News Posts matching #PCI-Express 3.0

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BIOSTAR Intros TZ590-BTC DUO Mining Motherboard

BIOSTAR today introduced the TZ590-BTC DUO, a feature-packed motherboard for crypto-currency mining setups, based on the Intel Z590 chipset, and supporting 10th- and 11th Gen Core processors in the LGA1200 package. The board puts out a total of eight PCI-Express 3.0 x1 slots, all from the Z590 PCH, besides a PCI-Express 4.0 x16 slot wired to the CPU, and four M.2-2280 slots. One of these is PCI-Express 4.0 x4 and wired to the CPU, while the others are Gen 3, and from the PCH. With M.2 to PCIe adapters already in the wild, you can install up to 12 graphics cards on this board. Connectivity options on this board include some legacy ports, including D-Sub for video from the iGPU, besides HDMI; and a PS/2 keyboard port. There is also an unusually high number of SATA ports, at 10 of them, besides the four M.2 NVMe. So you can also farm Chia at scale while you mine. BIOSTAR didn't reveal pricing.

GIGABYTE Intros VISION Branded 10 GbE Adapter

GIGABYTE today released a 10 Gbps Ethernet adapter under its VISION brand of products targeted at creators (model: GC-AQC113C 10G). The card features a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, and is half height (low-profile), with a single 10 GbE port. A premium-looking 2-tone aluminium shroud covers the top side of the PCB. Under the hood, is a Marvell AQtion AQC113C PHY chip, which supports both CAT6A and CAT7 cabling, along with data rates of 10 Gbps, 5 Gbps, 2.5 Gbps, 1 Gbps, 100 Mbps, and 10 Mbps. The box includes a low-profile bracket. The company didn't announce pricing.

ESSENCORE Unveils KLEVV CRAS C920 and KLEVV CRAS C720 M.2 NVMe SSDs

ESSENCORE today unveiled the KLEVV CRAS C920 and KLEVV CRAS C720 SSDs in the M.2-2280 form-factor. The CRAS C920 takes advantage of the PCI-Express 4.0 x4 host interface, and uses the Phison E18-series controller, paired with 3D TLC NAND flash memory. It comes in capacities of 1 TB and 2 TB. Both variants offer sequential reads of up to 7,000 MB/s, differing in write speeds—up to 6,850 MB/s for the 2 TB variant, and up to 5,500 MB/s for the 1 TB variant.

The KLEVV CRAS C720 meanwhile, is a slightly value ended product. It combines the latest revision of Phison E12S controller with 3D TLC NAND flash, and takes advantage of the PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface. This drive comes in capacities of 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB. Barring the 256 GB variant that offers sequential speeds of up to 3,200 MB/s with up to 1,300 MB/s writes; all the other variants offer up to 3,400 MB/s sequential reads; writing at up to 2,400 MB/s, 3,100 MB/s, and 3,100 MB/s, respectively. Endurance of these drives are rated at 170 TBW, 280 TBW, 565 TBW, and 1,550 TBW, respectively. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Update Jun 16th: The press-release follows.

Intel Announces 11th Gen Core "Tiger Lake-H" Mobile Processors

Intel today announced the 11th generation Core "Tiger Lake-H" mobile processors for notebooks of conventional thickness, gaming notebooks, and mobile workstations. This is the first scale-up of the "Tiger Lake" microarchitecture, with the introduction of a brand new die that has up to 8 "Willow Cove" CPU cores. These processors typically come with TDP of 35-45 W, but the flagship part ships with TDP as high as 65 W. Unlike "Rocket Lake," this chip is built on Intel's latest 10 nm SuperFin silicon fabrication process. With it, Intel is announcing ten processor SKUs—five each for the consumer and commercial notebook market segments. These span across the Core i9, Core i7, and Core i5 brand extensions.

