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AMD B550 and A520 Lack PCIe Gen 4 Capabilities?

Last Friday, we reported ASMedia working on new-generation socket AM4 motherboard chipsets that succeed the AMD B450 and A320, which could hopefully offer significantly cheaper alternatives to boards based on the feature-rich AMD X570 chipset. The DigiTimes story we cited was updated to clarify that the chipset only supports PCI-Express gen 3.0, and not the newer PCI-Express gen 4.0. There are two distinct ways of interpreting this information.

One, that motherboards based on B550 and A520 completely lack PCIe gen 4.0, including the main PCI-Express x16 (PEG) slot and the M.2 slot wired to the AM4 SoC; and two, that only the downstream PCIe lanes and the chipset bus are PCIe gen 3.0, while the main PEG slot and M.2 slot from the SoC remain gen 4. We lean toward the latter interpretation being more plausible, that AMD B550 and A520 motherboards will at least feature one PCI-Express 4.0 x16 slot, and one M.2 slot that has PCI-Express 4.0 x4 wiring from the AM4 SoC; while the ASMedia chipset is connected to the SoC over PCI-Express 3.0 x4, and downstream PCIe lanes put out by the chipset are gen 3.0, too. These ASMedia-sourced AMD 500-series chipset motherboards could also implement the latest PCB, CPU VRM, and memory wiring specifications released by AMD that enable CPU and memory overclocking levels unattainable on motherboards based on older chipsets.

ASMedia-sourced AMD B550, A520 Chipset Motherboards Arrive in 2020

If a recent MSRP price-list leak is anything to go by, motherboards based on the AMD X570 chipset will cost a pretty penny, beating even Intel's premium Z390 Express chipset on average motherboard pricing. Those looking for an affordable motherboard for the Ryzen 3000 series processors have the option of choosing existing AMD 400-series chipset based motherboards, and taking advantage of the USB BIOS Flashback feature that's almost universally available on the AMD platform. You lose out on PCI-Express gen 4.0 with the older platforms, which may not be a big compromise when it comes to graphics cards, but would limit your M.2 NVMe SSD performance upgrade path. One possible option would be to wait for affordable variants of AMD's 500-series chipsets, which are sourced from ASMedia.

According to DigiTimes, ASMedia will tape out its next-generation AMD-platform chipset silicon, and is on track to shipping its new chipsets to motherboard manufacturers by Q4-2019. This would pin availability of the first motherboards based on these chipsets to at least Q1 2020. These chipsets not only feature PCI-Express gen 4.0 downstream lanes, but also boards based on these will be built to AMD's PCB requirements for the new platform, enabling a PCI-Express 4.0 x16 slot for discrete graphics, and revised CPU VRM and memory wiring specifications that improve overclocking over the previous generation platform. For now there are two SKUs in the works, the B550, which succeeds the B450, and the A520, succeeding the A320.
Image Credit: Hardware.info

AMD X570 Puts Out Up To Twelve SATA 6G Ports and Sixteen PCIe Gen 4 Lanes

AMD X570 is the company's first in-house design desktop motherboard chipset for the AM4 platform. The company sourced earlier generations of chipset from ASMedia. A chipset in context of the AM4 platform only serves to expand I/O connectivity, since an AM4 processor is a full-fledged SoC, with an integrated southbridge that puts out SATA and USB ports directly from the CPU socket, in addition to LPCIO (ISA), HD audio bus, and SPI to interface with the firmware ROM chip. The X470 "Promontory Low Power" chipset runs really cool, with a maximum TDP of 5 Watts, and the ability to lower power to get its TDP down to 3W. The X570, on the other hand, has a TDP of "at least 15 Watts." A majority of the X570 motherboards we've seen at Computex 2019 had active fan-heatsinks over the chipset. We may now have a possible explanation for this - there are just too many things on the chipset.

