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Motherboard ECS Z170-CLAYMORE: review and testing 

ECS products is quite a rare visitor in our test lab, however, we could not miss the opportunity to get acquainted with the top-end model based on flagship chipset Intel Z170 for the new family of processors Intel Skylake (Platform Socket LGA1151). 

ECS Z170-CLAYMORE

Motherboard ECS Z170-CLAYMORE is part of a series of ECS LEET Gaming, created specifically for gamers. Solutions of this lineup are characterized by high build quality, support for advanced technologies as well as excellent equipment, which includes a network controller and a reliable quality audio subsystem.

The specification:

Producer and model

tags: ecs   realtek   m.2   intel   usb 3.1   pci express 3.0   sata express   usb 3.0   ddr4   atx   intel z170   socket lga1151   uefi bios   celeron   asmedia   pentium   intel core   
Read the full review >>>

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 7: review and testing

An updated series of devices for gamers GIGABYTE G1 GAMING includes not only the mid-level model, such as the GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 3, but the flagship cards. And one of them will be described in this review. GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 has a very good equipment, including the traditional advantages of this series: gaming network controller supplemented company Intel; a good sound system, as well as a number of overclcking opportunities that will help you get an extra performance boost in games.

GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 7

The specs:

Producer and model

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO: review and testing 

It is not a secret that ASUS has updated its flagship lineup of motherboards for gamers ASUS ROG in connection with the announcement of a new family of processors Intel Skylake (Platform Socket LGA1151) and the flagship chipset Intel Z170. And the first model of the updated line, which will be described is ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO. The solution is aimed for demanding users and experienced gamers who want to get a model with balanced performance, high quality, well equipping and moderate cost.   

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The specs: 

Producer and model

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO (rev 1.01)

Chipset

Intel Z170

CPU socket

Socket LGA1151

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 6th gen

Memory frequency

3800* / 3733* / 3600* / 3500* / 3466* / 3400* / 3333* / 3300* / 3200* / 3000* / 2800* / 2666* / 2400* / 2133 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR4 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 64 GB

Expansion slots

 

2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16 / x8+x8)

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4)

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel Z170 chipset supports:

1 x M.2 x4 Socket 3 (M.2 2242, M.2 2260, M.2 2280, M.2 22110)

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA Express (each compatible with 2 х SATA 6 Gb/s)

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

ASMedia ASM1061 controller supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

LAN

1 x Intel WGI219V (10/100/1000 Mb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec SupremeFX 2015

8-channel sound

Power

1 х 24-pin ATX connector

1 x 8-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

2 x CPU fan connectors (4-pin)

4 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

1 x water cooling tank connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum heatsink on the chipset

Aluminium radiators on the elements of power system connected with a heat pipe

Extenral I/O

1 x PS/2 Combo

1 x HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

1 х USB 3.1 (Type-C)

1 х USB 3.1 (Type-A)

4 x USB 2.0

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

5 x audio jacks

1 х button «USB BIOS Flashback»

Internal I/O

2 x USB 3.0, each with support of two USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

1 х ROG_EXT

1 x EXT_FAN

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA Express

1 х socket TPM

1 x diagnostic LED-indicator

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 х connector to connect temperature sensor

1 x «CMOS reset»

1 х «Power» button

1 х «Reboot» button

1 х «MemOK!» button

1 х socket Thunderbolt

1 x 4-pin socket for connection of tank of water cooling system

1 х switch to mode «LN2»

1 х socket to connect temperature sensors

BIOS

128 MbFlash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 5.0, SM BIOS 3.0, DMI 3.0, WfM 2.0

Packaging

User’s manual

Warranty card

Disk with drivers and utilities

1 х tool ASUS CPU Installation Tool

1 х set ASUS Q-Connectors

6 x SATA cables

1 х bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

305 x 244 mm

Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available on  support page

Package and content 

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The motherboard comes in a cardboard box with a flip-up lid with the design of corporate style of lineup ASUS ROG. In addition to the names of the manufacturer and model of the device the front side features a series of logos at the bottom, showing the support for Windows 10, NVIDIA SLI and technology AMD CrossFireX, as well as the display image with a resolution of 4K Ultra HD.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

On the reverse side of the flip-up cover with a viewing window you can find a description of ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO advantages:

  • SupremeFX 2015 - preinstalled audio codec offers support for high quality eight channel sound thanks to the DAC ESS ES9023P and audio capacitors Nichicon. In order to avoid the negative impact of electromagnetic interference shielding technology is used. Also note the presence of an amplifier TI R4580I, able to improve the audio playback on headphones with an impedance of 600 Ohms. Proprietary software comes bundled with Sonic Studio II, allowing to activate a virtual reproduction of sound in 7.1 format, as well as offering a wide range of audio settings.
  • Intel Ethernet - preset network controller has an increased capacity and consumes less CPU resources than competing solutions.
  • LANGuard - LAN-port uses a special guard to help prevent damage to the system due to static electricity or shock during an electrical storm.
  • ROG GameFirst III - technology designed to optimize Internet traffic in order to increase the priority of online games, which should reduce the delays and, accordingly, make the gameplay more comfortable. You can also select a priority “media-streaming”, VoIP or file sharing.
  • ROG KeyBot II - a unique technology that allows you to record macros and create function keys, even for conventional keyboards.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The reverse side of the package in addition to a brief technical specification of new item and diagramming interface panel contains a mention of the support for SupremeFX 2015, Intel Ethernet, as well as digital power subsystem Extreme Engine DIGI+.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Package of ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO includes:

  • six SATA cables;
  • set ASUS Q-Connectors, which greatly simplifies the process of connecting of the case's front panel;
  • sticker with the logo of ASUS ROG;
  • bridge NVIDIA SLI;
  • tool ASUS CPU Installation Tool;
  • door hanger.

Design and features 

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Motherboard ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO features quite original and stylish decor, which is important for a gaming solution. The familiar black color is added by the splashes of red color on the chipset and the protective casing on the interface panel.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

As for the layout of on-board elements, all is performed at the highest level: all key connectors and ports are concentrated on the edges of the printed circuit board, SATA ports are parallel to PCB and-DIMM slots are equipped with latches on one side. As a result, the design and layout of the ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO deserve only the highest grade.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The reverse side of the motherboard meets us not only by the usual base plate of the socket and fastening screws of the radiator, but also two support plates placed under the components of the power subsystem processor. Additionally, they serve as low-profile radiators.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The bottom of the printed circuit board ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO has the following connectors: connecting bock of audio connectors on front panel, block «TB_HEADER» (for the implementation of the interface Thunderbolt), the button “Clear CMOS”, “Enable” and “Reset”, the port TPM, and the connecting block of the front panel. Additionally, we note two pads to activate the ports USB 2.0, one of which is connected with the connector ROG_EXT, and one USB 3.0. Total number of USB 2.0 ports is eight: four internal and four on the interface panel. As for USB 3.0, there are only six: four internal and two external. All of them operate through a set of system logic.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The possibility of organizing a disk subsystem is presented by connector M.2 x4 Socket 3 (supports SSD-drives M.2 2242, 2260 M.2, M.2 M.2 2280 and 22110), four ports SATA 6Gb/s and two SATA Express where each is compatible with two SATA 6 Gb/s. There is support for arrays RAID 0 SATA, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10. In this case, there is one restriction: if connector M.2x4 Socket 3 operates in mode «SATA», the two SATA 6 Gb/s (on the scheme «SATA6G_12 ") will be disabled.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Mainboard ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO is equipped with four DIMM-slots for modules RAM standard DDR4, which for convenience are equipped with latched on one side only. RAM can operate in dual channel mode. Its implementation is realized by installation either in the first and third or second and fourth slots (or takes all available ports). Modules operating at frequencies up to 3800 MHz in overclocking mode are supported. The maximum amount of memory can be up to 64 GB, which is enough for almost any tasks.

