Three of Gigabyte's Z97 Motherboards Revealed

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jasonelmore

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that 10gb/s m2 port should come on all of the boards.
+1, that's the only really good feature Z97 has over Z87
yeah but they need to make sure they put it on the mini ITX/micro ATX boards. These big boards are gonna go in big cases, and m.2 ssd is not needed with thunderbolt on my asus boards
 

Chris Droste

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i wish they'd make the future upcoming 9-series MicroATX boards with the PCIe 1x slot spaced far enough away from the 16x/3.0/grfx card slot so i can actually put something in it with a double-height video card installed without them being less than 2mm apart. that would be really nice.
 

ekagori

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Z97 seems like a decent upgrade for anyone that absolutely needs to upgrade now, mostly for the lower cpu temps of the Haswell refresh and that M.2 slot. I'm still waiting for DDR4.
 

josejones

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In general, the Z97 mobo line-up is a monumental disappointment. I see no reason to get excited or motivated to buy at all.

"In comparison to the Intel Z87 Chipset Diagram illustrated above, the hard architecture remains identical. The Intel Haswell desktop CPU still delivers up to 16 PCI-Express 3.0 lanes for direct GPU connectivity, and includes an additional 4 PCI-Express 2.0 lanes. Intel Z97-Express doesn’t deliver additional PCIe lanes beyond what Z87 did, nor does it deliver native USB 3.0 support. Z97 offers the same 5GT/s bandwidth for up to 8 PCI Express 2.0 lanes. Intel Z97-based motherboards still allow PCI-Express 3.0 ports to be configured as 1 x16, 2 x8, or 1 x8 and 2 x4 lanes."

http://benchmarkreviews.com/15389/whats-new-intel-z97-motherboards/?cbg_tz=420

I feel sorry for those duped into buying this new Z97 hoax.

Where's:

DDR 4
DisplayPort 1.3
HDMI 2.0
PCI-E 4.0
Thunderbolt 40g/ps
DirectX 12
SATA 4
 

mapesdhs

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Blimey... I'm not one for keeping up with the latest chipsets, but even I'm surprised
Z97 doesn't have native USB3. How long has it been since mbd makers were
providing USB3 via some other means for older chipsets? All the way back to P55
and X58 I believe. So many iterations of new chipsets and Intel still hasn't added
USB3 (equally as slow adding a decent number of native SATA3 ports). Very odd.

Personally I don't like the low no. of PCIe lanes. Seems like there's now nothing
akin to the way X58 came across when it first came out, and I can't count X79,
it's too old with numerous missing features. I don't get why Intel hasn't moved
on from only 16 lanes for mainstream chipsets, given what mbd makers end up
trying to do with them, inevitably using PLEX switches or somesuch to provide
x16/x16 or x8/x8/x8/x8 functionality. I get Intel not upping it to as many lanes
as X79, but why not something inbetween like 32?

Feels like Intel is just plodding along atm. My prediction: PC games will suffer
from terrible CPU bottlenecks within 2 years unless Intel either decides to
really move things on once more, or a rival finally produces something that
provides real competition (alas, neither is likely given current trends). Notice
how sites like toms already have to oc a CPU to review the latest GPUs, etc.
We keep hearing that declining PC sales are due to tablets, etc., but I think
it might be equally because the desktop tech simply isn't moving on fast
enough to warrany an upgrade from existing configurations - certainly not on
performance grounds anyway. Take a decent P67/Z68, 2700K, oc to 5GHz
(I've done this four times now on the cheap), fit modern GPUs; compare
gaming performance to the latest Z87/HW, the differences are irrelevant,
and the CPU differences are pointless aswell.

I think there's now an untapped market of people who would gladly spend
solid money on decent new kit, if only there were something worth buying,
but there just isn't.

Ian.

 
Um. 7-, 8-, and (I would assume) 9-series chipsets have native USB3. Also, 8-series chipsets on have all 6 SATA ports as 6Gb/s.

The reason LGA115x isn't advancing is that if it was, no-one would ever buy LGA2011. Because there's very little that needs that much processing power. Remember that we're not even bothering to recommend the 4770K over the 4670K.
 

mapesdhs

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Someone Somewhere writes:
> Um. 7-, 8-, and (I would assume) 9-series chipsets have native USB3. Also, 8-series ...

As I understand it, these USB3 ports are not part of the Intel chipset, eg. on the Asrock
Z87 Extreme4 they are controlled by an ASMedia chip.


> ... chipsets on have all 6 SATA ports as 6Gb/s.

More of them are Intel, but it took them long enough, and such boards still use other
much slower controllers for extra ports.


> The reason LGA115x isn't advancing is that if it was, no-one would ever buy LGA2011. ...

Nonsense. :D There's no 6-core option for the boards you're referring to, and besides,
that's a self-enforcing catch22, since that definition sales of both would be improved
simply by advancing both lines, which in reality neither have advanced much since X58
and P67.


> Because there's very little that needs that much processing power. ....

(spoken like a true gamer. ;D)

Depends on your main task. Mine is various kinds of research (atm, AE) with just a bit of
gaming on the side. Nobody with half a clue uses any of the max-4-core chipsets for AE.


> Remember that we're not even bothering to recommend the 4770K over the 4670K.

For anyone with an existing SB, I see little utility in either of them.

Sounds to me like you're defending Intel's lazy approach to this. Strange.

Ian.



