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.
In April we had looked at the ECS A780GM-A v1.0 motherboard, which boasted AMD's new Radeon HD 3200 graphics. For being an integrated graphics solution, we were certainly pleased with the performance, as it had performed about the same as the discrete Radeon HD 2400PRO. With the success of the AMD 780G Chipset, we have decided to look at another one of these motherboards. This time around we are looking at the ASRock A780FullDisplayPort, which as the name implies it offers a DisplayPort connection for the integrated graphics.
Two months ago we had looked at the Tyan Tempest i5400XT motherboard, which was Tyan's latest product based upon Intel's newest workstation chipset and had support for dual Intel Xeon quad-core processors. We found the Tempest i5400XT to be a real winner and everything had worked terrific with Linux. Today we are looking at another Tyan workstation motherboard but the tides have turned as we look at their latest AMD dual quad-core solution, the Tyan Thunder n3600M. The Thunder n3600M motherboard supports dual AMD "Barcelona" Opteron processors, 16 sticks of DDR2 RAM, and eight SAS ports, among other stunning features.
Last month we had looked at the Radeon HD 3200, which is part of the AMD 780G Chipset. In that Linux-based review we had found the performance to be admirable for being an integrated graphics processor (IGP) and it was quickly supported by the proprietary fglrx driver, aside from AMD not yet introducing the CrossFire/Hybrid Graphics Linux support. To deliver those Radeon HD 3200 benchmarks we had used the ECS A780GM-A Black and today we're publishing our full run-down on this AMD 780G motherboard that's paired with the AMD SB700 Southbridge. The A780GM-A boasts support for AMD Phenom processors, DDR2-1066 memory, PCI Express 2.0, and an HDMI port in addition to one VGA output.
When the Intel Quad-Core "Clovertown" Xeon processors were introduced in late 2006 we had reviewed (among other motherboards) the Tyan Tempest i5000XT (S2696) motherboard. We had found this i5000X-based motherboard to work incredibly well with Linux and it ended up being awarded with our Editor's Choice Award for its impressive feature-set, Linux compatibility, and top-notch performance. It has been a while since last looking at a Tyan motherboard, but with the emergence of Intel's Wolfdale and Harpertown processors requiring new motherboards, today we are looking at the Tempest i5400XT S5396 motherboard. The Tempest i5400XT is similar to the i5000XT, but it's been upgraded to the new Intel 5400 MCH.
Intel's Open-Source Technology Center is involved with a number of open-source Linux projects such as Threading Building Blocks, Moblin, PowerTOP, and the X.Org graphics driver. Intel also has vested interests in numerous other projects such as Xen and KVM. One of Intel's lesser-known projects, however, is the Linux-ready Firmware Developer Kit. The Linux-ready Firmware Developer Kit is a bootable CD that analyzes the BIOS or EFI on the test system to see how well it's able to work with Linux and what features are supported via the firmware. The primary purpose of this kit is for use by firmware developers, but it's also able to aide end-users in determining what BIOS features on their system will work with Linux.
Back in December we looked at the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 motherboard and compared it against the ASUS P5K-E WiFi, which was also backed by Intel's P35 Express Chipset. In that review, the Gigabyte motherboard had presented a slight lead when it came to the Linux desktop performance, but both motherboards received our recommendations. Since then, Gigabyte has made a few changes to their latest motherboards in order to provide heightened power efficiency. The newest Gigabyte motherboards support DES, or Dynamic Energy Saver, technology. In this review we are taking a brief look at Gigabyte's efforts into green computing with their Dynamic Energy Saver technology on the GA-EP35-DS4 motherboard.
While Intel's X48 Express Chipset is not due out until the middle of March -- after having faced a few delays reaching production -- the kind folks at Gigabyte have today provided us with the Gigabyte X48T-DQ6 motherboard. This motherboard is similar to the Gigabyte X38-DQ6 that we reviewed last October, but it employs the new X48 Express MCH and the revised feature-set that this chipset brings to the hands of enthusiasts. This is our first Intel X48 motherboard review and the world's first look at this new flagship chipset under Linux. In this review of the Gigabyte X48T-DQ6 we will be comparing it to Intel's current P35 and X38 motherboards.
119 motherboards articles published on Phoronix.