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250-722 Implementation of DP Solutions for Windows using NBU 5.0

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250-722 exam Dumps Source : Implementation of DP Solutions for Windows using NBU 5.0

Test Code : 250-722
Test appellation : Implementation of DP Solutions for Windows using NBU 5.0
Vendor appellation : Symantec
: 114 real Questions

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Symantec Implementation of DP Solutions

the route to establish in oblige Dynamic Programming in Swift | killexams.com real Questions and Pass4sure dumps

In their exploration of algorithms, we’ve applied many thoughts to supply outcomes. Some ideas possess used iOS-certain patterns while others possess been extra generalized. although it hasn’t been explicitly outlined, some of their options possess used a particular programming mode called dynamic programming. while simple in theory, its software can every now and then subsist nuanced. When utilized correctly, dynamic programming can possess an impressive impact on how you to write code. in this essay, we’ll interpolate the thought and implementation of dynamic programming.

store For Later

if you’ve bought something through Amazon.com, you’ll subsist familiar with the site time period — “store For Later”. because the phrase implies, customers are supplied the option so as to add gadgets to their cart or retailer them to a “wish checklist” for later viewing. When writing algorithms, they commonly countenance an identical option of completing actions (performing computations) as facts is being interpreted or storing the effects for later use. Examples encompass retrieving JSON records from a RESTful service or the disburse of the Core information Framework:

In iOS, design patterns can champion us time and coordinate how statistics is processed. particular techniques comprise multi-threaded operations (e.g. grand principal Dispatch), Notifications and Delegation. Dynamic programming (DP) on the other hand, isn’t necessarily a unique coding technique, but more or less the route to deem about actions (e.g. subproblems) that win location as a function operates. The resulting DP concede may fluctuate reckoning on the difficulty. In its simplest form, dynamic programming depends on data storage and reuse to boost algorithm effectivity. The technique of information reuse is besides referred to as memoization and can win many varieties. As we’ll see, this style of programming offers a lot of advantages.

Fibonacci Revisited

in the essay on Recursion, they in comparison pile the basic sequence of Array values the usage of each iterative and recursive strategies. As discussed, these algorithms possess been designed to supply an Array sequence, now not to compute a specific influence. Taking this into consideration, they can create a new edition of Fibonacci to approach back a unique Int cost:

func fibRecursive(n: Int) -> Int if n == 0 recrudesce 0

if n <= 2 recrudesce 1

return fibRecursive(n: n-1) + fibRecursive(n: n-2)

at first look, it looks this seemingly wee feature would even subsist efficient. youngsters, upon extra analysis, they notice a lot of recursive calls ought to subsist made for it to compute any result. As proven under, for the reason that fibRecursive can't shop up to now calculated values, its recursive calls boost exponentially:

Fibonacci Memoized

Let’s try a different method. Designed as a nested Swift function, fibMemoized captures the Array recrudesce value from its fibSequence sub-feature to compute a remaining cost:

extension Int

//memoized versionmutating func fibMemoized() -> Int

//builds array sequencefunc fibSequence(_ sequence: Array<Int> = [0, 1]) -> Array<Int>

var final = Array<Int>()

//mutated copyvar output = sequence

let i: Int = output.count number

//set foundation situation - linear time O(n)if i == self recrudesce output

let outcomes: Int = output[i - 1] + output[i - 2]output.append(outcomes)

//set iterationfinal = fibSequence(output)return remaining

//calculate ultimate product - uniform time O(1)let results = fibSequence()let reply: Int = results[results.endIndex - 1] + effects[results.endIndex - 2]return reply

although fibSquence contains a recursive sequence, its foundation case depends upon the number of requested Array positions (n). In efficiency terms, they are proverb fibSequence runs in linear time or O(n). This efficiency growth is achieved with the aid of memoizing the Array sequence obligatory to compute the ultimate product. consequently, each and every sequence permutation is computed as soon as. The improvement of this system is considered when evaluating the two algorithms, shown below:

Shortest Paths

Code memoization can additionally ameliorate a software’s efficiency to the aspect of making reputedly difficult or almost unsolvable questions answerable. An illustration of this can subsist viewed with Dijkstra’s Algorithm and Shortest Paths. To overview, they created a unique records constitution named direction with the point of storing particular traversal metadata:

//the direction kind maintains objects that comprise the "frontier" class direction

var complete: Intvar destination: Vertexvar old: route?

//object initializationinit()vacation spot = Vertex()total = 0

What makes route helpful is its competence to store statistics on nodes previously visited. corresponding to their revised Fibonacci algorithm, route stores the cumulative side weights outright traversed vertices (total) in addition to an entire background of each visited Vertex. Used conveniently, this makes it feasible for the programmer to reply questions such as the complexity of navigating to a selected destination Vertex, if the traversal became certainly a hit (in discovering the vacation spot), as well as the checklist of nodes visited outright over. reckoning on the Graph size and complexity, no longer having this counsel attainable may intimate having the algorithm win so long to (re)compute records that it turns into too gradual to subsist constructive, or no longer being in a position to remedy a must possess questions as a result of insufficient statistics.


India- Healthcare Cyber protection Market Projected to attain $10.85 Billion via 2022: grand View analysis, Inc. | killexams.com real Questions and Pass4sure dumps

(MENAFN - GetNews) in accordance with file posted by route of grand View research, key factors attributing to the expand of the healthcare cyber safety market consist of the expanding incidences of cyber attacks for misuse of electronic affected person health data (E-PHR), gregarious safety facts, IP theft, and others. in line with a record,'Healthcare Cyber security Market via conclusion-Use (prescribed drugs & chemical substances, scientific gadgets, medical health insurance, Hospitals), by using category of hazard (Malware, DDoS, superior Persistent danger (APT), spyware, misplaced, Stolen contraptions), via category of solution (identity and entry management, risk and Compliance administration, Antivirus and Antimalware, DDoS Mitigation, security tips, experience management (SIEM), Intrusion Detection system (IDS)/Intrusion Prevention device (IPS)) and phase Forecasts To 2022, published with the aid of grand View analysis, Inc., global healthcare cyber protection market dimension is expected to gain pretty much USD 10,848.87million by means of 2022. Key elements attributing to the expand of the market comprise the expanding incidences of cyber assaults for misuse of electronic affected person fitness statistics (E-PHR), gregarious safety information, IP theft, and others.

Key Takeaways from the document:

  • In 2014, North the united states held the biggest market partake of more than 41% owing to the presence of subtle healthcare infrastructure, and lengthening collaboration between pharmaceutical, clinical device industries, with regulatory authorities. This can subsist illustrated using the usFDA counsel doc on networked medical devices.

  • in addition, the U.S. is a prime target for cyber crimes due to, the presence of vast fortune 500 healthcare organizations, replete scale implementation of digital affected person records, and disburse of huge gregarious safety ids for quite a lot of transactions.

  • Asia Pacific is recognized as one of the vital lucrative regional market, growing to subsist at a CAGR of over eight.5% outright over the forecast duration. swiftly enhancing healthcare infrastructure and extreme plane pecuniary boom in establishing international locations equivalent to China, India, and South Korea is expected to expand utilization prices over the forecast duration.

  • expanding number of cyber web users in China and India is expected to create a tremendous user foundation susceptible to cyber attacks. based on records published by means of the internet and mobile affiliation of India (IAMAI), the information superhighway consumer foundation in India is expected to attain basically 402 million by route of December 2015

  • Key gamers operating in the healthcare cyber security market encompass, Cisco, IBM, MacAfee, Paulo Alto Networks, Symantec, vogue Micro Lockheed Martin, FireEye, Northrop Grumma, Kaspersky etc.

  • Browse extra reviews in Healthcare IT:
  • own Emergency Response equipment/scientific Alert gadget Market : The increasing necessity for the introduction of creative solutions that are able to enticing valued clientele or personnel to integrate system, facts, IT and company and the expanding demand for the adoption of web of issues (IoT) are propelling market boom.
  • health guidance exchange (HIE) Market : expanding incidence of Alzheimer's disease and rising being expectancy are estimated to raise the market for clinical alert methods. furthermore, expanding number of mergers and acquisitions by using market gamers are besides expected to accelerate boom.
  • protection suggestions and event management (SIEM),chance and compliance administration, DDoS mitigation, antivirus, antimalware, identification and entry administration, intrusion detection system (IDS)/intrusion prevention gadget (IPS) and others are the options covered in the scope of the examine. These options can besides subsist used individually or can subsist used as a set of items offering layer knowing security.

    Market dynamics in this sector are elegant on the kind of hazard, effectiveness, and frequency of assault, capacity to notice and ruin. New styles of threats are detected everyday, hence, the options should subsist upgraded always to provide ample firewall protection and halt facts breach.

    Grand View research has segmented the Healthcare Cyber protection market on the foundation of end-use, category of hazard, kind of solution, and vicinity:

    Healthcare Cyber safety end-Use Outlook (profits, USD Million, 2012 - 2022)

  • pharmaceuticals & chemical substances

  • clinical gadgets

  • medical health insurance

  • Hospitals

  • Others

  • Healthcare Cyber safety category of threat Outlook (salary, USD Million, 2012 - 2022)
  • pharmaceuticals & chemical substances

  • Malware

  • DDoS

  • advanced Persistent Threats (APT)

  • adware

  • lost or Stolen gadgets

  • Others

  • Healthcare Cyber safety category of concede Outlook (Market revenue in USD Million, 2012 - 2022)
  • identification and access management

  • possibility and Compliance administration

  • Antivirus and Antimalware

  • DDoS Mitigation

  • protection counsel and adventure management (SIEM)

  • Intrusion Detection device (IDS)/Intrusion Prevention paraphernalia (IPS)

  • Others

  • Healthcare Cyber security Regional Outlook (revenue, USD Million, 2012 - 2022)
  • North the united states

  • Europe

  • Asia Pacific

  • Latin the us

  • MEA

  • explore healthcare cyber security market research database, Navigate with grand View Compass , through grand View analysis, Inc.About grand View research

    Grand View analysis gives syndicated in addition to customized analysis stories and consulting functions on forty six industries throughout 25 essential countries worldwide. This U.S.-based mostly market analysis and consulting company is registered in California and headquartered in San Francisco. Comprising over 425 analysts and consultants, the commerce provides 1200+ market analysis reviews to its extensive database each and every year. Supported by route of an interactive market intelligence platform, the group at grand View analysis courses Fortune 500 corporations and in demand academic institutes in comprehending the global and regional commerce atmosphere and thoroughly deciding on future opportunities.

    For more tips: www.grandviewresearch.com

    Media ContactCompany name: grand View research, Inc.Contact person: Sherry James, corporate earnings professional - united states of americae mail: ship EmailPhone: 1-415-349-0058, Toll Free: 1-888-202-9519Address:201, Spear street, 1100City: San FranciscoState: CaliforniaCountry: SwitzerlandWebsite: www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-evaluation/healthcare-cyber-protection-market

    MENAFN1804201900703268ID1098408897

    India- Healthcare Cyber Security Market Projected to  gain $10.85 Billion By 2022: grand View Research, Inc.

  • CrowdStrike vs Symantec: revise EDR solutions in comparison | killexams.com real Questions and Pass4sure dumps

    Most recent products Articles

    Endpoint safety products from CrowdStrike and Symantec each made eSecurity Planet's record of properly conclusion aspect detection and response (EDR) solutions – and whereas each and every product has lots to present commercial enterprise purchasers, there are key modifications between them. What follows an analysis of each solution's key aspects, in addition to some strengths and weaknesses.

    The foundation line

    each options are rated particularly by clients as well as industry analysts. CrowdStrike's cloud structure makes deployment strangely quick and easy, though the incontrovertible fact that it subsist some distance less useful offline makes it unsuitable for air-gapped networks. Symantec offers each an on-premises solution and a cloud-primarily based one, featuring a much broader latitude of alternate options for consumers – nonetheless it's often seen as being more advanced to manage than its rivals.

    CrowdStrike EDR Highlights

    Overview: CrowdStrike Falcon perception leverages signatureless AI and indicator-of-attack (IOA) based random prevention to protect users from outright kinds of cyberattacks. Falcon offers contextualized threat intelligence with particulars on the chance, and a five-second search device enables teams to learn and examine current and historical risk undertaking with the aid of going again one 2nd, someday or three hundred and sixty five days of exercise. The solution’s cloud-primarily based structure is designed to supply quickly response without putting any stress on purchasers' endpoints.

    fresh developments: advancements over the past twelve months include:

  • a implement wield feature for visibility and management of USB contraptions
  • A Vulnerability assessment feature, choosing vulnerabilities and lacking updates on endpoints through automatically monitoring and examining patches on each gadget
  • Mapping of detection to a framework in accordance with MITRE ATT&CK to accelerate understanding, triage and response
  • real-time response movements
  • Docker aid, permitting the installing of the Falcon agent on hosts running the Docker container platform so the host can besides subsist secured while valued clientele disburse Docker
  • expanded integration of the Falcon OverWatch managed detection and response carrier
  • https://o1.qnsr.com/log/p.gif?;n=203;c=204660769;s=9477;x=7936;f=201812281319310;u=j;z=TIMESTAMP;a=20394213;e=i

    Analysts' take: Gartner says the combination of Falcon OverWatch with Falcon perception EDR is primarily compelling for agencies with wee or no SOC teams. The Falcon insight EDR agent provides parity throughout windows, Mac OS and Linux systems, and clients report fundamental and easy deployments, partially due to the answer's cloud structure. nonetheless, the research firm says Falcon's EDR functionality requires knowledgeable technical workforce to use, and its offline insurance policy is significantly more suitable when linked to the cloud-based Falcon platform, making it unsuitable for air-gapped (relaxed, isolated) networks.

    Symantec EDR Highlights

    Overview: Symantec EDR makes disburse of behavioral evaluation at the endpoint and AI-based analytics in the cloud to learn superior assaults. The concede offers a complete set of detection, investigation and remediation capabilities for outright ranges of investigators, including automatic investigation playbooks and person conduct analytics. Incident responders can immediately search, establish and comprise impacted endpoints whereas investigating threats the usage of a option of on-premises and cloud-primarily based sandboxing.

    recent traits: improvements over the ultimate one year encompass:

  • support for centered assail Analytics (TAA), leveraging AI algorithms to realize suspicious exercise and rising threats in Symantec Endpoint coverage information gathered and correlated in a large information lake
  • guide for MITRE ATT&CK tactics and strategies and MITRE Cyber Analytics, enabling investigators to recede looking and filter events and incidents with the aid of MITRE ATT&CK strategies in order to map movements to the ATT&CK matrix
  • brought more than a dozen detections from the MITRE Cyber Analytics Repository (automobile) as automated investigation playbooks
  • Analysts' take: Gartner says Symantec is the first dealer to offer malware protection, EDR, gadget hardening and deception capabilities in a unique agent, and its vast deployment across a really gigantic inhabitants of both buyer and enterprise endpoints offers it a very huge view into the possibility panorama throughout many verticals. still, the analysis company says Symantec is perceived as greater complicated and resource-intensive to manage than its opponents, and its managed protection functions are extra costly than these from more recent suppliers.

    EDR Product scores

    here are eSecurity Planet's ratings of each and every answer's key features.

    performance: valued clientele of each companies record solid performance, with minimal possess an sequel on on endpoints. essentially the most fresh Forrester Wave file on EDR solutions gave CrowdStrike the maximum score of outright EDR companies demonstrated – four.fifty six out of five – and gave Symantec a score of two.72 out of 5. The score is in accordance with more than a few criteria, together with configurability, agent effectiveness, forensic capabilities, deployment options and response movements.

    Detection and response: In contemporary trying out, Forrester rated CrowdStrike's detection capabilities at 4.8 out of 5, and its response capabilities at four.6 out of 5. Symantec's detection capabilities had been rated at 2.0 out of 5, and its response capabilities at four.2 out of 5. Symantec purchasers report better danger detection and containment with the addition of laptop discovering and different superior anti-malware features, Gartner mentioned.

    price: whereas CrowdStrike is greater expensive than many different solutions, cloud information storage and managed detection and response are blanketed. Symantec offers managed services, however those services are extra costly than these from other providers.

    Implementation and management: CrowdStrike's cloud structure makes deployment peculiarly effortless, anything clients many times cite in reports. Symantec offers both cloud-based and on-premises options, making it stronger commandeer for hybrid environments. both solutions require knowledgeable technical workforce to manipulate, although managed detection and response services are available.

    guide: Gartner says Symantec valued clientele document discordant assist experiences, even when tremendous organizations are offered with committed champion personnel. nevertheless, some reviewers illustrious the identical of CrowdStrike's tech assist.

    Cloud features: both agencies present cloud-based options, however CrowdStrike's providing is only cloud-based, giving Symantec the allotment in hybrid environments.

    CrowdStrike vs Symantec 

    person stories

    Gartner Peer Insights users provide CrowdStrike Falcon a familiar rating of 4.6 out of 5, with Symantec EDR following at a regular of 4.0 stars out of 5. IT primary Station clients supply CrowdStrike four.0 stars out of 5, and Symantec 4.1 out of 5.

    CrowdStrike reviewers time and again mentioned the product’s ease of deployment, calling it "quick and easy to install" and reporting that "the sensor is truly lightweight and has no longer been significant when working on even resource-limited computers." other reviewers wrote that "the hobbies administration of this solution is manageable," and that CrowdStrike has "a special proposition with their cloud-based approach as neatly because the analysis team."

    Symantec reviewers illustrious that "implementation became convenient." They referred to "quick whitelisting and blacklisting and informative reporting" as key merits, adding that the concede "has offered visibility insights that they possess been no longer receiving from other products." an extra reviewer talked about the product "suits very neatly with their latest methods and approaches," calling it "a worthy product to offer protection to your atmosphere."

    study greater reviews written through clients of CrowdStrike and Symantec.