According to AMD, the X570 chipset by itself can be made to put out a staggering twelve SATA 6 Gbps ports (not counting the two ports put out by the AM4 SoC). A possible rationale behind this may have been to enable motherboard designers to equip every M.2 slot on the motherboard with SATA wiring in addition to PCIe, without needing switches that reroute SATA connection from one of the physical ports. It's also possible that AMD encouraged motherboard designers to not wire out SATA ports from the AM4 SoC as physical ports to save costs on switches, and dedicate one of them to the M.2 slot wired to the SoC. With the two SATA ports from the SoC out of the equation, and every other M.2 slot getting a direct SATA connection from the chipset, motherboard designers can wire out the remaining SATA ports as physical ports, without spending money on switches, or worrying about customer complaints on one of their drives not working due to automatic switching. This is an extreme solution to a rather simple problem.

AMD X570 Unofficial Platform Diagram Revealed, Chipset Puts out PCIe Gen 4

AMD X570 is the company's first in-house design socket AM4 motherboard chipset, with the X370 and X470 chipsets being originally designed by ASMedia. With the X570, AMD hopes to leverage new PCI-Express gen 4.0 connectivity of its Ryzen 3000 Zen2 "Matisse" processors. The desktop platform that combines a Ryzen 3000 series processor with X570 chipset is codenamed "Valhalla." A rough platform diagram like what you'd find in motherboard manuals surfaced on ChipHell, confirming several features. To maintain pin-compatibility with older generations of Ryzen processors, Ryzen 3000 has the same exact connectivity from the SoC except two key differences.

On the AM4 "Valhalla" platform, the SoC puts out a total of 28 PCI-Express gen 4.0 lanes. 16 of these are allocated to PEG (PCI-Express graphics), configurable through external switches and redrivers either as single x16, or two x8 slots. Besides 16 PEG lanes, 4 lanes are allocated to one M.2 NVMe slot. The remaining 4 lanes serve as the chipset bus. With X570 being rumored to support gen 4.0 at least upstream, the chipset bus bandwidth is expected to double to 64 Gbps. Since it's an SoC, the socket is also wired to LPCIO (SuperIO controller). The processor's integrated southbridge puts out two SATA 6 Gbps ports, one of which is switchable to the first M.2 slot; and four 5 Gbps USB 3.x ports. It also has an "Azalia" HD audio bus, so the motherboard's audio solution is directly wired to the SoC. Things get very interesting with the connectivity put out by the X570 chipset.
Update May 21st: There is also information on the X570 chipset's TDP.
Update May 23rd: HKEPC posted what looks like an official AMD slide with a nicer-looking platform map. It confirms that AMD is going full-tilt with PCIe gen 4, both as chipset bus, and as downstream PCIe connectivity.

BIOSTAR Racing X570GT8 Zen 2 Motherboard Pictured and Detailed

MSI, without naming its product, teased its MEG X570 Ace motherboard late last week, obeying the cardinal rules of a teaser, such as not putting out clear pictures or names. BIOSTAR probably wanted to do something similar, but ended up leaking glaring details and pictures of its flagship socket AM4 motherboard based on the AMD X570 chipset, the Racing X570GT8. The X570 is AMD's first in-house design chipset for the AM4 socket after "Promontory" and FM2-based "Bolton," supplied by ASMedia. It was necessitated by the need to get downstream PCIe connectivity from the chipset to be certified for the latest generations (gen 3.0 or later), by AMD, and overcome many of the connectivity limitations of ASMedia "Promontory," from which AMD carved out previous socket AM4 chipsets.

Design compulsions of being a flagship product aside, there are signs of a clear focus on strengthening the CPU VRM on the Racing X570GT8, to cope with the rumored Ryzen 9 series 16-core "Zen 2" processor. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8+4 pin EPS connectors, conditioning it for the processor with a 12-phase VRM. There are two metal-reinforced PCI-Express x16 slots wired to the AM4 SoC, and we get the first glimpse of the PCI-Express gen 4.0 lane switching and re-driver circuitry. We haven't seen anything to suggest that the downstream PCIe lanes from the X570 chipset are gen 4.0, yet, but we expect them to at least be gen 3.0. The presence of three M.2 slots bodes well for the downstream PCIe lane count. ASMedia "Promontory" puts out a paltry eight gen 2.0 lanes. It's also interesting to see an active fan-heatsink cooling the X570 chipset, indicating a rather high TDP compared to the 3-5 Watt TDP of the 400-series "Promontory" low-power variant chipsets. The component choices by BIOSTAR look premium and are a callback to its T-Power glory days enthusiasts remember.

