News Posts matching "PCI-Express"

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AREA Also Intros SATA 6 Gb/s Card with Switchable Internal/External Ports

Apart from the powerful little Mr. Clone 3.0 drive-cloning and docking device, Japanese company AREA also launched the SATA 6 Gb/s TwinTurbo Hybrid addon-card. 2-port SATA 6 Gb/s cards aren't new, but they either come in 2-port internal SATA, or 2-port eSATA forms, making you have to choose between the two types. This addon-card from AREA features two internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports, two eSATA 6 Gb/s ports, and uses a common 2-port SATA 6 Gb/s controller.

The ingenuity here is a simple jumper-based way of configuring those two SATA channels to individually work as internal SATA or eSATA. So now you can set the card to have two eSATA 6 Gb/s ports, two internal SATA ports, or one internal SATA and an eSATA, whichever way you'd like, by simply toggling two sets of four jumpers switching which way the data traces of each SATA channel end up. The card uses an ASMedia ASM1061 2-port PCIe SATA 6 Gb/s controller, which supports IDE, AHCI, and simple RAID modes. It connects to the host over PCI-Express 2.0 x1. Slated for May 2012, the AREA SATA TwinTurbo Hybrid will be priced at 2,980 JPY, or $38.

New Intel Server Board to Hold 1 TB of RAM

Intel is working on a new four-socket LGA2011 Server Board product, S4600LH (codename "Lizard Head Pass"), which is capable of holding a total of 1 terabyte of RAM. It is designed mainly for high-performance computing and math-intensive server applications, such as video streaming sites using it for transcoding, etc. The board is able to achieve such large memory expansion room, by providing three DIMM slots per memory channel. Each socket gives four memory channels.

The board supports 8-core Xeon E5-4600 series Sandy Bridge-EP processors. It is driven by Intel C600 "Patsburg" chipset with up to 8 SCU ports and 2 SATA 6 Gb/s ports. There are no standard expansion slots on the board as such, but there are two PCI-Express 3.0 x48 risers, to which daughterboards with three x16 slots each, can be attached (as shown in the CGI drawing below). Apart from these PCIe x48 risers, there is one PCIe 3.0 x8 I/O module on board. The board features dual Intel LAN with VT support. KVM and BMT logic is in-built. The Server Board S4600LH from Intel will be available in Q2 2012.

Intel Centerton Atom A True Single-Chip SoC

Intel has, in the past, referred to its two-chip low-wattage computing solutions as "SoC" (system on a chip), keeping with that trend, it was assumed that "Centerton", an Atom-derived processor for NAS servers that the company is working on, could be a similar 2-chip solution with the tiny NM10 PCH sitting next to the CPU. It is now coming to light that Intel will design Centerton to run as a true single-chip SoC, without the PCH.

Centerton's core and uncore components, housed on the same piece of silicon, are detailed in the first picture, below. It packs two x86-64 cores. Each core has 32 KB L1I cache, 24 KB L1D cache, and 512 KB of dedicated L2 cache. There is no shared tertiary cache between the cores, however, they converge at the integrated memory controller (IMC). This IMC can control a single DDR3 memory channel, supporting 1.5V DDR3 UDIMMs with ECC support or 1.35V DDR3 SO-DIMMs, at speeds of PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333 MHz). Up to 8 GB of RAM is supported. The core can be clocked as high as 1.60 GHz. It features HyperThreading technology, enabling four logical CPUs for the OS to deal with. Any current 32-bit or 64-bit x86-capable OS should run.

PCI Express 3.0 Has Zero Performance Incentive for Radeon HD 7970: Tests

Over the last few months, motherboard manufacturers have been raising a big hoopla over how it's important to pick their products that feature PCI Express 3.0 (Gen 3.0) slots. There was even some drama between competing motherboard manufacturers over who was first to the market with this technology, even when consumers couldn't really make use of the technology. To begin with, you needed a next-generation Ivy Bridge CPU, then you needed a compliant graphics card. Sandy Bridge-E, fortunately, formally introduced the technology, complete with motherboards and processors that support it.

GPU maker AMD wanted to be the first to be out there with a GPU that's compliant with this interface, and so one thing led to another, and VR-Zone got to set up a test-bed using Core i7 "Sandy Bridge-E", ASUS Rampage IV Extreme (which allows users to change PCI-Express standard mode in the BIOS setup program, by forcing Gen 2 or Gen 1 mode), and an HD 7970, to see if running the GPU on PCIe 2.0 and PCIe 3.0 modes made any worthwhile difference. The results are in: zero, nada, zilch, sunna (zero in my language).

AMD Radeon HD 7900 Key Features Listed

We've already been through the specifications of HD 7970 "Tahiti" in some detail that matters to those who can draw a performance hunch looking at them. This latest slide shows you the feature-set this GPU comes with. To begin with, there are three main categories of feature updates: Graphics CoreNext, AMD Eyefinity 2.0, and AMD APP Acceleration. AMD claims CoreNext to be a "revolutionary" new architecture that changes the way the GPU crunches numbers.

For the past five generations (since Radeon HD 2000), AMD GPUs have used the VLIW (very-long instruction word) core arrangement. Even the latest VLIW4 introduced by Radeon HD 6900 series, was an evolution, than a revolution of that. CoreNext replaces VLIW stream processors with super-scalar Graphics Compute cores. This should translate to higher performance per mm² die-area, resulting in smaller GPUs, giving AMD room for greater cost-cutting if the competition from NVIDIA for this generation takes effect. The GPU itself is built on TSMC's new 28 nm silicon fabrication process. Next up, AMD confirmed support for PCI-Express 3.0 interface, that nearly doubles system bus bandwidth over the previous generation.

