News Posts matching "PCI-Express 3.0"

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Silicon Power Intros P34M85 M.2 NVMe SSD

Silicon Power today introduced the P34M85 solid-state drive. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor, this drive features PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface, and takes advantage of the NVMe 1.2 protocol. The company didn't drop any hints as to what combination of controller and NAND flash is under its heatspreader. It comes in capacities of 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB. It could be DRAM-less, given its HMB (host memory buffer) support, wherein the drive uses a small portion of your system memory. The P34M85 offers sequential transfer rates of up to 2,700 MB/s reads, with up to 1,400 MB/s writes. The drive is backed by a 5-year warranty. The company didn't reveal pricing.

ASRock Intros X370 Pro BTC+ Motherboard

Cryptocurrency mining rig motherboards have, until now, mostly been based on the Intel platform because Intel chipsets put out more PCIe lanes than AMD ones, and because Intel's sub-$100 Pentium/Celeron chips don't have narrower PCIe connectivity from the CPU. ASRock apparently has a lot of unsold AMD X370 chipset inventory, and with the possible introduction of sub-$100 Ryzen chips that have 28 PCIe lanes from the CPU, a use-case has emerged for a mining motherboard based on this platform. We hence have the X370 Pro BTC+. The board features an AM4 socket, with out of the box support for "Pinnacle Ridge" processors. The socket is wired to just one DDR4 DIMM slot, but all eight PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots.

The topmost x16 slot runs at electrical gen 3.0 x4, while the remaining seven slots are gen 3.0 x1, taking advantage of PCIe segmentation of the X370 platform. The board draws power from three 24-pin ATX, 8+4 pin EPS, and a number of Molex outputs, although most of these power connectors are optional. A point to note here is that the D-sub/HDMI display outputs only work if an A-series "Bristol Ridge" or Ryzen "Raven Ridge" APU is used (which have fewer PCIe lanes), so you're bound to take display output from one of the 8 graphics cards. A 1 GbE interface and two USB 3.0 ports make for the rest of it.

GIGABYTE Intros B450-I Aorus Pro WiFi Motherboard

GIGABYTE introduced an Aorus-branded, quasi-premium mini-ITX motherboard based on AMD B450 chipset, for socket AM4 processors, the B450-I Aorus Pro WiFi. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS, conditioning it for the SoC with a lean 4+2 phase VRM. The AM4 SoC is wired to two DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory; and the board's lone PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot.

Storage connectivity on the B450-I Aorus Pro WiFi includes an M.2-2280 slot with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring; and four SATA 6 Gbps ports. USB connectivity includes six USB 3.0 ports (four on the rear panel, two by headers); and two USB 3.1 gen 2 (both on the rear panel). With just 6-channel jacks, the onboard audio solution may look cheap, but is redeemed by Realtek ALC1220 CODEC. The Intel 9260 adapter is at the helm of wireless networking, with 802.11ac + Bluetooth 5.0, while GbE is handled by Intel i211AT. There's also some RGB LED fun to be had, with two 4-pin ARGB headers, and a small 8-pixel diffuser behind the PCB. GIGABYTE could price this board around $120.

Intel Intros 660p Series M.2 NVMe SSDs with QLC NAND Flash

Intel Tuesday introduced the new SSD 660p series M.2 NVMe solid state drives. At the heart of these drives is the new 64-layer 3D QLC (quadruple level cell, or 4 bits per cell) NAND flash memory by IMFlash Technology (an Intel and Micron joint-venture). This memory is mated with a SIlicon Motion SMI 2263 controller. This chip is a derivative of the popular SMI2262EN, built on a newer process, with support for QLC NAND flash, compacted to have a smaller PCB footprint, and is driven by a custom firmware by Intel. The drives use over 10% of the QLC NAND flash area as SLC cache. The 660p series comes in three variants based on size - 512 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB. The prices are the biggest dividend of QLC: the 512 GB variant goes for USD $99.99, the 1 TB variant at $199.99, and the 2 TB variant for $399.99.

Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor, the SSD 660p series drives feature PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface. Intel's pricing puts these drives close to competing drives with PCIe x2 interface, but offering higher transfer rates thanks to the wider bus. It's also interesting to note here that the controller is cushioned by a DRAM cache (something PCIe x2 drives tend to lack, to keep costs down). Performance numbers differ by variant, and the 512 GB drive is the slowest, sequentially reading at speeds of up to 1500 MB/s, with up to 1000 MB/s sequential writes; up to 90,000 4K random reads, and up to 220,000 IOPS 4K random writes. The 1 TB and 2 TB variants both sequentially read and write at up to 1800 MB/s. The 1 TB variant offers 150,000 IOPS 4K random reads, and up to 220,000 IOPS random writes; while the 2 TB variant has 4K random reads/writes numbers of 220,000 IOPS.

GIGABYTE Announces the AORUS X399 XTREME Motherboard

GIGABYTE today announced its flagship socket TR4 motherboard for AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors, with out-of-the-box compatibility with 2nd generation 32-core Threadrippers. The new Aorus X399 XTREME board is part of a new breed of X399-TR4 motherboards launched/unveiled in the past few months, with reinforced VRM to cope better with the upcoming 250W TDP 24-core and 32-core processors, such as the MSI MEG X399 Creation. A brochure of this board was leaked to the web last month, and now we see it in the flesh. Technically still an ATX board, the Aorus X399 Xtreme is slightly broader, and is recommended to be installed in EATX-capable cases. Power is drawn from a 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, and an optional 6-pin PCIe power. A 10-phase VRM powers the CPU.

Expansion includes four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/NC/x16/NC or x16/NC/x8/x8 or x8/x8/x8/x8), and an x1 slot. Storage connectivity includes three M.2 slots with gen 3.0 x4 wiring, each; and six SATA 6 Gbps ports, from which four come directly from the CPU. The onboard audio is top of the line, with an ESS Sabre DAC working the main stereo out, and a Realtek ALC1220VB handling the other 8 channels. The Sabre is slaved to the ALC1220VB, so the system only sees one audio controller. There are four network interfaces - a 10 GbE driven by an Aquantia-made controller, two 1 GbE pulled by Intel i219-V, and an 802.11ac driven by an Intel 9260 WLAN card, which also handles Bluetooth 5.0. There are 10 USB 3.1 ports at the integrated rear panel (eight running at 5 Gbps, and two at 10 Gbps, one of which is type-C). Four other 5 Gbps ports are wired internally. Of course there's the full-shebang of RGB lighting and control. Available from 8th August, the board will be priced at USD $499.99.

GIGABYTE Intros CMT403x Series M.2 PCIe Riser Cards

GIGABYTE introduced the CMT4034 and CMT4032 M.2 PCIe riser cards, which convert a PCI-Express gen 3.0 slot to M.2-22110 slots with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 wiring. Your motherboard needs to support PCI-Express lane segmentation, as the cards have no switching logic of their own. Both cards are built in the half-height (low-profile) add-on card form-factor. The arrangement of the M.2 slots is where the two slightly differ. The CMT4034 has four M.2-22110 slots and takes in PCI-Express 3.0 x16, while the CMT4032 only has two M.2 slots, plugging into PCI-Express 3.0 x8.

While the CMT4032 features a single PCB with two M.2 slots on the obverse side of the PCB, the CMT4034 is designed with two PCBs such that a smaller PCB features the x16 host interface, while a larger second PCB is elevated from the main PCB, and has two M.2 slots on each of its side. The idea here is to provide clearance on the reverse side of the card, lest the M.2 drives installed there intrude into the space of the adjacent add-on card. Both cards include metal heatspreaders. You also get thermal sensors and link/activity LEDs for each individual slot. The company didn't reveal pricing.