Additionally note the module for connecting remote panel with ports USB 3.0, button «MemOK!», which allows you to automatically pick up the necessary parameters of the RAM to the successful launch of the system and diagnostic LED-indicator.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The cooling system of this motherboard has three major aluminum radiators, one carries out the removal of heat from the chipset Intel Z170, while the other two connected by a heat pipe cover the elements of the power subsystem processor.

In the process of testing we’ve recorded the following temperature:

  • heat sink for cooling chipset – 31.1°C (during acceleration - 33°C);
  • upper radiator of cooling elements of the processor power subsystem – 37.1°C (during acceleration – 38.8°C);
  • lower heat sink of cooling elements of the processor power subsystem - 36°C (during acceleration – 37.5°C).

These results clearly indicate the higher efficiency of the cooling system, indicating the proper selection of materials and design.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

CPU power is carried out by a reinforced 10-phase scheme for cores and additional nodes. Converter is based on a digital PWM controller ASP1405I with built power control subsystem Extreme Engine DIGI+. All components have a high degree of reliability: durable Japanese solid capacitors, effective MOSFETs and chokes NexFET MicroFine, providing stable operation even at high amperage. The main 24-pin and additional 8-pin connectors are used to provide supply voltage. 

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

The possibility of expanding the functionality of the motherboard ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO is presented by six slots:

  1. PCI Express 3.0 x1;
  2. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16 mode or x8);
  3. PCI Express 3.0 x1;
  4. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x8 mode);
  5. PCI Express 3.0 x1;
  6. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x4 mode).

Due to the support for technologies NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX this configuration offers the user to organize the graphics subsystem of the two or three cards. The location of the slots will allow to easily connect two video cards with three-slot cooling system. And you have access to one connector PCI Express 3.0 x1.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

If you decided to take advantage of the graphics core integrated into the CPU, you have two video outputs: HDMI and DisplayPort operating by the chip ASMedia ASM1442K.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Multi I/O opportunities are based on chip NUVOTON NCT6793D, which controls the operation of the system fan, port PS/2, and provide monitoring. 

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Correct operation of the two USB 3.1 ports on the interface panel is provided by the chip ASMedia ASM1142.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Two additional SATA 6 Gb/s ports are realized due to the controller ASMedia ASM1061.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

To support network connections there is a gigabit LAN-controller Intel WGI219V. Proprietary technology ROG GameFirst III provides the distribution of network resources and prioritization of traffic.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Sound subsystem of motherboard based on the 8-channel HDA-codec design SupremeFX 2015, which supports the audio formats 2/4/5.1/7.1 and has a number of proprietary features.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

Interface Panel of model ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO includes the following ports:

  • 1 x PS / 2 Combo;
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45);
  • 2 x USB 3.0;
  • 4 x USB 2.0;
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C);
  • 1 x USB 3.1 (Type-A);
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 1 x DisplayPort;
  • 1 x Optical S / PDIF out;
  • 1 x button «USB BIOS Flashback»;
  • 5 x audio ports.

This configuration can be safely described as excellent, because here are not only everything you need, but even more: two digital video output, a large number of ports USB (including two high-speed USB 3.1), as well as easy connection of multi-channel speakers and support the periphery PS/2. Additionally note the function of the firmware update BIOS from a USB flash drive using the corresponding button.

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

 

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO

ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO features wide opportunities for the organization of the cooling system inside the case. There are seven 4-pin fan connectors, two of which are for cooling the CPU, one is designed to connect the water block, while the other four are for system fans.

Read the full review >>>

Case be quiet! SILENT BASE 800: review and testing

The German company Listan GmbH & Co. KG, better known under the brand be quiet, did not deal with the production of case for a long time. Of course, this brand includes power supply units, fans and CPU coolers, but an appropriate place for all of these components had to look for among the assortment of other manufacturers. And one day it was decided to correct this unfortunate omission. And the company be quiet! had released the case be quiet! SILENT BASE 800.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

The novelty is released in the most popular brand black color. It is designed for installing full-size ATX-boards, large CPU coolers, a great number of disk drives and graphics cards up to 410 mm. And, of course, the case includes three brand fans, which should ensure proper efficiency at a comfortable level of noise. Let's move from theory to practice and learn this remarkable creation.

The specs: 

Producer and model

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800 Black (BG001)

Case dimension-type

Middle Tower

Supported form-factors of motherboards

ATX / microATX / Mini-ITX

Color

Black (options with orange and silver inserts are available)

Bays

3 х 5,25” (external)

7 х 3,5” (internal)

4 х 2,5” (internal)

Expansion card slots

7

Max length of video card (our measurement)

Including installed modules

290 mm (295 mm)

Without modules 

400 mm (410 mm)

Max height of CPU cooler (our measurement)

170 mm (187 m)

Max length of PSU

Including bottom fan

160 mm

Excluding bottom fan

290 mm

Dimensions

2 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

2 х audio jacks

Preset fans

Front panel

2 х 140-mm

(be quiet! Pure Wings 2, 1000 rpm)

Back panel

1 х 120-mm

(be quiet! Pure Wings 2, 1500 rpm)

Possibility to install fans

Front panel

2 х 140-mm

Back panel

1 х 120-mm

Top panel

2 х 140-mm / 2 х 120-mm

Left panel

1 х 120-mm

Bottom panel

1 х 140-mm / 1 х 120-mm

PSU

No

Materials

Front and top panel

ABS-plastic

Chassis

0,66 mm steel

Side panels

0,8 mm steel

Case dimensions

Including stands

559 х 266 х 495 mm

Excluding stands

542 х 230 х 495 mm

Weight (net)

9,31 kg

Producer website

be quiet!
Product page 

Package and delivery set 

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Black, orange and white colors are proprietary options of brand be quiet!. It is not surprising that they are present on the case package, which is made of cardboard and contains quality printing. Here you can estimate the appearance of new item, and get basic information about it in nine languages.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

For example, here is a combination of efficient cooling and good sound insulation, the ability to install several components without the use of screws, the availability of space for hidden cable management and a number of air filters. And for fans of overclocking here is the possibility of mounting a water cooling system.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Packaging of the test body is quite extensive and includes the following components:

  • set of screws and a pair of racks for installation of the motherboard;
  • set of screws to fix the power supply and drives;
  • 4 ties for wires (a pair of long and short);
  • plastic holder for easy cable management;
  • 14 slides for the installation of seven 3.5-inch drives;
  • manual.

As you can see, the manufacturer made sure that the buyer can easily install a large number of drives, as well as convenient to lay power cables used.
By the way, on the cover of the complete guide you can see all three variants of color execution of the case: with silver and orange accents or completely black.

Appearance 

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Despite the use of only black color, be quiet! SILENT BASE 800 will attract attention. Interest is provided by original form of the front and top panels, and the design of the sidewalls and legs. We have great original in many respects.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Thus, the front panel at first glance may seem quite solid, but in fact it consists of two doors. The sides feature grating that play not only decorative role. Although from this point of view, their use seems to be quite reasonable.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Behind the top door there are three compartments for 5.25-inch devices (first top performs a decorative role). It is fixed by magnets and characterized by a sound-absorbing insert, so the noise in case the rotation of the disc in the optical drive should be minimal.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

The second door is located below and is also equipped with an acoustic protection. This time it mutes the sound of rotating fans.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Frame with a dust filter ( 290 x 150 mm) is removed flick of a finger. The filter clears the cool air coming through vertical perforated grille on both sides of the front panel.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Active air intake into the body be quiet! SILENT BASE 800 is provided by two 140-mm fans be quiet! Pure Wings 2 (BQ PUW2-14025-LS-10), rotating at a speed of 1000 rpm. They differ in the original form of the blade and the presence of anti-vibration fixing pads.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Preheated air is discharged through the back panel using a 120 mm fan. Under it there are three holes for water cooling hoses, and lower you can find traditional seven slots for expansion cards. Here, they are covered by removable plugs, each is screwed with shaped heads. At the bottom there is a seat for the power supply, and under it there are seen opening for lower tunnel for cool air and cooling source. Exactly the same tunnel and is used under the top plate.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Plastic hook allows you to remove the lower air filter, which cleans the air from the power supply and the adjacent fan (if it is installed). So its regular service does not cause any difficulties.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

The rear fan is represented by a model be quiet! Pure Wings 2 (BQ PUW2-12025-MS-15), which is also characterized by the presence of anti-vibration pads at the corners and aerodynamic shape of the blades.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

The maximum speed of the propeller is 1,500 rpm, and the use of the complete adapter reduces it to more comfortable 1150 rpm.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

As support be quiet! SILENT BASE 800 uses two plastic strips lengthwise. These functional elements of the exterior are removable, but they are easily and completely securely mounted on the body itself. Placed on them rubber inserts have dimensions 33 x 18 mm, while they provide a safety surface on which is placed the system unit.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Supports lift body over the floor. Unlike many other models, it is quite possible to put on nappy carpet, as ventilation at the bottom is used to supply cool air. Its height is approximately 5 cm, and cool air flows through the vertical holes located on the back side. 

