Greeting an Affordable Z170A-X1/3.1 Mainboard from ASRock

ASRock is known for developing high-quality hardware components for a relatively affordable price. Thence, its latest Z170A-X1/3.1 ATX mainboard is not an exception, since its price tag does not go beyond $100. In order to cheapen the prime cost, the manufacturer backed away SATA Express & M.2 connectors, limiting the PCB by six SATA III 6 Gb/sec ports.



To add, instead of a modern 8-channel audio controller it incorporated a well-known Realtek ALC892 item. The other boons of modernity remained unchanged. Thus, ASRock took Intel Z170 top chipset as the basis for the motherboard. The chipset is targeting the latest Intel Skylake CPUs for Socket LGA1151. The PCB accommodates 4 DIMM slots for dual-channel DDR4-3466 MHz RAM (up to 64 GB max. capacity).


Graphics facilities are ensured thanks to a pair of PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, although there are three more PCI Express 3.0 x1 slots for the connection of other items. Network options are entrusted to gigabit Intel I219V LAN …

The Top-of-the-line Gaming Desktop by ASUS – ROG GR8 II

At CES 2017 ASUS has announced its latest gaming desktop model – ROG GR8 II. In outward appearance this PC resembles a book. It is designed in black with gold and red accents. The product weighs about 4 kg and has the following dimensions: 299 × 88 × 281.3 mm.



The framework encloses a Core i7-7700 (3.6/4.2 GHz) CPU with the Hyper-Threading technology support and up to 65 W of heat dissipation or the Intel Core i7-6700, Core i5-7400 or Core i5-6400 CPU, a GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card with 3 GB of GDDR5 memory and popular VR-headsets compatibility.


The motherboard is based on the H110 and can work with DDR4-2133 or DDR4-2400 of up to 32 GB RAM modules, HDD and SSD. Various ASUS ROG GR8 II versions will possess the 128–512 GB M.2 SSD and/or 500 GB and 1 TB (7200 rpm) HDD. Windows 10 Home will be preinstalled.


The interface features two USB 3.0, one type A and one type C USB 3.1, two HDMI ports, one DisplayPort, RJ-45, an optical S/PDIF port, jacks for headphones …

The Forthcoming Switch to 5 mm HDD Models

Nowadays HDD segment is represented by various products from various companies. However, with the development and release of ultrabooks, manufacturers directed their production to the hybrid-type drives. This resulted in the predominance of hybrid solutions in the market.



Recently Itel has advanced a motion to digress somehow from the production of hybrid drives and switch to the decrease of traditional HDDs dimensions to 5 mm in casing depth. According to the company's assumptions, such change could moderate the price for drives and provide the necessary volume capacity for ultrabooks.


Some manufacturers have already directed a part of their technological powers to the design of HDDs with 5 mm casings. Nevertheless, there appeared a couple of obstacles on their way: the necessity to stabilize data reading and writing activities, and increase of costs spent on drives' production. This will result in the rise of end price.


IT professionals and analysts forecast the …
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