    Deployment

    The CrowdStrike Falcon platform is thoroughly cloud-based, permitting it to subsist deployed within hours, and helps windows, Mac and Linux methods.

    Symantec EDR offers cloud, on-premises and hybrid deployment fashions, and helps windows, Mac and Linux techniques.

    Pricing

    CrowdStrike Falcon insight is attainable for an annual subscription price per endpoint, with a free visitation attainable. AWS provides some pricing data.

    Symantec EDR is priced per consumer per 12 months, with volume discounting. Trials can subsist found. CDW presents some pricing information.


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    Intel Skylake Z170 Motherboards: A Quick scrutinize at 55+ New Products | killexams.com real questions and Pass4sure dumps

    Along with the launch of the two Skylake-K processors today, they besides possess a raft of new motherboards to recede with them. The Skylake processors disburse the LGA 1151 socket (which is new) combined with the Z170 chipset, significance every motherboard manufacturer has been developing and putting together a gross stack of products to meet different price points and demand. The Z170 chipset itself represents a large jump in terms of IO design, driven by the growing exigency for diversification and utility on modern platforms.

    In this piece they are going to scrutinize at both the Z170 chipset itself, the benefits that approach along with using Z170, and then the motherboards that are set to launch equipped with it. Intel’s details about the chipset possess been some of the briefest they possess experienced in any recent Intel launch, although they possess been able to piece together various aspects of the design from a number of sources. They possess been promised more detail about the system during the Intel Developer Forum in mid-August, to which both Ryan and I will subsist attending and asking plenty of questions. A lot of the detail about Z170 in this piece is mirrored in their main Skylake review as well.

    For the motherboard information itself, this is the culmination of requests to the manufacturers who possess mostly provided both pictures and specifications on the bulk of their ranges. Due to this launch being a couple of weeks earlier than the motherboard manufacturers expected (even from Computex), not everything is 100% ready to recede today - as a result they are silent awaiting MSRP details for a lot of the products, but they should subsist on the shelves if not today then in the next couple of weeks.

    This is the new diagram that yields a first-rate amount of Z170 information:

    So to pellucid up any pre-release ‘leaks’ or guesses as to the configuration of the platform, they possess sixteen PCIe 3.0 lanes coming from the processor which can subsist split into an x16, x8/x8 or x8/x4/x4 configuration. Motherboards that possess x8/x4/x4 will only champion dual-SLI in x8/x8 mode when the final x4 is unpopulated due to limitations placed on SLI by NVIDIA. The processor will champion both DDR4 and DDR3L, whereby DDR3L is the 1.35 volt criterion of DDR3 – no regular 1.5 volt DDR3 kits will subsist expected to toil due to the high voltage. Motherboard manufacturers can select to champion DDR4, DDR3L, or a composite of these two technologies. That being said they notice DDR3L being used only on low-to-mid scope products with the stress being placed on DDR4.

    The integrated graphics for the CPU is called Intel HD Graphics 530, which deviates from previous version of Intel’s naming scheme. Intel states that its 6th generation processor (Skylake) integrated graphics will disburse this new 3-digit naming scheme to reduce confusion. The HD Graphics 530, on both the i7-6700K and i7-6600K processors, is Intel’s GT2 variant of the Generation 9 graphics architecture with OpenCL 2.0 champion and 24 Execution Units (EUs) running at a peak of 1150 MHz. delight advert to the main CPU article for more information.

    The processor is connected to the chipset by the four-lane DMI 3.0 interface. The DMI 3.0 protocol is an upgrade over the previous generation which used DMI 2.0 – this upgrade boosts the quicken from 5.0 GT/s to 8.0 GT/s, but requires the motherboard traces between the CPU and chipset to subsist closer (7 inches rather than 8 inches) in order to maintain signal quicken and integrity. This besides allows one of the biggest upgrades to the system, chipset connectivity.

    The Z170 chipset features a massive Flex-IO hub. In the previous Z97 chipset, there are a total of 18 Flex-IO ports that can flip between PCIe lanes, USB 3.0 ports or SATA 6 Gbps ports. For Z170, this moves up to 26 and can subsist used in a variety of configurations:

    For each of the 26 high-speed input/output ports (HSIO, or the Flex-IO), there can subsist a variety of combinations available. Each manufacturer can flee down the list and apply what they may or may not exigency – some of the extra functionality (e.g. GbE / Ethernet) will require extra controllers. By default, the first six HSIO ports are USB 3.0, with two able for super-speed interconnect where warranted. The next 20 HSIO ports are split into groups of four PCIe 3.0 lanes, such that each group is allotment of one of the internal controllers on the chipset.

    The HSIO allows a smörgåsbord of options, a variable pick-and-mix. The ultimate three sets of four are besides labelled Intel PCIe storage device – this is vital because the new Z170 chipset now supports more PCIe devices as allotment of its Rapid Storage Technology (RST). This allows M.2 and SATA Express devices to subsist in RAID arrays as long as they are connected through these HSIO lanes. The new version of RST is given the number 14, and RST 14 supports three PCIe devices at one time. As a result, they will probably notice motherboards with three M.2 slots outright in PCIe 3.0 x4 mode, available for RAID. With that being said, they lose any extra SATA ports and possess to rely on controllers elsewhere to attain everything else. It is worth noting that the constant SATA ports on Z170 champion DEVSLP modes.

    There will subsist several companion controllers to scrutinize out for on the Z170 motherboards. The most common they await to notice is the ASMedia ASM1142 controller, which is used to provide USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports. This controller uses two PCIe lanes to provide up to two USB 3.1 ports. This controller uses two PCIe lanes to provide up to two USB 3.1 ports, typically on the rear panel. They possess reviewed this implementation on previous chipsets here and here. Typically the presence of the ASM1142 controller will expand the price of the motherboard by a wee number of dollars – I suspect motherboard manufacturers are buying this in bulk for a number of future devices.

    The other route to location USB 3.1 on the motherboard is through Intel’s Alpine Ridge Thunderbolt controller.

    Using four PCIe lanes (and the DisplayPort lanes), the Alpine Ridge controller can champion USB 3.1 Gen 2, Thunderbolt 3, and DisplayPort, and outright over the USB Type-C connector as necessary. Alpine Ridge can besides act as a LS-Pcon and transmogrify the DP signal into a HDMI 2.0 signal with HDCP 2.2 support.

    As mentioned in GIGABYTE’s details above, the Alpine Ridge solution will add around $10 to the cost of the board, which probably translates near $20 to the end-user cost. It is their understanding that the increased quicken of the Z170 launch means that there has been supply issues with Alpine Ridge controllers and that there will subsist more products coming out next month (September) from various manufacturers that will disburse the controller.

    The final controller they will notice a lot of is Intel’s own gigabit Ethernet family, the I219 controller, named Jacksonville.

    As mentioned above, the I219-V is aimed at consumers while the I219-LM is for corporate/business although I imagine they will notice a amalgamate of both on a number of motherboards, especially at the high end. The I219 string comes with better power management, so when Skylake comes to more power-conscious platforms they should notice some uptake there.

    I will besides add that Realtek Ethernet solutions will besides subsist seen on Z170 motherboards, typically as the cost efficacious solution. Back at Computex they besides saw Realtek’s gaming network solution, the Dragon, with the codename 8118AS on some ECS models. contrary that will subsist the Rivet Network’s Killer Ethernet controllers, specifically the E2400, as a gaming optimized model along with the marketing points that recede along with it.

    Moving on to power arrangements on Z170 motherboards, with Skylake the situation changes as compared to Haswell. Prior to Haswell, voltage regulation was performed by the motherboard and the perquisite voltages were then establish into the processor. This was deemed inefficient for power consumption, and for the Haswell/Broadwell processors Intel decided to create a fully integrated voltage regulator (FIVR) in order to reduce motherboard cost and reduce power consumption. This had an unintended side-effect – while it was more efficient (good for mobile platforms), it besides acted as a source of heat generation inside the CPU with high frequencies. As a result, overclocking was limited by temperatures and the quality of the FIVR led to a large variation in results. For Skylake on the desktop, the voltage regulation is moved back into the hands of the motherboard manufacturers. This should allow for cooler processors depending on how the silicon works, but it will result in slightly more expensive motherboards.

    A slight indication of this will subsist that some motherboards will recede back to having a large amount of multiplexed phases on the motherboard, and it will allow some manufacturers to disburse this as a differentiating point, although the usefulness of such a design is sometimes questionable.

    There are some more esoteric properties of the Z170 chipset worth mentioning – the ball pitch of the grid array attaching the chipset to the motherboard has decreased from Z97, from 0.65mm to 0.50mm. The chipset now supports DMIC, digital microphone direct attach, allowing microphones to subsist plugged directly into the chipset without the exigency for an external codec. This has benefits in power saving (no exigency to activate an external codec) and potential cost savings (don’t buy an audio codec), specifically for features such as Wake-On-Voice.

    The analog (VGA) video connector has now been completely removed from the CPU/chipset combination, significance that any VGA/D-Sub video connection has to subsist provided via an lively digital/analog converter chip. This has been a long time coming, and is allotment of a previous committment made by Intel several years ago to remove VGA by 2015. Removing analog array functionality will intimate added cost for legacy champion in order to drive analog displays. Arguably this doesn’t intimate much for Z170 as the high terminate platform is typically used with a discrete graphics card that has HDMI or DisplayPort, but they will notice motherboards with VGA equipped in order to satisfy some regional markets with specific requirements.

    HDMI 2.0 is not supported by default, and only the following resolutions are feasible on the three digital array controllers:

    A DP to HDMI 2.0 converter, specifically an LS-Pcon, is required to attain the adjustments. They suspect that there will not subsist many takers buying a controller to attain this, given the capabilities and added benefits of the Alpine Ridge controller.

    The power into the chipset is now provided by a unique power rail, rather than sunder core/suspend rails, which should simplify design. Some other restrictions are besides placed on PCIe routing signals, bringing the maximum length down from 10-inches to 9-inches, and besides M.2 routing in PCIe 3.0 mode is besides reduced. They are besides informed that PCIe flex cable/daughter card arrangements are limited to PCIe 2.0 mode.

    One mountainous shock will subsist for Windows 7 users. By default, the Z170 chipset and BIOS will not champion replete USB 2.0 Enhanced Host Controller (EHCI) mode. This means that for a number of circumstances, USB devices will not toil unless an XHCI environment in play.

    In their testing, this means that in order to install Windows 7 you exigency to attain the following:

  • Navigate to BIOS
  • Enable ‘Windows 7 Installation’ or ‘EHCI mode’, redeem and Exit.
  • Have your Windows 7 image on an optical disk. USB sticks will not work!
  • Install the OS as familiar via the optical media. Install OS drivers/USB 3.0 drivers.
  • Disable the BIOS option.
  • This is done for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it helps reduce the size of the BIOS for more customization. It besides aids poignant users to AHCI capable operating system installations. For everyone else, it is a bit of a headache. As far as they can tell, almost outright motherboard manufacturers (at least the Tier-1s) will possess this option in the BIOS to enable Windows 7 installation.

    Z170 and the Skylake platform design a large number of fundamental changes when it comes to functionality, design and cost. By opening up the chipset HSIO/Flex-IO ports to twenty PCIe 3.0 lanes, even with specific limitations on a number of them, they should avoid the situation they had in Z97 where users might possess three features but only two of them would toil at once. Now they possess enough lanes to enable them all.

    From a personal perspective, this allows for several esoteric designs. Because the chipset is limited as a maximum to PCIe 3.0 x4 per port, imagine the system having several quad-lane SATA controllers, each giving out eight SATA 6 Gbps ports. Combining those with port multipliers might allow each controller to double its ports. That means five controllers, each with eight SATA 6 Gbps ports, then doubled with port multipliers. A motherboard with 80 SATA ports, anyone?

    Perhaps I jest, but the limitation of what can subsist done now revolves around the fantasy of the motherboard manufacturers and how much of a market is out there. They are outright listening to what the customers want, and the more you want to buy the more of a train you can have. Leave Interesting suggestions and combinations below.

    For users waiting on other chipsets than Z170, such as H170, Q150, B150 and H110 will possess to wait until later in the year when Intel releases them. At this time, only Z170 is being launched.

    Finally, to cast a bit of a curveball in here, you will notice motherboard manufacturers advert to USB 3.1 in different ways. Specifically, some manufacturers will advert to the new USB 3.1 ports as ‘USB 3.1 Gen 2’, giving 10 Gbps bandwidth, and the older USB 3.0 ports as ‘USB 3.1 Gen 1’ for 5 Gbps bandwidth. This just makes everything confusing for the buyer, and they aren't fond of these shenanigans.

    USB Standards Standard Max Speed Alt. Name USB 2.0 480Mbps High Speed USB 3.0 5Gbps SuperSpeed USB 3.1 Gen 1 5Gbps SuperSpeed USB 3.1 Gen 2 10Gbps SuperSpeed+

    For the sake of simplicity, going forward they will subsist doing the following:

    USB 3.1 Gen 1 running at 5 Gbps will subsist referred to as USB 3.0USB 3.1 Gen 2 running at 10 Gbps will subsist referred to as to USB 3.1

    Although both Apple and MSI are using the Gen1/Gen2 terminology, they will hold it simple.

    Now we’ve gone through the platform in quick detail, here are the motherboards. Some of them they possess complete information on, others possess pictures snapped at various events prior to launch, and some are silent to subsist finalised. At ultimate signify I possess heard of at least 65 different Z170 models coming to market, differentiated by functionality, looks, software and implementation. In no particular order, here they go…

    The motherboard lines from ASRock Fall into three categories: overclocking (OC Formula), mainstream channel (Extreme, Pro) and gaming (Fatal1ty Gaming). ASRock is besides historically a motherboard manufacturer that likes to attain things a exiguous bit differently, trying out new combinations and designs regardless of widespread appeal. For the Z170 launch there are no serious surprises to commence with (like an Extreme11 with onboard LSI controller), but there are a few smaller configuration factor products in the mix.

    Motherboards with a + in the appellation will approach with a bundled USB 3.1 front panel adaptor suited for USB Type-C. This connector uses a SATA Express port and a USB header to give a panel that uses the ASMedia ASM1142 controller to a USB 3.1-C and USB 3.1-A. To subsist honest, this is quite clever – SATA Express as a criterion is practically departed as no products using it possess ever been released. As a result, ASRock has repurposed it for USB 3.1 use, allowing USB 3.1 ports on the front of the PC – a nice idea.

    ASRock Z170 OC Formula

    The sole overclocking motherboard to commence with will subsist the OC Formula. Typically ASRock besides launches a microATX version of this, but at this time they believe if one is coming, it may subsist coming out at a later date.

    The OC Formula will subsist an 8-layer motherboard sporting sixteen power phases with four DDR4 recollection slots supporting up to DDR4-3600 when overclocked. The motherboard looks set up for four-way graphics, although there is an apparent want of a PLX chip. This suggests that the PCIe lane allocation from the GPU is x16 for unique graphics and x8/x8 for dual graphics. The other two full-length PCIe slots, even from this image, scrutinize to possess fewer electrical pins in them for PCIe 3.0 x4 connections from the chipset.

    In the middle of the PCIe lanes are three M.2 slots, and they outright champion PCIe 3.0 x4 from the chipset and it would look to intimate that these are RST capable. If that is the case, that gives 12 lanes to M.2 and 8 lanes to PCIe slots, totalling up the 20 PCIe lanes of the chipset before they Get to USB 3.1 controllers, networking champion or the two extra PCIe 3.0 x1 slots onboard. This means that there is probably some limitation on the combination, or that one of the PCIe 3.0 x4 slots actually comes from the CPU, giving an x8/x4/x4 combination. My specification sheet lists quad-SLI support, although some manufacturers watch to disburse that to intimate dual-GPU graphics cards such as the GTX 690 in two slots. 3-way CFX is besides supported, although if these are PCIe 3.0 x4 slots from the chipset, I’m certain they can subsist used in CrossFire mode anyway.

    Audio is from an enhanced Realtek ALC1150 solution, giving the usual array of EMI shield, PCB separation, enhanced filter caps and others. Networking is from the Intel I219V, with a mini-PCIe slot above the first PCIe x16 slot for a WiFi card if needed. VGA output on this board is provided only by HDMI 1.4b and DP 1.2, with the focus of this board on discrete graphics. There’s a USB port sticking out on the perquisite hand side next to two USB 3.0 headers and another few ports on the rear. There is an ASMedia ASM1142 in play, giving a USB 3.1-A and USB 3.1-C on the rear panel. Storage is given by the aforementioned three M.2 slots, ten SATA 6 Gbps ports and three SATA Express capable arrangements. It will subsist Interesting to notice the block diagram when this board hits the shelves.

    ASRock Z170 Gaming K6+ ($200) / Z170 Gaming K6 ($185)

    The Gaming K6 and K6+ vary only by the bundled USB 3.1 panel, but at the time of launch are ASRock’s high terminate gaming motherboards. Four DDR4-3600 capable slots are paired with an x8/x4/x4 arrangement in the PCIe slots and a unique M.2 slot running in PCIe 3.0 mode. Video outputs approach from a DVI-D port, a HDMI 1.4b port and a DisplayPort 1.2.

    Much simpler than the OC Formula, they Get a pair of SATA Express ports (with the K6+, one can subsist used with the USB 3.1 front panel), eight SATA 6 Gbps ports and eight USB 3.0 ports split between a header, five rear ports and a Fatal1ty Mouse Port for older operating systems. The ASMedia ASM1142 is here as well, giving USB 3.1-A and USB 3.1-C ports on the rear panel.

    The Z170 Gaming K6 is designed to subsist the decendent of the Z97X Killer, ASRock’s high terminate gaming model for Z97. As allotment of that Gaming brand, it will approach with the new Killer E2400 network chip to optimize gaming traffic and the enhanced Realtek ALC1150 audio solution under Purity Sound 3.

