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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.

ASUS Begins Enabling Limited PCIe Gen 4.0 on AMD 400-series Chipset Motherboards

ASUS believes that PCI-Express gen 4.0 support on older socket AM4 motherboards based on the AMD 400-series chipset is technically possible, even if discouraged by AMD. The company's latest series of motherboard BIOS updates that expose PCIe Gen 4 toggle in the PCIe settings, does in fact enable PCIe gen 4.0 to all devices that are directly wired to the SoC. These would be the PCI-Express x16 slots meant for graphics, and one of the M.2 slots that has PCIe x4 wiring to the SoC. Below is a list of motherboards scored by Chinese tech publication MyDrivers, which details the extent of PCIe gen 4.0 support across a number of ASUS motherboards based on the X470 and B450 chipsets.

AMD apparently did not explicitly block PCIe gen 4.0 for older chipsets. It merely suggested to motherboard manufacturers not to enable it, since the newer AMD 500-series motherboards are built to new PCB specifications that ensure PCIe gen 4.0 signal-integrity and stability. ASUS wants to leave it to users to decide if they want gen 4.0. If their machines are unstable, they can choose to limit PCIe version to gen 3.0 in their BIOS settings. Among other things, AMD's specifications for 500-series chipset motherboards prescribe PCBs with more than 4 layers, for optimal PCIe and memory wiring. Many of the motherboards on ASUS' list, such as the TUF B450 Pro Gaming, use simple 4-layer PCBs.

MSI Scampers to Launch New AMD 400-series Motherboards with 256Mb BIOS Chips

Our Monday story chronicled how MSI inadvertently erred in giving many of its AMD 400-series chipset motherboards 128 Mbit (16-megabyte) SPI flash ROM chips instead of larger 256 Mbit (32-megabyte) ones, which nearly jeopardized the company's "Zen 2" support deployment, forcing it to greatly thin its motherboard firmware feature-set, and break SATA RAID support on many of its boards. To be fair to MSI, the company may not have anticipated the AGESA microcode growing tremendously in size with its latest ComboAM4 1.0.0.3-series. We are now hearing from Polish tech publication PurePC that MSI has scrambled to remedy this by re-releasing many of its AMD 400-series chipset motherboards with larger 256 Mbit SPI flash ROM chips.

The PurePC report states that MSI will brand the revised motherboards "MAX" in the product name (eg: B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC MAX, B450M Bazooka MAX, etc.), although we don't know if the new model names will have the company's latest MEG/MPG/MAG prefixes. The 256 Mbit SPI flash ROM chip allows MSI to cram in AGESA 1.0.0.3a, which lets you use 3rd generation Ryzen processors to their full capabilities (barring PCIe gen 4.0 on these motherboards of course). More importantly, the larger ROM chip allows MSI to have AGESA 1.0.0.3a without sacrificing on its feature-rich Click BIOS 5 UEFI setup program, SATA RAID module, or losing support for any of the socket AM4 processors.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Review Leaks, Shows Impressive Performance

El Chapuzas Informático has posted an early review of the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 which was tested on a Gigabyte Aorus Gaming 7 WiFi motherboard, G.Skill FlareX DDR4 @ 3200 MHz and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE graphics card. Looking at the data presented, it becomes clear the performance on offer if real looks to be quite impressive. The site compared AMD's latest offering to the Intel Core i9-9900K and the AMD Ryzen 7 2700X with the Ryzen 5 3600 typically slotting in between the two and in some cases beating both. This is interesting to note as the Ryzen 7 2700X offers similar clock speeds to the Ryzen 5 3600 but the former has a 2C/4T advantage. Even so, the newer AMD CPU tends to outpace the Zen+ based Ryzen 7 2700X in multiple tests. In Cinebench R15, for example, the Ryzen 5 3600 had the lead in single-core performance while multi-core was held by the Ryzen 7 2700X. Cinebench R20 roughly mimics these results as well.

