Monday, August 7th 2017

Intel "Coffee Lake" Platform Detailed - 24 PCIe Lanes from the Chipset

Intel seems to be addressing key platform limitations with its 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" mainstream desktop platform. The first Core i7 and Core i5 "Coffee Lake" processors will launch later this year, alongside motherboards based on the Intel Z370 Express chipset. Leaked company slides detailing this chipset make an interesting revelation, that the chipset itself puts out 24 PCI-Express gen 3.0 lanes, that's not counting the 16 lanes the processor puts out for up to two PEG (PCI-Express Graphics) slots.

The PCI-Express lane budget of "Coffee Lake" platform is a huge step-up from the 8-12 general purpose lanes put out by previous-generation Intel chipsets, and will enable motherboard designers to cram their products with multiple M.2 and U.2 storage options, besides bandwidth-heavy onboard devices such as additional USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt controllers. The chipset itself integrates a multitude of bandwidth-hungry connectivity options. It integrates a 10-port USB 3.1 controller, from which six ports run at 10 Gbps, and four at 5 Gbps.
Other onboard controllers includes a SATA AHCI/RAID controller with six SATA 6 Gbps ports. The platform also introduces PCIe storage options (either an M.2 slot or a U.2 port), which is wired directly to the processor. This is drawing inspiration from AMD AM4 platform, in which an M.2/U.2 option is wired directly to the SoC, besides two SATA 6 Gbps ports. The chipset also integrates a WLAN interface with 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.0, though we think only the controller logic is integrated, and not the PHY itself (which needs to be isolated for signal integrity).

Intel is also making the biggest change to onboard audio standards since the 15-year old Azalia (HD Audio) specification. The new Intel SmartSound Technology sees the integration of a "quad-core" DSP directly into the chipset, with a reduced-function CODEC sitting elsewhere on the motherboard, probably wired using I2S instead of PCIe (as in the case of Azalia). This could still very much be a software-accelerated technology, where the CPU does the heavy lifting with DA/AD conversion.

According to leaked roadmap slides, Intel will launch its first 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" processors along with motherboards based on the Z370 chipset within Q3-2017. Mainstream and value variants of this chipset will launch only in 2018. Sources: VideoCardz, PCEVA Forums
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119 Comments on Intel "Coffee Lake" Platform Detailed - 24 PCIe Lanes from the Chipset

#1
EarthDog
Due to everyone using multiple gpus, multiple pcie3.0 m.2 nvme drives, and 10G ethernet also being common, i can see why everyone so frustrated....

:laugh:
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#2
Prima.Vera
"Manu_PT said:
Yeah, in 2 months we will have 6 core mainstream CPUs that will clock insanely high and will have Day 1 support with 4000mhz DDR4.
Source??


Meanwhile I am still on Z77 with 8 PCIE lines and life is good. Too much bitching on this thread.
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#3
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
"RejZoR said:
MEGA GALACTIC FACEPALM. How is X58 suppose to have PCIe 3.x lanes if they haven't existed yet? Eh? But it still had metric shit tons of lanes them 9 years ago. Of course they are 3.0 now. Why would they use 1.x a decade later?
Yeah, how dare Intel put PCI-e 3.0 on my CPU but, 1.1 on my PCH. What the hell. :kookoo:

Simple fact is that PCI-e 3.0 has more strict restrictions on construction than in the past with 2.0 or 1.1. You don't just push more bandwidth through the same design and expect it to work. Ever use a DisplayPort 1.1 cable on a 1.2 display and then try to drive 4k? PCI-e is the same way. Lets do math the other way, since we care about lanes. 40 PCI-e lanes at 3.0 is just as good as 120 lanes at 1.1. You're whining about lanes when you should be looking at bandwidth.

@RejZoR, you know sitting on all of that anger is bad for your health.
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#4
bug
"RejZoR said:
MEGA GALACTIC FACEPALM. How is X58 suppose to have PCIe 3.x lanes if they haven't existed yet? Eh? But it still had metric shit tons of lanes them 9 years ago. Of course they are 3.0 now. Why would they use 1.x a decade later?
So basically you don't care about transfer speed at all, just lane count*.

