OCZ Technology

We have already discussed most of OCZ's new product introductions in our first article but noticed an interesting item on display in their booth.


OCZ will be introducing several high performance water cooling blocks over the next few months. However, it was their prototype Phase cooling system that caught our eye. Although this unit has been discussed for the past year, OCZ assures us the unit is now in the final stages of design work and will be introduced early next year at a street price of around $400.

DFI

As one of the premier performance oriented motherboard companies, DFI has been introducing some of the best overclocking motherboards around for the past few years. Their upcoming product releases will include motherboards based on the AMD RD600 and NVIDIA 680i SLI chipsets along with a revised 975X Infinity that is probably one of the best value to performance 975X motherboards on the market today.


DFI publicly demonstrated their new LanParty UT ICFX3200-T2R/G motherboard based on the RD600 chipset. The board features dual PCI Express based Gigabit controllers from Marvell that can be teamed together, Karajan audio module featuring the Realtek ALC885 HD audio codec, IEEE 1394 support, four 3Gb/s SATA ports via the SB600 Southbridge, four 3Gb/s SATA port via the PCI based Promise PDC40719 (TX4300) chipset, three PCI Express x16 slots (1 x16 electrical or 2 x8 electrical, along with 1 x2 electrical), three PCI slots, and one Ultra133 IDE port via the SB600. The board is designed for mid to upper range overclocking, low power consumption, and true asynchronous memory speed capability. While initial testing shows this board will not break any SuperPI records, it is one of the top performing motherboards in applications and 3D gaming available today. The BIOS offers an incredible amount of tweaking options for those looking to extract the last ounce of performance out of their board and other components.

ASUS and Shuttle

As mentioned in our previous article, Shuttle, OCZ, and ASUS are working on a system that is designed around the ASUS Striker Extreme motherboard, Shuttle's custom case that will be the smallest ATX tower design case designed to run NVIDIA GeForce 8800 series cards in SLI, and memory/power options from OCZ. We will report on the final design and have internal pictures available during CES 2007.


In the meantime we had an opportunity to play with the new ASUS P965 Commando board that is designed for serious overclocking. We were able to reach a benchmark stable overclocked of up to 550FSB with 4GB of OCZ Flex XLC memory at DDR2-1100 (5-5-5-12) on 2.15V with a Intel X6800 processor. This motherboard series should launch in early January and we will have additional specifications available shortly.


ASUS also showed off their new P5N-E SLI motherboard based on the NVIDIA 650i SLI chipset. We are expecting a retail sample shortly and will put this motherboard through its paces to see how it compares to the Intel P965 chipset.


We already reported on the new Shuttle Supertuned XPC chassis/motherboard offering but we were able to play with it during a gaming session. The unit included a GeForce 8800GTX and ran just as cool as a small ATX tower case with a similar setup. We believe Shuttle with OCZ's assistance will have a winner on its hands with this unit. We are expecting a retail sample in the near future and look forward to testing it.

Index Gigabyte, Abit, Albatron, and Compro
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  • mikedice - Monday, December 18, 2006 - link

    When will we see these Generation 2 P965 boards start showing up and what can we expect from them? Are they worth waiting for? Reply
  • sprockkets - Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - link

    Are you going to review any of the Via C7 cpu boards either? I'd love to see if they do have more performance per a watt than the older PM chips, as via claims. Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, December 14, 2006 - link

    We talked to VIA about this, hoping to get a complete system from them after the first of the year. They are still discussing where they want to go as a company at this time. Reply
  • therealnickdanger - Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - link

    I have been waiting for a review of this thing for quite a while! I'm glad Intel is finally releasing a driver for it. I hope it pans out! Reply
  • MadAd - Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - link

    Is it just me or are others getting fed up with these honking great heatpipe setups on motherboards?

    Ok the Abit NF-M2 solution is quite neat and compact, definately +1 to them for making a sensible design consideration but the rest? omg give me my space back, ive enough damn fans to cope.

    I mean what about the gigabyte board? Looks like it wraps around the backside too!! What are they thinking?!?

    I know joe consumer thinks they vanish away the heat with some voodoo magic but we all know they just move it from one place to another in an attempt to catch a better airstream from power high/airflow low systems without having to re-site components.

    Its a cludge dressed up as enthusiast parts and I for one are sick of them already.
    Reply
  • kleinwl - Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - link

    The heat pipes are just doing what your fans are doing... moving one heat source to another area to diffuse it. If heat pipes reduce the heat concentrations inside the case so all I have to worry about is evacuating the air from the case I am for one happy. All those small fans on the motherboard to keep things cool were annoying. Heat pipes are much better solution in my estimation.

    In addition, I like the fact that the motherboards are uping the phase calibration for cpu voltage. A more accurate signal means that I can potentially achieve higher overclocks with lower voltage. Now if we could all agree to change the PSU so it only outputs 12V and let the motherboard do all the voltage regulation, I for one would be happy. After all the motherboard is already doing voltage regulation... let the PSU become simplier!
    Reply
  • MadAd - Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - link

    But fans evacuate it as well as move it about, heatpipes are just moving it from one place to another _inside_ the case (and taking up space doing it) and has no access to the outside world.

    There is no more or less heat being produced by the components nor is there any more or less heat evacuation to the outside world. You still need the same amount of in>out airflow with or without them.

    Its a cludge made to look all shiny and colourful. This cannot be the best way to replace the cheap and nasty wizzy noised little fans (that you rightly notice as annoying) can it?
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Wednesday, December 13, 2006 - link

    True, but have you felt how hot those 6150 chipsets get? The MSI one doesn't have any active cooling on it, and you can burn your finger on it. The heat moves up to a larger heatsink on the mosfets, and is near a rear fan for cooling. Reply
  • MadAd - Thursday, December 14, 2006 - link

    yes of course, my a8n32-sli has a hot southbridge too but where can I point the finger for these hot chipsets? Inefficient power planning, the Prescott of the mobo world.

    Instead of moving to a more efficient chipset design when the power densities rise, we get the same old process redesigned with a gargantuan heatpipe setup dressed up as something for the enthusiast. Its spin.

    Its like Intel trying to push BTX over a year ago because of their own power density troubles, except that one did'nt wash, noone bought the spin and intel stayed in the doghouse until the more recent C2D developments.

    Shame heatpipes are not also seen for what they really are- a cludge to keep selling us new designs of old processes.
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Friday, December 15, 2006 - link

    True, but those chipsets from SiS, and perhaps even via are very cool. Reply

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