News Posts matching #PCI-Express 4.0

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ASUS Rolls Out ROG Crosshair VIII Impact - Not Strictly Mini-ITX

ASUS over the past week rolled out its flagship socket AM4 motherboard for SFF gaming PC builds, the ROG Crosshair VIII Impact. Based on the AMD X570 chipset and supporting the latest 3rd generation Ryzen processors, this board is slightly longer than the Mini-ITX specification, while retaining its mount-hole layout. The logic here is that most ITX gaming PC cases have two expansion slots to accommodate dual-slot graphics cards, and so it would make sense to extend the motherboard's PCB up until there, reclaiming precious PCB real-estate. Technically this board would qualify as mini-DTX, but ASUS believes it should fit in most ITX cases that have two expansion slots. The board's dimensions are 203 mm x 170 mm.

The ROG Crosshair VIII Impact draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, conditioning power for the AM4 SoC using a massive 8-phase VRM. The AM4 socket is wired to a pair of DDR4 DIMM slots, the board's sole expansion slot, a PCI-Express 4.0 x16, and the interestingly-named SO-DIMM.2 slot. Physically, this is an SO-DIMM slot that's been re-wired with PCIe gen 4.0 leading up to a proprietary SO-DIMM daughterboard that holds two M.2-2280 slots with PCIe 4.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring, each. Four SATA 6 Gbps ports make for the rest of the storage connectivity. The area of the motherboard just below the PCIe x16 slot has another proprietary slot that holds the second daughterboard, this one with the SupremeFX Impact IV onboard audio solution, which has been physically isolated from the main PCB, and has an EMI-shielded Realtek ALC1220 main CODEC, ESS Sabre ES9023P DAC for the main stereo channel, a de-pop circuit, and audio-grade capacitors.

Radeon RX 5300 XT and AMD B550 Chipset Coming to OEM Systems in October

HP has listed new desktop consumer prebuilts that use previously unannounced hardware from AMD, namely the Radeon RX 5300 XT graphics card and the B550 chipset. B550 has been expected for a while — it's a lower-cost chipset for Ryzen 3000 "Zen 2" processors with reduced feature set. HP calls the chipset "AMD Promontory B550A" in their sheets which seems to be designed and produced by ASMedia (unlike X570, which is a fully AMD in-house design). One of the major differences between X570 and B550 is that the latter has no support for PCI-Express 4.0, which won't matter one bit in its target segment. This move not only reduces chipset cost, it also drives down the cost of motherboards significantly, as the more stringent signal integrity requirements for PCIe 4.0 won't apply here.

While we have heard rumors that AMD is working on a smaller chip for their "Navi" architecture (Navi 12 and Navi 14), it's uncertain whether RX 5300 XT is really based on Navi, or whether it will be yet another rebrand — we wouldn't be surprised if Polaris is making a comeback yet again. Both systems are listed for € 699 and € 899, with shelf availability expected for October 8th.

Intel Ships Stratix 10 DX FPGAs, VMWare Among Early Partners

Intel today announced shipments of new Intel Stratix 10 DX field programmable gate arrays (FPGA). The new FPGAs are designed to support Intel Ultra Path Interconnect (Intel UPI), PCI-Express (PCIe) Gen4 x16 and a new controller for Intel Optane technology to provide flexible, high-performance acceleration. VMware is one of many early access program participants.

"Intel Stratix 10 DX FPGAs are the first FPGAs designed to combine key features that dramatically boost acceleration of workloads in the cloud and enterprise when used with Intel's portfolio of data center solutions. No other FPGA currently offers this combination of features for server designs based on future select Intel Xeon Scalable processors," said David Moore, Intel vice president and general manager, FPGA and Power Products, Network and Custom Logic Group.

