News Posts matching #PCI-Express 4.0

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MSI MPG Z590 Gaming Force Motherboard Pictured

Here's the first picture of the MSI MPG Z590 Gaming Force, an interesting new product from MSI slotted in its upper-mid tier MPG line of motherboards. This Socket LGA1200 motherboard based on the Intel Z590 chipset is characterized by a Hip Hop design language that's a break away from the company's other MPG Z590 motherboards, with a dash of neon-noir colors. A pair solid ridged heatsinks cool the board's 16-phase CPU VRM. Another set of three heatsinks cover its three M.2 NVMe slots, one of which is PCIe Gen 4 and wired to the LGA1200 socket, and the other two to the Z590 PCH.

Expansion slots on the MPG Z590 Gaming Force include two PCI-Express 4.0 x16 (x8/x8 with both populated), an x16 (electrical PCI-Express 3.0 x4) slot that's wired to the PCH, and a pair of x1 slots. The rest of the board's feature set appears to roughly match the MPG Z590 Gaming Carbon, including a 6-pin PCIe power input to supplement the two 8-pin EPS and 24-pin ATX power inputs, POST debug readout, a fairly premium onboard audio solution, and other connectivity that possibly includes 2.5 GbE.
MSI MPG Z590 Gaming Force

MSI Outs MAG A520M Bazooka WiFi and MAG B550M Vector WiFi

MSI updated the entry-level of its AMD 500-series chipset motherboard product stack with two interesting additions. The new MAG A520M Bazooka WiFi is essentially based on the same board design as the MAG B550M Bazooka, but uses the cheaper A520 chipset; while the new MAG B550M Vector WiFi is based on the same design as the MAG A520M Vector WiFi that the company debuted its A520 motherboard lineup with.

The A520M Bazooka is a well spaced-out 240 x 240 mm Micro-ATX board with a 7+2 phase CPU VRM solution that uses a large heatsink to cool the Vcore MOSFETs; four DDR4 DIMM slots, expansion slots that include a PCI-Express 3.0 x16, and two Gen 2 x1 slots; and an entry-level combination of audio CODEC and Ethernet PHY (Realtek ALC887 + RTL8111H). The B550M Vector will be the most affordable B550 offering from MSI, thanks to its narrow Micro-ATX footprint, and just two DIMM slots. Unlike the A520M Vector, this board gives you PCI-Express 4.0 x16 and a Gen 4 NVMe slot. The onboard audio+Ethernet combination is the same as the Bazooka. Both boards offer dual-band 802.11ac WLAN + Bluetooth 4.2, put out by an Intel Wireless-AC 3168 WLAN solution. The company didn't reveal pricing.

AMD WRX80 Threadripper PRO Platform Breaks From OEM Shackles, ASUS WS WRX80 SAGE Spotted

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3000 PRO line of ultra high-end processors with 8-channel DDR4 memory and 128-lane PCI-Express were a bit of a nothingburger for the DIY PC community as AMD made it exclusive to Lenovo for its ThinkStation P620 pre-built workstations. The hope for Threadripper PRO hitting the DIY scene increased in December 2020, with GIGABYTE unveiling a the WRX80 SU8, a motherboard sold in the open market, albeit designed mainly for servers and not workstations that are loaded with I/O. ASUS is about to change this.

Here's the first picture of the ASUS WS WRX80 SAGE, a no-holes-barred workstation motherboard based on the AMD WRX80 chipset, supporting Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3000 series processors. This board wires out each of the processor's eight memory channels to its own DIMM slot (1 DIMM per channel), and spreads the processor's lavish PCIe 4.0 lane budget among seven PCI-Express 4.0 x16 slots, three onboard (and possibly four by AIC) M.2 NVMe slots, a pair of U.2 NVMe slots, and I/O that very likely includes a pair of 10 GbE connections. Getting the board is the easy part. You'll need to hunt down a Ryzen Threadripper PRO sWRX80 processor, and a PSU that can feed the board's three 8-pin EPS, and two 6-pin PCIe, besides the 24-pin ATX.

GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Master OC Edition Pictured

In a move that's possibly triggered by the MSI MEG B550 Unify X, GIGABYTE unveiled a limited edition variant of its X570 AORUS Master motherboard targeting overclockers—the X570 AORUS Master OC. This board does away with much of its aesthetic cladding, sheds the rear I/O shroud, and exposes its bare PCB for the most part. A much simpler fan-heatsink cools the X570 chipset. The CPU VRM area is cooled by a pair of aluminium fin-stack heatsinks that are joined by what looks like a flattened heat-pipe.

Perhaps the biggest design change with the GIGABYTE X570 AORUS Master OC has to be its memory set-up. The board has just two DDR4 DIMM slots, or one DIMM per memory channel. From a memory overclocking standpoint, this is the most optimal memory topology, and the reason why memory overclocking records are usually set on Mini-ITX motherboards (that have 1DPC memory configuration). Elsewhere we see a pair of PCI-Express 4.0 x16 slots wired to the CPU (x8/x8 with both populated), a third PCI-Express 4.0 x16 (electrical Gen 4 x4, wired to the X570 chipset), and three M.2 NVMe slots, each with PCI-Express 4.0 x4 wiring.

Intel 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake" Desktop TDP Values Surface

Intel's 11th Gen Core "Rocket Lake-S" desktop processors could feature similar TDP values to their 10th Gen "Comet Lake-S" predecessors, according to Momomo_us. Intel is preparing to give the Unlocked "K" and "KF" SKUs a TDP rating of 125 W, while the locked non-K models feature 65 W rating. The lineup is led by the 8-core/16-thread Core i9-11900K, followed by the locked i9-11900 and iGPU-devoid i9-11900F; the slightly slower 8-core/16-thread Core i7-11700K, followed by the i7-11700KF, i7-11700, and i7-11700F; and the 6-core/12-thread i5-10600K and its derivatives.

The 11th Gen Core desktop processor series arrives in Q1 2021, and is based on the 14 nm "Rocket Lake-S" silicon, and built into the Socket LGA1200 package, with backwards compatibility with Intel's 400-series chipset motherboards, and native support for the Intel 500-series. The "Rocket Lake-S" die is rumored to feature up to 8 "Cypress Cove" CPU cores, a dual-channel DDR4 memory controller, a 24-lane PCI-Express 4.0 root complex, and an updated Gen12 iGPU based on the Xe LP graphics architecture. The "Cypress Cove" CPU cores are reportedly 14 nm back-ports of the "Willow Cove" cores, and feature a double-digit percent IPC increase over the "Skylake" cores.

AMD Eyes Mid-November CDNA Debut with Instinct MI100, "World's Fastest FP64 Accelerator"

AMD is eyeing a mid-November debut for its CDNA compute architecture with the Instinct MI100 compute accelerator card. CDNA is a fork of RDNA for headless GPU compute accelerators with large SIMD resources. An Aroged report pins the launch of the MI100 at November 16, 2020, according to leaked AMD documents it dug up. The Instinct MI100 will eye a slice of the same machine intelligence pie NVIDIA is seeking to dominate with its A100 Tensor Core compute accelerator.

It appears like the first MI100 cards will be built in the add-in-board form-factor with PCI-Express 4.0 x16 interfaces, although older reports do predict AMD creating a socketed variant of its Infinity Fabric interconnect for machines with larger numbers of these compute processors. In the leaked document, AMD claims that the Instinct MI100 is the "world's highest double-precision accelerator for machine learning, HPC, cloud compute, and rendering systems." This is an especially big claim given that the A100 Tensor Core features FP64 CUDA cores based on the "Ampere" architecture. Then again, given that AMD claims that the RDNA2 graphics architecture is clawing back at NVIDIA with performance at the high-end, the competitiveness of the Instinct MI100 against the A100 Tensor Core cannot be discounted.

Intel Storms into 1080p Gaming and Creator Markets with Iris Xe MAX Mobile GPUs

Intel today launched its Iris Xe MAX discrete graphics processor for thin-and-light notebooks powered by 11th Gen Core "Tiger Lake" processors. Dell, Acer, and ASUS are launch partners, debuting the chip on their Inspiron 15 7000, Swift 3x, and VivoBook TP470, respectively. The Iris Xe MAX is based on the Xe LP graphics architecture, targeted at compact scale implementations of the Xe SIMD for mainstream consumer graphics. Its most interesting feature is Intel DeepLink, and a powerful media acceleration engine that includes hardware encode acceleration for popular video formats, including HEVC, which should make the Iris Xe MAX a formidable video content production solution on the move.

