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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 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 >>>

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 >>>

Game review: Beyond Eyes

Title: Beyond Eyes
Genre: Indie, adventure
Developer: Tiger and Squid, Team17 Digital Ltd
Editor: Team17 Digital Ltd
Release date: August 11 2015
Platform: РС/Xbox One

We faced with the history of ordinary girl Rae. She was about ten years old. And her interests are consistent with age: she loves to walk in the nature, enjoying the warm spring days, playing hide and seek with friends, catch up, etc. To a certain extent Rae is the average girl, she is active, cheerful and kind.

Beyond Eyes

But once the accident had happen. During the celebration of an event fireworks were exploded. One of them was broken and exploded near the Rae’s eyes. The girl became blind. She could no longer continue her usual cheerful and carefree lifestyle.

Everyone had such feeling: such events occur that completely changes it "before" and "after." And the subject is serious enough and it is not expect to see in an indie game. However, this moment is developed in the game extremely well: the player instantly realizes that that cheerful and kind girl is absent. She is not interesting for friends because she cannot to chase the ball or look for hidden comrades.

Beyond Eyes

What should the girl do as she can not continue to engage in her favorite activities? Surrender and despair? But Rae is a different person: in one summer day she heard meowing and went toward the sound. So she met her new best friend a cat named Nanie. The animal came and entertained her constantly, even during cold winter days, until it was gone. And Rae decided to go looking for him.

Beyond Eyes is a good, small, but very interesting adventure-game. Indescribable and innovative graphic design makes it unlike to other game in the world. Developer is the studio Tiger and Squid decided in a unique way to show how blind people see the world.

Beyond Eyes

How it is implemented in the game: the player sees the girl and a small patch of landscape directly in front of her. Everything else around is white emptiness. As the girl moves forward landscape features bushes and trees, hedges and fences, roads, trails, buildings and fountains.

Rae has well-developed ear as she could hear even the most distant sounds, like the murmur of a river or fountain, birds singing, ringing the bells in the tower, and so on. 

Beyond Eyes

Also want to mention one more genius idea: Rae can not know for sure what kind of an object makes a sound. They are positive, kind and light for her: a beautiful fountain; bright clothes, which dries under the hot spring sun, and so on. Sometimes her idea corresponds to reality, sometimes it is impossible: the fountain can be a drain pipe, and clothes a scarecrow with crows. 

We really like the effect of emotion overlay and deep symbolism: Rae does not see the world around her, but for the first time she went out so far from home, and there are many things for the first time. Especially we liked the scene when she gets to the huge highway road: the road looks like black smoke, ominous music plays and so on. 

Beyond Eyes

The game itself is something reminiscent of a hit for the Playstation 3 Journey - a journey straight to the goal. Something going on around, Rae faces with curious events, meet animals, met with other children, she helps with their problems, and they help her to go in the right direction.

Frankly speaking: it is not always interesting to play Beyond Eyes. It features a lot of boring moments and silly conventions that increase the length of the game. Rae moves slowly (obviously), and developers advisedly put a huge, long hedge on her way. And you need to find bypasses. 

Beyond Eyes

The story is also quite leisurely and fabulous naive. We can not attribute it to a minus of the game as in the context it looks great.

On the other hand, Beyond Eyes can and should be forgiven for the excellent implementation of such complex idea to show the world of blind girl. The game calls an incredible emotion; you believe and feel the same everything happening on the screen.

Especially sound helps to dive into the atmosphere. Blind people are mainly guided by the sound, so Beyond Eyes features enormous work to create a competent sound. All is performed flawlessly: from the sounds of movement and ending with music.

