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.
Earlier this year AMD rolled out the 890GX Chipset with an ATI Radeon HD 4290 integrated graphics processor, support for Serial ATA 3.0 with the SB850 Southbridge, DDR2/DDR3 memory support, and other leading features. About a month ago we reviewed the AMD Athlon II X3 425 processor when coupled with an AMD 890GX + SB850 motherboard and in this review we are taking a closer look at that motherboard under Linux. The motherboard in question is the MSI 890GXM-G65 with USB 3.0 and Serial ATA 6Gb/s support.
While Jetway is not one of the most popular brands of motherboards among enthusiasts, they do offer a nice variety of mini ITX motherboards, such as the NC92 IPC and NC96-510-LF motherboards that we have reviewed at Phoronix. Both of these petite motherboards have been built around the Intel Atom processor, but for those looking to find a mini ITX motherboard that can harness a bit more power, there is the Jetway NC84. The Jetway NC84 is what we are testing out today under Linux, which is a mini ITX motherboard that can handle up an AMD Phenom processor, sports an ATI Radeon HD 4200 IGP, and four Serial ATA 2.0 ports capable of RAID 0/1/5/10.
Late last year we reviewed the Jetway NC92 Atom IPC motherboard that was a nice Mini ITX board with an Intel Atom N230 processor. A few weeks after that, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the new Pineview processors were shown off. The Atom N400 and D510 Pineview CPUs are only a moderate upgrade from the very common Diamondville Atoms, but the newer Atoms are beginning to work their way into more nettops and netbooks. Jetway is one of the vendors that was quick to design a new IPC motherboard that bears the Intel Atom D510 dual-core processor with Intel GMA 3150 graphics and the NM10 Express Chipset.
In conjunction with the launch of the Core i3/i5 Clarkdale processors last month, Intel introduced the H55 and H57 Chipsets. The Intel H55 Express Chipset is designed for use with these new processors and Core i7 800 series CPUs. The H55 is compatible with the HD graphics found embedded onto the new Clarkdale CPUs as well as the PCI Express 2.0 slots and dual channel DDR3 memory controller provided by the CPU itself, while the chipset itself provides support for the digital displays, HD audio, six PCI Express x1 slots, Serial ATA, Gigabit LAN, and Intel ME Firmware / BIOS support. As our first Linux review of an Intel H55 motherboard we are checking out the ECS Elitegroup H55H-M.
Since being let go by Novell last year where he worked on the RadeonHD Linux graphics driver and X.Org support within SuSE Linux, Luc Verhaegen has continued work on his VIA Unichrome DDX driver as well as other X.Org code and he has also become involved with the CoreBoot project that aims to create a free software BIOS for most chipsets and motherboards on the market. Luc has worked on support for flashing the BIOS on ATI graphics cards, native VGA text mode support, and other work to help the CoreBoot project. Today at FOSDEM in Brussels, Luc Verhaegen is about to give a talk on reverse engineering a motherboard BIOS.
Over the years at Phoronix there have been reviews on many Tyan motherboards for desktops, servers, and workstations. The build quality of these motherboards have always been very good; after all, Tyan has been around for two decades and their workstation/server products must be very dependable if they wish to maintain their premiere position within the industry. The Linux compatibility with the motherboards has also been generally quite good due to its dominant use on their operating systems. As our first Tyan review for 2010 we are looking at the S2915 n6650W and S2927 n3600B motherboards. Both motherboards are designed for AMD's Opteron 2000 series processors and have a similar feature set, but there are a few key differences between these two high-end workstation motherboards.
Back in September we published a launch-day Linux preview of Intel's Lynnfield processors and provided Core i5 / Core i7 benchmarks. With that initial testing of the Lynnfield processors and the new Intel P55 Chipset we had used an Intel DP55KG "Kingsberg" motherboard, but since then many P55 motherboards from different vendors have flooded the market. One of the P55 motherboards to be introduced for the budget-conscious consumer is the P55H-A, which comes from ECS Elitegroup. This motherboard is very reasonably priced while offering support for up to DDR3-2200MHz memory (in an overclock mode), solid capacitors, dual PCI Express x16 slots, and S/PDIF audio support.
Back in March the open-source ATI Linux driver had gained support for an unreleased IGP known as the RS880, months before it would end up on the market and become known as the AMD 785G Chipset. The open-source support is there for this integrated graphics processor and motherboard chipset, along with the proprietary support through the Catalyst Linux driver, and there is even chipset documentation to help the CoreBoot developers. With the 785G being the latest (and likely last) ASIC in the AMD 700 series, we decided to look at the ECS A785GM-M motherboard. The A785GM-M from Elitegroup Computer Systems is affordable and offers a nice set of features for being a micro ATX motherboard.
