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Mini PC ECS LIVA X2: review and testing

Regular readers of our portal had the opportunity to meet with the products of the well-known Taiwanese company ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems), which for several decades is an active participant in the market of computer accessories.

ECS LIVA X2

Now we have another representative of interesting and innovative lineup of portable mini-computer Nettop ECS LIVFA X2, which in addition to the updated processor and an improved cooling system has a new attractive design. Let’s start our review from a detailed review of the technical characteristics.

tags: ecs   ecs liva   intel   celeron   windows 10   windows 8   ssd   ddr3   emmc   wi-fi   vesa   usb 3.0   intel hd graphics   bluetooth 4.0   
Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS H170M-E D3 based on Intel H170: review and testing 

Less than a month after the announcement of a new family of processors Intel Skylake for platform Socket LGA1151 and flagship chipset Intel Z170, when Intel introduced another chipset Intel H170, intended for the midrange. The new product is the successor to last year's new Intel H97. It offers similar opportunities with high-end Intel Z170, which will enable manufacturers to produce well-equipped motherboard models at a more reasonable cost.

Unlike Intel Z170, the new chipset supports only 16 lines PCI Express 3.0, and one SATA Express and two USB 3.0 ports less. Additionally, there is no possibility of distribution lines between slots PCI Express 3.0 x16. According to the company Intel Overclocking features should be limited by the GPU overclocking.

As a result, comparison table of the two chipsets is as follows:

 

Intel Z170

Intel H170

Chipset lines PCI Express 3.0

20

16

Distributions schemes of CPU lines PCI Express 3.0

х16 / х8+х8 / х8+х4+х4

х16

Max quantity of SATA 6 Gb/s ports

6

6

Max quantity of SATA Express (x2) ports

3

2

Support for technology Intel RST intended for drives (M.2 x4 and SATA Express x2)

3

2

Maximum quantity of USB 3.0 ports

10

8

Overall number of USB (USB 2.0 + USB 3.0) ports

14

14

Let us move on to a detailed description of the product ASUS H170M-E D3, which is a little more affordable version of the ASUS Z170M-E D3 and designed for the building of compact average models.

ASUS H170M-E D3

The specs: 

Producer and model

Read the full review >>>

Review and testing of SSD-drive GOODRAM CX100 (240 GB)

In the middle of August 2015 the company Wilk Elektronik has announced a new SSD-drive GOODRAM CX100, which is a response to the growing demand for affordable high-capacity solid-state drives. It's kind of an updated version of GOODRAM C100 solution. That is, it can not boast of high levels of performance, as the flagship model GOODRAM Iridium PRO, but is offered for a lower price. 

GOODRAM CX100 (SSDPR-CX100-240)

SSD-drive GOODRAM CX100 is available in four versions, which differ not only in capacity, but also the speed characteristics:

Capacity, GB

120

tags: goodram   ssd   ddr3   phison   toshiba   trim   smart   nanya   aes   
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 >>>

CPU Intel Celeron G1840: review and testing

Earlier we have introduced you a budget CPU Intel Celeron G1820. According to our tests, it proved to play good in the role of building affordable home or office computer. At that time it could be supplemented by gaming configuration with a discrete midrange graphics card.

Intel Celeron G1840

This same material will focus on dual-core Intel Celeron G1840, which is included in the same line and is characterized by high frequency of 100 MHz of processor cores. We will have to learn how it will behave in today's applications and games, given the fact that many new items have been optimized for four thread computing.

The specs: 

Model

Intel Celeron G1840 

Marking

SR1VK

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

Basic clock frequency, MHz

2800

Max clock frequency with Intel Turbo Boost 2.0, MHz

-

Multiplier (nominal/in turbo mode)

28 / -

Basic frequency of system bus, MHz

100

L1 cache, КB

2 х 32 (data memory)

2 х 32 (instruction memory)

L2 cache, КB

2 х 256

L3 cache, КB

2048

Microarchitecture

Intel Haswell

Code name

Intel Haswell

Quantity of cores/threads 

2/2

Instruction support

MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, EM64T, VT-x

Max calculated power, W

53

Max temperature (TCASE), °C

72

Manufacturing process, nm

22

Support for instruction and technologies

Intel VT-x, SLAT, Intel 64, Intel Idle States, Intel SpeedStep, Intel Thermal Monitoring, Intel Secure Key

Built-in memory controller

Max memory capacity, GB

32

Memory type

DDR3 / DDR3L

Max frequency, MHz

1333

Quantity of memory channels

2

Built-in graphics core Intel HD Graphics

Nominal GPU clock frequency, MHz

350

Dynamic GPU clock frequency, MHz

1050

Max capacity of video memory in graphics subsystem, GB

1,7

Quantity of supported displays

3

Support of instructions and technologies

Intel Quick Sync Video, Intel Wireless Display, Intel Clear Video HD

Producer website

Intel

Product page

Intel Celeron G1840

Package, delivery set and design 

Intel Celeron G1840

Processor Intel Celeron G1840 comes in a standard blue carton box. There are several colored illustrations and CPU model name on its front side.

