Monday, May 12th 2014

ASRock Offers Ultra M.2 Gen3 x4 32 Gb/s Socket for Ultimate Transfer Speed

As motherboard manufacturers unveiled their new Intel 9 Series products one after another, we can see the proliferation of PCIe Gen2 x2 M.2 interface on Desktop motherboards very clearly. However, ASRock Inc. took the lead among other competitors once again. This time it's the Z97 Extreme6 which boasts "Ultra M.2 PCIe Gen3 x4" socket stands out. With its doubled transfer bandwidth, ASRock Ultra M.2 is able to completely break through the speed limit of SATA3 6 Gb/s and blow others away!

The Secret of Ultra M.2
Ultra M.2 is one of ASRock's creative innovations. Compared to normal M.2 with PCIe Gen2 x2 bandwidth, ASRock is the first one in the world to double the M.2 bandwidth to PCIe Gen3 x4! Furthermore, the layout of Ultra M.2 is also specially designed. On a regular motherboard design, the signal route starts from the M.2 device, goes through the onboard chipset, and finally reaches CPU. In contrast, by connecting the M.2 interface to CPU directly, ASRock Ultra M.2 has lower latency and pushes the I/O speed to a new level!

Experience The World's Fastest Speed With ASRock's Ultra M.2
The theoretical speed of Ultra M.2 is 32 Gb/s, which is 6X faster than PCIe x1 M.2, and 3X faster than PCIe x2 M.2 (Chart 1). As for Ultra M.2 vs. normal M.2 comparison, we tested the read speed of Samsung XP941 PCIe x4 M.2 SSD on Ultra M.2 socket and reached 1.16 GB/s, 46% faster than PCIe x2 M.2 socket (Chart 2). We also tested a PCIe x2 M.2 SSD on Ultra M.2 socket. Benefited from the direct linkage between Ultra M.2 interface and CPU, the PCIe x2 M.2 SSD read speed on Ultra M.2 socket is 8.8% faster than on normal M.2 socket. As shown in Chart 3, the lower latency of Ultra M.2 design does matter.
Designed For Tech Enthusiasts - Z97 Extreme6
As we may conclude now, ASRock Ultra M.2 is the key component to break the I/O performance barrier on current Desktop PC. With the proliferation of Ultra M.2 and M.2, the new era of I/O speed is about to come. If you are tired of the HDD performance bottleneck and looking for an ultimate I/O solution for your Desktop, ASRock Z97 Extreme6 is the only motherboard packs the world's fastest Ultra M.2 socket, ASRock Super Alloy technology, 12 Phase Power Design, Purity Sound 2, Dual LAN, SATA Express interface, ASRock Cloud and other unique features. It is definitely the best motherboard for you!

For more information, please visit:
www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z97%20Extreme6
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13 Comments on ASRock Offers Ultra M.2 Gen3 x4 32 Gb/s Socket for Ultimate Transfer Speed

#1
Trompochi
Holy freaking-flying cows! :O
Posted on Reply
#2
nemesis.ie
Confused as to how this does Quad Xfire with only 3 x16 length slots ... unless they mean using 2 x R9 295 x2s?
Posted on Reply
#3
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
by: nemesis.ie
Confused as to how this does Quad Xfire with only 3 x16 length slots ... unless they mean using 2 x R9 295 x2s?
I'm confused how as well considering 4 lanes will be used for the M.2 slot. That leaves 4 lanes for each 16x slot. That seems barely adequate if you have a PCI-E 3.0 card unless there is a PLX chip hiding in there.
Posted on Reply
#4
SimpleTECH
by: Aquinus
I'm confused how as well considering 4 lanes will be used for the M.2 slot. That leaves 4 lanes for each 16x slot. That seems barely adequate if you have a PCI-E 3.0 card unless there is a PLX chip hiding in there.
From the ASRock product page:
If M2_1 slot is occupied, PCIE2 slot will run at x8 mode, and PCIE4 slot will run at x4 mode.
The board has three physical PCIe x16 slots but only two of them are wired for PCIe 3.0. The last one (labled "PCIE5") is PCIe 2.0 x4.
Posted on Reply
#5
lolsop
Bye bye SLI

Pretty useless. Intel RST only support booting from Gen2 x2 devices, so I believe you cannot boot from this Gen3 x3 device. This will be fixed in the next update for Intel RST in Q4 2014. Besides that only Samsung has a Gen3 x4 device which is a enterprise solution and very expensive. Don't expect to see any mainstream devices.
Posted on Reply
#6
zinfinion
I really hope they are mistaken and actually used the 4x PCIe 2.0 lanes that hang directly off the CPU (and never seem to get used) rather than monopolizing 4x PCIe 3.0 lanes, as that would be rather daft.