The 10 nm "Tiger Lake-H" silicon measures roughly 190 mm², and has several changes compared to the 4-core "Tiger Lake-U" silicon the company debuted the 11th Gen with. The biggest change is the CPU core count of 8. This lets it not only achieve parity with AMD in mobile CPU core counts, but also purportedly beat it on the back of a higher IPC. Each of these 8 "Willow Cove" cores has 1.25 MB of dedicated L2 cache, and share 24 MB of L3 cache. You get the same "Willow Cove" ISA as the "Tiger Lake-U," including AVX-512 and DLBoost. Next up, the chip features an integrated graphics based on the Gen12 Xe LP graphics architecture, only that the execution units have reduced to just 32 on this silicon, compared to 96 on the 4-core Tiger Lake-U. The new chip enjoys a bigger power budget to run the iGPU at higher clock speeds. There is also a 20-lane PCI-Express Gen 4.0 interface, and a dual-channel DDR4 memory controller.

ASRock Unveils Thunderbolt 4 Add-on Card

ASRock today unveiled the Thunderbolt 4 AIC, an add-on card that puts out two 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 4 ports in the USB-C form-factor, with DisplayPort 1.4 passthrough. The card works exclusively with ASRock's Intel 500-series chipset motherboards that have a special header needed by the card called "TBT_Header" (similar to the "TB_Header" on certain ASUS motherboards). In addition, the card needs a 9-pin USB 2.0 connection to one of the vacant headers on the motherboard.

The compact, yet full-height add-on card features a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, and is based on Intel JHL8540 "Maple Ridge" controller. It has two full-size DisplayPort 1.4 inputs, a pair of included DP cables lets you connect the card to your graphics card. The controller supports up to 5 devices in Thunderbolt daisy-chains. The DisplayPort passthrough supports resolutions of up to 5K @ 60 Hz. The card measures 8.4 cm in length, 10.41 cm in height, and is 1 slot thick. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Samsung 980 is a Cost-Effective, DRAM-less PCIe Gen 3.0 M.2 SSD

In a move that could confuse some of the lesser informed buyers, Samsung is ready with the new 980 M.2 NVMe SSD (not to be confused with the 980 PRO). Unlike the 980 PRO, the 980 is a cost-effective drive that uses PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, and a DRAM-less controller. Luckily, Samsung didn't take the QLC route with these drives, as they feature 136-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory of the same kind used in the 980 PRO.

The Samsung 980 offers sequential transfer speeds of up to 3,500 MB/s reads, with up to 3,000 MB/s writes, and comes in capacities of 250 GB, 500 GB, and 1 TB. It offers 4K random access performance in the neighborhood of 500,000 IOPS reads (4K, QD32), with up to 480,000 IOPS random writes (4K, QD1). Samsung is expected to formally launch the 980 on March 30, 2021.

Intel Rolls Out SSD 670p Mainstream NVMe SSD Series

Intel today rolled out the SSD 670p series, a new line of M.2 NVMe SSDs that are targeted at the mainstream segment. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host-interface, the drive implements Intel's latest 144-layer 3D QLC NAND flash memory, mated with a re-badged Silicon Motion SM2265G 8-channel controller that uses a fixed 256 MB DDR3L DRAM cache across all capacity variants. It comes in capacities of 512 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB.

The 1 TB and 2 TB variants offer sequential read speeds of up to 3500 MB/s, while the 512 GB variant reads at up to 3000 MB/s. Sequential write speeds vary, with the 512 GB variant writing at up to 1600 MB/s, the 1 TB variant at up to 2500 MB/s, and the 2 TB variant at up to 2700 MB/s. The drives offer significantly higher endurance than past generations of QLC-based drives, with the 512 GB variant capable of up to 185 TBW, the 1 TB variant up to 370 TBW, and the 2 TB variant up to 740 TBW. Intel is backing the drives with 5-year warranties. The 512 GB variant is priced at $89, the 1 TB variant at $154, and the 2 TB variant at $329.

Western Digital Unveils Entry-level WD Green SN350 M.2 NVMe SSDs

Western Digital announced the new WD Green SN350 series of entry-level M.2 NVMe SSDs. These drives are positioned a notch below the WD Blue SN550 (mid-range), while the WD Black SN850 remains the company's current flagship client SSD product. The WD Green SN350 comes in capacities of 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB. The company didn't detail the underlying architecture, but the drive features PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, and likely features a 4-channel controller architecture. It also appears to feature DRAM cache.