This morning Intel has introduced their new mainstream desktop chipset, the Intel P55, and has brought forth the Core i5 processor family along with new Core i7 processors for use with this new chipset and socket. Intel sent us out a review kit of this new hardware so we are already able to comment on its Linux compatibility. In this article we are talking specifically about the Intel P55 and its Linux compatibility with regard to the Intel DP55KG motherboard while in the next article we have Ubuntu Linux benchmarks using an Intel Core i5 750 and Core i7 870.
Back in April we reviewed the ASRock X58 SuperComputer and found it to be a phenomenal motherboard for use with Intel Core i7 processors. While ASRock is regarded as being a budget manufacturer, this affordable Intel X58 motherboard could overclock quite far, ran well with Linux, and offered a great set of features. While that was a very nice Intel product, how are ASRock's current offerings on the AMD side? In this review we have our hands on the ASRock M3A780GXH/128M to see how well this AM3 Socket motherboard with a 780G + SB710 Chipset performs under Linux.
Linux hardware support has improved a great deal over the past few years, but there are still a few troubled spots. With computer motherboards, for instance, the core functionality is generally there and most consumer motherboards will "just work" with the latest desktop Linux distributions out there. Where users though can run into problems are with the ancillary features. Motherboard manufacturers usually bundle proprietary software with their products that allow monitoring of hardware sensors, flashing of the motherboard BIOS, and overclocking all from within the Windows operating system. With the exception of LM_Sensors providing some sensors support, this is a grey area for Linux. Fortunately, however, the folks working on the CoreBoot project have developed a program that will near universally allow you to flash your motherboard's BIOS from within the Linux desktop.
As we have noted before, ASRock continues to step up the capabilities of their products and with each new iteration of motherboards we see more feature-rich, enthusiast-oriented products from this cost-oriented company. With the current global economy, more consumers will be looking for more cost effective products, which places ASRock in a prime position. One of the cheapest Intel X58 motherboards on the market is the ASRock X58 SuperComputer, which has a number of exciting features but at a lower cost. In this article today we are seeing how well the ASRock X58 SuperComputer runs with Linux.
Years ago when we started reviewing ASRock motherboards, most of them were fairly basic with very few features compared to what could be found on the ASUS or Gigabyte motherboards. With time though ASRock has begun ramping up their motherboards with more features, new innovative designs, and other improvements that cater towards the desires of enthusiasts and gamers. These days there are ASRock motherboards that can compete with those from major OEMs both in terms of features and in terms of performance, while delivering a better price. One example of a modern, feature-rich ASRock motherboard is the N7AD-SLI. The ASRock N7AD-SLI has NVIDIA SLI support, Gigabit LAN, IEEE-1394 Firewire, S/PDIF output, OC Tuner, solid capacitors, and an instant boot technology. This motherboard is centered around NVIDIA's nForce 740i SLI Chipset.
Tyan, a long-time supporter of Phoronix and a manufacturer of many leading workstation/server-oriented motherboards, recently sent out their Thunder n6650EX motherboard. This motherboard is a slight redesign of their earlier Thunder n6550EX product, but with out of the box support for AMD's 45nm Opteron CPUs. The Thunder n6650EX is capable of handling four quad-core processors, up to 128GB of ECC Registered DDR2 system memory, dual PCI Express x16, and six Serial ATA 2.0 ports. In this article we are offering a preview of the Tyan Thunder n6650EX (S4992).
If you have wanted to get your hands on an Intel Atom system but aren't interested in the netbooks that are out there, it's now relatively easy to find compatible motherboards out there to build your own Intel Atom system. Some of these motherboards even come with an Atom CPU already installed. In this article we have our hands on the Jetway NC92-230-LF, which is a mini ITX motherboard that is pre-installed with an Intel Atom N230 and offers one PCI slot, one DDR2 slot, Gigabit Ethernet, and 6-channel audio.
Back in August we had looked at the G45-based Super Micro C2SEA with its integrated Intel GMA X4500HD graphics. The X.Org graphics performance wasn't that bad for being an Intel IGP, but Intel had also introduced the G43 Chipset with Intel X4500 (non-HD) graphics. One of the motherboards to use Intel's G43 is the ASRock G43Twins-FullHD, which we happen to be looking at today. This motherboard that pairs the Intel G43 with an ICH10 Southbridge supports both DDR2 and DDR3 system memory and its video connectors include D-Sub, DVI-D, and DisplayPort.
Earlier this year we had looked at the ECS A780GM-A Black Series motherboard that was powered by AMD's 780G Chipset with SB700 Southbridge. This motherboard worked well with Linux and had received our approval, but since then AMD has introduced their 790GX Chipset with Radeon HD 3300 graphics and SB750 Southbridge. Elitegroup Computer Systems has introduced a new motherboard that relies upon these newest chips. The ECS A790GXM-A Black Series is this newest product and today we are looking at this motherboard at Phoronix.