Intel Celeron G1840

The side face of the box contains a list of the main features of the processor:

  • presence of two cores operating in two-threaded mode;
  • support for the graphics subsystem Intel HD Graphics;
  • support for technologies Intel Smart Cache;
  • presence of an integrated memory controller;
  • support for memory Dual Channel DDR3 and DDR3L;
  • support for the limited warranty period of three years.

Intel Celeron G1840

The package Intel Celeron G1840 includes:

  • cooling system;
  • Quick Start Guide;
  • warranty certificate;
  • sticker on the computer case.

This kit is fully consistent with the majority of sets CPUs from Intel. It contains a list of the minimum required components to start the building of the system (as it begins with the installation of the CPU into the socket of the motherboard).

Intel Celeron G1840

The main body contains the CPU marking about its rated speed and the country of production (Vietnam).

Intel Celeron G1840

The reverse side of the body CPU contains a standard set of contacts for the connector Socket LGA1150.

Cooling system 

Intel Celeron G1840

The package includes a cooling system Intel E97379-001, consisting of small round radiator and axial fan (12 V and 0.28 A) from the company Nidec.

Intel Celeron G1840

As can be seen, the cooling system has a similar compact dimensions as the version of the processor Intel Core i5-4460. Its connection to the motherboard is realized by means of a standard four-contact connector. This provides support for controlling the rotational speed of the blades by PWM method.

Intel Celeron G1840

The main difference between the two lies in the absence of copper area in the center and in a more complex form of aluminum radiator blades.

Performance analysis 

Intel Celeron G1840

Intel Celeron G1840

Intel Celeron G1840 is equipped with two processor cores that operate in two-threaded mode. In the nominal state their speed is 2800 MHz with multiplier "x28", and a reference frequency 100 MHz. Since technology Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 is not supported by the CPU data, even after prolonged load its clock frequency does not exceed the designated level.

Intel Celeron G1840

Under continuous load using tests AIDA64 and MSI Kombustor, CPU voltage was varied from 1,051 to 1,053 V.

Intel Celeron G1840

During operation these stress tests CPU consumed about 32.89 W.

Intel Celeron G1840

Intel Celeron G1840

All tests were realized using a bench cooling systems, and temperature of Intel Celeron G1840 did not exceed 46°C. Taking into account that the maximum allowable temperature of the model is 100°C (according to the program AIDA64), fixed result is quite comfortable.

Intel Celeron G1840

After transition to an idle state, CPU clock frequency dropped to 800 MHz with multiplier "x8" and voltage 0.815 V.

Intel Celeron G1840

Distribution of cache memory Intel Celeron G1840 performed as follows:

  • 32 KB of L1 cache per core with 8 channels reserved for associative data caching, and the same is used for instructions caching;
  • 256 KB of L2 cache per core with 8 channels of associativity;
  • 2 MB of shared L3 cache with 8 channels of associativity.

Intel Celeron G1840

Integrated memory controller supports modules for DDR3 and DDR3L with effective frequency 1333 MHz and supply voltage of 1.5 V. The maximum amount of memory should not exceed 32 GB.

Intel Celeron G1840

There is a built-in graphics core Intel HD Graphics, which in nominal mode is clocked at 350 MHz, and dynamic of 1050 MHz.

Intel Celeron G1840

tags: intel   celeron   ddr3   intel hd graphics   ddr3l   socket lga1150   
Read the full review >>>

SSD-drive Transcend MTS800 (TS256GMTS800) with capacity of 256 GB: review and testing

SSDs made in format M.2 are becoming more common due to its compact form factor that is widely required for the monoblock, nettops and in Ultrabooks. Manufacturers of motherboards for desktop PCs also use this format.

Transcend MTS800 (TS256GMTS800)

In this review we will talk about such a solution drive Transcend MTS800 (TS256GMTS800) with capacity of 256 GB. The index "800" in its title indicates about the form factor (M.2 2280), and the length measured in mm. Despite its compact size, this series includes solutions from 32 to 512 GB, has the support of the necessary technologies (Power Shield, TRIM, NCQ, SMART, Wear Leveling and Intelligent Block Management), as well as the is characterized by high speed (up to 550 MB/s for sequential reading and up to 460 MB/s for writing). All this makes them truly versatile storage devices.

