News Posts matching "SATA-Express"

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MSI Unveils Turbo U.2 Host Card

Ever wondered why nobody made a SATA-Express SSD? We guess it's probably because of its IDE-sized connector. The SSD industry is turning its attention to other connector standards, such as M.2 and the newer U.2 (formerly known as SFF-8639). The U.2 is essentially a cabled M.2 connector, designed for drives in more common form-factors, such as 2.5-inch. The connector itself is more narrow, although it has the same pin-count as M.2, and the same bandwidth (up to 32 Gb/s with current PCI-Express standard).

ASUS debuted the connector on its flagship Maximus VIII Extreme motherboard, but MSI doesn't plan to be left behind. MSI released a new accessory that converts M.2 slots into a U.2 port. The MSI Turbo U.2 Host Card has wiring to support 32 Gb/s physical layer. The card could be included in MSI's upcoming high-end motherboards, and looking at the way it's branded and packaged, it could even be sold separately. One of the first U.2 drives is Intel SSD 750 in its 2.5-inch avatar.

ASUS Maximus VIII Extreme Motherboard Pictured

Ahead of its launch, ASUS showed off its flagship socket LGA1151 motherboard, the ROG Maximus VIII Extreme. Based on the Intel Z170 Express chipset, this board offers the largest feature-set from ASUS' stable, for the enthusiast crowd. Built in the ATX (almost E-ATX wide) form-factor, the board retains the styling of its series siblings, such as the Maximus VIII Hero, but does away with the red+black for a more contemporary golden orange+black scheme, which made its debut with the GeForce GTX 980 Ti MATRIX Platinum graphics card (also pictured here).

The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and 4-pin ATX power connectors, and conditions it for the CPU with a 16-phase VRM. The CPU socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots. Expansion slots include four PCI-Express 3.0 x16, from which three are wired to the CPU, and one to the PCH. All four are PCIe gen 3.0. Storage connectivity includes an SFF-8639 U.2 32 Gb/s connector, an M.2 32 Gb/s slot, two SATA-Express 16 Gb/s, and eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Networking includes 802.11 ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.0, and gigabit Ethernet (all Intel controllers). The new SupremeFX onboard audio solution borrows a lot of tech from ASUS' discrete sound cards, and comes with an 5.25-inch front-panel bay with rotary controls, and front-panel jacks. The board features a boat-load of overclocker-centric features, including dual-BIOS.

Intel Readies First Consumer SSD Based on 3D Xpoint Memory

Intel plans to launch the first consumer SSD based on its new 3D Xpoint memory technology, a successor to NAND flash which promises exponential gains in performance and capacity, some time in 2016. The Intel-branded drive will be called Intel Optane, will come in modern form-factors such as M.2/NGFF, SATA-Express, PCI-Express (add-on card), and will take advantage of the new NVMe protocol.

Early prototypes of Optane demoed at IDF already offer up to 5.5 times the throughput of NAND flash-based DC P3700 series SSDs, and we're only talking about single-queue performance. Compared to the queue depth of just 32 commands for AHCI, NVMe offers command queue depth of a staggering 65,535 commands. Since Micron Technology is the co-developer of 3D Xpoint, it's likely that we'll also see Micron/Crucial branded drives based on this tech.

Source: The TechReport

MSI Unveils the Z170A PC Mate Motherboard

MSI, which debuted its socket LGA1151 motherboard lineup with its Gaming series, launched its first mainline LGA1151 board, the Z170A PC Mate. A departure from the MS-7850 common-PCB, which the company used on various Intel 8-series and 9-series chipsets, the Z170A PC Mate features a boarder form, and covers all the platform basics. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and features a 6-phase CPU VRM. The CPU is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, and one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot.