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

A top panel has the same principle of construction. It uses a perforation at the rear side where the heated air will be removed outside the case. Like the front panel, it is quite firmly secured with latches.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Here you can find external interfaces provided by a set of two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0 and a pair of audio jacks for connecting a microphone and headphones.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Near you can find the power button and hard drive activity light, which has a pleasant and moderately bright white glow. By the way, the latter also serves as a reset button.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

The case be quiet! SILENT BASE 800 is characterized by an interesting side view through a beveled top, bottom and front. But also the sidewalls are quite distinctive (there are also versions with clear acrylic window). So, in the center there are square plugs, but a seat to 120-mm fan is available only on the left side.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Plugs have three positions: fully closed, half-open and intermediate. Thus, you can choose the most appropriate mode or even remove them.

Sidewalls are attached by screws with shaped heads, and vertical protrusions are used for their easy removal. The edges of the panels are bent at 180°, which is well reflected in their degree of rigidity.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

The side covers, as well as the rest of the inner surface of the sidewall feature layer of sound-absorbing material. Air supply ports are equipped with removable air filters with meshes.

Internal device 

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

The chassis and all metallic elements of be quiet! SILENT BASE 800 are covered with a black matt paint, so they are perfectly combined with external panels, including plastic. In case of removed end cap you can draw attention to the high position of the switch.

As you can see, the delivery set includes only two racks for installation of the motherboard. In other places it is carried out directly to the mounting tray, but to existing elevations on it with the screw holes.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Slots for 3.5 and 2.5-inch drives, and optical drives, and other devices that require installation of 5.25-inch bays are on the right. For the last the fastening is provided by plastic clamps.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

There are two detachable modules to install the drives: top can house three drives, and the bottom is intended for four devices. Of course, they can be interchanged or used in any convenient configuration. When you install two modules video cards is limited by the length of 295 mm, and their removal allows you to place even in the case of 400-mm overall solutions.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Installation of drives in inside the modules be quiet! SILENT BASE 800 is realized by means of the slides, which are attached to the drive by complete screws. In future they can be easily removed and installed without the use of additional tools. All slots for 3.5-inch drives are equipped with softening silicone inserts that absorb vibration.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Both modules can accommodate one 2.5-inch drive, which is attached with screws to the top of each of them. Sports for another two 2.5 inch drives are located on the back side of the pallet. Thanks to the balanced design the install and removal is realized without removing the motherboard.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

The top panel of the case allows you to install two 140 or 120 mm fans to remove the hot air out of a PC. Also you place the radiator of water cooling system with length of up to 280 mm.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

The bottom of the case is reserved for the installation of power supply and 140 or 120 mm fan. When using the last the maximum length of the power supply will be limited to 160 mm. In case of fan absence this value is increased to 290 mm.

At the spot of power supply installation the manufacturer has carefully arranged four pads that reduce vibration transmitted to the body.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

A set of cables to connect the front panel includes a connector HD Audio (wiring length is 670 mm) connectors for buttons Power/Reset and LED-indicators (520 mm), as well as cables for connecting ports USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 (670 and 650 mm respectively). Three 3-pin connectors and cable length of 550 mm is sufficient for easy connection of complete fans.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Building the system be quiet! SILENT BASE 800 is realized without any difficulties and complications. It is provided the availability of space for laying cables for motherboard tray. A cutout in the upper part allows you to install and remove the overall cooling system without dismantling the main board.

be quiet! SILENT BASE 800

Inside you can easily place not only the overall video card and power supply, but also the powerful processor cooler up to 187 mm. Consequently, the majority of coolers available on the market will be suitable for this model.

The structure features a very good rigidity, all parts fit well, and the gaps and backlash are absent. The same can be said about the quality of edging.

tags: be quiet!   usb 3.0   usb 2.0   atx   mini-itx   microatx   middle tower   
Read the full review >>>

MSI Z170A GAMING M5 motherboard: review and testing

As you know MSI has decided to divide the whole range of gaming motherboards on three lineups: MSI Z170 Arsenal GAMING, MSI Z170 Performance GAMING and MSI Z170 Enthusiast GAMING. The first is designed for casual players that do not require special advantages. The second one provides a number of important features. The third one pleases gaming enthusiasts due to improvements to each subsystem.

In turn, lineup MSI Z170 Enthusiast GAMING is divided into several series: MSI Z170 GAMING M3, MSI Z170 GAMING M5, MSI Z170 GAMING M7 и MSI Z170 GAMING M9.  It is easy to guess that the higher the index number, the greater the benefits of various integrated into the model.

MSI Z170A GAMING M5

So we can say that the motherboard MSI Z170A GAMING M5 is designed for fans of computer games that are looking for a balance between the high functionality and the ultimate cost.

Novelty has an excellent network subsystem, which will be appreciated by fans of online battles, high-quality sound subsystem that allows you to catch the steps of the enemy before it appears on the screen, as well as ample opportunities for the organization of graphics and disk subsystems.

However, but firstly let's consider the detailed technical specifications of the motherboard MSI Z170A GAMING M5:

Producer 

MSI

Model

Z170A GAMING M5

Chipset

Intel Z170

CPU socket

Socket LGA1151

Supported CPU

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 6th gen

Memory frequency

3600* / 3200* / 3000* / 2800* / 2600* / 2400 / 2133 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR4 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 64 GB

Expansion slots

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16 / x8+x8 / x8+x4+x4)

4 x PCI Express 3.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel Z170 chipset supports:

2 x M.2 32 Gb/s (M.2 2242, M.2 2260, M.2 2280)

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA Express (compatible with 2 х SATA 6 Gb/s)

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

LAN

1 x Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2400 (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC1150

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin ATX connector

8-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

2 x CPU fan connectors (4-pin)

3 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminium radiators on the processor power subsystem elements

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x PS/2 Combo

1 x HDMI

1 x DVI-D

1 x LAN (RJ45)

4 x USB 3.1 Gen1

1 х USB 3.1 Gen2 (Type-C)

1 х USB 3.1 Gen2 (Type-A)

2 x USB 2.0

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

5 x audio jacks

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.1 each with support of two USB 3.1 Gen1

2 x USB 2.0 each with support of two USB 2.0

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA Express

1 х socket TPM

1 х COM

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

2 x sets of front panel connectors

1 х switch «Slow mode»

1 x CMOS reset

1 x diagnostic LED-indicator

BIOS

128 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP 1.0а, ACPI 5.0, SM BIOS 2.8

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

4 x SATA cables

1 х bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

305 x 244 mm

Producer website

MSI
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

Read the full review >>>

Case Fractal Design Define S Window: review and testing 

The Swedish company Fractal Design is well known for cases that combine strict appearance and balanced organization of interior space. Not so long ago we have tested the model Fractal Design Define R4, which has received positive reviews due to its high quality. 

Fractal Design Define S Window

In this article the original case Fractal Design Define S Window will be considered. At first glance, it has no differences from most other models of format Middle Tower, except a large window on the side panel. But when look at its internal structure as it becomes clear that the manufacturer spent quite a lot of work in terms of increasing the convenience of assembly and operation.