ASUS ROG Strix X570-I Gaming Motherboard Starts Selling

ASUS started selling its premium Mini-ITX motherboard based on the AMD X570 chipset, the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Strix X570-I Gaming. The board was announced as part of ASUS' X570 motherboard lineup back in July, but is only now reaching selves, with an MSRP of USD $220. The board features an elaborate thermal solution that cools the CPU VRM, the fiesty X570 chipset, and an M.2-2280 SSD over a network of interconnected heatsinks that are ventilated by two 30 mm fans. Despite crippling space constraints, ASUS managed to cram in a 10-phase VRM to power the socket AM4 CPU, which is wired to two DDR4 DIMM slots, an M.2-2280 slot, and the board's sole expansion slot, a PCI-Express 4.0 x16.

Storage connectivity on the ASUS ROG Strix X570-I Gaming includes not one, but two M.2-2280 slots, one wired to the AM4 socket, and the other from the X570 chipset. The two M.2 slots are stacked one on top of the other, with a metal heatspreader between them, pulling heat from the drive below to the board's heatsink network. Four SATA 6 Gbps ports make the rest of the storage connectivity. Networking includes WiFi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.0 from an Intel "Cyclone Peak" AX200 card; and 1 GbE wired Ethernet pulled by an Intel i211-AT chip. The onboard audio solution features a Realtek ALC1200A CODEC with dual OPAMPs.

Realtek Announces New Flash Controllers, Including one for PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSDs

At the 2019 Flash Memory Summit, Realtek announced a slew of new Flash memory controllers targeting a diversity of devices, spanning from USB flash drives to USB external SSDs, M.2/U.2 NVMe internal SSDs. Leading the pack is the RTS5771, the company's new flagship NVMe SSD controller that features a PCI-Express 4.0 x4 host interface, 8 NAND Flash channels with up to 1,200 MT/s speeds per channel, NVMe 1.3, and DRAM cache. This becomes the third PCIe gen 4.0-capable client-segment NVMe SSD controller after the Phison E16 and the Marvell 88SS132x.

The RTS5765DL is its cost-effective sibling, which has PCI-Express 3.0 x4 host interface, just 4 NAND Flash channels, and is DRAM-less, allowing manufacturers to design cost-effective SSDs. It still has 1,200 MT/s bandwidth per channel, so drives that implement it can offer sequential speeds similar to premium drives from the previous generation. The new RTL9210 is a bridge chip that converts USB 3.1 gen 2 (10 Gbps) to PCI-Express 3.0 x2, ideal for cost-effective external NVMe SSDs. The controller also features an integrated RGB LED logic, so drive designers can bling up their creations.

Intel "Tiger Lake" Supports PCIe Gen 4 and Features Xe Graphics, Phantom Canyon NUC Detailed

Intel is working on its next generation gaming-grade NUC, codenamed "Phantom Canyon." When it comes out some time in 2020-21, it will feature Intel's 10 nm+ "Tiger Lake" SoC. Intel detailed this and more in a leaked presentation to industry partners. It describes the launch of of the company's "Ghost Canyon" NUC in Fall 2019 to succeed the current "Hades Canyon" gaming NUC. This box features a Core i9-9980HK processor and discrete graphics options. It will be succeeded in 2020-21 (late 2020 or sometime 2021), by the "Phantom Canyon" NUC that's in development.

The "Phantom Canyon" NUC is powered by a 28 W 10 nm+ "Tiger Lake-U" SoC that features PCI-Express gen 4. The package also implements Intel's "Gen 12" graphics processor that's derived from the Xe architecture it's currently working on, according to Chinese publication PTTWeb. The NUC will also feature discrete graphics options in the price-range of the current GTX 1660 Ti and RTX 2060 ($299 to $349). In related news, we see subtle hints that Intel will give its chipset bus a major update in future generations of its desktop and mobile platforms. Apparently, future platforms could feature DMI spread over 8 lanes as opposed to 4 on current platforms, besides the update to PCIe gen 4. This quadrupling in bandwidth compared to DMI 3.0 (PCIe 3.0 x4) is necessitated by the growth in bandwidth-hungry devices such as NVMe SSDs, external Thunderbolt 3 graphics cards, USB 3.2 flash drives, etc.

