News Posts matching "PCI-Express"

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Thermalright Intros Silver Arrow TR4 CPU Cooler

Thermalright today introduced a variant of its Silver Arrow dual fin-stack, tower-type CPU cooler for AMD socket TR4, meant for Ryzen Threadripper processors. Capable of handling thermal loads of up to 320W, the cooler can be paired with even upcoming 250W TDP 24-core and 32-core Threadripper II models. Although bearing the same name, the Silver Arrow TR4 bears little design resemblance with the Silver Arrow ITX-R or the Silver Arrow SB-E, or even the original Silver Arrow from 2010. It's the largest cooler of this class, with an enlarged nickel-plated copper base designed to provide full coverage of the Threadripper IHS, from which eight 6 mm-thick heat pipes draw heat, with the two aluminium fin-stacks propagating along their ends.

Nested between the two fin-stacks is a 140 mm fan which takes in 4-pin PWM input, spins between 600 to 2,500 RPM, pushing 53.3 - 220.9 m³/h, with a noise output ranging between 21 - 45 dBA. With its fan in place, the Silver Arrow TR4 measures 155 mm x 103 mm x 163 mm (LxWxH). The narrow width ensures clearance for the memory slots that flank the CPU socket from either side. The fin-stack itself is offset sideways to ensure clearance for the topmost PCI-Express slot on your motherboard. You can latch on two additional fans. A syringe of Thermalright's Chill Factor III TIM comes included. The cooler tips the scales at 1,050 g. The company didn't reveal pricing.

AMD Vega 20 GPU Could Implement PCI-Express gen 4.0

The "Vega 20" silicon will be significantly different from the "Vega 10" which powers the company's current Radeon RX Vega series. AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su unveiled the "Vega 20" silicon at the company's 2018 Computex event, revealing that the multi-chip module's 7 nm GPU die is surrounded by not two, but four HBM2 memory stacks, making up to 32 GB of memory. Another key specification is emerging thanks to the sharp eyes at ComputerBase.de - system bus.

A close inspection of the latest AMDGPU Linux driver includes PCI-Express link speed definitions for PCI-Express gen 4.0, which offers 256 Gbps of bandwidth per direction at x16 bus width, double that of PCI-Express gen 3.0. "Vega 20" got its first PCIe gen 4.0 support confirmation from a leak slide that surfaced around CES 2018. AMD "Vega" architecture slides from last year hinted at a Q3/Q4 launch of the first "Vega 20" based product. The same slide also hinted that the next-generation EPYC processor, which we know are "Zen 2" based and not "Zen+," could feature PCI-Express gen 4.0 root-complexes. Since EPYC chips are multi-chip modules, it could also hint at the likelihood of PCIe gen 4.0 on "Zen 2" based 3rd generation Ryzen processor family.

COLORFUL Adds Two CN600S Solid-State Drives to Their Storage Offerings

COLORFUL Technology Company Limited, professional manufacturer of graphics cards, motherboards and high-performance storage solutions is proud to announce the addition of two new options for its CN600S line of solid-state drives. COLORFUL is adding the CN600S 240GB and CN600S 480GB drives featuring Intel 64-layer 3D NAND. Those looking for a cost-effective high-performance, high-capacity storage solution for low-profile applications including notebooks and other M.2 capable devices. The improved speed and capacity of the COLORFUL CN600S allows it to be used in a wider range of applications including gaming, professional use or HTPC.

The COLORUL CN600S is equipped with the SMI 2263XT controller, features a M.2 2280 design standard and is rated for transfer speeds up to 2 GB/s reads and 1.5 GB/s write performance. The SMI 2263XT uses the PCIe Gen3 x4 interface and can deliver 4x faster performance than SATA3 for reading, accessing and opening applications and games. The COLORFUL CN600 M.2 PCIe SSD is focused in offering the most compelling cost-benefit ratio in the market.