The specs:

Producer and model

Fractal Design Define S Window

Case type

Middle Tower

Supported form-factors

ATX, microATX, Mini-ITX

Color

Black

Bays

3 х 3,5” / 2,5”

2 х 2,5”

Expansions card slot

7

Max length of video card

425 / 450 mm

Max height of CPU cooler

180 mm

External interfaces

2 x USB 3.0

2 х audio jacks

Preset fans

Front panel

1 х 140-mm

Back panel

1 х 140-mm

All spots for fans

Front panel

3 х 120 / 140-mm

Back panel

1 х 120 / 140-mm

Top panel

3 х 120 / 140-mm or 1 х 180-mm

Bottom panel

1 х 120 / 140-mm

Water cooling system support

Front panel

360 / 280 / 240 / 140 / 120 mm

Top panel

420 / 360 / 280 / 240 / 140 / 120 m

Bottom panel

120 mm

Back panel

120 / 140 mm

PSU

No

Material

Front panel

Plastic

Chassis

Steel

Case chassis thickness

0,8 mm

Sides thickness

0,83 mm

Case dimensions

233 х 451 х 520 mm

Net weight

9,1 kg

Producer website

Product page

Fractal Design

Fractal Design Define S Window

Package and delivery set 

Fractal Design Define S Window

The case comes in a standard carton box. Its front side contains a schematic representation of model name. There is also stated that we have a modification with large window of clear plastic on the side panel.

Fractal Design Define S Window

The reverse side of the box lists the main advantages of the new item:

  • design provides enhanced sound insulation and optimal air distribution;
  • support for water cooling systems with heatsink up to 420 mm;
  • use a proprietary sound insulating plug Moduvent for the vents on the upper part of the case;
  • presence of two fans Fractal Design Dynamic GP14 (140 mm);
  • presence of dust filters at the front and bottom panels;
  • hidden slots for five drives behind tray for the motherboard;
  • ability to install the tank and water cooling system pump.

Fractal Design Define S Window

Supplied set of Fractal Design Define S Window includes the following components:

  • set of screws for mounting the motherboard, fans, drives and covers;
  • two fasteners for fixing the water cooling system tank;
  • cable ties;
  • user manual and quick guide.

Such a kit could meet the needs of almost any user, given the relatively simple structure of the body.

Design 

Fractal Design Define S Window

Model Fractal Design Define S Window has a strict and concise appearance. It is made of metal and painted in matt black, so fingerprints are hardly visible. The side faces of the front panel feature air vents for the free access of air inside.

Fractal Design Define S Window

The front panel is completely solid and equipped with a door or bays for optical drives. The only functional element here is LED HDD activity indicator (it is located in the upper part) with moderate brightness.

Fractal Design Define S Window

 

Fractal Design Define S Window

The upper wall of the case has three plastic plugs Moduvent. Their use improves sound insulation. If the priority is the improved cooling of the internal components, you can install the fan instead of one or more of them.

Fractal Design Define S Window

Near you can find a control panel that contains the following interfaces: two USB 3.0 ports, audio output for headphones and a microphone, as well as the power and reset buttons.

Fractal Design Define S Window

On the left sidebar there is a large transparent window, through which you can see the internal organization of the components in the system unit. In the presence of light-emitting diodes in such a solution would look quite impressive.

Fractal Design Define S Window

The right side wall is completely solid and secured with two non-removable screws, which can be unscrewed even without using a screwdriver.

Fractal Design Define S Window

The lower part of the rear panel has a compartment for a power supply. Above there are reusable white plug for slots of expansion cards, which look quite original. At the top there is a place for the interface panel of the motherboard and to mount of the fan with diameter of 120 or 140 mm (includes spinner Fractal Design Dynamic GP14 diameter 140 mm).

Fractal Design Define S WindowFractal Design Define S Window

The bottom of the case houses one seat for the fan diameter of 120 or 140 mm. Without its use the length of a compatible power supply increases from 170 mm to 300 mm. The bottom contains large dust filter (290 x 140 mm) for cleaning the airflow.

Fractal Design Define S WindowFractal Design Define S Window

Four large rubber legs provide a stable body position on the surface and prevent damage. The height of the front and rear legs is 15 mm, but the diameter of rubber part is different: 25 mm at the front and 30 mm at the back.

Overall build quality is on the highest level. The gaps or unstable elements are absent.

Internal device 

Fractal Design Define S WindowFractal Design Define S Window

Fractal Design Define S Window allows to install ATX, microATX and Mini-ITX motherboard. The thickness of the metal chassis is 0.8 mm, and the side walls0.83 mm. The absence of the usual inside modules for storage allows you to install a video card an overall length of 425 mm (430 mm according to our measurements). If the front panel is used without fans or heat sinks of water cooling system, the available space is 450 mm (457 mm according to our measurements). Also, the case allows the use of a sufficiently large processor cooling system up to 180 mm (182 mm according to our measurements).

Fractal Design Define S WindowFractal Design Define S Window

The right side wall is glued with sound-proof material, which is able to absorb the noise from your computer. Under the hood you can seats for up to five drives. In the upper right corner there is a large cutout that allows you to freely accommodate virtually any reinforcing plate on the back side of the motherboard. The hidden cable management is provided by a space width of 40 mm, as well as built-in tie to secure the wires.

Fractal Design Define S WindowFractal Design Define S Window

The left side of a large niche contains seats for the 3.5 or 2.5-inch drives that are equipped with anti-vibration pads. The right side (under the motherboard) features two hidden bays for 2.5-inch SSD.

Fractal Design Define S WindowFractal Design Define S Window

After removing the front panel, you can find three seats for fans with a diameter of 120 or 140 mm, covered with dust filter (190 x 130 mm) by a magnetic mount.

Fractal Design Define S Window

Fans are mounted in special skid. This allows you to adjust the position of their adjustment.

Fractal Design Define S Window

Primarily here is one fan Fractal Design Dynamic GP14 with diameter of 140 mm, similar to installed one on the back panel.

Fractal Design Define S Window

A set of cables to connect the front panel interface consists of:

  • connectors for connecting buttons Power/Reset and LED-indicators (length 800 mm);
  • port USB 3.0 (700 mm);
  • blocks for audio connectors (length 940 mm).

Additional adapters for fan with connectors MOLEX (PATA) are not included, so if you need to install more coolers, they can be purchased separately.

Fractal Design Define S Window

Assembling of a computer in the case Fractal Design Define S Window is very easy. This is mainly due to the absence of module for drives and optical drives. In our case, we have large ATX motherboard and water cooling system to cool the processor. Its radiator occupies one bay for 140-mm fan.

Fractal Design Define S Window

As you can see, inside there is a room for air circulation, and the installation of five additional fans. In general, here you can fit overall water cooling system consisting of a liquid reservoir, and the full length of the pump.

Fractal Design Define S Window

tags: fractal design   usb 3.0   mini-itx   microatx   middle tower   atx   
Read the full review >>>

ASUS M5A97 EVO R2.0 motherboard: review and testing

The hero of this review is the model ASUS M5A97 EVO R2.0. First of all it interest fans of reliable average motherboards. It is designed to work in tandem with the processor of families AMD Phenom II, AMD Athlon, AMD FX combines a relatively inexpensive and modern equipment. With the price of $ 120 ASUS M5A97 EVO R2.0 offers enhanced digital power system, the ability to use up to 32 GB of RAM standard DDR3-2133 MHz interface SATA 6 Gb/s for connecting disk drives, connector PCI Express 2.0 x16 to installing a video card, as well as interfaces USB 3.0 and eSATA. But this is not the full list of its features.

