For years ASRock has been regarded as very much a budget motherboard manufacturer, while over time they've begun to introduce motherboards with more enthusiast-level features and even products that are more overclocker-friendly. It wasn't until recently that they finally started offering Gigabit ethernet and IEEE-1394a Firewire on their motherboards, but this month with their 4Core1600P35-WiFi+ they have made another step forward showing that they are able to offer an economically-priced motherboard with Intel's P35 Chipset and even integrated 802.11g WiFi. We have our hands on the ASRock 4Core1600P35-WiFi+ for testing and we will be seeing how well this P35 creation performs on Linux.
Back in November AMD had launched their "Spider platform", which is made up of AMD's first quad-core processor, ATI Radeon HD 3800 series graphics, and the AMD 7-Series chipsets. While we were quick to cover the ATI Radeon HD 3850 and 3870 graphics under Linux, today after much testing we are finally delivering our first Linux report from AMD's new 790FX Chipset. Is the chipset that's designed for PC enthusiasts and performance seeking overclockers worth anything under Linux? Does this chipset even work with the latest Linux desktop distributions? We'll be answering these questions and more, as we look at the Gigabyte MA790FX-DS5 motherboard.
While all of the rage recently has been around Intel's X38 Express Chipset, there is still plenty of life left in Intel's P35 "Bearlake" Chipset. The Intel P35 is only a few months older, but it contains most of the same features as the flagship X38 aside from the PCI Express 2.0 support and a Hardware Memory Prefetcher. We have previously reviewed Intel P35 motherboards such as the ASUS Blitz Extreme and Gigabyte P35-DS3P, but in this review, we are going back and looking at two more of these Intel Bearlake motherboards. At hand today we have the ASUS P5K-E WiFi and Gigabyte P35-DS4 motherboards, both of which are similar in many respects and use the P35 + ICH9R combination with DDR2 memory.
Earlier this month we featured an exclusive preview of DeviceVM's SplashTop Technology, which is an instant-on Linux desktop environment that within five seconds of turning on your PC you could be inside a Firefox-based web-browser or talking with the Skype VoIP client. While more motherboards will be shipping with SplashTop shortly (as well as notebooks and desktops), the first motherboard with this embedded Linux technology is the ASUS P5E3 Deluxe. The Intel X38 Chipset was formally introduced earlier this month and that combined with SplashTop (or Express Gate, as ASUS calls it) should make for an interesting review of the P5E3 Deluxe. Other features for this motherboard include improved energy efficiency through an ASUS EPU (Energy Processing Unit), up to DDR3-1800 support, and integrated 802.11n WiFi.
While most of the rage these days for Intel hardware is about the P35 and X38 Chipsets, for those looking at an economically-minded motherboard that may not support all of the latest and greatest features but can still work well as a Linux desktop, Intel's P965 remains a great option. One of the motherboards fitting this criteria is the 4Core1333-Viiv from ASRock, which utilizes the Intel P965 + ICH8DH while is still compatible with Intel Core 2 Quad 1333MHz processors. Through ASRock's AGI Express, ATI CrossFire support is also possible using this budget motherboard. But how well does the ASRock 4Core1333-Viiv work under Linux? We'll tell you in this article as we do our usual compatibility and benchmarking roundabout.
Earlier this week Intel's X38 Express Chipset was officially released and we had published a Linux review of the Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 and are finishing up work on the ASUS P5E3 Deluxe WiFi motherboard. Several other tier-one manufacturers have already introduced new X38-backed motherboards, but there are a plethora of new Intel motherboards on the way. Universal Abit is in the process of introducing their complete IX38 series, which includes the IX38, IX38-MAX, and IX38 QuadGT. An excited Abit representative has passed along their internal information kit on their X38 series, which we will be sharing with you today.
From the reviews we have published featuring Intel's P35 "Bearlake" Chipset on such motherboards as the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3P and ASUS Blitz Extreme, this chipset has functioned very well under Linux with no real problems and the performance has been great. While the P35 works wonders on Linux, how does Intel's soon-to-be-shipped X38 work with Linux? Well, in this article we will tell you how this new Intel Chipset, which supports two PCI Express 2.0 slots and other improvements, is able to function on a Linux desktop and Solaris. At hand we have the Gigabyte X38-DQ6 motherboard as we explore its alternative OS compatibility and performance.
The good folks over at ASUS have sent over the P5E3 Deluxe, which is based upon Intel's new X38 Chipset and continues in the usual ASUS fashion of pushing new (and often unexpected) innovations onto the motherboard. Without spoiling the review of this motherboard that will be published shortly, the ASUS P5E3 Deluxe is one of the most innovative motherboards we have seen to date and it packs one very exciting and unusual feature. Embedded onto the P5E3 Deluxe is a Linux environment that features a Firefox-rebranded web browser and the Skype VoIP client! Within five seconds of turning on this $360 USD gaming/enthusiast motherboard, you can be using Linux and surfing the Internet. On this motherboard the feature is known as ASUS Express Gate, which is powered by something called SplashTop. SplashTop is an instant-on Linux desktop being created by DeviceVM. SplashTop isn't even launching for a few more days (October 10), but in this article we have more details on this embedded Linux environment as well as screenshots and our thoughts with what will hopefully come next for this Linux environment.