Colorful Working on AMD 400-series Chipset AM4 Motherboards

Colorful is designing its first socket AM4 motherboards, according to industry sources. The company will release its first socket AM4 motherboards after the 2018 Computex Expo (June). These boards will be based on AMD 400-series chipsets, and will come with out of the box support for Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" processors, Ryzen "Raven Ridge" APUs, and existing Ryzen "Summit Ridge" processors. Taking advantage of PCI-Express gen 3.0 general-purpose connectivity of the 400-series chipset, the boards will feature multiple 32 Gbps NVMe interfaces (M.2 or U.2). It's possible that the company could attach its coveted iGame Vulcan brand to some of these models. The company currently only sells motherboards for Intel platforms. Its lineup includes motherboards based on Intel Z370 and X299 chipsets, including crypto-currency miner-centric boards based on lesser Intel chipsets, such as the B250. AMD is expected to debut its 400-series chipset alongside its 2nd generation Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" processors, in Q2-2018.

Colorful Intros Unique C.J1900A-BTC PLUS V20 Mining Motherboard

Colorful today introduced the uniquely designed C.J1900A-BTC PLUS V20 motherboard for mining rigs. This odd-ball form-factor board is designed for makeshift racks, and removes the need for PCIe riser cables. The board itself is a large PCB with nine PCI-Express x16 slots with 1-slot spacing, of which eight can be used for installing your mining graphics cards (x1 wiring), while the slot on the middle (blue), isn't really a PCI-Express slot.

The blue slot has custom wiring for the business end of the motherboard, a riser card which houses the Celeron J1900 SoC, a DDR4 SO-DIMM slot, an mSATA 6 Gb/s slot for your SSD, and the board's main connectivity, which includes two USB 2.0 ports, two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, and an HDMI display output. If you have trouble finding an mSATA SSD in 2017, there's also a standard SATA 6 Gb/s port. The riser draws power from a 4-pin ATX input. The main PCB has eight 6-pin PCIe power inputs, which wire out to 6-pin PCIe outputs near each black slot. This is more of a cable-management feature, smaller (20 cm long) male-to-male 6-pin PCIe cables connect the outputs to the graphics cards.

PCI SIG Releases PCI-Express Gen 4.0 Specifications

The Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) special interest group (SIG) published the first official specification (version 1.0) of PCI-Express gen 4.0 bus. The specification's previous draft 0.9 was under technical review by members of the SIG. The new generation PCIe comes with double the bandwidth of PCI-Express gen 3.0, reduced latency, lane margining, and I/O virtualization capabilities. With the specification published, one can expect end-user products implementing it. PCI SIG has now turned its attention to the even newer PCI-Express gen 5.0 specification, which will be close to ready by mid-2019.

PCI-Express gen 4.0 comes with 16 GT/s bandwidth per-lane, per-direction, which is double that of gen 3.0. An M.2 NVMe drive implementing it, for example, will have 64 Gbps of interface bandwidth at its disposal. The SIG has also been steered toward lowering the latencies of the interconnect as HPC hardware designers are turning toward alternatives such as NVLink and InfinityFabric, not primarily for the bandwidth, but the lower latency. Lane margining is a new feature that allows hardware to maintain a uniform physical layer signal clarity across multiple PCIe devices connected to a common root complex. This is particularly important when you have multiple pieces of mission-critical hardware (such as RAID HBAs or HPC accelerators), and require uniform performance across them. The new specification also adds new I/O virtualization features that should prove useful in HPC and cloud computing.

AMD Reveals Ryzen 7 Family, Pricing, and Radeon Vega Logo

At a press event by AMD, company CEO Lisa Su unveiled the first three AMD Ryzen desktop processor models, the top-dog Ryzen 7-1800X, the Ryzen 7-1700X, and the Ryzen 7-1700. The R7-1800X is priced at USD $499, followed by the R7-1700X at $399, and the R7-1700 at $329. The three chips will be available for purchase on the 2nd of March, 2017. The R7-1800X is clocked at 3.60 GHz, with a TurboCore frequency of 4.00 GHz, and the XFR (extended frequency range) feature, which further overclocks the chip, depending on the effectiveness of your CPU cooler.

