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  • juhatus - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    I can't wait for M.2 to rumble in on desktop-side, having and using it on Sony vaio pro 13 its just awesome that boot is "instant-on" in 7 seconds.

    Comment on:
    "One of these slots is called ‘Ultra M.2’, with the words ‘PCIe Gen3 x4’ next to it, suggesting that they are implementing an x4 M.2 slot for the faster devices."
    Isnt there Samsung xp941 thats x4 M.2 also there are rumours about LSI M.2 Griffin.. (1.8Gb/s)
  • goinginstyle - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    "Gigabyte Black Edition" - Does Gigabyte have any original ideas at all? Besides the obvious color scheme ripoff of Asus ROG now they are copying their naming scheme also. ASRock's stuff looks like a crayon factory exploded. Reply
  • ddriver - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    If you think asus invented black+red, you must have been living under a rock. Or "black edition" for that matter. Reply
  • Flunk - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Asus was definitely one of the first companies putting crazy colors on their motherboards. Reply
  • AznAnarchy99 - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    You obviously don't remember the DFI LanParty motherboards. Reply
  • littlebitstrouds - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Who the heck argues about marketing schemes for million dollar companies? UUUUGH Gap just started a BOGO sale, but Old Navy did it first! Reply
  • LordOfTheBoired - Monday, May 05, 2014 - link

    Both posers. Payless Shoes did the ORIGINAL BOGO, before it went mainstream. Reply
  • Antronman - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    The black PCB design + Red slots and highlights design was originally used by ASUS.

    The term "black edition" was originally coined by AMD.

    The funniest part is that the gigabyte mobo isn't even close to being black, much like the Titan BE :P
  • nevertell - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Wait, so you are arguing about the origin of such bland marketing terms as "black edition" ? And cutting each other's throat about the color scheme ? I understand that there could be some debate about the latter, but nobody can get a patent on a color scheme, and no one should be. The originality of the cosmetics is just a moot point, there is no such thing as original, when every motherboard model is made in thousands. Do you want the motherboards tailored to one's individual preferences, like Motorola is doing with the Moto X ? If you want it to be original, order the chips and build your own. As for the naming scheme, differentiation is better than just changing a single letter in the model code. Whilst you could argue that there are better phrases than "black edition", it's hardly the worst
    I couldn't care any less about the colour scheme and name of a motherboard, I care only about the build quality and the functionality/features a certain board has.
  • Antronman - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Neither of which Gigabyte has plenty of. Reply
  • Marlowe - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Yeah this transfer to PCIe based storage is really exciting. But why don't we see any drives in the shops? The PCIe M.2 SSD's are impossible to find, just the "fake" SATA based ones that offer no performance advantage over mSATA are available. Also where are the 1 GB/s+ fast 2,5" SATA-express drives?

    Do you think the x2 M.2 will just be a stopgap solution until we get x4 across the board? ASRock seems to already be on the way. And how fast do you think we'll see x8 and x16 based M.2?
  • SirKnobsworth - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    The M.2 spec only supports x4 at the moment. I don't know if there are enough pins to support more lanes in a future revision. We are starting to see x8 PCIe SSDs though, not that consumer level PCs will have enough lanes to support those for another year or so. Reply
  • Marlowe - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - link

    Thanks for the answer. Reply
  • Antronman - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Because PCIe storage is (currently) very expensive.
    It's the fastest available, but comes at a steep price.
  • James5mith - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    I would love to see more coverage of the "industrial" side boards from Asrock. I only recently discovered them, and just like on the consumer side, they give their competitors (for me, Supermicro) a serious run for the money on both cost and feature set. Reply
  • xeizo - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Wake me up when Haswell-E is available ... Reply
  • dj_aris - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Storage in 2014 is a mess. We know SATA and mSATA are limited to 6GBps but M.2 and SATA Express come in several flavors (speeds) but without any actual availability (excluding from the SATA M.2 drives which are actually mSATA drives with M.2 adaptors). So, since 9-series boards are actually all about supporting new storage options (Broadwell support is another reason I guess but there is no Broadwell yet), it's way too early to pick a board because you don't actually know which format will take off. So frustrating. Reply
  • willis936 - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Perhaps that's went they're all strutting their usual marketing fluff before even announcing a chipset. Reply
  • Edkiefer - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    On first 2 Gigabyte MB with 4 PCIe slots , why do they have the 16x slot at very top slot . this way your limited on big air coolers like D14/15, NH 14S .unless second pcie can support 16x with single card . Reply
  • sherlockwing - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Because people with that much money to buy a 4PCIe board are going water most of the time anyway. This have been the trend on all flagship boards(ASUS ROGs the last few generations for example). Reply
  • Flunk - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Your product images all have the chip set name, unobfuscated. Not that we didn't all know what it was anyway. Reply
  • crazysurfanz - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    See the article:
    "Technically the launch date of these products is under NDA. The NDA is such that we can't even mention the chipset by name, even if it is visible on some of the images we are sharing today."
  • Railgun - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Just call it Z97 already. The Asus WS board CLEARLY shows Z9... Reply
  • jmbnbn - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - link