Table specifications of SSDs Transcend MTS800:

Producer and model

Transcend MTS800

Form-factor

M.2 2280

Interface

SATA 6 Gb/s

Memory type

NAND MLC

Capacity, GB

32 (TS32GMTS800)

64 (TS64GMTS800)

128 (TS128GMTS800)

tags: transcend   m.2   trim   trim   ddr3   ssd   silicon motion   nand   mlc   samsung   micron   
Read the full review >>>

DriveWD My Cloud (WDBCTL0030HWT) with capacity of 3 TB

Purchase of a personal network drive may be the most simple and affordable option for home server with the aim to storage and remote access to personal data. Meet an affordable solution WD My Cloud.

WD My Cloud (WDBCTL0030HWT)

This is entry-level device which includes only one hard drive with capacity from 2 to 6 TB. Accordingly, it is hardly suitable for the organization of the efficient server with RAID-arrays from multiple storage devices, but it is ideal for the home system with stylish design, ease of use and support for interface USB 3.0. And in contrast to the popular cloud storage services, the new product does not require constant subscriber transmission and immediately provides an impressive amount for information storage and provides fast backups.

Table of specifications Drive WD My Cloud:

Producer and model

tags: wd   cloud   usb 3.0   ddr3   arm   gigabit ethernet   
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 >>>

Processor Intel Core i5-4460: review and testing

Nowadays during the building of a balanced gaming system one of the best candidates are processors of series Intel Core i5. They have a good balance between price and performance, and are also equipped with a good integrated graphics core. The latter can be useful when building a productive working computer.

Intel Core i5-4460

This review we will learn the model of Intel Core i5-4460. It has much in common with the previously tested Intel Core i5-4690. For example, both devices have a locked multiplier, and the main difference is a lower maximum clock frequency.

The specs:

Model

Intel Core i5-4460 

Marking

SR1QK

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

Basic clock frequency, MHz

3200

Max clock frequency from Intel Turbo Boost 2.0, MHz

3400

Multiplier (nominal/in turbo mode)

32 / 34

Basic frequency of system bus, MHz

100

L1 cache, KB

4 х 32 (data memory)

4 х 32 (instruction memory)

L2 cache, KB

4 х 256

L3 cache, KB

6144

Microarchitecture

Intel Haswell

Code name

Intel Haswell

Quantity of cores/threads

4/4

Instruction support

MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, EM64T, VT-x, AES, AVX, AVX2, FMA3

Max calculated capacity (TDP), W

84

Max temperature (TCASE), °C

72,7

Manufacturing process, nm

22

Support for instructions and technologies

Intel Turbo Boost 2.0, Intel vPro, Intel VT-x, Intel VT-d, Intel 64, Intel My WiFi, Intel SpeedStep, Intel Data Protection, Intel Platform Protection, Intel Identity Protection, Intel Idle States, Intel Thermal Monitoring

Built-in memory controller

Max memory capacity, GB

32

Memory type

DDR3

Max frequency, MHz

1600

Quantity of memory channel

2

Built-in graphics core Intel HD Graphics 4600

GPU nominal clock frequency, MHz

350

GPU dynamic clock frequency, MHz

1100

Max capacity of video memory of graphics subsystem, GB

1,7

Quantity of supported displays

3

Support for instructions and technologies

Intel Quick Sync Video, Intel InTru 3D, Intel Insider, Intel Wireless Display, Intel FDI, Intel Clear Video HD

Producer website

Intel

Product page

Intel Core i5-4460

Package, delivery set and design

Intel Core i5-4460

The processor is shipped in the classic blue package. On its front side you can find the familiar illustrations and stickers with the name of the model.

Intel Core i5-4460

The side faces of the box contain a list of the main advantages of Intel Core i5-4460:

  • support for four cores working in 4-thread mode;
  • use of dynamic overclocking Intel Turbo Boost 2.0;
  • supports for technology Intel Smart Cache;
  • presence of an integrated memory controller with support for dual-channel mode and memory modules DDR3;
  • use of built-in graphics core series Intel HD Graphics 4600;
  • limited three-year warranty.

Intel Core i5-4460

Intel Core i5-4460

Package of Intel Core i5-4460 processor includes:

  • cooling system;
  • stickers on the computer;
  • quick installation instructions;
  • leaflets with a list of links where you can download a trial version of software for data protection (McAfee LiveSafe).

Intel Core i5-4460

Intel Core i5-4460

The model name, labeling and other technical information is applied to the heat-spreading lid. According to it, the assembly was made in Vietnam. The reverse side contains set of contacts, compatible with the CPU socket Socket LGA1150.

