Back in January Intel released their Sandy Bridge platform to some very positive reviews. The performance of the CPUs and the overall platform was excellent and there were a number of very impressive feature packed motherboards available. Unfortunately sales of the new platform ground to a halt when a chipset issue was identified which required a hardware fix and since then the world has been waiting for new boards to appear.
Today we have one of the B3 revision motherboards on our test bench, a mini-ITX model from Gigabyte, which packs a whole load of features into a tiny PCB. We’ll be putting that model through its paces, along with the low energy 2100/2500T CPUs, in a selection of synthetic and real world tests to find out how they perform with a mini-ITX Fusion system included as a performance baseline.
Last month Intel launched their Z97 chipset, essentially an evolution of Z87, which in many cases brought new features such as SATA Express and M.2 compatibility to the mainstream desktop market. There was of course no new CPU at that time with the existing socket 1150 processors working without issue in the new boards. Since then though Intel launched (along with some lower spec models) the Core i7-4790K, a model which sits at the top of their mainstream platform. Today we see how it compares to various other models when installed on Gigabytes Z97X Gaming 5 and paired with PowerColors new dual core 290X Devil 13.
Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming G1 WiFi-BK vs. MSI Z97 Gaming 5 vs Asus Maximus VII Hero
It is probably fair to say that Intel don't stealth launch their products... sure they have NDAs but by the time those expire we know pretty much everything about a new product. Part of this is of their own...