Beyond Eyes

In general we strongly recommend Beyond Eyes for the inspection. It won’t to take much of your time and relatively low system hardware platform PC. So do not take the time to immerse yourself in this amazing, deep, vital and mental game. Positive emotions are guaranteed!

tags: team17   adventure   indie   amd radeon   windows   nvidia geforce   intel core   xbox one   playstation   amd   intel   
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 >>>

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 >>>

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 >>>

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 >>>

Processor Intel Core i5-6600K based on Intel Skylake: review and testing

Less than two months from the release of the processors family Intel Broadwell, and we have a new six generation of Intel Core with code name «Intel Skylake». Such haste was a forced measure. Firstly, the family of Intel Broadwell appeared later than planned. Secondly, it is intended mainly for mobile devices, and two desktop models (Intel Core i7-5775C and Intel Core i5-5675C) were not able to meet the needs of all PC owners.

Intel Core i5-6600K

In short, Intel revealed the family Intel Skylake. Today, August 5 we have an announcement, and flagship models Intel Core i7-6700K and Intel Core i5-6600K were revealed. Unfortunately, the manufacturer does not provide details of the new microarchitecture, so we have the information from the official press release.

Intel Core i5-6600K

Long before the advent of Intel Skylake solutions it was clear that they would lose compatibility with the CPU socket Socket LGA1150. Too many changes in the structural and electrical plan were intended to do. Therefore, absolutely new platform based on Socket LGA1151 and chipset Intel Z170 was revealed. Its main feature is that Intel has finally renounced the use of obsolete PCI Express 2.0 interface, and moved to a higher level - PCI Express 3.0. This solution significantly increases the speed of data exchange within the system (at least twice), and therefore, eliminates the so-called bottleneck in any direction. This is especially true for the area "chipset - processor." Here, the connection will now be carried out via a bus DMI 3.0 with theoretical bandwidth of 8 GT/s.

The second important feature is the introduction of standard memory DDR4. It is important to note that DDR3 support is also available. The processors Intel Skylake feature built two respective controllers, but only in dual-channel design. The four channels will continue to be the prerogative of the solutions of the family Intel Haswell-E.

Intel Core i5-6600K

The manufacturer didn’t forget about the overclocking abilities of the new processors. In addition to unlocked multiplier (for solutions with the index «K» in the end of the name), the top model will also be available to choose the base frequency processor cores up to 1 MHz. Before that it can be set only with a limited number of coefficients: 1.00; 1.33; 1.66 and 2.55, in some cases. Clearly, now that acceleration of the bus should become more easy and popular process because theoretically it should be easier to select appropriate settings to achieve stable operation of the entire computer. Also frequency dividers of RAM were reduced (from 200/266 MHz to 100/133 MHz), which will provide the best results during the optimization of the parameters of this subsystem. In short, enthusiasts should stay happy. However, it is not clear what is under the hood of the processor. Hopefully, the thermal interface is no worse than that of the line Intel Devil's Canyon.

Intel Core i5-6600K

And this moment is quite important. After all, despite the transition to finer 14-nm process, TDP value in flagship family of Intel Skylake has a remained at a relatively high level - 91 W. However, it is still much better than competing solutions from AMD, where TDP varies between 125 - 220 W. It is also pleased that the manufacturer did not reduce the frequency of processors in favor of reducing their energy consumption and heat dissipation, as was done with the line Intel Broadwell. Intel Core i7-5775C with its 3000 MHz in nominal and 3700 MHz in turbo mode looked like a rather weak against the backdrop of Intel Core i7-4790K, where the corresponding figures were 4000 and 4400 MHz, respectively.

Here picture is much better - leader of a new family of Intel Core i7-6700K is comparable to the Intel Core i7-4790K, and only in turbo mode it is inferior at 200 MHz. With regard to other indicators (number of cores/threads, cache size, number of lines PCI Express 3.0), then there is parity of both processors. The same applies to models of Intel Core i5-6600K and Intel Core i5-4690K. Here, even the frequency is the same formula - 3500 MHz in nominal and 3900 MHz in turbo mode.