A distinctive feature of the models in this series is an extra set of capacitors (they are in the center of the pad) for smoothing the ripple voltage.

Cooling system

Intel Core i5-4460

A standard cooler Intel E97378-001 that consists of a small aluminum radiator and axial fan is applied for cooling. It is produced by company Deltaand has a relatively high power 7.2 W (12 V at 0.60 A).

Intel Core i5-4460

Fan is connected with standard four-contact connector that allows you to control its speed by PWM method.

Intel Core i5-4460

The removal and heat dissipation is realized throughout the round radiator with original form of the ribs. It is contacted to the processor through the copper pad, which improves the heat transfer.

Performance analysis

Intel Core i5-4460

Intel Core i5-4460

Processor Intel Core i5-4460 has four cores that work in 4-thread mode. In case of activated technology Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 CPU clock speed most of the time was at 3,200 MHz with multiplier "x32" and the reference frequency of 100 MHz.

Intel Core i5-4460

Under continuous load core voltage varied in the range of 0.922 - 0.938 V.

Intel Core i5-4460

Sometimes under light load, the CPU frequency rose to 3400 MHz. The voltage was 0.938 V.

Intel Core i5-4460

In stress test CPU power consumption varied from 27.62 to 66 W.

Intel Core i5-4460

Intel Core i5-4460

When using metal cooling system processor temperature did not exceed 59°C, which is comfortable value. According to the indications of the program AIDA64, the maximum allowable temperature of Intel Core i5-4460 is 100°C.

Intel Core i5-4460

In idle mode CPU clock speed dropped to 800 MHz with multiplier "x8" and voltage 0.762 V.

Intel Core i5-4460

Cache Intel Core i5-4460 is distributed according the following scheme:

  • 32 KB of L1 cache per core with 8 channels associative is reserved for data cache, and the same is used for caching instructions;
  • 256 KB of L2 cache per core with 8 channels of associativity;
  • 6 MB of shared cache level L3 with 12 channels of associativity.

Intel Core i5-4460

The integrated controller allows the use of modules of DDR3 memory with effective frequency 1600 MHz in dual channel mode. The maximum memory is declared at 32 GB.

Intel Core i5-4460

Intel Core i5-4460

Integrated graphics core Intel HD Graphics 4600 is composed of 20 unified shader pipelines and 8 texture units and 4 ROP units. In nominal operation, it is clocked at 350 MHz. In case of simultaneous launch of tests AIDA64 and MSI Kombustor clock speed was increased to 1100 MHz.

Intel Core i5-4460

Intel Core i5-4460

Under load, using the same test maximum GPU power was about 9.19 W. According to utility AIDA64, the maximum temperature of the GPU did not exceed 47°C.

Intel Core i5-4460

Read the full review >>>

Hybrid drive WD Black2 (WD1001X06XDTL) with capacity of 120 GB SSD + 1 ТB HDD: review and testing

Hybrid drives are the devices that combine standard HDD with high capacity and much less capacious SSD, which plays the role of the cache. They are well-known in our market, but due to a number of restrictions in terms of fast memory and the principle of its use they did not gain wide customers attention.

WD Black2 (WD1001X06XDTL)

In this review we will describe the hybrid drive WD Black2 (WD1001X06XDTL) which is an improved type of conventional hybrid drive. In fact, we have two storage devices, combined in one package of size 2.5 inches. Traditional HDD-drive of laptop type is added by PCB of SSD-drive.

Let's take a look at features of this new product. The specification of hybrid drive WD Black2:

Producer and model

tags: wd   ssd   hdd   ddr3   jmicron   nanya   mlc   nand   ncq   
Read the full review >>>

Processor Intel Core i7-5775C based on 14-nm microarchitecture Intel Broadwell: review and testing

While AMD is still looking for itself in the market for desktop PCs, its chief rival Intel continues to produce more new series of processors, combined global concept «tick-tock». However, the families of Intel Haswell Refresh and Intel Devil's Canyon are quite different, but in the absence of the fierce competition this particular feature is not quite. A year late we have faced with «tick» iteration for desktop systems, marking the transition to a thin 14-nm manufacturing process. The previous generation (Intel Haswell) and its derivatives (Intel Haswell Refresh and Intel Devil's Canyon) were based on 22-nm technology, while AMD is still using 28 and 32-nm crystals.