AMD X570 Chipset to Feature 40 PCIe 4.0 Lanes

As we gear up for launch of AMD-s Ryzen 3000 series, details are bound to come up with increasing frequency. One of the latest, regarding AMD's in-house developed X570 chipset, which brings a renewed feature set to the AM4 platform, pertains to its PCIe lanes. AMD has included a grand total of 40 PCIe 4.0 lanes on the chipset, which will be distributed between PCIe uplink, USB 3.1 Gen2, USB 2.0 and SATA, as the spec sheet below (which may not be real) indicates. That's a whole load of bandwidth for the PC platform, not counting those PCIe lanes that are to be provided by the Ryzen CPUs.

It seems AMD will be using PCIe support level as a differentiator factor for its chipsets. The X570 is reported to be the only chipset to feature PCIe 4.0 support, while all other chipsets below it (B550 and so on) will only support PCIe 3.0. These lower-end chipsets should be manufactured by ASMedia.

ASUS and ASRock AMD X570 Chipset Motherboards Listed

AMD X570 is the companion premium chipset option for the company's 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse" processor family, and is expected to debut alongside the first of these processors some time in June, 2019. Unlike the X470 and X370, the new X570 will be based on an in-house chipset design by AMD, and probably manufactured at GlobalFoundries on its 14 nm node. The mid-range "B550" and lower chipset models could continue to be sourced from ASMedia. Motherboard majors ASUS and ASRock put out their first partial lists of motherboard models based on the AMD X570.

ASUS will launch as many as seven motherboard models in its Republic of Gamers (ROG) family, led by the Crosshair VIII Formula. This indicates that ASUS is placing high enough sales expectations from the "Valhalla" platform across the competitive landscape to come out with an ROG Formula product. You can expect goodies such as 8-layer PCBs, liquid-cooling preparation for the VRM heatsinks, Thunderbolt, or 10 GbE, and the most number of overclocker-friendly features. Next up, are the ROG Crosshair VIII Hero and Crosshair VIII Hero WiFi, which could be the company's second-best product offerings. For the first time on the AMD platform, ASUS will launch an ROG Impact mini-ITX product, with the ROG Crosshair VIII Impact. There will be three ROG Strix family products based on the X570, the Strix-E (premium ATX), Strix-F (mid-range ATX), and Strix-I (premium mini-ITX).

AMD Ryzen 3000 "Zen 2" BIOS Analysis Reveals New Options for Overclocking & Tweaking

AMD will launch its 3rd generation Ryzen 3000 Socket AM4 desktop processors in 2019, with a product unveiling expected mid-year, likely on the sidelines of Computex 2019. AMD is keeping its promise of making these chips backwards compatible with existing Socket AM4 motherboards. To that effect, motherboard vendors such as ASUS and MSI began rolling out BIOS updates with AGESA-Combo 0.0.7.x microcode, which adds initial support for the platform to run and validate engineering samples of the upcoming "Zen 2" chips.

At CES 2019, AMD unveiled more technical details and a prototype of a 3rd generation Ryzen socket AM4 processor. The company confirmed that it will implement a multi-chip module (MCM) design even for their mainstream-desktop processor, in which it will use one or two 7 nm "Zen 2" CPU core chiplets, which talk to a 14 nm I/O controller die over Infinity Fabric. The two biggest components of the IO die are the PCI-Express root complex, and the all-important dual-channel DDR4 memory controller. We bring you never before reported details of this memory controller.

ASMedia to Continue as Chipset Supplier to AMD, But X570 an In-house Chipset

AMD's socket AM4 and socket TR4 chipsets are originally designed by ASMedia. With its "Zen" family of processors being full-fledged SoCs, the motherboard "chipset" only serves to increase connectivity, and ASMedia already holds certifications for key groups such as the PCI-SIG, USB-IF, SATA-IO, NVM-Express group, etc. It's being reported now that ASMedia will develop some, if not all 500-series chipsets, with the exception of X570. The X570 will be an in-house design by AMD, which will use its own foundry partners (likely GloFo 14 nm) to manufacture it. This presents AMD with an opportunity to harden it against vulnerabilities, and have greater control over pricing, not to mention overcoming key design shortfalls of "Promontory," such as downstream PCIe connectivity.