The Ryzen 7-1700X ships with 3.40 GHz clocks, with 3.80 GHz TurboCore frequency, and the XFR feature. The Ryzen 7-1700 lacks XFR, and comes with slightly lower clocks, at 3.00 GHz core, and 3.70 GHz TurboCore. All three are true 8-core chips, with 512 KB of dedicated L2 cache per core, and 16 MB of shared L3 cache. Also featured are dual-channel DDR4 integrated memory controllers, and an integrated PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex. The Ryzen 7-1700 has a TDP of just 65W (for a performance 8-core chip that's a kick in the butts of Intel's engineers), and will include an AMD Wraith Max cooling solution, while the 1700X and 1800X have TDP rated at 95W, and will come without coolers. At its media event, CEO Lisa Su stated that at $499, the Ryzen 7-1800X "smokes" the Intel Core i7-6900K eight-core processor. The company also unveiled the branding of its Radeon Vega enthusiast graphics family. Lastly, feast your eyes on the beautiful, 14 nm, Made-in-USA die-shot of Ryzen.

DeepCool Shows Off its QuadStellar Chassis

Building on the legacy of its TriStellar series cases, DeepCool unveiled the bigger, four-lobed QuadStellar chassis. Unlike the TriStellar, which housed mini-ITX motherboards, the QuadStellar is much larger, and designed for full-fledged ATX motherboards. The central axis to the four lobes is more functional than it is on the TriStellar, as two opposing lobes can now meet in the middle to make up a large continuous chamber to house the ATX motherboard, and its 8 expansion slots. One of the other two lobes houses the PSU bay with a few drive bays; while the other lobe has three additional PCI-Express x16 slot risers, and a few more drive bays. The case measures 523 mm x 485 mm x 485 mm. It features nine 3.5-inch and twelve 2.5-inch drive bays. DeepCool plans to launch this case by May 2017.

ASUS Prime B250M-Plus Pictured, Too

The third Prime B250 series motherboard by ASUS is the B250M-Plus. This micro-ATX motherboard offers most of the features its bigger siblings ship with. The board features the same 7-phase VRM as the other boards. Expansion slots include one each of PCI-Express 3.0 x16, PCIe x1, and legacy PCI. Storage connectivity includes one 32 Gb/s M.2 slot, and six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. The board offers 8-channel HD audio (compared to 6-channel on the larger boards), gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 ports, and display outputs that include HDMI, DVI, and D-Sub. Expect a sub-$100 price.

AMD Reveals Three Entries on the WX Series Lineup: WX4100, WX5100 and WX7100

At its WX call, AMD focused on shifts in creativity from traditional design flows such as Solidworks, Adobe and Autodesk towards game engines as solutions for design visualization (Unreal Engine, Unity, CryEngine, or Autodesk's own Stingray platform), which signal changes in the creator ecosystem. Thanks to globalization, the Internet, and the available wealth of knowledge one can access through it, the line between amateurs and professionals is becoming more and more blurred. Now, those who would once be called amateurs are also using professional tools, and AMD plans to be at the forefront of technologies empowering creators to deliver their vision.

Radeon PRO serves to give creators more flexible and powerful solutions, leveraging open-source resources and centering the ecosystem back on creators and the tools they choose to use, with focused support on VR. As such, AMD is giving them the tools they need, by introducing three new products featuring the Polaris architecture, including 3 year standard + 7 year free extended warranty (including components such as the PCB itself, the PCI-Express slot, and the heatsinks), with AMD taking that extra 7 years as company commitment towards the quality of their products. Those three products are the WX4100, the WX5100, and the WX7100, and have planned, staggered availability throughout November.

PCI-Express 4.0 Pushes 16 GT/s per Lane, 300W Slot Power

The PCI-Express gen 4.0 specification promises to deliver a huge leap in host bus bandwidth and power-delivery for add-on cards. According to its latest draft, the specification prescribes a bandwidth of 16 GT/s per lane, double that of the 8 GT/s of the current PCI-Express gen 3.0 specification. The 16 GT/s per lane bandwidth translates into 1.97 GB/s for x1 devices, 7.87 GB/s for x4, 15.75 GB/s for x8, and 31.5 GB/s for x16 devices.