    ASRock Z170 Gaming K4 ($146)

    The Gaming K4 is the lower cost gaming model in the line, reducing the board width dimensions and migrating the SATA ports to coming directly out of the motherboard. champion for four modules of DDR4-3500 is paired with an x16 or x8/x8 arrangement for graphics and a unique M.2 running at PCIe 3.0 x4 mode.

    By the looks of it, this motherboard might not possess SLI certification, helping hold costs down but aiming more for the unique NVIDIA or dual AMD user. Audio and networking match that of the K6 by having an enhanced Realtek ALC1150 solution paired with the new Killer E2400 network interface.

    The rear panel is less abundant than the others as well, featuring only a DVI-D and HDMI 1.4b for audio as well as six USB 3.0 ports. There is no USB 3.1 here – the Type-C port you notice on the rear IO is actually USB 3.0 only, similar to that on a Macbook.

    ASRock Z170 Extreme7+ ($240)

    The model from ASRock that they received for review at launch is the Z170 Extreme7+, showcasing the high terminate of their mainstream (aka ‘channel’) line of motherboards.

    The Extreme7+ will only subsist sold as a plus version, significance that each board will approach with that USB 3.1 front panel. The design of the Extreme7+ is besides a exiguous different to several of the others. The 12-phase power delivery and four slots of DDR4-3600 are familiar enough, but the PCIe layout needs a bit of explaining. The top replete length slot is x16, which is then followed by a PCIe 3.0 x4 from the chipset. Then they Get a PCIe 3.0 x8 from the CPU, and then a PCIe 3.0 x4 from the CPU as well. This technically gives an x8/x4/x4 arrangement from the processor, but with that chipset based slot in the middle between the main x8/x8, they can Get a two-card SLI configuration plus another replete length unique slot device between them without breaking SLI.

    To add something else into the mix, they again possess three M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 ports between the PCIe slots and a half-size mini-PCIe slot for a WiFi card. Storage, aside from the M.2, comes from ten SATA 6 Gbps ports which incorporates three SATA Express ports as well – one of which they can disburse with the USB 3.1 front panel bundled. If you scrutinize closely at the image above, one of these SATA Express ports sticks out of the board.

    For controllers, the Extreme7+ comes with dual networking in the configuration of an Intel I219-V and an Intel I211-AT, covering the modern Jacksonville controller and a cheaper model. The ASMedia ASM 1142 provides USB 3.1-A and USB 3.1C on the rear panel, and the system’s audio comes through the enhanced Realtek ALC1150 regime again. Elsewhere on the board they Get a total of eight USB 3.0 ports (2 headers, 4 rear), eight USB 2.0 ports (3 headers, 2 rear), a COM port, TPM and onboard buttons.

    ASRock Z170 Extreme6+ ($195) / Z170 Extreme6 ($180)

    As they sprint down from the Extreme7, inevitable features will subsist stripped but they should notice the identical basic board each time. With the Extreme6/6+, the middle PCIe 3.0 x4 slot from the chipset has gone, and they are down to a unique PCIe 3.0 based M.2 slot. Two of the SATA ports and subsequently a SATA Express is gone, specifically that odd one that was poking out of the motherboard. Only the I219-V network controller remains, but the audio is silent the ALC1150 solution. USB 3.1 is silent here with Type-A and Type-C connectors, although USB 2.0 has been ejected completely from the rear panel.

    ASRock’s goal with the Extreme6 is a more cost efficacious version of the Extreme platform while silent having at least one of each of the higher class (M.2 x4, USB 3.1, I219-V) functionality.

    ASRock Z170 Extreme4+ ($174) / Z170 Extreme4 ($155)

    The Extreme4 goes down a notch again, with two fewer SATA ports, two fewer power phases and a reduction in validated DRAM frequency from DDR4-3600 to DDR4-3500. ASRock is billing the Extreme4 as the cheapest motherboard with both SLI and USB 3.1 champion with the x8/x8 PCIe configuration as well as the ASMedia ASM1142 based USB 3.1-A and USB 3.1-C onboard.

    ASRock Z170 Pro4 ($118)

    The Pro line is designed to subsist ASRock’s more cost efficacious offerings. Here looks are less important, and fewer of the marketing tick-boxes are met in order to point these products at specific low-cost build regions.

    The Pro4 is billed as ASRock’s main motherboard for Z170 in the ATX configuration factor, intersecting price and feature set. The PCIe 3.0 x8/x8 configuration is not SLI capable, but there is a PCIe 3.0 x4 based M.2 in the middle for the migration to M.2 boot SSDs. There are silent six SATA 6 Gbps ports on board with two SATA Express capable combinations, and perhaps surprisingly networking comes from an Intel I219-V network controller. There is no USB 3.1 here, and audio uses the cheaper Realtek ALC892 codec with minor design enhancements.

    ASRock Z170 Pro4S ($105)

    The Pro4S takes the Pro4 and strips it completely of looks:

    The heatsinks are simpler, the chokes scrutinize simpler (probably the same), there is no rear IO cover, familiar CPU caps are used and the audio solution converts down to a half-jack. They silent possess outright the other features of the Pro4, namely an x8/x8 PCIe configuration, M.2 x4 in PCIe 3.0 mode, six SATA ports, an Intel I219-V network port and the ALC892 audio. The Pro4S will besides subsist available in a mini-ITX model.

    ASRock Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac

    Everyone loves a mini-ITX gaming motherboard, right? Even if it says Fatal1ty?

    Mini-ITX boards are notorious for getting things right, but ASRock has had a recede with this one to implement a number of features. Top of the list is probably USB 3.1, where they possess both Type-C and Type-A ports on the rear panel. The rear panel besides shows an 802.11ac 2T2R dual troupe WiFi connection, dual HDMI ports and a unique DisplayPort. Other networking is from the Intel I219V, while the half-width audio block comes from the higher terminate ALC1150 codec. My specifications sheet says there is a PCIe 3.0 x4 slot on board, and by the looks of it they would probably find it on the rear as the half-sized mini-PCIe slot is occupied by the WiFi card. There is a total of six SATA 6 Gbps ports on board with a SATA Express as well, and we’re silent in the realm of DDR4.

    ASRock Z170M Pro4S ($100)

    The Pro4S is designed to subsist the best cost/performance Z170 motherboard on the market, and the successor to the Z97M Anniversary – it does this by shedding a number of features. They are down to six-phase power with half-height heatsinks, a unique PCIe 3.0 x16 from the chipset and no USB 3.1. They silent Get a PCIe 3.0 x4 based M.2 slot due to the number of free lanes from the chipset, but there are no SATA Express here and only six SATA 6 Gbps slots. Networking comes from the Intel I219-V codec while audio is silent the ALC892 design. This board silent aims for DDR4 it should subsist noted.

    ASRock Z170M-ITX/ac

    The solitary mini-ITX board from ASRock being announced publicly is the Z170M-ITX/AC. Not quite certain why they exigency an M in the appellation with the ITX being there, but it must subsist said the board isn’t necessarily built for style:

    I’m certain that this board is more aligned with the Pro motherboards than the Extreme motherboards, namely due to the want of USB 3.1, but it does oddly enough possess dual network ports in the configuration of an Intel I219-V and the Realtek RTL8111E as well as an 802.11ac 2T2R dual troupe solution included, sitting upright in the mini-PCIe slot. Audio is provided by the ALC892 codec and a total of four SATA 6 Gbps ports are organize just past the DDR4 recollection slots. These ports are more or less annoying, significance that locking cables will easily block out the ultimate cable from being removed without removing outright others first.  There is an mSATA slot on board as well, and it would look to subsist on the rear similar to previous ASRock mini-ITX designs.

    The motherboard lines from ASUS possess historically been divided into the channel models (-K, -A, -Pro, -Deluxe), the TUF models (Sabertooth, Gryphon), the gaming/overclocking models from the Republic of Gamers (Extreme, Ranger, Gene, Hero) and a couple of others for specific markets, such as the Workstation line. With Z170 they notice the addition of a new line called Pro Gaming, which is a loose amalgamation of both the ROG and the channel lines for cost-sensitive markets. As allotment of the Z170 line, they besides notice ASUS taking odds of its 802.11ac tri-stream licencing on some models, and what looks fondness a highly engineered Maximus VIII Extreme model.

    I’d fondness to point out that the images that were circulating around the internet claiming to subsist the ASUS Z170-Pro from Computex possess been confirmed as duds on the basis that it was merely a Z97 Pro motherboard, X99 heatsinks, DDR3 recollection and a sticker on it that said ‘Z170-Pro’. ASUS did this in order to not give away any of its Z170 plans in advance. They pointed the fake motherboard out on the podcast in order to fuddle inevitable aspects of tech media (and it did), but it goes to demonstrate that examining a board a exiguous can recede a long route to actually determining what is going on.

    ASUS Z170-A

    The Z170-A motherboard is the one they possess received from ASUS to review, and their sources relate us that this is a board aimed at the $165 terminate of the market and thus fits in below the usual $200-battleground. ASUS has establish stress on style over the ultimate few generations, adjusting and changing the design with a variety of opinions as to the course. The X99-Deluxe in black and white has been one of the best received ASUS designs in recent memory, and thus ASUS has decided to expand on it with the main channel motherboards for Z170.

    The Z170-A attempts to recede for a bit of everything here. The design gives four DDR4-3400 slots with a PCIe 3.0 x8/x8 design from the CPU, with the ultimate PCIe slot being four PCIe 3.0 lanes from the chipset and sharing bandwidth with two of the SATA ports. For storage they Get six SATA ports, two of which are allotment of the SATA Express connector, and a PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot that besides supports SATA mode. Networking comes from the Intel I219-V controller while audio is from the Realtek ALC892 codec under the Crystal Sound 3 EMI shield.

    The rear panel sports outright four video connectors which will subsist more or less of a rarer design, and besides a pair of USB 3.1 ports from an ASMedia ASM1142 controller – here they Get one Type-A and one Type-C just below the network port. A number of ASUS features normally reside in the extra non-trivial functionality on the board, such as a TPU (Turbo Processing Unit) for overclocking and an EPU (Energy Processing Unit) as well as dedicated liquid cooler pump headers and replete DC/PWM fan header control support. ASUS has besides provided iterative updates to its software and BIOS functionality, bringing features such as Secure delete and GPU Post from previous higher terminate models more into the mid-range.

    ASUS Z170-Deluxe

    The Z170-Deluxe is a large step one up the list from the Z170-A, focusing a lot on connectable devices and coming in at an MSRP of $320, making it one of the more expensive Z170 options and eerily into X99 territory. From the rear panel shot above, they possess a total of six USB 3.1 ports, five of which are Type-A and one is Type-C, and these outright approach from three ASMedia ASM1142 controllers using the PCIe 3.0 lanes from the chipset. These are combined with the tri-stream 802.11ac dual-band WiFi, which is silent the best WiFi solution (in terms of academic throughput) you can currently Get integrated onto a motherboard. To complete the rear panel, cabled networking comes from the I219-V and I211-AT controllers and the audio is ASUS’s enhanced Realtek ALC1150 solution with EMI shields, PCB separation, filter caps, amplifiers and a new power pandemonium filter.

    As for the main motherboard design, they Get more heatsinks due to the beefier recollection over the Z170-A, and not to subsist confused there is not a PLX chip under that heatsink. This means there is only sixteen PCIe 3.0 lanes from the CPU to play with, which ASUS puts out in x8/x8 mode, leaving the final slot as a PCIe 3.0 x4 slot from the chipset. This allows users to possess two-way SLI along with another card in the final slot but drops three-way Crossfire champion direct from the CPU (3-way CFX should silent subsist feasible with the chipset based PCIe slot however).

    On this price of motherboard, it expected to Get power/reset buttons and a two-digit debug array but they besides Get a fan extension header if a user buys the fan add-in board separately. Storage comes from eight SATA 6 Gbps ports, with two being allotment of the SATA Express port and two via an ASM1061 controller. There is besides a PCIe 3.0 x4 slot below the chipset heatsink as well, next to the EZ XMP switch which should aid users enable the extreme recollection profile of their memory. In the motherboard box should besides subsist bundled a Hyper Kit, allowing the M.2 slot to besides act as a U.2 connection when users possess U.2 capable SSDs.

    ASUS Z170-WS

    At this point in time, they attain not possess much information regarding the workstation line from ASUS except the unique picture above and that the WS model is currently not ready for prime time but will hit the market at a slightly later date with replete information to come. If the picture above is accurate, it would look that this WS model is perquisite up there at the high terminate with what looks fondness an integrated PLX chip to enable quad-SLI mode using the CPU PCIe 3.0 lanes. (We approach to this conclusion given that the four PCIe slots champion x8/x8/x8/x8.) 

    Elsewhere on the motherboard worth noting as a U.2 connector attached directly to the side of the motherboard where the SATA connectors usually go. This is a progress I possess been suggesting since the launch of the Intel SSD 750, and I await to notice it slowly supplant the near-useless SATA Express ports they are currently seeing on most motherboards. Alongside the U.2, it would look that the WS will besides champion two M.2 slots in PCIe 3.0 mode. I would imagine that these storage options are outright located on the RST capable ports of the Flex IO hub on the chipset.

    From the rear panel they possess a pair of video outputs in the HDMI and DisplayPort with two USB 3.1 ports, although no mention of what is driving them – it could either subsist the ASM1142 but as this is the high terminate workstation board, I would not rule out an appearance from the Alpine Ridge controller either.  More information on the WS model when they Get it.

    ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming

    The Pro Gaming line from ASUS is new, trying to find a middle ground between users who are cost-conscious but want some of the features organize on the Republic of Gamers range. This usually means a focus on the internet café style of gaming, and I am told by ASUS that these models are mostly likely going to subsist region focused so you might not find them everywhere in the world. At this moment in time they possess heard of two Pro Gaming models coming to market, although they possess substantially more info on the bigger ATX version:

    The mountainous one is set to launch with an MSRP of $160, which actually comes within five dollars of the Z170-Pro and should subsist an Interesting counterpart given the focus here on the gaming aspects of the design. This means red and black, because apparently outright gaming is red and black, with SupremeFX audio (enhanced Realtek ALC1150 plus special software) and an Intel networking port. Gaming champion is via the x16 or x8/x8 configuration of the PCIe lanes, with the final PCIe slot being a PCIe 3.0 x4 for the chipset. This arrangement allows two-way SLI configurations while simultaneously using the bottom slot for another PCIe card.

    The Pro Gaming ATX model comes with USB 3.1-A and USB 3.1-C on the rear panel from an ASMedia ASM1142 controller, with storage in the configuration of an M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slot, six SATA 6 Gbps ports and a SATA Express port. Networking is via the Intel I219-V controller, although ASUS has most likely bundled the software package with network prioritization software to enhance gaming throughput.

    ASUS Z170i Pro Gaming

    The Mini-ITX version of the board is designed to distil the bigger model down into a 17cm square design, and according to the specification lists I possess will feature outright the champion of the one above but with an 802.11ac 2T2R WiFi module installed but lacking the competence for multi-GPU gaming. There are besides two fewer SATA ports, but my specification sheet silent lists the board as supporting an M.2 slot in PCIe 3.0 x4 mode.

    Before launch, the following image was doing the rounds on gregarious media and other technology websites:

    As far as they know, this image shows the four main motherboard models for ROG this chipset for launch. Normally the ROG line besides incorporates the Formula and the Impact, however if they are coming then they might notice them later this year, but at this point the Ranger and Hero are designed to fill in the lower cost brackets, the Gene in the smaller configuration factor segment and the Extreme for the high end.

    ASUS Maximus VIII Extreme (M8E)

    The Maximus VIII (eight) Extreme is designed to subsist sat at the top of the ROG stack, incorporating a lot of the high terminate features they might await on a Z170 motherboard and following in the theme of catering for both gamers and extreme overclockers alike. For now, this is the only proper image they possess of the board – it would look that ASUS is not ready to release it at this time, but it is coming and these are the features they should await on it.

    The extended heatsink around the power delivery is there to attain its regular job of poignant heat away, but I can validate here that this is not hiding a PLX chip for the PCIe lanes. The power delivery is designed to subsist enhanced to win reliance of whatever extreme overclockers cast at it, and in previous generations most sub-zero overclockers float towards boards fondness the Extreme as a result. On the high plane features, the PCIe slots are arranged to give x16, x8/x8 or x8/x4/x4 from the processor and another PCIe 3.0 x4 from the chipset which will afford two card SLI and four card CFX modes. Extra power for the PCIe slots is provided by the molex at the bottom of the board.

    For overclocking there is an OC zone in the top right, featuring what looks fondness voltage points, an LN2 switch, PCIe disable switches, voltage read points and a myriad of buttons for various options. There is besides a Pro Clock IC in the middle of the board which, as far as I understand, allows a finer granularity when it comes to CPU frequency adjustments. The Chipset heatsink has an embedded RGB LED in the appellation of style, and sits above a PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot.

    Aside from the M.2 slot, storage comes from eight SATA 6 Gbps ports, four ports of which win allotment in the two SATA Express ports, and they Get the U.2 connector as they saw on the WS model on the previous page. On the left hand side of the board, the gaming section of the audience Get an upgraded SupremeFX audio solution with an integrated DAC, de-pop relay, suitable headphone output ranges and outright the usual stuff that goes into an enhanced ALC1150 design. Networking comes via the Intel I219-V controller, and four USB 3.1 ports are present in the configuration of three 3.1-A and a unique 3.1-C.

    Pricing and exact release of the Extreme is silent to subsist announced.