Other expansion slots on the Z170A PC Mate include a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (electrical gen 3.0 x4), wired to the Z170 PCH, three PCI-Express 3.0 x1, and two legacy PCI slots. Storage connectivity includes an M.2 32 Gb/s slot, a SATA-Express 16 Gb/s connector, and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Display outputs include one each of DVI, D-Sub, and HDMI 2.0 connectors. USB connectivity includes two USB 3.1 ports (both type-A and on the rear panel), and six USB 3.0 (four on the rear panel, two by header), and four USB 2.0/1.1 ports by header. 6-channel HD audio with ground-layer isolation, and Realtek gigabit Ethernet make for the rest of it. The MSI Z170A PC Mate is priced at US $120.

MSI to Fuse OC and Gaming Lines with Z170 Family

MSI is set to fuse its two premium motherboard lines - OC Series and Gaming, with its upcoming Z170 family. The company's upcoming Z170 XPower Gaming Titanium Edition is the first such product. This stunning looking board features a silvery-white PCB, with the frosty-silver scheme continuing on to the chipset and VRM heatsinks. Its main PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (which are wired to the CPU), feature a chrome tipped slot brace. Built in the ATX form-factor, the Z170 XPower Gaming Titanium Edition draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, 4-pin ATX, and 6-pin PCIe power connectors. It uses a 16-phase VRM with tantalum capacitors, to condition power for the CPU. The CPU is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel memory.

Expansion slots include four PCI-Express 3.0 x16, from which three are wired to the CPU (electrical x16/NC/NC or x8/NC/x8 or x8/x4/x4); the fourth is electrical PCIe 3.0 x4 and wired to the PCH. Three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots make for the rest of the expansion area. Storage connectivity includes two M.2 32 Gb/s slots, two SATA-Express 16 Gb/s, and eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Display outputs include one each of DisplayPort and HDMI. USB connectivity includes 4 USB 3.1 slots, which include a mixture of type-A and type-C, with a physical type-A port pointing "forwards." MSI AudioBoost 3 audio solution, and Killer E2200 NIC make for the rest of its connectivity. The board features a detachable module with OC controls, called the OC Dashboard. This plugs into headers around the voltage measurement points. You also get automatic overclocking via a rotary knob. MSI will launch this board in its first wave of socket LGA1151 motherboards.

GIGABYTE's Next Gaming 3 Motherboard Pictured

Here's the first picture of GIGABYTE's upcoming Gaming 3 motherboard. We're not allowed to name the chipset, that's as well-guarded a secret as Coca Cola's recipe, so you'll just have to use your imagination. This socket LGA1151 motherboard, is designed to strike a price-features sweetspot, and supports 2-way NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX. Built in the ATX form-factor, the board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, and offers a 7-phase CPU VRM. The socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, and two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x8/x8, when both are populated). A third PCI-Express x16 slot (electrical gen 3.0 x4), is wired to the PCH, along with three other PCI-Express 3.0 x1 slots.

Storage connectivity includes two 32 Gb/s M.2 slots, three SATA-Express 16 Gb/s, and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Among the USB connectivity are two USB 3.1 ports (with at least one type-C port), at least eight USB 3.0 ports (from which four are given out via headers), and a number of USB 2.0/1.1 ports. The AMP-UP audio solution combines a 115 dBA SNR CODEC with ground-layer isolation, an OPAMP tuned for gaming and music, audio-grade capacitors, and EMI shielding. Networking is care of a Killer E2200 chip. Display outputs include D-Sub, DVI, and HDMI. GIGABYTE-exclusive Dual-UEFI BIOS is featured. Also offered is TurboOverclock+, a hardware-based overclock automation and stability testing system. This board will be a part of GIGABYTE's first wave of next-generation motherboards. It will include keys to some cool World of Tanks DLC.

MSI Unleashes the X99A GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard

MSI, world leading in motherboard technology, announces the most powerful X99 gaming solution, the X99A GODLIKE GAMING motherboard. Featuring Killer DoubleShot-X3 Pro, Turbo M.2 connectivity, 2X Faster USB 3.1 Type-A and Type-C and a whole new gaming oriented LED feature, MYSTIC LIGHT, the X99A GODLIKE GAMING is the most powerful motherboard to serve you in battle.