Marvell Announces 88SS1320-series PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD Controllers

Marvell today released the industry's lowest power PCIe Gen4 NVMe solid-state drive (SSD) controller portfolio. Marvell's newest SSD controllers are designed to meet the need for lower power and higher performance in next-generation data centers and edge devices as artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G gain momentum. This breakthrough technology delivers unparalleled performance in an ultra-compact footprint, leveraging the company's complex system-on-chip (SoC) design expertise and groundbreaking storage IP to help data center, notebook, tablet, gaming and edge computing platform architects advance their solutions for the highly distributed data era.

"Marvell's latest family of storage controllers has been architected to optimally address edge computing and data center pain points of power-performance and capacity-performance," said Nigel Alvares, vice president of marketing for the Flash Business Unit at Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. "With today's launch, we're once again demonstrating Marvell's leadership in storage, delivering the industry's first 4-Channel PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSD controllers with the industry's lowest power consumption that will help revolutionize SSD solutions for the data economy."

BIOSTAR Rolls Out the Racing X570GT Micro-ATX Motherboard

BIOSTAR expanded its AMD X570 chipset motherboard family with the micro-ATX Racing X570GT. The board ships with out-of-the-box support for 3rd generation Ryzen processors, and features PCI-Express gen 3.0 connectivity. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and a single 8-pin EPS power connector. A simple 4+3 phase VRM conditions power for the SoC, and even lacks cooling over the MOSFETs. Expansion options include one PCI-Express 4.0 x16, and two PCI-Express 4.0 x1 slots.

Storage connectivity of the Racing X570GT includes one M.2-22110 slot with PCI-Express 4.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring. Display outputs include HDMI and D-Sub. The onboard audio solution features an entry-level Realtek ALC887 CODEC, and the board's sole network connectivity is care of a 1 GbE interface, driven by a Realtek RTL8111H PHY. USB connectivity includes four 5 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 1 ports on the rear panel, and two additional 5 Gbps ports via headers. The company didn't reveal pricing, but the Racing X570GT could be one of the cheapest AMD X570 motherboards, if not the cheapest.

BIOSTAR Formally Enables PCIe Gen 4 on its AMD 400-series Motherboards

BIOSTAR formally (officially) enabled PCI-Express gen 4.0 support for four of its socket AM4 motherboard models based on the AMD X470 and B450 chipsets, through BIOS updates. The updated BIOS lets you use PCI-Express gen 4.0 graphics cards on the topmost PCI-Express x16 slot, and the M.2 NVMe slot that's directly wired to the AM4 SoC. The expansion slots that are wired to the chipset are still restricted to PCIe gen 2.0. You will need a 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse" processor for PCI-Express gen 4.0. Among the motherboards that receive PCIe gen 4.0 support through BIOS updates are the AB45C-M4S (B450MH), the AB35G-M4S (B45M2), the AX47A-A4T (X470GT8), and the AX47A-I4S (X470GTN). The links lead to the BIOS image files on BIOSTAR website, which you use at your own risk.

Corsair MP600 PCI-Express 4.0 SSD is now up for Preorder - $250 for 1 TB

First seen at Computex this year, Corsair seems to be first to market with a PCI-Express x4 Gen 4 SSD. Amazon Japan has the Corsair MP600 listed now for pre-order, with a "July 13" release date - it was also listed on Amazon US earlier today, but the product page has vanished since then. Corsair's MP600 SSD comes in capacities of 1 TB and 2 TB, and will be priced at $250 for the 1 TB version, and $450 for the 2 TB model. With PCIe 4.0, the bandwidth per pin is once again doubled over what 3.0 offered. According to Corsair, the MP600 SSD will reach up to 4.95 GB/s sequential write speed and up to 4.25 GB/s sequential read. Like most other PCI-E Gen 4 SSDs that we saw at Computex, the MP600 is based on Phison's PS5016-E16 controller and uses 3D TLC NAND memory.

Update Jul 1st: The drive is now listed at Amazon US, release date is "July 1st", so today: MP600 1 TB ($249.99) and 2 TB ($449.99). It is sold and shipped by Amazon itself.