The Iris Xe MAX is a fully discrete GPU built on Intel's 10 nm SuperFin silicon fabrication process. It features an LPDDR4X dedicated memory interface with 4 GB of memory at 68 GB/s of bandwidth, and uses PCI-Express 4.0 x4 to talk to the processor, but those are just the physical layers. On top of these are what Intel calls Deep Link, an all encompassing hardware abstraction layer that not only enables explicit multi-GPU with the Xe LP iGPU of "Tiger Lake" processors, but also certain implicit multi-GPU functions such as fine-grained division of labor between the dGPU and iGPU to ensure that the right kind of workload is split between the two. Intel referred to this as GameDev Boost, and we detailed it in an older article.

Western Digital Announces Next-Gen WD_Black Gaming Storage Portfolio

Western Digital Corp. is helping gamers enhance their setups and adapt to the evolving gaming landscape heralded by the next generation of games with today's introduction of three new and upcoming products for its WD_BLACK portfolio of storage solutions. These include its first NVMe solid-state drive (SSD) with next-gen PCIe Gen 4 technology, a fully bootable Gen3 x8 add-in-card and a Thunderbolt 3-powered NVMe SSD gaming dock, each offering eye-catching RGB lighting options.

"As game developers move towards creating immersive titles that require higher performance, consumers need to equip themselves with the best tools to stay up-to-speed," said Jim Welsh, senior vice president, Consumer Solutions, Western Digital. "Innovative, high-performance storage solutions are essential to keep up with this ever-changing landscape. Our latest WD_BLACK products have been purpose-built to allow gamers to meet the increasingly high standards of future games and gaming platforms. We've optimized these products to not only provide more storage for gamers but to elevate the gaming experience as a whole."

KIOXIA Readies the XG7 Client NVMe SSD Leveraging PCIe Gen 4

KIOXIA is readying its next-generation flagship client-segment SSD, the XG7. Some details of the drive surfaced on the UNH NVMe Integrator's List and dug out by Komachi Ensaka. We know the drive's form-factor from the fact that the company's XG6 is a client-segment drive in the M.2-2280 form-factor, which leverages PCIe Gen 3. The XG7 is described as utilizing PCIe Gen 4 and the NVMe 1.4 protocol. No other details were revealed. The drive could utilize the company's latest generation BiCS Flash memory. There's no word on date of announcement of the drive by the company.

GIGABYTE Unveils BRIX Pro Mini PCs Powered by "Tiger Lake" 11th Gen Core Processors

GIGABYTE unveiled the BRIX Pro line of mini PC barebones powered by 11th Gen Intel Core "Tiger Lake-U" processors. These include the BSi3-1115G4, which packs a Core i3-1115G4 (2-core/4-thread, up to 4.10 GHz, 48 Gen12 EUs), the BSi5-1135G7, with a Core i5-1135G7 (4-core/8-thread, up to 4.20 GHz, 80 Gen12 EUs), and the top BSi7-1165G7, powered by a Core i7-1165G7 (4-core/8-thread, up to 4.70 GHz, 96 Gen12 EUs). Since these are desktop platforms, the TDP of these "Tiger Lake" chips in all three models is configured at 28 W. All three models are based on a common chassis design measuring 196.2 mm x 44.4 mm x 140 mm (WxHxD).

Under the hood, you get two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots that support up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory; and two M.2-2280 slots. One of these has PCI-Express 4.0 x4 wiring from the CPU die, while the other has PCI-Express 3.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring, from the PCH die. There's also a vacant SATA 6 Gbps port (possibly for devices such as DOMs). The BRIX Pro offers the full I/O feature-set of "Tiger Lake," including one Thunderbolt 4 / USB4 port, six USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, display I/O that includes four HDMI 2.0a ports, and networking options that include a 2.5 GbE port (Intel i225-V controller), a 1 GbE port (i219-V controller), and 802.11ax WiFi 6 + Bluetooth 5.0 from an Intel AX201 WLAN card. The BSi7-1165G7 includes an Infineon TPM. A 135-Watt power brick is included. The company didn't reveal pricing.

