Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Hero: Elite board with extreme VRM

An expensive but a very effective motherboard. Thus, the high purchase price of the Maximus Z690 Hero can be gradually returned in lower operating costs after fine-tuning. First and foremost, however, it is a proper support for the most powerful processors, which can be safely overclocked well beyond the capabilities of the most powerful coolers. The board also comes with an SSD expansion card, unusually. Read more “Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Hero: Elite board with extreme VRM” »

At last, a Mini-ITX board with Intel Jasper Lake SoCs. And it is fanless

One of the casualties of chip crisis were the low-power Celeron and Pentium processors of the “Atom” lineage. It’s a year and a half since Intel launched the 10nm Jasper Lake generation with Tremont cores but the supply has likely been insufficient till now, there are virtually no desktop boards for low-power builds. Things seem to be getting better finally and Mini-ITX boards with Jasper Lake are coming. Fanless ones, even. Read more “At last, a Mini-ITX board with Intel Jasper Lake SoCs. And it is fanless” »

Intel Raptor Lake and Z790 platform will lack PCIe 5.0 for SSDs

Curiously, even though Intel Raptor Lake CPUs are only three months away, there’s virtually no word on the 700-series chipsets and motherboards that should come with the new CPUs. Last week, however, a leaked document was posted on the Internet, in which Intel introduces the Raptor Lake platform, the CPU and the new chipsets. The most surprising bit is that the new boards won’t bring the one feature that was most expected of them. Read more “Intel Raptor Lake and Z790 platform will lack PCIe 5.0 for SSDs” »

ASRock B660 Steel Legend or the cheapest motherboard in tests

The low price of a motherboard brings with it a few unconventional limitations. Ones that are not often found in competing models for similar money. Some of these are of the safety variety to avoid unnecessary damage to critical components. For a customer buying a standard, reasonably set-up build in this price class, they won’t be a bother, and saving money with the B660 Steel Legend can be beneficial. Read more “ASRock B660 Steel Legend or the cheapest motherboard in tests” »

One Mini-ITX board is not enough. Biostar released the B660T-Silver

Biostar is building its motherboard lineup gradually. Most of the models for the Intel LGA 1700 platform arrived at once, with the ending of the embargo, but since then some have been added “solo”. Relatively recently it was a Micro ATX-format board from the Silver series (B660M-Silver), now it’s the B660T-Silver for even smaller desktops with a square PCB with a 170 mm side (Mini-ITX form factor). Read more “One Mini-ITX board is not enough. Biostar released the B660T-Silver” »

Otherness everywhere you look – Biostar B660GTA (review)

Most motherboards from the same classes look pretty much the same. While they differ in color scheme and heatsink shape, the layout, features, and overall operation (including power management) are like a carbon copy. The Biostar B660GTA goes upstream in many ways and presents an attractive option for those users who always find something lacking on boards in this price range. Read more “Otherness everywhere you look – Biostar B660GTA (review)” »

AMD rumored to also have a B650E with PCIe 5.0 for AM5 socket

Last week, AMD unveiled Ryzen 7000 processors for AM5 socket, coming with PCI Express 5.0 support. However, only the X670E and X670 are supposed to allow a PCIe 5.0×16 slot for the GPU. Boards with the cheaper and more low-power B650 chipset will only have PCIe 4.0×16. It looks like there might be a saving grace though. According to unofficial leaks, there could be a B650E alongside the B650 that will also support PCIe 5.0×16 for GPUs. Read more “AMD rumored to also have a B650E with PCIe 5.0 for AM5 socket” »

Better than on paper. Low-cost “OC” mobo MSI Pro Z690-A DDR4

MSI’s second cheapest motherboard with the Intel Z690 chipset costs significantly less compared to the higher-end Tomahawk DDR4. The difference in features is small. And perhaps too small, as the specifications artificially downgrade some components. The power delivery is less efficient and the heatsinks are more modest, but the roughly 80 EUR saved is almost as much as the cost of upgrading from a Core i5-12600K to a Core i7-12700K(F). Read more “Better than on paper. Low-cost “OC” mobo MSI Pro Z690-A DDR4″ »