    ASUS Maximus VIII Gene (M8G)

    The Gene is ASUS’s micro-ATX gaming option, and I’m cheerful they Get one here given that X99 went without. When the board goes smaller, it gets slightly more difficult to proper everything on, and compared to the Extreme it is safe to train that the other motherboards in the line focus a exiguous more on gaming but approach with as many overclocking utilities as feasible as well. Hardware-wise they possess champion for x16 or x8/x8 graphics combinations, the SupremeFX audio solution and the Intel I219-V network controller. USB 3.1 comes via the usual A+C combination, which I’m certain at this point after writing about 20-odd motherboards is going to become the criterion on any board that has USB 3.1.

    The chipset heatsink has an embedded red LED in it, and sits next to the six SATA 6 Gbps ports which besides house two SATA Express ports. They besides Get the M.2 slot in the middle of the board, supporting PCIe 3.0 x4.

    ASUS Maximus VIII Hero (M8H)

    {gallery 4479}

    The Hero sits above the Ranger and arguably acts as the ‘Gene in ATX’ configuration below what is commonly the Formula model. This means a similar set of characteristics to the Gene, such as the PCIe arrangement, USB 3.1, networking and video outputs. The Hero goes above the Gene in the sense that they Get an RGB LED in the chipset heatsink, two extra SATA ports to play with and the extended shield across the audio and rear panel in order to enhance the aesthetic.

    ASUS Maximus VIII Ranger (M8R)

    The Ranger fills in at the bottom of the ROG stack, but silent comes with a number of vital features. If anything, it seems to mirror the Hero without the large rear panel shield, disburse a different style of power delivery chokes and comes without an RGB LED in the chipset. Avid onlookers will notice the adjustment of the reset button to a simpler design and two fewer SATA ports as well.

    Followers of the motherboard industry will recognize that MSI has been on a gaming fling as of late. Almost everything out of MSI that ends in the hands of universal consumers is in some route allotment of the Gaming brand, and each generation it seems to grow and grow. MSI’s win on Z170 besides exhibits some major changes, wherein almost every motherboard has ‘gaming’ in the title. It would besides look that the OC Certified line of overclocking motherboards from MSI has been merged into the Gaming brand, so what was once the XPower now becomes the XPower Gaming Titanium Edition. MSI is besides changing up the styling a exiguous as well, experimenting with different colors and a wide scope of RGB applications on several models.

    MSI Z170A Gaming M9 ACK

    At the top of the line sits the M9 ACK. MSI’s Gaming number scheme is going to fuddle a number of people because in this instance, M does not intimate micro-ATX as it does on other models. MSI is merely using it to differentiate between other manufacturers that besides disburse the ‘Gaming’ nomenclature by implying that this M is for ‘Master’. But the ACK allotment of the appellation refers to the disburse of a Killer E2400 network port with the Killer 1535 802.11ac 2T2R dual troupe WiFi, both of which can subsist used in tandem for directing prioritized network traffic selected in software and promoting UDP transfers.

    The Gaming M9 ACK takes things a exiguous differently to the familiar motherboard implementation. The power delivery heatsink doubles up as an air and water cooling solution whereby the user fits their barbs into the block. The PCIe layout besides shows these two silvery bits over the slots – these are meant to subsist slot protectors. According to some manufacturers, slots possess been destroyed when putting in weighty graphics cards and then transporting the system (in one case, they saw images which referred to TSA breaking a system in order to scrutinize at suspicious parts because they didn’t lnow how to win out the graphics cards). The purpose of these ‘steel armor’, or so MSI calls it, is to preclude the PCIe slots warping in this instance.

    The PCIe layout gives x8/x8 arrangement in the steel slots with a PCIe 3.0 x4 in the middle which seems to approach from the chipset. Above both of the steel slots is an M.2 slot in PCIe 3.0 x4 mode which both act as the storage hub alongside six SATA 6 Gbps ports and two SATA Express ports. Perhaps more or less surprisingly, the three unique PCIe 3.0 x1 slots on the board are outright open ended, allowing for larger PCIe cards when needed.

    The nib on the bottom perquisite of the front of the motherboard should besides subsist pointed out. Previously MSI used the term ‘OC Genie’ to advert to their one-button automatic overclock system. After years of requests, MSI has finally upgraded it to a multi-stage overclocking utility, this time using a twist dial that sequentially raises the CPU frequency and voltage. In fact, this one goes up to 11 – literally.

    The rear panel shows the dual stream Killer WiFi along with a gaming port, a BIOS Flashblack slot, a USB 3.1-A, a USB 3.1-C and video outputs via the Displayport and HDMI. It’s worth noting here that the USB 3.0 ports and the USB 3.1 ports are both red, making it more or less confusing. To design matters worse, MSI uses the USB 3.1 Gen1/2 terminology on its datasheets – to clarify, ‘USB 3.1 Gen 1’ is technically USB 3.0 whereas ‘Gen 2’ is actually USB 3.1.

    The M9 ACK is meant to subsist the flagship motherboard for covering MSI’s new audio relationship with Nahimic audio. As a result this means they Get an upgraded CMedia CM6632 audio processor solution paired with an ‘Xtreme Audio DAC’. I’m certain when the board comes out they will notice exactly what that means, but it’s worth noting that the EMI covering over the audio segment of the motherboard goes quite far down and around the bottom. This is because the M9 ACK comes with a rear stiffened panel to aid with motherboard rigidity:

    I am told that the MSI Gaming M9 ACK will possess a UK MSRP of £320. win away tax and transmogrify to USD gives $415, making it one of the most expensive Z170 motherboards.

    MSI Z170A Gaming M7

    We’ve had the Gaming M7 in for testing for over a week, despite initially getting what seemed fondness a dodgy sample that was more an early defect than anything serious. But the styling goes forth and continues with the MSI Gaming dragon and rear IO panel cover. Similar to the M9 ACK they Get two lively PCIe slots and another PCIe 3.0 x4 from the chipset.

    The M.2 slots here are almost a headache to toil out, but basically one is M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 enabled and the other is SATA only, except when a SATA M.2 is used it will disable a pair of SATA ports on the board. This system could possess been made simpler by just using four lanes from the chipset on each of the M.2 slots, but this is the direction MSI decided to use.

    The Gaming M7 besides comes with the Killer E2400 NIC, but this time the regular Realtek ALC 1150 audio solution is used. USB 3.1-A and 3.1-C ports are on the rear, but similarly to the M9 they are colored red and match the USB 3.0 ports. Current pricing puts the M7 at £180 in the UK, which translates as $230 stateside.

    MSI Z170A Gaming M5

    Moving though down the M5 and more features Get exchanged for simpler implementations. The rear panel cover is gone and they are reduced from two HDMI ports with a DP to a HDMI/DVI-D combination. USB 3.1-A and 3.1-C are silent here and provided by the ASMedia ASM1142, with the Killer E2400/Realtek ALC1150 combo silent in play. The auto-overclock dial is now cone too, along with power/reset buttons. Other users will notice the power delivery has been dialed back as well, but the M.2 combination implementation is silent present.

    The M5 should possess an MSRP of £150/$195.

    MSI Z170A Gaming M3

    The Gaming M3 is the current bottom of the Gaming Master line. Here they possess a unique PCIe 3.0 x16 paired with a PCIe 3.0 x4 from the chipset which gives CrossFire champion only when using two discrete cards. The network solution is silent the Killer E2400, and they silent possess a unique PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot above the PCIe slots. USB 3.1 is moved to two Type-A slots, with no Type-C here. Users will note the disburse of PCI slots, supplied by an ASMedia bridge chip for legacy applications. Yes, some users/companies silent possess expensive hardware that requires PCI control.

    MSI Z170A Gaming Pro

    The Pro, despite the name, is one of the cheapest MSI Gaming based motherboards coming between the M3 and the M5. Here you will notice a strip down the perquisite hand side and slightly different styled heatsinks – this is because the Pro is engineered for MSI’s ‘Mystic Light’. This is a fancy marketing appellation for LED lighting on the perquisite hand side which promises 16.5 million color resolution, 8 LED effects and for it outright to subsist controllable via an application.

    Other functionality is given as x8/x8 PCIe configurations for SLI, although their documentation is not pellucid if that final PCIe slot is x4 from the CPU or the chipset which could possess repercussions for SLI when the final slot is in use. Networking on this model is given by the Intel I219-V network controller, audio via the Realtek ALC1150 and two USB 3.1 Type-A ports on the rear panel from an ASMedia ASM1142.

    MSI Z170A XPower Gaming Titanium Edition

    Everyone remembers when MSI’s overclocking scope of motherboards were yellow, right? Well how about if they turned a silvery gleam? Welcome to Skylake, because MSI has you covered.

    The XPower Gaming Titanium Edition (XPGT for short) is one of those products trying to crash new areas of aesthetics. Some will fondness it, some will not – as far as they can tell, the design itself has exiguous sequel on actual levels of performance, but this is an XPower allotment of the line-up, significance it is MSI’s more overclocking (and extreme overclocking) focused model. As a result, and to recede with the name, the power delivery uses many Titanium chokes, they Get a potential 4-way CrossFire using CPU and PCH lanes, and the OC panel has changed a just bit.

    The OC Dashboard is designed to attach to the motherboard in the top perquisite and give the OC buttons needed, such as power/reset, foundation frequency/multiplier adjustments, a replete system reset, snappy boot and a leisurely mode switch. For users that don’t exigency it, it should subsist able to subsist left off.

    Along with the matching steel armor on the PCIe slots they Get two M.2 slots which according to my schematics can both subsist used in PCIe 3.0 x4 mode at the identical time, although each one will lose you two SATA ports. It seems slightly odd that these are outright made dependent when Z170 has enough chipset lanes to recede around, but this is what MSI has done.

    USB 3.1 on the rear panel comes in the configuration of two Type-A ports from the ASMedia ASM1142 controller, while networking duties are configuration the Intel I219-V and audio is an enhanced Realtek ALC1150 solution.

    Pricing for the XPGT is set for £240, or $310 in the US.

    MSI Z170A Krait Gaming

    The Krait line from MSI initially started as just a simple white on black theme, but then to a inevitable degree developed a following, a snake head logo and now gets merged into MSI’s Gaming line fondness everything else. Typically the Krait appellation is reserved for a cheaper ATX motherboard that supports SLI, and here they possess that without USB 3.1 and only two video outputs. There is an M.2 slot that runs in PCIe 3.0 x4 mode, as well as an Intel I219-V network controller and a Realtek ALC1150 audio codec.

    Pricing for the Z170 Krait Gaming should approach in at £125/$162.

    MSI Z170A-G45 Gaming – image from TechPowerUp

    The Z170A-G45 Gaming is actually a minor variant on the Gaming M5 with a slightly different arrangement for the voltage read points and a unique USB 3.1-C rather than two USB 3.1-A ports. The G45 version besides seems to possess a VGA on the rear panel, but apart from that it looks pretty much the identical from a design standpoint.

    The M5 was set around $195, so I’d imagine this to subsist similar.

    MSI Z170A-G43

    We saw the Z170A-G43 at Computex, which (like the G45 seems) to subsist a slight variant from the Gaming M line. This time the G43 seems to align with the M3 with a slightly different SATA arrangement, a different aesthetic, and I’d imagine given the design it should subsist using either the Intel I219-V or the Realtek network ports. Similar to the previous board, the G45 besides seems to subsist equipped with a VGA port but similar to the M3, this board does not look to champion SLI giving a unique PCIe 3.0 x16 from the CPU and then a PCIe 3.0 x4 from the chipset.

    MSI Z170A PC Mate

    MSI’s PC Mate line is a exiguous bit of an oddball here, not being given the Gaming name. That is because it sits more in that internet café style of system or bulk office ATX design. This means sunder PS/2 connectors on the rear panel, the three most common VGA outputs, a unique M.2 x4 slot, two USB 3.1-A ports on the rear (the ones on the right), a basic audio codec (looks fondness ALC892) and a Realtek network controller. The PC Mate motherboard, despite being in the Z170 plane of motherboards, is more designed to design a non-overclocking CPU blissful with a set of basic functionality to satisfy users who don’t actually own the PC they are working on.

    As with most mainstream chipset launches, GIGABYTE is giving the market a thick coating in every price troupe to suit the needs of as many users as possible. They possess information on 18 sunder GIGABYTE models coming to market, and know of several more they cannot talk about yet. Having spoken to GIGABYTE in recent years, their goal is pellucid – some markets around the world possess different focal points. This means that some might reject anything with a VGA port, or that micro-ATX with two DRAM slots is a must. Whatever you need, GIGABYTE wants to provide it. outright this being said, not outright models terminate up in outright markets – some are specifically targeted for inevitable regions as a result. For some models of GIGABYTE motherboards, inevitable regions will subsist allotment of a Heroes of the Storm bundling deal with extra in-game benefits.

    GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming G1 - MSRP $499

    Sitting at the top of the Gaming line is the G1, trying to cater by providing as much of everything on the motherboard as possible. After poignant away from the previous green style of gaming, GIGABYTE has combined the red/black of other gaming brands and added in a large amount of white with angled accents and a distinctive font.

    There are many things to cover here. Firstly, the Gaming G1 seems to subsist using what looks fondness a 16+4+2 phase power delivery making it one of the largest VRM packages on sale for Z170. Given GIGABYTE’s past, I would assume that these are designs from International Rectifier, which attain not approach cheap but can provide 50A/60A depending on the exact model used. Over that power delivery is the combination heatsink arrangement, stretching over the motherboard but besides has a combined air/water cooling pipe as well to allow for both types of cooling. The heatsink connector in the middle is covering a PLX chip which allows four-way SLI in the PCIe slots with x8/x8/x8/x8 support. As mentioned in the EVGA coverage, this is a more expensive chip than that used on Z77 due to the new owners.

    The PCIe slots possess metal shielding, and I would imagine that MSI and GIGABYTE will contest who came up with the blueprint first. There are major parallels between GIGABYTE and MSI’s high terminate boards this year - both possess PCIe shields, both possess air/water combination cooling, both possess RGB LED implementations and sunder space for RGB LEDs, both are using Killer combination networking and both are using non-standard audio. Here on the Gaming G1, GIGABYTE is using the Creative Sound Blaster ZxRi solution with a Burr-Brown 127 dB DAC and three user-upgradable OP-AMPs along with the regular upgraded design on the high terminate stuff.

    For USB 3.1, GIGABYTE would look to possess an initial exclusive of Intel’s Alpine Ridge controller. This is a four-lane PCIe controller that supports replete quicken on two USB 3.1 ports as well as Power Delivery 2.0 champion (up to 36W) on Type-C connectors. For the G1, they Get a Type-A and a Type-C here. With HDMI 2.0 champion through Alpine Ridge, we’re at a bit of a conundrum here – on the board in white letters it explicitly states HDMI 2.0, but zilch of the marketing materials from GIGABYTE I possess actually disburse it in any as a marketable point. So we’re unsure if it is indeed HDMI 2.0 capable, what standard, if this is via the AR controller or if this is a sunder LS-Pcon. Then again, this is a motherboard designed for discrete gaming cards rather than integrated graphics.

    Edit: They can validate that HDMI 2.0 is via a sunder LS-PCon, although it will exigency a future firmware update before it can subsist used.

    On the networking side, GIGABYTE pairs two Killer network ports with a Killer 802.11ac 2T2R dual troupe WiFi module as allotment of Killer’s ‘DoubleShot X3 Pro’ branding. Similar to other multi-Killer solutions, the branding here is to funnel inevitable types of web traffic down different connections.

    Storage is supplied by two M.2 slots between the PCIe connectors, both of which flee at PCIe 3.0 x4 and Intel RST for RAID modes. Along with this, there are ten SATA ports as well as three SATA Express connectors, although it would look that SATA Express is departed in the water. The usual other GIGABYTE features apply such as DualBIOS, a water-pump fan header, and new to the G1 is the G-Connector to aid with those awkward front panel connectors.

    Some users might recall that for Z97, GIGABYTE introduced its ambient LED for the rear panel shield. For Z170 this moves onto the heatsink arrangement and some of the board separation traces, allowing several different RGB modes and colors. For users who just want a PC rather than a light show, it can outright subsist switched off as well.

    With a PLX chip, Alpine Ridge, outright those power phases and extra options, the Gaming G1 will sit at the top of GIGABYTE’s product stack, if not top of them all. $500 is a lot for Z170.

    GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming GT - MSRP $299

    The GT scales back a number of features from the G1, namely the LEDs section near the DRAM slots, the PLX chip, the new Creative codec and the combination air/water cooling arrangement. They silent possess most of the power delivery as well as the Alpine Ridge controller giving Type-A and Type-C ports for USB 3.1 on the rear, the Killer networking (only one, with Intel I219V as well) and the previous high-end Creative audio solution. For audio, the upgraded philosophy silent remains also, including replaceable OP-AMPs and DAC-UP USB ports.

    For PCIe arrangements, GIGABYTE has used the criterion PCIe 3.0 x8/x4/x4 arrangment which affords dual-SLI and tri-CrossFire, although placing a card in the bottom slot will disable SLI due to NVIDIA’s 8-lane requirement per card.  There is silent an RGB element to the heatsink similar to the G1, and storage comes through dual M.2 x4 slots and eight SATA ports.

    GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 7 - MSRP $219

    The Gaming 7 returns to a numbering system to limn features, and for outright intents and purposes this is a near carbon copy of the GT but using a different power delivery system with what seems fondness the 60A IR chokes and a fewer number of phases overall. There are besides fewer user adjustable switches for features on the bottom, but the main ones are silent present.

    GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 5 - MSRP $170

    The Gaming 5 ditches the rear IO cover and dials down the audio to the more common Realtek ALC1150 upgraded solution. Power delivery arrangements look similar to the Gaming 7, although the heatsink design has been changed due to that rear panel. They silent possess two network ports, one Killer and one Intel I219-V, and the USB 3.1 ports are here silent being provided by the Intel controller. There is no marking of HDMI 2.0 support, suggesting that it has been removed to meet the price point. Dual M.2 x4 slots and six SATA ports for storage are present, as well as x8/x4/x4 lane arrangements for graphics cards.

    GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 3 - MSRP - $160

    The Gaming 3 moves to a unique Killer network port, and brings back DVI-D/VGA connectors to the rear panel due to only having six USB ports there. GIGABYTE has stuck with the triple-SATA Express implementation, this time flanked by six SATA ports and slightly less styling on the heatsinks. The Gaming 3 typically aims for that market where tri-Crossfire silent can play a role on a motherboard in a more cost-conscious bracket.

    GIGABYTE Z170X-SOC Force

    We’ve tracked GIGABYTE’s overclocking motherboards over the years, and interviewed motherboard product manager Jackson Hsu at the height of the Z87X-SOC launch when they were selling SOC motherboards quicker than they could subsist made. GIGABYTE tends to design anywhere from one to three overclocking models, including an ‘everything’ board and a ‘stripped’ version for extreme overclockers. At this point, the ‘everything’ board is the one being focused on.

    We don’t possess much information about the SOC oblige at this time, but it is pellucid that the oblige and the G1 are both aiming for the high terminate of their markets respectively. Similar to the G1 the power delivery heatsink is an air/water combination that stretches around the board. The SOC oblige besides has a 16+4+2 phase power arrangement, and under that second heatsink is besides a PLX chip to allow for four-way SLI with x8/x8/x8/x8. The PCIe slots are besides shielded to preclude damage, and between the slots are four sunder M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slots.

    The SOC oblige as a gross moves into the E-ATX configuration factor, expanding to the perquisite due to the OC Panel next to the DRAM slots. In an update to the design, rather than the previous array of buttons on the PCB they now possess a cover with a large number of options beside it still. These options are for the extreme overclocking crowd, and no doubt GIGABYTE will subsist trying to challenge for records for the longevity of the platform.

    The expanded PCB helps other features to proper on, such as the 8 SATA ports with the tri-SATA Express arrangement similar to the Gaming motherboards. For USB 3.1, the SOC oblige has a Type-C and a Type-A on the rear panel, though at this time it is unclear if they are using the ASMedia ASM1142 or the Intel Alpine Ridge controller. The network controller is the Intel I219-V, escaping the clutches of the Killer line.

    GIGABYTE has previously loved to play in the cheap overclocking space for mainstream platforms, and although they don’t possess any information on a sub-$200 product coming, I would subsist surprised if one was not in the works.

    GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5 - MSRP $190

    GIGABYTE’s regular home-build motherboards configuration the Ultra Durable line, coming with a designation from UD3 to UD9. At this point in time only the UD3 and UD5 possess been announced, and both scrutinize more fondness run-of-the-mill motherboards compared to their gaming counterparts. The styling is less garish with fewer custom LEDs or loud colors. That being said, both of them possess similar hardware arrangements to the gaming line with the gaming parts replaced.

    As a result, the UD5 here has a double Intel network solution, an enhanced Realtek ALC1150 audio orientation and criterion three-way graphics champion via x8/x4/x4. The PCIe shields are here by virtue of their disburse in actually supporting the PCIe slot rather than a gaming function. GIGABYTE is silent using the Alpine Ridge controller for the USB 3.1 ports, here giving a USB 3.1-C and a unique USB 3.1-A. There is no HDMI 2.0 on the UD5.

    Storage comes via eight SATA ports, three SATA Express ports and the two M.2 slots in the middle of the board that flee at replete PCIe 3.0 x4 bandwidth. Given the UD5’s positioning, they might notice it being bundled with an M.2 to U.2 converter – or if a UD7 comes out later, it might subsist added there.

    GIGABYTE Z170X-UD3 - MSRP $165

    The UD3 removes the PCIe metal shielding and dials down the heatsink styling again to a more reserved black and slightly gold look. They sprint down to a unique network port, two fewer SATA ports and supplant the DisplayPort with a VGA connector, but hold dual M.2 slots, the Alpine Ridge based USB 3.1 A+C combination and an x8/x4/x4 PCIe arrangement. The audio is besides silent GIGABYTE’s upgraded Realtek ALC1150 solution.

    GIGABYTE Z170XP-SLI - MSRP $150

    There besides tends to subsist a model at the bottom of the Ultra Durable stack specifically for SLI. While not called ‘UD’ by name, the Z170XP-SLI carries the branding:

    The Z170XP-SLI is the UD3 with even less styling on the power delivery, namely because the power delivery is dialed back for fewer phases. One of the internal PCIe 3.0 x1 slots besides changes to a PCI slot by route of a bridge chip. This besides seems to subsist the point where GIGABYTE changes to the ASMedia ASM1142 controller for USB 3.1 ports, and providing the A+C combination as before.

    GIGABYTE Z170-D3H ($115) / Z170-HD3 ($115) / Z170-HD3P ($125)

    The leisure of the channel line they possess information on focuses on the ‘3’ allotment of the product line, and as such aims for foundation functionality of the chipset with a few added extras with each appellation suggesting a different added feature that the others attain not have. In this case, the D3H has an upgraded audio and Intel network controller while the other two possess Realtek, and the HD3 is the one without USB 3.1 from the ASMedia controller. outright three of these boards possess a unique PCIe 3.0 x16 and typically an x1 or x4 from the chipset, significance that SLI will not toil on them.

    GIGABYTE Z170MX-Gaming 5

    Moving back to the gaming line and they Get a couple of models in smaller configuration factors. The MX naming here implies a micro-ATX design.

    Here they Get what is technically an x8/x4/x4 arrangement, although two-way graphics solutions will typically block the third slot. The PCIe slots Get the metal shielding, but due to the want of space the M.2 slot is now between the PCIe and the chipset – this M.2 runs at PCIe 3.0 x4 for replete bandwidth. The styling on the motherboard is similar to that seen on the Gaming 3, which means no rear panel cover but the red/black/white motifs are silent present on the heatsinks.

    The Alpine Ridge controller is in play here for the USB 3.1 A+C port combinations on the rear panel, while networking duties are through the gaming-focused Killer E2400 network controller. Realtek provides the ALC1150 audio in GIGABYTE’s enhanced solution, with an upgradable OP-AMP as allotment of the design.  Storage extends from the M.2 mentioned before to six SATA 6 Gbps ports that are split into pairs for the three SATA Express configurations.

    GIGABYTE Z170N-Gaming 5

    Marching into the mini-ITX arena for the gaming scope is the Z170N-Gaming 5, with a heatsink/heatpipe arrangement that looks a exiguous different than normal. The power delivery is adjusted too as a result. Functionality here by virtue of the wee size extends to a Killer network port as well as the Intel 802.11ac 2T2R dual troupe AC-8260, Intel’s 3rd generation AC adapter which besides supports Bluetooth 4.2. For such a wee motherboard they besides Get the Alpine Ridge controller providing the usual USB 3.1 A+C combination, and it’s worth noting that the power connectors are on the outside of the motherboard which should design it easier to install than some previous GIGABYTE motherboards.

    GIGABYTE Z170M-D3H - MSRP ($115)

    The Z170M-D3H is aimed at being just the micro-ATX version of the Z170-D3H, with the focus being a few added features over the regular chipset integration. Surprisingly they Get a pair of PCI ports from a bridge chip here, but the PCIe slots are given by a PCIe 3.0 x16 from the CPU and a PCIe 3.0 x4 from the chipset. Another four PCH lanes recede to the M.2 slot in the middle, with six SATA ports / three SATA Express ports besides included in the storage aspect of the motherboard. There is no USB 2.1 here, relying purely on USB 3.0. Networking uses the Intel I219-V and audio from the Realtek solution.

    GIGABYTE Z170N-WIFI

    The Z170N-WIFI follows a line of N-WIFI boards from GIGABYTE that has gone back several generations. The point here is to design something that fits in similar to the Z170N-Gaming 5 but under that on the Ultra Durable line and that costs a exiguous bit less. So while there are no power delivery heatsinks to talk of there are dual Intel I219-V network ports as well as the Intel AC-8260 dual troupe wireless card. Audio is an upgraded relatek solution and an ASMedia controller gives USB 3.1 A+C. GIGABYTE historically gives this board dual HDMI ports, and they Get them here in 1.4b form. 

    When you mention a consumer motherboard, the appellation Supermicro does not roar loud from the rooftops. Supermicro is more commonly associated in the server industry with a large chunk of market partake for providing enterprise platforms that power a number of industries and government departments. Technically they possess had consumer motherboard products now for a couple of years, sticking with a low number of models to test the waters. Supermicro relies more on the appellation of the brand and the engineer expertise in the server space to carry their product forward. For Z170, they possess informed me that at this point two models are in the works although there are some final decisions to subsist made particularly about coloring and style, so the following pictures may not limn final product.

    Supermicro C7Z170-SQ

    The SQ is the ATX model, with Supermicro using the red and black color scheme of other Gaming lines to apply it to their own brand.

    Here is what looks fondness a mid-range motherboard sporting an x8/x4/x4 PCIe 3.0 layout in red with x4/x1/x1 in the other black slots from the chipset. The PCIe layout is slightly different to other mainstream boards by virtue of the M.2 slot above them which operates in PCIe 3.0 x4 mode. Because of the arrangement, it means they possess a sub-optimal PCIe card placement for dual GPU setups, whereby the top two red PCIe lanes are used which does not leave a ventilation gap which is usually vital in a consumer design.

    In terms of hardware support, they Get six SATA ports, a unique USB 3.1 Type-C port on the rear panel due to an ASMedia ASM1142 controller, an Intel I219-V network port and a Realtek ALC1150 audio solution. Unlike some other boards they Get a couple of server features, such as TPM and SATA DOM, as well as outright five fan headers on board being 4-pin. It will subsist Interesting to notice how Supermicro has developed its BIOS and software especially in light of the inflexible competition of the regular consumer motherboard manufacturers in this area

    Supermicro C7Z170-M

    The M is for micro-ATX, and it looks fondness Supermicro is aiming at something more for the cost conscious user here:

    For graphics there is a unique PCIe 3.0 x16 slot and no second slot fondness other micro-ATX motherboards for a second card. Instead they Get a fixed with PCIe 3.0 x4 slot and a PCIe x1 slot for first-rate measure. Other functionality is similar to that of the replete sized motherboard with six SATA ports, an Intel I219-V for network, a Realtek ALC1150 audio codec and an M.2 slot running in PCIe 3.0 x4 mode. Where the micro-ATX differs is in the power delivery heatsinks and this time the USB 3.1 capabilities possess shifted from a unique Type-C to two Type-A ports.

    At this point pricing for these boards is unknown but a sample of the C7Z170-SQ just came in through the door. They will subsist testing it in due course.

    Over the past few generations of EVGA motherboards, one of the goals has been to emulate the success they achieved during the X58 motherboard era. At that time, the motherboards were highly praised for their overclocking prowess for what was (and silent is) a relatively wee motherboard manufacturer. EVGA’s historic strengths fib in their legions of fans and a typical expectation that in most of their mountainous markets, they will territory the warranty issues rather than the retailer. Z170, fondness the others, brings on the EVGA wind in the three regular segments.

    EVGA Z170 Classified

    Aimed at the simple high end, the EVGA Classified might subsist the most expensive Z170 board on the market. Here they possess used a unique PLX 8747 chip under that middle heatsink to provide x8/x8/x8/x8 bandwidth to the PCIe slots. Using a PLX 8747 chip on a mid-range motherboard is not new, it was outright the rage back in Z77, but what makes it different here is that the company that manufactures the chip has changed hands and now focuses on the enterprise market. As a result, the costs of such a chip are seemingly doubled overnight, making it an unenticing prospect for the consumer market. Nonetheless, EVGA is aiming for an overclocking motherboard with Quad-SLI champion and here it is.

    Alongside the extensive heatsink configuration to aid both the power delivery and that PLX chip, EVGA equips the board with dual network controllers (I219-V and I210-AT), a Creative Sound Core3D audio solution, two USB 3.1-A ports on the rear panel, an M.2 slot running in PCIe 3.0 x4 mode, seven 4-pin PWM fan headers, triple BIOS support, EZ voltage read points and the onboard readout will output the temperature when in the operating system.

    EVGA Z170 FTW

    The FTW follows a similar design pattern to the classified in terms of hardware layout, but reduces it outright down into a more cost efficacious market. As a result the PLX chip is gone, the power delivery heatsink arrangement is reduced, a number of the OC features are lifted off and other connectivity is reduced. The unique network port is an Intel I219-V, there is no USB 3.1 and they possess the foundation six SATA ports from the chipset. They silent hold the M.2 based off of the PCIe 3.0 x4 bandwidth, but the PCIe slots only champion up to x8/x4/x4 with the final slot being an x1. This seems a exiguous odd, given how many PICe lanes the chipset can use.

    EVGA Z170 Stinger

    The Stinger is the mini-ITX solution, keeping the line alive after several generations. Taking on board previous comments, the power connectors are now on the outside of the DRAM slots or at the top of the motherboard, along with the vital front panel connectors. There seems to subsist enough space around the CPU slot for larger air coolers, although the SATA connector placement will subsist a nightmare when locking cables and large PCIe cards are used. EVGA does list the Stinger as having a 10-layer PCB, which might design it one of the mini-ITX motherboards with the most layers, although this just makes the design of the board easier and pushes up cost. Similar to the FTW, they don’t Get USB 3.1 on this model with only an Intel I219-V network port and Realtek audio. 

    Despite rumors of ECS leaving the motherboard market first being widespread, refuted and then that refutation ignored, they are in constant contact with the team at ECS USA and they were more than blissful to contend a few of their upcoming motherboards for the Z170 chipset. ECS’ fortunes in the consumer motherboard market is actually to the tune of several million a year, but above the foundation cheap designs in Asia there has been not so much of a push into North America or Europe. For the couple of years ECS has been introducing its’ L33T (‘leet’) brand for gaming, although the umbrage might subsist wearing a bit thin for some as the naming might not necessarily gel with anyone over 14. Nonetheless, the ECS Z170 motherboards came to their attention at Computex due to their disburse of the new Realtek Dragon 8118AS network controller which aims to compete in the identical space as the Rivet Network’s Killer offering for gaming and network traffic prioritization.

    ECS Z170 Claymore

    At the front is the ATX offering, called the Claymore. Unfortunately not in Scots colors, but the universal black theme I am told is so that the Claymore can integrate more easily into many different builds. Aside from the Realtek Dragon 8118AS network controller, ECS goes outright out with the PCIe slots offering a combination of x8/x4/x4 from the CPU as well as a couple of others from the chipset – these are mostly likely x1 or x4, or may partake bandwidth.

    In the middle of the PCIe slots is an M.2 port, although for some reason this only supports M.2 in PCIe 2.0 x2 mode for PCIe based storage. Given how many lanes are available on the Z170 chipset, it makes me phenomenon why it is not using a replete PCIe 3.0 x4. Nevertheless they besides Get six SATA ports with two bundled with a SATA Express port. Audio comes from the Realtek ALC1150, and USB 3.1-A ports on the rear panel are from an ASMedia ASM1142 controller.

    Perhaps surprising here, but ECS is listing the Claymore as supporting HDMI 2.0. This means, because there isn’t an Alpine Ridge controller onboard, that they are using an LS-Pcon in order to attain so and are the only ones who are doing it as far as I can tell. I am doubly confirming as this is being written.

    ECS Z170-Blade

    Despite seeing the Blade at Computex, ECS is not too ready to give details on how the board will scrutinize when launched because it is silent commence decided. Nonetheless, a first-rate micro-ATX motherboard is always respected, and the Blade will besides carry the Dragon Ethernet allotment alongside USB 3.1.

    ECS Z170IU-C43 – Image from 4gamer.net

    For the low terminate of the market, ECS is providing the Z170IU-C43 – a mini-ITX motherboard with a more or less odd design arrangement. Here the 24-pin ATX connector is at the edge of the board, but due to the CPU and chipset arrangement the 8-pin CPU connector is in no-mans land to the bottom left of the socket. This means that with a GPU in play this connector is very difficult to Get to and means that cables will subsist outright over the chassis. It’s a design point that outright the motherboard manufacturers possess had to contend with at some point.

    ECS is stating again that they possess HDMI 2.0 connectivity on this board, while other functions comprise the Intel I219-V based networking, the Realtek ALC892 codec for audio, two USB 3.1-A ports on the rear panel and a unique PCIe 3.0 x16 slot.


    The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Review - Matching TITAN X at $650 | killexams.com real questions and Pass4sure dumps

    Even though the GTX 980 Ti doesn't offer any new features compared to the GTX Titan X with the identical GM200 GPU behind it, NVIDIA did paw foundation with us on a few topics of interest; updating me on the current news and hype surrounding DX12's new features, some potential improvements to VR rendering with something called multi-res shading and updates to the G-Sync monitor ecosystem.

    Some news on DirectX 12

    First up, let's talk about DirectX 12. As they near the release of Windows 10 this summer you'll hear more about DX12 than you could ever imagine, with Intel, AMD and NVIDIA outright banging the drum loud and clear. At this point, not everything can subsist divulged but NVIDIA wanted to subsist certain they understood that there were two very different aspects of the DX12 story: better CPU utilizing and efficiency along with new features that require new hardware. They possess outright heard the stories (ours included) talking about the backwards compatibility of DX12 for currently shipping GPUs, but that only accounts for the improved CPU utilization and efficiency portions of DX12. While that is critically important, there are indeed new features that require new GPU hardware to win odds of, just fondness in outright previous DirectX releases.

    In terms of new features, there are currently two different feature levels: Feature plane 12.0 and Feature plane 12.1. Feature plane 12.0 supports new rendering technologies fondness tiled resources, bindless textures and typed UAV access. 12.1 is more advanced and includes the 12.0 features but adds conservative raster and raster ordered views.