The X99A GODLIKE GAMING is world's first RGB LED motherboard, supporting more than 2000 colors and many style presets such as breathing, flashing and waving. Make your build look on fire or cold as ice. You are in control. Simply select any of the colors from the palette to suit the systems' design. Just change it to another one using the easy to use Mystic Light APP available on PC, phone and tablet, and make your PC look & feel brand new! With 2048 different colors and 7 different LED modes, the Mystic Light provides infinite possibilities for gamers to personalize their gaming rig.

High-value ASRock Z170 Extreme4 Motherboard Detailed

ASRock is seeking to strike a cost-features sweet-spot around the $130-150 mark with the new Z170 Extreme4 motherboard. ASRock didn't finalize the board's heatsink design, but showed it off at Computex. This ATX form-factor, socket LGA1151 motherboard based on Intel's Z170 Express chipset, features four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4-3400 MHz memory. A 10-phase VRM powers the CPU. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors; and with this generation, is appears that ASRock has finally got the onboard electrical distribution right; with the board lacking any additional power inputs.

Expansion slots include two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x16/NC or x8/x8), one PCI-Express x16 (electrical x4) wired to the PCH, and three PCIe 3.0 x1 slots. Much like the beefier Z170 Extreme7, this board offers three SATA-Express 16 Gb/s ports, but just one M.2 (32 Gb/s) slot; and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. All other essentials for this generation are covered, with two USB 3.1 ports (one each of Type-C and Type-A), and eight USB 3.0 (four on the rear panel, four by headers); 115 dBA SNR onboard audio with a headphones amp and ground-layer isolation; and a single gigabit Ethernet interface (Intel controller).

ASRock Z170 Extreme7 Motherboard Pictured Up Close

Here's one of the first pictures of ASRock's flagship socket LGA1151 motherboards from its mainline Z170 Extreme series, the Z170 Extreme7. This board offers an exhaustive feature set, and should appeal to gamers and overclockers alike. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, with no other auxiliary inputs. The LGA1151 socket is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4-3200 MHz memory; and three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/NC/NC or x8/x8/NC or x8/x4/x4); the fourth PCIe x16 slot is electrical x4, wired to the PCH. There's also an mPCIe slot; which will seat a WLAN+Bluetooth card on the /ac variant of this board.

The Z170 Extreme7 is the first motherboard to feature three M.2 slots, all three of which are PCIe gen 3.0 x4 (32 Gb/s). Other storage options include three SATA-Express 16 Gb/s, and ten SATA 6 Gb/s ports. The board features two USB 3.1 ports, one each of Type-C and Type-A; and eight USB 3.0 ports, four on the rear panel, four by headers. Display outputs include one each of dual-link DVI, HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2. The onboard audio is an ASRock designed Purity Sound III solution, which combines a Realtek ALC1150 CODEC with ground-layer isolation, a headphones amp, and audio-grade capacitors. Other features include dual-BIOS (manual switching), and a high-quality plastic sheath running along its I/O area.

Gigabyte Intros Z97X-Game Plus Motherboard

From a sea of black and red, Gigabyte brushed a refreshing stroke of green, with its latest socket LGA1150 motherboard, the Z97X-Game Plus. Designed to compete with $150-ish mainline products such as ASUS Z97-Pro Gamer, which are loaded with gamer-centric features and product design, though barely missing premium gaming brands such as ROG or G1.Gaming; the new Z97X Game Plus could be particularly appealing to gamers with "green" (read: reference NVIDIA) gaming PC builds. The Z97X-Game Plus is a socket LGA1150 motherboard, with out of the box support for 5th gen Core "Broadwell" processors, in addition to Core "Haswell."

