News Posts matching "SATA-Express"

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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 Newegg.com. 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.

ASUS Z87-Deluxe/SATA-Express Detailed

ASUS released a prototype of the first desktop PC motherboard with SATA-Express support, the Z87-Deluxe/SATA-Express. A variant of ASUS' flagship socket LGA1150 motherboard from its mainline Z87 series, the Z87-Deluxe, the board features two SATA-Express ports. SATA-Express sees a fusion between two of the most successful serial I/O interfaces, SATA and PCI-Express. It's essentially ATA over PCI-Express 2.0 x2, which offers a raw bandwidth of 8 Gbps per direction, 16 Gbps total. The SATA-Express port is structured similar to the classic SATA port, with PCI-Express lanes running over two 7-pin SATA connectors, and an additional block of 4 pins that make up the 18 pins required by 2-lane PCI-Express. A SATA-Express connector is thus unified, and legacy SATA devices should still be able to run off one of the two 7-in SATA connectors in a SATA-Express block.

Since there are no SATA-Express drives in the market, ASUS gave TweakTown a MacGyver contraption that adapts SATA-Express to a physical PCI-Express 2.0 x4 slot (electrical x2). An ASUS RAIDR Express PCI-Express SSD was found to offer sequential transfer rates of around 750 MB/s on ATTO. The rest of the board is practically identical to the Z87-Deluxe. The board uses a 16-phase VRM to condition power for the LGA1150 CPU. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors. Expansion slots include three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x16/NC/NC or x8/x8/NC or x8/x4/x4, depending on how they're populated); and four PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots.

Core i7 "Haswell-E" Engineering Sample Pictured

Here's the first picture of Intel's next-generation Core i7 HEDT (high-end desktop) processor, codenamed "Haswell-E." Based on Intel's latest "Haswell" micro-architecture, the chip will be Intel's first HEDT processor to ship with eight cores, and the first client CPU to ship with next-generation DDR4 memory interface. In addition to IPC improvements over "Ivy Bridge" that come with "Haswell," the chip integrates a quad-channel DDR4 integrated memory controller, with native memory speeds of DDR4-2133 MHz; a PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex with a total of 40 PCI-Express lanes, and yet the same DMI 2.0 (4 GB/s) chipset bus.

Built into the LGA2011-3 socket, "Haswell-E" will be incompatible with current LGA2011 motherboards, as the notches of the package will vary from LGA2011 "Ivy Bridge-E." Intel will introduce the new X99 Express chipset, featuring all 6 Gb/s SATA ports, integrated USB 3.0 controllers, and a PCI-Express gen 2.0 root complex for third-party onboard controllers. Interestingly, there's no mention of SATA-Express, which Intel's next-generation 9-series chipset for Core "Broadwell" platforms reportedly ships with; and X99 isn't looking too different from today's Z87 chipset. With engineering samples already out, it wouldn't surprise us if Intel launches "Haswell-E" along the sidelines of any of next year's big-three trade-shows (CES, CeBIT, and Computex).

Source: VR-Zone
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