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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 >>>

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 >>>

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 >>>

MotherboardASUS Z170-A: review and testing

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

ASUS Z170-A

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

The specs:

Producer  

ASUS

Model

Z170-A (rev 1.03)

Chipset

Intel Z170

CPU socket

Socket LGA1151

Supported CPUs

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

Memory frequency

3400* / 3333* / 2133 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

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

Expansion slots

 

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

3 x PCI Express 3.0 x1

1 х PCI

Disk subsystem

Intel Z170 chipset supportd=s:

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

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

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

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

LAN

1 x Intel WGI219V (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC892

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

1 х 24-pin ATX connector

1 x 8-pin ATX12V connector

Fans

2 x CPU fan connectors (4-pin)

4 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Алюминиевый радиатор на чипсете

Aluminum radiator on the elements of the processor power subsystem

Extenral I/O

1 x PS/2 Combo

1 x HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

1 x D-Sub

1 x DVI-D

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

1 х USB 3.1 (Type-C)

1 х USB 3.1 (Type-A)

2 x USB 2.0

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

5 x audio jacks

Internal I/O

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

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

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x SATA Express

1 х socket TPM

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x S/PDIF out

1 х button «MemOK!»

1 х module «TB_HEADER»

1 x power button

1 x CMOS

1 x switch «TPU»

1 х switch «EZ_XMP»

BIOS

64 Mb Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

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

Packaging

User’s manual

Warranty card

Disk with drivers and utilities

1 х set ASUS Q-Connectors

1 х tool ASUS CPU Installation Tool

3 x SATA cables

1 х bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

Producer website

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

Read the full review >>>

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

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

GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 3

Conceptual scheme of platform Socket LGA1151

GIGABYTE GA-Z170X-Gaming 3

Conceptual scheme of platform Socket LGA1150

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

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

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

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

Read the full review >>>

Motherboard 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 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 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 >>>

Ultrabook ASUS ZENBOOK UX305FA: review and testing

When in 2011 Intel presented a new and unique concept of a portable computer device, only few could have imagined that just a few years the ultrabooks will have a quite massive popularity. Today it is difficult to find a large manufacturer without at least one such gadget. But at the same time it became clear that new devices require an advanced hardware platform that can not fully function in such a compact space, but also seamlessly show a good result.

ASUS ZENBOOK UX305FA

Best engineers from Intel decided to solve this complex problem. The result of their hard work was the development of a new generation of processors Intel Core M with record levels of performance and energy efficiency per watt of consumed energy. Thus, compared with the previous generation, it was possible to significantly reduce the level of heat (up to 60%), decrease the degree of power consumption (up to 45%) and to increase the processing power (40%) produced by microarray. And thanks to the introduction of the latest manufacturing process (14 nm), the area of the produced crystals was decreased by almost a half, enabling much more effective use of the available space, as well as deliver a portable device based on the new processors by the active cooling system.

ASUS ZENBOOK UX305FA

In this review, we will look at a magnificent example of modern ultra-compact computer equipment - ultrabook ASUS ZENBOOK UX305FA. Also we will try to analyze the effectiveness of a new hardware platform powered by Intel, as well as learn what additional capabilities has this very interesting and very promising market segment.

tags: asus   zenbook   usb 3.0   intel core   turbo boost   ips   ssd   intel hd graphics   bang & olufsen   windows   broadwell   wi-fi   lpddr3   m.2   soc   bluetooth 4.0   
Read the full review >>>

Kingston HyperX Predator PCIe SSD (480 GB): review and testing

Mass distribution of SSD has led to the need for more active development of computer disk subsystems. Thus, although the speed of hard disks is increased for more advanced models, but this process is rather slow. For example, the bandwidth of SATA interface of first-generation (1.5 Gb/s, 2003) was sufficient for realizing the potential of many hard drives. The exception was the speed of cache storage that was high enough and could grow even more by increasing the bandwidth of the interface. So after some time standards SATA 2.0 (3Gb/s, 2004) and SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s, 2008) appeared. For hard drives their capacity is enough with a huge margin, but for fast SSD-drives these figures have some restrictions. Of course, the transition of solid drives from SATA 3 Gb/s to SATA 6Gb/s allowed to resolve the issue for some period of time.