All three capacity variants of the WD Green SN350 offer sequential read speeds of up to 2,400 MB/s. The 240 GB variant offers sequential writes of up to 900 MB/s, the 480 GB variant up to 1,650 MB/s, and the 960 GB variant up to 1,900 MB/s. The company didn't detail the NAND flash type, or endurance numbers. It's backing these drives with 3-year warranties. The 240 GB variant is priced at USD $43.99, the 480 GB variant $54.99, and the 960 GB variant $99.99.

PNY Intros CS1030 Series Value M.2 NVMe SSDs

PNY today introduced the CS1030 line of value M.2 NVMe SSDs. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor, the drive takes advantage of PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, and NVMe 1.3 protocol. The company doesn't mention controller or the type of 3D NAND flash memory used, but it's likely that the drive is using a 4-channel DRAM-less setup. Capacity-based variants include 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB. Among these, the 256 GB model offers faster reads, with up to 2,500 MB/s sequential reads, but with up to 1,100 MB/s sequential writes. The 512 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB variants read at speeds of up to 2,100 MB/s, and up to 1,900 MB/s sequential writes. PNY is backing the drives with 5-year warranties.

YMTC Announces PC005 M.2 NVMe and SC001 SATA SSDs

Yangtze Memory Technology Company (YMTC), China's ambitious new memory manufacturer specializing in NAND flash, launched the first client-segment SSDs under its own brand, the PC005 Active series and the SC001 Active series. Rumors of YMTC developing its own brand SSDs surfaced first in June. Prior to that in May, it was reported that Phison could add support for YMTC NAND flash chips to variants of its existing SSD controllers, and so it's highly likely that the new YMTC SSDs use Phison-sourced controllers. Interestingly, the company deployed its first-generation Xtracking 64-layer 3D TLC NAND flash chips instead of its 2nd generation 128-layer QLC chips.

The PC005 Active comes in the M.2-2280 form-factor with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, leveraging the NVMe 1.3 protocol. The drive is available in 1 TB. 512 GB, and 256 GB capacities. All three variants read sequentially at speeds of up to 3,500 MB/s, wiring at up to 2,900 MB/s, up to 2,500 MB/s, and up to 1,200 MB/s, respectively. Their endurance is rated at 640 TBW for the 1 TB version, 320 TBW for the 512 GB, and 200 TBW for the 256 GB variant. All three are backed by 5-year warranties.

Intel 11th Gen Core "Tiger Lake" & Xe Graphics Launch Event: Live Blog

Intel today launches its 11th Gen Core "Tiger Lake" mobile processors that introduce several new technologies on the backs of new IP. As described in the Architecture Day, "Tiger Lake" is built on the 10 nm SuperFin process, and combines new "Willow Cove" CPU cores with the first commercial debut of the Xe Gen12 graphics architecture that Intel is betting big on, to make a stab at the consumer graphics and scalar compute markets. Join us in this live-blog.

Update 16:00 UTC: GB (Gregory Bryant, EVP Client), leads the event from the comfort of his home.
Update 16:04 UTC: Here it is, the "world's best processor for thin and light laptops. You'll notice that like most Intel U-segment chips, this is an MCM of the processor and PCH die. Intel bases its "world's best" claims on a per-segment basis.

MSI Rolls Out Creator P100X 10th Desktop

MSI today rolled out the Creator P100X 10th, a console-looking premium pre-built desktop targeted at creators. Available in two color trims - matte white with gold accents, and gray with silver accents; the desktop measures 131.85 mm x 372.2 mm x 408.88 mm (WxDxH). Under the hood, you get an Intel Core i9-10900K processor, an Intel Z490 chipset motherboard, up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4-2933 memory, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super graphics. There are lower options of processor, memory, and graphics. Storage connectivity includes two M.2-2280 slots (both with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring); and two 2.5-inch SATA HDDs. Connectivity includes one Thunderbolt 3 port (40 Gbps, 15 W power delivery, USB 3.1 10 Gbps-capable), three other USB 3.1 type-A ports, 8-channel HD audio, 802.11ac WLAN, and 2.5 GbE wired LAN. The company didn't reveal pricing.