Over the years of reviewing ASUS products we've seen a number of interesting motherboards but the one we have our hands on for review today is one of the most interesting we have ever seen. This motherboard is the ASUS Blitz Extreme and packed onto this ATX PCB is Intel's P35 Chipset with ICH9R Southbridge, dual-channel DDR3-1333 memory support, CrossFire support, "voltiminder" LEDs, load-line calibration, Stack Cool 2, SupremeFX II audio, LCD poster display, and the ASUS Fusion Block System. The Fusion Block System is an integrated thermal hybrid cooler designed to cool the motherboard's chipset and other key components, but can also be inserted into your computer's water cooling loop for even greater performance. The ASUS Blitz Extreme belongs to their Republic of Gamers line with other motherboards such as the Striker Extreme, Blitz Formula, Crosshair, and Commando. This may be the ultimate gaming and overclocking platform, but how well does this $300+ USD motherboard work with Linux? We will tell you today.
Earlier this week David Lin reviewed the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3S and on the review bench today we have the GA-P31-DS3L from Gigabyte. This P31 motherboard supports Intel's Core 2 45nm processors, DDR2-1066 memory, all-solid capacitors, and many of the other innovations found on the GA-P35-DS3S. Nevertheless, is the GA-P31-DS3L that currently sells for about $75 USD able to perform well under Linux like the GA-P35-DS3S?
Gigabyte has long been a very big name in computer hardware. They manufacture almost any sort of hardware you can imagine. High quality computer cases, motherboards, video cards, laptops, CPU coolers, you name it they have it (they even have a cell phone!). Like ASUS, they are able to diversify and cover a massive segment of the industry, and they are able to do this without sacrificing quality and performance. An impressive feat indeed. Not so long ago, Gigabyte made a massive splash in the enthusiast/overclocking world with their release of the board known as the DS3. The 965P-DS3 was one of the best overclocking motherboards ever to be released on the market. Not only was it brilliantly designed, but very importantly, it was brilliantly priced. Everyone could afford it because it was not only better performing, but also cheaper than the competition. Overclocking was BY FAR the easiest we have ever encountered in all our years of experience. This is also partially because almost all of the Core 2 Duos are simply beasts. The P35-DS3P that we will be looking at today carries the same DS3 mark. This board is really the successor to the incredible 965P-DS3 and should be held to the same standards of quality and performance.
Last month we looked at the ALiveNF7G-HDReady from ASRock, which was a great budget motherboard that had integrated NVIDIA GeForce 7050 graphics that made it suitable for an HTPC or multimedia setup and it came topped with Gigabit LAN support and IEEE-1394 Firewire. We are back with ASRock today as we look at their ConRoe1333-DVI/H motherboard. ASRock's ConRoe1333-DVI/H is based on Intel's 945G Chipset and is compatible with Intel 1333MHz Core 2 Duo processors, uses GMA 950 graphics, and is home to many more features.
It has been a while since we last reviewed an ASRock motherboard, but this budget manufacturer has kept churning out new and more innovative products. The ASRock motherboard we have our hands on for this Linux and Solaris review is the ALiveNF7G-HDready, which combines NVIDIA's GeForce 7050 and nForce 630a MCP with a wealth of integrated extras such as IEEE-1394a Firewire to offer a rather good package for its low price. This motherboard is also capable of handling 720p H.264 video playback with low CPU Utilization and HDCP decoding through supported software.
A year ago we had reviewed the M2N32-SLI Deluxe WiFi motherboard from ASUS, which was a phenomenal Socket AM2 motherboard that used NVIDIA's nForce 590 SLI Chipset and featured a number of ASUS innovations. Recently ASUS had sent out to us an updated M2N32-SLI Deluxe WiFi, which adds official support for Microsoft Windows Vista. At hand today we have re-tested the ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe and now have additional compatibility comments for Linux as well as Solaris.
Elitegroup Computer Systems is known for their array of products from desktop computers to graphics cards and motherboards. At hand today we have their NF650iSLIT-A motherboard, which is powered by NVIDIA's nForce 650i Chipset and caters toward the computer enthusiast crowd, but can it really deliver?
The ASUS P5N-E SLI motherboard rings in at about $130 USD, which makes it substantially cheaper than many of the NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI motherboards on the market and even some of the nForce 650i motherboards. While this motherboard may be affordable, does it deliver upon the ASUS quality and innovations that enthusiasts have come to expect from their cutting edge products? Well, some of its many features include Intel Quad-Core support, NVIDIA SLI, and HD Azalia Audio.
Back in March we shared with you a preview of the Tyan Toledo i965R motherboard. As we mentioned in the preview, the Toledo i965R features Intel's Q965 Chipset with the ICH8 Southbridge while fitting everything on a FlexATX footprint. We are back today with our compatibility report on the Tyan Toledo i965R as we share how it runs on Fedora 7, Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn, KateOS 3.6, Solaris Express Nevada, and BeleniX.