The board draws power from 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors. An 8-phase VRM conditions it for the CPU, which is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, and three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/NC/NC or x8/x8/NC or x8/x4/x4). Other expansion slots include three PCI-Express 2.0 x1 and one legacy PCI. Storage connectivity includes six SATA 6 Gb/s ports (from which two wire out as SATA-Express 10 Gb/s), and one M.2 (PCIe 2.0 x2 physical layer). Notable features include Gigabyte's famed AMP-UP onboard audio, with an EMI-shielded 115 dBA SNR CODEC, ground-layer isolation, audio-grade electrolytic caps, and an OPAMP with tuning for music and gaming; Broadcom Killer E2200 gigabit Ethernet, six USB 3.0 ports, and dual-UEFI BIOS. Expect a $140-150 pricing.

Colorful iGame-Z170 Motherboard Pictured

Here is the first picture of Colorful's premium socket LGA1151 motherboard, the iGame-Z170. The company plans to carve out at lease three unique SKUs out of this PCB (second picture below), the iGame-Z170 being the base model. As its name suggests, the board is based on Intel's upcoming Z170 Express chipset, and is designed for 6th generation Core "Skylake" processors. Some variants of this board, such as the iGame-Z170U, will feature DDR4 DIMM slots (up to 64 GB), while others will feature DDR3 (up to 32 GB).

The board offers a pretty decent feature-set, including a 14-phase CPU VRM, two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (electrical x8/x8 when both are populated) wired to the CPU, a third PCI-Express x4 slot wired to the PCH, three other PCI-Express x1 slots; storage connectivity that includes six SATA 6 Gb/s, one SATA-Express, and one M.2 10 Gb/s; two USB 3.1 ports, six USB 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet, and a modern onboard audio solution with ground-layer isolation, and audio-grade capacitors. The iGame-Z170 series will launch some time in Q3, 2015. The three will likely be exhibited at Computex 2015, this June.

Supermicro Announces the C7Z97-M Socket LGA1150 Motherboard

In what's a clear sign of enterprise motherboard manufacturers like Supermicro and TYAN taking an interest in the DIY client-desktop market, Taiwanese company Supermicro launched the C7Z97-M, a micro-ATX, socket LGA1150 motherboard, based on Intel's Z97 Express chipset. It may not be the first motherboard based on the chipset by a traditionally enterprise-hardware company, but it's certainly the first designed to woo the PC enthusiast crowd. The features a matte-black PCB, with matte-black and ruby-red scheme, which bear a strong resemblance to Foxconn, and its Blood-Rage series.

The C7Z97-M features a 6-layer PCB, a digital-PWM CPU power delivery, with ceramic multi-phase bar chokes, and driver-MOSFETs. The board draws power from 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS. You can tell it's a board made by an enterprise manufacturer, looking at components such as the ASpeed IPMI 2.0 remote management chip, an LVDS display output, a TPM header, and key toggles being left to manual jumpers. The BIOS setup program is a reference AMI Aptio (not skinned).

GIGABYTE Announces X99M-Gaming 5 Micro-ATX Motherboard

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards announced today the new X99M-Gaming 5, a mATX addition to its X99 lineup based on the Intel X99 chipset with support for the new Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition (Haswell-E) processor and latest DDR4 memory support.

With the GIGABYTE X99M-Gaming 5 motherboard, the ultimate gaming station does not have to be bulky and expensive. With a compact, yet feature rich design, the X99M-Gaming 5 is an affordable solution packed with high-end features including GIGABYTE AMP-UP audio technologies, onboard SATA-Express and M.2 ports for fast data transfers, and a Killer gigabit Lan port from Qualcomm Atheros for better online gaming performance.