ADATA Intros SR2000CP PCI-Express 3.0 x8 AIC SSD

ADATA introduced the SR2000CP a new enterprise SSD for when you absolutely, positively, need to push data at 6 gigabytes per second. Built in the half-height add-on card form-factor with PCI-Express 3.0 x8 interface, the drive ships in capacities of 2 TB, 3.5 TB, 4 TB, 8 TB, and 11 TB. The drives use 3D "eTLC" NAND flash. This type of memory has the 3 bits per cell characteristics of TLC, but endurance (P/E cycles) comparable to MLC NAND flash, which lends it endurance of 1~3 DWPD under a 5-year warranty.

The 4 TB variant tested by ADATA, churns out some impressive performance numbers - up to 1 million IOPS 4K random reads, up to 150,000 IOPS 4K random writes; and sequential transfer speeds of up to 6 GB/s reads, with up to 3.8 GB/s writes. You also get enterprise essentials such as user-configurable overprovisioning, power-loss protection, native 256-bit AES encryption, and up to protection against 95% relative humidity and 55°C ambient temperature (Google's datacenters). The company didn't reveal pricing as the drives could be served up to enterprise customers.

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.

Realtek Intros RTS5762 NVMe SSD Controller Capable of 3500 MB/s Reads

Realtek, known more for its cheap Ethernet PHYs and audio CODECs, entered the SSD controller market in 2017, with mainstream SSD controllers. This year, the company plans to take on giants such as Silicon Motion, Phison, Intel, and Samsung, with its own high-performance controller, the RTS5762. The PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface provides 4,000 MB/s of raw bandwidth per direction, and while it's technically impossible for any device to transfer its payload data at that speed (on account of various protocol overheads), very few PCI-Express 3.0 x4 SSDs get within 80th percentile of it (3200 MB/s per direction transfers). It's only recently that 3400 MB/s became the gold-standard of high-end M.2 NVMe SSDs, but Realtek plans to change that.

The RTS5762 is capable of up to 3,500 MB/s reads, or 87.5% saturation of the PCI-Experss 3.0 x4 bus. It supports up to 8 NAND flash channels, 3D TLC and 3D QLC NAND flash memory, and takes advantage of the newer NVMe 1.3 protocol. The only other controller right now that's capable of 3,500 MB/s reads is Samsung "Phoenix," found exclusively on the 970 Pro series (and no other brand's products). Sequential write performance is where this Realtek chip edges past Samsung, with the company showing CDM performance of up to 3,000 MB/s writes, whereas the 970 Pro is only specified to write up to 2,700 MB/s. Realtek also beefed up its mainstream NVMe controller portfolio with the new RTS5763DL. If drives based on this chip are priced right, it could carve out a new market segment between cheaper PCIe 3.0 x2 drives, and "upper mainstream" x4 drives such as the Samsung 970 EVO. Armed with just 4 NAND flash channels and no DRAM to cushion it, the RTS5763DL reads at up to 2150 MB/s, and writes at up to 1475 MB/s (as tested on CDM), making it faster than PCIe 3.0 x2 drives, at least in the sequential reads test.

ASUS ROG Dominus Pictured, Core i9 XCC Confirmed to Feature 6-channel Memory

This Tuesday at its Computex presser, Intel unveiled an unnamed 28-core/56-thread HEDT (client-segment) processor that's capable of being bench-stable at 5.00 GHz. The chip is a client-segment implementation of the Skylake XCC (extreme core count) silicon, which features 30 Mesh Interconnect "tiles," of which 28 are cores and two integrated memory controllers. The XCC silicon features a 384-bit wide (6-channel) DDR4 memory interface, and it turns out that whatever SKU Intel is planning, will require a different motherboard from your X299 board that can handle up to 18 cores and 4-channel memory. It will require a client-segment variant of the LGA3647 enterprise socket from the Purley platform. One of the first of these is the ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) Dominus.