    As well as that, one of the Gigabyte images doesn't have it blurred out at all: GA-Z97X-UD3H Reply
  • meacupla - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    So... which board to pair with an unlocked pentium... Reply
  • Antronman - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Every single time (unless your chip just sucks) RoG boards will help you squeeze more juice out.
    Maximus VII Extreme + unlocked pentium = sweet, juicy OCs.
  • meacupla - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Okay, which 'sensibly priced' mobo for an unlocked pentium then

    If I was going to spend $200+ for a mobo, I'd make sure my CPU costs at least the same.

    Unlocked pentium, random guess, has got to be around $60~100, so there's no way I'd want to spend double that for the mobo.
  • Antronman - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Maximus VII Impact. Reply
  • meacupla - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    How do you report trolling on anandtech? Reply
  • Antronman - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Just grab one of the standard Asus mobos then. Reply
  • Devo2007 - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    I know at least one enthusiast site already posted a review of a Z97 board today; a site that, AFAIK has usually adhered to NDAs. Reply
  • Devo2007 - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    .. Actually, one of the boards shown here (and with non-blurry photos to boot).

    That said, if the NDA is still in place, kudos to Anandtech for not breaking them. You guys don't need to be "first" to post reviews and such as the quality of content makes any wait worth it.
  • Flunk - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    I wholeheartedly agree there, best is much better than first and Anandtech is one of the only top-tier tech sites in my eyes. Reply
  • Antronman - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    As per the usual, Asus will leave the competition in the dust and be the only choice for a serious build. Reply
  • jimjamjamie - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Are they really that much better than say Gigabyte? What makes them better? Genuinely interested as I'm using a G1.Sniper just now and I don't think I have any complaints. Reply
  • willis936 - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Their marketing is clearly better. The only reason I went asus on my last build is because the number of fan headers and bios fan voltage control was better than what I found on other boards of the same price. In most cases you'll get what you pay for and just make sure the boxes you want checked are checked (decent audio codec, PCIe requirements, outward facing port requirements, etc.) In the gaming/overclocking market there isn't much variation between products in terms of meaningful stability/overclocking features. The power circuitry has become much less important in recent years because they're all much better than they used to be. The biggest factor is the silicon lottery with your CPU/GPU nowadays. Reply
  • Antronman - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Power circuitry still does matter.

    A couple hundred MHz can mean the difference between a world record or "getting close".
    Higher rated caps and VRMs, means more stable and better power delivery.
    Fuse protections means any sudden jump in voltage or power problem means that your product won't be reduced to a piece of silicon with a bit of metal.
    LN2 mode buttons means more precise OCing for new OCers.
    Super stable BIOS.
    That's not just the boards, but the GPUs as well.