AMD AM5 platform: B650, X670, X670E chipsets and how they differ

This week, AMD unveiled the Ryzen 7000 CPUs and Zen 4 architecture at Computex 2022. These new desktop processors will also introduce a brand new platform with the AM5 socket and new chipsets – B650, X670 and X670E. We now have details of these platforms and an overview of the connectivity that the AM5 boards will offer. Some of it has been revealed directly by AMD, but there’s also an unofficial leak with many more details. Read more “AMD AM5 platform: B650, X670, X670E chipsets and how they differ” »

MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WiFi: DDR5 support, OC and decent VRM

At first glance, it’s the same board as the last tested Z690 Tomahawk WiFi DDR4 with one difference, that it supports the newer DDR5 memory standard. That’s how the Z690 Tomahawk WiFi is profiled, but looks are deceiving. A detailed analysis shows that there are some differences, including ones in design. Whether it’s for better or for worse is something you’ll learn exclusively from our measurements. Read more “MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WiFi: DDR5 support, OC and decent VRM” »

MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WiFi DDR4: Top chipset for mid price

From the B660 motherboard tests, we now move on to Z690. These are always better equipped at least at the chipset level. One of the main advantages is the ability to manually overclock processors with an open multiplier. The Tomahawk DDR4 seems to be an option that has a well prepared VRM for such performance boosts while still keeping to an affordable price. The important thing though is what kind of board it is from an overall perspective. Read more “MSI MAG Z690 Tomahawk WiFi DDR4: Top chipset for mid price” »

Gigabyte B660 Aorus Master DDR4: A board both efficient and flashy

Last time, we looked at a motherboard that is suitable for use with cheaper processors thanks to its lower price. Now we have the roughly 50 EUR more expensive Gigabyte B660 Aorus Master DDR4. The premium here has a clear justification and reflects on the better features. The power delivery is significantly more efficient, the heatsinks are more effective, and the features are richer overall, including illumination. Read more “Gigabyte B660 Aorus Master DDR4: A board both efficient and flashy” »

Official Ryzen 5000 support finally coming to B350/X370 boards

On Tuesday, AMD officially announced new AM4 desktop processors: the gaming Ryzen 7 5800X3D with 96 MB V-Cache and new “mainstream” Ryzen 4000 and 5000 SKUs for cheaper PCs. But there is one more important news associated with these processors. After more than a year, AMD has changed its policy and is officially allowing support for the latest CPUs in boards with X370 and B350 chipsets. BIOSes for such boards are on the way. Read more “Official Ryzen 5000 support finally coming to B350/X370 boards” »

Asus TUF Gaming B660 Plus WiFi D4: Entry level for Core i9 too

Alder Lake CPUs’ favorable price/performance ratio was initially spoiled by expensive motherboards. However, after the arrival of models with Intel B660 chipsets, the unfavorable situation began to turn around and in some cases quite dramatically. Asus TUF Gaming B660 Plus WiFi D4 with support for DDR4 memory, which is far cheaper than DDR5, can handle even the fastest CPUs. And the vast majority of users won’t even feel any bottlenecks. Read more “Asus TUF Gaming B660 Plus WiFi D4: Entry level for Core i9 too” »

Gigabyte’s B350 and X370 boards get official support for Zen 3

It’s taken over a year, but first generation AM4 boards getting compatibility with B350 and X370 chipsets with AMD’s latest Zen 3 based processors is finally becoming a reality now. AMD hinted earlier this year (non-committally, however) that the previously forbidden ability to upgrade these boards to Ryzen 5000 might be allowed. And now support is indeed making its way to boards from yet another brand – Gigabyte. Read more “Gigabyte’s B350 and X370 boards get official support for Zen 3” »

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