 
As I understand it, these USB3 ports are not part of the Intel chipset, eg. on the Asrock Z87 Extreme4 they are controlled by an ASMedia chip.
The 7-series chipsets had 4 USB3.0 ports built in, the 6-series has 6 ports. Those are directly on the chipset silicon.

Any above that need to be supplied by add-on chips. Which only happens on the very high end boards.

More of them are Intel, but it took them long enough, and such boards still use other much slower controllers for extra ports.
Because there's no point for Intel to devote more silicon to extra SATA ports that will almost never be used, which would push down the margins on the 99% of the market which uses the cheaper chipsets.

For the absolutely tiny percentage of people who actually need more than 6, they may as well get a full RAID controller card, IMO. And yes, all those 6 are again directly on the chipset. Plus, do bulk storage drives really care about a few hundred microseconds more latency?

Nonsense. :D There's no 6-core option for the boards you're referring to, and besides, that's a self-enforcing catch22, since that definition sales of both would be improved simply by advancing both lines, which in reality neither have advanced much since X58
and P67.
If they advanced the enthusiast (i.e. Core i7) side of LGA2011, then people would not buy as many of the Xeons for workstation purposes. Which would really hurt their cashflow.

Hopefully that will change somewhat with Haswell-E, now that Ivy-EP has added 50% more cores to the server/ws market.

(spoken like a true gamer. ;D)

Depends on your main task. Mine is various kinds of research (atm, AE) with just a bit of gaming on the side. Nobody with half a clue uses any of the max-4-core chipsets for AE.
You're in the minority on needing more than 4 cores, really. And in the WS market which they want to force onto Xeon.

For anyone with an existing SB, I see little utility in either of them.
Same here. But for a new build or nehalem+earlier, you may as well go for the latest, which gets you nice features like onboard SATA 6Gb/s and USB3.

Sounds to me like you're defending Intel's lazy approach to this. Strange.
I'd call it prudent. Adding features that will never be used to the mainstream chipsets is a waste of money, and splitting Z87 into its own piece of silicon would be even more of a waste of money.

About the only thing I'd really agree on is that X79 is far behind. But that should change soon enough with Haswell-E, and there's no shortage of PCB on the mostly full-ATX LGA2011 boards, unlike mITX where onboard stuff is essential.
 
@mapeshds: here's z87 chipset diagram (6x usb 3.0 native support)
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/chipsets/performance-chipsets/z87-chipset-diagram.html
z77 (4x usb 3.0)
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/chipsets/performance-chipsets/z77-express-chipset.html
should clear up your understanding about intel not supporting usb 3.0. z68 didn't support usb 3.0 natively but high end motherboards had 3rd party controllers from via and asmedia. intel's usb 3.0 controller usually performs better than 3rd party ones.

as for asrock z87 extreme4: specs make clear distinction between intel-controlled usb 3.0 ports and asmedia-controlled ones
http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z87%20Extreme4/?cat=Specifications
in the "connector" section:
- 3 x USB 2.0 headers (support 6 USB 2.0 ports)
- 1 x Vertical Type A USB 3.0
- 2 x USB 3.0 headers (support 4 USB 3.0 ports) (ASMedia Hub)
as for z-series not having 6 core cpu support, blame intel's product segmentation. intel uses harvested xeon dies for their top end consumer cpus while lga11xx and such are purpose-built consumer cpus (with xeon derivatives).
you're in the minority for asking more cpu performance and intel realizes this. which is why they charge so much for x58/79/99 platform. but those cpus are faster than whatever amd has to offer, so lack of competition stagnates both pricing and performance. average people don't care what's inside their pcs as long as the pcs do whatever users want them to do. overwhelming majority of people don't bother with overclocking and other enthusiast endeavors.
 

mapesdhs

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Ah, ok on the USB3 issue; however, my main point still stands, Intel is dragging its feet with
advancing mbd/CPU tech. We all know X79 could have been given an 8-core ages ago.

As I said, to me the current mbd models just don't *feel* comparatively advanced in the same
way as X58/P55 did when they first came out. All we're getting are minor changes; it is, quite
frankly, boring. Perhaps this is why the value of used P55 boards has skyrocketed in recent
months, because they present more of a challenge for oc'ing than current models (it took me
5 mins to get my most recent 2700K purchase to 5.0 with a 10-quid TRUE).

Ian.

 

it does look that way. if you buy upper midrange and high end. there was an old cpu roadmap showing mainstream consumers getting 6 core core i7 and hedt getting 8 core cpus while entry level gets 4 core. but that didn't happen. intel and amd chase money and right now, money is in mobile. otoh, intel did make good(!) on the last bit - we get 4 core baytrail socs and cpus for entry level pcs. :p may be that's where future 6 core mainstream consumer cpus will come out. unless you count 8 core avoton cpus "mainstream". :whistle:

as for 8 core hedt... i dunno. intel changed their internal bus structure and other bits for ivb-e cpus and haswell-e cpus so that die area scalably opens up for extra cores. or something like that. i don't think older design would feasibly scale up to 8 cores and higher.


yeah. but high end motherboards have help from 3rd party controllers, better materials and build quality. the biggest changes in haswell was the integrated vrm, which doesn't help with enthusiasts, afaik.. but intel's chipsets did come a long way. before those were anemic with features and didn't seem worth buying e.g. p67 and z68. with z87, x99 intel's chipsets are as feature-rich as amd's. from the specs, x99 looks like a monster.

oc'ing won't get easier... at least not on air anymore... because chip density goes higher and so goes heat generation per unit area. cpus are more heat-sensitive now.
 
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