Friday, June 8th 2012

ASUS to Give AMD AM3+ Platform Thunderbolt Support

ASUS unveiled a new line of socket AM3+ motherboards at Computex, which will constitute its lineup at least for the rest of 2012. The new motherboards are based on existing 9-series chipset, and are mere revisions of existing AM3+ motherboard models. These include the Crosshair V Formula-Z (990FX + SB950), M5A99FX PRO R2.0 (990FX + SB950), Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 (990FX + SB950) and M5A99X EVO R2.0 (990X + SB950). What all these motherboards have in common, is a header labeled "TB_HEADER," which connects them to ASUS' Thunderbolt EX add-on card.

The ASUS Thunderbolt EX is a swanky PCI-Express 2.0 x4 add-on card, which is driven by an Intel "Cactus Ridge 2C" Thunderbolt host controller. The TB_HEADER is a low-level connection between the motherboard and the add-on card, which transacts power state, signaling, and device hot-plugging events to the system BIOS. Some of ASUS' recent 7-series LGA1155 motherboards can be retrofitted with Thunderbolt the same way, and feature the same header. The card has a nice EMI shield running the entire length of its PCB. Its rear panel has one full-size DisplayPort, which is actually an input from your graphics card, and one Thunderbolt + mini-DP output.

Source: VR-Zone
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20 Comments on ASUS to Give AMD AM3+ Platform Thunderbolt Support

#1
Andy77
Yey for creepy standards... yey, moar ports for some rarely used rarely useful tech.
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#2
puma99dk|
thunderbolt ain't used alot now but if it's as good as JJ from Asus have showed than i think it will be really popular with higher speed than USB and u can have several hdd's in just one port even a display.
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#3
Mussels
Moderprator
thunderbolt is something i'd actually replace my mobo to upgrade to.


TB is going to become massive in the coming years, especially for the mobile market. HDD docks will be awesome on TB.
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#4
techtard
Laptops will probably benefit from thunderbolt later. There's enough bandwidth to run an external desktop gamer pci-e GPU.

Maybe thunderbolt will take off on the desktop as the new SSD standard interface. New SSDs are already in spitting distance of the SATA 6gbps limit.

by: Mussels
thunderbolt is something i'd actually replace my mobo to upgrade to.


TB is going to become massive in the coming years, especially for the mobile market. HDD docks will be awesome on TB.
HDD docks are limited by the old spinning disks, not the interface. Unless you are using USB.
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#5
NAVI_Z
Finally us AMD folks get ThunderBolt! Nothing but good things to come from TB. Anybody that has not seen the video on Youtube should check it out. You will be impressed.
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#8
Jizzler
by: techtard
Laptops will probably benefit from thunderbolt later. There's enough bandwidth to run an external desktop gamer pci-e GPU.

Maybe thunderbolt will take off on the desktop as the new SSD standard interface. New SSDs are already in spitting distance of the SATA 6gbps limit.
Native PCIe NAND controllers will make Thunderbolt the interface of choice for external storage.

Internally, you'd skip Thunderbolt altogether and have a PCIe SSD peripheral card. (cut out the middle-man)
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#9
theoneandonlymrk
there's other smaller tweeks ,no pci slot(now pciex) plus buttons in the right place and oc stability tweeks, hmmm latest oc was on?:)
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#10
Mussels
Moderprator
by: techtard
Laptops will probably benefit from thunderbolt later. There's enough bandwidth to run an external desktop gamer pci-e GPU.

Maybe thunderbolt will take off on the desktop as the new SSD standard interface. New SSDs are already in spitting distance of the SATA 6gbps limit.



HDD docks are limited by the old spinning disks, not the interface. Unless you are using USB.
i run 5 drives per enclosure. interface is a problem.
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#12
Mussels
Moderprator
by: techtard
Ah, you're talking about NAS boxes. I thought you meant a simple HDD dock like the folowing.
http://www.engadget.com/tag/HddDock/
NAS implies network. thunderbolt would not be networked, same as E-sata or USB.
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#13
blibba
by: techtard
Maybe thunderbolt will take off on the desktop as the new SSD standard interface. New SSDs are already in spitting distance of the SATA 6gbps limit.
Thunderbolt is just DP and PCI-E in a cable. You can already have a PCI-E SSD if you want one - the OCZ Revodrive, for example.
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#14
Dippyskoodlez
by: puma99dk|
thunderbolt ain't used alot now but if it's as good as JJ from Asus have showed than i think it will be really popular with higher speed than USB and u can have several hdd's in just one port even a display.
It's not directly comparable to USB. It's just an external PCI-E connection. It actually compliments USB. :)
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#15
Octavean
I think this is great and answers the question about Thunderbolt on AMD platforms.

However, its actually kind of an odd connection if you think about it. I address the 800 lb gorilla by stating the obvious. AMD users are often looking for a cost effective (read as cheaper) alternative to Intel platforms. As such one could speculate that AMD users typically want to spend less and will in all likelihood spend less. Intel Thunderbolt isn’t cheap generally speaking with respect to just about everything down to the ~$50 cables.

This will change over time but it still seems as if AMD users would be very unlikely to invest in Intel Thunderbolt hardware as it exists today,….at a price premium.

On the other hand, Intel users that overlook less expensive AMD platforms are probably more likely to spend money on Intel Thunderbolt hardware in the short term. Probably even more so for the ones who paid a premium on their Z77 motherboards for the Thunderbolt feature in the first place.

