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.
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.
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