GIGABYTE Intros IMB410TN Thin Mini-ITX Motherboard

GIGABYTE today introduced the GA-IMB410TN, a Thin Mini-ITX Socket LGA1200 motherboard based on the Intel H410 chipset. Designed for compact desktops and all-in-one desktops, the IMB410TN is designed to draw power from a 2-pin external DC power source. It supports processors with TDP of up to 65 W (and perhaps power limited to 65 W). The processor is wired to a pair of DDR4 SODIMM slots for up to 64 GB of dual-channel memory; and a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot.

Storage connectivity includes an M.2-2280 slot, and two SATA 6 Gbps port. Other slots include an mPCIe 3.0 x1, an mSATA 6 Gb/s, and an M.2 E-key slot for WLAN cards. Other connectivity relevant to the board's AIO desktop credentials include LVDS connectors, GPIO, and a suite of jumpers, sensors, and headers meant for all-in ones. Networking is care of two 1 GbE connections driven by Intel-made controllers, and a 6-channel HD audio solution driven by a Realtek ALC887 codec. The company didn't reveal pricing.

ASRock Rack Intros W480M WS Motherboard

ASRock Rack today introduced the W480M WS socket LGA1200 motherboard targeted at workstation builds, in the Micro-ATX form-factor. This board should appeal greatly to those wanting a very conservative-looking motherboard with a green PCB and conventional-finned aluminium heatsinks cooling the CPU VRM and PCH. Based on the Intel W480 chipset, the board not only supports all 10th Gen Core "Comet Lake" processors, but also Xeon W-1200 series processors based on the silicon, including support for ECC memory when paired with Xeon processors. The board draws power from a combination of a 24-pin ATX and 8-pin+4-pin EPS connectors; conditioning it for the CPU with a 6+2 phase VRM.

Expansion slots on the ASRock Rack W480M WS include a PCI-Express 3.0 x16, an open-ended PCI-Express 3.0 x8 (which splits lanes from the x16 slot), and an open-ended PCI-Express 3.0 x4 slot that's wired to the PCH. Storage connectivity includes two M.2-2280 slots with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 wiring, each, and eight SATA 6 Gbps ports, one of which has reinforced power delivery for SATA DOMs. The onboard audio solution is simple ALC892 fare, but the networking on offer consists of two 1 GbE ports driven by Intel i210 series controllers. There's quite some legacy connectivity, including COM and SGPIO. The board offers a large number of 4-pin PWM fan headers so it could be used in 2U rack chassis with server ventilation. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Addlink Debuts the S68 M.2 NVMe SSD Series

Addlink today debuted its S68 line of mainstream M.2 NVMe SSDs. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor and taking advantage of the PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, the S68 comes in 512 GB and 1 TB capacities. The drives combine a Phison E13T-series controller with 3D TLC NAND flash memory. The 1 TB variant offers sequential read speeds of up to 2,500 MB/s with up to 2,100 MB/s sequential writes; while the 512 GB model offers up to 2,100 MB/s reads with up to 1,700 MB/s writes. 4K random access for both drives are vaguely stated as up to 295,000 IOPS reads, and up to 430,000 IOPS writes. Write endurance of the two are rated at 400 TBW for the 512 GB model, and 800 TBW for the 1 TB model. The company is backing these drives with 5-year warranties. It didn't reveal pricing or availability information.

KLEVV Introduces the CRAS C710 M.2 NVMe SSD

KLEVV today introduced the CRAS C710 line of mainstream M.2 NVMe SSDs, in 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB capacities. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor with PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, the drives combine a Silicon Motion SM2263XT DRAMless controller with 3D TLC NAND flash memory, offering intelligent SLC caching. Performance figures put out by the company read as up to 2,100 MB/s sequential reads, up to 1,650 MB/s sequential writes for the 1 TB variant. The 512 GB variant offers up to 2,050 MB/s reads, with up to 1,650 MB/s writes. The 256 GB model does up to 1,950 MB/s reads, with up to 1,250 MB/s writes. The company didn't reveal pricing information.