GIGABYTE Intros 2TB AORUS Gen4 AIC SSD

GIGABYTE today introduced a 2 TB variant of its AORUS Gen4 AIC SSD. This drive is essentially a PCI-Express 4.0 x16 to four M.2 PCIe Gen 4 x4 riser card that comes with four 500 GB AORUS Gen4 M.2 NVMe SSDs pre-installed. Using it requires a platform with PCIe lane segmentation (most modern platforms since 2016 do), and for the OS to support NVMe RAID.

The riser card component of the AORUS Gen4 AIC SSD has basic logic that controls a lateral blower based on drive temperature, and provides basic disk activity LEDs. Inside, a copper monoblock heatsink pulls heat from all four drives. Each of the four internal M.2 NVMe drives features 96-layer 3D TLC NAND flash memory, and Phison E16 controllers. With NVMe RAID striped, the card offers peak performance of up to 15,000 MB/s sequential reads, and up to 9,500 MB/s sequential writes. Random access performance is rated at up to 425,000 IPS 4K random reads, and up to 440,000 IOPS 4K random writes. GIGABYTE is backing the drive with a 5-year warranty. The company didn't reveal pricing.

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.

Samsung 980 PRO NVMe SSD Uses TLC NAND Flash with Half the Endurance of 970 PRO: Product Page

Samsung's hotly anticipated 980 PRO M.2 NVMe flagship client-segment SSD is the company's first "PRO" branded SSD to feature TLC NAND flash memory, breaking from a unique tradition of using MLC (2 bits per cell) NAND flash. Product pages of the drive went live, and its specifications clearly state the use of "Samsung V-NAND 3-bit MLC," which is another way of saying TLC. "MLC" generally referred to as NAND flash memory that stores 2 bits per cell, even through the term "Multi-level" is amorphous.

The product page lists other juicy specs of Samsung's first M.2 NVMe client SSD that takes advantage of PCI-Express gen 4. The drive uses Samsung's in-house design "Elpis" controller, which uses NVMe 1.3 protocol over PCI-Express 4.0 x4, and an LPDDR4 DRAM cache. The 980 PRO comes in capacities of up to 1 TB, with up to 1 GB of DRAM cache. Samsung rates the 1 TB version as capable of up to 7000 MB/s sequential reads, up to 5000 MB/s sequential writes, and up to 1 million IOPS 4K random reads/writes at QD32. The use of TLC impacts endurance adversely in comparison to that of the drive's immediate predecessor, the 970 PRO, with the 1 TB 980 PRO warranty covering only up to 600 TBW, in comparison to 1200 TBW of the 970 PRO 1 TB, and the 500 GB 980 PRO offering just 300 TBW warranty coverage in comparison to 600 TBW of the 970 PRO 512 GB.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce MX450 with PCI-Express 4.0 Interface

NVIDIA released a mysterious new mobile GPU that has us scratching our heads over the silicon that could be driving it. The new GeForce MX450 is an entry-mainstream mobile GPU that apparently ships with a PCI-Express gen 4.0 bus interface, something only NVIDIA's "Ampere" GPUs feature. The product page for the MX450 doesn't list out any other specs, than its memory type support including new GDDR6 memory (supported only on NVIDIA architectures "Turing" or later). Interestingly, it also lists GDDR5 as one of its memory options. PCI-Express 4.0 is prominently listed as one of its specs.

Upon digging some more among device IDs, we've come across the ID of the GDDR5 variant, with the ASIC code "GP107-670-A1," and the silicon is based on the much older "Pascal" architecture, which lacks PCIe gen 4 support. The GDDR6 variant eludes us. This is the SKU which could be based on a newer architecture, given its support for GDDR6 and PCIe gen 4. NVIDIA's GeForce MX line of entry-mainstream mobile GPUs are built to performance/power targets, and wildly vary with the underlying tech. They've been historically a means for NVIDIA to clear inventory of older generation ASICs to notebook manufacturers, who get put the NVIDIA logo on their products, and advertise discrete graphics. Given this, the use of a newer (even unreleased) generation of GPUs comes as a surprise.

Colorful Rolls Out CVN B550M Gaming Frozen V14 Motherboard

Colorful today rolled out the CVN B550M Gaming Frozen V14, a socket AM4 motherboard in the Micro-ATX form-factor, based on the AMD B550 chipset. The board gets its "Frozen" name from its mostly-white PCB. The chipset heatsink that extends into an M.2 SSD heatsink features fan ventilation (something not found on most other B550 motherboards). The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and single 8-pin EPS power connectors, conditioning it for the CPU with a 10-phase VRM.