While memory latency was quite high 80.5 ns, it didn't seem to impact performance to any serious degree. In fact, in wPrime 2.10 32M running on a single core showed the Ryzen 5 3600 coming in just behind the Intel Core i9-9900K while being faster than the previous generation Intel Core i7-8700K, i7-8600K, and AMD Ryzen 7 2700X and 1700X. That said, the previous generation Ryzen processors were far slower here were as the Intel chips were still competitive. In the multi-core test, the Ryzen 7 2700X took a slight lead while the Ryzen 7 1700X was a bit slower than the Ryzen 5 3600. One interesting quirk of note was the lack of write speed on the memory with the Ryzen 5 3600 only hitting 25.6 GB/s which is quite a drop from the 47 GB/s seen on the Ryzen 7 1700X and Ryzen 7 2700X. However this could be due to the X470 motherboard being used or maybe an issue with sub timings on the memory, something that will need to be verified in future reviews.

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.

MSI CEO: AMD Plans to Stop Being the Value Alternative, X570 Motherboards to be Expensive

MSI's CEO Charles Chiang, quoted by Tom's Hardware at COMPUTEX 2019, laid out what we were already seeing with motherboard designs from all vendors of AMD's X570-based motherboards: pricing is likely increasing across the board, and AMD's market positioning won't be of the alternative, lower-value brand.

As quoted, Chiang said that ""Lots of people ask me, what do you think about today's AMD? I say today's AMD is completely different company compared to two, three, five years ago. They have nice technology and they are there to put the higher spec with the reasonable pricing. But right now they say, "Hey Charles, let's push to marketing to the higher [end]. So let's sell higher-pricing motherboards, higher-spec motherboards, and let's see what will happen in the market. So I don't think that AMD is the company that wants to sell low cost here, low cost there." Which does make sense: AMD isn't in the position of the underdog anymore -at least technology and product-portfolio wise when it comes to consumer CPUs. With better products, comes a desire for higher margins, and a change in direction for a company that was basically forced to almost cut itself out of the market in terms of profits with its previous, non-competitive CPU designs.

BIOSTAR Releases 3rd Gen Ryzen Support BIOS Updates for AM4 Motherboards

BIOSTAR,a leading manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards, and storage devices offers piece of mind for its customers, announcing the BIOSTAR AMD AM4 300-series and 400-series motherboardswill be compatible with upcoming 3rd Gen AMD RYZEN CPUs. BIOSTAR's engineering team have been working relentlessly prior to the availability of the upcoming CPUs to ensure BIOSTAR products keep their promise of ensuring customers get the best value without worrying about future upgrades.

Among the motherboard models eligible for BIOS update are: B350ET2, B350GT3, B350GT5, B350GTN, B450GT3, X370GT3, X370GT5, X370GT7, X370GTN, X470GT8, X470GTN, A320MD PRO, A320MH PRO, TA320-BTC, TB350-BTC, A320MY-Q7, A320MH, B45M2, B450MHC, B450MH, and Hi-Fi B350S1. You should be able to find the BIOS updates in the downloads section of the product pages of these motherboards on the BIOSTAR website.

ASRock Releases Next-gen AMD CPU BIOS Updates for Socket AM4 Motherboards

ASRock has announced BIOS updates for AMD X470/B450/X370/B350 and A320 series motherboards to support the soon to be released new AMD Ryzen processors. The latest BIOS update will be available for download from specific product pages on ASRock website or simply update through ASRock APP Shop. The latest BIOS for each motherboard are listed as below. BIOS are expected to be released in May.

ASUS Reveals Listing of Motherboards, Chipsets Receiving Update for Next-gen Ryzen; A-Series Absent

ASUS today has posted a full listing of the motherboards that are receiving BIOS updates to allow for full compatibility with AMD's upcoming Ryzen 3000 series CPUs. These range across the B350, X370, B450, and X470 chipsets, with everything from ROG to TUF to Prime-branded motherboards receiving the support update. Conspicuously absent, though, are ASUS' A-series motherboards, based on the A320 chipset - despite it supporting the same electrical load as its B350 counterpart.

An ASUS remark claiming that "new models to be listed" gives some hope, but there have been unofficial rumors of A-series-based motherboards not supporting AMD's latest CPUs - and that ASUS claim could well be directed to some unlisted motherboards between the already mentioned chipsets.

