Motherboard Asus Z97-Deluxe Review: Getting to Know a New Intel’s Chipset

Intel’s Z-series chipsets have been recently supplemented by a new Z97 Express companion. Its release coincides with the launch of an updated Haswell Refresh CPU line for LGA 1150 socket. The new platform is thought to support PCI Express M.2 interface that substitutes an old-fashioned mSATA one. It is also supposed to support SATA Express interface and the forthcoming Intel Core 5th generation CPUs. What are the real differences between Z97 and preceding chipsets? Let’s find it out through the example of Asus Z97-Deluxe motherboard.



Basic Specifications


— form-factor: ATX, 305x244 mm dimensions;

— chipset and CPUs: Intel Z97 Express, 4th/5th gen Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors for Socket LGA 1150;

— interface: DMI 2.0, 20 Gb/sec;

— memory: 4x DIMM slots, DDR3 standard, two-channel, 64 GB ultimate capacity, 1066 MHz-3300 (OC) MHz frequencies;

— multi-GPU support: AMD CrossFireX, Nvidia SLI;

— expansion slots: 3x PCI-e 3.0 x16, 4x PCI-e 2.0 …

Seagate Launches the 5th Generation FireCuda SSHD

Seagate has expanded its lineup of hybrid drives with the 5th-generation FireCuda SSHD. The greenhorns are based on shingled magnetic recording technology (SMR), rather than perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR). The SMR enables the partial superposition of data tracks; it ensures the ultimate record density. The models are backed by a 5-year’s limited warranty.



Seagate FireCuda series is introduced by 5 models, developed in 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch formats. Their capacity varies from 500 GB to 2 TB. The drives employ MLC flash memory (8 GB) as well as SATA 6 Gb/sec external interface. The spindle rotates at 5400 RPM.


The average data read speed makes up 140 MB/sec with 2.5-inch models & 156 MB/sec with 3.5-inch items. The latter offer also up to 190 MB/sec of the average read speed from flash memory; besides, it takes only 8.5-9.5 ms for the chips to search for the needed data on Read/Write operations. To add, the new FireCuda is thought to consume between 1.7-6.7 W power.

Intel to Release CPU Avoton in Late 2013

Intel is known to develop CPU solutions for different types of systems, including home-based compact platforms, as well as corporate server systems. Not so long ago the company announced the decision to introduce its new solution for micro-servers, codenamed Bordenville, which is based on Centerton CPU. A new platform is going to provide good performance characteristics in combination with multifarious facilities. Still, Intel decided to move on and improve the platform for this segment by a more efficient product. Under the preliminary data, the company is going to develop another platform, codenamed Edisonville, based on Avoton processor.



According to the forecasts, Intel Avoton will be able to demonstrate a better performance per watt, as compared with Centerton or Haswell CPUs. Avoton will be notable for the integration of USB, SATA and GbE facilities; thus, the platform will accommodate a couple of SATA III ports, two SATA II ports, four USB 2.0, and four gigabit Ethernet …
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