ASUS M5A97 EVO R2.0

The specs: 

Producer  

ASUS

Model

M5A97 EVO R2.0 (rev 1.01)

Chips of north and south bridges

AMD 970 + AMD SB950

CPU socket

AMD Socket AM3+

Supported CPUs

AMD Phenom II / AMD Athlon II / AMD Sempron / AMD FX

(up to 140 W)

Memory frequency

2133* / 1866 / 1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM- slots with memory support up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

 

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (in mode x4)

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

2 х PCI

Disk subsystem

AMD SB950 supports:

6 x SATA 6 Gb/s

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

ASMedia ASM1061 controller supports:

2 x eSATA 6 Gb/s

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111F (10/100/1000 Mb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC892

8-channel spund

Power

24-pin ATX connector

8-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

3 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator of north bridge

Aluminum radiator of south bridge

Aluminum radiator on elements of processor power subsystem

Extenral I/O

1 x LAN (RJ45)

8 x USB 2.0

2 x USB 3.0

2 x eSATA 6 Gb/s

1 х IEEE 1394a

6 x audio jacks

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

1 х PS/2 Combo

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.0 each with support of two USB 3.0

3 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

6 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x COM

1 x TPM

1 x IEEE 1394a

1 x S/PDIF Out

1 х button «MemOK!»

1 x button «USB BIOS Flashback»

1 х button «DirectKey»

1 x switch «TPU»

1 x switch «EPU»

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

ACPI 2.0a, SM BIOS 2.7, PnP, DMI 2.0

Packaging

User’s manual

Warranty card

Disk with drivers and utilities

3 x SATA cables

1 х set ASUS Q-Connectors

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

305 х 244 mm

Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available on  support page

tags: amd   asus   pci express   usb 3.0   amd fx   esata   realtek   usb 2.0   amd sb950   atx   asmedia   phenom   ddr3   athlon   amd 970   usb bios flashback   socket am3+   uefi bios   amd crossfirex   sempron   usb 3.0 boost   
Read the full review >>>

MotherboardASUS Z170 PRO GAMING: review and testing  

Continuing our acquaintance with the motherboard to work with the new family of processors Intel Skylake (Socket LGA1151 Platform), realized on the basis of the flagship chipset Intel Z170, we will talk about the model of the lineup ASUS PRO GAMER. ASUS did not create a separate lineup of gaming motherboards for the new family of processors, but renamed ASUS Gamer intp ASUS PRO GAMER including a model on the platform Socket LGA1150, for example, ASUS Z97-PRO GAMER.

ASUS_Z170_PRO_GAMING

As for ASUS Z170 PRO GAMING, it is a logical continuation of earlier branded gaming solutions with a number of significant improvements, new proprietary technologies as well as more modern equipment, such as support for interface USB 3.1.

The specs: 

Producer  

ASUS

Model

Z170 PRO GAMING (rev 1.04)

Chipset

Intel Z170

CPU socket

Socket LGA1151

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 6th gen

Memory frequency

3400* / 3333* / 3200* / 3100* / 3000* / 2933* / 2800* / 2666* / 2600* / 2400* / 2133 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR4 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 64 GB

Expansion slots

 

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16 / x8+x8 / x8+x8+x4)

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel Z170 chipset supports:

1 x M.2 Socket 3 (M.2 2242, M.2 2260, M.2 2280, M.2 22110)

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x SATA Express (compatible with 2 х SATA 6 Gb/s)

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

LAN

1 x Intel WGI219V (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec SupremeFX

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

1 х 24-pin ATX connector

1 x 8-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

2 x CPU fan connectors (4-pin)

3 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Aluminum radiator on the elements of the processor power subsystem

Extenral I/O

1 x PS/2 Combo

1 x HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

1 x D-Sub

1 x DVI-D

1 x LAN (RJ45)

4 x USB 3.0

1 х USB 3.1 (Type-C)

1 х USB 3.1 (Type-A)

2 x USB 2.0

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

5 x audio jacks

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.0 each with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

3 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

1 х ROG_EXT

1 x EXT_FAN

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x SATA Express

1 х TPM

1 х COM

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 х connector for temperature sensor connection

1 x CMOS

BIOS

128 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 5.0, SM BIOS 3.0, DMI 3.0, WfM 2.0

Packaging

User’s manual

Warranty card

Disk with drivers and utilities

1 х tool ASUS CPU Installation Tool

4 x SATA cables

1 х bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

305 x 244 mm

Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available on  support page

Read the full review >>>

Case ZALMAN Z11 NEO: review and testing

In this review we will focus on the case which will be an interesting solution for gamers and for lovers of modding. The history of this device dates back to 2012 when predecessors ZALMAN Z11 and Z11 Plus appeared. They had an aggressive design the clearly distinguished them from the rest of the game models. New products offer excellent opportunities for effective cooling of internals space (including the possibility of installing two-fan water cooling system), and the presence of the blue illumination and an acrylic window on the side panel allows you to enjoy views of components in the dark. The difference between them is availability of two pairs of USB 3.0 ports and four USB 2.0 connectors instead of the standard 2.0 in ZALMAN Z11 on the interface panel of the model ZALMAN Z11 Plus.

Another model is ZALMAN Z11 Plus HF1. In fact, it is a solution ZALMAN Z11 Plus, but instead of blue backlight manufacturer used red LEDs. So we cannot talk about any really fundamental differences between these three models.

 

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

But after a few years, the company ZALMAN has revised its vision of aggressive case, presenting a model ZALMAN Z11 NEO. It refused a ventilation grille at the bottom of the front panel, and its shape became smoother. Nevertheless, this did not eliminate the attraction, but in terms of usability for the user, it can boast of a number of positive changes. For example, unlike their predecessors, allowing to install the graphics card up to 290 mm, the new product can accommodate a solution longer than 400 mm. At the same time the body became even more compact. Other changes of the gaming lineup ZALMAN Z11 with the advent a model with the prefix «NEO» will be described in the current review.

The specs: 

Producer and model

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

Case type

Middle Tower

Supported form-factors of motherboard

ATX / microATX

Color

Black

Compartements

1 х 5,25” (external)

8 х 3,5”/2,5” (internal)

1 х 2,5” (internal, under tray)

Expansion card slots

7

Max length of video card

Including installed baskets

270 mm

Excluding baskets (according to our measurements)

400 mm (430 mm)

The maximum height of CPU cooler (according to our measurements, taking into account the convexity of acrylic window)

175 mm (185 mm)

Max length of PSU

250 mm

Sockets

2 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

2 х audio jacks (headphones, microphone)

Preset fans

Front panel

1 х 120-mm

Back panel

1 х 120-mm

Top panel

1 х 120-mm

Side panels

2 х 80-mm

Ability to install fans

Front panel

2 х 120-mm

Back panel

1 х 120-mm

Top panel

2 х 140-mm / 2 х 120-mm

Side panels

2 х 80-mm

Bottom panel

1 х 140-mm / 1 х 120-mm

PSU

No

Materials

Front and top panels, strips on sides

Plastic

Chassis

Steel with thickness 0.73 mm

Sides

Steel with thickness 0.65 mm

Case dimensions

515 х 205 х 465 mm

Net weight

7,7 kg

Producer website

ZALMAN
Product page 

Package and content 

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

It comes in a cardboard box, which provides a lot of information on the rooms inside the device, despite the simplicity of design. Thus, the front side in black and white colors shows the appearance of the body, listing its most important advantages in English. The same information is duplicated in one of the side walls on eight languages. The second side provides a sufficiently detailed specification of the unit.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

Inside box the case is fixed by using foam inserts and plastic bag that protects the novelty from moisture. The set also includes a number of components that will be useful during building of the system. A total delivery set of ZALMAN Z11 NEO includes the following components:

  • set of screws and racks for installation of the motherboard;
  • set of screws to fix the power supply and drive;
  • plug into the expansion slot;
  • extension cable to supply additional power to the CPU;
  • 5 tie wire;
  • manual.

Such a large number of complete screws should be enough to install all the necessary components, including a plurality of storage devices. Comfortable holders allow to gather the cables in groups for their more accurate arrangement.