Expansion slots on the Colorful CVN B550M Gaming Frozen V14 include one PCI-Express 4.0 x16, a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 (electrical gen 3.0 x4) that's wired to the chipset, and a gen 3.0 x1 slot. Storage connectivity includes an M.2-22110 slot with PCI-Express 4.0 x4 wiring from the AM4 socket, and six SATA 6 Gbps ports. USB connectivity includes a pair of 10 Gbps USB 3.x gen 2 ports wired to the CPU that include a type-C port, and a number of 5 Gbps ports. Networking is care of a 1 GbE connection from a Realtek RTL8111H controller, and the onboard audio solution uses a Realtek ALC1200 codec. Don't like the white color scheme? Colorful has you covered with the CVN B550M Gaming Pro V14, which is an almost identical board that uses a black PCB and a chipset heatsink that makes do without a fan. The company didn't reveal pricing.

Samsung 980 PRO Clears Korean Regulators, Comes in Three Sizes

Samsung's upcoming flagship client-segment M.2 NVMe SSD, the 980 PRO, has cleared Korean regulators. The drive comes in three capacity variants, led by a 1 TB model (model: MZ-V8P1T0), a 500 GB model (MZ-V8P500), and a 250 GB model (MZ-V8P250). The maximum capacity being rather low at 1 TB suggests that Samsung could stick with MLC (2 bits per cell) NAND flash for the 980 PRO, coupled with an in-house controller that takes advantage of PCI-Express 4.0 x4 host interface to offer sequential transfer rates of up to 6,500 MB/s reads, with up to 5,000 MB/s writes and high random access throughput on account of the MLC NAND flash setup. For higher capacities from Samsung, one should look out for successors of the 970 EVO Plus, which could use 3D TLC NAND flash combined with a similar controller to the 980 PRO, although there's no word on when that drive would launch. The 980 PRO is expected to launch before October.

GIGABYTE B550 AORUS Master Waltzes Around Chipset Limitations to Provide Three Gen 4 M.2 Slots

GIGABYTE B550 AORUS Master is the company's most premium socket AM4 motherboard based on the upcoming AMD B550 chipset. We described this board in some detail in our older article covering an assortment of top B550 motherboards from manufacturers, but missed a key bit. At the time we assumed that the PCI-Express lane switches located below the board's main PCI-Express slot merely split its x16 connection from the AM4 SoC down to two x8 connections to share between two slots, given that AMD allows multi-GPU (including SLI) with the B550. Apparently, the lane switches are there for a different, more fascinating reason.

A BenchLife.info report points to the possibility of all three M.2 slots on this motherboard having PCI-Express gen 4.0 wiring - something that shouldn't normally be possible, since all downstream PCIe lanes put out by the B550 are gen 3.0. The way we see it, the topmost M.2 slot has a direct PCI-Express 4.0 x4 connection from the AM4 socket (as it normally should). The second- and third slots, however, pull their wiring from a series of lane switches that split the main x16 PEG slot to gen 4.0 x8/x4/x4. It's possible that one of the two x16 (electrical x4) slots has a further lane sharing arrangement with one of the two M.2 slots.

NVIDIA GA100 Scalar Processor Specs Sheet Released

NVIDIA today unveiled the GTC 2020, online event, and the centerpiece of it all is the GA100 scalar processor GPU, which debuts the "Ampere" graphics architecture. Sifting through a mountain of content, we finally found the slide that matters the most - the specifications sheet of GA100. The GA100 is a multi-chip module that has the 7 nm GPU die at the center, and six HBM2E memory stacks at its either side. The GPU die is built on the TSMC N7P 7 nm silicon fabrication process, measures 826 mm², and packing an unfathomable 54 billion transistors - and we're not even counting the transistors on the HBM2E stacks of the interposer.

