Category Archive: Motherboards

PC Hardware Reviews: Motherboards

AMD Athlon 5350 and Gigabyte GA-AM1M-S2H Review

If you haven’t heard, desktop computing is losing serious ground to other, increasingly affordable computing solutions, including notebooks, chromebooks, and tablets. Desktops are still around. You probably have one at home and you probably use one at work. With mobile gaming on the rise and so many productivity features being streamlined for mobile platforms, the need for a powerful desktop computer because your other devices can’t handle the load is declining. According to AMD, entry level computing options make up the majority of the market. In this review, Benchmark Reviews takes a look at the AMD Athlon 5350 Kabini desktop processor paired with the Gigabyte GA-AM1M-S2H mATX motherboard and 4GB of DDR3 1600MHz AMD Radeon Series RAM.

Continue reading »

ASRock FM2A88X Extreme6+ Motherboard Review

FM2+ Motherboards sporting the A88X chipset started appearing in October 2013, but the improved functionality over the latest FM2 motherboards only became truly apparent with the release of the Kaveri line of APUs in January 2014. Add to that the recent release of AMD drivers supporting the Mantle API, and the FM2+ motherboards start to make sense. Benchmark Reviews has the AMD A10-7850K APU and a couple of FM2+ motherboards on hand. This article is dedicated to reviewing the ASRock FM2A88X Extreme6+ Motherboard to discover what sets it apart from the rest of the FM2+ crowd.

Continue reading »

ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1 Motherboard Review

ASUS tries to cover all the bases in the enthusiast market, and their TUF series motherboards are aimed at those who prize toughness and stability. Built with military-spec capacitors, chokes, and MOSFETs, and features such as extra ESD (electrostatic discharge) resistance, the Sabertooth Z97 Mark 1 motherboard also includes ASUS’ unique Thermal Armor system and a custom processor to monitor the board’s voltages and temperatures, which is part of the Thermal Radar 2 system. Of course it also includes features common to their other motherboards such as the Digi+ fully digital power system and their best-in-class UEFI BIOS to control it all. A five-year warranty tops it all off.

Continue reading »

ASUS Z97-DELUXE NFC & WLC Motherboard Review

ASUS really pulls away from their competition with digital power control for memory and processor, utilizing up to 16 power phases to ensure absolute precision stability. All hardware points are controlled by Dual Intelligent Processors 5, which consists of DIGI+ Power Control, TPU, EPU, Turbo App, and Fan Xpert. ASUS Z97-DELUXE and Z97-PRO models feature dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac (a/b/g/n/ac) and BlueTooth 4.0 wireless functionality. In this article Benchmark Reviews showcases the ASUS Z97-DELUXE (NFC & WLC) motherboard, and reveals the many hardware features packed onto this mainstream channel desktop board while showing off overclocking performance.

Continue reading »

ASUS Z97-DELUXE Motherboard Performance Review

With Intel being the sole supplier of chipsets for their processors, all motherboards with the same CPU and supporting chipset will provide pretty much the same performance at stock settings. Vendors strive to distinguish their products with additional features, which can be as disparate as a clever new BIOS or entirely new hardware capabilities grafted on via custom or third-party silicon. From a performance perspective, ASUS has historically added value with enhancements to standard interfaces, such as their accelerated USB 3.0, and hardware and software features that make overclocking easier, even for the novice. With the Z97-DELUXE they’ve even added entirely new high speed interfaces: M.2 and SATA Express. If you’re looking for a future-proof board for your next rig, this could be it.

Continue reading »

ASUS Z97-DELUXE Motherboard Hardware Review

Where ASUS really pulls away from their competition is with digital power control for memory and processor, utilizing up to 16 power phases to ensure absolute precision stability. All hardware points are controlled by Dual Intelligent Processors 5, which consists of DIGI+ Power Control, TPU, EPU, Turbo App, and Fan Xpert. ASUS Z97-DELUXE and Z97-PRO models feature dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac (a/b/g/n/ac) and BlueTooth 4.0 wireless functionality. In this article Benchmark Reviews showcases the ASUS Z97-DELUXE (NFC & WLC) motherboard, and reveals the many hardware features packed onto this mainstream channel desktop board.

Continue reading »

ASUS A88X-Pro AMD Motherboard Review

With the new Kaveri APUs out in full force, the Mantle API being used for high-profile games like Battlefield 4, and HSA finally coming into its own, FM2+ motherboards are all over the place. The A88X chipset paired with an FM2+ APU is a solid platform all by itself, but manufacturers have to spice things up in order to sell motherboards. In this article, Benchmark Reviews takes a look at the ASUS A88X-Pro FM2+ Motherboard.