Design 

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

ZALMAN Z11 NEO is an ingenious solution, with a set of interesting exterior elements, which we will introduce you in detail below. Gamers, who are the main target audience for new product, will like this design.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

Unlike ZALMAN Z11 Plus, where the bottom of the front panel contains a ventilation grille, the novelty has received a more rigorous look through the use of plastic metal finish. Thus, practicality was sacrificed to design.

ZALMAN Z11 NEOZALMAN Z11 NEO

But the removal cool air in front is still carried out by means of nozzles, which also play a significant role in giving the body of aggressive species, increasing its width.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

Air supply is provided by 120 mm fan ZALMAN ZA1225CSL with blue LED-backlit. It is based on Sleeve Bearing. Power is supplied to the fan via a 3-pin cable, and its power is less than 2 W (12 V at 0.16 A). The rotation speed of the blades was at 1130 rpm, which is quite comfortable in terms of indication of the noise emission.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

Also, you can install another 120-mm fan and removable dust filter is responsible for cleaning of air.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

Despite the very large size, case ZALMAN Z11 NEO is equipped with only one external compartement for 5.25-inch devices, which is effectively opened in case of shift spring-loaded lid. External bays for 3.5-inch devices are absent.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

The reverse side has familiar layout. Lower power supply arrangement, seven expansion slots (including disposable plugs), two holes for hoses of water cooling system and 120-mm spinner - all is done in good traditions of gaming cases. But here the solution of ZALMAN can be found due to a very specific form of the top panel.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

The fan on the rear panel is represented by a 120 mm model ZALMAN ZA1225CSL that provides the use of the white impeller. According to its characteristics it is similar to the solution used on the front wall of the body, but is made of opaque plastic and devoid of LED-backlighting. As a result of the measurement, it rotates slightly faster - at the speed of 1330 rpm.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

The bottom of the case ZALMAN Z11 NEO is characterized by the presence of two dust filters that can and should be removed for regular cleaning. One of them is designed to clean air coming into the power supply through the perforated area of 10 x 8 cm. The second is useful for additional 140 or 120 mm fan installed on the bottom.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

When using a long power supply (in this case the model length 193 mm), it is impossible to mount the fan. But the pleasing fact is that the novelty can house even the overall power supply of up to 250 mm.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

Along the edges of the bottom panel you can find plastic legs with height 20 mm with the rubber base of 3 mm thick that eliminate the sliding the case and scarring the surfaces.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

One of the most interesting items is the top panel. It is made of plastic and has an original form, inherited from its predecessors. Toward the back we found perforated grille and plastic edges. On the one hand, it allows them to collect dust and on the other is not to hinder the flow of cool air inside.

Also here is a 120mm spinner ZALMAN ZA1225CSL, which is completely similar to the model on the front panel. However, if you wish, you can install another fan, two 140mm solutions or radiator of water cooling system with length of up to 280 mm.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

The top panel is easily removed and disassembled, which greatly facilitates cleaning.

ZALMAN Z11 NEOZALMAN Z11 NEO

Closer to the front panel ZALMAN Z11 NEO has a glossy platform designed to accommodate a smartphone or portable drive. On both side there are controls and components of interface panel presented by reset button, two pairs of ports USB 3.0 and USB 2.0, and also two 3.5mm audio jacks.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

Power button is located in the center above the front panel. It has a nice blue glow.

ZALMAN Z11 NEOZALMAN Z11 NEO

For lovers of modding the left side contains acrylic window size of 31 x 30.5 cm.

The sidewalls are mounted using screws with curly heads and there are vertical ridges in the back part for their easy removal. Plastic top and front panel are fixed using standard latches.

ZALMAN Z11 NEOZALMAN Z11 NEO

Quite a spectacular view of the novelty is provided by side nozzles, which also have practical benefits. Thus, under the plastic covers we found the low-profile 80-mm fan ZALMAN ZA0815ASL (12 V; 0.08 A) of 15 mm thick. Unlike the other three fans using a 3-pin connector, these solutions are powered by a 4-pin peripheral interface (Molex). Thus, the three connectors on the motherboard and one PATA connector on the power supply should be enough to connect all preset cooling system ZALMAN Z11 NEO.

Internal device 

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

The chassis and all metallic elements are covered with a black matt paint, which makes them perfectly blend in with the plastic parts. The interior space is visually divided into left part for installing the motherboard and power supply, and right which contains compartments for drives and other devices.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

Two baskets are intended to install drives. Each can house three devices. Fastening of 3.5 inch solutions is realized by means of screwless clamps while 2.5-inch drives will be secured via screws. The baskets cannot boast of good rigidity (when installing the drive, this feature becomes less noticeable), and when mounting there is a small gap. 

Therefore, if you are not going to create file storage within the ZALMAN Z11 NEO, then one or both baskets can be removed. In this case it is possible to use metal brackets arranged in the two bottom 5.25-inch drive bays, which are designed for 3.5 and 2.5-inch drive. However, they are provided by the fastening screws. The absence of baskets allows to install video cards up to 430 mm (in the original layout the value is limited by 270 mm).

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

On the bottom, in the place of the power supply installation there are four heights with gaskets, which reduce the vibration transmitted to the case.

ZALMAN Z11 NEO

A set of cables to connect the front panel includes a connector HD Audio, connectors to connect buttons on/reset, and LED-indicator, 4-pin peripheral connector and cable for connecting ports USB 3.0 and USB 2.0.

ZALMAN Z11 NEOZALMAN Z11 NEO

The tray contains a small perforation, placed on the attachment of 2.5-inch drive. As we see, novelty supports three drives without the use of baskets, but using the provided screws.

Assembling within system ZALMAN Z11 NEO is realized without any difficulties and complications. It is provided by the presence of free space for laying cables under the tray of case. And the cut allows you to install and remove the overall cooling system without dismantling the system board.

The structure itself sufficient rigidity, all parts fit well, and clearance and backlash were not observed. Considerable body sizes allow you to set the overall video length to 430 mm, and high CPU coolers up to 175 mm (185 mm with the convexity of the acrylic window).

LED-backlight

ZALMAN Z11 NEOZALMAN Z11 NEO

ZALMAN Z11 NEOZALMAN Z11 NEO

tags: zalman   usb 2.0   usb 3.0   моддинг   atx   microatx   middle tower   
Read the full review >>>

MotherboardASUS Z170-A: review and testing

5th August 2015 Intel has announced a new family of processors Intel Skylake for the platform Socket LGA1151, as well as the flagship chipset Intel Z170. Of course, all the key players in the motherboard market has prepared their models and began to actively demonstrated them.

ASUS Z170-A

In this review we will learn the features of the motherboard ASUS Z170-A produced by renowned Taiwanese company. Based on design and equipment, a novelty is a high-level solution, which received an excellent sound system, high-quality circuitry, support for two ports USB 3.1, as well as a number of proprietary enhancements. But let’s start from the technical specification.

The specs:

Producer  

ASUS

Model

Z170-A (rev 1.03)

Chipset

Intel Z170

CPU socket

Socket LGA1151

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 6th gen

Memory frequency

3400* / 3333* / 2133 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR4 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 64 GB

Expansion slots

 

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16 / x8+x8 / x8+x8+x4)

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1

1 х PCI

Disk subsystem

Intel Z170 chipset supportd=s:

1 x M.2 32 Gb/s (M.2 2242, M.2 2260, M.2 2280, M.2 22110)

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x SATA Express (compatible with 2 х SATA 6 Gb/s)

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

LAN

1 x Intel WGI219V (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC892

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

1 х 24-pin ATX connector

1 x 8-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

2 x CPU fan connectors (4-pin)

4 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Алюминиевый радиатор на чипсете

Aluminum radiator on the elements of the processor power subsystem

Extenral I/O

1 x PS/2 Combo

1 x HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

1 x D-Sub

1 x DVI-D

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

1 х USB 3.1 (Type-C)

1 х USB 3.1 (Type-A)

2 x USB 2.0

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

5 x audio jacks

Internal I/O

2 x USB 3.0, each with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x SATA Express

1 х socket TPM

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x S/PDIF out

1 х button «MemOK!»