The GA100 packs 6,912 FP32 CUDA cores, and independent 3,456 FP64 (double-precision) CUDA cores. It has 432 third-generation tensor cores that have FP64 capability. The three are spread across a gargantuan 108 streaming multiprocessors. The GPU has 40 GB of total memory, across a 6144-bit wide HBM2E memory interface, and 1.6 TB/s total memory bandwidth. It has two interconnects: a PCI-Express 4.0 x16 (64 GB/s), and an NVLink interconnect (600 GB/s). Compute throughput values are mind-blowing: 19.5 TFLOPs classic FP32, 9.7 TFLOPs classic FP64, and 19.5 TFLOPs tensor cores; TF32 156 TFLOPs single-precision (312 TFLOPs with neural net sparsity enabled); 312 TFLOPs BFLOAT16 throughout (doubled with sparsity enabled); 312 TFLOPs FP16; 624 TOPs INT8, and 1,248 TOPS INT4. The GPU has a typical power draw of 400 W in the SXM form-factor. We also found the architecture diagram that reveals GA100 to be two almost-independent GPUs placed on a single slab of silicon. We also have our first view of the "Ampere" streaming multiprocessor with its FP32 and FP64 CUDA cores, and 3rd gen tensor cores. The GeForce version of this SM could feature 2nd gen RT cores.

NVIDIA Tesla A100 "Ampere" AIC (add-in card) Form-Factor Board Pictured

Here's the first picture of a Tesla A100 "Ampere" AIC (add-in card) form-factor board, hot on the heals of the morning big A100 reveal. The AIC card is a bare PCB, which workstation builders will add compatible cooling solutions on. The PCB features the gigantic GA100 processor with its six HBM2E stacks, in the center, surrounded by VRM components, and I/O on three sides. On the bottom side, you will find a conventional PCI-Express 4.0 x16 host interface. Above it, are NVLink fingers. The rear I/O has high-bandwidth network interfaces (likely 200 Gbps InfiniBand), by Mellanox. The tail end has hard points for 12 V power input. Find juicy details of the GA100 in our older article.

MSI Announces MEG Z490 Unify and MEG Z490I Unify Motherboards

MSI, the world-leading motherboard manufacturer, proudly introduces the latest MEG Z490 UNIFY and MEG Z490I UNIFY into MSI Z490 motherboards. Appearance wise, it is dedicated to users who prefer something other than RGB, the black design with embossed dragon mylar symbolizing a mysterious and high-quality image without the redundant LEDs. Performance wise, it is tailored for hardcore gamers and enthusiasts, emphasizing the true value of the motherboard and enhancing not only the thermal but also power solution, combines MSI's premium layout, digital power design and exclusive Mirrored Power Arrangement, MEG UNIFY series is ready for the challenge of high-end processors.

All MSI Z490 series including UNIFY motherboards are PCI-E Gen 4 ready. Adopting tons of components, enhanced layout placement and PCB design dedicated for PCI-E Gen 4 solution, the MSI Z490 series motherboards ensure higher bandwidth and faster transfer speeds stability. It is ready 4 the future.
MSI MEG Z490 Unify MSI MEG Z490I Unify

AMD B550 Chipset Detailed, It's Ready for Zen 3, Older AM4 Motherboards not Compatible

In their briefing leading up to today's Ryzen 3 3100 and 3300X review embargo, AMD disclosed that its upcoming "Zen 3" 4th generation Ryzen desktop processors will only support AMD 500-series (or later) chipsets. The next-gen processors will not work with older 400-series or 300-series chipsets. This comes as a blow to those who bought premium X470 motherboards hoping for latest CPU compatibility running into 2020. At this time only B550 is available, but we expect more news on enthusiast chipsets as the Zen 3 launch date comes closer. AMD B550 is a fascinating new mid-range chipset by AMD. Launching today as a successor to the popular B450 chipset, B550 is a low-power silicon with roughly the same 5-7 W TDP as the older 400-series chipset. Although AMD won't confirm it, it's likely that the chipset is sourced from ASMedia. It brings a lot to the table that could draw buyers away from B450, but it also takes some away.