    NVIDIA says that GM200 supports another feature as well: volume tiled resources. This additional feature brings champion for 3D textures to subsist used in the tiled resource capability, utilizing less recollection by only storing the specific tiles of textures required for rendering at that time. The tiled resources feature listed as a requirement for Feature plane 12.0 only needs to champion 2D textures. With a 3D texture though a developer has the competence to store an additional dimension of data; NVIDIA gave an illustration of smoke where the third dimension of texture might testify the pressure of the fluid, changing the color and response of the physics based on that 3rd dimension of data.

    Conservative raster improves pixel coverage determination poignant away from specific sample points and instead will register as covered if any portion of the pixel is covered by the geometry in question. This does approach with some kind of performance penalty, of course, but it has the competence to ameliorate coverage recognition for better image quality with new rendering techniques. NVIDIA gave the illustration of ray traced shadows that are free of aliasing image quality issues.

    There is a silent lot yet to subsist shown or discussed about DX12 but they can validate now that Maxwell will champion DirectX 12 Feature plane 12.1 as well as the volume tiled resources capability. I'm certain we'll hear AMD's side of this chronicle very soon as well and hopefully some news from Microsoft this summer will aid us better understand the overall direction of the API.

    GameWorks VR

    Released previously with the initial sale date of the GeForce GTX 980 and GTX 970, NVIDIA's collection of software and hardware technologies focused on VR is now being branded GameWorks VR. Many of the technologies possess been discussed before including VR SLI, Direct Mode and Front Buffer Rendering, but NVIDIA is introducing a new option to ameliorate VR performance called Multi-res Shading.

    To understand it, a quick-and-dirty back story: A VR headset includes a screen and a pair of lenses. The lenses are used to design the screen loom to subsist further in the distance to aid users properly focus on the image. Those lenses warp the image slightly, making the headquarters of the image larger and compresses it around the edges to bear a fish-eye style sequel and a wide viewing angle. To account for this optical warping, the array renders a fish-eye looking image of its own - one you possess probably seen if you've looked at any footage recorded from an Oculus Rift. The rendered image is "warped" by the optical lens so that it appears revise to the terminate user.

    The problem is that warping of the image in the rendering engine means that resolution is effectively lost around the edges of the screen. Though the middle retains a near 1:1 pixel ratio, the edges attain not and you can relate from the diagrams below that much of the pixel data is lost when the image is "warped" and "compressed" to proper the required shape for the VR displays. This makes the rendering of VR games less efficient than rendering for traditional 2D monitors and displays, a handicap that can possess negative side effects in a computing platform that requires the fastest feasible performance and lowest available latency.

    NVIDIA's solution is Multi-res Shading that can divide the image that the game engine wants to array into nine different viewports.  The headquarters viewport, the one the user will 99% of the time subsist focused on and the one without lost pixels to the warping, remains the identical resolution and maintains the detail required for a worthy gaming experience. However, the surrounding viewports can subsist adjusted and sized to more closely match the final warped resolution that they will array at in the VR headset. The image silent has to recede through a final warp to the revise shape for the VR lens but the amount of data "lost" along the edges is minimized and thus performance can subsist improved for the gamer.

    Maxwell GPUs possess a multi-projection capability built into them that accelerates the distribution of geometry to the different viewports in Multi-res Shading and NVIDIA claims it can offer a 1.3x - 2.0x improvement in pixel shader performance (not frame rates necessarily). This kind of projection can subsist adjusted with different levels of detail so that developers possess the competence to rule how much lower the resolution rendered becomes based on their performance goals and image quality requirements. I saw of demo of the technology at toil during their GTX 980 Ti briefing and even when specifically looking on the periphery for the lower resolution and detail plane along the edges of the render, it was nearly impossible to spot the difference. 

    This is a technology that requires game engine implementation, so don't recede thinking you'll subsist able to just flip a checkmark in the control panel for this. It will subsist packaged up in the GameWorks SDK and we'll hold an eye out for game engines and developers that attempt to integrate to measure performance gains and image quality for ourselves.

    G-Sync Updates: New Monitors and Overdrive Details

    I deem anyone reading this review or someone that frequents PC Perspective will already know the basics of G-Sync and what it adds to the smoothness of PC gaming. It's definitive, it's melodramatic and it's available now in several different variations. 

    One zone that has seen a lot of debate recently between G-Sync and AMD's FreeSync competition is in the zone of overdrive. When Allyn and I first tested the initial wave of FreeSync monitors to design their route to office they immediately noticed some distinctive ghosting on the screens when operating in the variable refresh modes of the monitors. At the time, very exiguous was known about overdrive with variable refresh displays and though I knew that NVIDIA was doing something with G-Sync to aid with ghosting, I didn't know exactly what or to what extent. During their briefing with Tom Petersen on the GTX 980 Ti, he was able to partake some more details.

    At its most basic, monitor overdrive is the process of asking a pixel to recede to a higher or lower voltage value than you actually exigency for what is being presented on the screen in order to Get that pixel to your desired power plane (color and brightness), faster. This helps sprint pixels from their previous color/brightness to the new color/brightness you want them to subsist at more quickly, thus reducing ghosting. With traditional monitors and fixed refresh rates, panel vendors had perfected the competence to time the twisting and untwisting of LCD crystals to account for overdrive.

    But with variable refresh rates that outright gets turned on its head; the rate at which you apply power to a pixel at a 40 Hz refresh is very different than at 80 Hz, for example, if you are trying to bear a picture without ghosting and without inverse ghosting. NVIDIA claims that because the G-Sync module in the desktop monitors is tuned specifically to each panel, it is able to dynamically apply overdrive based on the variable frame rate itself. Because the module knows and can rate the time the next frame will loom (at the most basic level, guess whatever the previous frame time was) it can more intelligently apply voltage to the panel to reduce ghosting and give users the best feasible picture. Petersen said that it appeared zilch of the FreeSync monitors were doing this and that is why they notice more ghosting at variable refresh rates on those displays.

    With the NVIDIA 352.90 driver the company will besides subsist adding a couple of requested features to G-Sync as well: windowed mode and V-Sync options above the displays maximum refresh rate. For those gamers that fondness to disburse windows mode and borderless windowed mode to play with other things going on on your array or even other monitors, NVIDIA has organize a route to toil with the DWM (desktop windows manager) to allow non-full-screen games to operate in a variable refresh mode. NVIDIA is likely doing some behind the scenes trickery to Get this to toil properly inside the Windows compositing engine, but they saw it in action and VRR operation is controlled by the application in focus. If you sprint from the game to a browser, for example, you'll essentially recrudesce to the static refresh rate provided by the windows array model.

    Two new options organize there route into the control panel as well: G-Sync will now let you set V-Sync on or off above the maximum refresh rate of the panel (hurrah for peer pressure!) and you can now enable ULMB directly. This change to the V-Sync capability is only available at the high side of the monitor's refresh rate and will let a user disable V-Sync (and thus interpolate horizontal tearing) in order to gain the biggest odds feasible with the lowest latency the system can muster. This basically matches what AMD has done with FreeSync though NVIDIA's G-Sync silent has a superior implementation of low frame rate technology as they demonstrated here.

    Oh, and NVIDIA G-Sync Mobile is now a thing! Just as they showed you back in January with a leaked driver and an ASUS notebook, module-less G-Sync is a reality and will subsist shipping this summer. Check out this news chronicle for more details on the mobile variant to G-Sync. 

    With those educational tidbits in mind, maybe more Interesting is that new G-Sync monitors are incoming with new aspect ratios and different specifications than they possess seen before.

    Acer has four new displays on the horizon with Asus adding three more to the mix. In that group are a pair of 4K IPS 60 Hz G-Sync monitors, a 34-in 3440x1440 IPS screen with a 75 Hz maximum refresh as well as an updated ROG Swift with a 2560x1440 resolution, 144 Hz IPS screen. I am really keen to Get my hands on the Acer X34 with the curved 21:9 screen and 75 Hz refresh - that could subsist the pinnacle of gaming displays for the leisure of 2015.


    Sources Sought Notice – R– Investment knowledge Management Data Management | killexams.com real questions and Pass4sure dumps

    Notice Type: Sources Sought Notice

    Posted Date: 12-APR-17

    Office Address: Department of Veterans Affairs;Program Contracting Activity Central;6150 Oak Tree Blvd, Suite 300;Independence OH 44131

    Subject: R-- Investment knowledge Management Data Management

    Classification Code: R - Professional, administrative, and management champion services

    Solicitation Number: VA70117N0095

    Contact: Bernadette Bodzenta, shrink [email protected] mailto:[email protected]

    Description: Department of Veterans Affairs

    VA Office of Information Service Center

    Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Information Service Center

    Investment knowledge Management

    Page 22 of 23

    PERFORMANCE toil STATEMENT (PWS)

    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

    Veterans Health Administration

    Office of Informatics and Investment Governance

    Strategic Investment Management (SIM)

    Investment Governance Services (IGS)

    Investment knowledge Management (IKM)

    Date: 2/8/17

    PWS Version Number: 1.0

    Contents

    1.0 BACKGROUND 18

    2.0 APPLICABLE DOCUMENTS 18

    3.0 SCOPE OF toil 21

    4.0 PERFORMANCE DETAILS 21

    4.1 PERFORMANCE age 21

    4.2 location OF PERFORMANCE 22

    4.3 TRAVEL 22

    5.0 SPECIFIC TASKS AND DELIVERABLES 23

    5.1 PROJECT MANAGEMENT 24

    5.1.1 CONTRACTOR PROJECT MANAGEMENT system 24

    5.1.2 REPORTING REQUIREMENTS 24

    5.2 25

    6.0 universal REQUIREMENTS 25

    6.1 ENTERPRISE AND IT FRAMEWORK 25

    6.2 SECURITY AND PRIVACY REQUIREMENTS 27

    6.2.1 POSITION/TASK RISK DESIGNATION LEVEL(S) 28

    6.2.2 CONTRACTOR PERSONNEL SECURITY REQUIREMENTS 29

    6.3 system AND DISTRIBUTION OF DELIVERABLES 31

    6.4 PERFORMANCE METRICS 31

    6.5 FACILITY/RESOURCE PROVISIONS 32

    6.6 GOVERNMENT FURNISHED PROPERTY 34

    6.7 SHIPMENT OF HARDWARE OR paraphernalia 35

    ADDENDUM A ADDITIONAL VA REQUIREMENTS, CONSOLIDATED 38

    ADDENDUM B VA INFORMATION AND INFORMATION SYSTEM SECURITY/PRIVACY LANGUAGE 45

    BACKGROUND

    The mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Office if Informatics and Information Governance (OIIG), Strategic Investment Management (SIM), Investment Governance Services (IGS) is to ensure that strategic requirements are identified, prioritized, organized, communicated, understood, and translated into Information Technology (IT) investment decisions that meet clinical, administrative, and Veteran s needs. IGS works collaboratively with OIIG, VHA, and VA Program Offices to conduct commerce analysis and investment governance/oversight to ameliorate those IT investments and services provided to Veterans.

    To execute this role effectively, IGS relies on the Investment knowledge Management (IKM) team to gather, process, and communicate data associated with IT investments needed by VHA commerce lines culminating in briefings and reports to senior leadership. IKM serves as the authoritative information resource headquarters for VHA IT investments and provides a comprehensive view of VHA s IT needs across the System progress Lifecycle (SDLC) by gathering pertinent information and conducting all-source analyses, information and process management, and assessments of delivery and value to the customer. Key activities include:

    Planning, organizing, and carrying out major projects concerned with providing current and detailed information related to outright IT initiatives of concern to VHA

    Developing analytical reports for Strategic Investment Management (SIM) leadership and VHA IT governance Capability Management Boards (CMB) containing information about VHA IT needs and integrating data pertaining to prioritization, funding, and project status

    Processing VHA IT governance requests to comprise receipt, management and disposition of requests in champion of VHA senior leadership and the integrated governance entities (e.g., Information Technology Committee (ITC), Integration Board (IB), Architectural Requirements and Investments Working Group (ARIWG), CMBs, other)

    Assessing VHA commerce capabilities achieved through IT efforts and effectiveness of IT investment decisions

    Monitoring funded programs and identification and tracking of related issues

    Conducting Customer Satisfaction Questionnaires to obtain feedback regarding the value and quality of delivered VHA IT investments

    APPLICABLE DOCUMENTS

    In the performance of the tasks associated with this Performance toil Statement, the Contractor shall comply with the following:

    44 U.S.C. '' 3541,-- Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) of 2002

    Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) Publication 140-2, Security Requirements For Cryptographic Modules

    FIPS Pub 201-2, Personal Identity Verification of Federal Employees and Contractors, August 2013

    10 U.S.C. '' 2224, "Defense Information Assurance Program"

    Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute, Capability Maturity Model-- Integration for progress (CMMI-DEV), Version 1.3 November 2010; and Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute, Capability Maturity Model-- Integration for Acquisition (CMMI-ACQ), Version 1.3 November 2010

    5 U.S.C. '' 552a, as amended, The Privacy Act of 1974

    42 U.S.C. '' 2000d Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

    VA Directive 0710, Personnel Security and Suitability Program, June 4, 2010, http://www.va.gov/vapubs/

    VA Handbook 0710, Personnel Security and Suitability Security Program, May 2, 2016, http://www.va.gov/vapubs

    VA Directive and Handbook 6102, Internet/Intranet Services, July 15, 2008

    36 C.F.R. allotment 1194 Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards, July 1, 2003

    Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-130, Managing Federal Information as a Strategic Resource, July 28, 2016

    32 C.F.R. allotment 199, Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS)

    An Introductory Resource pilot for Implementing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule, October 2008

    Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. '' 794d), as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-220), August 7, 1998

    Homeland Security Presidential Directive (12) (HSPD-12), August 27, 2004

    VA Directive 6500, Managing Information Security Risk: VA Information Security Program, September 20, 2012

    VA Handbook 6500, Risk Management Framework for VA Information Systems Tier 3: VA Information Security Program, March 10, 2015

    VA Handbook 6500.1, Electronic Media Sanitization, November 03, 2008

    VA Handbook 6500.2, Management of Breaches Involving Sensitive Personal Information (SPI) , October, 28, 2015

    VA Handbook 6500.3, Assessment, Authorization, And Continuous Monitoring Of VA Information Systems, February 3, 2014

    VA Handbook 6500.5, Incorporating Security and Privacy in System progress Lifecycle , March 22, 2010

    VA Handbook 6500.6, shrink Security, March 12, 2010

    VA Handbook 6500.8, Information System Contingency Planning , April 6, 2011

    OI&T ProPath Process Methodology (reference process maps at http://www.va.gov/PROPATH/Maps.asp and templates at http://www.va.gov/PROPATH/Templates.asp

    One-VA Technical Reference Model (TRM) (reference at http://www.va.gov/trm/TRMHomePage.asp)

    National Institute Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publications (SP)

    VA Directive 6508, Implementation of Privacy Threshold Analysis and Privacy impact Assessment, October 15, 2014

    VA Handbook 6508.1, Procedures for Privacy Threshold Analysis and Privacy impact Assessment, July 30, 2015

    VA Directive 6300, Records and Information Management, February 26, 2009

    VA Handbook, 6300.1, Records Management Procedures, March 24, 2010

    OMB Memorandum, Transition to IPv6 , September 28, 2010

    VA Directive 0735, Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) Program, October 26, 2015

    VA Handbook 0735, Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) Program, March 24, 2014

    OMB Memorandum M-06-18, Acquisition of Products and Services for Implementation of HSPD-12, June 30, 2006

    OMB Memorandum 05-24, Implementation of Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) 12 Policy for a Common Identification criterion for Federal Employees and Contractors, August 5, 2005

    OMB memorandum M-11-11, Continued Implementation of Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) 12 Policy for a Common Identification criterion for Federal Employees and Contractors, February 3, 2011

    OMB Memorandum, Guidance for Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) 12 Implementation, May 23, 2008

    Federal Identity, Credential, and Access Management (FICAM) Roadmap and Implementation Guidance, December 2, 2011

    NIST SP 800-116, A Recommendation for the disburse of Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Credentials in Physical Access Control Systems, November 20, 2008

    OMB Memorandum M-07-16, Safeguarding Against and Responding to the infraction of Personally Identifiable Information, May 22, 2007

    NIST SP 800-63-2, Electronic Authentication Guideline, August 2013

    NIST SP 800-157, Guidelines for Derived PIV Credentials, December 2014

    NIST SP 800-164, Guidelines on Hardware-Rooted Security in Mobile Devices (Draft), October 2012

    Draft National Institute of Standards and Technology Interagency Report (NISTIR) 7981 Mobile, PIV, and Authentication, March 2014

    VA Memorandum, VAIQ #7100147, Continued Implementation of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12), April 29, 2011 (reference https://www.voa.va.gov/documentlistpublic.aspx NodeID=514)

    VA Memorandum, VAIQ # 7011145, VA Identity Management Policy, June 28, 2010 (reference Enterprise Architecture Section, PIV/IAM (reference https://www.voa.va.gov/documentlistpublic.aspx NodeID=514)

    IAM Identity Management commerce Requirements Guidance document, May 2013, (reference Enterprise Architecture Section, PIV/IAM (reference https://www.voa.va.gov/documentlistpublic.aspx NodeID=514)

    Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) Reference Architecture Document, Version 2.0, Federal Interagency Technical Reference Architectures, Department of Homeland Security, October 1, 2013, https://www.fedramp.gov/files/2015/04/TIC_Ref_Arch_v2-0_2013.pdf

    OMB Memorandum M-08-05, Implementation of Trusted Internet Connections (TIC), November 20, 2007

    OMB Memorandum M-08-23, Securing the Federal Government s Domain appellation System Infrastructure, August 22, 2008

    VA Memorandum, VAIQ #7497987, Compliance Electronic Product Environmental Assessment implement (EPEAT) IT Electronic Equipment, August 11, 2014 (reference Document Libraries, EPEAT/Green Purchasing Section, https://www.voa.va.gov/documentlistpublic.aspx NodeID=552)

    Sections 524 and 525 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, (Public Law 110 140), December 19, 2007

    Section 104 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, (Public Law 109 58), August 8, 2005

    Executive Order 13693, Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade , dated March 19, 2015

    Executive Order 13221, Energy-Efficient Standby Power Devices, August 2, 2001

    VA Directive 0058, VA Green Purchasing Program , July 19, 2013

    VA Handbook 0058, VA Green Purchasing Program , July 19, 2013

    Office of Information Security (OIS) VAIQ #7424808 Memorandum, Remote Access , January 15, 2014, https://www.voa.va.gov/DocumentListPublic.aspx NodeId=28

    Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, 40 U.S.C. --11101 and --11103

    VA Memorandum, Implementation of Federal Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Credentials for Federal and Contractor Access to VA IT Systems , (VAIQ# 7614373) July 9, 2015, https://www.voa.va.gov/DocumentListPublic.aspx NodeId=28

    VA Memorandum Mandatory disburse of PIV Multifactor Authentication to VA Information System (VAIQ# 7613595), June 30, 2015, https://www.voa.va.gov/DocumentListPublic.aspx NodeId=28

    VA Memorandum Mandatory disburse of PIV Multifactor Authentication for Users with Elevated Privileges (VAIQ# 7613597), June 30, 2015; https://www.voa.va.gov/DocumentListPublic.aspx NodeId=28

    Veteran Focused Integration Process (VIP) pilot 1.0 , December, 2015, https://www.voa.va.gov/DocumentView.aspx DocumentID=4371

    VIP Release Process pilot , Version 1.4, May 2016, https://www.voa.va.gov/DocumentView.aspx DocumentID=4411

    POLARIS User pilot , Version 1.2, February 2016, https://www.voa.va.gov/DocumentView.aspx DocumentID=4412

    SCOPE OF WORK

    The Contractor shall provide the following service:

    IT Investment Governance Tracking, Analysis, and Reporting

    Data Management

    The Investment Governance Services (IGS), Investment knowledge Management (IKM) team performs tracking, analysis, and reporting services for VA and VHA IT investments (includes portfolios, programs, projects, and products) across the life cycle of these investments (includes initiation through closeout/termination of an investment). IKM objectives comprise the following;

    Conduct tracking, data analysis, and reporting activities for VA and VHA IT investments

    Manage investment data

    There are hundreds of VA and VHA IT investments. A subset of these (on average 150 projects/products) is approved for funding each fiscal year. Fiscal year funded projects/products are tracked and monitored.