ADATA Announces the Falcon M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 3 SSDs

ADATA today announced the Falcon line of SSDs in the M.2-2280 form-factor, with NVMe 1.3 protocol support, leveraging PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface. The drives are characterized by an aluminium heatspreader on top of the NAND flash chips and controller, which isn't just an adhesive metal peal, but a 1 mm-thick metal plate. The Falcon comes in capacities of 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB; and uses 3D NAND flash memory (likely QLC).

The ADATA Falcon offers sequential speeds of up to 3,100 MB/s reads, with up to 1,500 MB/s writes; and up to 180,000 IOPS 4K random access. The 2 TB variant offers 1,200 TBW endurance, the 1 TB variant offers 600 TBW, the 512 GB variant 300 TBW, and the 256 GB variant 150 TBW. ADATA is backing the drives with a 5-year warranty. The company didn't reveal pricing.
ADATA Falcon

EVGA Announces Z490 DARK and Z490 FTW Motherboards

EVGA today announced its flagship socket LGA1200 motherboard, the Z490 DARK, aimed at PC enthusiasts and professional overclockers. The company also announced its Z490 FTW and Z490 FTW WiFi motherboards targeted at high-end gaming PC builds. The Z490 DARK leads the pack with a 90° CCW rotated compute stage, which sees its memory area moved to the northern side of the PCB; and the CPU VRM to its west and south, cooled by elaborate heatsinks. There is only one DIMM slot per memory channel, so you don't bother about memory slot topology affecting your memory overclock.

The LGA1200 package is wired to two reinforced PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x8/x8 with both populated). Storage connectivity includes two M.2 NVMe slots, and one U.2 port (some lane sharing involved). The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, two 8-pin EPS, and a 6-pin PCIe power connectors. The EVGA Z490 FTW (and its WiFi) variant feature a more conventional ATX layout, and targeted at conventional gaming PC builds. A premium 11-phase VRM powers the processor, which is wired to four DDR4 DIMM slots, and a pair of PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots. Both boards offer dual-BIOS, and elaborate onboard diagnostics.

Intel 10th Generation Comet Lake Desktop Processors and 400-Series Chipsets Announced, Here's what's New

Intel today launched its 10th generation Core desktop processor family and its companion Intel 400-series chipsets. Based on the 14 nm++ silicon fabrication process and built in the new LGA1200 package, the processors are based on the "Comet Lake" microarchitecture. The core design of "Comet Lake" and its IPC are identical to those of "Skylake," however Intel brought significant enhancements to the processor's clock-speed boosting algorithm, increased core- or thread counts across the board, and introduced new features that could interest enthusiasts and overclockers. The uncore component remains largely unchanged from the previous-generation, with support for DDR4 memory and PCI-Express gen 3.0. Use of these processors requires a new socket LGA1200 motherboard, they won't work on older LGA1151 motherboards. You can install any LGA115x-compatible cooler on LGA1200, provided it meets the thermal requirements of the processor you're using.

At the heart of the 10th generation Core processor family is a new 10-core monolithic processor die, which retains the same basic structure as the previous-generation 8-core "Coffee Lake Refresh" die, and 4-core "Skylake." The cores are arranged in two rows, sandwiched by the processor's uncore and iGPU blocks. A ring-bus interconnect binds the various components. The cache hierarchy is unchanged from previous generations as well, with 32 KB each of L1I and L1D caches; 256 KB of dedicated L2 cache per core, and 20 MB of shared L3 cache. The iGPU is the same Gen 9.5 based UHD 630 graphics. As we mentioned earlier, much of Intel's innovation for the 10th generation is with the processor's microcode (boosting algorithms).
Intel Core i9-10900K 10th Gen Intel Core Desktop Comet Lake Lineup 10th Gen Intel Core Desktop Comet Lake Lineup 10th Gen Intel Core Desktop Comet Lake Lineup

MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk and MEG Z490 ACE Pictured

