Intel introduced the mini-STX motherboard design in August as the 5x5, and now hardware makers are picking up the torch.
The Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H sure is a hard model name to remember when your friends ask you which motherboard you just bought. Instead, just tell them you've bought one of the best value for money AMD-based motherboards on the market.
The claim to fame of the MSI Big Bang Fuzion is its ability to run graphics cards from opposing camps (NVidia and AMD) in parallel using its "Hydra Engine". Apart from that, it is a nice motherboard targeted at the higher mid-range segment considering all the extras contained within the box. It supports the LGA1156 socket which means all mainstream Intel Core i5/i7 processors.
The MSI P55-GD80 PC motherboard supports mainstream Intel Core i5/i7 processors that use the Intel LGA1156 socket. It performs in line with what we expected, offers the features you'd expect and some more pleasantly surprising extras.
Asus today released its new M4A78-HTPC Series motherboards that are developed specifically for use in Home Theatre Personal Computers (HTPCs). According to a press release, the M4A78-HTPC Series motherboards are based on the AMD 780G chipset, which integrates HDMI/DVI support to display HD videos. The board also incorporates ASUS Absolute Pitch Hi-Fi and DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC Technology, for sound enhancement.
The ASUS Rampage II Gene is a microATX motherboard that features Intel’s latest X58 Express chipset for Core i7 CPUs (central processing units). It’s essentially a ‘Mini Me’ version of the ASUS Rampage II Extreme -- a regular ATX board with familiar specifications. (This is reflected by the Gene’s near-identical packaging; albeit in a shrunk down form.)
There's much to like about the P5Q3 Deluxe, which is a motherboard that makes use of Intel's P45 chipset. It's a fully-featured board that's perfect for a mid-level or high-end system, but it runs DDR3 memory, which means you probably won't be able to use your existing RAM if you're planning an upgrade. However, DDR3 isn't too expensive these days.
The NVIDIA nForce 750i SLI is only a mid-range enthusiast-level chipset, so it's definitely not the bee's knees if you want to build the ultimate gaming rig. However, EVGA has put it to good use on its Intel-based nForce 750i SLI FTW motherboard, offering a stable SLI-capable cornerstone for under $270.
It seems motherboard vendors are all doing their bit to try and curb the amount of power their boards consume. This is especially pertinent with models, such as the GA-EP45-DS4P, which burst at the edges with more ports than ever for external devices, hard drives and Gigabit network connections. This means any saving is welcome.
A new chipset isn't the only thing to look forward to with this ASUS motherboard: it also employs technology that allows you to save power and even get on the Internet with your newly built PC without loading Windows! It uses Splashtop to do this. While it's not something that's new to ASUS motherboards (it can also be found on the P5E3 Premium, for example) we think it complements the overall theme of low power consumption nicely.
AMD has launched a new chipset - the AMD 780G - to coincide with the release of its new low-power CPUs, and Gigabyte has put it to good use on its GA-MA78GM-S2H motherboard. It's an all-in-one board - meaning it also has integrated graphics - and its small micro-ATX form factor makes it the perfect foundation for a home theatre-based PC. But, can it be used for more?
It seems that AMD was on the right track (at least as far as Intel is concerned) when it released its 4x4 platform (a.k.a Quad FX), which is a motherboard with two CPU sockets and four graphics card slots. At the time, it was AMD's solution for quad-core computing, but it was an exciting prospect as it meant that in the future it could be upgraded to support up to eight CPU cores (see our review of the ASUS L1N64-SLI WS). Unfortunately, with all the delays in releasing its quad-core chips, the 4x4 never really gained traction, not even as a quad-core solution. However, Intel is harnessing the same concept for its Skulltrail platform, which uses new quad-core CPUs to perhaps provide the ultimate in workstation and high-end consumer computing.
The motherboard is one of the most important components in any PC, but few people are aware of what it actually does. This guide will give you the knowledge to make an informed decision.
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