    The processes that champion IT Governance tracking, analysis, reporting, and data management and related inputs and outputs (examples comprise forms, worksheets, briefs, reports, and databases) are established and relatively stable; processes, inputs, and outputs may subsist modified periodically as a result of review recommendations based on continuous improvement activities.

    VA and VHA IT Investments are largely proprietary. The Contractor shall provide personnel with extensive knowledge regarding the following areas: VA organizational structures, VHA medical centers and health reliance systems, VHA software applications, Veterans Information Systems Technical Architecture (VistA), VA ProPath processes, Office of Information & Technology (OI&T) Project Management Accountability System (PMAS) and Veteran-focused Integration Process (VIP), and OI&T Enterprise Program Manage Office (ePMO).

    IKM currently uses FileMaker Pro to manage investment data. VA is in the process of standardizing tools and OIT has determined that terminate users must transition from Desktop Database Management Systems (DBMS) such as FileMaker. VA has Enterprise License Agreements in location for preferred Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) technologies: Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle DB. As of July of 2016, desktop DBMS technologies may no longer subsist used to champion line of commerce operations requiring data durability/persistence. IKM anticipates being required to transition to SQL Server in the near future. A waiver request has been submitted to continue to operate with FileMaker while transitioning to a SQL based data management and reporting system. The Contractor shall provide personnel with knowledge and experience in successfully changing database tools and data migration.

    Additionally, the Contractor shall provide personnel experienced in using the following software products: Microsoft Office; FileMaker Pro version 12, 14, and 15; SQL Server 2012; SharePoint and the Rational implement Suite.

    PERFORMANCE DETAILS

    PERFORMANCE PERIOD

    The age of performance shall subsist one (1) year from date of award, with four (4) options for one (1) year each.

    Any toil at the Government site shall not win location on Federal holidays or weekends unless directed by the Contracting Officer (CO).

    There are ten (10) Federal holidays set by law (USC Title 5 Section 6103) that VA follows:

    Under current definitions, four are set by date:

    New Year's Day January 1

    Independence Day July 4

    Veterans Day November 11

    Christmas Day December 25

    If any of the above falls on a Saturday, then Friday shall subsist observed as a holiday. Similarly, if one falls on a Sunday, then Monday shall subsist observed as a holiday.

    The other six are set by a day of the week and month:

    Martin Luther King's Birthday Third Monday in January

    Washington's Birthday Third Monday in February

    Memorial Day ultimate Monday in May

    Labor Day First Monday in September

    Columbus Day Second Monday in October

    Thanksgiving Fourth Thursday in November

    PLACE OF PERFORMANCE

    Tasks under this PWS shall subsist performed in VA facilities; the current location is:

    Strategic Investment Management

    490 L Enfant Plaza East, Suite 3202

    Washington D.C. 20024-2135

    Work may subsist performed at remote locations with prior approval of the Contracting Officer s Representative (COR).

    TRAVEL

    The Government anticipates travel under this PWS to execute the tasks associated with the effort, as well as to attend program-related meetings or conferences throughout the age of performance.-- The Contractor may subsist required to attend meetings in Washington, D.C., and/or other VA facilities.

    Local travel within a 50-mile radius from the VA Facility or an alternative approved remote location is considered the cost of doing commerce and will not subsist reimbursed. This includes travel, subsistence, and associated labor charges for travel time. Travel performed for personal convenience and daily travel to and from toil at the Contractor s facility will not subsist reimbursed.

    Travel, subsistence, and associated labor charges for travel time for travel beyond a 50-mile radius of the Contractor s approved toil location are authorized for reimbursement on a case-by-case basis and must subsist pre-approved by the Contracting Officer s Representative (COR). Travel costs will subsist a cost-reimbursable, not to exceed line item.

    The Government estimates the following travel for the one (1) year age of performance and four (4) option years.

    Base Year

    Estimated Destinations

    Approximate Number of trips

    Approximate Number of Contractor Personnel required per trip

    Approximate Number of days per trip

    Tampa, FL

    1

    3

    4

    Option Year 1

    Estimated Destinations

    Approximate Number of trips

    Approximate Number of Contractor Personnel required per trip

    Approximate Number of days per trip

    Tampa, FL

    1

    3

    4

    Option Year 2

    Estimated Destinations

    Approximate Number of trips

    Approximate Number of Contractor Personnel required per trip

    Approximate Number of days per trip

    Tampa, FL

    1

    3

    4

    Option Year 3

    Estimated Destinations

    Approximate Number of trips

    Approximate Number of Contractor Personnel required per trip

    Approximate Number of days per trip

    Tampa, FL

    1

    3

    4

    Option Year 4

    Estimated Destinations

    Approximate Number of trips

    Approximate Number of Contractor Personnel required per trip

    Approximate Number of days per trip

    Tampa, FL

    1

    3

    4

    Travel shall subsist in accordance with the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) and requires advanced concurrence by the COR.-- Contractor travel within the local commuting zone will not subsist reimbursed.

    SPECIFIC TASKS AND DELIVERABLES

    The Contractor shall execute the following:

    PROJECT MANAGEMENT

    CONTRACTOR PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN

    The Contractor shall deliver a Contractor Project Management system (CPMP) that lays out the Contractor s approach, timeline and tools to subsist used in execution of the contract. --The CPMP should win the configuration of both a narrative and vivid format that displays the schedule, milestones, risks and resource support.----The CPMP shall besides comprise how the Contractor shall coordinate and execute planned, routine, and ad hoc data collection reporting requests as identified within the PWS. The initial baseline CPMP shall subsist concurred upon and updated in accordance with Section B of the contract. The Contractor shall update and maintain the VA PM approved CPMP throughout the PoP.

    Deliverable:

    Contractor Project Management Plan

    REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

    The Contractor shall provide the Contracting Officer s Representative (COR) with monthly Progress Reports in electronic configuration in Microsoft Word and Project formats.-- The report shall comprise detailed instructions/explanations for each required data element, to ensure that data is accurate and consistent. These reports shall reflect data as of the ultimate day of the preceding month.--

    The monthly Progress Reports shall cover outright toil completed during the reporting age and toil planned for the subsequent reporting period.-- The report shall besides identify any problems that arose and a description of how the problems were resolved.-- If problems possess not been completely resolved, the Contractor shall provide an explanation including their system and timeframe for resolving the issue. The Contractor shall monitor performance and report any deviations. It is expected that the Contractor will hold in communication with VA accordingly so that issues that arise are transparent to both parties to preclude escalation of outstanding issues.

    Deliverable:--

    Monthly Progress Report

    5.2 TRACK, ANALYZE, AND REPORT ON VHA IT INVESTMENTS:

    On a daily basis the contractor shall implement the IKM criterion Operating Procedures (SOP)(see attachment 1); execute tracking, analysis, and reporting activities; participate in continuous improvement activities that champion processes (includes inputs and outputs); Examples of IKM tracking, analysis, and reporting activities and related outcomes/deliverables comprise the following:

    VA and VHA IT Investment Tracking, Analysis, and Reporting

    Monitor and compare sources and identify the real and potential implications of those changes to VA and VHA IT Investments as described in the SOP (sources are theme to change but currently include: OI&T Quad Charts (focus on cost, performance, and risk); Budget Tracking implement exports and Budget Operating Plans; Enterprise Project Structure (EPS) under VIP; Technical Systems Project Repository (TSPR); Multi-year Programming worksheets/data calls; VA and VHA IT Prioritization Lists; portfolio, program, project, and product information in Rational Tools; Health Systems Information Suite (HSIS) (contains investment data and is maintained by IKM) and Requirements and progress Management (RDM)/New Service Request Database (NSRD)

    Capture content and changes in commandeer media (examples: forms, worksheets, reports, briefings, and databases)

    Participate in prioritization activities (prioritization criteria are frequently impacted by changes to VA and VHA strategic goals and objectives) for VA and VHA IT Investments and incorporate prioritization results in HSIS

    Prepare and deliver various reports (current examples include: Everything List (includes info on outright portfolios, programs, projects, and products); Stakeholder Lists (Chief Officers, commerce Owners, Capability Management Boards, or other as requested); VHA IT commerce Needs Bar Charts; Simple List and lively Project Report (both are subsets of Everything List); Continuous Prioritization Review (CPR) (also known as Unfunded Request (UFR)) List; VIP Interpretive Report; Fiscal Year Project Planning Reports; RDM/ NSRD Reports; Multi-year Program (MYP) planning worksheets/data calls, workbooks) as a result of tracking and analysis activities (See attachments 2-5)

    Coordinate input to Government Accountability Office (GAO) and/or Office of Inspector universal (OIG) responses

    Attend meetings (estimate twice weekly team meetings of 1 hour duration and twice weekly customer meetings of one hour duration)

    Execute, maintain, and update the IKM SOP (includes continuous improvement activities)

    Log details and statuses of changes and actions in an Action detail List

    Deliverable:

    Weekly Tracking and Reporting Action detail List: The weekly Tracking and Reporting Action detail List shall reflect completion of outright activities for task 5.2 for each week and is due every Tuesday morning by 0900 am Eastern (or the following workday at 0900 am Eastern if Tuesday should subsist a holiday).

    5.3 MANAGE DATA:

    On a daily basis, execute activities to maintain, update, transition, and champion data (includes multiple databases [FileMaker Pro 12, 14, and 15; SQL Server 2012], partake drives, and SharePoint sites). Examples of daily activities and related outcomes/deliverables comprise the following:

    VHA IT Investment Data Management

    Maintain, modify (includes defect repairs and enhancements), and update databases (HSIS and related forms and reports (includes routine imports and exports of data to and from data sources and/or databases)

    Update databases with information and changes collected daily from VHA IT Investment tracking, analysis, and reporting activities

    Develop and deliver new scripts, queries, forms, and reports as required

    Provide aid desk champion to HSIS and Release Management (RM) database users {estimate number of users at 50 and frequency of requests at less than 5 weekly}

    Attend meetings (estimate twice weekly team meetings of 1 hour duration and twice weekly customer meetings of one hour duration)

    Maintain, modify, and update partake drive

    Maintain, modify, and update mail groups and/or mail boxes and distribution lists

    Maintain, modify, and update 2 SharePoint sites (IKM and related areas on IGS)

    Log details and statuses of changes and actions regarding data management in an Action detail List

    Deliverable:

    Weekly Data Management Action detail List: The weekly Data Management Action detail List shall reflect completion of outright activities under task 5.3 for each week and is due every Tuesday morning by 0900 am Eastern (or the following workday at 0900 am Eastern if Tuesday should subsist a holiday).

    5.4 TRANSITION TO SQL DATABASE: (BASE AND OPTION YEAR 1 ONLY)

    Perform activities necessary to transition data and reports from FileMaker Pro 12 to a database on Microsoft SQL Server 2012. The plane of pains to execute this task is expected to subsist 24 months. Examples of activities and related outcomes/deliverables comprise the following:

    Identify opportunities for streamlining database to ameliorate efficiency.

    Create necessary tables in the new database (Microsoft SQL Server 2012) to supplant 211 tables in from the existing tables in the FileMaker Pro database.

    Migrate data from Filemaker Pro database tables to the new database tables in Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (See attachment 6)

    Prepare data for import into SQL solution

    Perform any data antiseptic up/errors in the SQL solution

    Create necessary queries, forms, and reports in the new database and intranet user interface.

    Deliverable:

    Weekly Database Transition Action detail List: The weekly Database Transition Action detail List shall reflect completion of outright activities under task 5.4 for each week and is due every Tuesday morning by 0900 am Eastern (or the following workday at 0900 am Eastern if Tuesday should subsist a holiday).

    GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

    ENTERPRISE AND IT FRAMEWORK

    The Contractor shall champion the VA enterprise management framework. In association with the framework, the Contractor shall comply with OI&T Technical Reference Model (One-VA TRM). One-VA TRM is one component within the overall Enterprise Architecture (EA) that establishes a common vocabulary and structure for describing the information technology used to develop, operate, and maintain enterprise applications. One-VA TRM includes the Standards Profile and Product List that collectively serves as a VA technology roadmap. Architecture, Strategy, and Design (ASD) has overall responsibility for the One-VA TRM.

    (For applications, software, or hardware that cannot champion PIV authentication in accordance with the below language, the Requiring Activity must obtain a Risk Based determination Memorandum, approved by the Deputy helper Secretary for Information Security, before this language can subsist removed or modified, in accordance with the approved Risk Based Decision.-- The RBD criterion Operating Procedures and the OIS RBD Template for a RBD can subsist organize on the OIS website, and is located at https://vaww.portal2.va.gov/sites/infosecurity/ca/VA_6500_Waiver.aspx RootFolder=%2Fsites%2Finfosecurity%2Fca%2FVA%206500%20Waiver%20Process%20Templates%20Approved%20Waivers%2FOIS%20Risk%2Dbased%20Decision%20Information&FolderCTID=0x0120006BB145E9AADE234EA16516CF539A30E3&View={A172AFB9-D135-4F51-8587-9A789F292058}.-- Any questions shall subsist directed to Tom Napier, HSPD-12 Director at [email protected])

    The Contractor shall ensure Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) product(s), software configuration and customization, and/or new software are PIV-enabled by accepting HSPD-12 PIV credentials using VA Enterprise Technical Architecture (ETA), http://www.ea.oit.va.gov/VA_EA/VAEA_TechnicalArchitecture.asp, and VA Identity and Access Management (IAM) approved enterprise design and integration patterns, http://www.techstrategies.oit.va.gov/enterprise_dp.asp. --The Contractor shall ensure outright Contractor delivered applications and systems are compliant with VA Identity Management Policy (VAIQ# 7011145), Continued Implementation of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (VAIQ#7100147), and VA IAM enterprise identity management requirements (IAM Identity Management commerce Requirements Guidance document), located at https://www.voa.va.gov/documentlistpublic.aspx NodeID=514.-- The Contractor shall ensure outright Contractor delivered applications and systems provide user authentication services compliant with NIST Special Publication 800-63, VA Handbook 6500 Appendix F, VA System Security Controls , and VA IAM enterprise requirements for direct, assertion based authentication, and/or reliance based authentication, as determined by the design and integration patterns.-- Direct authentication at a minimum must comprise Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) based authentication supportive of Personal Identity Verification (PIV) and/or Common Access Card (CAC), as determined by the commerce need.-- Assertion based authentication must comprise a SAML implementation. Additional assertion implementations, besides the required SAML assertion, may subsist provided as long as they are compliant with NIST 800-63 guidelines. reliance based authentication must comprise authentication/account binding based on trusted HTTP headers.-- The Contractor solution shall conform to the specific Identity and Access Management PIV requirements are set forth in OMB Memoranda M-04-04 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/memoranda/fy04/m04-04.pdf), M-05-24 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/memoranda/fy2005/m05-24.pdf), M-11-11 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/memoranda/2011/m11-11.pdf), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Federal Information Processing criterion (FIPS) 201-2,--and supporting NIST Special Publications.