GIGABYTE Unveils AMD-50 Commemorative Aorus X470 Gaming 7 WiFi

GIGABYTE unveiled a special commemorative package of its flagship socket AM4 motherboard, the Aorus X470 Gaming 7 WiFi. Much like the Ryzen 7 2700X AMD-50 Edition processor, this GIGABYTE motherboard is a minor variation of the original it's based on, with a handful cosmetic changes. The box package features AMD-50 markings, as does the board's model name, with a "-50" suffix. The motherboard itself features some "AMD-50" and "AORUS x AMD 50th Anniversary" markings along the acrylic RGB LED diffuser along the board's top-right corner and elsewhere. Perhaps out of the box, the board's RGB LEDs shine in a more pronounced shade of gold than the Aorus default orange-gold tint. These apart, the board is every bit identical to the Aorus X470 Gaming 7 WiFi, which currently retails for around USD $220, competing with the likes of the MSI X470 Gaming M7 and the ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero.

AMD Ryzen 3000 "Zen 2" BIOS Analysis Reveals New Options for Overclocking & Tweaking

AMD will launch its 3rd generation Ryzen 3000 Socket AM4 desktop processors in 2019, with a product unveiling expected mid-year, likely on the sidelines of Computex 2019. AMD is keeping its promise of making these chips backwards compatible with existing Socket AM4 motherboards. To that effect, motherboard vendors such as ASUS and MSI began rolling out BIOS updates with AGESA-Combo 0.0.7.x microcode, which adds initial support for the platform to run and validate engineering samples of the upcoming "Zen 2" chips.

At CES 2019, AMD unveiled more technical details and a prototype of a 3rd generation Ryzen socket AM4 processor. The company confirmed that it will implement a multi-chip module (MCM) design even for their mainstream-desktop processor, in which it will use one or two 7 nm "Zen 2" CPU core chiplets, which talk to a 14 nm I/O controller die over Infinity Fabric. The two biggest components of the IO die are the PCI-Express root complex, and the all-important dual-channel DDR4 memory controller. We bring you never before reported details of this memory controller.

MSI X470 and B450 Motherboards Receive BIOS Support for Upcoming Athlon "Raven Ridge" Processors

MSI, the world leading motherboard brand, is proudly to release BIOS updates to support the upcoming AMD Raven Ridge processors, including AMD Athlon 200GE, 220GE, and 240GE APUs. The updated BIOS version is prepared to support the future AMD Athlon 200GE, 220GE, and 240GE APUs and also the current Athlon APUs which have launched last year. MSI strongly recommends its users to update their systems by downloading and applying the latest BIOS.

EK Water Blocks Releases CPU Monoblock for ASRock X470 Taichi Series

EK Water Blocks, the premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer, is releasing a new AM4 socket based monoblock tailor-made for the ASRock X470 Taichi and ASRock X470 Taichi Ultimate motherboards. The EK-FB ASRock X470 Taichi RGB Monoblock has an integrated 4-pin RGB LED strip and it offers unparalleled aesthetics alongside with superior performance and VRM section cooling! The RGB LED in the monoblock is compatible with ASRock Polychrome RGB, thus offering a full lighting customization experience.

The EK-FB ASRock X470 Taichi RGB is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for the ASRock X470 Taichi and ASRock X470 Taichi Ultimate motherboards that support the second generation of AMD Ryzen and 7th Generation A-series/Athlon processors.

EKWB Releases Acetal C6H Monoblock for ASUS ROG Crosshair VI and VII

EK Water Blocks, the premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is expanding the AM4 socket based monoblock portfolio by making an acetal version of the monoblock for ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero, Crosshair VI Extreme and Crosshair VII Hero motherboards. The EK-FB ASUS C6H RGB Monoblock - Acetal has an integrated 12V 4-pin RGB LED strip which makes it compatible with ASUS Aura Sync, thus offering a full lighting customization experience!

This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for the previous gen AMD X370 Chipset AM4 socket based ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero and new AMD X470 Chipset AM4 socket based ASUS ROG Crosshair VII Hero gaming motherboards that support the latest generation of AMD Ryzen and 7th Generation A-series/Athlon processors.