UL Releases PCI Express Feature Test For 3DMark Ahead of PCIe 4.0 Hardware

With PCI-Express 4.0 graphics cards and motherboards soon to arrive, UL has released their PCI Express feature test for 3DMark. This latest addition has been designed to verify the bandwidth available to the GPU over a computer's PCI Express interface. To accomplish this, the test will make bandwidth the limiting factor for performance and does so by uploading a large amount of vertex and texture data to the GPU for each frame. The end goal is to transfer enough data over the PCIe 4.0 interface to thoroughly saturate it. Once the test is complete, the end result will be a look at the average bandwidth achieved during the test.

Corsair MP600 PCIe Gen 4 M.2 SSD Pricing Out

It looks like SSD manufacturers such as Corsair will price some of the first M.2 PCIe gen 4.0 NVMe SSDs at a premium compared to existing drives that use PCIe gen 3.0. The company on the sidelines of Computex launched its MP600 series of high-end M.2 SSDs that take advantage of PCI-Express 4.0 x4 bus (64 Gbps) on the upcoming AMD "Valhalla" desktop platform, with up to 4950 MB/s of sequential read speeds. Ahead of their market availability alongside AMD Ryzen 3000 "Matisse" processors and AMD X570 chipset motherboards on July 7th, Cowcotland scored prices of the 1 TB and 2 TB models in Europe.

According to the French publication, the 1 TB variant of MP600 is priced at 249€ (0.24€ per GB), and the 2 TB variant at 449€ (0.22€ per GB), including VAT. To put these prices into perspective, the 960 GB variant of Corsair's current flagship SSD, the MP510, is priced at 160€, and its 1920 GB variant at 320€. Stateside, the Intel 660p 1 TB PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 NVMe drive is priced at $99.99 on Newegg, although it isn't generally counted as a premium SSD. Its 2 TB variant is priced at $192 on the same site. Nearly all client-segment PCIe gen 4.0 SSDs launched so far are built around the new Phison PS5016-E16 controller.

GIGABYTE Releases The AORUS NVMe Gen4 SSD

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced the new NVMe architecture and PCIe 4.0 interface based M.2 SSD. The new SSD comes in 3 different capacity sizes, uses a full body copper heatsink to bolster heat dissipation during operation, and delivers sequential read/write speeds at 5000/4400 MB/s. GIGABYTE Ultra Durable certified, the new SSD has undergone rigorous stress tests to ensure that the SSD performs at an elite level users expect from an AORUS product.

AORUS NVMe Gen4 SSD uses an all new PCIe 4.0 controller with Toshiba Bisc4 Nand Flash memory particles, providing up to a 40% performance boost over PCIe 3.0 which translates to 5000 MB/s sequential read speeds. Whether reading data or booting up games, the SSD boasts data transfer rates at unprecedented speeds. The new series offers 3 capacity options at 500 GB, 1 TB, 2TB, comes in 2280 module sizing, and supports the PCIe 4.0 x4 M.2 interface. Whereas SATA SSDs use data and power cables, the M.2 SSDs are easier to configure with its cable free design which also improves airflow in the chassis, increasing overall heat mitigation.

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.

GALAX HOF E16 is a Monstrous M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD Dressed in White

With AMD "Valhalla" desktop platform mainstreaming PCI-Express gen 4.0, several SSD manufacturers put out their first products that can take advantage of it, this Computex. The drive with the highest on-paper transfer rates has to be the HOF E16 from GALAX, which will also be sold under the Galaxy and KFA2 brands in various markets. Built in the M.2-2280 form-factor, the drive features an M.2 PCI-Express 4.0 x4 host interface (backwards-compatible with older PCIe generations), with 64 Gbps of interface bandwidth on tap. The drive comes in capacities of 1 TB, 2 TB, and segment-first 4 TB.

The HOF E16 uses the same heatsink GALAX deployed on the older generation of HOF M.2. A block of aluminium pulls heat from the drive's controller, while a flattened copper heat-pipe spreads heat across. The drive is based on the new Phison E16 controller that's cushioned by an LPDDR4 DRAM chip, and wired to 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory. The drive offers sequential read speeds of up to 4,800 MB/s, and sequential writes of up to 4,000 MB/s. 4K random reads are rated at up to 750,000 IOPS, and 4K random writes up to 700,000 IOPS.