Gigabyte Outs Z97-HD3P Motherboard

Gigabyte rolled out the Z97-HD3P, its entry-level socket LGA1150 motherboard based on Intel Z97 Express chipset, and built in the ATX form-factor, with a width of just 19 cm. The board goes easy on overclocking-grade features, but doesn't leave out connectivity that makes the Z97 a successor to the Z87. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, and conditions it for the CPU, with a simple 4-phase VRM. The CPU socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, and a single PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. Other expansion slots include one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x4), and two each of PCIe 2.0 x1 and legacy PCI.

Storage connectivity on the Z97-HD3P includes six SATA 6 Gb/s ports, one SATA-Express port (drawing out two 6 Gb/s ports), and an M.2 10 Gb/s slot. Display outputs include one each of D-Sub, DVI, and HDMI. The audio solution is basic, 8-channel Realtek ALC887 driven, but features audio-grade electrolytic capacitors, and PCB ground-layer isolation, to reduce electrical noise. Modern connectivity includes six USB 3.0 ports (four on the rear panel, two by header). Legacy ones include COM and LPT by header, and PS/2 mouse/keyboard combo port. Expect a $100-ish price.

MSI Z97S SLI Krait Edition Motherboard Starts Selling

MSI, world leader in motherboard technology, is proud to announce its latest motherboard, the Z97S SLI Krait Edition. Inspired by and developed in cooperation with the world's elite case modders, the new Z97S SLI Krait Edition is equipped with an arsenal of new features, improvements like NVIDIA SLI certified for enthusiasts looking to pair up multiple graphics cards. On-board M.2 and SATA Express provides the latest storage technology with transfer speeds up to 10 Gb/s, with flexible solutions for using preferred devices. Military Class 4 provide all the stability you need through carefully selected and thoroughly tested components and materials. The Z97S SLI Krait Edition motherboard caters to those looking for a feature rich motherboard with a unique look & feel.

ASUS' Entry Level X99-A LGA2011v3 Motherboard Starts Selling

ASUS' entry-level socket LGA2011-v3 motherboard, the X99-A, began selling. Although announced along with ASUS' mainline flagship, the X99-Deluxe, the X99-A, along with mid-range X99-Pro, weren't available immediately, as the company decided to go in with three flagship LGA2011-v3 products, the ROG Rampage V Extreme and X99-WS being the other two. The X99-A appears to be based on a slightly watered down version of a PCB it shares with the X99-Pro; different from that of the X99-Deluxe. It's targeted at high-end gaming PC and mid-range content-creation builds.

To begin with, the X99-A is built in the standard ATX form-factor. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors. An 8-phase VRM conditions power for the CPU, with a 2+2 phase VRM for the eight DDR4 DIMM slots flanking the CPU socket on either sides. The CPU socket is wired to three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/x16/NC or x16/x8/x8 on i7-5960X and i7-5930K; and x16/NC/NC or x8/x8/NC or x8/x4/x4 on i7-5820K), and a 32 Gb/s M.2 slot, which features a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 physical layer. Other expansion slots include one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x4), and two PCI-Express 2.0 x1. The board supports 3-way NVIDIA SLI and AMD CrossFireX.

Gigabyte X99-SOC Force Motherboard Detailed

Ahead of its late-August launch, a picture of Gigabyte's flagship socket LGA2011-3 motherboard targeted at overclockers, the X99-SOC Force, leaked to the web. It reveals a monstrosity. In addition to overclocker-friendly VRM brawn, the board introduces a few segment-first features. To begin with, it's built in the ATX form-factor, and draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and SATA power connectors. It uses an 8+2+2 phase VRM to power the CPU and memory. The CPU socket is wired to eight DDR4 DIMM slots, and four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots.

Overclocker features include onboard clock and voltage tuning buttons, voltage measurement points, redundant UEFI Dual-BIOS, and more. Storage connectivity includes a 20 Gb/s (PCI-Express 2.0 x4 physical layer) M.2 slot, a SATA-Express 10 Gb/s port, and ten SATA 6 Gb/s ports. Other features include Gigabyte's AmpUP audio solution that features audiophile-grade capacitors, ground-layer isolation, and user-replaceable OPAMP chips, Intel-made gigabit Ethernet, and a number of USB 3.0 ports.

