When recently buying the Intel Pentium G4400, a ~$60 Skylake dual-core processor, for Linux testing I was also looking for a Skylake motherboard that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg. The motherboard I ended up pairing for this Pentium G4400 in the test lab was the Gigabyte GA-H110M-A, a micro-ATX board using Intel's H110 chipset.
Since I started delivering my Skylake Linux tests back in August, I've received many inquiries from Phoronix readers curious about what motherboard I've been using, etc. Long story short, all of my initial Intel Skylake Linux testing has been done with the MSI Z170A GAMING PRO motherboard, which has been working out well.
For those in the market for an LGA-2011v3 motherboard this holiday shopping season, a very reasonable and affordable choice is the ASRock X99 Extreme3. For just over $200 USD you can get this DDR4-3000+ motherboard that supports Thunderbolt, ten Serial ATA 3.0 ports, 18-core Xeon processors, three PCI Express x16 slots, and numerous other connections for offering a feature-packaged motherboard at a modest price compared to other LGA-2011v3 motherboards.
While Habey may not be a household name to most Linux desktop users, they are known in the embedded world and do produce Linux-friendly systems and motherboards. Habey recently engaged with Phoronix and today we are checking out our first Habey motherboard: the MITX-6771 that's a mini-ITX motherboard with Intel Bay Trail quad-core SoC.
For Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E Linux testing I originally bought an MSI X99S SLI PLUS motherboard as it was one of the most interesting, lowest-priced boards available at the time of the Intel X99 chipset debut. While I initially ran into some problems, those issues have now been confirmed to be isolated, and with a replacement X99S SLI PLUS motherboard I have been stressing it constantly for the past few weeks on Fedora and Ubuntu. The X99S SLI PLUS has now proven itself to be a reliable motherboard that's still among the least expensive X99 ATX motherboards on the market.
Now that the MSI X99S SLI PLUS is running great on Linux, I've been working with the company towards some other Linux improvements along with some other interesting Linux hardware reviews to come thanks to our renewed cooperation. One of the items I've been voicing has been regarding better supporting Linux users with regard to a smoother BIOS/UEFI update process. Well, there is a utility they support for updating your MSI motherboard BIOS from the Linux desktop!
Last month following the launch of Intel's Core i7 5960X Haswell-E platform I ran into a rather odd situation with the first system assembled using the X99 chipset and eight-core, $1000+ processor: the motherboard failed. Coincidentally it happened at the same time as another motherboard failure at a fellow review site. Fortunately, since then, there's been no other major reports of failures with Intel's new platform. MSI has been helpful in this matter and I've since received a new MSI X99S SLI PLUS to confirm there's no fundamental issues with their board.
This weekend I was planning to publish the first Linux benchmarks for Intel's incredibly powerful Core i7 5960X Haswell-E processor with X99 motherboard and DDR4 system memory. Unfortunately, all I can tell you now is that it's smoking, quite literally!
Those looking for an Intel Z97 motherboard that's Linux-friendly and jam-packed with features should checkout the ASRock Z97 Extreme6 as it should cost you less than $170 USD.
For those looking towards purchasing a new motherboard with an Intel Z97 chipset that's compatible with Haswell Refresh and Broadwell processors, the Gigabyte GA-Z97-HD3 is a nice option and will set you back just over $100 USD.
For those looking out for an affordable mini-ITX motherboard for AMD's new AM1 APUs, the ASRock AM1H-ITX is a very interesting and versatile motherboard.
The Gigabyte AM1M-S2H motherboard is an AMD AM1/FS1b motherboard that's sized for micro-ATX enclosures, offers a fine set of budget features, and costs just over $30 USD.
For those looking at purchasing hardware for a low-cost socketed Kabini APU system build following our many AMD AM1 Platform tests under Linux that found the low-end hardware to play well with the open-source operating system, one of the motherboards worth considering is the ASUS AM1I-A.
For those after a low-cost mini-ITX board for use within an HTPC, SOHO file server, or other low-power situations, AAEON has out an interesting board called the EMB-BT1, or more formally the AAEON EMB-BT1-A10-3825. This mini-ITX motherboard has onboard an Intel Atom E3825 "Bay Trail" SoC for delivering decent performance out of the six Watt SoC and having open-source-friendly graphics under Linux.
The MSI B85M-P33 is a micro-ATX motherboard that's friendly with latest-generation Intel Haswell processors while the cost of this motherboard will only set you back about $60 USD.
For those in the market for an AMD Kaveri compatible motherboard that is micro-ATX and not too expensive, the Gigabyte F2A88XM-D3H is a board worth considering that works well with Linux.
In a very good deal, the ECS KBN-I/2100 mini-ITX motherboard that features an AMD E1-2100 dual-core "Kabini" APU can be found for just over $30 USD. How though is the performance of this ultra low-cost motherboard + APU combination when it costs less than a Raspberry Pi? Here are some benchmarks and the Linux impressions.
For those in the market for an Intel Z87 Haswell motherboard, the ECS Z87H3-A2X Extreme is a great candidate and sells for less than $250 while packing a plethora of features and is mostly compatible with Linux.