This flies in the face of speculation that AMD would discontinue ASMedia's supply of chipset, especially in the wake of the "Chimera" vulnerability affecting "Promontory" 300-series and 400-series chipsets. The supposedly security-hardened 500-series chipset will feature PCI-Express gen 4.0 certification. What this means is that the chipset bus between the AM4/TR4 SoC and the chipset will be PCI-Express 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps), translating to double the bandwidth. It remains to be seen if the downstream PCIe lanes put out by the chipset are gen 4.0, too. Current 400-series chipsets continue to put out stale gen 2.0 lanes, compensated for by additional gen 3.0 lanes put out by the SoC. Sources also mention that ASMedia-supplied chipsets will only hit the market toward the end of 2019, which means AMD X570 could be the only 500-series chipset option between the mid-2019 launch of 3rd generation Ryzen, and late-2019. You should be able to run these processors on older socket AM4 motherboards via BIOS updates, though.

GIGABYTE Intros X299 Aorus Master Motherboard

GIGABYTE today announced its almost-flagship socket LGA2066 motherboard, the X299 Aorus Master. The Master brand-extension, if you'll recall, is positioned just a notch below the flagship Aorus Xtreme, which makes this board a successor to the X299 Aorus Gaming 7. The X299 Aorus Gaming 9 and Designare-EX remain the company's flagship LGA2066 products, until they're succeeded by a new Aorus Xtreme product. There's still plenty to go around with the new X299 Aorus Master, beginning with its updated design scheme that's in sync with the company's latest Z390 motherboard lineup. It ships with out-of-the-box support for Core X 9000-series processors. The board is wider than ATX, although not quite E-ATX. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, and an optional 6-pin PCIe power. A 12-phase VRM powers the CPU, cooled by a 2-stage heatsink. Expansion slots include four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (x16/NC/x16/NC or x16/NC/x8/x8 or x8/x8/x8/x8). The DIMM and PCIe slots feature metal reinforcement.

Storage connectivity on the GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Master includes three M.2 slots with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 wiring, each with heatsinks; and eight SATA 6 Gbps ports. Networking includes a 2.5 GbE wired interface driven by Realtek Dragon 8125AG controller, a 1 GbE driven by Intel i219-V controller, and 802.11 ac + Bluetooth 5 interface driven by Intel 9260 WLAN card. USB connectivity includes four USB 3.1 gen 2 ports (two on the rear panel including a type-C, two by header), driven by a combination of ASMedia ASM1142 controller and the X299 PCH. The onboard audio solution is quite something. An ESS Sabre 9218 DAC (130 dBA SNR!) drives the main front + headphones channel with Ti Burr Brown OPA2111KP OPAMPs and WIMA capacitors; while a 120 dBA SNR Realtek ALC1220VB pulls the remaining channels. Manually-switchable dual-BIOS, 7-segment POST code readout, USB flash-back, and a boatload of other overclocker-friendly features complete the board. Expect it to be priced around USD $399.

ASMedia Readies ASM2824 PCIe Switch Anticipating a Rise in M.2 Slots

ASMedia is giving finishing touches to the ASM2824 PCI-Express gen 3.0 x24 switch. With half the fabric as the PLX PEX8747, the chip takes in PCI-Express 3.0 x8, and puts out four PCI-Express 3.0 x4 connections. In theory, this would let a motherboard designer create four M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slots from 8 downstream PCIe lanes of the Intel Z390 chipset, saving the remaining PCIe lanes for onboard USB 3.1 controllers (preferably sourced from ASMedia itself), since Intel canned the older 14 nm version of the Z390, which was supposed to put out six 10 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 2 and ten 5 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 1 ports directly from the PCH.

