Gigabyte Debuts with Socket AM1 Motherboards

Gigabyte is the first among AMD’s partners to introduce proprietary motherboards for an upcoming Socket AM1 platform. Initially the AM1 series will comprise only two models: the GA-AM1M-S2P and the GA-AM1M-S2H. Both feature micro-ATX form-factor and are supposed to house AMD Athlon/Sempron APUs. They employ two DIMM slots for the integration of up to 32 GB DDR3 memory with 1600 MHz frequency. The release is scheduled for March when the platform is officially introduced.



Gigabyte motherboards have got two SATA III 6 Gb/sec ports for the expansion of storage, one PCIe 2.0 x16, one PCIe x1 and one PCI connector for the connection of add-ons. Network functional consists of gigabit controller from Realtek, whereas audio functional is laid upon 7.1-channel HAD Realtek ALC 887 codec.


The differentiation between the two models lies in the set of internal/external interfaces. Hence, the GA-AM1M-S2P comes with two PS/2 ports, one D-Sub port, four USB ports (3.0 + 2.0), one RJ-45, …

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 …

Motherboard Biostar Hi-Fi Z87X 3D Review

When all the turmoil connected with the launch of new Intel Haswell processors becalmed, potential customers could finally get their own opinion about CPU facilities and decide whether an upgrade is a sensible move. A flagship motherboard from Biostar, entitled Hi-Fi Z87X 3D, proves that it worth the effort. Biostar was one of the first manufacturers in the market to pay much attention to audio subsystem. Hence, all the best audio elaborations have been aptly implemented in its flagship board.



General Specifications


Biostar Hi-Fi Z87X 3D positions itself as the motherboard for overclocking, featuring:

— chipset: Intel Z87;

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

— socket and supported processors: Socket 1150, Intel Haswell Pentium, Core i3/i5/i7;

— built-in graphics core: Intel HD Graphics 4600;

— memory: type – DDR3, capacity – up to 32 GB, clock frequencies – 1066 MHz – 2800 (OC) MHz;

— expansion slots: three PCI-e 2.0 x1, two …
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