Sapphire Works on Two Value Motherboards

Sapphire is working on two new entry-level motherboards for AMD FM1 and Intel LGA1155 platforms. The FM1 board, called the Pure White A55, is a budget micro-ATX board based on the AMD A55 FCH; while the LGA1155 board is the Pure Platinum H61P, an ATX board based on the Intel H61 chipset. The Pure White A55 uses a simple 5+1 phase VRM to power the AMD A-Series APU or Athlon II FM1 CPU. The FM1 socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting dual-channel DDR3 memory. The "Memory Free" feature stabilizes memory clock speeds, voltages, and timings if wrong settings make the system fail POST, at the push of a button.

Expansion slots of the Pure White A55 include one PCI-Express 2.0 x16, two PCIe 2.0 x1, and a legacy PCI. All six SATA 3 Gb/s ports of the A55 FCH are assigned as internal ports. Display outputs include HDMI, DVI, and D-Sub. Other connectivity features include 6-channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, two USB 3.0 ports, and a number of USB 2.0 ports. The board uses redundant BIOS on separate ROM chips, that protect it against bad BIOS updates. The Pure Platinum H61P uses a 6 phase VRM to power the LGA1155 processor. The socket is wired to two DDR3 DIMM slots supporting up to 16 GB of dual-channel DDR3 memory.

XQD Memory Card Format Announced, Promises 125+ MB/s Speeds

Ready or not, here it comes, a brand new memory card format courtesy of the CompactFlash Association (CFA). Named XQD, the new card makes use of a PCI-Express interface (2.5 Gbps for starters, 5 Gbps in the future), features a durable casing that measures 38.5 x 29.8 x 3.8 mm (for comparison, a CompactFlash card is 43 × 36 × 5 mm while an SD card is 32 × 24 × 2.1 mm), and aims to deliver write speeds of 125 MB/s (and higher in future iterations).

"The XQD format will enable further evolution of hardware and imaging applications, and widen the memory card options available to CompactFlash users such as professional photographers," said Mr. Shigeto Kanda of Canon, chairman of the board, CFA. XQD memory cards are set to be showcased at CP+ 2012 (February 9-12) in Yokohama, Japan but it's still uncertain when we'll see them in stores. Licensing of this new format will begin in early 2012 so products supporting it should come later in the year.

PCI-SIG Announces PCI-Express 4.0 Evolution to 16 GT/s, Twice That of PCIe 3.0

PCI-SIG, the organization responsible for the widely adopted PCI Express (PCIe) industry-standard input/output (I/O) technology, today announced the approval of 16 gigatransfers per second (GT/s) as the bit rate for the next generation of PCIe architecture, PCIe 4.0. This decision comes after the PCI-SIG completed a feasibility study on scaling the PCIe interconnect bandwidth to meet the demands of a variety of computing markets.

After technical analysis, the PCI-SIG has determined that 16 GT/s on copper, which will double the bandwidth over the PCIe 3.0 specification, is technically feasible at approximately PCIe 3.0 power levels. The data also confirms that a 16GT/s interconnect can be manufactured in mainstream silicon process technology and can be deployed with existing low-cost materials and infrastructure, while maintaining compatibility with previous generations of PCIe architecture. In addition, the PCI-SIG will investigate advancements in active and idle power optimizations, key issues facing the industry.

CyberpowerPC Unveils Gamer Xtreme PCs Powered by Intel Core i7-3000 Series CPUs

CyberpowerPC, a leading manufacturer of custom gaming desktop PCs, gaming notebooks, and performance workstations, today announced a new series of enthusiast gaming PCs based on Intel's 2nd Generation Core i7-3000 Series CPUs (code named Sandy Bridge-E) and X79 chipset motherboards.

CyberpowerPC gaming systems receiving the new CPU makeover includes the Gamer Xtreme 3D series, the FANG EVO Black Mamba and Cobra as well as its award winning Gamer Xtreme XE and XI systems. The series will include the flagship Intel Core i7 3960X (3.33Ghz and Turbo Boost up to 3.9Ghz), and the Core i7 3930K CPU (3.2Ghz and Turbo Boost to 3.8Ghz) to deliver unmatched performance, the ability to customize your rig, and features that put you in control of the action.

ASUS Ready With X79 Workstation Board

Republic of Gamers and Sabertooth aren't the only special client motherboard product lines of ASUS apart from its mainline, there's also the WS (workstation) series, that consists of motherboards fit for mission-critical environments, and which are filled to the brim with features. These motherboards are often based on chipset from Intel's client product lines, rather than enterprise ones. Intel's Sandy Bridge-E 1P platform will get a similar treatment with the P9X79WS.

Based on the ATX form-factor, the P9X79WS uses a typical X79 motherboard layout. The socket LGA2011 is powered by a 10-phase Digi+ VRM, which is cooled by a heatsink that shares its heat with a VRM heatsink cluster over the memory VRM, and the one over the X79 PCH. There are eight DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting quad-channel DDR3 memory. All expansion slots are PCI-Express long-type, though the exact lane configuration is not known. The board is advertised with 4-way NVIDIA SLI and CrossFireX support, so at least four of those slots could be wired to the CPU.
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