EK Releases CPU+VRM Monoblock for MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is releasing a new AM4 socket based monoblock tailor-made for the MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard. The EK-FB MSI X470 Pro Carbon RGB Monoblock has an integrated 4-pin RGB LED strip and it offers unparallel aesthetics alongside with superior performance! The RGB LED in the monoblock is compatible with MSI Mystic Light Sync, thus offering a full lighting customization experience.

This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for the MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard that supports the second generation of AMD Ryzen and 7th Generation A-series/Athlon processors.

Cooler Master Improves Deals on Newegg's "Fantastech Sale"

Newegg has its "Fantastech Sale" going on, which has some interesting deals in all manner of tech. These deals include a number of brands and products, so you'd better shop around if you have something on your wishlist and would like to take advantage of discounts. Some interesting deals and prices, for instance, can be found on a Gigabyte GTX 1080, which can be had for just$ 449.99 after all discounts have been applied (never thought I'd see such a price ever again in this generation); Gigabyte's X470 AORUS Ultra Gaming can be had for just $109.99, down from the $139.99 asking price; the CORSAIR TX-M Series TX550M power supply can be had for just $34.99, down from its usual $79.99 pricing; and Cryorig's H7 tower cooler is down by 44% to just $27.99.

ASMedia Readies ASM2824 PCIe Switch Anticipating a Rise in M.2 Slots

ASMedia is giving finishing touches to the ASM2824 PCI-Express gen 3.0 x24 switch. With half the fabric as the PLX PEX8747, the chip takes in PCI-Express 3.0 x8, and puts out four PCI-Express 3.0 x4 connections. In theory, this would let a motherboard designer create four M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 slots from 8 downstream PCIe lanes of the Intel Z390 chipset, saving the remaining PCIe lanes for onboard USB 3.1 controllers (preferably sourced from ASMedia itself), since Intel canned the older 14 nm version of the Z390, which was supposed to put out six 10 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 2 and ten 5 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 1 ports directly from the PCH.

With all four downstream slots populated, ASMedia promises NVMe RAID bandwidths of up to 6,500 MB/s, with some CDM numbers even crossing 6,700 MB/s. Then again, one has to take into account that the test platform probably had the ASM2824 wired to the CPU's PCIe root-complex, and not that of the chipset. Intel is yet to modernize the lousy DMI 3.0 chipset-bus between its latest processors and chipset, and is physically PCI-Express 3.0 x4, which is fundamentally outdated for the bandwidth-heavy interfaces of this generation, such as USB 3.1, M.2 NVMe, and even the upcoming SD Express. The ASM2824 is also a godsend for the AMD AM4 platform, which not only has the same PCI-Express 3.0 x4 chipset bus between the AM4 SoC and the X470 chipset, but also a poor downstream PCIe feature-set of the X470, with just 8 gen 2.0 lanes. Motherboard designers can wire out all of those lanes to an ASM2824 for up to 24 downstream lanes.

BIOSTAR also Shows Non-Mining Motherboards, M500 Series NVMe at COMPUTEX 2018

BIOSTAR at COMPUTEX 2018 also showcased some other bits and pieces of hardware that didn't actually focus on mining. The company's M500 Series M.2 SSD, for example, features relatively high performance (not for an NVMe drive, surely, but against a SATA SSD there's just no competition). The LED indicators are interesting additions, dynamically blinking and giving color-coded information at a glance regarding drive temperature (which may sometimes be relevant in hunting down throttling scenarios), as well as data transmission on the drive itself.