Clearly bigger than ATX, in being either E-ATX or SSI form-factor, this board draws power from two 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, and three 6-pin PCIe, and has a gargantuan 16-phase VRM with two fan-heatsink blocks. Six DDR4 DIMM slots flank the socket, three on either side, each with its dedicated 64-bit wide path to the socket. The XCC silicon features a 48-lane PCI-Express gen 3.0 root complex, and so the board could feature at least two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 capable of full bandwidth, among a boat load of PCIe based storage connectivity, and onboard devices.

Update: This motherboard may have been a quick modification of the WS C621E SAGE, by removing one of its sockets, and modifying the rest of the board accordingly. Prototyping a board like that, for a company with ASUS' resources, would barely take 2-3 weeks by our estimate.

Intel Launches Optane 905P in M.2-22110 Form-factor

Intel launched the Optane 905P SSD in the more practical M.2-22110 (110 mm long) form-factor, following up on its early-May launch in the add-in card (AIC) form-factor. These drives take advantage of the PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface and NVMe protocol, and feature the company's latest generation 3D X-point memory. The drive likely comes in capacities of up to 480 GB, with transfer rates of up to 2600 MB/s reads, up to 2200 MB/s writes, and 575k/550k 4K random access speeds. The USP here is endurance, with 10 DWPD, and 1.6 million hours MTBF.

ASUS Intros H370 Mining Master Motherboard - Those Aren't USB Ports

ASUS rolled out one of its first crypto-currency miner-friendly motherboards based on the Intel 300-series chipset platform, now that cheaper Pentium Gold and Celeron processors for this platform are available. The H370 Mining Master puts out all 20 PCI-Express gen 3.0 lanes of the H370 Express chipset as x1 slots. It does this in a space-saving way - wiring out each PCIe "port" as USB 3.0 physically (using its 9 pins), which you wire out using USB 3.1 type-A male-to-male cables into open-ended PCIe x1 risers. You can plug in 20 graphics cards over risers, besides a 21st card on the board's PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot.

The rest of the board is pretty spartan, which is what miners need. The LGA1151 socket is powered by a simple 4+2 phase VRM. Power is drawn from three 24-pin ATX, and one 8-pin EPS. The CPU socket is wired to two DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel memory, the x16 slot, and the H370 Express chipset. Storage connectivity includes just two SATA 6 Gbps ports. You get six USB 3.0 ports (four on the rear panel, two via headers). Display outputs include DVI and HDMI. Legacy connectivity includes PS/2 combo, and one serial COM header. 6-channel HD audio, and one 1 GbE interface, driven by an Intel i219-V, makes for the rest of it. ASUS threw in onboard power/reset buttons, and POST debug display to sweeten things.

Silicon Power Intros AIC3C0P Industrial NVMe SSD

Silicon Power introduced the AIC3C0P, an industrial-grade PCI-Express NVMe SSD in the half-height add-in card form-factor, with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface. Available in capacities of 800 GB, 1.6 TB, and 3.2 TB, the drive features MLC NAND flash. It offers sequential transfer rates of up to 3200 MB/s reads, with up to 1850 MB/s writes, and 4K random access speeds of up to 750,000 IOPS reads, and up to 380,000 IOPS writes. Also on offer is power-loss protection, and native 256-bit AES data encryption. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Mushkin Launches its Pilot Series M.2 NVMe SSDs

Mushkin launched the Pilot line of M.2 NVMe SSDs, which it debuted at the 2018 CES. The drives combine Silicon Motion SM2262 controller with 3D TLC NAND flash memory. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor, the drives feature PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface, and take advantage of the NVMe 1.3 protocol. The drive comes in four capacities - 120 GB, 250 GB, 500 GB, and 1 TB, which differ in performance.