For those Linux desktop users in the market for a micro-ATX motherboard for use with the latest-generation Haswell processors, the Intel DH87RL motherboard costs a little more than $100 USD and gets along mostly well with modern Linux distributions.
Now that a majority of the key Linux performance areas have been covered on Phoronix as it pertains to Intel's Ivy Bridge in dozens of different articles since its April launch date, it's time to say a few words about the "Panther Point" motherboard that was used for many of these Phoronix tests: the ECS Z77H2-A2X Ultimate Golden Edition Extreme.
Intel introduced their new Z77 "Panther Point" chipset earlier this month in advance of the Ivy Bridge processor launch. Questions have begun to pour in how the line-up of Z77 motherboards are working under Linux. Are there any Linux compatibility problems? Here is my brief statement on the matter for now after having already used two Z77 motherboards for a while under Linux.
As the latest chapter of the pre-launch Intel Ivy Bridge story, here's some details on Intel's Ivy Bridge reference motherboard, the Los Lunas 2 with the Panther Point chipset. There is also some cpuinfo data on one of the forthcoming Ivy Bridge models.
While Sapphire Technology is a brand more commonly associated with graphics cards than motherboards, after having great experiences with the Sapphire Pure Black P67 Hydra motherboard, we accepted their offer to look at the Sapphire Pure Platinum A75 motherboard. The Sapphire Pure Platinum A75 is a motherboard for AMD Fusion "Llano" APUs and packs quite a number of features. Here's how the Sapphire Pure Platinum A75 works under Linux.
We recently reviewed the ASRock H61M/U3S3 motherboard at Phoronix, which was a very nice Intel Sandy Bridge motherboard with integrated graphics for those on a limited budget. While the H61 is great on the low-end side, Intel recently introduced the Z68 chipset. The Z68 is designed to take the features of the P67 chipset and its tuning capabilities while enabling the integrated HD Graphics 3000 support. In this review, we are trying out the ASRock Z68 Pro3 motherboard.
At Phoronix we have reviewed several different motherboards under Linux since the Sandy Bridge launch with either the P67 or H67 chipsets, but in this review we are looking at one that uses the Intel H61 chipset. The particular motherboard under test is the ASRock H61M/U3S3, which was launched a few months back, but we've been waiting for the Intel Sandy Bridge open-source support under Linux to mature a bit more.
When talking about Sapphire Technology on Phoronix it is usually about their vast selection of Radeon graphics cards for which they are very well known and are one of AMD's premiere AIB partners. Recently, they have also expanded to offer a limited selection of high-end AMD and Intel motherboards. Being from Sapphire, these motherboards are not some budget motherboards with nothing to separate them from its competitors, but are rather well designed and very innovative boards. As the first Sapphire motherboard being reviewed under Linux at Phoronix, we are looking at their interesting Sandy Bridge offering: the Sapphire Pure Black P67 Hydra.
Now that the initial Intel Cougar Point chipset problems have been resolved, there is a plethora of motherboards on the market that support the latest Sandy Bridge processors. For enthusiasts, the current high-end SNB-supportive chipset is the Intel P67, of which there are also many different motherboards from various vendors. One of the P67 motherboards that attempts to provide some of the high-end features while at a mainstream price-point is the ECS P67H2-A2. This Elitegroup motherboard retails for less than $200 USD while it ships with two PCI Express x16 slots, USB 3.0, Serial ATA 3.0, and ECS overclocking features.
When it comes to Intel's Sandy Bridge, lately we have been looking a lot at the Linux graphics performance with the H67 chipset as it has been an interesting journey but now at least the OpenGL performance is good and VA-API video acceleration is working. Now that the B3-stepping Cougar Point motherboards are beginning to ship that address the original SATA issues for this chipset that led to a recall, we are back to looking at this magical CPU, the supported motherboards, and its overall Linux performance. In this review we are taking a Linux look at the ASRock P67 Pro3.
Last week we examined the ATI Radeon HD 4250 integrated graphics performance found with the AMD 880G chipset introduced a few months back. We found the performance of the 880G IGP to be not that different from the higher-end AMD 890GX chipset when using the proprietary Catalyst driver, but today we are looking more at the 880G chipset along with the 890FX chipset as we review the ASRock 880G Extreme3 and ASRock 890FX Deluxe3, respectively. Both low-cost motherboards offer USB 3.0, SATA 3.0, and eSATA3 connectivity, and Turbo UCC overclocking, among other features.
Earlier this year we reviewed an Intel H55 motherboard and found it to perform well under Linux both in terms of compatibility with the latest Linux distributions at the time as well as the overall system performance with our slew of open-source benchmarks. Intel's H57 Chipset was launched at the same time, but with the very few differences between the H55 and H57 chipsets, its Linux support and performance is about the same. Today though we are reviewing the ECS H57H-MUS motherboard to see how this Intel H57 motherboard performs on Linux, which also offers a few extra features like USB 3.0 and Serial ATA 3.0 support.
121 motherboards articles published on Phoronix.