A new trend is on the rise with gaming PCs nowadays in the form of size. Small Form Factor (SSF) is the new thing recently and many are into it for some very good reasons. These builds are smaller than typical gaming PCs, lighter and compact which is suitable for LAN parties and also for those that don't really have much space at home to spare. Today, you would see different hardware to make this possible from cases, power supplies down to the motherboard itself with the mini-ITX form factor. Today MSI have given us an opportunity to check out their top-tier mini ITX board, the Z97I Gaming AC mini-ITX motherboard under Intel's new 9 series for the LGA 1150 platform. Let's see what this compact yet powerful motherboard MSI has to offer as we review it today.
It was just recent when we resumed reviewing motherboards again. This time, we will be taking a look at another Z97 chipset based motherboard coming from ECS, their Z97 Machine gaming motherboard. ECS have been in the market since 1987 producing motherboards, graphics cards, notebooks and other mobile products. They too have created their own gaming line of motherboards which is the L337 Gaming Series motherboards going with the trend other brands are doing as well. Let's find out if the ECS Z97-Machine cuts out to the standards today.
It has been some time since we at Pro-Clockers have had the privilege of reviewing a motherboard. Thanks to Gigabyte, that dry spell is over. Gigabyte has been kind enough to send us one of their recently releases Z97 chipset motherboards, the GA-Z97X-SOC Force. The GA-Z97X-SOC Force is part of their OC (Overclocking) line. This line over motherboards have proven to be very capable and have been used to break numerous overclocking world records. Let us see what this motherboard can do as we review it today.
As stated above, this motherboard is intended for the new Haswell series of processors. On launch there was several processors released but the two most popular amongst enthusiasts and overclockers are the i5-4670K and the i7-4770K processors due to their unlock multipliers. We will take our newly purchased i7-4770K and this new Gigabyte motherboard and see just how capable in overclocking this motherboard can do.
A number of companies have released a series of motherboards based around the Trinity APU. Gigabyte is one of those companies who have released eight motherboards supporting the APU but only four of them are utilizing the A85X Bridge. One of those four is the micro-ATX GA-F2A85XM-D3H which we will be reviewing here today. This new motherboard offers all that was stated in the first paragraph at a very comfortable price range for those on a building budget.
The FM2A85X Extreme6 is the flagship motherboard from ASRock for the latest AMD APU products, which are based on the Piledriver core (updated Bulldozer architecture) and go under the codename of "Trinity". The motherboard is visually appealing to the eye and offers load of options from low wattage consumption to an 8+2 phase power configuration for increased stability while chasing down the higher overclocks. One impressive aspect about this particular ASRock flagship board, which we believe everyone in the market for a new Trinity-based system will love, is that the Extreme6 is being had for only $100 from Newegg!
But just when we thought they would not be able to top the feature rich X79 Extreme9 they up the ante with the granddaddy of them all with the Extreme11 featuring the same X79 chipset from Intel. The Extreme11 comes in at a very hefty price tag of $649 but ASRock did not hold out when it came down to packing the board with everything they had and more. Granted I could not fork over the money to obtain one of those off the shelf but there are many that can. So, is if worth it even to them? Lets check it out first.