More importantly, it prescribes a quadrupling of power-delivery from the slot. A PCIe gen 4.0 slot should be able to deliver 300W of power (against 75W from PCIe gen 3.0 slots). This should eventually eliminate the need for additional power connectors on graphics cards with power-draw under 300W, however, the change could be gradual, as graphics card designers could want to retain backwards-compatibility with older PCIe slots, and retain additional power connectors. The PCI-SIG, the special interest group behind PCIe, said that it would finalize the gen 4.0 specification by the end of 2016.

High PCIe Slot Power Draw Costs RX 480 PCI-SIG Integrator Listing

AMD's design of the Radeon RX 480 graphics card, which draws over 75W of power from the PCI-Express x16 slot, has cost it a product listing on the PCI-SIG Integrators List. The list is compiled for hardware devices implementing the various PCI-Express specifications to the letter. The RX 480 is off-spec, in that it overdraws power from the slot, as the card needs more power than what the slot and the 6-pin PCIe power connector can provide while staying within specs. According to these specs, the slot can provide up to 75W of power, and the 6-pin connector another 75W. The RX 480 was tested to draw more than this 150W power budget.

What this means for AMD is that it cannot display the PCI-Express certification logo on the product or its marketing materials. This, however, may not affect AMD's add-in board (AIB) partners that are PCI-SIG members in their own right, and make graphics cards with their own sub-vendor IDs, provided their power-supply designs comply with PCIe specs. Custom-design cards with an 8-pin PCIe power connector, instead of 6-pin, may qualify as the combination of the 8-pin connector and the slot yields a power budget of 225W. AMD released a software fix to the issue of the cards overdrawing power from the slot, with the Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.1 Beta.

AMD Releases PCI-Express Power Draw Fix, We Tested, Confirmed, Works

Earlier today, AMD has posted a new Radeon Crimson Edition Beta, 16.7.1, which actually includes two fixes for the reported PCI-Express overcurrent issue that kept Internet people busy the last days.

The driver changelog mentions the following: "Radeon RX 480's power distribution has been improved for AMD reference boards, lowering the current drawn from the PCIe bus", and there's also a second item "A new "compatibility mode" UI toggle has been made available in the Global Settings menu of Radeon Settings. This option is designed to reduce total power with minimal performance impact if end users experience any further issues."

Official Statement from AMD on the PCI-Express Overcurrent Issue

AMD sent us this statement in response to growing concern among our readers that the Radeon RX 480 graphics card violates PCI-Express power specification, by overdrawing power from its single 6-pin PCIe power connector and the PCI-Express slot. Combined, the total power budged of the card should be 150W, however, it was found to draw well over that power limit.

AMD has had out-of-spec power designs in the past with the Radeon R9 295X2, for example, but that card is targeted at buyers with reasonably good PSUs. The RX 480's target audience could face troubles powering the card. Below is AMD's statement on the matter. The company stated that it's working on a driver update that could cap the power at 150W. It will be interesting to see how that power-limit affects performance.
"As you know, we continuously tune our GPUs in order to maximize their performance within their given power envelopes and the speed of the memory interface, which in this case is an unprecedented 8 Gbps for GDDR5. Recently, we identified select scenarios where the tuning of some RX 480 boards was not optimal. Fortunately, we can adjust the GPU's tuning via software in order to resolve this issue. We are already testing a driver that implements a fix, and we will provide an update to the community on our progress on Tuesday (July 5, 2016)."

Shuttle Announces DH170 Mini-PC

As with two previous product launches from Shuttle, the new DH170 becomes a member of the product family of Skylake-compatible Mini-PCs. This means there are three models in different case designs available now for the new generation of Intel Core processors - one model in classic cube format, one versatile 3-litre machine and today the DH170 debuts with a particularly compact case volume of 1.3-litre.

"This type of case is also suitable for locations where conditions are tough, but high computing performance is still required," says Tom Seiffert, Head of Marketing & PR at Shuttle Computer Handels GmbH. "The 43 mm flat steel case offers maximum protection from mechanical stresses and can also cope with ambient temperatures of up to 50 °C."

PowerColor Devil HDX Sound Card Detailed

PowerColor rolled out the Devil HDX PCI-Express sound card. Designed with a strong focus on output quality, and targeted at PC enthusiasts with high-end headphones, the card is driven by a C-Media CMI8888 native-PCIe master processor, wired to Wolfson WM8741 primary DAC, with 124 dBA SNR, driving the headphones and front-out channels. Amplifying this, is a TI LM4562 OPAMP, which is swappable.