Here are some of the first pictures of the MAG Z490 Tomahawk and MEG Z490 ACE motherboards by MSI. The Tomahawk brand of motherboards by MSI strike a chord with value-conscious gaming PC builders, and the MAG Z490 Tomahawk appears to live up to that. The board offers an impressive 14-phase CPU VRM that pulls power from a 8+4 pin EPS power input. The CPU socket is wired to one PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. Other expansion slots include an x16 (gen 3.0 x4 electrical) slot, and a couple of x1 slots. You get two M.2 slots, both with heatsinks. The enlarged PCH heatsink on the MAG Z490 Tomahawk is studded with RGB LEDs, while it also includes a few upscale features such as a rear I/O shroud and an integrated I/O shield. On the connectivity front, we spy two wired networking interfaces, from which one is 2.5 GbE and the other 1 GbE, and an ALC1200-class CODEC based audio solution.

The MEG Z490 ACE is positioned at least two segments above the Tomahawk (it's positioned higher than the entire MPG family, including the Gaming Pro Carbon), and only a notch below the MEG Z490 GODLIKE. An elaborate 17-phase VRM powers the CPU, pulling power from a pair of 8-pin EPS connectors. Unless we're horribly mistaken, the board appears to feature PCI-Express gen 4.0 preparation (switches, re-drivers). It won't give you gen 4.0 with 10th generation "Comet Lake" processors, but perhaps you'll have better luck with its 11th gen successor. There are at least three M.2 slots, reinforced DIMM and PCIe x16 slots, and metal shrouds that span not just the front, but also the back of the PCB. Connectivity includes 802.11ax WLAN, two wired interfaces that include a 2.5 GbE, USB 3.2x2, etc.
MSI MEG Z490 ACE MSI MEG Z490 ACE MSI MEG Z490 ACE MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk

Plextor at CES 2020: M9P Plus AIC SSD and its M.2 Twin

Plextor showed off its very recently announced M9P line of premium PCI-Express NVMe SSDs at CES 2020. The M9P Plus comes in both half-height add-in card (AIC) form-factor, and a more conventional M.2-2280 form-factor. In both, it leverages PCI-Express 3.0 x4 along with the NVMe 1.3 protocol. At the heart of these drives is the Marvell 88SS1092 "Eldora Plus" controller that has 8 flash channels. This controller is paired with Kioxia 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash (BiCS 4), and a DDR4 DRAM cache.

With capacities of 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB, the M9P offers sequential reads of up to 3,400 MB/s, with up to 2,200 MB/s writes (up to 1,700 MB/s writes for the 256 GB variant). Endurance (TBW) for the three models are proportionately rated at 160 TB, 320 TB, and 640 TB. The 256 GB variant of the M.2-2280 model is priced at $51, the 512 GB variant at $81, and the 1 TB variant at $135. The AIC equivalents are priced at roughly $15 premiums over these prices, and in addition to the convenience of AIC (easier to swap in a test bench), they feature some RGB LED embellishments.

ECS Shows Off 10th Gen Comet Lake-based Liva Z3 Plus Series Compact Desktops at CES 2020

ECS unveiled its latest generation Liva Z3 Plus and Z3E Plus compact desktops. The two implement 15-Watt Intel Core i7 "Comet Lake-U" 6-core/12-thread processors. The only thing setting the two apart from each other is the addition of a 2.5-inch SATA drive bay on the Z3E Plus. Both models support an M.2-2280 SSD with both PCI-Express 3.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring. An M.2 E-key slot lets you drop in 802.11ax or 802.11ac WLAN cards. Other networking options include two 1 GbE interfaces, one of which is driven by an Intel i219-V controller.

The Liva Z3 Plus series come with Amazon Alexa built in, with four A4PC (Alexa for PC) microphones listening for natural voice input, while a headset combi-jack handles the rest of the audio. USB connectivity includes three USB 3.1 gen 1, and a USB-C 3.1 gen 1. HDMI 2.0 and mini-DisplayPort 1.2 display outputs make for the rest of them.

