|ASUS reveal AMD motherboard with USB 3.0 and Serial ATA 6Gbps in pictures|
|AMD motherboard, USB 3.0 and Serial ATA 6Gbps|
AMD motherboard, USB 3.0 and Serial ATA 6Gbps included
At present we still have no clues as to the name of this particular motherboard, or even what chipset it uses at its core, but as the old saying goes a picture can paint a thousand words... which at least saves me having to write a few thousand words I suppose.
AMD's AM3 socket type sits at the core of the motherboard, with the use of what look to be plenty of Japanese solid state capacitors suggesting that reliability and stability are in mind for the board's design.
The presence of video ouputs (VGA, DVI and HDMI) on the motherboard's backplate confirms that this part will feature an integrated graphics core of some description, which will naturally come from the ATI graphics division. Whether it will be something new and improved over current solutions remains to be seen of course.
We'd expect both DDR2 and DDR3 memory to be supported by this motherboard, with ASUS' MemOK technology showing its face (as is the norm these days) to help with memory compatibility issues as and when they may arise.
Our sneak preview shots don't give us a proper look at the motherboard's slot configuration, although from this angle we can see a single PCI Express 2.0 16x slot is present (with other shots suggesting the inclusion of at least one more such slot), with a PCI Express 1x and legacy PCI slot also in view here. However, for this particular offering it's one of the small chips that sits near these slots which is of more interest...
The chip in question comes courtesy of NEC, and it's this little fellow that gives the motherboard its USB 3.0 support. As per Intel, it appears that AMD won't be adding USB 3.0 support to their chipsets natively just yet.
Then we come to this motherboard's Serial ATA 6Gbps support, with the placement of the board's six ports and the seeming lack of a discrete SATA 6Gbps controller suggesting that this functionality has been added to the motherboard's southbridge by AMD themselves - An interesting prospect which could differentiate them from Intel with system builders if correct.
As well as all of this, a little bird tells us that this particular motherboard will also feature additional "core unlocking software", which will allow you to unlock otherwise disabled cores on AMD CPUs. While this won't be the first time this has been possible on an AMD chipset motherboard, it does sound like an intriguingly simple and surprisingly official way of doing so, which could well make some of AMD's dual-core and triple-core Phenom II parts very, very tempting indeed.
So, while information might be sparse on this new mystery motherboard right now, it certainly looks as though it might prove to be something of a treat for anyone looking to build an AMD-based system but worried about "future-proofing" their box with the latest available technologies. Certainly, while 2010 might not be the year that USB 3.0 or Serial ATA 6Gbps become "the norm", there's little doubt that we'll be seeing quite a few devices making use of both technologies as the year progresses. If you want to be ready for that time, then this might just be the answer to your needs, and we'll certainly let you know more as and when we hear it.