AMD 300-series and 400-series Motherboards to Lack PCIe Gen 4 with Ryzen 3000

This shouldn't really need to be spelled out, but AMD clarified that you can't have PCI-Express gen 4.0 running an upcoming Ryzen 3000 "Matisse" processor on older socket AM4 motherboards based on AMD 300-series and 400-series chipsets, and that the processor's PCIe root-complex will run at PCI-Express gen 3.0 speeds. AMD's official reason for this is that the older motherboards can't guarantee reliable signaling needed for PCI-Express gen 4.0 and hence the company decided to blanket-disable PCIe gen 4.0 for the older platforms. This statement was put out by Robert Hallock, senior technical marketing head for CPUs and APUs, on Reddit.

Unofficially, though, we believe there are technological barriers standing in the way of PCI-Express gen 4.0 on the older motherboards, the least of which are the lack of external PCIe gen 4.0-certified re-driver/equalizer components, and lane-switching on boards that split one x16 PEG link to two x8 links. There may be other less technical issues such as PCI-SIG certification for the older platforms. Intel faced a similar challenge with its 3rd generation Core "Ivy Bridge" processors, which introduced PCI-Express gen 3.0 to the mainstream desktop platform, and were backwards-compatible with Intel 6-series chipset (eg: Z68 Express). The older 6-series motherboards could only put out PCIe gen 2.0 with the newer processors.

GIGABYTE Gives AMD X570 the Full Aorus Treatment: ITX to Xtreme

Motherboard vendors are betting big on the success of AMD's "Valhalla" desktop platform that combines a Ryzen 3000-series Zen 2 processor with an AMD X570 chipset motherboard, and have responded with some mighty premium board designs. GIGABYTE deployed its full spectrum of Aorus branding, including Ultra, Elite, ITX Pro, Master, and Xtreme. The X570 I Aorus Pro WiFi mini-ITX motherboard is an impressive feat of engineering despite its designers having to wrestle with the feisty new PCIe gen 4 chipset. It draws power from a combination of 24-pin and 8-pin connectors, and conditions power for the SoC with an impressive 8-phase VRM that uses high-grade PowIRstage components. A rather tall fan-heatsink cools the X570 chipset, with a 30 mm fan.

Connectivity options on the X570 I Aorus Pro WiFi are surprisingly aplenty. The sole expansion slot is a PCI-Express 4.0 x16, but the storage connectivity includes not one, but two M.2-2280 slots (reverse side of the PCB), each with PCI-Express 4.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring. Four SATA 6 Gbps ports make for the rest of the storage connectivity. Networking options include 2.4 Gbps 802.11ax WLAN, Bluetooth 5.0 (Intel , and 1 GbE, all pulled by Intel-made controllers. USB connectivity includes six 5 Gbps USB 3.2 gen 1, and two 10 Gbps USB 3.2 gen 2 ports (of which one is type-C), and two 5 Gbps ports by headers. The onboard audio solution has 6-channel analog output, but is backed by a premium Realtek ALC1220VB Enhance CODEC (114 dBA SNR).

ASRock X570 Aqua is a $1000 Zen2-ready Liquid-Cooled Monsterboard

We were pleasantly mistaken when we thought ASRock would stop at the X570 Phantom Gaming X or the X570 Taichi for AMD's new "Valhalla" enthusiast desktop platform. It turns out that they have a roughly-$1,000 monster motherboard in the pipes, called the X570 Aqua. Pictured below, the board is based on a slight variation of the X570 Phantom Gaming X PCB. The biggest change of course is the aluminium shroud that covers most of the board's front side. There's also a metal back-plate.

Beneath the metal shroud is what gives the board its name: a massive liquid-cooling monoblock that cools not just your processor (including heavyweights such as overclocked Ryzen 9 3900X chips), but also the CPU VRM, and the feisty AMD X570 chipset. The coolant channel first goes over the CPU through a large micro-fin lattice, then onto the X570 chipset, and finally over the CPU VRM on its way out. Much like the Phantom Gaming X, this board features daisy-chained dual-channel DDR4 memory slots designed to make the most OC out of 2-module setups.