Intel Core i5-6600K

Given the introduction of a new microarchitecture and support for memory standard DDR4, all this in theory should give a good performance gain with respect to the models of the previous generation, but the company Intel was quite restrained in their calculations. In the transition to Intel Devils' Canyon on Intel Skylake we are promised to have increased speed at only 10%. Frankly, we expected 15-25%. For owners of the platforms Intel Haswell and Intel Ivy Bridge the growth should be more significant - 20% and 30% respectively. But let's not forget that we are talking about the "press-release" figures. In reality, the values may differ both in smaller and bigger side.

Intel Core i5-6600K

As for the lineup, then today it includes only two processors: Intel Core i7-6700K and Intel Core i5-6600K. By the end of the third quarter of this year there will be quad-core model with locked multiplier and energy-efficient version. Versions Intel Core i3, and Intel Pentium are expected in September (according to unofficial information). By the way, on August 18 in San Francisco there will be forum and a new microarchitecture features will be revealed. Hopefully by the time we will be able to get a top model Intel Core i7-6700K and provide a more comprehensive report on its capabilities. And now we limit ourselves to test its younger brother, a processor Intel Core i5-6600K, which is also quite interesting. As its recommended price of about $ 100 lower than that of Intel Core i7-6700K, and accordingly, in terms of "price/performance" theoretically it should look more attractive.

Intel Core i5-6600K

Since in the presentation Intel constantly compares Intel Core i7-6700K with Intel Core i7-4790K, it is logical that Intel Core i5-6600K will be main opponent to the Intel Core i5-4690K.

The specs:

Model

Intel Core i5-6600K 

Intel Core i5-4690K

CPU socket

Socket LGA1151

Socket LGA1150

Clock frequency (nominal/in turbo mode), MHz

3500 / 3900

Multiplier (nominal/in turbo mode)

35 / 39

Reference frequency, MHz

100

L1 cache, КB

4 х 32 (instruction set)

4 х 32 (data set)

L2 cache, КB

4 х 256

L3 cache, MB

6 

L4 cache, MB

No

Microarchitecture

Intel Skylake

Intel Haswell

Code name

Intel Skylake 

Intel Devil's Canyon

Quantity of CPU cores/threads

4 / 4

Instruction support

MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, EM64T, F16C, BMI, AES, AVX, AVX2, FMA3

Supply voltage, V

-

-

Max calculated capacity (TDP), W

91

88

Temperature tolerance, °C

-

72,7

Manufacturing process, nm

14

22

Technology support

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

Built-in memory controller

Max memory capacity, GB

-

32

Memory type

DDR4 / DDR3L

DDR3

Supported frequency, MHz

2133 (for DDR4)

1600 (for DDR3L)

1600

Quantity of memory channels

2

Max quantity of modules per one channel

2

Built-in graphics core 


Intel HD Graphics 530

Intel HD Graphics 4600

Quantity of executive unit

48

20

Rasterization modules

8

4

Texture blocks

16

8

GPU clock frequency (nominal/ in turbo mode), MHz

350 / 1150

350 / 1200

Max quantity 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 a laboratory (engineering) sample of CPU Intel Core i5-6600K, so the traditional description of the box and the cooling system is not available. While it is possible that the top models are supplied without regular cooler.

Intel Core i5-6600KIntel Core i5-6600K

The physical dimensions of the models Intel Skylake and the size of their heat-spreading lid were not changed; the design of the slots for the CPU also remains the same. Nevertheless, there is not forward or reverse compatibility between terminals Socket LGA1151 and Socket LGA1150, as the representatives of the family of Intel Skylake happened quite a few changes in the electrical level. Moreover, another contact is added on the rear side.

Intel Core i5-6600K

Left - Intel Core i7-4770K (Intel Haswell), right - Intel Core i5-6600K (Intel Skylake)

In any case, the company Intel has changed the location of the lock key. Now they are almost at the corner of the PCB.

Also, many readers probably have a question at the expense of compatibility cooling systems for platforms Socket LGA1151 and Socket LGA1150. Nothing changed in this respect - the cooler, which was used during the experiments with processors Intel Haswell, was successfully applied during the test of the hero of this review.