"Gimme the geebees" - that's what you sound like. In other news, the PS/2 ports is down from 2 to 1 or none and AGP, PCI slots and parallel ports are increasingly harder to come by.


* I wonder if this has anything to do with chipsets for Ryzen only adding PCIe 2.0 lanes - thus you can only make intel look bad if you disregard actual transfer speeds.
Posted on Reply
#5
Manu_PT
"Prima.Vera said:
Source??


Meanwhile I am still on Z77 with 8 PCIE lines and life is good. Too much bitching on this thread.
If the stock turbo on all 6 cores is 4,3ghz I´m sure you will get 4,5ghz from the chip (200mhz oc). DDR4 works well on intel platform, always did. And on Z370 the base memory speed is even higher (2666mhz vs 2400mhz). Safe assumptions. It was a comparasion with Ryzen anyway, wich can´t get past 3,9ghz and 3000mhz DDR4 on 95% of the chips.
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#6
RejZoR
"Aquinus said:
Yeah, how dare Intel put PCI-e 3.0 on my CPU but, 1.1 on my PCH. What the hell. :kookoo:

Simple fact is that PCI-e 3.0 has more strict restrictions on construction than in the past with 2.0 or 1.1. You don't just push more bandwidth through the same design and expect it to work. Ever use a DisplayPort 1.1 cable on a 1.2 display and then try to drive 4k? PCI-e is the same way. Lets do math the other way, since we care about lanes. 40 PCI-e lanes at 3.0 is just as good as 120 lanes at 1.1. You're whining about lanes when you should be looking at bandwidth.

@RejZoR, you know sitting on all of that anger is bad for your health.
Only thing deteriorating my health is all the stupidity and fanboyism recently here on TPU. I don't know what happened to this forum. Cancer apparently...
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#7
EarthDog
Dont let the logout button hit you in the arse on the way out.
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#8
Manu_PT
You talk about fanboyism yet I see you on every Intel thread spreading the hate, like I see you on every AMD related article spreading the love. Is too obvious, shame you the only one that didn´t notice it yet. I can literally go to any recent Intel article on TPU and find at least 5 posts from you arguing with someone about how Intel badly done "this and that". Is annoying to say the least.
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#9
Vayra86
"RejZoR said:
Only thing deteriorating my health is all the stupidity and fanboyism recently here on TPU. I don't know what happened to this forum. Cancer apparently...
You know the old saying, "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder" right? The opposite is also true...

You're busy counting PCIe lanes and I get the rationale when you want to add more stuff on PCIe, but I have yet to see it translated to a real world use case that *fits the segment of the market* for that platform. Please do give one because it'd make your argument a lot stronger.

Bottom line PCIe progress is about bandwidth and number of lanes only becomes relevant once you need them. Bandwidth however needs to scale along with the progress of the add in cards you can plug in, and while there is new product available to plug into PCIe, on the Intel side its the chipset that has been offering these new lanes in good supply. I mean realistically, on mainstream, you'd expect a user to add one, or two M2 drives, maybe one PCIe SSD (but that is already well into enthusiast territory let's face it) and that's all she wrote. Oh ok, add a sound card and a wifi card on top, and you still have sufficient lanes.

Realistically and cost wise, however, you probably will just be using the M2 slots and put SATA SSDs instead which are a lot cheaper $/GB and for mainstream tasks just as responsive, giving you at least one slot and its lanes to play with, for example to run x8/x8 GPUs.

So maybe this will provide the insight you need as to why everyone including me doesn't see your argument here.
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#10
dcf-joe
Honest question, if I just wanted to have a full 16 lane GPU and one modern high-speed nvme drive, I should be fine with this chipset right?
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#11
bug
"dcf-joe said:
Honest question, if I just wanted to have a full 16 lane GPU and one modern high-speed nvme drive, I should be find with this chipset right?
Yes. For quite some time Intel CPUs have offered 16 lanes exclusively for the GPU(s) and another 4 lanes for communicating with the southbridge (i.e. all other peripherals). You'll be fine.
Also for quite some time GPUs do not actually use the full capacity of 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes, so whether your card runs in x16 or in x8 mode makes no difference (google if you're curious, it's something that gets benched from time to time).
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#12
TheLostSwede
"dcf-joe said:
Honest question, if I just wanted to have a full 16 lane GPU and one modern high-speed nvme drive, I should be find with this chipset right?
Short answer, Yes.

