reliability of some of its SATA ports, cropped up and forced Intel to halt production and recall the chipsets. A fix was relatively quick in the making and current chips based on the B3 revision of the silicon resolve the issue.  However, the recall and subsequent lack of availability surely forced... Read more...
With today's launch of their new "Lynnfield" based Core i5 and i7 800 series processors, and the accompanying P55 Express chipset, Intel's current flagship CPU microarchitecture--codenamed Nehalem--finally trickles its way down into the mainstream computing segment. Since Nehalem first landed on the desktop in the form of the Core i7 line of processors, it has unequivocally owned the performance segment of the market.  They are simply the fastest desktop processors currently available, bar none. But while the Core i7 was riding high, Intel still had the established Core 2 line-up to satisfy... 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...
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...
  Intel started slowly leaking information about an ultra high-end enthusiast platform dubbed Skulltrail at right about the same time that AMD’s now defunct QuadFX platform was set to be released.  Over time we learned that Skulltrail, like QuadFX, would be a dual-socket platform that could accommodate a pair of Intel’s fastest quad-core processors, for a grand total of eight execution cores in one desktop system.  But other details regarding the platform were somewhat scarce to say the least. As time progressed, however, Intel was more and more forthright with information regarding... Read more...
It has been quite some time since Intel launched a desktop chipset targeted squarely at power users and PC enthusiasts.  Of course, the P965 and current P35 have both been very well received by motherboard manufactures and the enthusiast community, but these chipsets were actually designed for the upper-mainstream space.  In fact, the 975X Express, which launched almost two years ago, was the last desktop chipset Intel specifically marketed for enthusiasts. With today’s launch, however, the Intel desktop chipset line-up gets a new flagship.  To lay the foundation for the upcoming... Read more...
We first took a look at Intel's P35 Express chipset back in May, when it was released into the wild to supplant the still relatively youthful P965 and usher in the era of DDR3 memory and 1333MHz FSB Intel processors. The P965 is a tough act to follow. Despite its intended mid-range market placement, Intel didn't hamper the P965 in any way except for the lack of official Crossfire support. With its excellent feature set and good performance, the P965 presented an excellent value and became many people's first choice for all of their single-GPU needs. For the P35, Intel has wisely chosen not to change... Read more...
There's something to be said for Intel's chipset release practices.  Typically, each major revision has consisted of multiple versions: a powerful, enthusiast high-end chipset, and then a number of slimmed down versions.  Note, we say "slimmed down" instead of "stripped down", as much of the architecture and feature set remains untouched.  The result is usually a plethora of mid-range boards that are cheaper than the flagship models, that have a few limitations or exclusions in comparison to the upper-end boards that not every user will necessarily need or want. In the case of... Read more...
Motherboard chipset technology isn't refreshed at the same fevered pitch that processors, memory or IO products are.  A CPU or GPU speed-bump is like low-lying fruit relatively speaking, but chipset enhancements can usher in a whole host of stability, interoperability and verification challenges.  Let's face it, when the product is the basis for a platform foundation, forward migrations can be painful if not carefully planned, so the upside benefits need to be worth-while for both the end customer as well as the manufacturer.  If you asked us a year ago, what Intel's path to a higher... Read more...
  When Intel unleashed the Core 2 back in July, they introduced the P965 as their mainstream chipset, while the 975X Express chipset was upgraded with Core 2 support to cover the high-end enthusiast segment. However, the P965 didn't end up being 'just' a mainstream product. As production boards utilizing the P965 chipset began to appear in droves, the enthusiast crowd quickly realized that it was more than just a mid-range chipset when it came to performance. Several manufacturers also took the initiative and beefed up their P965... Read more...
  Today, we're bringing you a Dual-Core Pentium quick take, on short notice from the folks at Intel. With only a few hours of testing at our disposal, we're attempting to make time with some level of meaningful analysis for you and hit Intel's NDA embargo lift time this morning. Would we have liked to spend more quality lab time on such an important launch event as the first dual core Pentium class CPU to ever hit the mainstream? You bet your CMOS digital flip-flop we would, but when hardware is shipped to the wild without a solid game plan behind it, in our gig you react or get walked on.... Read more...
The Springdale Showdown Which board should you "spring" for? Brought to you by Robert Maloney July 10, 2003           This is the kind of article that PC Hardware Tech Editors live for, not only a simple one-on-one comparison, but a full-blown, knock-em-down, street fight for bragging rights.  Actually, we think round-ups like this are similar to a beauty pageant.  Sure, there's plenty of good-lookers on the stage, but which of them has that special something which will distinguish them from the rest?  Bikini jokes aside, it's... Read more...
3-Way i875P "Canterwood" Shoot-Out MSI, DFI & Chaintech Square Off... By, Marco Chiappetta June 18, 2003           Intel's i875P "Canterwood", as well as the i865 "Springdale" chipsets, have generated quite a buzz within the enthusiast community and for good reason!  It has been almost three years since the release of the i850 chipset, and only now is there a viable alternative for users seeking peak performance from their Pentium 4 systems.  Sure, there was the i850E and Intel's first dual-channel DDR266 chipset... Read more...
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