1 х module «TB_HEADER»

1 x power button

1 x CMOS

1 x switch «TPU»

1 х switch «EZ_XMP»

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 5.0, SM BIOS 2.8, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0

Packaging

User’s manual

Warranty card

Disk with drivers and utilities

1 х set ASUS Q-Connectors

1 х tool ASUS CPU Installation Tool

3 x SATA cables

1 х bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available on support page

Read the full review >>>

Review of motherboard GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 3 on Intel Z170

5 August 2015 is a significant date on the calendar in the IT-industry. After all, this day brought not only the announcement of the sixth-generation Intel Core processors under code-named «Intel Skylake», but also we have an introduction of a new platform Intel Socket LGA1151 and a new chipset Intel Z170. We will devote a separate review for processor family Intel Skylake, but in this material on the example of motherboard GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 3 we offer a more detailed look at the possibilities of the chipset Intel Z170.

GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 3

Conceptual scheme of platform Socket LGA1151

GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 3

Conceptual scheme of platform Socket LGA1150

First of all let’s consider the conceptual scheme of platform Socket LGA1151. The general structure has not changed: the board still contains two major components (CPU and chipset), the data exchange between them is done by a bus DMI. However "the main thing is in the details." Indeed, the analysis of the individual units of the scheme shows that the platform Socket LGA1151 is a big step forward compared to the Socket LGA1150. Firstly, the chipset Intel Z170 had the transition to the use of interface PCI Express 3.0, which has twice higher the bandwidth than PCI Express 2.0. Moreover, the new standard will be used for communication with external devices (expansion slots and the controller), and for "dialogue" with the processor. In other words, performance of bus DMI 3.0 also increased about twice compared with DMI 2.0. Such upgrading at chipset ensures that during operation any part of this scheme will not be the bottleneck and will not limit the performance of its individual components.

Another important development was the increase the number of lines PCIe in the chipset to communicate with peripherals. Intel Z97 features 8, while Intel Z170 has 20. Such a large amount should help the developers of motherboards in terms of implementing a set of interfaces for multi-graphics configurations, and the use of third-party controllers. Also don’t forget that the processor also has its own 16th lines PCIe 3.0, that will give us a grand total of 36 lines. In other words, any board equipped with the flagship chipset Intel Z170, theoretically, be able to support modes 4-Way NVIDIA SLI/AMD CrossFireX in format х8+х8+х8+х8.

As for the supported connectors, the Intel Z170 also took the lead of its predecessor. For the needs of the user here are 10 USB 3.0 port versus 6 in Intel Z97. The number of available slots USB 2.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s has not changed - 14 and 6, respectively. Also, here is support for interface SATA Express and drives M.2 PCIe (NGFF SSD). Moreover, by increasing the number of lines and the transition to PCIe 3.0 standard now the motherboard can contain not one, but two or three corresponding slots. Also, minor changes were made for supported technologies. Thus, the Intel Rapid Storage options has added full support for PCIe-storage, and will have access to technology to improve sound quality (Intel Smart Sound).

In general, the chipset Intel Z170 has a rather large functionality.

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS H81-PLUS: review and testing

Motherboard ASUS H81-PLUS is one of the entry-level solutions from the company ASUS. It offers a wide list of benefits: affordable price, the traditionally high quality of performance and the element base, support for modern interfaces, as well as a number of other improvements and proprietary technologies.

ASUS H81-PLUS

It is based on youngest chipset (Intel H81), which is accompanied the low final cost at $ 70 - 75. Let's look at a more detailed specifications of motherboard ASUS H81-PLUS:

Producer 

ASUS

Model

H81-PLUS (rev 1.03)

Chipset

Intel H81

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th gen

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

Memory support

2 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 16 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

3 x PCI

Disk subsystem

Intel H81 chipset supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s (yellow)

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s (dark-brown)

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Mb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

Power

1 х 24-pin ATX connector

1 х 4-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

1 x CPU socket (4-pin)

1 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x D-Sub

1 x COM

1 x LPT

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

2 х PS/2

Internal I/O

3 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x S/PIDIF Out

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 2.0a, SM BIOS 2.7, DMI 2.0, WfM 2.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

305 х 188 mm

Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

Read the full review >>>

PSU Seasonic M12II-850 Bronze Evo Edition: review and testing

In this review we will focus on the power supply unit Seasonic M12II-850 Bronze Evo Edition (Seasonic SS-850AM2) another model of very interesting and in some ways even a unique series Seasonic M12II Bronze Evo Edition. Not so long ago it underwent modernization, which touched not only upgrade the hardware, but also the cost of the devices. We have already examined the new revision of 520 W and 750 W models. Now it's time to take a closer look to updated version of the flagship Seasonic M12II Bronze Evo Edition, the capacity of which is at 850 W.

Seasonic M12II-850 Bronze Evo Edition (Seasonic SS-850AM2)

The specs:

Model 

tags: seasonic   atx   fdb   80 plus bronze   
Read the full review >>>

PSU CHIEFTEC APS-1000CB: review and testing 

After testing of top kilowatt power supplies, it's time to recall the cheaper counterparts. One of them is the flagship of series CHIEFTEC A-135, a model CHIEFTEC APS-1000CB. Its average cost ranges from $ 110 - 120, which is about 1.5 - 2 times less than the "gold" or "platinum" solutions with comparable power (1000 W). And this is a pretty powerful argument in favor of CHIEFTEC APS-1000CB, especially in cases that require a high power without much regard to other characteristics. The most vivid example is the configuration for generating of cryptocurrency, where the ratio of price and features of components is the determining factor. Due to this factor the predecessor of the hero of this review, CHIEFTEC APS-1000C, has such popularity and has established to be an inexpensive and robust workhorse. Despite the fact that it is still used in systems of some users, it is already obsolete. And the company produced a model CHIEFTEC CHIEFTEC APS-1000CB. And it will be described in today’s review. 

CHIEFTEC APS-1000CB

The specs: 

Model 

tags: chieftec   atx   80 plus bronze   amd crossfirex   nvidia sli   sirtec   infineon   
Read the full review >>>

PSU be quiet! DARK POWER PRO 11 1200W: review and testing

In May this year a new line of high-performance power supply be quiet! DARK POWER PRO 11 was announced. Using this link you can read the corresponding news. And now, after a few months we managed to get one of its representatives to be tested. And this is a very top-end model be quiet! DARK POWER PRO 11 1200W (be quiet! P11-1200W) with capacity of 1200 W. A new series includes two devices with capacity for 1000 and 850 W, respectively. They all share a great performance, very high efficiency (compliance with 80 PLUS Platinum), the presence of a modular cabling system and the use of low-speed fan that makes the power supplies quite interesting solutions for enthusiasts of computer equipment.

be quiet! DARK POWER PRO 11 1200W (be quiet! P11-1200W)

The specs: 

Model  

tags: be quiet!   atx   80 plus platinum   eps12v   
Read the full review >>>

Motherboard MSI Z97A GAMING 6: review and testing

The hero of this review the motherboard MSI Z97A GAMING 6 takes a middle position in the lineup MSI GAMING, which continues to develop thanks to the interest of users. This model has an excellent network subsystem, which will be appreciated by fans of online battles, high-quality sound subsystem, as well as ample opportunities for the organization of graphics and disk subsystems. A particular note is given to the advanced interface USB 3.1 Type-C put on the interface panel.