Last month we looked at the EP45-DS3L and EP45T-DS3R motherboards from Gigabyte. These two Intel P45 motherboards had turned out to be great contenders as long as you are using a newer Linux distribution that ships with a very recent Linux kernel. Today though on the review block we have two new motherboards compliments of ASRock. The ASRock P43R1600Twins-WiFi and P45R2000-WiFi utilize the Intel P43 and P45 Chipsets, respectively, but the duo share the Intel ICH10R Southbridge and both feature an integrated 802.11g WiFi module along with system memory support for both DDR2 and DDR3 standards. There are also a few other extras with the ASRock P45R2000-WiFi such as ATI CrossFire support, dual Gigabit LAN, and two eSATA connectors. What's important though is whether these relatively low-cost motherboards work under Linux, and we will tell you that today.
Back in June we had looked at the Super Micro C2SBX+ motherboard, which was a workstation motherboard oriented around the Intel X48 Chipset. This was our first time reviewing a Super Micro product at Phoronix, but from the success of the C2SBX+ we decided to look at another one of their motherboards. This time around we have our hands on the Super Micro C2SEA, which is a desktop motherboard that uses the Intel G45 Chipset and provides integrated GMA X4500 HD graphics.
Intel's P45 Chipset was released this summer along with the P43, G43, and G45 Chipsets as the mainstream Eaglelake alternative to Intel's current flagship X48 Chipset. Though over the older X48 motherboards, the P45 has the advantages of using Intel's newer ICH10 / ICH10R Southbridge and support for up to 16GB of DDR2/DDR3 memory, which is double that of what's supported by the X48. Today we are looking at two Intel P45 motherboards compliments of Gigabyte with their EP45-DS3L and EP45T-DS3R. The EP45-DS3L and EP45T-DS3R are just two of Gigabyte's motherboards bearing the P45 Chipset but in total they have eight different motherboards using this version of the Eaglelake Chipset.
Intel's latest performance desktop chipset is now the X48 Express, but there still is life left in the X38 Express, which was released late last year. The Intel X38 and X48 Chipsets share many of the same features including support for the latest dual-core and quad-core Intel processors, DDR3 system memory support, and 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 interfaces with there being very few differences to the end-user between these chipsets. In addition, benchmarks we have delivered from different motherboards have shown the X48 has little to no performance improvements over the older Bearlake chipset. ASUS's X38 motherboards are still very much in the market place and today we happen to be looking at one of their workstation motherboards based around the X38. The motherboard we are looking at is the ASUS P5E64 WS Professional, which ships with all of the usual ASUS innovations in addition to having four PCI Express x16 slots.
Over the past few months we have looked at a few different Intel X48 motherboards and all of these motherboards bearing Intel's latest chipset have worked quite well with Linux. Among these motherboards have been the ASUS P5E3 Premium, Super Micro C2SBX+, and Gigabyte X48T-DQ6. These X48 motherboards have been expensive, but now some of the budget manufacturers are introducing models at a lower cost. For just under $200 USD, ASRock has introduced the X48TurboTwins-WiFi. The ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi pairs Intel's X48 with the ICH9R Southbridge and offers a few extra features such as eSATA, integrated 802.11g WiFi, and IEEE-1394 Firewire.
Last October we had looked at the ASUS P5E3 Deluxe motherboard that was designed around the Intel X38 Chipset and it had arrived with its share of ASUS innovations such as ASUS AI Lifestyle, Crystal Sound, and EZ DIY. In addition, this was the first motherboard on the market to feature DeviceVM's SplashTop, or Express Gate as it's called on the ASUS motherboards. Today at Phoronix we are looking at the updated version of the P5E3 Deluxe, which is now called the P5E3 Premium. The ASUS P5E3 Premium is similar to the earlier Deluxe model but is now engineered around Intel's newer X48 Chipset.
Back in April we had looked at the ECS A780GM-A, which was a nice low-cost motherboard and had worked well under Linux with the newer desktop distributions. This motherboard had integrated Radeon HD 3200 graphics, which we had found to perform well and equivalent to a Radeon HD 2400PRO discrete graphics card. However, for those interested in NVIDIA graphics, there is the GeForce 8200 IGP that also performs well on Linux. If you are interested in the GeForce 8200 chipset, today we are looking at two of the cost-effective motherboards deploying this chipset: the ECS GF8200A Black and ASRock K10N78FullHD-hSLI.
Super Micro, are you familiar with them? Chances are that unless your focus is on the workstation and server markets, you probably haven't heard of them. However, this company has been around since 1993 and they have been producing a variety of different motherboards, servers, computer enclosures, and other products to fit the needs of their customers. Super Micro manufacturers a variety of different Intel server motherboards -- and they are one of the few that offers quad-socket Xeon motherboards -- but they also have a growing selection of Core 2 desktop motherboards. The C2SBX+ is one of their newest motherboards and with our first Super Micro review at Phoronix we are looking at this product. This Intel X48 motherboard is designed for digital entertainment, gaming enthusiasts, and other high-end applications.
126 motherboards articles published on Phoronix.