Continue reading »

ASUS Z87I-Deluxe Mini-ITX Intel Motherboard Review

It seems full-sized ATX systems are becoming less relevant every day. Increasing GPU horsepower diminishes the need for expensive multi-GPU setups; onboard sound has become good enough for all but serious audiophiles, and inexpensive 8GB DIMMs mean that two DIMM slots is plenty. The ASUS Z87I-Deluxe LGA1150 mini-ITX motherboard is the latest in ASUS’ new line of enthusiast mini-ITX motherboards. If you haven’t considered a mini-ITX build, maybe it’s time you should.

Continue reading »

ASUS Z87-Deluxe/Dual LGA1150 Intel Motherboard Review

How many new features can you cram onto a motherboard that are both useful and innovative? ASUS is the expert at doing this, and their history of innovations is long: the custom EPU and TPU processors; intelligent fan control, the ability to update your BIOS on a board with no CPU and RAM installed, and so forth. The Z87-Deluxe/Dual LGA1150 motherboard shows that ASUS is not content to rest on its laurels. With new features like Near Field Communications and 802.11ac support, this motherboard has it all.

Continue reading »

ASRock Z87E-ITX Intel Desktop Motherboard Review

ASrock_Z87E-ITX_Motherboard_Accessories

Small form factor PC’s have been gaining a lot of momentum and favor with hardware enthusiasts and hardcore gamers these past couple of years. Since more features are integrated into the CPU in recent releases, it means more real estate has been made on ITX form factor motherboards for extras that may well have not fit previously. With the release of Intel Haswell CPU’s and Z87 chipset, motherboard vendors are now more than ever able to condense the features of a full size ATX motherboard into the ITX form factor without much (if any) sacrifice. See for yourself, take a look at an average Z68 or Z77 ATX motherboard and you will start to notice just how much space isn’t occupied. In this article Benchmark Reviews takes an in-depth look at the ASRock Z87E-ITX motherboard, reporting back on special features and performance as well as giving a visual commentary on the aesthetics of this tiny beast.

Continue reading »

Intel DZ87KLT-75K LGA1150 Desktop Motherboard Review

intel_DZ87KLT-75K_bios_advanced_performance1

Until a few years ago, Intel motherboards were, well, boring: reliable, sure, and well-made, but without any really interesting features that would appeal to enthusiasts. That started changing around the time of the Z68 chipset, and although Intel has announced they’ll stop manufacturing desktop motherboards in the near future, the Z87-based DZ78KLT-75K makes a good swan song.

Continue reading »

ASUS SABERTOOTH Z87 Intel Motherboard Review

ASUS SABERTOOTH Z87 Motherboard IO Corner

ASUS’ newest TUF motherboards are built on Intel’s new Z87 chipset, for the new Haswell-based LGA 1150 CPUs. The TUF line emphasizes reliability and durability rather than a cornucopia of consumer features or the ability to reach heroic overclocking levels. Can an enthusiast love the SABERTOOTH Z87? Benchmark Reviews checks this board out to see what makes it special enough to include in your next rig.

Continue reading »

ASUS GRYPHON Z87 mATX Intel Motherboard Review

It’s new Intel CPU time, and with the switch to the LGA1150 socket comes a slew of new motherboards. Today we have an interesting item: the ASUS Z87 GRYPHON mATX motherboard. What makes the GRYPHON interesting is that it’s the first micro-ATX member of ASUS’ TUF family of motherboards. Let’s see if this tiny motherboard can hold up the TUF banner.

Continue reading »

MSI Z87 MPower MAX Motherboard Review

Intel’s new Haswell CPUs bring with them a new socket, LGA1150, and a new supporting chipset, the Z87. MSI’s new Z87 MPower MAX motherboard is the first of third-party Intel Z87-Express desktop motherboard we’ve had the opportunity to test. As a member of MSI’s “MPOWER” motherboards, the full-sized ATX motherboard is a high-end product stuffed with features aimed at enthusiasts and gamers. Let’s take a look at it!

Continue reading »

MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING Motherboard Review

Intel’s Haswell CPU’s and Z87 motherboards may well be just around the corner, but that hasn’t stopped MSI from releasing another line of Z77 motherboards. With this new line of motherboards MSI are aiming at the gaming scene, and have a bold new color scheme and heatsink design to match. We are used to seeing either yellow or blue theme motherboards from MSI but this new ‘gaming’ line-up breaks that mould. Benchmark Reviews takes a look at the mid range MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING LGA1155 Motherboard (P/N 911-7752-19S) in this article. The MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING motherboard supports 3rd Gen & 2nd Gen Intel CPU’s designed for the LGA115x socket, and DDR3 speeds up to 3000MHz (OC). Not much separates motherboards with the same chipset these days, so extras like a KILLER E2200 NIC, Creative Sound Blaster Cinema sound and PCI Express Gen 3 expansion slots aim to make sure you have a high quality experience with this latest offering from MSI.

Continue reading »