Nichicon Muse electrolytic, and metalized polypropylene caps man all channels, reducing signal loss. Only the electrical portion features solid-state capacitors. The card draws power from a 4-pin Molex input. The entire audio area is electrically isolated from the PCIe slot power input. The main PCB features a 6.3 mm headphones jack, supporting cans with up to 600Ω impedance, stereo RCA out, and 7.1-channel optical SPDIF (TOSLINK) outputs. A daughterboard gives out additional analog channels and inputs via 3.5 mm jacks. On the software side of things, you get C-Media's Xear3D software customized by PowerColor, with ASIO 2.2 support.

TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.8.2 Released

TechPowerUp released the latest version of GPU-Z, the popular video hardware information and diagnostic utility. Version 0.8.2 brings with it a vast number of changes, support for new hardware, and bug-fixes. To begin with, the user-interface of GPU-Z received a major update, with the addition of a "Lookup" button that takes you to our GPU Database page corresponding to your GPU. The app can now tell you if your drivers are WHQL-signed. GPU manufacturer logos are updated.

Among the new hardware supported includes NVIDIA GeForce TITAN-X, GTX 980M, GTX 970M, GGTX 965M, GTX 845M, GTX 760 Ti OEM, GTX 660 (960 shaders), GT 705, GT 720, GT 745M, NVS 310, and Grid; AMD Radeon R9 255, FirePro W7100, HD 8370D, AMD R9 M280X, and R9 M295X; and Intel "Broadwell" integrated graphics. Specifications are revised for GeForce GTX 970.

A large number of bugs were fixed, and overall usability improved, including notably GPU-Z now supports Windows 10. We implemented a new working way of extracting BIOS from NVIDIA GPUs on systems with WIndows 8 and higher, to avoid a system hang. A large number of bugs were fixed, and overall usability of the app improved, as detailed in the change-log.
DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp GPU-Z 0.8.2 | GPU-Z 0.8.2 ASUS ROG-themed

The Change-log follows.

Plextor Announces M6e Black Edition PCI-Express SSD

Plextor launched its flagship SSD for PC enthusiasts, the M6e Black Edition. Clearly intended for enthusiast PC builds, miles away from an enterprise environment, this drive features a focus on product design, with its matte black PCB, full-length metal shroud, and a racy red aluminium heatsink popping out from a cutout in that shroud. This heatsink cools the controller and NAND flash chips. The drive comes in three capacities - 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB.

Under the hood, the M6e Black Edition is essentially an M.2 riser with PCI-Express 2.0 x4 wiring. The drive sitting on its M.2 slot is driven by a Marvell 88SS9183 controller, wired to Toshiba-made 19 nm Toggle NAND flash, and 1 GB of DRAM cache. The drive offers sequential transfer rates of up to 770 MB/s reads, with up to 625 MB/s writes; with up to 105,000 IOPS 4K random reads, and up to 100,000 IOPS 4K random writes. In addition to PCIe bus power, the drive requires power from a SATA power connector. Features include PlexTurbo 2.0 technology that shuttles hot data to system memory, TRIM, NCQ, and NVMe. The drive is bootable.

Apacer Announces the PT910 PCI-Express SSD

For professional gamers to win fierce fights easily, Apacer, the pioneer in digital storage, launches the latest SSD - Apacer PT910 SSD. It adopts the ultra-high-speed interfaces PCI-E 2.0 x 2, reaching amazing sequential read/write speeds of 830/790 MB/s and 4K random read/write speeds up to 100,000 IOPS.

With the dual controller from the top brand SandForce and the chips from the tech giant Intel, the product is available in 256 GB and 512 GB, of which the real capacities are 7% larger than other same-level products.PT910's multiple advantages of high efficiency, high reliability and high cost-performance ratio allow computer game experts, musicians and audio/video workers to enjoy a more pleasant and smooth digital experiences.

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.