Western Digital Unveils WD Blue SN550 M.2 NVMe SSD

Western Digital unveiled the WD Blue SN550 line of M.2 NVMe SSDs. A successor to the WD Blue SN500, the SN550 is updated with a new controller that utilizes PCI-Express 3.0 x4 (compared to just x2 on the SN500). Designed in-house by WD and SanDisk, the controller is based on the same architecture as the one that drives the WD Black SN750, but is DRAM-less, and has fewer flash channels. Speaking of which, WD deployed 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash, and wants the drive to compete in pricing with QLC NAND-based drives such as the Crucial P1. The 250 GB variant is priced at USD $54, the 500 GB variant $65, and the 1 TB variant $99.

All three variants take advantage of the increased PCIe bandwidth to offer sequential read speeds of up to 2,400 MB/s (the SN500 capped out at 1,700 MB/s). Write speeds vary, with the 250 GB variant offering up to 950 MB/s, the 500 GB variant up to 1,750 MB/s, and the 1 TB variant up to 1,950 MB/s. Endurance figures (TBW) of the three variants are rated at 150 TB for the 250 GB variant, 300 TB for the 500 GB variant, and 600 TB for the 1 TB variant. An interesting design choice with these drives is pushing the NAND flash chip and the controller as far apart on the PCB as possible, for less concentration of heat. All three models are backed by 5-year warranties.

ASUS Rolls Out Pro WS X299 SAGE II Motherboard

ASUS today rolled out the Pro WS X299 SAGE II, a redesign and refresh of its WS X299 SAGE series quasi-workstation motherboards, designed for those who want to use Intel's 10th generation Core XE "Cascade Lake-X" HEDT processors in a workstation-like environment (CEB form-factor) and can make do without ECC memory. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and two 8-pin EPS power connectors, along with an optional 6-pin PCIe power input to stabilize add-on card power delivery. An 8-phase VRM conditions power for the socket LGA2066 processor. The board employs PLX PEX8747 bridge chips to convert two x16 PCIe gen 3.0 links from the LGA2066 processor to four PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots with full bandwidth, or seven slots with x16/x8/x8/x8/x8/x8/x8 wiring.

Storage options on the ASUS Pro WS X299 SAGE II include three U.2 ports, two M.2 slots (one right below the PCH heatsink, and the other vertical); and eight SATA 6 Gbps ports. Network connectivity includes two 2.5 GbE interfaces driven by a pair of Intel i225-LM controllers. USB connectivity includes two USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports driven by an ASMedia controller (from which one is type-C), a second such controller driving an internal port, and eight USB 3.2 gen 1 ports from the X299 PCH. A high-grade onboard audio solution featuring Realtek S1220A HDA codec, headphones amp, ground-layer isolation, and audio-grade capacitors, make for the rest of this board. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Patriot Viper Gaming Announces the VPR100 RGB M.2 NVMe SSD

Patriot Memory, under its Viper Gaming brand announced the VPR100 RGB line of M.2 NVMe SSDs. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor, the drive features a wide heatspreader with RGB LED embellishments. You can play with the lighting not just with the Viper RGB app, but also popular lighting software such as ASUS Aura Sync RGB, MSI MysticLight, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion, etc. The drive takes advantage of the PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface with NVMe 1.3 protocol. Patriot is kind and brave enough to disclose that enabling RGB LED sync lighting can decrease read/write speeds by up to 20-30 percent. Leaving them unsynchronized (following a preset) leaves drive performance untouched.

Available in 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB capacities, the VPR100 RGB combines a Phison E12-series controller with 3D TLC NAND flash memory, cushioned by a DRAM cache. All four capacity variants offer sequential read speeds of up to 3,300 MB/s, but write speeds vary. The 256 GB model offers up to 1,000 MB/s, the 512 GB model up to 2,100 MB/s, and the 1 TB and 2 TB models up to 2,900 MB/s. Endurance figures (TBW) for the four models are 380 TB, 800 TB, 1,600 TB, and 3,115 TB, respectively. Backed by 5-year warranties, the 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB variants of the VPR100 RGB are priced at 74.90€, 119.90€, 189.90€, and 379.90€, respectively (including VAT), in the EU. Across the big pond, they're priced at USD $94.99, $134.99, $229.99, and $399.99, respectively.
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