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  • Zap - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    "initially encompass three models: the Z97M ECO"
    Typo, supposed to be H97M ECO.

    "All three models use a simple power phase design without the need for a heatsink. As none of these chipsets support CPU overclocking, MSI only has to deal with TDP allowances."
    This completely makes sense. Extra power phases on boards with non-overclocking chipsets are just unnecessary. That said, hopefully calling it "ECO" doesn't raise the price, as some of the cheapest boards have had fewer power phases as well.
  • Samus - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    "MSI is focused on small business, data center and system integrators for its range."

    Hmm, I never of MSI as more than the 'free board you get in a bundle.' They're like a step up from ECS and Biostar, but still behind Gigabyte, Asus, ASRock, Supermicro, Intel/Foxconn, etc.
  • extide - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    While that may be your opinion, it is not fact. MSI are one of the "Big Three" along with Asus, and Gigabyte. ASRock comes in 4th, and then everyone else. Reply
  • revanchrist - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    You are obviously delusional. In terms of worldwide motherboard shipping volume since 2011, number one is Asus, 2nd is Gigabyte, 3rd is Asrock, 4th is MSI, 5th is Biostar, 6th is ECS. Reply
  • Morawka - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    asrock is bottom barrel. Reply
  • revanchrist - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Please stop smoking pot! Reply
  • fluxtatic - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Hey, don't blame the pot for a lack of intelligence.

    Seriously, though, go take a dig through Newegg's motherboards. Within the space of 15 minutes, you should have no problem coming up with enough bad reviews of each brand to scare you off any of them.

    I myself only bought Asus for years. I took a chance on a Sapphire E350 when they got back into motherboards. IME, that was a mistake. Then I needed another E350 and got an ASRock, as Asus had killed of their E350s by then. I was impressed enough that I'm leaning toward ASRock when I finally replace my wife's ancient desktop, which has an MSI board. I didn't think much of MSI, but that board has been chugging along for probably ten years with no hassles.

    Seems to me that ASRock is maybe taking a little less margin to steal some sales, while still producing product of a quality on par with Gigabyte and Asus. Asus and Gigabyte, while not coasting by any stretch, can get a little something more based on their reputations and the fact they've been #1 & #2 since forever.

    And hey, to each their own - you couldn't pay me to use an AMD graphics card, but obviously not everyone shares that opinion.
  • DanNeely - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Historically ASRock was a company that had a well deserved reputation for really bad designs. But when the mobo maker market consolidated squeezing out a number of firms that made quality boards in low volume ASRock and the other surviving companies who had cheap/low quality reputations all snatched up entire engineering teams from the companies that went under and greatly improved their quality. None of the companies still in business sell horrible avoid at all cost boards like those that blighted the market 10 or 20 years ago. Some people either never got the news or are still nursing grudges from bad purchases though. Reply
  • emn13 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Out of curiosity, what's wrong with AMD graphics cards? Reply
  • olafgarten - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - link

    I feel the same way about AMD, the drivers are horrible, the cards aren't as powerful, and they are extremely ugly. Overall, I have found Nvidia cards to be more reliable, to last longer and just be less annoying.

    The last AMD GPU I had was in a laptop, it was a Toshiba laptop with an A10 APU, the APU was paired with a Radeon 8550M. Firstly, when I received the laptop, the GPU didn't display anything to the screen, I found after hours on the phone to someone at Toshiba, that the GPU memory was damaged. I got a replacement, and it was all okay for about a month when the screen had a purple tinge, I sent it back and was told the GPU was damaged, this being the second time, I told Toshiba that I didn't want that laptop anymore, and was partly refunded, I have since replaced that laptop with a similar model but with an i5 and an Nvidia GPU, it was about £100 more expensive, but about 5 months in, it still works.

    I have had similar failures with Desktop cards, maybe i'm just unlucky, but i'm not buying AMD again.
  • purplestater - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    MSI has been my board of choice for well over ten years. I tend to look at BioStar next, but I don't build power-gamer PCs. As it is MSI and BioStar are simply dependable. While I've never had any real operational problems with ASUS boards, they've always caused me the most general annoyances. After buying three different models that would not boot if the integrated NIC was enabled without a cable being inserted, I'd had my fill. Reply
  • Flunk - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    After the title I was assuming this would be about a line of Baytrail using < 15W for the entire board and CPU. Calling boards for high-end Haswell processors is rather disingenuous because the vast majority of the power usage is the CPU, the board really doesn't use hardly anything.