Intel Core i7-5775C

It would seem that only this fact is enough to ensure huge success for new series of processors under the name «Intel Broadwell». But there are some nuances. The fact that the new line was originally designed for mobile platforms, as a response to the APU from AMD. Accordingly, the manufacturer has paid great attention to integrated graphics, having increases its productivity. But how will this affect to the desktop version? This question will be described in this review on the example of the quad-core processor Intel Core i7-5775C. But first of all let’s learn a theory.

Microarchitecture Intel Broadwell

When changing the process technology Intel prefers make some small changes for microarchitecture implemented in the previous generation processor. Here the "blue" decided to change its traditions.

Intel Core i7-5775C

But in concept the family Intel Broadwell is not particularly different from its predecessors in the series Intel Haswell: the maximum option includes the same quad-core L3-cache, integrated system agent, integrated graphics core, the ring bus and two-channel memory controller. To exchange data with discrete graphics card here are only 16 lines PCIe, and to communicate with the chipset and other controllers the board uses a high-speed bus DMI 2.0. At first glance all is the same. But do not forget that in case of finer manufacturing technology the engineers have an opportunity to use a greater number of transistors for each structural unit of the processor, and thus increase their productivity.

Thus, representatives of the lineup Intel Broadwell got upgraded scheduler of command execution; one the buffer of the second level address translation was increased half times; added a mechanism for address translation processing operations in parallel mode. Prediction algorithms of branch have been improved and the speed of vector calculations was increased and the performance of the main floating-point operations was reduced. For example, the multiplying procedure can be performed by the three cycles rather than five, as it was previously.

However, in practice, all these innovations are unlikely to significantly affect the rate of operation of the new processors. Even in the company Intel noted that solutions microarchitecture Intel Broadwell will exceed the previous generation representatives only by 5%. In principle some can put up with this aspect, but such a low gain from the introduction of new microarchitecture calls in question about the appropriateness of updates to Intel Haswell on Intel Broadwell.

The second much more significant problem is that the frequency of the new processors is lower their predecessors. As a consequence, in actual operating conditions the representative of the family Intel Haswell may be even faster than comparable models from the series Intel Broadwell. And here there is a logical question: "Why should we use the next generation?" The reduced power consumption and heat release? Of course, for mobile solutions it is certainly a very powerful argument. But what about the difference between 65 and 88 W under the desktop configuration?

At the same time we did not want to reduce the contribution of engineers from Intel. There is a transition to 14-nm manufacturing process, FinFET-transistors of the second generation with smaller parasitic capacity and current leakage were introduced, optimization algorithm of the built-in power controller at low loads has undergone. In short, we have faced with a tremendous work aimed at reducing power consumption and heat dissipation. But, apparently, all these technologies work are not completely correct, as to reduce the level TDP producer had to reduce the clock frequency.

Intel Core i7-5775C

The second factor, which is designed to win the hearts and minds of users, should be progressive integrated graphics Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200. And it is not reworked version of Intel HD Graphics 4600 installed to the flagship family of Intel Haswell, but a completely new development. The core of Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 consists of two clusters with 24 Execution Unit, which gives us a total of 48 blocks. For Intel HD Graphics 4600 they are limited to 20 blocks. And the most Execution Units within each cluster are grouped into three stacks instead of two, resulting in increased speed of access to texture units and L3 cache. In addition, Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 has improved technology Intel Quick Sync, which provides support for hardware overclocking for video encoding and decoding using advanced codec and formats (including 4K Ultra HD).

But the most important breakthrough is the availability of dedicated video memory (eDRAM, embedded DRAM) with capacity of 128 MB. In the previous generation of processors it was used only in mobile solutions for BGA-cases (series Intel Core H). It's not a secret that the bottleneck in the integrated graphics core is insufficient bandwidth used to needs of RAM DDR3. Block eDRAM, called «Crystall Well», aims to solve this problem. Moreover, the 128 MB of memory may be involved by processor cores, making the module Crystall Well as L4 cache. Each technology has a high potential. Under the proper optimization level the block eDRAM will significantly speed up operations associated with complex mathematical calculations and processing of large amounts of data.

As a result, the processors Intel Broadwell should have an influence on the position of AMD APUs on the market of mobile solutions, because theoretical calculations show that the net performance of Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 will be approximately 20% higher than the AMD Radeon R7 Graphics that is a flagship set of integrated graphics from AMD. And what about the desktop platforms?

Intel Core i7-5775C

Intel Core i7-5775C

To answer this question, we propose to look at the range of the family Intel Broadwell. For owners of the PC the manufacturer offers only two devices (Intel Core i7-5775C and Intel Core i5-5675C). The rest are made in the BGA-case (soldered directly on board) and are designed for mobile platforms. Apparently, the expansion of the lineup in the future is not expected. This means that the market contains only quad-core flagship Intel Core i7/i5.