Source: Expreview

Gigabyte X99 Gaming G1 Pictured

Here's the first picture of Gigabyte's new socket LGA2011-3 motherboard, the X99 Gaming G1. Designed for Core i7 "Haswell-E" processors, the board is packed to the brim with features, although it's positioned in the mainline lineup. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS power connectors, and conditions it for the CPU using an 8-phase VRM. The CPU socket is wired to eight DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 64 GB of quad-channel DDR4 memory; and four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots.

Storage connectivity includes ten SATA 6 Gb/s, one SATA-Express 10 Gb/s, and an M.2 slot. Network connectivity include 802.11 ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.0, and gigabit Ethernet, driven by Qualcomm Killer E2200. The Sound Core3D audio solution features a user-replaceable headphone amp, audio-grade capacitors, and ground-layer isolation. A number of USB 3.0 and USB 2.0/1.1 ports make for the rest of it.

Source: Gigabyte Tech Daily (blog)

ASUS TUF Sabranco Z97 and Sabertooth Z97 MK2 Motherboards Pictured

ASUS made an additions to its TUF (the ultimate force) line of super durable motherboards, with the TUF Sabranco Z97, and the TUF Sabertooth Z97 MK2. "Sabranco," according to ASUS is a combination of the words Sabertooth and branco (Portuguese for white). It's essentially a TUF Sabertooth Z97 MK1, with a milky white PCB, and a thermal armor that features "arctic" military camouflage pattern, used by armed forces operating in snowy conditions. The Sabertooth Z97 MK2, on the other hand, is a lighter variant of the MK1, minus SATA-Express, and a lighter CPU VRM.

Intel X99 Chipset Motherboards Unlikely at Computex

Intel's next-generation HEDT (high end desktop) platform, consisting of Core i7 "Haswell-E" processors and X99 Express chipset motherboards, are unlikely to get a showing at Computex 2014, according to an OCWorkbench report, which has its feet on the ground in Taipei. What makes this development surprising, is that Intel is expected to launch the platform in the second half of 2014, and after Computex, the company won't get another major tradeshow until 2015 International CES, slated for January. What's even more surprising, is that Intel has already launched 9-series motherboards for socket LGA1150, that are designed to support its 14 nm Core "Broadwell" mainline processors. According to the report, Intel will have its motherboard partners focus on already launched Z97 Express and H97 Express motherboards, with a focus on the platform's support for M.2 and SATA-Express interfaces, that enable a new generation of faster SSDs.

Source: OCWorkbench

ADATA SR1020 PCI-Express in the 2.5-inch Form-factor and MicroSSD Pictured

At Computex, ADATA is planning to unveil some of its first enterprise SSD in recent times, beginning with the SR1020 series. Its 2 TB variant is pictured below. What makes the drive unique, is that it ships in the 2.5-inch form-factor, and supports 20 Gb/s PCI-Express (likely Gen 2.0 x4) interface. The product label doesn't mention how the drive plugs in. No variations of SATA-Express offer 20 Gb/s bandwidth at this time; while this clearly isn't an M.2 drive. The company is also expected to show off its MicroSSD, an SSD-on-a-chip solution, which is a multi-chip module (MCM) of an SSD controller and some NAND flash memory.

Intel Z97-based LGA1150 Motherboards Show Up on Newegg

Ahead of their anticipated May 9th launch, various motherboards based on Intel's upcoming Z97 Express chipset began appearing on US retailer The boards are up for order, and ready to ship. Notable mentions include MSI Z97 MPower MAX AC, the company's flagship motherboard based on this chipset, which is going for US $259.99; its slightly toned down variant, the Z97 MPower, priced at $199.99; ASUS TUF Sabertooth Z97, the company's tough-nut motherboard based on this chipset, priced at US $249.99; MSI Z97-Gaming 7, priced at $189.99; GIGABYTE Z97X-UD3H, the company's mid-range Z97 model, priced at $149.99; and the similarly priced ASUS Z97-A. Featuring out of the box support for Intel's upcoming Core "Haswell" refresh processors, including the new high-end Core i7-4790K, Z97 Express brings SATA-Express and M.2 support to the table.

