Computex 2011 is officially underway. Although technically it started yesterday with informal meetings at LAX, Ian and I kicked off our plethora of meetings at the show today with ASRock.

ASRock met with us this morning bearing goodies, three new motherboards to be specific.

First up was the A75 Extreme6, ASRock's Socket-FM1 motherboard designed to accept AMD's A-series Llano APUs. A number of leaks have already happened around Llano so if you want more details I'd suggest going to the source at this point. We're working on coverage of the platform but it'll be a little while longer before we can post on it.

Llano is mainly targeted at mobile systems first, but we will see desktop platforms going forward. Llano will become AMD's mainstream desktop CPU over the coming quarters, replacing the Athlon II and Phenom II in many cases.

Just above Llano we will have the long awaited Bulldozer CPU. AMD originally wanted to launch Bulldozer at Computex but performance issues with its B0 and B1 stepping chips pushed back the launch. Now we're looking at a late July launch with B2 silicon, but performance today is a big unknown. Apparently the performance of B1 stepping silicon doesn't look too good.

Bulldozer will be mechanically compatible with Socket-AM3 motherboards but AMD will only officially support the CPU on AM3+ motherboards. To differentiate AM3+ from AM3 motherboards AMD is releasing a new chipset: the 9-series. Functionally the 9-series chipset is no different from the 8-series that it replaces; it'll simply be used on AM3+ boards exclusively.

ASRock showed us its high-end 990FX motherboard: the Fatal1ty branded 990FX Professional:

Obviously a very high end motherboard, ASRock included two front panel USB 3.0 headers on its 990FX board. There are also three PCIe x16 slots and six 6Gbps SATA ports driven off of the 990FX chipset itself.

Finally we have ASRock's Z68 Professional motherboard, once again with Fatal1ty branding. At Jonathan Wendel's (Fatal1ty) request, the Z68 Professional includes an IDE port for optical drives and a floppy drive connector as well.

We've got several more meetings lined up so expect more coverage from the show today.

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  • nenforcer - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    The only reason I believe is that enthusiasts are still known to do frequent BIOS flashes and some still are adamant of only using a bootable DOS prompt for the safest legacy choice.

    All of my new builds from the last 4 years or so I've had no problem using Windows to FLASH.
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    If they have the board space it's more or less free if they put any other legacy IO on. Floppy, PS2, RS232, LPT, and game port IO are all controlled by a single SuperIO chip(named that because 20ish years ago it took an ISA card with a bunch of seperate controllers for each of the ports). PS2 lingers on among some hardcore users, mostly because USB keyboards are limited to reporting 7 simultaneous keypresses (although why noone is willing to write an enhanced USB keyboard protocol+drivers to do away with the limit is beyond me).
  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, June 2, 2011 - link

    Actually, some USB boards can do more then 6KRO these days. Microsoft, Ducky, Noppoo, and Leopold all have models that do more then 10KRO on USB, so unless you've got more then ten fingers, you're good. There's a list of them over at The GH community has also got a number of XT/PS2-to-USB converters that pass full NKRO to USB using a Teensy and about $30 worth or parts.
  • Michael REMY - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    do you notice that the fatality word on the motherboard is photoshoped like the creative one ?

    strange isn't it ?

    look the creative one : Pro Series Headset/Logo/Creative_Fatal1ty_ProSeries_Logo.jpg
  • LtGoonRush - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    That's because that's Fatal1ty's logo, he licenses it to various companies. You can see it on his website here:
  • Pratheek - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    I do not know when they will be having a successful version of bulldozer so that they can put into market..

    Also, floppy connector in fatality series: I could not understand the necessity of it.
  • b_wallach - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    Aren't you? You should be. I have been almost praying that AMD can get a gold mine from the Bulldozer CPU lineup. They have been doing only ok with their current lineup of cpu's and disregarding cpu reviews AMD's cpu's are really pretty good.
    But they have a lot riding on this new cpu and if it fails it may put AMD in a spot they can't recover from and this would be a very bad thing indeed.
    It makes me all the more worried that AMD and ATI are tied together and the worst case I can think of is both of these Co's go out of business, get bought up by a real stupid company and all we have left to deal with is Intel and Nvidia...
    I can remember the days when a Intel 286 cpu cost around as much as a computer costs today and this is just for the cpu alone. And if ATI can't separate and go from where they were before AMD took them in I can see the costs of Intel and Nvidia products getting very expensive and I really do NOT want to see this happen.
    I wish more people were more aware of just how bad it will be and support AMD... Everyone has AMD to thank for the low cost of both Co's cpus. I continue to support them and I wish more people would but most only look at the short term and people like me are waiting for the big I told you so when a Intel cpu jumps up to around 1000.00 or so average cost.
    And really for most programs it's hard to really tell which cpu is in a computer without looking inside. They are both more than fast enough to run games and just about anything else but reading how a few FPS one way or the other decides the cpu to buy is kind of stupid. Same with video cards where the performance is so high on most games that either one will play the games smoothly. Remember, when you go to a movie you see it at 24fps and anything over 30 gets enough speed to work great.

    Anyway, I am really really hoping AMD gets their new cpu to fly because I hate to see people cutting their own throats by letting intel win this war.
    It's like watching a bunch of idiots going on strike after strike with a Auto maker in England. They kept it up until they killed the company and all were out of work. People are like this unfortunately. They rarely take the time to see cause and effect happen even to the point of shooting themselves in the foot.
  • PC_gamer - Monday, May 30, 2011 - link

    i understand your concern, but can you really blame people for their buying decisions? Given a choice between 2 products at the same price, you will automatically go with the one that gets more performance, even if it's just a couple of fps.
    Unfortunately for AMD, Intel has performance and price at very competitive levels with SB.
    If AMD goes down, it's very likely someone else would step in to take their place, we hopefully won't see any monopolies.
  • just4U - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    Then why were people paying more (sometimes alot more) for Intel cpu's back during the P4/Athlon days? I disagree with your comment mainly because the masses don't know what to buy.. You take a look at their systems and usually just shake your head.
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - link

    It is possible that we have AMD to blame for the lack of competition and stagnation in x86 land. If AMD did not release their 64 bit extensions, then Intel would likely have choked itself off with Itanium, while ARM cpus mopped up the consumer markets. AMD is grossly incompetent. They still have not integrated a SSD controller into their cpu. They have no LPDDR controller either. These are both major failures that will make it very difficult for them to enter the tablet/MID market if they do not rectify the situation immediately. AMD needs to work with both Adobe and Microsoft to hammer out a set of special instructions not just for their SIMDs but for their x86 cores. They have failed massively on that front as well. That could have been a major major coup de grace...

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