One way to solve the problem is the use of interface SATA Express, which theoretically allows you to transfer 10Gb of data per second. But we understand this feature is quickly avoidable, so there is a need to find an option that will provide a foundation for the future. Fortunately, it is available. We are talking about the standard of M.2 which is more compact implementation of SATA Express. It provides support for 4 lines of bus PCI Express SATA 3.0, as well as an additional USB 3.0 (including backward compatibility with USB 2.0). Therefore, PCI Express-devices and SATA-drives may be realized in the form factor M.2. We have had to learn one example of the second method. But, since it is based on support for bus SATA with a capacity of 6 Gb/s, the performance of the drive was limited to a given value. And what will happen when you select line PCI Express for data transfer?

Bandwidth of the interface PCI Express is impressive even in terms of modern standards. For example, only one line PCIe 2.0 can transmit data up to 8 Gb/s in both directions, and the PCIe 3.0 - 16 Gb/s. Therefore, these 4 lines provide transfer up to 32 Gb/s for bus PCI Express 2.0 and up to 64 Gb/s PCI Express 3.0. What can we say about a further increase in the number of active lines and the transition to revision 4.0, which provides twice as many indicators?

Kinston HyperX Predator PCIe SSD (SHPM2280P2/480G)

But we'll talk about them some other time, as the hero of this review can use 4 lines of standard PCIe 2.0. Well, let's see how this implementation looks like in practice. For this purpose we will use very fast SSD - Kingston HyperX Predator PCIe SSD (SHPM2280P2/480G) with capacity of 480 GB.

tags: ssd   hyperx   m.2   kingston   sata 3.0   pci express   toshiba   sata 2.0   
Read the full review >>>

Motherboard ASUS Z97-E: review and testing

ASUS is constantly expanding its product range by using the new motherboards, so almost every user can choose a model based on personal preferences and the required functionality. This review we will be focused on versions ASUS Z97-E, which has become a novelty in the price range up to $200. It came in the same category with solutions such as ASUS Z97-P, ASUS Z97-A and others. Let’s compare it with the neighbors on the equipment product lineup:

ASUS Z97-P

ASUS Z97-K

ASUS Z97-C

Read the full review >>>

MSI Z97S SLI Krait Edition motherboard: review and testing

«Dare to be different» these words can be found on the official page of the MSI new motherboard MSI Z97S SLI Krait Edition. Nominally, it belongs to a series of MSI Z97 Classic is the midrange solution. It has two key advantages: support for two slots PCI Express 3.0 x16 with lines distribution according to scheme x8+x8 for ligament AMD CrossFireX/NVIDIA SLI and original design in white and black colors, perfectly suited to fans of modding. You can also note an excellent opportunity for the organization of the disk subsystem, a large number of USB 3.0 ports and high-quality sound system. But let's look at its detailed technical specifications.

MSI Z97S SLI Krait Edition

The specs:

Producer

MSI

Model

Z97S SLI Krait Edition (rev 2.0)

Chipset

Intel Z97

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPUs

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

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

(*OC)

Memory support

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

Expansion slots

2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

х16

х8+х8

3 х PCI Express 2.0 x1

2 x PCI

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 х SATA 6 Gb/s)

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

LAN

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

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC892

7.1-channel sound

Power

24-pin ATX main power connector

8-pin ATX12V power connector

Fans

2 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

3 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Aluminum radiator on CPU power system elements

Extenral I/O

1 x HDMI

1 x D-Sub

1 x DVI-D

1 x LAN (RJ45)