    (Section 6.1, paragraph 3, below contains the requirement that outright Contractor Solutions must champion Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6)). If the requiring activity has obtained a signed waiver from the VA OI&T CIO office that the IPv6 requirement cannot subsist met due to patient safety, patient care, or other exception, then the following language ( A signed waiver has been obtained from the VA OI&T CIO Office that the IPv6 requirement cannot subsist met, and as a result, IPv6 is not a requirement for this effort. ), or similar, must supplant the IPv6 paragraph 3 below. The requiring activity can modify the language above as necessary, in accordance with their specific requirements.)

    The Contractor solution shall champion the latest Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) based upon the directive issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on September 28, 2010 (https://cio.gov/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2012/09/Transition-to-IPv6.pdf) & (http://www.cybertelecom.org/dns/ipv6usg.htm). IPv6 technology, in accordance with the USGv6: A Technical Infrastructure for USGv6 Adoption (http://www.nist.gov/itl/antd/usgv6.cfm) and the NIST SP 800 string applicable compliance (http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/PubsSPs.html), shall subsist included in outright IT infrastructures, application designs, application development, operational systems and sub-systems, and their integration. outright public/external facing servers and services (e.g. web, email, DNS, ISP services, etc.) shall champion indigenous IPv6 users, including outright internal infrastructure and applications shall communicate using indigenous IPv6 operations. Guidance and champion of improved methodologies which ensure interoperability with legacy protocol and services, in addition to OMB/VA memoranda, can subsist organize at https://www.voa.va.gov/documentlistpublic.aspx NodeID=282.

    The Contractor solution shall meet the requirements outlined in Office of Management and Budget Memorandum M08-05 mandating Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/omb/memoranda/fy2008/m08-05.pdf), M08-23 mandating Domain appellation System Security (NSSEC) (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/omb/memoranda/fy2008/m08-23.pdf), and shall comply with the Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) Reference Architecture Document, Version 2.0 https://www.fedramp.gov/files/2015/04/TIC_Ref_Arch_v2-0_2013.pdf.

    The Contractor IT terminate user solution that is developed for disburse on criterion VA computers shall subsist compatible with and subsist supported on the criterion VA operating system, currently Windows 7 (64bit), Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Office 2010. In preparation for the future VA criterion configuration update, terminate user solutions shall besides subsist compatible with Office 2013 and Windows 8.1. However, Office 2013 and Windows 8.1 are not the VA criterion yet and are currently not approved for disburse on the VA Network, but are in-process for future approval by OI&T. Upon the release approval of Office 2013 and Windows 8.1 individually as the VA standard, Office 2013 and Windows 8.1 will supersede Office 2010 and Windows 7 respectively. Applications delivered to the VA and intended to subsist deployed to Windows 7 workstations shall subsist delivered as a signed .msi package and updates shall subsist delivered in signed .msp file formats for easy deployment using System headquarters Configuration Manager (SCCM) VA s current desktop application deployment tool. Signing of the software code shall subsist through a vendor provided certificate that is trusted by the VA using a code signing authority such as Verizon/Cybertrust or Symantec/VeriSign. The Contractor shall besides ensure and certify that their solution functions as expected when used from a criterion VA computer, with non-admin, criterion user rights that possess been configured using the United States Government Configuration Baseline (USGCB) specific to the particular client operating system being used.

    The Contractor shall champion VA efforts IAW the Veteran Focused Integration Process (VIP). VIP is a Lean-Agile framework that services the interest of Veterans through the efficient streamlining of activities that occur within the enterprise. The VIP pilot can subsist organize at https://www.voa.va.gov/DocumentView.aspx DocumentID=4371. The VIP framework creates an environment delivering more frequent releases through a deeper application of Agile practices. In parallel with a unique integrated release process, VIP will expand cross-organizational and commerce stakeholder engagement, provide greater visibility into projects, expand Agile adoption and institute a predictive delivery cadence. VIP is now the unique authoritative process that IT projects must supervene to ensure progress and delivery of IT products

    The Contractor shall utilize ProPath, the OI&T-wide process management implement that assists in the execution of an IT project (including adherence to VIP standards). It is a one-stop shop providing captious links to the formal approved processes, artifacts, and templates to assist project teams in facilitating their VIP compliant work.

    SECURITY AND PRIVACY REQUIREMENTS

    POSITION/TASK RISK DESIGNATION LEVEL(S)

    Position Sensitivity

    Background Investigation (in accordance with Department of Veterans Affairs 0710 Handbook, Personnel Suitability and Security Program, Appendix A)

    Low / Tier 1

    Tier 1 / National Agency Check with Written Inquiries (NACI) A Tier 1/NACI is conducted by OPM and covers a 5-year period. It consists of a review of records contained in the OPM Security Investigations Index (SII) and the DOD Defense Central Investigations Index (DCII), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) appellation check, FBI fingerprint check, and written inquiries to previous employers and references listed on the application for employment. In VA it is used for Non-sensitive or Low Risk positions.

    Moderate / Tier 2

    Tier 2 / temper Background Investigation (MBI) A Tier 2/MBI is conducted by OPM and covers a 5-year period. It consists of a review of National Agency Check (NAC) records [OPM Security Investigations Index (SII), DOD Defense Central Investigations Index (DCII), FBI appellation check, and a FBI fingerprint check], a credit report covering a age of 5 years, written inquiries to previous employers and references listed on the application for employment; an interview with the subject, law enforcement check; and a verification of the educational degree.

    High / Tier 4

    Tier 4 / Background Investigation (BI) A Tier 4/BI is conducted by OPM and covers a 10-year period. It consists of a review of National Agency Check (NAC) records [OPM Security Investigations Index (SII), DOD Defense Central Investigations Index (DCII), FBI appellation check, and a FBI fingerprint check report], a credit report covering a age of 10 years, written inquiries to previous employers and references listed on the application for employment; an interview with the subject, spouse, neighbors, supervisor, co-workers; court records, law enforcement check, and a verification of the educational degree.

    The position sensitivity and the plane of background investigation commensurate with the required plane of access for the following tasks within the PWS are:

    Position Sensitivity and Background Investigation Requirements by Task

    Task Number

    Tier1 / Low / NACI

    Tier 2 / temper / MBI

    Tier 4 / high / BI

    5.1

    5.2

    5.3

    5.4

    The Tasks identified above and the resulting Position Sensitivity and Background Investigation requirements identify, in effect, the Background Investigation requirements for Contractor individuals, based upon the tasks the particular Contractor individual will subsist working. The submitted Contractor Staff Roster must testify the required Background Investigation plane for each Contractor individual based upon the tasks the Contractor individual will subsist working, in accordance with their submitted proposal.

    CONTRACTOR PERSONNEL SECURITY REQUIREMENTS

    Contractor Responsibilities:

    The Contractor shall prescreen outright personnel requiring access to the computer systems to ensure they maintain the commandeer Background Investigation, and are able to read, write, talk and understand the English language.

    The Contractor shall suffer the expense of obtaining background investigations.

    Within 3 commerce days after award, the Contractor shall provide a roster of Contractor and Subcontractor employees to the COR to commence their background investigations in accordance with the ProPath template. The Contractor Staff Roster shall contain the Contractor s replete Name, Date of Birth, location of Birth, individual background investigation plane requirement (based upon Section 6.2 Tasks), etc. The Contractor shall submit replete gregarious Security Numbers either within the Contractor Staff Roster or under sunder cover to the COR. The Contractor Staff Roster shall subsist updated and provided to VA within 1 day of any changes in employee status, training certification completion status, Background Investigation plane status, additions/removal of employees, etc. throughout the age of Performance. The Contractor Staff Roster shall remain a historical document indicating outright past information and the Contractor shall testify in the observation field, employees no longer supporting this contract. The preferred system to ship the Contractor Staff Roster or gregarious Security Number is by encrypted e-mail. If unable to ship encrypted e-mail, other methods which comply with FIPS 140-2 are to encrypt the file, disburse a secure fax, or disburse a traceable mail service.

    The Contractor should coordinate the location of the nearest VA fingerprinting office through the COR. Only electronic fingerprints are authorized.

    The Contractor shall ensure the following required forms are submitted to the COR within 5 days after shrink award:

    Optional configuration 306

    Self-Certification of Continuous Service

    VA configuration 0710

    Completed Security and Investigations headquarters (SIC) Fingerprint Request Form

    The Contractor personnel shall submit outright required information related to their background investigations (completion of the investigation documents (SF85, SF85P, or SF 86) utilizing the Office of Personnel Management s (OPM) Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations Processing (e-QIP) after receiving an email notification from the Security and Investigation headquarters (SIC).

    The Contractor employee shall certify and release the e-QIP document, print and badge the signature pages, and ship them encrypted to the COR for electronic submission to the SIC. These documents shall subsist submitted to the COR within 3 commerce days of receipt of the e-QIP notification email. (Note: OPM is poignant towards a click to badge process. If click to badge is used, the Contractor employee should notify the COR within 3 commerce days that documents were signed via eQIP).

    The Contractor shall subsist accountable for the actions of outright personnel provided to toil for VA under this contract. In the event that damages arise from toil performed by Contractor provided personnel, under the auspices of this contract, the Contractor shall subsist accountable for outright resources necessary to remedy the incident.

    A Contractor may subsist granted unescorted access to VA facilities and/or access to VA Information Technology resources (network and/or protected data) with a favorably adjudicated Special Agreement Check (SAC), training delineated in VA Handbook 6500.6 (Appendix C, Section 9), and, the signed Contractor Rules of Behavior. However, the Contractor will subsist accountable for the actions of the Contractor personnel they provide to execute toil for VA. The investigative history for Contractor personnel working under this shrink must subsist maintained in the database of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

    The Contractor, when notified of an unfavorably adjudicated background investigation on a Contractor employee as determined by the Government, shall withdraw the employee from consideration in working under the contract.

    Failure to comply with the Contractor personnel security investigative requirements may result in loss of physical and/or rational access to VA facilities and systems by Contractor and Subcontractor employees and/or termination of the shrink for default.

    Identity Credential Holders must supervene outright HSPD-12 policies and procedures as well as disburse and protect their assigned identity credentials in accordance with VA policies and procedures, displaying their badges at outright times, and returning the identity credentials upon termination of their relationship with VA.

    Deliverable:

    Contractor Staff Roster

    METHOD AND DISTRIBUTION OF DELIVERABLES

    The Contractor shall deliver documentation in electronic format, unless otherwise directed in Section B of the solicitation/contract. Acceptable electronic media include: MS Word 2000/2003/2007/2010, MS exceed 2000/2003/2007/2010, MS PowerPoint 2000/2003/2007/2010, MS Project 2000/2003/2007/2010, MS Access 2000/2003/2007/2010, MS Visio 2000/2002/2003/2007/2010, AutoCAD 2002/2004/2007/2010, and Adobe Postscript Data Format (PDF).

    PERFORMANCE METRICS

    The table below defines the Performance Standards and Acceptable Levels of Performance associated with this effort.

    Required Service/Task

    Performance Standard

    Acceptable quality Level

    Method of Surveillance

    Incentive(positive and /or

    Negative)

    Project Management system (See PWS Section 5.1.1)

    The Contractor shall deliver a Contractor Project Management system (CPMP) that lays out the Contractor s approach, timeline and tools to subsist used in execution of the contract. --The CPMP should win the configuration of both a narrative and vivid format that displays the schedule, milestones, risks and resource support.----The CPMP shall besides comprise how the Contractor shall coordinate and execute planned, routine, and ad hoc data collection reporting requests as identified within the PWS.

    Zero instances where significant errors or omissions were identified (See Note 1)

    100% Inspection

    Firm-Fixed price (FFP) TO. The PM and COR will review and accept deliverables. Contractor shall re-accomplish products organize to subsist unacceptable or not meeting the intent of the task and the toil within (3) commerce days. Contractor will receive payment once deliverable is accepted by the Government

    See note 2.

    Monthly Progress Report (See PWS Section 5.1.2)

    The monthly Progress Reports shall cover outright toil completed during the reporting age and toil planned for the subsequent reporting period.-- The report shall besides identify any problems that arose and a description of how the problems were resolved.-- If problems possess not been completely resolved, the Contractor shall provide an explanation including their system and timeframe for resolving the issue. The Contractor shall monitor performance and report any deviations. It is expected that the Contractor will hold in communication with VA accordingly so that issues that arise are transparent to both parties to preclude escalation of outstanding issues.

    Zero instances where significant errors or omissions were identified (See Note 1)

    100% Inspection

    FFP TO. The PM and COR will review and accept deliverables. Contractor shall re-accomplish products organize to subsist unacceptable or not meeting the intent of the task and the toil within (3) commerce days. Contractor will receive payment once deliverable is accepted by the Government

    See note 2.

    Track, dissect and Report on VHA IT Investments (see PWS Section 5.2

    On a daily basis the contractor shall implement the IKM criterion Operating Procedures (SOP; execute tracking, analysis, and reporting activities; participate in continuous improvement activities that champion processes (includes inputs and outputs).

    Zero instances where significant errors or omissions were identified (See Note 1)

    100% Inspection

    FFP TO. The PM and COR will review and accept deliverables. Contractor shall re-accomplish products organize to subsist unacceptable or not meeting the intent of the task and the toil within (3) commerce days. Contractor will receive payment once deliverable is accepted by the Government

    See note 2.

    Manage Data (see PWS Section 5.3

    On a daily basis, execute activities to maintain, update, transition, and champion data (includes multiple databases [FileMaker Pro 12, 14, and 15; SQL Server 2012], partake drives, and SharePoint sites). Examples of daily activities and related outcomes/deliverables

    Zero instances where significant errors or omissions were identified (See Note 1)

    100% Inspection

    FFP TO. The PM and COR will review and accept deliverables. Contractor shall re-accomplish products organize to subsist unacceptable or not meeting the intent of the task and the toil within (3) commerce days. Contractor will receive payment once deliverable is accepted by the Government

    See note 2.

    Transition to SQL Database (see PWS Section 5.4

    Perform activities necessary to transition data and reports from FileMaker Pro 12 to a database on Microsoft SQL Server 2012.

    Zero instances where significant errors or omissions were identified (See Note 1)

    100% Inspection

    FFP TO. The PM and COR will review and accept deliverables. Contractor shall re-accomplish products organize to subsist unacceptable or not meeting the intent of the task and the toil within (3) commerce days. Contractor will receive payment once deliverable is accepted by the Government

    See note 2.

    Note 1: Significant errors or omissions are defined as deliverables not meeting the intent of the task and the toil considered to subsist within scope of this order.

    Note 2: Continued repetitive errors may result in an unacceptable rating on performance report to subsist used as allotment of the evaluation criteria on future order competitions.

    The COR will utilize a quality Assurance Surveillance system (QASP) throughout the life of the shrink to ensure that the Contractor is performing the services required by this PWS in an acceptable plane of performance. The Government reserves the perquisite to alter or change the surveillance methods in the QASP at its own discretion. A Performance Based Service Assessment will subsist used by the COR in accordance with the QASP to assess Contractor performance.

    FACILITY/RESOURCE PROVISIONS

    The Government will provide office space, telephone service and system access when authorized shrink staff toil at a Government location as required in order to accomplish the Tasks associated with this PWS. outright procedural guides, reference materials, and program documentation for the project and other Government applications will besides subsist provided on an as-needed basis.

    The Contractor shall request other Government documentation deemed pertinent to the toil accomplishment directly from the Government officials with whom the Contractor has contact. The Contractor shall consider the COR as the final source for needed Government documentation when the Contractor fails to secure the documents by other means. The Contractor is expected to disburse common knowledge and resourcefulness in securing outright other reference materials, criterion industry publications, and related materials that are pertinent to the work.

    VA may provide remote access to VA specific systems/network in accordance with VA Handbook 6500, which requires the disburse of a VA approved system to connect external equipment/systems to VA s network. Citrix Access Gateway (CAG) is the current and only VA approved system for remote access users when using or manipulating VA information for official VA Business. VA permits CAG remote access through approved Personally Owned paraphernalia (POE) and Other paraphernalia (OE) provided the paraphernalia meets outright applicable 6500 Handbook requirements for POE/OE. outright of the security controls required for Government furnished paraphernalia (GFE) must subsist utilized in approved POE or OE. The Contractor shall provide proof to the COR for review and approval that their POE or OE meets the VA Handbook 6500 requirements and VA Handbook 6500.6 Appendix C, herein incorporated as Addendum B, before use. CAG authorized users shall not subsist permitted to copy, print or redeem any VA information accessed via CAG at any time. VA prohibits remote access to VA s network from non-North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries. The exception to this are countries where VA has approved operations established (e.g. Philippines and South Korea). Exceptions are determined by the COR in coordination with the Information Security Officer (ISO) and Privacy Officer (PO).

    This remote access may provide access to VA specific software such as Veterans Health Information System and Technology Architecture (VistA), ClearQuest, ProPath, Primavera, and Remedy, including commandeer seat management and user licenses, depending upon the plane of access granted. The Contractor shall utilize government-provided software progress and test accounts, document and requirements repositories, etc. as required for the development, storage, maintenance and delivery of products within the scope of this effort.-- The Contractor shall not transmit, store or otherwise maintain sensitive data or products in Contractor systems (or media) within the VA firewall IAW VA Handbook 6500.6 dated March 12, 2010. outright VA sensitive information shall subsist protected at outright times in accordance with VA Handbook 6500, local security territory office System Security Plans (SSP s) and Authority to Operate (ATO) s for outright systems/LAN s accessed while performing the tasks detailed in this PWS. The Contractor shall ensure outright toil is performed in countries deemed not to pose a significant security risk. For detailed Security and Privacy Requirements (additional requirements of the shrink consolidated into an addendum for easy reference) advert to ADDENDUM A ADDITIONAL VA REQUIREMENTS, CONSOLIDATED and ADDENDUM B - VA INFORMATION AND INFORMATION SYSTEM SECURITY/PRIVACY LANGUAGE.

    Link/URL: https://www.fbo.gov/spg/VA/ISC/OISC/VA70117N0095/listing.html



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