BIOSTAR Racing X570GT8 Pictured

We got a closer look at the Racing X570GT8 from BIOSTAR. This board was already leaked to the web earlier this month. Right off the bat we see an understated design with a predictable layout. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and 4-pin ATX power connectors, and uses a 12-phase VRM design. Expansion slots include two PCI-Express 4.0 x16, a third gen 4.0 x16 (electrical gen 4.0 x4), and three other gen 4.0 x1 slots. Storage connectivity includes three M.2 NVMe 64 Gbps slots. Overclocker-friendly features include POST code readout, onboard buttons, and USB BIOS Flashback. The board's sole 1 GbE interface is driven by an Intel i211-AT controller. The onboard audio solution is powered by an ALC1220 CODEC. Expect this board to be priced around $170.

AMD's CES 2019 Keynote - Stream & Live Blog

CPUs or GPUs? Ryzen 3000 series up to 16 cores or keeping their eight? Support for raytracing? Navi or die-shrunk Vega for consumer graphics? The questions around AMD's plans for 2019 are still very much in the open, but AMD's Lisa Su's impending livestream should field the answers to many of these questions, so be sure to watch the full livestream, happening in just a moment.

You can find the live stream here, at YouTube.

18:33 UTC: Looking forward, Lisa mentioned a few technology names without giving additional details: "... when you're talking about future cores, Zen 2, Zen 3, Zen 4, Zen 5, Navi, we're putting all of these architectures together, in new ways".

18:20 UTC: New Ryzen 3rd generation processors have been teased. The upcoming processors are based on Zen 2, using 7 nanometer technology. AMD showed a live demo of Forza Horizon 4, using Ryzen third generation, paired with Radeon Vega VII, which is running "consistently over 100 FPS at highest details at 1080p resolution". A second demo, using Cinebench, pitted an 8-core/16-thread Ryzen 3rd generation processor against the Intel Core i9-9900K. The Ryzen CPU was "not final frequency, an early sample". Ryzen achieved a score of 2057 using 135 W, while Intel achieved a score of 2040 using 180 W.. things are looking good for Ryzen 3rd generation indeed. Lisa also confirmed that next-gen Ryzen will support PCI-Express 4.0, which doubles the bandwidth per lane over PCI-Express 3.0. Ryzen third generation will run on the same AM4 infrastructure as current Ryzen; all existing users of Ryzen can simply upgrade to the new processors, when they launch in the middle of 2019 (we think Computex).
Ryzen third generation uses a chiplet design. The smaller die on the right contains 8-cores/16-threads using 7 nanometer technology. The larger die on the left is the IO die, which consists of things like the memory controller and PCI-Express connectivity, to shuffle data between the CPU core die and the rest of the system.

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.

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.

Intel 14-nanometer Skylake Platform To Support DDR4, PCIe 4.0, SATA Express

Intel's first chips based on the company's new, and Industry first, 14-nanometer manufacturing process are expected to hit markets in late 2015. With Skylake, Intel will introduce their new 9th-generation Intel HD IGP. The new platform will be the first to bring dual-channel DDR4 memory support. Skylake won't be the first platform to support DDR4 memory. In the 2H of 2014, Intel will launch their enthusiast grade Haswell-E platform, with support for quad-channel DDR4 memory. Skylake will be more of an evolution of Broadwell, which in turn is essentially an die shrink of Haswell to 14nm.

Additionally, the new mainstream platform will bring in support for PCI-E 4.0, essentially doubling the bandwidth offered by the current PCI-E 3.0 standard. More powerful GPUs from NVIDIA and AMD should be able to take advantage of the improved bandwidth, as their cards keep getting more and more powerful with each passing generation. Skylake will also introduce support for SATA Express. The advantage? SATA Express allows for a max bandwidth of about 16 Gb/s, more than 2.5x the 6 Gb/s bandwidth offered by the current SATA standard. While the product slide doesn't specify exactly as to when the first Skylake based products are scheduled to hit the market, our best guess places it at the end of 2015.
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