4 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

6 x audio jacks

1 x PS/2 (for mouse or keyboard)

Internal I/O

1 x USB 2.0 each with support of two USB 3.0 (19-pin)

2 x USB 2.0 each with support of two USB 2.0

1 х socket TPM

1 х socket COM

1 х socket LPT

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

Packaging

User’s manual

Warranty description booklet

Driver and utility disc

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

305 х 244 mm

Producer website

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

Read the full review >>>

ASUS X99-S motherboard: review and testing  

ASUS has already introduced the extensive line of motherboards based on the top chipset Intel X99. The last product visited our lab was the motherboard ASUS X99-PRO. These solutions are designed specifically for processors of family Intel Haswell-E, such as previously tested Intel Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition. Based on this ligament you can build incredibly powerful computing systems for gaming, overclocking or solve complex practical tasks.

ASUS X99-S

New motherboard ASUS X99-S which will be discussed in this material has an expanded set of internal interfaces. There is a full set of computer keys on the PCB as well as a number of switches and functional elements specifically designed for overclocking. Do note a very good set of slots for expansion cards, advanced disk subsystem and eight slots for RAM of format DDR4.

The specs:

Producer

ASUS

Model

X99-S

Chipset

Intel X99

CPU socket

Socket LGA2011-v3

CPUs supported

Intel Core i7 Extreme of Intel Haswell-E

Memory frequency

2133 / 2400* / 2666* / 2800* / 3000* / 3200* MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

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

Expansion slots

 

5 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

40 lines

28 lines

х16

х16+х16

х16+х16+х8

х16+х8+х8+х8

х8+х8+х8+х8+х8

х16

х16+х8

х8+х8+х8

x8+x8+x8+x1+x1

1 х PCI Express 2.0 x4

Disk subsystem

Intel X99 chipset supports:

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

8 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA Express (compatible with 4 x SATA 6 Gb/s)

Support of arrays RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10

LAN

1 x Intel WGI218V (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

2 / 4 / 5.1 / 7.1-channel HD Audio based on codec Realtek ALC1150

Power connectors

24-pin power socket ATX

8-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

2 x CPU fan connectors (4-pin)

4 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

1 x external fan connectors (5-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiators on chipset connected by heat pipe with auxiliary radiator

Aluminum radiators on power elements connected by heat pipe among each other

External I/O

1 x button «USB BIOS Flashback»

8 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

1 x LAN (RJ45)

1 x optical S/PDIF out

5 x audio ports

Internal I/O

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

2 x USB 2.0 each with support of two USB 2.0

1 х socket TPM

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x S/PDIF Out

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 х button «MemOK!»

1 x button «Power»

1 x button «Reboot»

1 x button «CMOS reset»

1 x diagnostic LED-indicator

1 х module Thunderbolt

1 х switch «EZ XMP»

1 х thermal sensor switch

1 x switch «TPU»

1 x switch «EPU»

1 x switch «SLI/CFX»

1 x socket DRCT

1 x CPU/DRAM Overvoltage

BIOS

128 Мb UEFI AMI BIOS, ACPI 5.0, PnP, SM BIOS 2.7, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0

Form-factor

ATX

Dimensions

305 x 244 mm

Producer website

Product page

 

ASUS

Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

Read the full review >>>

ASUS Z97-K motherboard: review and performance testing

Motherboard ASUS Z97-K is a solution of the average level which is designed primarily to build home systems or PC gaming with one graphics card. The solution has traditionally high performance, advanced features for organizing the disk subsystem (include interface M.2 with a carrying capacity of 10 Gb/s and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports), good configuration of interface panel (suit most users except for owners of multi-channel speakers), as well as a number of other features. But first of all we offer a look at the full specifications of the new item.