    This is just a pointless marketing exercise. They've just slapped the "ECO" name on a couple of low to mid tier boards and pushed them out the door.
  • madmilk - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    The motherboard is responsible for most of the idle power consumption on modern desktops. Quad-core Haswell laptops with discrete graphics idle at around 15 watts at the wall, including the display. Most desktops have trouble making it below 30 watts, not including the display. Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Your accusation is something that I hope will be looked at closely when these are reviewed. What I'm hoping MSI did is to use more power efficient components on these boards than on typical budget boards to get significantly idle power reductions. Reply
  • lever_age - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    "reader TiGr1982 commented that these motherboards should throw up an image at boot if an S or T low power processor was not detected"

    Actually, if you're doing X amount of work in Y amount of time, often the standard-voltage processors out of box consumer less energy doing so because they can complete the task faster and go back to a lower power state for longer. The S and T processors are more for thermally or power constrained applications, not for saving energy.

    If these boards are more serious about being ECO, I wonder if they support underclocking and undervolting.
  • lever_age - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    uh, consumer --> consume. Reply
  • extide - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    Yeah, that is very true, but also people for some reason thing S and T series CPU's magically use less power and get the same performance. They don't. ALSO, regular TDP chips will still idle down just as low as a S or T series one! The low-tdp chips only make a difference if the box is pegged all the time, really! Reply
  • PEJUman - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    I maybe wrong with this, but I am under the impression that the T and S moniker are meant for binned processor with better perf/watt slope. for example: K series 100 'units' of compute @ 88W = 1.1 perf/watt. where the T/S series would do 80 'units' of compute @ 40W = 2 perf/watt.
    assuming both would idle the same way, the T/S actually saves power.

    Note: I pulled these numbers out of my 4$$, just to illustrate the thought process.
  • Zap - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I don't know exactly what Intel does for the various T, S and K chips. For all we know, they could all be exactly the same, and just "set" at the end of manufacturing for their roles.

    I do know that in practice there are some differences, but it may not be enough to make a huge overall difference in power draw. What it does do is to hard cap power draw (and resultant heat output).

    SPCR did an article regarding this:
  • Qwertilot - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    Doesn't seem to be tested often :) Only thing with that silent pc article is that its sandy and Haswell maybe a bit different. With them seemingly focusing the design on notebooks, I guess you'd maybe expect the performance around 35/45W to benefit somewhat.

    There's a decent test of here of one of the 35w Haswell i7's here:
  • Cygni - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    Very interested in these boards if they can deliver on the stated 40% reduction in power draw. That should also make a nice impact on case temps.

    Paired with a 35w Haswell, DDR3L, and a high efficiency low watt power supply, you could create a very efficient, silent, and powerful computer for lots of uses. Heck, get a quiet videocard, and that can even be a powerful gaming system.
  • bznotins - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    Definitely looking forward to these boards for my next home server build. Most of the time it just sits at idle, so being able to shut off ports and save power will be fantastic. But also having power at-the-ready will be good for the few times it transcodes for streaming. Reply
  • zero2dash - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    Are they not going to do white PCB's after all (as shown here:

    If so, that would be a bloody shame...that white PCB is gorgeous.
  • Computer Bottleneck - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    Using the ECO Center Pro software to shut off power to unused ports and slots, I wonder how much total idle power could be saved if the user was running a bare minimum set-up? ( 1 DIMM slot populated, 1 SSD or HDD, etc) Reply
  • azazel1024 - Thursday, July 10, 2014 - link

    I am very interested. H97 means Broadwell support. A nice little Pentium Broadwell or maybe even Core i3 next spring and one of these could make a nice $150-200 upgrade to my server (G1610 based currently). I like the Intel NIC bit. I am currently running a couple of Gigabit CT boards to get good Intel dual NICs, so I could jetison one of them for more power savings. Just said it isn't dual on board NICs. Reply
  • jardows2 - Friday, July 11, 2014 - link

    I would like to see the option in the BIOS to shut off the ports, and not need an installed piece of software. That way you can use the power saving features regardless of the operating system installed.

    Hardware-wise, we finally have a board with minimal junk, but using quality components (such as Intel NIC) at a decent price. I like! I really am tired of all these motherboards packing on stuff that will never be used that makes no difference in quality just to add "value." Not a fan of the "ECO" branding - IMO it has been overworked to death, and is slapped on just to make you feel better about "saving the planet." I am not against the power savings, though. If it lives up to it's promise, this will be a winner!
  • bsim500 - Sunday, July 13, 2014 - link

    Can you undervolt them? If not, then it probably won't draw less power than a regular board with adjustable voltage... Reply
  • Blur_123 - Saturday, August 09, 2014 - link

    some people wondering if they can deliver on this 40% reduction - :O Did any press representatives get or publish a single shot of the ENERGY MONITORS that were clearly visible next to the sample ECO motherboards at the booth to show 'real world' figures of these things running? sheesh... miss the point much! Reply

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