Intel Core i7-5775C

This marketing policy is explained by debut in August 2015 of the 14-nm processors of the next generation Intel Skylake, which will bring to market a new generation of chipsets (Intel 100 series) and support for DDR4-memory. This platform will be actively developed and promoted, while the desktop Intel Broadwell will be a tribute to the concept of «tick-tock».

Intel Core i7-5775C

Also note that the series Intel Broadwell are compatible only with motherboards based on the chipsets Intel Z97 and Intel H97, although they use the connector Intel Socket LGA1150, as well as models based on the Intel Z87/H87/Q87/B85/H81.

And now let's examine this opinion in practice. For this purpose we took the flagship model of the new line - Intel Core i7-5775C.

The specs:

Model

Intel Core i7-5775C 

Intel Core i7-4790K

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

Clock frequency (nominal/in turbo mode), MHz

3300 / 3700

4000 / 4400

Modifier (nominal/ in turbo mode)

33 / 37

40 / 44

Reference frequency, MHz

100

L1 cache, КB

4 х 32 (instruction memory)

4 х 32 (data memory)

L2 cache, КB

4 х 256

L3 cache, MB

6

8

L4 cache, MB

128

No

Microarchitecture

Intel Broadwell

Intel Haswell

Code name

Intel Broadwell

Intel Devil's Canyon

Number of cores/threads

4 / 8

Instruction support

MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, EM64T, BMI, AES, AVX, AVX2, FMA3

Supply voltage, V

-

-

Maximum design power (TDP), W

65

88

Limit of the permissible temperature, °C

-

72,7

Manufacturing process, nm

14

22

Technology support

VT-x, VT-d, TXT, TSX, Turbo Boost 2.0

Integrated memory controller 

Maximum memory capacity, GB

32

32

Memory type

DDR3L

DDR3

Guaranteed supported frequency, MHz

1600

Number of memory channels

2

he maximum number of modules per channel

2

Integrated graphics core 


Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 

Intel HD Graphics 4600

Number of execution units

48

20

Модули растеризации

8

4

Texture units

16

8

Clock speed GPU (nominal/turbo mode), MHz

300 / 1150

350 / 1250

Maximum number of supported displays

3

Support for instructions and technologies

DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, OpenCL 2.0, Shader Model 5.0, Intel Quick Sync Video, InTru 3D, Intel Insider, Intel Wireless Display, Intel Clear Video HD

DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3, OpenCL 1.2, Shader Model 5.0, Intel Quick Sync Video, InTru 3D, Intel Insider, Intel Wireless Display, Intel Clear Video HD

Package, delivery set and design

For testing we have an engineering sample of Intel Core i7-5775C, so the traditional description of the box and the cooling system is not available. Although there is no doubt that as the stock cooler will use the standard version of Intel, namely aluminum disc with radial ribs blown by fan.

Intel Core i7-5775CIntel Core i7-5775C

Externally the novelty is virtually the same as for the solutions of previous generations. The cover configuration and location of the contacts on the back side remained the same. Unfortunately, we could not find out the substance under the heat distribution plate. However, it is unlikely that there is a liquid metal. Most likely, a kind of thermal paste.

Model Intel Core i7-5775C has full compatibility with the electrical connector Socket LGA1150. Its correct operation is guaranteed only on motherboards equipped with Intel chipsets of ninth series.

Performance analysis

Intel Core i7-5775C

In normal operation (technology Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 is off) the speed of Intel Core i7-5775C equals to 3300 MHz, at the reference frequency of 100 MHz and multiplier "x33". The voltage was 1,060 V. This is a smaller value compared with Intel Core i7-4790K (about 1.1 V), and the nominal frequency of the novelty is much lower 3300 MHz against 4000 MHz.

Intel Core i7-5775CIntel Core i7-5775C

Incase of activated proprietary technology Intel Turbo Boost 2.0, the speed of new product occasionally raises to the level of the declared 3700 MHz. The processor operated at a frequency of 3600 MHz. The voltage at the same time was 1,224 and 1,184 respectively. We want to note that at the maximum speed (3700 MHz) active are only 2 cores, while reduced frequency up to 3600 MHz allows to activate all 4 cores. The same algorithm was observed for flagship models in series Intel Haswell, Intel Haswell Refresh and Intel Devil's Canyon, the only difference is another intermediate step.

Intel Core i7-5775C

Also the important role plays energy-saving mode. As previously it reduces the processor speed to the level of 800 MHz. But now it takes power of 0.687 V. Previously, the figure was 0.1 - 0.15 V more.