The 120 GB variant offers sequential transfer speeds of up to 1215 MB/s reads, with up to 515 MB/s writes, up to 91,000 IOPS 4K random reads, and up to 133,000 IOPS 4K random writes. The 250 GB variant is almost twice as fast, with up to 2470 MB/s sequential reads, up to 1000 MB/s sequential writes, up to 179,000 IOPS 4K random reads, and up to 257,000 IOPS 4K random writes. The 500 GB variant is faster still, with up to 2680 MB/s sequential reads, with up to 1755 MB/s writes, up to 335,000 IOPS 4K random reads, and up to 277,000 IOPS 4K random writes. The 1 TB variant leads the pack, with up to 2710 MB/s sequential reads, with up to 1755 MB/s writes, up to 283,000 IOPS 4K random reads, and up to 280,000 IOPS 4K random writes. The drives are backed by 3-year warranties.

Intel Optane 905P Series 3D XPoint SSDs Detailed

Ahead of its launch, Intel's upcoming Optane 905P SSD surfaced on Newegg, with 960 GB capacity, and an insane $1,600 price (pre-launch price), and a glowing shroud. The retailer put out close to no technical details of the drive, but leaked documents from Intel website do that job for us. Apparently, the Optane 905P comes in both PCI-Express 3.0 x4 add-on card (up to 960 GB) and 15 mm-thick 2.5-inch 32 Gbps U.2 (up to 480 GB) form-factors.

The drive offers sequential transfer rates of up to 2600 MB/s reads, with up to 2200 MB/s writes. The 4K random access numbers are stellar - up to 575,000 IOPS random reads, and up to 550,000 IOPS random writes, with under 10 µs (micro-seconds) latencies. Drives from both form-factors have a rated endurance of 10 DWPD (drive writes per day). These make the 905P slightly faster than the 900P, which clocks in at 2500/2000 MB/s sequential reads/writes, and 550,000/500,000 IOPS 4K random access.

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.

Toshiba RC100 "Entry-level" M.2 NVMe SSD Detailed Some More

Following its early-CES launch, we have more details of Toshiba's "entry-level" M.2 NVMe SSD, the RC100. This drive is designed to offer significantly higher performance than SATA SSDs, at a tiny (10-15 percent) price premium over the fastest SATA SSDs. This market has been made inroads to by companies like ADATA, with their XPG SX6000-series. The RC100, offers not only NVMe performance, but also a more compact size. The drive is built in the M.2-2242 form-factor (42 mm long). It will fit on any motherboard that supports M.2-2280 drives, you just have to move the fastening nut to an inner hole marked "42."

Toshiba RC100 drives combine an in-house developed controller with Toshiba 64-layer BiCS Flash TLC memory. The drive features PCI-Express 3.0 x2 host interface, and takes advantage of the NVMe 1.2 protocol. It offers sequential transfer rates of up to 1,620 MB/s reads, with up to 1,130 MB/s writes; and 4K random access performance of up to 160,000 IOPS reads, and 120,000 IOPS writes. The drive comes in capacities of 120 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB, and is backed by a 3-year warranty.

Corsair Intros 1600GB Neutron NX500 PCIe SSD

Corsair rolled out the range-topping 1,600 GB variant of the Neutron NX500 PCI-Express SSD series, which made its debut in August 2017 (variant SKU: CSSD-N1600GBNX500). The drive is priced at 1,770€ (including taxes). The half-height, single-slot add-on card features PCI-Express 3.0 x4 bus interface, and takes advantage of the NVMe 1.2 protocol. The drives combine Phison PS5007-E7 controllers with Toshiba-made 15 nm MLC NAND flash memory.

It has a rated sequential performance of up to 3,000 MB/s reads, with up to 2,300 MB/s writes when tested with ATTO; up to 2,800 MB/s reads with up to 1,600 MB/s writes when tested with CrystalDiskMark; and random-access performance of up to 300,000 IOPS 4K reads, with up to 270,000 IOPS 4K writes, when tested with IOMeter. Its endurance is rated at 2,793 TBW, and is backed by a 5-year warranty.

