CPUs|Motherboards

Intel's LGA1156 and Lynnfield core

CPUs|Motherboards
To be a fitting successor to LGA775, Intel's new LGA1156 will have to offer a fair increase in performance and energy efficiency, but not so much to overshadow LGA1366. Lynnfield takes mostly after Nehalem, but requires only a single chipset (the new Platform Controller Hub), has a dual channel memory controller rather than triple, and uses a more aggressive form of Turbo Boost. Our first detailed look at LGA1156.

AMD's 785G Chipset Boards: 780G Evolved

CPUs|Motherboards
785G is an evolution of 780G that brings some improvements and support for the AM3 socket with DDR3 memory. The onboard graphics chip, dubbed HD 4200, supports DirectX 10.1, HDMI 1.3, UVD 2.0, and Sideport memory which provided a nice performance boost on the more expensive 790GX-based boards.

Intel DG41MJ: Affordable 775 Mini-ITX

CPUs|Motherboards
For more price-conscious users, Intel now offers the DG41MJ, a more affordable but less capable alternative to the DG45FC. Value is the name of the game.

DFI LanParty JR 790GX-M3H5 mATX Motherboard

CPUs|Motherboards
The DFI LANParty JR 790GX-M3H5 is a mATX AM3 motherboard utilizing the AMD 790GX chipset. DFI is known for the high level of BIOS controls to satisfy overclockers, but it's also an asset for silent PC enthusiasts.

Intel Q9550S: A Greener Quad Core?

CPUs|Motherboards
Intel markets the Q9550S quad core processor as an energy efficient variant of the Q9550. Our comparison seeks to answer two basic questions: Is the Q9550S' power savings enough to justify its much higher price, and how does it compare to an undervolted Q9550?

Zotac IONITX-A: An ION / dual-core Atom Mini-ITX Board

CPUs|Motherboards
Zotac is the first to market with a real flesh-and-blood ION motherboard, the IONITX. The version under review, the IONITX-A, is a mini-ITX board with an embedded dual-core Atom processor, Nvidia's ION GPU (based on GeForce 9400M) and a comprehensive feature set. It promises to be an all-in-one solution for small, energy efficient computing with versatile multimedia capability including full 1080p Blu-ray playback.

AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE & Athlon II X2 250

CPUs|Motherboards
AMD's newest processors, the Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition and the Athlon II X2 250, priced aggressively at $102 and $87 respectively, are aimed squarely at the bread and butter value segment of the desktop processor market. We take a look at their non-gaming and energy efficiency performance, and compare them against likely Intel competitors.

Asus M4A78-HTPC/RC: A Complete HTPC Solution?

CPUs|Motherboards
The Asus M4A78-HTPC/RC is one of many AM2+ motherboard based on the 780G chipset. Asus has thrown in a few extras to differentiate it from the crowd - as you can guess by the model number, the board is aimed specifically at the HTPC market.

Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi: Good Things Come in Small Packages

CPUs|Motherboards
The GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi is not just Zotac's flagship product, it is THE flagship product for mini-ITX. This is the board that small form factor enthusiasts have been waiting for — a mini-ITX motherboard with full support for Core 2 processors (including high TDP quad cores), good quality integrated graphics, a PCIe 16X expansion slot, and wireless connectivity. On paper, the board has no rival.

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition for AM3

CPUs|Motherboards
The Phenom II processor was a step in the right direction for AMD. It generated more performance per clock and allowed for higher frequency chips. Priced aggressively, the Phenom II X4 920 and 940 Black Edition were price-competitive alternatives for Intel's Core 2 line. AMD had, in essence, caught up. The X4 920 and 940 however are AM2+ processors, and AMD is currently transitioning to the AM3 socket with DDR3 memory support. Today AMD unveils the newest AM3 members of the Phenom II family: The X4 945 matches the X4 920's 3.0 GHz frequency while the X4 955 Black Edition becomes AMD's new flagship CPU, clocked at 3.2 GHz.

Asus M4A78T-E AM3 motherboard

CPUs|Motherboards
The Asus M4A78T-E is an AM3 ATX motherboard based on the 790GX/SB750 chipsets. It is another feature-rich board with integrated graphics, CrossFireX, and support for AMD's newest AM3 processors. We will be using a X3 720 Black Edition processor for testing and we'll also plop it into a comparable AM2+ board to see if AM3/DDR3 results in any real-world improvements over AM2/DDR2.

MSI KA760GM: 780G Minus the HD

CPUs|Motherboards
The KA760GM is a simple mATX motherboard from MSI based on AMD's 760G chipset. As a budget version of the venerable 780G chipset, one would expect 760G to run a bit slower with perhaps a slower clock speed or less a shader or two, but surprisingly 3D performance was not compromised.

790GX Showdown: Gigabyte vs. MSI

CPUs|Motherboards
The Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-DS4H and MSI DKA790GX Platinum motherboards are based around the same AMD 790GX and SB750 chipsets and sport similar features. Which board will prevail in this head-to-head contest?

Phenom II: AMD pulls closer

CPUs|Motherboards
AMD hopes to wipe the slate clean and re-draw the desktop processor battlefield with its new Phenom II. The X4 940 is a 45nm 125W processor with 6MB of L3 cache and a clock speed of 3.0GHz - much higher than the original Phenoms. Does it compete with Intel Core i7?

Zotac GeForce 8200-ITX WiFi: A Compact AM2 Solution

CPUs|Motherboards
Finally, an affordable mini-ITX motherboard for the AM2/AM2+ socket. The Zotac GeForce 8200-ITX is priced well, powered by the formidable GeForce 8200 chipset and they even threw in WiFi. Does it deserve your hard earned lucre?
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