Intel Core i7-5775C

Cache memory of Intel Core i7-5775C is distributed according to the following scheme:

  • L1cache: each of the 4 cores has 32 KB for data with 8 channels of associativity and 32 KB for instructions and with 8 channels of associativity;
  • L2 cache: each core has 256 KB with 8 channels of associativity;
  • L3 cache: 6 MB for all cores with 12 channels of associativity;
  • L4 cache: 128 MB for all cores with 16 channels of associativity.

Compared to the Intel Core i7-4790K the product lost 2 MB of L3cache, but gained a new level of cache - L4 of quite a large capacity.

Intel Core i7-5775C

The advantage of the L4 cache (block eDRAM) is already visible to the naked eye: the read, write and copy speed is 1.5-2 times higher than RAM of standard DDR3-1600 MHz.

Intel Core i7-5775C

Memory controller designed to work with energy efficient units DDR3L. Although, according to the screenshots, conventional DDR3 modules designed for supply voltage 1.5 V will deal with Intel Core i7-5775C. The memory controller operates in dual channel mode and guarantees the support for modules at up to 1600 MHz and a total of up to 32 GB.

Intel Core i7-5775C

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 >>>

SSD-drive KINGMAX SME35 Xvalue: review and testing

KINGMAX product range is constantly increasing due to the appearance of new models of memory cards, flash drives, memory modules, and other devices. In this review we want to introduce you another innovation from this manufacturer - SSD-drive KINGMAX SME35 Xvalue with capacity of 240 GB.

KINGMAX SME35 Xvalue

An interesting feature of this solution is the use of the controller Silicon Motion SM2246EN. Some time ago we have tested a relatively inexpensive model GeIL Zenith A3 Pro, based on the same chip, which demonstrated good speed.

tags: kingmax   ssd   ddr3   ncq   ecc   trim   micron   silicon motion   nanya   
Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS AM1I-A: review and testing

ASUS has continued to expand the lineup of motherboards for the platform AMD AM1, which is primarily designed to build the most affordable and energy-efficient PCs. One of the key ideas of this platform is a relatively small set of the final cost of the processor and motherboard from $ 65 to $ 95 (depending on the used APU model). Also note that processors intended for AMD AM1 are made in the design of SoC. They include not only computers, but also the graphics core and a number of controllers that eliminated the need for a separate set of system logic as well as the need to buy a discrete graphics card.

ASUS AM1I-A

More information about platform AMD AM1 is available the reviews of the processors AMD Athlon 5350 and motherboard MSI AM1I, and we will proceed to the ASUS AM1I-A that is a compact solution in size Mini-ITX, with an average cost of about $ 35 - 40.

The specs:

Producer 

ASUS

Model

AM1I-A (rev 1.02)

CPU socket

Socket AM1

Supported processors

AMD Athlon / AMD Sempron

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

Memory support

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

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x4

Disk subsystem

Controller SATA into APU supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

LAN

1 x Realtek RTL8111GR (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

2 / 4 / 5.1 / 7.1-channel sound

Power

24-pin ATX connector

4-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Extenral I/O

1 х DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

1 x HDMI

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

1 x COM

3 x audio jack

2 х PS/2

Internal I/O

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

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 х TPM

1 х COM

1 х LPT

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors 1 x S/PIDIF Out

1 x CMOS

BIOS

UEFI AMI BIOS

64 Мb Flash ROM, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.5, ACPI 2.0a

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

Mini-ITX

170 х 170 mm

Producer website

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

tags: asus   amd   usb 3.0   usb 2.0   realtek   amd am1   athlon   mini-itx   ddr3   kabini   soc   uefi bios   usb 3.0 boost   sempron   windows 8   
Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS J1900I-C: review and testing

Continuing our meeting to motherboards with integrated quad-core processor Intel Celeron J1900, we will talk about a compact model ASUS J1900I-C in format Mini-ITX. In addition to size, it compares favorably with a diverse set of ports and connectors, traditionally high build quality, as well as the support for modern digital video output HDMI.

ASUS J1900I-C

But before we go directly to its review, we recall that the detailed characteristics of the installed Intel processor you can learn from the material devoted to the GIGABYTE GA-J1900N-D3V. But in the meantime we look at the characteristics of the hero of this review.

