Motherboard maker ASRock has announced the release of a new BIOS revision for its Intel H61 motherboards which enables Rapid Start and Smart Connect capabilities across the entire range.
Originally unveiled by Intel as part of its Computex keynote presentation in May last year, Rapid Start promises to restore a computer from a deep hibernation state drawing no power in around five to six seconds. Compared to a traditional hibernation system, which dumps the entire system RAM contents to disk and then reloads it upon resume, that's a significant boost.
Rapid Start came with a companion technology designed specifically for laptops: Smart Connect. When enabled, Smart Connect periodically checks internet resources such as email and social networking sites for updates while the laptop is asleep. When the laptop is resumed from sleep, the updates are already available to view with no delay.
Although it's true that both technologies were created with the laptop in mind, they have their uses in the world of the desktop too. With energy costs inexorably rising, the ability to shut your system off without missing important updates or having to sit and wait for your 16GB of RAM to page back in from disk is certainly welcome.
Using the ME8 BIOS and matching driver update, owners of ASRock H61-based motherboards can now do exactly that. 'High-performance functions are not exclusive for high-end motherboards. ASRock's strength is to apply premium function on budget-level motherboards, making the function available by most of the users,
' explains a slightly breathless James Lee, vice president of sales and marketing at ASRock, in the company's announcement. 'Thanks to the excellent R&D team, ASRock is the first motherboard company to apply these two Intel new functions on H61 series motherboard in the world.
Supported motherboards include the H61M-VS R2.0, H61M-HGS, H61M-ITX, H61iCafe, H61DEL and P65iCafe. All BIos versions, plus the required driver update and AXTU utility, can be downloaded from ASRock's website
. Those upgrading will also gain support for Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge chips, ASRock has confirmed.