Over the past few weeks, ASRock has released small nuggets of information on the features of its next-generation Haswell motherboards. We know that some boards will feature an updated A-Style integrated audio implementation that promises better sound quality. ASRock also has a unique HDMI switching capability that allows a secondary video input to be routed through the motherboard. Now, details have leaked out on the other goodies teased by ASRock's 8-series micro-site. ChipLoco has posted official-looking graphics exposing the 802.11ac Wi-Fi, waterproofing, and Home Cloud features coming to some of ASRock's Haswell boards.
According to the site, the 802.11ac wireless implementation offers up to 867Mbps of bandwidth—nearly as much as a wired Gigabit Ethernet link. The Wi-Fi will be fueled by a Mini PCIe card that hugs the circuit board near the bottom of the expansion slot stack. On higher-end boards, it looks like the antenna wires will be routed to a 5.25" drive bay insert that boasts four USB 3.0 ports and an SD card slot.
While faster Wi-Fi has broad appeal, I'm not sure how many folks need a waterproof motherboard. Nevertheless, select Z87 models will apparently come with a silicone-based Polysiloxanes coating to protect against moisture, dust, corrosion, and extreme temperatures. This feature should appeal to extreme overclockers and folks who don't trust the plumbing of their water-cooling setups.
Finally, there's the Home Cloud feature, which looks more like remote desktop functionality than centralized home storage. One of the ASRock graphics claims this feature will let users "power on or turn off your devices, monitor and take control of them anywhere in the world remotely." On ASRock's Z87 boards, Home Cloud will apparently work in conjunction with Splashtop software. I'm curious to see if the $5 app will be included.
ChipLoco has also posted a matrix detailing which features are available on which models. Surprisingly, you can't get one board with everything; the premium Extreme models lack HDMI input, and the most exotic OC Formula variant is missing the 5.25" bay insert. The specifications are subject to change, though, and there's still time before Haswell makes its debut.
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