The specs:

Producer 

ASUS

Model

J1900I-C (rev 1.02)

CPU socket

Socket BGA1170

Integrated processor

Intel Celeron J1900 (4 х 2,00 − 2,42 GHz)

Graphics adapter

Intel HD Graphics: core frequency – 688 MHz (max up to 854 MHz); is located from RAM

Memory frequency

1333 MHz

Memory support

2 x DDR3L SO-DIMM-slots with memory support up to 8 GB in dual channel mode

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 x mini-PCIe

Disk subsystem

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

2/4/5.1/7.1-channel sound

Power

24-pin ATX connector

4-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x D-Sub

1 х HDMI

1 x LAN (RJ45)

1 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

1 х COM

3 x audio jacks

1 х PS/2 Combo

Internal I/O

1 x USB 2.0 each with support of two USB 2.0

1 х COM

1 x LPT

1 х TPM

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors 1 x S/PIDIF Out

1 x CMOS

BIOS

1 х 64 Мb AMI UEFI BIOS

PnP, DMI2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 2.0a, 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

Mini-ITX

170 х 170 mm

Producer website

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

tags: asus   intel   celeron   mini-itx   icontrol   usb 3.0   pci express   ddr3   usb 2.0   so-dimm   uefi bios   intel hd graphics   soc   htpc   
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 >>>

Motherboard ASUS H81M-PLUS: review and testing

It is not always required to buy motherboard based on the flagship chipset for efficient CPU. For example, if the processor has a locked multiplier, a set of expansion cards will consist of a single graphics card, and four SATA ports would be enough to connect the disk subsystem. In this case, you can save on the motherboard taking more affordable solution, and the balance can be invested in other components (such as the purchase of SSD-drive).

Motherboard ASUS H81M-PLUS is one of these relatively affordable entry-level solutions. It can be used not only in the traditional office, educational or home media PC, but also to organize middle range of gaming computer. It offers a wide list of advantages: digital power system, traditionally high quality of element base, support for modern interfaces, as well as a number of other improvements and proprietary technologies.

ASUS H81M-PLUS

Do note that the basis of the model is the youngest chipset (Intel H81), which is largely accompanied by reduced the final cost. Let's take a look at the detailed specifications of the device.

The specs:

Producer 

ASUS

Model

H81M-PLUS (rev 1.06)

Chipset

Intel H81

Integrated processor

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

3 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

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 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

Power

24-pin ATX connector

4-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

1 x HDMI

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

2 х PS/2

Internal I/O

1 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

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x S/PDIF Out

1 x set of front panel connectors 1 x S/PIDIF Out

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

microATX

244 х 183 mm

Producer website

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

tags: asus   intel   usb 3.0   intel h81   hdmi   dvi-d   d-sub   ddr3   intel core   microatx   pci express   celeron   socket lga1150   uefi bios   pentium   usb 3.0 boost   windows   
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SSD-drive HyperX Savage SSD (240 GB): review and testing

When you upgrade the disk subsystem of a desktop or laptop you have some questions. Firstly, what to choose: a new hard drive or SSD. In the first case you get a large amount of space at a relatively low cost. This option is ideal for those who store a lot of video, photos or other data and does not require fast access speed.

The second option would significantly improve the overall performance of the operating system and applied application, however, it requires large investments and would bring less disk space.

HyperX Savage SSD (SHSS3B7A/240G)

In addition, pay attention to the ease of installation and the possibility of further use of the rest component (in this case the old drive). The model HyperX Savage SSD can cope with these tasks. It has a capacity of 240 GB and produced by notable company Kingston. Novelty has extended the scope of delivery that contains not only all the necessary adapters to install it in your laptop or desktop PC, but also the original external pocket with interface USB 3.0.

The specs:

Producer and model

tags: ssd   usb 3.0   hyperx   kingston   phison   ddr3   micro-usb   ddr3-1333   usb 3.1   sata 3.0   
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Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S2V: review and testing

At the time of this review the motherboard GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S2V is one of the most affordable microATX model for the processors Intel of Taiwanese producer. Having average cost of about $50 the product supports modern interfaces USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s, as well as a number of other improvements and proprietary technologies.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-S2V

Taking into account its price positioning, it is obvious that the basis is the youngest chipset (Intel H81), making it possible to significantly reduce the final cost. Note that the chipset Intel H81 does not support CPU overclocking and has less features. The key advantage, besides the price, is the support of interfaces USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s, which is important for the modern user who wants to save money on the purchase of the motherboard, but not going to refuse high-speed of data transfer.

The specs:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-H81M-S2V (rev 1.0)

Chipset

Intel H81

Processor socket

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPUs

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

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 MHz

Memory support

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

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel H81 chipset supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s (white)

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s (black)

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

Power

24-pin power socket ATX

4-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 x DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

2 х PS/2

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

Internal I/O

2 x USB 2.0, with support of two USB 2.0

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 х CMOS

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

BIOS

AMI UEFI BIOS

1 x 32 Мb

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

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

190 х 170 mm

Producer website

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

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