The AMD B550 currently only supports 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse" processors. Ryzen 3000 "Picasso" APU are not supported. What's more, older Ryzen 2000 "Pinnacle Ridge," "Raven Ridge," and first gen Ryzen 1000 "Summit Ridge" aren't supported, either. The Athlon 200 and 3000 "Zen" based chips miss out, too. AMD argues that it ran into ROM size limitations when trying to cram AGESA microcode for all the older processors. We find that hard to believe because B450 motherboards with the latest ComboAM4 AGESA support 2nd gen and 3rd gen processors, including APUs and Athlon SKUs based on the two. On the bright side, AMD assured us (within its marketing slides for the B550), that the chipset will support upcoming processors based on the "Zen 3" microarchitecture. The company also came up with a new motherboard packaging label that clarifies that the processors won't work with the 3400G and 3200G.
AMD B550 chipset highlights AMD B550 processor support AMD B550 vs B450

Assortment of Five AMD B550 Premium Motherboards Pictured

Here are the first pictures of an assortment of five premium AMD B550 chipset motherboards by five different manufacturers. With PCI-Express gen 4.0 (where it matters), CPU+memory overclocking, and multi-GPU being enabled for the B550, and more importantly, the chipset not needing any fan-heatsink, the B550 could be an important chipset for AMD in the battle to come against the 10th generation Core processor and Intel B460 chipset.

We begin with the MSI MPG B550 Gaming Pro Carbon WiFi, the company's most premium B550 offering, picking up the mantle from the immensely successful B450-based predecessor. The MSI board offers a single PCI-Express 4.0 x16 slot, that's reinforced, one M.2 PCIe gen 4.0 x4 slot, a second M.2 slot that's gen 3.0 x4; and a number of x1 slots. The board uses a 14-phase CPU VRM to support CPU overclocking. Connectivity includes 802.11ax WLAN, 1 GbE wired networking, a premium ALC1220-based AudioBoost solution, and heatsinks over both M.2 slots. As a Carbon, it features plenty of RGB LED embellishments.
MSI MPG B550 Gaming Pro Carbon WiFi ASUS ROG Strix B550-E Gaming Gigabyte B550 Aorus Master ASRock B550 Taichi BIOSTAR Racing B550 GTQ

GIGABYTE's Entire Selection of Z490 Motherboards Pictured

Turkish tech publication PC Hocasi posted marketing pictures of the entire lineup of GIGABYTE's Intel Z490 chipset motherboards. These include the four recently leaked to web. The vast selection of boards includes the Z490 Vision G and Z490 Vision D targeted at creators. The company's mainline Ultra Durable (UD) and Gaming series includes the likes of the Z490 Gaming X and Z490M Gaming X, and of course the company's AORUS Gaming lineup we detailed in the older article.

An interesting trend with these boards is that GIGABYTE appears to have indeed given them PCI-Express gen 4.0 preparation, which extends across most SKU, including the entry-level UD series. These boards will not provide gen 4.0 with 10th gen "Comet Lake" processors, but the gen 4.0 preparation is reserved for its successor, the 11th gen "Rocket Lake," whenever it comes out. This is a costly design choice which rides on the assumption that "Rocket Lake" will introduce gen 4.0 to the LGA1200 socket (and not the fabled future LGA1700 socket). "Rocket Lake" is expected to come out towards the end of 2020 or early 2021, and will be Intel's response to Ryzen 4000 "Vermeer" processors based on the "Zen 3" microarchitecture.

Sony Reveals PS5 Hardware: RDNA2 Raytracing, 16 GB GDDR6, 6 GB/s SSD, 2304 GPU Cores

Sony in a YouTube stream keynote by PlayStation 5 lead system architect Mark Cerny, detailed the upcoming entertainment system's hardware. There are three key areas where the company has invested heavily in driving forward the platform by "balancing revolutionary and evolutionary" technologies. A key design focus with PlayStation 5 is storage. Cerny elaborated on how past generations of the PlayStation guided game developers' art direction as the low bandwidths and latencies of optical discs and HDDs posed crippling latencies arising out of mechanical seeks, resulting in infinitesimally lower data transfer rates than what the media is capable of in best case scenario (seeking a block of data from its outermost sectors). SSD was the #1 most requested hardware feature by game developers during the development of PS5, and Sony responded with something special.

Each PlayStation 5 ships with a PCI-Express 4.0 x4 SSD with a flash controller that has been designed in-house by Sony. The controller features 12 flash channels, and is capable of at least 5.5 GB/s transfer speeds. When you factor in the exponential gains in access time, Sony expects the SSD to provide a 100x boost in effective storage sub-system performance, resulting in practically no load times.
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