Performance analysis

Intel Core i5-6600K

In normal operation (technology Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 is off) the speed of Intel Core i5-6600K equals 3500 MHz, at the reference frequency it is 100 MHz and multiplier "x35". At the time of readout core voltage was 1,194 V. Quite a lot, considering the fact that the Intel Core i5-4690K to operate at the same frequency required about 0.1 V less. This once again confirms the view that Intel has some problems with the transition to 14-nm.

Also It is interesting to note that all the diagnostic utility determines the TDP value of new item of 95 W, not 91 W as stated by the manufacturer. Recall that the for Intel Core i5-4690K the figure is 88 W.

Intel Core i5-6600KIntel Core i5-6600K

When activated the proprietary technology Intel Turbo Boost 2.0, the speed of Intel Core i5-6600K occasionally rose to the declared level 3900 MHz. Mostly the processor operated at a frequency of 3600 MHz. The voltage at the same time was 1,304 V and 1,193 V respectively. For comparison, to ensure stable operation at a frequency of 3900 MHz Intel Core i5-4690K processor was sufficient voltage at 1,198 V. That is, once we get the difference at about 0.1 V.

The very same algorithm of Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 did not have significant changes: turn off the cores at the maximum rate and the presence of several intermediate states - all that we have seen in previous generations of processors Intel.

Intel Core i5-6600KIntel Core i5-6600K

With regard to energy saving mode, then here are some developments. As before, when it is activated the processor speed is lowered to the level of 800 MHz, but unlike other solutions, it can rise up to 1000 MHz. Supply voltage varies within 0.846 - 0.869 V.

Intel Core i5-6600K

The structure of the cache memory for both processors (Intel Core i5-6600K and Intel Core i5-4690K) is completely identical:

  • L1 cache: 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 4 channels of associativity;
  • L3 cache: 6 MB for all cores with 12 channels of associativity.

Note that the company Intel decided not to equip the members of the family Intel Skylake by 128MB L4 cache. Perhaps they decided that the technology is still unpopular today, but requires additional expenses for its realization, takes up too much space on the chip and increases the heat of the processor. Block eDRAM can significantly increase the performance of the integrated graphics, but this aspect would not worry people buying CPU for $ 250 - 350.

Intel Core i5-6600K

Due to the family Intel Skylake users got affordable platform of standard DDR4 memory on board. Although new items can operate without problems with modules DDR3L, since the crystal has integrated both memory controller. In the case of Intel Core i5-6600K the guaranteed supported frequency of modules for standard DDR4 and DDR3L is 2133 and 1600 MHz respectively. Both controllers operate in dual-channel mode, each channel can serve two modules. The maximum amount of memory has not yet been reported.

Intel Core i5-6600K

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 >>>

CPU cooling system CRYORIG H5 ULTIMATE: review and testing

Officially the company CRYORIG was born in 2013, although its life journey began a little earlier in 2000. During this time it received the necessary experience, which was used to develop the range of CPU coolers. At the moment it consists of six solutions created for different purposes and with different design: from the low-profile cooler for compact systems Mini-ITX up to high-performance Twin-Tower solutions.

CRYORIG H5 ULTIMATE

We want to introduce you to the "golden middle" of range CRYORIG - cooling system CRYORIG H5 ULTIMATE, which has a number of distinctive features. In this review we will try to figure out how these differences affect the efficiency of the cooler, and its real capabilities when paired with the powerful overclocked processors.

CRYORIG H5 ULTIMATE

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 >>>

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H: review and testing

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H is a budget microATX model, designed to work with processors from Intel. It is logical that in the course of its development it was decided to use the youngest chipset (Intel H81) as the basis, making it possible to significantly reduce the final cost.

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-D3H

We would like to note that the chipset Intel H81 nominally does not support CPU overclocking and has less features. The key is its 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, but not going to refuse high-speed data transfer methods.