With all four downstream slots populated, ASMedia promises NVMe RAID bandwidths of up to 6,500 MB/s, with some CDM numbers even crossing 6,700 MB/s. Then again, one has to take into account that the test platform probably had the ASM2824 wired to the CPU's PCIe root-complex, and not that of the chipset. Intel is yet to modernize the lousy DMI 3.0 chipset-bus between its latest processors and chipset, and is physically PCI-Express 3.0 x4, which is fundamentally outdated for the bandwidth-heavy interfaces of this generation, such as USB 3.1, M.2 NVMe, and even the upcoming SD Express. The ASM2824 is also a godsend for the AMD AM4 platform, which not only has the same PCI-Express 3.0 x4 chipset bus between the AM4 SoC and the X470 chipset, but also a poor downstream PCIe feature-set of the X470, with just 8 gen 2.0 lanes. Motherboard designers can wire out all of those lanes to an ASM2824 for up to 24 downstream lanes.

ASMedia Remains AMD Chipset & USB Partner, Increases Revenues By 44.7%

ASMedia Technology, a tech company that's best known for designing high speed controllers (most recently, USB 3.1 Gen2, and AMD's X370 chipset), has posted tremendous increases in revenue and profits. The Taiwanese company distributed cash dividends per share in the order of $0.21 in late 2017, after achieving revenues of roughly $102 million, up 44.7% YoY (Year over Year).

While ASMedia is one of the implied companies in the latest AMD nightmare (the suspiciously timed and apparently interest-driven CTS flaw disclosure), AMD is keeping with ASMedia for its X470 chipset design and production. Which was to be expected - even if AMD wanted to change partners or develop the chipset in-house, AMD's Ryzen 2000 series and the accompanying motherboards' release is impending. The company is expected to continue its strong growth on continued shipment of USB 3.1 controllers, adding USB 3.2 controllers to its portfolio, and increased profits derived from the development of AMD's X470 chipset.

CTS-Labs Responds to a TechPowerUp Technical Questionnaire

Yesterday, we had a very productive phone call with CTS-Labs, the firm behind the "AMD Flaws" critical security vulnerabilities exposé of the "Zen" microarchitecture. Our questions focus on the practicality of exploiting these vulnerabilities, and should provide more insight to the skepticism centered on needing admin privileges, flashing BIOS ROMs, and other localized hacks that would render any machine, not just "Zen" powered, vulnerable. Feel free to follow up with questions in the comments section, if we can help explain something.

CTS Labs Posts Some Clarifications on AMD "Zen" Vulnerabilities

CTS-Labs the research group behind the AMD "Zen" CPU vulnerabilities, posted an addendum to its public-release of the whitepaper, in an attempt to dispel some of the criticism in their presentation in the absence of technical details (which they shared with AMD and other big tech firms). In their clarification whitepaper, quoted below, they get into slightly more technical details on each of the four vulnerability classes.

HighPoint RocketU 1344A Guarantees Full Bandwidth USB 3.1 Ports

HighPoint announced the RocketU 1344A, a USB 3.1 gen 2 add-on card, which puts out four type-A ports. Its USP is guaranteed 10 Gbps bandwidth for each of the four ports at all times. A PLX PCI-Express gen 3.0 bridge chip segments a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface into two gen 3.0 x2 connections to ASMedia-made 2-port USB 3.1 controllers. Each controller is fed with 20 Gbps of bus bandwidth, and hence the overhead on each port is minimized. This card is ideal for systems that don't support PCIe bifurcation. The company didn't reveal pricing.

EVGA Announces the X299 DARK Motherboard

EVGA introduces you to the ultimate in raw performance for the next-gen Intel Extreme lineup, the EVGA X299 Dark. The Dark is crafted from the ground up to be the performance apex with everything you need to make a record-breaking benching run or a 24/7 number cruncher, and nothing you don't - a board that is as reliable as it is fast.

