Even though Sandy Bridge is at least another 6 months away (if not Q4 2010 then H1 2011), motherboard manufacturers cannot wait to show off their concept design goodies.  We've selected a few worthy of your attention.


ECS P67H2-A + P67H2-A2

Of the three 1155 boards at Computex from ECS, the P67H2-A represents their flagship model, and is slated to have four DDR3-2600 slots, 2x SATA 6Gb/s, 2x USB 3.0, 20x USB 2.0 (that's right, twenty!), dual Gigabit Ethernet and three PCIe Gen 2.0 slots.  The layout does benefit tri-GPU users and part-time folders in terms of cooling. 


For dual or single GPU users however, the P67H2-A2 looks the better mainstream board - more SATA ports, with four being SATA 6Gb/s, and an overclocking knob.  From 0-9, ECS state that each notch will increase an overclock by 5%, meaning a possible 45% overall overclock.  ECS won't let on if this is pure base clock increasing, or is coupled with voltage increases and suitable RAM clocking, but we wonder if they missed a trick, by not putting it all the way to 11.




Now that a significant proportion of the motherboard market is geared towards smaller motherboards of the micro-ATX and mini-ITX variety, manufacturers are already putting resources into their smaller form factor products - and as a result, MSI had a concept micro-ATX board based on the H67 chipset on display at Computex.

Featuring USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s and back panel HDMI/DVI-D/D-Sub connectors, as well as an array of Power/Reset/Clear CMOS/OC Genie board buttons, the two x16 PCIe Gen 2.0 ports are set three slots apart rather than two, allowing better cooling opportunities, but at the expense of a lot of USB headers if long dual slot cards are used.


Gigabyte P67-UD7

Recent X58 policy with Gigabyte has been to add water cooling into the heatpipe system, chuck in a few hundred phases (or at least 24), and plug the board full of PCIe slots - as seen with the X58A-UD7 and X58A-UD9.  Well this time, they're preparing at least one socket 1156 version, possibly in time for Sandy Bridge release.


There has been some confusion online as to whether this board is the UD7 or the UD9 with a massive '7' on the board and in UD7 livery.  Apart from getting our image direct from Gigabyte, for comparison with the X58 lineup, the UD7 has two PCI slots, whereas the UD9 does not have any.  Perhaps the words 'UD9' light up certain enthusiasts’ eyes, as well as dollar signs in those of Gigabyte executives.

Socket LGA 1156 - Intel And a couple from AMD...
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  • TGressus - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    Other side...
  • AstroGuardian - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    Dude!! That's a power input connector not an output!
  • silverblue - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    ...to go with my XP1700+ and 512MB of RAM, but it started exhibiting instability after only a month. Wouldn't work at 133MHz RAM/133MHz FSB. Had to periodically drop it to 100MHz FSB and eventually after some time at 100/100, it wouldn't even boot. Along the way I got some more RAM, a new PSU and even applied some thermal paste to the NB (as was recommended for such boards at the time - the heatsink was extremely hot), no help... got a KT266A board and instantly saw a noticable performance increase - it was that good.

    The shop I bought the KT266A board from said they'd had nothing but trouble with the K7S5As. Well, they would say that, wouldn't they? Still, it was a decent board, if only it had worked properly.
  • xeopherith - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    I bought one ECS board that was rated really well in the 'budget performance' category years ago and it treated me well. Honestly I cant remember how long ago it was but I know it was after 2003. I never really thought of ECS as a bad company, they just weren't really ever geared for performance.
  • silverblue - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    The price is a little high but considering what you get on such a small board, it's definitely worth considering. I've never actually seen a desktop board that uses laptop memory before - quite ingenius if you're low on space.
  • Acanthus - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    They built trash boards and have had crap end-user support for a very long time.

    Market all you want, the people with memories aren't going to let it slide.

    No bios updates, crap website, slow RMAs, piss poor QC, incompatibility issues with power supplies and memory... the list goes on and on.

    I wont trust them with my money, ever.
  • Ben90 - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    Not even one picture of the girls....
  • METALMORPHASIS - Thursday, June 17, 2010 - link

    Just got through cleaning and installing new software on a friends ECS board machine from 5 years ago.
    It still works fine today even w/win7 on it.
  • Oxford Guy - Friday, June 18, 2010 - link

    is cheesy.
  • paihuaizhe - Sunday, June 20, 2010 - link

    (nike-alliance).(com)=>is a leading worldwide wholesaler company (or u can say


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