Two OCZ RevoDrive 350 Striped in Soft-RAID, Put out 3.7 GBps

OCZ showed off its latest high-performance SSD for the consumer market, built in the full-height PCI-Express add-on card form-factor, the RevoDrive 350. The drive features a PCI-Express 2.0 x8 bus interface, and several SSD subunits making up a host-agnostic RAID 0 array; which is bootable. OCZ claims sequential transfer speeds of up to 1,800 MB/s, with 4K random access throughputs of up to 140,000 IOPS, for its top-end 480 GB and 960 GB variants. The company set up a soft-RAID using two of these drives, and put it through popular synthetic benchmarks. It scored as high as 3,752 MB/s in one test.

Next-Gen Intel "Alpine Ridge" Thunderbolt Controller Detailed

Intel's upcoming Thunderbolt host controller, codenamed "Alpine Ridge," could allow you to play God with several uncompressed Ultra HD video streams during production, if its leaked specifications hold up. The controller leverages PCI-Express gen 3.0 to double bandwidth of the interface. It will launch around the same time as Intel's next-generation Core "Skylake" processors (some time in 2015), and in a typical implementation, will be wired to the CPU's root-complex, and not that of the PCH. With PCIe 3.0 x4 or PCIe 3.0 x2 links at its disposal, the controller can push data at a staggering 40 Gbps. The link can also ferry DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0, and USB 3.0 data through its link layer. That bandwidth should enable you to plug in up to two Ultra HD displays, apart from your storage array.

The Thunderbolt connector itself will undergo a change with the arrival of Alpine Ridge. It will be slimmer (shorter) than the current connector, at 3 mm (good for Ultrabooks), and there will be adapters for backwards compatibility with older-generation Thunderbolt devices. The connector will be designed to supply up to 100W of power, so Ultrabooks based on it will do away with round DC jacks, and charge up much like tablets and smartphones do. That amount of power should also enable single-cable HDD docks and RAID boxes. There will be two main variants of Alpine Ridge, one that supports two ports over daisy-chaining, and one that supports just a single port.

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.

ASRock Announces a Trio of Socket AM1 Motherboards

ASRock announced a trio of socket AM1 motherboards for AMD's "Kabini" series APUs, Athlon and Sempron-branded CPUs, in the FS1b (AM1) package. The lineup includes the AM1B-M, a compact micro-ATX model; and two mini-ITX ones, the AM1H-ITX, and the AM1B-ITX. The AM1B-M draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 4-pin ATX connectors, and uses a 3-phase VRM to power the APU. A PCI-Express 2.0 x16, and a PCIe 2.0 x1 make for its expansion slots. Connectivity includes two SATA 6 Gb/s ports, two USB 3.0 ports (rear), D-Sub display output, gigabit Ethernet, and 6-channel HD audio.

The AM1H-ITX, and the AM1B-ITX appear to be based on a common PCB design, but differ with connectivity. The former is gear towards modern connectivity options. It draws power from either a 24-pin ATX, or a 2-pin external DC input. The board is loaded with features, including HDMI and DVI display outputs, four SATA 6 Gb/s ports, four USB 3.0 ports, PCI-Express 2.0 x16 and mPCIe slots, and 8-channel HD audio. The latter is geared more towards essential/legacy connectivity. It features the same display outputs, but chucks out 2-pin power input, and 8-channel HD audio to make room for a parallel LPT port.

ASUS ThunderboltEX II Add-on Thunderbolt 20 Gbps Cards Now Available

ASUS rolled out second-generation add-on Thunderbolt cards for its motherboards, the ThunderboltEX II series. It includes the single-port ThunderboltEX II, and the two-port ThunderboltEX II DUAL. The two are based on Intel's DSL5320 and DSL5520 chipsets, respectively, and support the Thunderbolt 2.0 standard, which offers 20 Gb/s of bandwidth over a single cable.

The cards aren't completely independent, and can't just be plugged into any motherboard with a PCI-Express 2.0 x4/x16 slot. It requires a special header that's used for timing, and low-level system interface, and optionally, an end-to-end DisplayPort (if you want to relay display from your graphics card through the common Thunderbolt pipe). A list of compatible motherboards can be found on the product page.
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