    All that's missing is a good chip.
  • willis936 - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Certainly but people looking to drop a few grand on LN2 aren't people looking to make a stable daily build. If you want more performance on a computer you'll be booting and running daily the chip variation matters a lot more than component quality. I just have a hard time trusting anything I can safely say is more marketing than engineering. A good daily OC will see little difference between a $150 board and a $400 board. What really changes is the storage and peripheral interface features. Reply
  • Antronman - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    But it will.
    Less voltage means it is a better OC.
    With RoG, you can consistently use less voltage to OC your chip.
    RoG has a superior interface, and also way more WC support.
    Just about every major watercooling product maker (e.g. EKWB, XSPC, Aquacomputer) has mobo blocks for almost every RoG board.
  • willis936 - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    You'll only be using less voltage on better chips. Reply
  • Antronman - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link


    With the same chip, on a Gigabyte, MSI, ASRock, and RoG mobo, the chip will always be able to pull off lower voltage on the same OC on an RoG.
  • willis936 - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    You're going to have to cite some threads with some actual numbers and caps or else you're just blowing smoke. Reply
  • Achaios - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Looks like someone is -shamelessly- copying ASUS ROG. I am a member at OVERCLOCK.NET, and almost every member who has got his rig published there owns an ASUS Maximus VI Hero ROG board, myself included. We don't need to see sales figures to understand how well the Gigabyte Z87 series of boards with those pathetic colour schemes, emphasis on useless sound chips, and contempt for overclockers and enthusiasts has sold even with prices as much as 30% cheaper than ASUS. Reply
  • nevertell - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Don't call the sound codecs useless. Although, if one were serious about their audio quality, they'd have a discrete DAC, but nevermind. Reply
  • Creig - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Looks like someone is -really- taking their ASUS purchase too seriously. I've used Gigabyte motherboards in the past and found them to overclock decently, to be rock-solid in every day usage and they weren't overly expensive considering all the features they offered. I would have no problems purchasing either an ASUS or Gigabyte motherboard for my next upgrade. Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Looks like MSI is betting that SATA Express will fall flat, at least this generation. If that means their boards are cheaper than the competition's, could be a big win for them.

    It's disappointing that you still have to go for high-end expensive motherboards to get 2x USB 3 internal headers. Hopefully Intel will give out more USB 3 ports (minimum 10, please) in the Skylake chipset.
  • Hrafn - Thursday, May 01, 2014 - link

    I must admit I'm having a hard time seeing SATA Express's niche. Given the availability of multiple SATA3 ports on most MBs SATA-backward compatibility would not seem to be a major selling point. M2 seems ideal for small-but-fast system drives and full PCIE cards for those requiring maximum size and speed (which generally go together on SSDs). Is there really a potential market for PCIE 2.5" drives, particularly given SATA Express's complex cabling? Reply
  • rjlew88 - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Love the Z_7 boards! The only one clearly indicated as "Z97" is the pic for IMG_1656.JPG. I hope you continue to bring us the comps between Z67, Z77, and Z87 with the new Z97 for reference. Thanks. Long live Sandy and Ivy!! Reply
  • cm2187 - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    What about that 32GB RAM limit? Will intel increase it? Reply
  • peterfares - Monday, April 28, 2014 - link

    Probably not soon, they want you to buy server hardware if you want more than 32GB. And what do you really need more than 32GB for? Reply
  • cm2187 - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - link

    To run word and excel I don't. But for RAM disks, virtualisation or SQL server it is useful. RAM is cheap these days. But server gear requires big boxes and is more expensive. Reply
  • cm2187 - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - link

    And also that limit feels a bit more marketing driven than technical. What would be so much more expensive to manage 256GB vs 32GB? Reply
  • wintermute000 - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - link

    Home ESXi tinkering Reply
  • tabascosauz - Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - link

    I just hope that the halving of the insane 12+2 power delivery from the Z87I-Pro will result in a much more palatable price tag of the Z97I-Pro. For pete's sake, the Z87I-Pro was invading on the Impact's territory.

    I also really like the gold-bronze metallic look of Asus' 9-series boards; it looks kinda subdued though. Can't say that's a bad thing coming from Asus' disgusting cheese yellow 8-series boards, and what with Asrock reverting to a weird bright blue/bright red/bright yellow color scheme.
  • axellslade - Wednesday, April 30, 2014 - link

    Eh, the Gigabyte Z87X-UD7 TH already has Thunderbolt 2. Reply
  • bleucharm28 - Thursday, May 01, 2014 - link

    this is not black Reply
  • HandsomeChow - Friday, May 02, 2014 - link

    Still waiting for the TUF itx board that Asus is gonna release sooner or later.
    Still haven't lost faith yet
  • jeugosfriv - Saturday, May 03, 2014 - link

    What is price for the motherboard you mentioned?

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