LiteOn Intros MUX Series M.2 NVMe SSDs with Toshiba BiCS3 Flash

LiteOn today introduced the MUX line of "entry-level" M.2 PCI-Express SSDs in the M.2-2280 form-factor. Available in 128 GB and 256 GB capacities, the drives feature PCI-Express 3.0 x2 host interface, and take advantage of the NVMe protocol. They combine Phison PS5008-E8 controllers with Toshiba BiCS3 3D-TLC NAND flash memory.

The 128 GB variant offers sequential transfer rates of up to 1500 MB/s reads, with up to 450 MB/s writes; up to 91,000 IOPS 4K random reads, and up to 110,000 IOPS 4K random writes; while the 256 GB variant is slightly faster, offering up to 1600 MB/s sequential reads, up to 850 MB/s sequential writes, up to 145,000 IOPS 4K random reads, and up to 140,000 IOPS 4K random writes. Both variants are backed by 3-year warranties.

LiteOn Intros EPX Series M.2 NVMe SSDs

LiteOn today introduced the EPX series enterprise-grade, high-performance SSDs in the M.2-22110 (110 mm long) form-factor, featuring PCI-Express 3.0 x4 interface, and taking advantage of the NVMe 1.2 protocol. The drive comes in 960 GB and 1920 GB capacities, and features an active power-loss protection mechanism. A bank of capacitors on the drive holds just enough charge for the drive to "park" by completing outstanding write operations, and turning off the drive, to mitigate data-loss.

The 960 GB variant offers sequential transfer rates of up to 1700 MB/s reads, with up to 670 MB/s writes; and random access throughput of up to 300,000 IOPS reads, with up to 30,000 IOPS writes. The 1920 GB variant, on the other hand, puts out sequential transfers of up to 1800 MB/s reads, with up to 800 MB/s writes, up to 330,000 IOPS random reads, and up to 30,000 IOPS random writes. Both drives are rated for 2 million hours MTBF, and 1 DWPD for 3 years. The drives are backed by 3-year warranties.

KFA2 and GALAX Announce SNPR GTX 1060 External Graphics

GALAX and its EU-specific brand KFA2 announced the SNPR external graphics enclosure, with a factory-fitted GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB graphics card. Measuring 165 mm x 156.5 mm x 73 mm (WxDxH), and weighing in at 1.38 kg, the enclosure relies on an external power brick. Internally, it's a stack-up of three key components, the main-board which takes in power and Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) host connectivity, and puts out a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot; the extremely compact graphics card PCB, and the custom-design fan-heatsink cooler, which combines an aluminium fin-stack heatsink, with a pair of 70 mm spinners, to keep cool.

The enclosure is made of SECC steel, that's perforated along three sides. Display outputs from the card include one each of DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, and dual-link DVI-D. The internal GTX 1060 6 GB graphics card ticks at factory-overclocked speeds of 1531 MHz core, 1746 MHz GPU Boost, and 8.00 GHz (GDDR5-effective) memory (against reference clocks of 1506/1709 MHz). An external 230W power-brick (included) supplies power to the unit. Available now, the KFA2/GALAX SNPR GTX 1060 6 GB is priced at 499€ in the EU, including taxes.

ASUS Intros the WS X299 SAGE Motherboard

ASUS today introduced the WS X299 SAGE motherboard, a socket LGA2066 motherboard designed for Intel Core X "Skylake-X" processors, in the SSI-CEB form-factor. This board is targeted at the same quasi-workstation crowd that the company's WS X299 Pro and WS X299 Pro SE are designed for, but unlike the latter, it lacks an iKVM remote-management chip. Those looking for more serious workstation builds involving something from Intel's Xeon stable or even 2P setups, should consider the larger WS C621E SAGE. The WS X299 SAGE is targeted at those who need the massive PCIe loadout of the C621E SAGE, but can make do with 1P Core X processors.