Then there are the Apple users who really paid a premium and are likely already using Thunderbolt.
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#16
Dippyskoodlez
by: Octavean
I think this is great and answers the question about Thunderbolt on AMD platforms.

However, its actually kind of an odd connection if you think about it. I address the 800 lb gorilla by stating the obvious. AMD users are often looking for a cost effective (read as cheaper) alternative to Intel platforms. As such one could speculate that AMD users typically want to spend less and will in all likelihood spend less. Intel Thunderbolt isn’t cheap generally speaking with respect to just about everything down to the ~$50 cables.

This will change over time but it still seems as if AMD users would be very unlikely to invest in Intel Thunderbolt hardware as it exists today,….at a price premium.

On the other hand, Intel users that overlook less expensive AMD platforms are probably more likely to spend money on Intel Thunderbolt hardware in the short term. Probably even more so for the ones who paid a premium on their Z77 motherboards for the Thunderbolt feature in the first place.

Then there are the Apple users who really paid a premium and are likely already using Thunderbolt.
AMD customers usually being in the more budget end of the market is definitely mostly true, but even the premium AMD boards are usually leaps and bounds cheaper than the Intel alternatives.

This opens up the thunderbolt market greatly, and actually may even help Apple users more willingly adopt an AMD platform. I have a 2500K, and had been considering the Asus thunderbold board a bit, but also had looked at AMD for a cheap upgrade (omg 8 cores yayayaya). I use a Macbook pro full time, so being able to buy a thunderbolt peripheral and not have to worry about interoperability outside of shady drivers will be nice. :)

Just because AMD is cheaper and right now their CPu's are slaughtered by i5/i7's, doesn't mean they don't get the job done though. There is definitely a market for the 90% of the performance category when it saves $200-$800 off of a system. (Especially if you can get the max out of an overclock.)
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#17
Octavean
by: Dippyskoodlez
AMD customers usually being in the more budget end of the market is definitely mostly true, but even the premium AMD boards are usually leaps and bounds cheaper than the Intel alternatives.

This opens up the thunderbolt market greatly, and actually may even help Apple users more willingly adopt an AMD platform. I have a 2500K, and had been considering the Asus thunderbold board a bit, but also had looked at AMD for a cheap upgrade (omg 8 cores yayayaya). I use a Macbook pro full time, so being able to buy a thunderbolt peripheral and not have to worry about interoperability outside of shady drivers will be nice. :)

Just because AMD is cheaper and right now their CPu's are slaughtered by i5/i7's, doesn't mean they don't get the job done though. There is definitely a market for the 90% of the performance category when it saves $200-$800 off of a system. (Especially if you can get the max out of an overclock.)
I’m not sure you understood the spirit of my post.
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#18
Dippyskoodlez
by: Octavean
I’m not sure you understood the spirit of my post.
I completely understood your post, but just because there's a small premium for the interface doesn't mean there isn't and wont be demand.

To the non technical folk, "it has thunderbolt, too!" is a pretty GOOD selling point, and exactly what AMD needs, even if they aren't going to use it. Its a check in the box for the AMD sales people on their feature creep chart.

Also, Thunderbolt really has more of a design "tax" than an actual cost "tax". (yes the cables are expensive still, but equipping a computer isn't that hard, especially once pci-e 3.0 starts proliferating.)
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#19
JMccovery
While it is nice that ASUS is putting this on their higher-end AM3+ boards, Thunderbolt would make much more sense on a FM1 or FM2 motherboard, since the DP output is already there. Maybe a Sabertooth or ROG FM2 board?
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#20
kcrow11
by: puma99dk|
thunderbolt ain't used alot now but if it's as good as JJ from Asus have showed than i think it will be really popular with higher speed than USB and u can have several hdd's in just one port even a display.
To be honest with you, this is a completely inaccurate statement. Thunderbolt is used ALOT by the Mac community, Creative Professionals including Sound engineers, graphic designers, film makers and the such. Individuals in these industries have thrown hundreds of thousands of dollars at Thunderbolt products, including computers and storage drives.

The coolest part of thunderbolt from a Mac User's point of view is the fact that I can go out and buy a 6TB External HDD that is equipped with two thunderbolt ports. It connects to any of my Mac's via one Thunderbolt cable, at any point, I can go out and buy a second or third 6TB External HDD or even a 10TB External and daisy chain all of these devices together getting the full amount of bandwidth through the entire chain of devices! Hollywood has been using this technology since the day it was released due to the large amounts of digital space film making takes up these days. You want to go Thunderbolt if you can, it will blow up in 2013. Like one poster says, it will be huge with Mobile Devices docking and other such uses. Think, linking together 50 different devices to that 6TB External HDD, Monitors, Cell Phones and Tablets, other computers and such. It is already being done and with people like me being able to transfer 10 Seasons of TV Shows (roughly 50GB's of Data) from one computer to the next via Thunderbolt in less than a minute, it's already faster than Gigabit ethernet that I used to use for the same transfers!

Get on it people or you will be left behind...don't take my word for it, do the research, look at these industries and what kind of hardware they have been and are currently buying, if its Mac's its because of the Thunderbolt, if it's new Mobo's they are going intel to take advantage of the Thunderbolt platform and all that Win8 will offer.
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