Source: VR-Zone

ASUS Demos its HyperXpress SSD

ASUS demonstrated its first SSD, the HyperXpress. As its name might give away, the drive is co-developed by HyperX, the enthusiast memory and storage brand of Kingston. Built in the 9.5 mm-thick 2.5-inch form-factor, the drive features SATA Express interface, which will hit the consumer space this May, with the arrival of Intel's Z97 Express chipset, and Core "Haswell Refresh" processors. Internally, there's not much to this drive. It's a host-agnostic RAID 0 array of two mSATA 6 Gb/s SSDs, wired to a host controller made by ASMedia. To the host machine, it will look like a single drive. The sample demoed to the press, ASUS claims, is a very early prototype, and future iterations could run two M.2 SSDs instead of mSATA, for even higher throughput. The drive was tested to offer sequential transfer rates as high as 778 MB/s. At Computex 2014, flash memory manufacturers are expected to launch legions of new SSDs in the SATA-Express and M.2 form-factors.

Source: LegitReviews

Intel Finalizes Feature-sets of the First Wave of 9-series Chipsets

Here's what the first wave of Intel 9-series chipsets will look like. It will consist of upper-mainstream chipsets for the LGA1150 platform, and the sole chipset for the LGA2011-3 HEDT platform. LGA1150 will get two new chipsets based on a common silicon, the Z97 Express, and the H97 Express. The Z97 will be the next top-end chipset for the platform, supporting current Core "Haswell" and upcoming "Haswell refresh" and "Devil's Canyon" processors. Motherboards based on the Z97 chipset, like the ones based on the Z87 and Z77, will feature up to three PCI-Express 3.0 slots wired to the CPU, in configurations of x16/NC/NC, x8/x8/NC, and x8/x4/x4. It will support overclocking, something its sibling the H97 Express will lack. The H97 will also lack the PCIe configurations that the Z97 supports.

Both Z97 and H97 will introduce support for PCI-Express M.2 storage, which offers 66.6% higher bandwidth than SATA 6 Gb/s, and the same bandwidth as SATA-Express. Its introduction will spur up development and launches of a new generation of high-performance client SSDs in 2014-15. Apart from M.2, the two chipsets offer six SATA 6 Gb/s ports with AHCI and RAID support. Rapid Storage Technology (RST) and Smart Response Technology (SRT) are common for both chips, however, the Z97 also features Dynamic Storage Accelerator (DST), something the H97 will lack. H97 will exclusively offer Small Business Advantage (SBA), instead. Both chips will feature 8-lane PCI-Express gen 2.0 root complexes to drive onboard devices, and 14 USB ports, including six USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports.

Kingston Also Shows Off SandForce 3700-powered SATA SSD

In addition to the HyperX Fury series, Kingston showed off one of the first client SSDs in the 2.5-inch SATA form-factor that's based on the new SandForce 3700 controller platform by LSI. The drive is unnamed as of now, but will feature in the company's SSDNow family of client SSDs. The controller features pins for both SATA 6 Gb/s and PCI-Express 2.0 x4. On drives built in the PCIe add-on card form-factor, the controller offers sequential transfer rates as high as 1,800 MB/s. SATA 6 Gb/s should certainly bottleneck it, but it could also be one of the fastest drives in its form-factor. The dual interface makes the controller ready for the SATA-Express form-factor, with backwards compatibility for SATA 6 Gb/s; as well as NGFF. Kingston didn't reveal launch details.
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