Long answer, don't get the Z370 chipset, as it's an interim chipset which is just a rebadged Z270 from what I can tell. If you can hang on until early next year and the real 300-series chipsets, you're going to get more features for your money, as per the slides.
It's not going to be light years better, but it's an actual new chipset, rather than some rushed out solution for Intel to be able to shift more processors earlier than originally planned.

"bug said:
Yes. For quite some time Intel CPUs have offered 16 lanes exclusively for the GPU(s) and another 4 lanes for communicating with the southbridge (i.e. all other peripherals). You'll be fine.
Also for quite some time GPU do not actually use the full capacity of 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes, so whether your card runs in x16 or in x8 mode makes no difference (google if you're curious, it's something that gets benched from time to time).
Why use Google when you can read it here? https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_1080_PCI_Express_Scaling/
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#14
ssdpro
"RejZoR said:
MEGA GALACTIC FACEPALM. How is X58 suppose to have PCIe 3.x lanes if they haven't existed yet? Eh? But it still had metric shit tons of lanes them 9 years ago. Of course they are 3.0 now. Why would they use 1.x a decade later?
I think that officially made the other member's point and exposed your lack of historical and technological understanding.
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#15
hat
Enthusiast
I find myself wondering why everybody complains about PCI-E lanes anyway. There's plenty of PCI-E lanes available by CPU and by the chipset. Even the 16 lane 7640x shouldn't be an issue. There's 16 lanes by CPU, so you can run two cards in x8/x8 and if you install an m.2 SSD, those usually use PCH lanes anyway. What's the most intensive thing you can run on PCI-E? Probably a graphics card, unless you're running some huge data server filled with PCI-E SSDs or something... and it's been proven time and time again that even graphics cards don't require much PCI-E bandwidth. It's like complaining that they don't put in a 12 lane highway when the existing 6 lane highway is more than adequate, because you want to drive a really big truck... even though the truck fits on the highway just fine as is.
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#16
bug
"hat said:
I find myself wondering why everybody complains about PCI-E lanes anyway. There's plenty of PCI-E lanes available by CPU and by the chipset. Even the 16 lane 7640x shouldn't be an issue. There's 16 lanes by CPU, so you can run two cards in x8/x8 and if you install an m.2 SSD, those usually use PCH lanes anyway. What's the most intensive thing you can run on PCI-E? Probably a graphics card, unless you're running some huge data server filled with PCI-E SSDs or something... and it's been proven time and time again that even graphics cards don't require much PCI-E bandwidth. It's like complaining that they don't put in a 12 lane highway when the existing 6 lane highway is more than adequate, because you want to drive a really big truck... even though the truck fits on the highway just fine as is.
Ethernet eats into your PCIe lanes. Some mobos are dual-NIC even. SSDs also need PCIe lanes and since one big SSD is still expensive, it's common for people to buy 2-3 when they get their hands on some cash. Thunderbolt devices need PCIe lanes, too.
All in all we're not that limited right now, it's more like the future is knocking on our doors and it's comforting to know we're ready.
Posted on Reply
#17
acperience7
"hat said:
I find myself wondering why everybody complains about PCI-E lanes anyway. There's plenty of PCI-E lanes available by CPU and by the chipset. Even the 16 lane 7640x shouldn't be an issue. There's 16 lanes by CPU, so you can run two cards in x8/x8 and if you install an m.2 SSD, those usually use PCH lanes anyway. What's the most intensive thing you can run on PCI-E? Probably a graphics card, unless you're running some huge data server filled with PCI-E SSDs or something... and it's been proven time and time again that even graphics cards don't require much PCI-E bandwidth. It's like complaining that they don't put in a 12 lane highway when the existing 6 lane highway is more than adequate, because you want to drive a really big truck... even though the truck fits on the highway just fine as is.
I wonder the same thing. Looking at this from a gaming perspective; SLi and more so Crossfire are either dying or (as ever) not receiving the level of support they should be. GPU's are the biggest bandwidth users of that bandwidth. Even at 8.0x on PCI-e 2.0 or 3.0 cutting down the lanes doesn't hurt performance. I get the "more is better" mentality, but for a mainstream system 24 lanes seems like enough.
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#18
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
And I see all useful information has been watered down by @RejZoR the rock ans his immovable stance that Intel/nvidia are evil.