ASUS Intros WS X299 Pro SE Motherboard

ASUS today introduced the WS X299 Pro SE motherboard, a variant of the recently announced WS X299 Pro. The new Pro SE comes with an ASUS ASMB9-iKVM IPMI 2.0 compliant remote management chip, which is physically an ASPEED AST2500, but with custom firmware and software by ASUS. This chip provides a host of remote-management features, including iKVM, remote BIOS update, BSOD screen capture, and screen video recording, remote data wipe, etc., all adding to the board's enterprise credentials. The chip is tucked away underneath the secondary VRM heatsink next to the expansion slot area of the motherboard, and dissipates its heat to this heatsink via a thermal pad. The board is otherwise identical to the WS X299 Pro. We expect the WS X299 Pro SE to sell at a premium over the WS X299 Pro.

AMD's Pinnacle Ridge Zen+ 12 nm CPUs to Launch on February 2018

A recent AMD roadmap leak showed the company's "tick", process-improved plans for 2018's Zen+, as well as its painter-imbued aspirations with Zen 2 in 2019. Now, there's some new info posted by DigiTimes that's being sourced straight from motherboard makers that points to the company's Pinnacle Ridge launch being set sometime in February 2018.

This information seems to have been delivered to the motherboard makers straight from AMD itself, as a heads-up for when they should be expecting to ramp up production of next-generation chipsets. Sources report that AMD will follow their Summit Ridge, Ryzen launch, with the initial release of Pinnacle 7 in February, followed by the mid-range Pinnacle 5 and entry-level Pinnacle 3 processors in March 2018. DigiTimes also reports that AMD is expecting to see its share of the desktop CPU market return to at least 30% in the first half of 2018 which, coeteris paribus, is more of a simple mathematical progression than clarvoyance.

MSI Announces X399 Gaming Pro Carbon, X370 Gaming M7 ACK and B350 Tomahawk Plus

MSI, the leading gaming motherboard brand, is proud to announce the all-new X399 GAMING PRO CARBON AC with the launch of new high-end AMD's flagship Ryzen Threadripper processors. Built on the SocketTR4 platform, featuring up to 16 cores and 32 threads, the new Ryzen Threadripper 1950X CPU is capable of scoring over 3000 points in Cinebench, showing its true colors as the new ultra-premium desktop processor.

Like AMD, MSI continuously strives to push the gaming industry forward and emphasizes on gamers' demand. To deliver pure, unprecedented, power and great efficiency when using the new high-end 16-core Threadripper processor, the MSI X399 GAMING PRO CARBON AC is built on a massive 13 phase (10+) DrMOS power design. This not allows for better overclocking, it also helps harness all the power and temperature generated by the massive number of cores. The X399 GAMING PRO CARBON comes with the strongest power design when comparing it to other brands and their current offerings. Besides this, it also features plenty of genuine gaming features and exclusive technologies.

MSI Announces X299 XPOWER Gaming AC Motherboard

MSI, the leading gaming motherboard brand, is proud to announce its newest X299 flagship motherboard, the X299 XPOWER GAMING AC. Designed for PC enthusiasts and overclockers who love sheer performance, the new XPOWER features an incredible 14 phase (12+1+1) DigitALL premium power design with Loadline Calibration to harness even the most powerful Intel Core X-Series processors. With the addition of MSI's Turbo Socket and External Clock Gen, powered by top quality components from Military Class 6, such as Titanium Choke II for higher efficiency and power delivery, even the most demanding overclockers are being challenged to push the new XPOWER to its limits.

MSI Unleashes High-End X299 Motherboards at Computex 2017

MSI is proud to unleash a complete line-up of next generation high-end X299 motherboards during COMPUTEX 2017. With the inclusion of the most popular models from MSI's Enthusiast, Performance and Arsenal GAMING Series there is a gaming motherboard available for any type of gamer, PC enthusiast, or case modder. Also content creators and professionals have a great, feature packed option ready to assist them with to the addition of the MSI X299 SLI PLUS motherboard.

GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Gaming 9 Motherboard Detailed

Here's the first picture of the GIGABYTE X299 Aorus Gaming 9 motherboard, a TechPowerUp-exclusive. This socket LGA2066 motherboard is ready for upcoming Core i7 "Kaby Lake-X" 4-core, and "Skylake-X" 6-core, 8-core, 10-core, and 12-core processors. Based on Intel X299 Express chipset, this board draws power from two 8-pin EPS power connectors, besides 24-pin ATX. This could become the norm with X299 motherboards. There could either be a second 8-pin EPS or a second 4-pin ATX connector. A 12-phase VRM conditions power.