MSI Z97A GAMING 6

The specs:

Producer 

MSI

Model

Z97A GAMING 6 (rev 1.0)

Chipset

Intel Z97

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPU

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron of 4th and 5th gen: Intel Haswell, Intel Haswell Refresh, Intel Devil`s Canyon, Intel Broadwell

Memory frequency

3300* / 3200* / 3100* / 3000* / 2800* / 2666* / 2600* / 2400* / 2200* / 2133* / 2000* / 1866* / 1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16 / x8+x8 / x8+x4+x4)

4 х PCI Express 2.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel Z97 chipset supports:

1 x M.2 (M.2 2242, M.2 2260, M.2 2280)

1 x SATA Express (compatible with 2 x SATA 6 GB/s)

4 x SATA 6 GB/s (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10)

LAN

1 x Qualcomm Atheros Killer E2205 (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC1150

7.1-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin ATX connector

8-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

2 x CPU fan connectors (4-pin)

3 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminium radiators on the processor power subsystem elements

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x PS/2 Combo

1 x HDMI

1 x D-Sub

1 x DVI-D

1 x LAN (RJ45)

1 x USB 3.1 (Type-C)

2 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

6 x audio jacks

Internal I/O

2 x USB 3.0, each with support of two USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

1 х TPM

1 x COM

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

2 x sets of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

1 х LED-indicator

1 x socket Direct audio

1 x switch Audio Power

9 х V-Check sockets

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

ACPI 5.0, PnP 1.0a, SM BIOS 2.7, DMI 2.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х bridge NVIDIA SLI

1 x set MSI M-Connector

1 x door hanger

1 х sticker MSI GAMING

1 x power cord Direct audio

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

305 х 244 mm

Producer website

MSI
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

Read the full review >>>

PSU Seasonic X-1050: review and testing

Kilowatt solutions are crown of any engineering idea of any company engaged in the production of power supplies. Here the producer can realize the full potential of applied platforms and their work in this area. Naturally, in such circumstances the issue price comes into the background. Everyone understands that the power supplies of such power, are not cheap and are mainly produced for enthusiasts of computer equipment, not for the masses.

Seasonic X-1050 (Seasonic SS-1050XM2)

Such devices include the model Seasonic X-1050, which will be discussed in this review. Like other members of the series Seasonic X, it recently undergone modernization interns to change the platform. The updated version has a new nomenclature index Seasonic SS-1050XM2.

The specs:

Model 

tags: seasonic   80 plus gold   infineon   atx   hybrid   haswell   sanyo denki   
Read the full review >>>

PSU Seasonic G-550: review and testing

Having tested the flagship Seasonic G-750 and Seasonic G-650 from updated series Seasonic G, it would be unfair to ignore the less powerful representatives. In particular, we are talking about power supply Seasonic G-550 (Seasonic SSR-550RM). Perhaps its performance at the level of 550 W does not sound so proudly as 750 or 650 W. On the other hand, today more important are maximum performance and capabilities, and their combination on the background of the price tag of the device. And in this regard, the hero of the review looks more interesting, especially if we consider it as a power supply for usual home PC.

Seasonic G-550 (Seasonic SSR-550RM)

The specs: 

Model  

tags: seasonic   atx   80 plus gold   fdb   infineon   eps12v   haswell   
Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS Z97-WS: review and testing

As is well known, the controller PCI Express 3.0 integrated into processors Intel Socket LGA1150 supports only 16 lines with distribution under schemes х16, х8+х8 or х8+х4+х4. The model ASUS Z97-WS is perfect for users who want to organize a more powerful graphics subsystem. The company has equipped its product with chip-switch PLX PEX8747, providing more opportunities to build gaming PC. However, first things first, and first, let's take a look at the detailed specs.

ASUS Z97-WS

The specs:

Producer

ASUS

Model

Z97-WS (rev 1.0)

Chipset

Intel Z97

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

Supported processors

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 4th and 5th gen: Intel Haswell, Intel Haswell Refresh, Intel Devil`s Canyon, Intel Broadwell

Memory frequency

3300* / 3200* / 3100* / 3000* / 2933* / 2800* / 2666* / 2600* / 2500* / 2400* / 2200* / 2133* / 2000* / 1866* / 1800* / 1600 / 1333 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with support of memory up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

 

4 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x16 / x16+x16 / x16+x8+x8 / x8+x8+x8+x8)

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x4

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel Z97 chipset supports:

1 x M.2 (M.2 2260, M.2 2280)

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x SATA Express (compatible with 2 х SATA 6 Gb/s)

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

ASMedia ASM1061 controller supports:

1 x eSATA 6 Gb/s

ASMedia ASM106SE controller supports:

1 x SATA Express (compatible with 2 x SATA 6 Gb/s)

LAN

1 x Intel WGI210AT (10/100/1000 Mb/s)

1 x Intel WGI218LM (10/100/1000 Mb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC1150

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

1 x 24-pin power socket ATX

2 x 8-pin power socket ATX12V

1 x 6-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

2 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

4 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiators on chipset

Aluminum radiator on power subsystem elements, coupled with an additional heat pipe with additional  heat sink and the heat sink on the chip-switch PLX PEX8747

External I/O

1 x HDMI

1 x Mini DisplayPort

1 x DisplayPort

2 x LAN (RJ45)

6 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

1 x eSATA 6 Gb/s

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

6 x audio jacks

1 х button «Q-Code Logger»

1 х button «USB BIOS Flashback»

Internal I/O

2 x USB 3.0, each with support of two USB USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB USB 2.0

1 x IEEE 1394a

1 х TPM

1 x COM

1 x Thunderbolt

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x S/PDIF out

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

1 х «MemOK!»

1 х DRCT

1 х «Direct Key»

1 x «Power»

1 x «Reboot»

1 x «CMOS reset»

2 x diagnostic LED-indicator

1 x switch «TPU»

1 x switch «EPU»

1 х switch «EZ XMP»

1 х switch «DR_POWER»

1 x switch «CPU Over Voltage»

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 5.0, SM BIOS 2.8, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0

Packaging

 

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

1 х set ASUS Q-Connectors

8 x SATA cables

1 х bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х bridge 3-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х bridge 4-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х panel with port COM

1 x panel with two ports USB 2.0 and one IEEE 1394a

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor,

dimensions

ATX

305 х 244 mm

 Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD5: review and testing

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD5 is designed in ATX format based on the flagship chipset bundle AMD 990FX and AMD SB950. It is positioned as a solution for the building of high-level gaming, overclocking or efficient system. Also here you can find enhanced 8+2 phase power subsystem, powerful cooling system, support for technologies AMD CrossFireX and NVIDIA SLI, as well as good equipping. Let's take a closer look other features of GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD5, and its correspondence to the requirements of 2015 year.

GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD5

The specs:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-990FXA-UD5 (rev 3.0)

Chipset of north and south bridges

AMD 990FX + AMD SB950

Processor socket

AMD Socket AM3+

Supported CPUs

AMD Phenom II / AMD Athlon II / AMD Sempron / AMD FX

Memory frequency

2000* / 1866 / 1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM-slots with memory support up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

3 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (x16 / x16+x16 / х16+х8+х8)

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (x4)

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 х PCI

Disk subsystem

AMD SB950 supports:

6 x SATA 6 Gb/s

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, JBOD

2 х Marvell 88SE9172 supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x eSATA 6 Gb/s

RAID 0, RAID 1

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111F (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC889

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin power socket ATX

8-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

3 x system fan connectors (1 x 4-pin and 2 х 3-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator of processor power subsystem elements connected by heat pipe with north bridge radiator

Aluminum radiator of south bridge

Extenral I/O

1 x LAN (RJ45)

8 x USB 2.0

2 x USB 3.0

2 х eSATA

1 x IEEE 1394a

6 x audio jacks

1 х S/PDIF Out

1 х PS/2 Combo

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.0 with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

3 x USB 2.0, each with support of two USB 2.0

8 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x COM

1 x TPM

1 x IEEE 1394a

1 x S/PDIF Out

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

BIOS

2 х 32 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

ACPI 2.0a, SM BIOS 2.6, PnP 1.0а, DMI 2.0

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

4 x SATA cables

1 х bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х bridge 3-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

305 х 244 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

tags: gigabyte   usb 3.0   esata   nvidia sli   amd sb950   atx   amd crossfirex   ultra durable 4   amd 990fx   ddr3   amd fx   etron   uefi bios   sata 3.0   athlon   phenom   sempron   socket am3+   
Read the full review >>>

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