I cannot wait until the miners buy every single amd card and he gets none. It will actually be the highlight of my day.
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#19
RejZoR
So, I hate Intel and NVIDIA so much that I've bought their products and I like them a lot. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that idiocy you people cooked up in here on TPU...

I hate McDonalds so much I'm gonna eat 20x Big Macs out of protest. About the same level of brilliance yo...
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#20
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
"RejZoR said:
So, I hate Intel and NVIDIA so much that I've bought their products and I like them a lot. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that idiocy you people cooked up in here on TPU...

I hate McDonalds so much I'm gonna eat 20x Big Macs out of protest. About the same level of brilliance yo...
I never said you hate their products. Read what I wrote again. Then go read what you have typed over the past 3 months.
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#21
RejZoR
Bad, evil, hated, does it matter? You all just declared I'm a fanboy against all logic to define that. It goes entirely against the narrative and you just keep on grabbing it and running with it. And every time I see it I'm like, BUT HOOOOOOOW!?!!?!
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#22
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
"RejZoR said:
Bad, evil, hated, does it matter? You all just declared I'm a fanboy against all logic to define that. It goes entirely against the narrative and you just keep on grabbing it and running with it. And every time I see it I'm like, BUT HOOOOOOOW!?!!?!
Just because you own something doesn't make you immune to fanboyism. Name something positive you have said for nv/Intel over the past 3 months. I can quote every single nvidia/Intel/AMD thread where you would have thought AMD was Jesus and made water into wine.

Guess what as it sits AMD is releasing a jack of all trades and a master of none. Their product sits squarely in the middle performance wise, the gpus consume too much power and the cpus don't have enough single threaded performance for their lower clock speeds.

People will still buy both products, AMD is finally at leasted competing in the same decade of performance. You posting in every single thread stating that Intel is crap just gets fucking old. Seriously shut up. No one cares and your repetitive dribble is idiotic and incorrect more times than not.

I have never blocked a member on this forum regardless of their level of stupidity, but you, your level has reached so far that it has become unfathomable. I quite honestly don't understand how you aren't banned from the news section. I wholeheartedly believe the world would be a better place.
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#23
EarthDog
"RejZoR said:
Bad, evil, hated, does it matter? You all just declared I'm a fanboy against all logic to define that. It goes entirely against the narrative and you just keep on grabbing it and running with it. And every time I see it I'm like, BUT HOOOOOOOW!?!!?!
Some cant see the forest through the trees.

I have an open mind and your posts seem to lean amd. You defend your stance on amds gpus with hbm. When someone (me) bunks the actual need for hbm/hbm2...be it innovative or not, you dont reply. It is innovative, i will agree...but only in a vacuum does it seem such to me. Higher density, lower power... all good things! But when we look at the ecosystem, less than 1% of people run 4k which is where the bandwidth is needed. So...great... helps 4k people. In 3+ years when more 4k is in the market, i have your back, but there will be new cards out from both camps smoking rx vega and volta.

Then you jumped on the pci bandwagon thing. While its good there are more lanes in TR, does it really matter for the majority? The majority has 1 gpu and sata based ssd. On the lower end side of intel and amd, there are enough lanes for sli/cfx x8/x8 and a single m.2. You need more, you need to pay for it.....in both camps.

So, as i have been saying, yeah, great things... but, it really doesnt translate well to a need or performance NOW. The defense and attitude is tiresome at best...so are the blanket insults (though in fairness, they are heaved at you too - nobody can seem to be 'the better man' here...).

I too am incredibly close to placing you on ignore...its getting old...
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#24
RejZoR
But how does it even work to be a fanboy of AMD WHILE OWNING Intel.HOW THE HELL THAT EVEN WORKS!?!??!??!?! Jesus. It doesn't make ANY sense to begin with.
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#25
EarthDog
See... and you hang on points like this (though I didn't call you a fanboy, I just said you lean one way, note) while not addressing the counterpoints (the usefulness of HBM now for the next couple of years/ PCIe lanes making a huge difference)... you are running out of steam and the straw man arguments are getting old.
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