The ASUS WS X299 SAGE draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, and a 6-pin PCIe power. An 8-phase VRM powers the CPU, and is rated to power 16-core and 18-core CPU models. The CPU socket is wired to eight DDR4 DIMM slots supporting up to 128 GB of quad-channel DDR4 memory; and seven PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. Storage connectivity includes eight SATA 6 Gb/s ports, and two each of 32 Gb/s M.2 slots and 32 Gb/s U.2 ports. Four USB 3.1 gen 2 ports, two 1 GbE interfaces, and a dozen USB 3.0 ports make for the rest of it. The company didn't reveal pricing.

LiteOn Intros CA3 Series M.2 NVMe SSDs

LiteOn rolled out the CA3 line of NVMe SSDs in the M.2-2280 form-factor. Available in 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB capacities, the drives combine a Marvell 88SS1092 controller with Toshiba-made TLC NAND flash memory. The drive takes advantage of PCI-Express 3.0 x4 and the NVMe protocol, to put of sequential read speeds of up to 2100 MB/s for the 256 GB variant, and 2900 MB/s for the 512 GB and 1 TB variants; and sequential write speeds of up to 600 MB/s, 1200 MB/s, and 1700 MB/s for the three variants, respectively.

Random access speeds of the LiteOn CA3 series drives are up to 150K/150K IOPS (read/write) for the 256 GB variant; up to 260K/260K IOPS for the 512 GB variant, and up to 380K/260K IOPS for the 1 TB variant. The controller supports 3rd generation LPDC error correction, NVMe deallocate, TCG-OPAL 2.0 native encryption, and 256-bit AES native encryption. The company didn't put out endurance numbers, but stated that its MTBF is rated at 1.5 million hours. The drives are backed by 3-year warranties. The company didn't reveal pricing.

ASUS Intros Expedition A320M Gaming Motherboard

ASUS introduced the Expedition A320M Gaming, an entry-level socket AM4 motherboard designed for the rigors of gaming iCafes (yes, they do exist in the developing world). The board covers all the essential connectivity needed for a gaming rig, and comes with high-endurance electrical components. It also comes with certain anti-theft measures that make it tougher to steal memory modules and graphics cards. Built in the micro-ATX form-factor, the board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors. A simple 6-phase VRM conditions power for the CPU.

The socket AM4 CPU is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots supporting up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, and the board's lone PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. A PCI-Express 2.0 x1 and an open-ended x4 slot make for the rest of the expansion. Storage connectivity includes a 32 Gb/s M.2 slot, and four SATA 6 Gb/s ports, from which two are wired to the AM4 socket. Network connectivity is care of a single 1 GbE interface, driven by a Realtek RTL8111H controller, while the 6-channel HD audio is backed by a basic Realtek ALC887 CODEC with audio-grade capacitors and ground-layer isolation. USB connectivity includes six USB 3.0 ports (four on the rear panel, two via headers). The company didn't reveal pricing.

ASUS Intros Hyper M.2 x16 Riser Card

ASUS rolled out the Hyper M.2 x16 riser card, an accessory which could prove useful for those who want to add up to four extra M.2 SSDs. The card features a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 upstream interface, which it splits into four 32 Gb/s M.2-22110 slots (up to 110 mm length), with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 wiring, each. The card doesn't have any serious HBA logic of its own, beyond simple circuitry to power the four M.2 drives, and put out power/activity status LEDs for each slot.

A monolithic, stylish brushed aluminium shroud doubles up as a heatsink for the M.2 drives. There's also a lateral-blower fan, which guides air from inside your case through the drives and outside through the perforated rear bracket. You can turn this fan off with a physical switch on the card, although there's no software-based fan-control. The card is 20.2 cm long, 9.6 cm tall, and 1-slot thick. The company is advertising the card to be compatible only with its X299 chipset-based motherboards, for now. The company didn't reveal pricing.
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