‘Mini-Mighty’ MSI Z97I Gaming AC Motherboard Review

Ever-increasing popularity of mini-ITX mainboards is accounted for the augmentation of small-sized PC systems, work- and multimedia stations, as well as gaming platforms. The latter lay down specific demands towards hardware base, requiring the combination of high performance, durability and price-efficiency. MSI is ready to satisfy those demands, by offering ‘mini, but mighty’ Z97I Gaming AC system board. Being a part of Intel Z97 chipset family, this tiny tot owns all ‘Gaming’ series facilities, despite compact dimensions. Let’s check them out.

Specs Overview

MSI Z97I Gaming AC is based on Intel Z97 chipset targeting Haswell-based CPUs for Socket LGA1150 platform (Celeron, Pentium, Core i3/i5/i7 series). The implemented PCB accommodates a pair of DIMM slots for DDR3 SDRAM modules (16 GB volume) with the clock frequencies from 1333 MHz to 3300 MHz. Expansion facilities are introduced by a single PCI-e 3.0 x16 slot with no backup from PCI slots. The board comes …

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand: PSUs for Multi-GPU Systems

Taking into account increasing needs of gamers and enthusiasts in a reliable power supply for gaming and multi-GPU systems, Thermaltake decided to replenish its Toughpower Grand series of PSUs with two new models. The 1050 W and 1200 W units feature a totally modular design and boast 80Plus Gold certificate, demonstrating up to 93% efficiency on workload. In order to vindicate durability, the company delivers the couple with a 7-year’s limited warranty.

Thermaltake Toughpower Grand devices accommodate high-quality hardware base, including 100% Japanese solid-state capacitors with a vast range of operational temperatures (up to 105 degrees). Both models come with a single +12V bus and handy ribbon cables. The 3 OZ Copper PCB implies the implementation of triple copper layer in the base of the PCB; this reduces heating and simultaneously enhances performance.

Both units are known to support C6 and C7 power-saving modes for Intel Haswell processors. In addition, they are …

Intel Debuts with Skull Canyon NUC Mini-PC

Skull Canyon was designed to dispel stereotypes about low efficiency of compact-sized PCs. Intel tried hard to take its mini-PC to the next level. Hence, the company furnished it with a 4-core Core i7-6770HQ CPU (Skylake) with support of Hyper-Threading. It features 6 MB L3 cache, 45 W TDP and runs at 2.6/3.5 GHz frequency. The CPU incorporates Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580 (GT4e) graphics core with 72 computing units and an additional eDRAM of 128 MB (frequency index: 350-950 MHz).

Intel Skull Canyon is housed in a stylish case with skull logo, featuring 216x116x23 mm dimensions & 0.7 liters capacity. The model accommodates a pair of So-DIMM DDR4-2133+ slots, allowing to install up to 32 GB of memory. Storage subsystem might be organized thanks to a pair of M.2 slots which support SSDs with SATA or PCI Express x4 interface.

This mini-PC comes with Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 8260 adapter that is thought to support Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity. The rear panel …
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Date of birth: 13 June 1962
Location: Россия, Асбест
Registered at: 10 March 2012, 23:36
Last visit: 27 December 2013, 20:31