With the new overclockable Pentium processor soon coming to market, named as Pentium-AE and listed under the title ‘Pentium G3258’, it offers an opportunity for some low cost overclocking and perhaps a nice gaming system or two.  In light of the low cost nature, it would perhaps make sense if motherboard manufacturers brought out new models designed for this new CPU to help hit the price conscious but also offer some overclocking features.  ASRock believe their new models, the ATX-sided Z97 Anniversary and micro-ATX sized Z97M Anniversary, might be the answer.

These motherboards are particularly stripped down, as seen by the rear panel in the picture above, with only one video output and no additional controllers for USB 3.0 or SATA 6 Gbps.  There is no M.2 or SATA Express, and given the potential for the lack of GPU scaling due to CPU power of the dual core Pentium, there is only a single PCIe 3.0 x16 slot on both versions.

Both new models use low end audio codecs: an ALC887 on the full-sized version and an ALC662 on the micro-ATX.  This latter codec is more often found in notebooks, for example.  The ATX model also offers an Intel NIC, compared to the Realtek on the Z97M.

The Z97M model seems more of a low cost play, whereas with the Z97 Anniversary there is better provision for power delivery.  Both models are still focused on that sub $120 market (perhaps even lower), but ASRock did give data showing that the Pentium-AE processor can hit 4.5 GHz in the Z97 Anniversary.

Unfortunately I was too rushed to get a hands-on with both models, also because my attention was caught with the X99 products on show.  But if we get them in to review we will let you know how they perform.

I would expect both models to be available at retail by the time that the Pentium G3258 CPUs come to market.

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  • hojnikb - Friday, June 13, 2014 - link

    They could push another hack (non-z overclock) for h81 and b85 boards, like they did, when haswell came out. Apperently it still works on newer revisions chipsets :)
  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, June 13, 2014 - link

    I dont think 4.5 GHz is enough to justify the cost. Due to HT and key feature like AES missing, the performance is really no better than an i3 which by the way only adds 5-10% to the platform cost. Since its only 2 cores I would expect 5.0GHz minimum to make it somewhat worth it.
  • hojnikb - Friday, June 13, 2014 - link

    Not everyone has a need for those features (especially AES, since lots of drives do that natively), so pentium makes plenty sense. But only coupled with a cheap board.
  • nemi2 - Friday, June 13, 2014 - link

    Check out the deceptive graph in the final picture. Implies the 4.5 GHz overclock is in addition to the 3.2 GHz base for a massive 8.7 GHz .... LOL
  • ImSpartacus - Friday, June 13, 2014 - link

    You're right. It's even scaled to look like "8.7GHz". That's dirty.
  • Death666Angel - Friday, June 13, 2014 - link

    That's some great graph-bullshit.
  • Lunyone - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    Yeah I saw that too, but it would be 7.7Ghz by that logic (4.5 + 3.2). Very deceptive on the Ghz graph, but it's marketing. I would like to see how this new Pentium chip works out. I think it's Intel's dig at getting people to buy it over the Athlon x4's that AMD is selling. If you can get this chip ~$80 and a ~$80-90 Mobo to OC it with, than I think you will see lots of gaming builds with this new Pentium chip in it.
  • nemi2 - Friday, June 13, 2014 - link

    It will be interesting to find out how well these MBs support i5 k and i7 k overclocking?
    - I wonder if there have been sacrifices in the name of cost savings to the power delivery that limits higher TDP CPU overclocking
  • jimjamjamie - Monday, June 16, 2014 - link

    I see mATX users are second-rate citizens as usual..

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