The specs:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-H81M-D3H (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

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

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (mode х16)

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (mode х4)

2 x PCI

Disk subsystem

Intel H81 chipset supports:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s (white)

2 x SATA 3 gb/s (black)

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111F (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

Power

24-pin power socket ATX

8-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

1 x HDMI

2 х PS/2

1 x COM

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 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 x LPT

1 х CMOS

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

BIOS

AMI UEFI BIOS

2 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

244 х 225 mm

Producer website

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

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 >>>

Ultrabook Dell XPS 13 (2015): review and testing

The market of tablet PCs and smartphones had showed us that appearance of each new model provides more sophisticated and productive device. In contrast, during the mention of classical laptops, the majority of users currently imagine bulky and plain models that captured our homes and offices. However, thanks to a successful initiative of the California giant (Intel), familiar laptops have rebirth into ultrabooks. In short, we have the most compact and lightweight gadgets with a focus on high functionality and comfort in everyday use. These solutions include interesting new generation portable computer - Dell XPS 13 (2015). And today we are going to test this model.

Dell XPS 13 (2015)

New product is made in the ultra-compact housing with the familiar design and use of premium materials. Depending on the configuration, the device can be equipped with the newest processors Intel Core 5th generation, touch screen, a backlit keyboard, RAM DDR3L up to 8 GB solid state drive with capacity of up to 512 GB, as well as two stereo speakers with support for technology Waves MaxxAudio Pro.

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   
Read the full review >>>

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

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS SABERTOOTH X99: review and testing

The success of the lineup ASUS TUF (The Ultimate Force) indicates that the motherboard with a high level of reliability and protection proved to be in high demand, so they are very popular. Taking into account this fact, we were not surprised that the company ASUS decided to expand the series ASUS TUF by model based on chipset Intel X99, focused for enthusiasts.

ASUS SABERTOOTH X99

The motherboard ASUS SABERTOOTH X99 will be described in today’s review. At an average cost of about $ 450, it has a number of proprietary features and benefits that will be described latter.

The specs:

Producer 

ASUS

Model

SABERTOOTH X99 (rev 1.1)

Chipset

Intel X99

CPU socket

Socket LGA2011-v3

Supported CPUs

Intel Core i7-5000 (family Intel Haswell-E)

Memory frequency

2133 / 2400 MHz

Memory support

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

Expansion slots

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

40 lines

28 lines

х16

х16+х16

х16+х16+х8

х16

х16+х8

х16+х8+х4

1 х PCI Express 2.0 x4 (in mode x2)

1 х PCI Express 2.0 x1

Disk subsystem

 

Intel X99 chipset supports:

1 х M.2 (M.2 2242, M.2 2260, M.2 2280, M.2 22110)

8 x SATA 6 Gb/s

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

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

LAN

1 x Intel WGI218V (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

1 x Realtek 8111GR (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC1150

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

1 х 24-pin ATX connector

1 х 8-pin ATX12V connector

1 x 4-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

3 x CPU fan connectors (4-pin)

4 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

5 х sockets for connection of additional fans (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Aluminum radiator on subsystem power elements connected by heat pipe

Extenral I/O

2 x LAN (RJ45)

4 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 3.1

4 x USB 2.0

1 х TUF Detective

5 x audio jacks

1 х optical S/PDIF Out

1 x button «USB BIOS Flashback»

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

8 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x SATA Express, compatible with two SATA 6 Gb/s

1 х M.2

1 х socket TPM

1 х socket COM

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 х thermal sensor socket

1 x socket DRCT

1 х adapter Clear CMOS

BIOS

AMI UEFI BIOS

128 Мb

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

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

1 х set ASUS Q-Connectors

6 x SATA cables

1 x bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х set of plugs for ports and expansion slots

1 х fan of cooling system ASUS Thermal Armor

1 х set of thermal sensors

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 >>>

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