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ASUS Maximus II Gene mATX Motherboard
Featured Reviews: Motherboards

ASUS has some tough shoes to fill. Fortunately, they're familiar shoes; their own, in fact. A long string of high performance motherboards that got adopted simultaneously by the enthusiast and gaming sets, led ASUS to create a specialty brand segment they call "Republic of Gamers". The ROG Creed goes like this: "The Republic of Gamers is committed to delivering the most innovative and best performing PC solutions to enhance the gaming experience of power users." That's a tall order, especially in the competitive PC component market where today's news is already old news. One of the newest members of this Republic is the Maximus II GENE, part of a new group of small form factor components that give nothing away in performance to their larger brethren. Benchmark Reviews is pleased to review this latest offering, based on the Intel P45 and ICH10R, and we put it through the wringer against a well known full ATX-size reference board.

The new ASUS Maximus II Gene motherboard goes by the tagline: Mini Size, Max Mobility. You have to take these marketing lines with a grain of salt, because taken at face value, you might expect a mini-ITX board. Instead we have a micro-ATX (uATX) board that squeezes almost every last feature from its feature-rich ROG brother into the slightly smaller format. A more accurate description might be: Micro Size, Max Performance. Let's dive in and take a look at what ASUS calls: A new band of ROG heroes, the GENE squad.

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Gigabyte GA-MA790X-UD4P DDR2 790X AMD Motherboard
Featured Reviews: Motherboards

Along with AMD's launch of the Phenom II and Athlon II processor families this year, we've also witnessed a steady shift in focus from their AM2+/DDR2 platform to a full AM3/DDR3 platform. The good news is that these newer AM3 processors support both DDR2 and DDR3 memory, allowing consumers to upgrade without replacing their whole system. Still, that leaves many wondering if they're missing out by not making the jump to DDR3 memory. To help answer that question, today Benchmark Reviews puts Gigabyte's DDR2-based MA790X-UD4P motherboard to the test.

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ASUS M4A79T Deluxe AMD 790FX AM3 Motherboard
Featured Reviews: Motherboards

ASUS has it tough. No question about it, everyone loves to hate the front runner. It's hard to remember when they weren't one of the top dogs, and in this business, it's as hard to stay on top as it is to get there. For the last several years, like everyone else, they've been paying the bills by selling Intel-based systems. They kept faith with the AMD crowd however, and have consistently offered a full range of products to support the underdog in the CPU race. All that is paying off, now that the new Phenom II AM3 chips have hit the street, and enthusiasts are once again buying AMD CPUs in earnest.

The new ASUS M4A79T Deluxe motherboard uses some of the latest support chips from AMD: the 790 FX Northbridge, providing 42 lanes of PCi-e 2.0 connectivity and support for quad graphics, and the SB750 Southbridge. The 790FX was part of AMD's "Spider" Platform, launched late in 2007, but it still packs a punch, as we'll see. This is the top specified AM3 board for ASUS, so we'll see what features separate it from the rest of the pack. Let's take a good look at what ASUS brings to the AM3-DDR3 party with their new M4A79T Deluxe motherboard.

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ASRock AOD790GX/128M AM2+ Motherboard
Featured Reviews: Motherboards

Everybody knows that if you're number 2, you try harder, What if you're number 3 or 4, what do you do then? You look for Golden Opportunities to prove that you have first class products. ASRock did just that during the rise of the Core2Duo era, when overclocking nearly became a household word. ASRock built a stellar reputation with LGA775 motherboards that survived (and thrived) at the high Front Side Bus clock speeds that were required to get those Intel CPUs singing soprano. ASRock now has a new opportunity for market expansion, with the release of the AMD Phenom II CPUs; they once again have a chance to show the world that their products are second to none for supporting the latest and greatest CPUs, with an eye towards the enthusiast market.

