With Computex going on there has already been lots of news hitting the street about new PC gear. Everything from GPUs, Laptops, Cases, overclocking world records, you know the stuff. We have also heard that Intel has kicked a new series of CPUs out the door. These are their “X” series of CPUs and are pretty much a direct response to the performance that AMD’s Ryzen has shown off.
Right after the launch of the Haswell Refresh named Devil’s Canyon we are starting to hear the rumors about Haswell-E CPUs. The going rumor now is that Intel will drop this new CPU complete with DDR4 support in September of this year (2014). If this is true that means we will see some new boards as well. We have been hearing about the X99 chipset for a while now and we might see another repeat of the “leak” that we saw with the Z97. We just wonder which partner will do the leaking this time.
Editor’s Note – We delayed our release of the Haswell review due to some performance issues we saw with some of our tests. We reached out to Intel and all of the companies that provide our testing software to ensure that our numbers were accurate. We did find that at least Sisoft’s SANDRA suite needed to address the use of the AVX2 instructions in Haswell. We are also in the process of validating LightWave 11 for use in the lab (and other new tests). Additionally we removed the gaming tests from this review, due to problems encountered with the updated games we are using. We intended to publish our gaming tests at a later date. This should help show off Haswell and the new Z87 chipset in a better light than some of the current tests. So without further commentary lets dive into our Haswell review
Razer recently introduced refreshed offer of gaming laptops, which now consists of two models. The existing 17-inch Blade model now bears the name Blade Pro, while the "new" Razer Blade is a brand new notebook with 14-inch screen.
Intel plans to launch another line of processors specifically designed for tablets in the first quarter next year. This is a core chip from their Y series based on the Ivy Bridge architecture and in BGA packaging, while in the third quarter of next year Haswell versions of the same series should appear.
Intel's Extreme Edition version of Ivy Bridge for LGA2011 socket could be very similar to the existing Sandy Bridge-E. Although the latter has up to eight physical cores (according to some CPUS in the Xeon E5 line) and up to 20 MB of L3 cache, the commercial version of the Sandy Bridge-E Core i7 inside the line has six active cores and up to 15 MB of cache.
AMD has recently released its new line of “Piledriver” CPU's, and they perform pretty darn well. No longer in its infancy stage, AMD's multi-threaded core approach has improved significantly from the “Bulldozer” line of chips. The FX-8350 is the best of these CPU's currently on the market, and retails for approximately $220.
As we round out our coverage of the Asus Republic of Gamers Rampage IV Gene we are taking a look at both the synthetic and real-world performance of this board. As we have mentioned before the Gene is the gateway into the ROG Line and shows an excellent blending of performance, features and ease of use for those that are new to playing with higher end Motherboards. Of course the Gene also serves a purpose with the enthusiasts as well it offers a very competent motherboard in a small package for gaming, small and quiet systems and even for someone looking for a solid board to build a home server on. Since we have already shown you what the Rampage IV Gene looks like on paper, let’s take the tiem to show you how it looks in the real world.
With all of the news about the Z77 Express motherboards and Ivy Bridge we thought we would step back and take a look at our old friend the X79 and the Sandy Bridge-E CPU. This platform still represents the top end for Intel and although it does not have the same mainstream media acceleration that Ivy Bridge does it is still quite the platform. We are going to dive into the design and features of one of the more prominent enthusiast products for this chipset; Asus Republic of Gamers Rampage IV. We have the Rampage IV Gene and the Formula in the lab and will be running both of these through their paces in the coming days. Right now we are going to walk around the Rampage IV Gene which at $290 is a lot of money to shell out, but it also looks like a lot of motherboard in a small package. Let’s take a look shall we?
Moving through some of the more prominent Z77 motherboards that are out right now we come to another one from Gigabyte. Here we have the Z77X-UD5H WiFi Motherboard (Model number GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB). The UD5H is typically their second in line for the top spot in Gigabyte’s food chain The Z77X-UD7 currently holds that top crown. However the UD5 boards are always very functional and tend to combine the best of both performance and features. With this review we will be covering not only the features of the Z77X-UD5H WiFi but also come of the design choices that go into the board to get you the performance you expect on the other end. So let’s get right to it and find out if the Z77X-UD5H WiFi is worth the $210 that Gigabyte is asking.