ASUS Z97-K

The specs:

Producer

ASUS

Model

Z97-K (rev 1.0)

Chipset

Intel Z97

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

CPUs supported

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

Memory frequency

3200* / 3100* / 3000* / 2933* / 2800* / 2666* / 2500* / 2400* / 2250* / 2200* / 2133* / 2000* / 1866* / 1600 / 1333 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

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

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

1 х PCI Express 2.0 x16

x16

x16+х4

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

2 x PCI

Disk subsystem

Intel Z97 chipset supports:

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

6 x SATA 6 Gb/s

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111GR (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Realtek ALC887 codec

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power connectors

1 х 24-pin ATX main power connector

1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

2 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum fan on the chipset

Aluminum fan on elements of power subsystem

External I/O

1 x HDMI

1 x D-Sub

1 x DVI-D

1 x LAN (RJ45)

4 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

2 х PS/2 (mouse or keyboard connection)

Internal I/O

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

3 x USB 2.0 each with support of 2 USB 2.0

6 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 х socket TPM

1 x COM

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x S/PDIF out

1 х CMOS

1 x set of front panel connectors

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 description booklet

Driver disc

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

ATX

305 х 218 mm

Producer website

ASUS

Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

Read the full review >>>

ASUS Z97-DELUXE(NFC & WLC) motherboard review and testing

Let's face it, that when purchasing the flagship solution, it would be nice to always get a complete set of additional bonuses and accessories. Apparently, this is the idea of the company ASUS, launching to the market modification of an excellent motherboard ASUS Z97-DELUXE with an expanded set of delivery, that will appeal to fans of modern gadgets, particularly smartphones and tablets. Also ASUS Z97-DELUXE (NFC & WLC) has the advantages of the original model, such as an integrated two-way wireless interface module Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0, two network controllers and a number of other features which will be described in this review.

ASUS Z97-DELUXE(NFC & WLC)

The specs:

Producer

ASUS

Model

Z97-DELUXE(NFC & WLC) (rev 1.03)

Chipset

Intel Z97

SPU socket

Socket LGA1150

Supported CPUs

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

Memory frequency

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

(*OC)

Memory support

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

Expansion slots

2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

1 х PCI Express 2.0 x16

x16

x8+х8

x8+x8+x4

4 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:

2 x SATA 6 Gb/s

ASMedia ASM106SE controller supports:

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

LAN

1 x Intel WGI218V (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

1 x Intel WGI211-AT (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Wi-Fi

802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2,4 / 5 ГГц)

Max data transfer rate up to 867 Мb/s

Bluetooth

Bluetooth 4.0

Sound subsystem

Realtek ALC1150 codec

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power connectors

1x24-pin ATX main power connector

1x8-pin ATX12V power connector

Fans

2 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

4 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on the chipset

Aluminum radiators on power subsystem elements connected by heat pipe

External I/O

1 x HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

1 x Mini DisplayPort

2 x LAN (RJ45)

6 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

1 x Optical S/PDIF out

6 x audio jacks 

2 x sockets for antennas Wi-Fi и Bluetooth

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

6 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA Express

1 х TPM socket

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x S/PDIF out

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 х «MemOK!» button

1 х DRCT socket

1 х module TB_HEADER

1 x power button

1 x reboot button

1 x «Reset CMOS»

1 x diagnostic LED-indicator

1 x «TPU» switch

1 x «EPU» switch

1 х «EZ XMP» switch

1 x button «USB BIOS Flashback»

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 brochure

Driver and utility disc

1 х set ASUS Q-Connectors

6 x SATA cables

1 х bridge 2-Way NVIDIA SLI

1 х combined antenna Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

1 x ASUS NFC EXPRESS with NFC- identifier

1 х DisplayPort cable

1 х Mini DisplayPort cable

1 х USB 3.0 cable

1 x micro-USB cable

1 х expansion card ThunderboltEX II/DUAL

1 х interface panel plug

Form factor,

Dimensions

ATX

305 х 244 mm

Producer website

Read the full review >>>

m.2

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