With the new Phenom II chips, there are certainly some brand new reasons to start looking at AMD-based motherboards again. The new ASRock AOD790GX/128M motherboard uses all the latest support chips from AMD: the 790 series Northbridge and the SB750 Southbridge. The 790GX also provides integrated graphics processing with an ATI 3300 GPU inside. Follow along with Benchmark Reviews as we take a good look at what ASRock has brought to the latest AMD party, with their new AOD790GX/128M motherboard.

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ASUS P5Q3 LGA775 Intel P45 ATX Motherboard
Featured Reviews: Motherboards

Launched last summer by Intel, the P45 chipset has quickly grown in popularity, replacing the aging P35 chipset. Intended for a mid to upper mainstream consumer base, the P45 chipset boasts some impressive features, such as: full DDR2/DDR3 support, 20 PCI Express 2.0 lanes, ATI Crossfire support, and a 65nm manufacturing process. By now manufacturers have had ample time to design and refine their P45 based motherboards and today Benchmark Reviews takes a look at ASUS' mainstream P45 DDR3 motherboard: the P5Q3. As a twist on our usual motherboard reviews, this article will also shed some light on the growing DDR2 vs DDR3 debate with some hard numbers in the benchmark sections.

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Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P DDR2 P45 Motherboard
Featured Reviews: Motherboards

There are certain products in every category that somehow manage to attain legendary, if not mythical stature. In the Intel socket based motherboard world that status is frequently obtained not by feature count, not by component selection, not by build quality, but by an ethereal capability to do one thing well: overclock the pins off the latest generation of Intel CPU. The fact that this capability is inextricably linked to the skill of the person tweaking the BIOS, and in many cases is difficult to repeat, only seems to add to the legend. Just as it is impossible to predict which aspiring new actor or actress will become the new darling of the Hollywood glitterati, there is an element of chance as to which motherboard among the many on offer will grab the brass ring. GIGABYTE Technologies Inc. offers 24 version of P45 based Socket 775 motherboards, yet one of them is a diva of the overclocking community. Benchmark Reviews is pleased to bring you our findings on the Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P Motherboard.

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Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P X58 Motherboard
Featured Reviews: Motherboards

The GA-EX58-UD4P is the latest high performance X58-Express Series motherboard from GIGABYTE, designed to unleash the awesome power of Intel's new Core i7 processors and replaces the GA-EX58-UD5. Equipped with a host of new features including the new QPI interface, 3-channel DDR3 support, 3-Way SLI and CrossFireX support, Ultra Durable 3 technology and the industry's most extensive range of overclocking features, the EX58-UD4P is bringing excitement back into the high performance motherboard industry. In this article, Benchmark Reviews compares the Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P motherboard to their EX58-EXTREME, Intel's DX58SO Smackover, and last-generations GA-X48T-DQ6.

Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P X58 Core i7 LGA1366 Motherboard

 
Intel DX58SO Smackover X58 Motherboard
Featured Reviews: Motherboards

The i7 series of processors accompanied by an enthusiast grade motherboard utilizing the X58 chipset were one of the most highly anticipated product releases since the Core 2 Duo. At the time of the launch Intel introduced their DX58SO motherboard affectionately nicknamed the "Smackover". The DX58SO motherboard is without a doubt the most feature laden endeavor that Intel has undertaken to date. It is not only slanted towards the the serious overclocker but it provides a bevy of BIOS related features that could easily take take Intel's latest product to the next level of performance.

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Gigabyte GA-EX58-EXTREME Core i7 Motherboard
Featured Reviews: Motherboards

The GA-EX58-EXTREME is the latest high performance X58-Express Series motherboard from GIGABYTE, designed from the ground up to unleash the awesome power of Intel's new Core i7 processors. Equipped with a host of new features including the new QPI interface, 3-channel DDR3 support, 3-Way SLI and CrossFireX support, Ultra Durable 3 technology and the industry's most extensive range of overclocking features, the EX58-EXTREME is bringing excitement back into the high performance motherboard industry. In this article, Benchmark Reviews compares the EX58-EXTREME to Intel's DX58SO Smackover and last-generations X48T-DQ6 motherboards.

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