In part one of our review of the Gigabyte Z87-UD3H we looked at the design, features and layout of the board. Now in part two we are going to see if those choices were good or bad. Gigabyte has a fairly good history of designing boards that have great performance, but as have also seen boards that fall apart as soon as you push them (overclocking). So far it looks like the Z87X-UD3H has the right components and design to maintain performance for both stock use and also for overclocking. Let’s put that theory to the test shall we?
So the X79 is out along with the fastest CPU family on the planet (consumer CPU that is). This means that all of the P67, H67, H61 and Z68 boards are history right? Well you would be wrong. There are still a large number of motherboards out there from the P67 lineup that will not only turn your head, but also perform well enough to satisfy 99% of the enthusiast and gaming community. We have one of these in the house from Asus and are getting ready to see what it can do with our Core i5 2600k (you know the one that can hit 5.1GHz). So let’s dive into the $300 Asus Maximum IV Extreme and see if it can drag your eyes away from the sexy new thing on the market.
At CES this year I had the chance to take a look at some of Asus’ new products that were going to be launched soon. These were mostly P67 based motherboards (although there was the EEE Slate that I am currently working on), but there was one that really caught my eye. This was the Rampage III Black Edition. The RIIIBE might seem like an improvement on the RIII Extreme, but that would be quite an understatement. We will be taking a long hard look at this product in the next few days but wanted to give you a quick preview here to whet your appetite.
Yesterday there was a flurry of news posts with dire warnings that Intel would soon be removing the ability to upgrade your CPU. The news talked about the future of Intel CPUs and their associated sockets after Haswell. When we first saw some of these posts they read like the latest Facebook update rumors, but as with many rumors there is a nugget of truth somewhere in them (at least most of the time). We did reach out to Intel, but as expected they were not able to comment on unannounced products and had nothing more to say. So exactly what is going on with Intel and the future of the DIY market, let’s take a look and see if we can make some sense of the rumor that is going around.
There is sad news in the computer enthusiast world today as Danger Den, one of the original water cooling companies has made the formal announcement that it will cease trading; they are closing shop. For many, Danger Den was the “got-to” company for high quality off-the-shelf water blocks. Their solid designs and attention to detail marked all of their products. I first started working with Danger Den when I was writing for the website Planetx64 (now closed also). We covered their CPU water blocks and even were fortunate enough to test some of their first multi-GPU cooling products. They were always great to work with and were parts that we highly recommended.
When the X79 motherboards hit the scene many people were not interested because they were looking forward to Ivy Bridge. As I wandered around the internet I saw multiple comments telling people not to bother with the new Sandy Bridge E CPUs because of this very thing. How much impact these comments had I really do not know, but what I do know is that a general consensus on the internet can be disastrous for sales. If you do not believe this just take a look back at Windows Vista.
Not that long ago we showed you some more information about AMD’s new Tahiti GPU. At the time there were rumors that AMD would have the official launch on or around December 22nd (which is in 3 days). We contacted a few of our sources and they were still saying that the launch was going to be in January (either the 9th or the 12th). We started to dig around, but were not able to get any more information on this so we decided to leave it off as an unconfirmed rumor.
After the Xonar U7, Asus has this week unveiled another sound card. This time they presented Xonar Phoebus Solo model, card from ASUS ROG product line for gamers.
SiverStone presented several processor coolers inside Argon product line, designed for Intel and AMD chips. They presented three classic tower design coolers which differ in the diameter of the fan and the number and thickness of the hot water pipes.