The LGA2066 socket is wired to four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots, which can be configured as electrical x8/x8/x8/x8 or x16/NC/x16/NC or x16/NC/x8/x8 with "Skylake-X" 10-core and 12-core chips; or x8/NC/x8/x4 or x16/NC/NC/x4 with "Kaby Lake-X" quad-core and "Skylake-X" 6-core and 8-core chips. The 5th x16 slot is electrical x4 and wired to the PCH. There are plenty of storage options, including two 32 Gb/s M.2 (up to 80 mm) slots, a 32 Gb/s M.2 (up to 110 mm) slot, with native NVMe RAID and Optane support; and eight SATA 6 Gb/s. The board features ASMedia ASM3142 USB 3.1 controller with type-A and type-C ports on the rear panel, as well as additional ports through headers.

MSI Announces the Z270 GODLIKE Gaming Motherboard

MSI, the leading gaming motherboard brand, is proud to announce the all-new Z270 GOLDIKE GAMING motherboard. As the pinnacle of GAMING in terms of design, performance and features, the new Z270 GODLIKE GAMING raises the bar once again for motherboard development. With plenty of world's first and exclusive technologies such as Killer xTend and the new ASMedia 3142 USB 3.1 Gen2 controller, the new Z270 GODLIKE GAMING motherboard closely follows the GODLIKE standard.

With our continuous strive to push the gaming industry forward, we are excited to once again work close with Rivet to be world's first motherboard brand to launch Killer xTend on our new Z270 GODLIKE GAMING. With GODLIKE at the heart of a gaming rig, it allows it to act as a Killer fueled router to pass on and strengthen the internet signals, with lower latency, offering the best online experience when gaming on LAN or WIFI. Like GODLIKE GAMING, Killer's new technology is packed with new cutting-edge technologies, such as their exclusive gaming bandwidth management. The MSI and Killer gaming experience has now been expanded throughout the complete household.

MSI Z270 "Tomahawk" Motherboard Teased

Tis the season of 'leaks.' A marketing image of an upcoming socket LGA1151 Z270 chipset based motherboard by MSI bearing its Gaming Series Tomahawk branding was teased on Facebook. It appears to be feature-rich given that MSI positions its "Tomahawk" branded motherboards in the mid-tier of its lineup. One of the features that caught our attention is MSI's claim to have achieved true 1000 MB/s bandwidth for USB 3.1 (gen 2.0) using a custom software feature. MSI is calling this the X-Boost. The company is also guaranteeing full 8 Gb/s bandwidth per port, since it's using ASMedia AS2142 controllers to drive its USB 3.1 ports.

Many Thanks to TheLostSwede for the tip.

MSI Announces the Z170A Gaming M6 Motherboard

MSI is proud to announce the new Z170A GAMING M6 motherboard for the enthusiast gamers. Premiering two significant new features, Lightning USB and the next generation Killer networking technology, the Z170A GAMING M6 adopts evil gray as its major color scheme, bringing a whole new look and feel to the game table. This motherboard also offers Twin Turbo onboard M.2, Audio Boost 3 and a plethora of other game enhancing features.

The traditional ASMedia 1142 USB 3.1 controller chip on current motherboards is connected via either PCIe Gen2 x2 (10Gb/s) or Gen3 x1 (8Gb/s) which limits the USB 3.1 Gen2 transfer rates (10Gb/s). MSI is now proud to introduce the first ever motherboard to have the next generation Lighting Asmedia 2142 USB 3.1 Gen2 controller chip which runs at PCIe Gen3 x2 (16Gb/s) which is twice as fast. In combination with MSI's exclusive USB Speed Up there is no faster USB 3.1 Gen2 solution on the market. The PCIe Gen3 connection will also help to boost transfer speeds enormously when using two USB 3.1 Gen2 devices at the same time. The MSI Z170A GAMING M6 comes with both an USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A and Type-C interface.
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