I'm guessing it actually is the PCIe 3.0 lanes though, which is a nonstarter for anyone that wants to use the faster M.2 socket as well as SLI.
Posted on Reply
#8
mikeangs2004
by: lolsop
Bye bye SLI

Pretty useless. Intel RST only support booting from Gen2 x2 devices, so I believe you cannot boot from this Gen3 x3 device. This will be fixed in the next update for Intel RST in Q4 2014. Besides that only Samsung has a Gen3 x4 device which is a enterprise solution and very expensive. Don't expect to see any mainstream devices.
There is no such thing as Gen3 x3 SSD. And you can always boot from M.2 x4 SSD just like in Vaio 13 and others. Your comment is close to nonsense
Posted on Reply
#9
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
That last PCI-E 4x @ 2.0 is probably off the PCH if the other two are 8x/x4 @ PCI-E 3.0, because with the Ultra M.2 using 4 lanes off the CPU, you've already exhausted the PCI-E lanes on the CPU. Keep in mind that Intel's PCH's tend to have 8 PCI-E lanes handy noadays since the PCH was adopted (6, 7, 8, and 9 series chipsets all have them). Some of the leaner PCHs like the H61 and H81 only have 6 lanes. Just my 2 cents.
Posted on Reply
#10
Jizzler
CPU: x16, x8/x8, and x8/x4/x4. It's connected to PCIE2, PCIE4, and M.4 (or if I must say it... ASRocks so-called Ultra M.2).

PCH:
- PCIE1, x1
- PCIE3, x1, shared with mPCIe slot.
- PCIE5, x2
- ASMedia USB3 controller
- ASMedia SATA controller x 2
- Realtek NIC

Doesn't explicitly say it has two ASMedia SATA controllers, but since the model listed is only 2-port and the board has 4 ports above the PCH compliment, it's a pretty safe guess.

Also doesn't say, but I bet PCIE5 is shared with the other M.2 slot.

ASRock could have added a PLX switch for the all the wackiness they wanted this board to support, but it's only an Extreme6. They can still tier up a couple more times with an Extreme9, Extreme11, Fatal1ty, Killer, and Killer Ninja Fatal1ty Platinum Pro Rev 2b.
Posted on Reply
#11
RamCity
by: mikeangs2004
There is no such thing as Gen3 x3 SSD. And you can always boot from M.2 x4 SSD just like in Vaio 13 and others. Your comment is close to nonsense
To clarify:
  1. It's been possible to boot the Plextor M6e PCIe 2.0 x2 SSD in any motherboard with an open x4 slot for some time, as it has it's own bios and comes with a standard PCIe adapter. Albeit the performance isn't that much more than SATA 6G.

  2. Up until now it wasn't possible to boot the Samsung XP941 PCIe 2.0 x4 M.2 SSD in any motherboard with an M.2 socket, even if it is wired to the PCIe bus, with the exception of specific versions of the Sony Vaio Pro 13 (nor is it bootable using an M.2 to PCie adapter, with the exception of the pre-2012 Apple Mac Pro.)
  3. With the introduction of the ASRock Z97 Extreme6 it has been confirmed that the XP941 is bootable and runs at full PCIe 2.0 x4 speed and that's where the real performance gains are to be had. We've also just had reports that ASUS are booting the XP941's in their new Z97 motherboards in UEFI mode, and working on legacy mode boot.
Posted on Reply
#12
mikeangs2004
by: RamCity
To clarify:
  1. It's been possible to boot the Plextor M6e PCIe 2.0 x2 SSD in any motherboard with an open x4 slot for some time, as it has it's own bios and comes with a standard PCIe adapter. Albeit the performance isn't that much more than SATA 6G.

  2. Up until now it wasn't possible to boot the Samsung XP941 PCIe 2.0 x4 M.2 SSD in any motherboard with an M.2 socket, even it was wired to the PCIe bus, with the exception of specific versions of the Sony Vaio Pro 13 (nor is it bootable using an M.2 to PCie adapter, with the exception of the pre-2012 Apple Mac Pro.)
  3. With the introduction of the ASRock Z97 Extreme6 it has been confirmed that the XP941 is bootable and runs at full PCIe 2.0 x4 speed and that's where the real performance gains are to be had. We've also just had reports that ASUS are booting the XP941's in their new Z97 motherboards in UEFI mode, and working on legacy mode boot.

ebay is cheaper
Posted on Reply
#13
Hilux SSRG
by: mikeangs2004
ebay is cheaper
for what specifically? a connector/adapter?
Posted on Reply
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