It was back in February that we originally looked at the AB9 motherboard from Abit; however, this P965 motherboard had a few problems that had prevented this motherboard from functioning well with Linux. But have things since improved for this motherboard? We now have our compatibility report for the Abit AB9 as we see if things have changed for the better or worse under Linux and Solaris.
Our primary focus at Phoronix has been and will remain on covering the GNU/Linux hardware scene; however, the Solaris OS will become standard for use in a majority of our reviews and other hardware articles. We have been monitoring the Solaris landscape for quite some time and we see today's adoption as an important milestone for Solaris desktop users and the alternative operating system community in general. Our goal is to provide Solaris users with the most detailed information when it comes to compatibility and performance for desktop and server hardware.
For years now we have been accustom to seeing Tyan motherboards in some of the best workstations and servers, but recently they have been introducing a couple FlexATX/microATX motherboards. The first microATX Tyan motherboard we had reviewed was the Tomcat i845GV S3098, which was about two years ago, while earlier this year we featured a preview of the Tomcat i945GM S3095. Now in hand today we will be reviewing the Tyan Toledo i965R S5180. The Toledo i965R is a FlexATX solution with an LGA-775 socket, one PCI Express x16 slot, two DDR2 sockets, and is powered by Intel's Q965 + ICH8 Chipset. The Tyan i965R motherboard also supports Intel's Core 2 Duo processors.
This time around we are looking at the Abit AB9 motherboard, which is a P965 + ICH8 solution that offers Abit's uGuru, OC Guru, BlackBox, SoftMenu, and their well-known Silent OTES technology. The ATX motherboard is Intel Quad Core Ready, but can the Abit AB9 perform as well as the NF-M2 nView when running Linux?
While Tyan is mostly known for their selection of high-end server motherboards, their Tomcat i945GM is a rather interesting yet peculiar solution for them. The i945GM is a FlexATX motherboard that supports Intel's Socket 478 mobile processors (including the Core 2 Duo) along with onboard Intel i945 graphics with both DVI and VGA connections. The Tyan S3095 motherboard is targeted for industrial applications and embedded systems.
A few months back we had looked at the Abit AW9D i975X motherboard, which was one of the first motherboards to come out of the Universal Abit camp. We had found this Intel flagship motherboard to be very competitive and offer a great deal of features even though it was not able to pack the equivalent punch of the legendary IC7-MAX3 or NF7-S v2.0. What we have on the table to look at today is the Abit NF-M2 nView. The NF-M2 nView is an AM2 motherboard that is powered by the NVIDIA GeForce 6150 with nForce 430 that offers both onboard DVI and VGA support along with 7.1 channel HD audio, Abit Silent OTES, and IEEE-1394a Firewire.
The ASUS P5B Deluxe supports Intel's latest Core 2 processors as well as being backwards compatible with the Pentium and Celeron series. This motherboard also features an eight-phase power design, fan-less motherboard cooling, and many more ASUS innovations.
Fedora Core 6 is one of the first Linux distributions that works almost out-of-the-box with the ASRock 775Dual-VSTA, so with that said we are back here today looking at the performance of this budget Intel motherboard.
Last month Intel Corporation had announced their Kentsfield and Clovertown processors. The Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad QX6700 was the first processor (and only one at this time) based upon the quad-core Kentsfield. Meanwhile Intel had introduced the Clovertown Xeon 5300 series at Super Computing 2006. With the two Clovertown quad-core processors in hand, we had delivered our launch-day preview back on November 14. The motherboard we had used for those tests, as well as to test the Xeon 5000 and 5100 series, was the Tyan Tempest i5000XT S2696. Now having spent nearly a month with this flagship motherboard we have a few thoughts to share about this Xeon creation.
Abit's AW8 and AW8-MAX were exceptionally well-designed i955X motherboards, and Abit's latest attempt at a high-performance Intel LGA-775 solution is the AW9D series. We have the Abit AW9D on our test bench, which is backed by Intel's flagship 975X processor and boasts an arsenal of innovative features. But how does this product perform under GNU/Linux? We have all of the performance metrics to share today.
ASRock's latest motherboard series is the VSTA, which consist of budget motherboards designed for compatibility with Microsoft Windows Vista. However, we have taken a look at the 775Dual-VSTA and AM2V890-VSTA motherboards. Today we have up our preview of these two solutions.
After the success of the Tyan i5000XL S2692, we did not let this tempest adventure stop us so soon. Up on the bench today we have the Tyan Tempest i5000VF and i5000VS. We pair these motherboards up with Intel's Woodcrest processors and give them a run for their money. For those interested in the Intel Bensley Platform, this is certainly not an article to miss.
The Abit KN9 Ultra is backed by the NVIDIA MCP55 Ultra and supports IEEE-1394a, Dual Gigabit LAN, and all of the other Abit extras we are delighted to see back. The KN9 Ultra certainly looks like it may stack up well on paper, but let's see if Abit has truly returned to their famed past set by such motherboards as the NF7-S and IC7-MAX3.
119 motherboards articles published on Phoronix.