AMD B450 Mid-range Chipset Detailed

AMD is giving finishing touches to its second 400-series motherboard chipset, the B450. Slated for a 2H-2018 launch alongside the Ryzen 5 2500X and a few other entry-level 2nd generation "Zen" processors, the B450 succeeds the mid-range B350 chipset, comes with out of the box support for Ryzen 2000 "Pinnacle Ridge" processors, and has a couple of features up its sleeve. To begin with, it puts out the same numbers of USB, SATA, and PCIe links as the B350. You get two 10 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 2 ports, just two 5 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 1 ports, just two SATA 6 Gbps ports, and just six downstream PCI-Express gen 2.0 lanes. The AM4 SoC augments this paltry connectivity with two more 5 Gbps USB 3.1 gen 1 ports, two more SATA 6 Gbps ports, and a 32 Gbps M.2 PCIe slot. Unlike mid-range chipsets from Intel, the AMD B450 and B350 retain CPU overclocking support.

Like the X470, the new B450 comes with a reduced idle power-draw of less than 2W, and hence can be cooled by extremely tiny heatsinks. The chipset has the same "enhanced" CPU VRM and memory routing specifications (additional PCB layers), introduced by the X470. To be more business/enterprise-friendly, the B450 lets system administrators disable specific USB ports of the motherboard from the UEFI setup program. Also, both X470 and B450 support NVMe RAID, which was exclusive to the X399 in the previous generation. You also get out of the box support for AMD StoreMI technology. Interestingly, the table detailing the B450 lists a feature exclusive to the X470 and B450, called "XFR 2.0 Enhanced." No AMD technical document we read tells us what XFR 2.0 Enhanced is, and how it's different from XFR 2.0 (separately listed in that table).

ASRock Launches the X470 Fatal1ty Gaming ITX/ac Motherboard

ASRock has finally launched one of their more interesting X470 solutions, the X470 Fatal1ty Gaming ITX/ac motherboard. The specs for this board are already well known to us, but I'd like to point out the graphical DisplayPort output, a feature seldom seen in other products, which is there to facilitate users some FreeSync shennanigans on their Zen APU.

This motherboard crams all of the essentials for a great system (and great looking in its all black color scheme) as it is, though of course, some expandability options are absent due to PCB real-estate limitations. But user looking for a no-frills, ITX motherboard with built-in AC wi-fi support may not need to look anywhere else. No pricing announcement yet, but allowing ourselves to speculate based on past ASRock products and ASUS' own ROG Strix X470-I Gaming, probably places this motherboard in the $200 range. These should start creeping in on store inventories soon - though a warning on ASRock's website saying this model may not be available worldwide sets a feeling of unease.

EK Releases GIGABYTE X470 Aorus Gaming 5 WiFi Monoblock

EK Water Blocks, the Slovenia-based premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer is maintaining its market leadership by releasing one more X470 series monoblocks. This one is tailor-made for the GIGABYTE X470 AORUS GAMING 5 WIFI motherboard. The EK-FB GA X470 Gaming 5 RGB Monoblock has an integrated 4-pin RGB LED strip which makes it compatible with GIGABYTE RGB Fusion, thus offering a full lighting customization experience!

EK-FB GA X470 Gaming 5 RGB Monoblock
This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for the X470 AORUS GAMING 5 WIFI socket AM4 motherboard that supports the second generation of AMD Ryzen and 7th Generation A-series/Athlon processors.

EK Releases ASUS ROG Strix X470-F Monoblock

EK Water Blocks, the premium liquid cooling manufacturer, is proving its market leadership once again by releasing its first X470 series monoblock that is tailor-made for the ASUS ROG STRIX X470-F GAMING motherboard. The EK-FB ASUS Strix X470 RGB Monoblock has an integrated 4-pin RGB LED strip which makes it compatible with ASUS Aura Sync, thus offering a full lighting customization experience. This is a complete all-in-one (CPU and motherboard) liquid cooling solution for the new AMD X470 Chipset AM4 socket based ASUS ROG STRIX X470-F GAMING motherboard that supports the second generation of AMD Ryzen and 7th Generation A-series/Athlon processors.

Designed and engineered in cooperation with ASUS , this monoblock uses award-winning EK-Supremacy EVO cooling engine to ensure best possible CPU cooling. This water block directly cools AMD AM4 socket type CPU, as well as the power regulation (MOSFET) module. Liquid flows directly over all critical areas, providing the enthusiasts with a great solution for high and stable overclocks. Like with most EK monoblocks, the EK-FB ASUS Strix X470 features high flow design and it can be easily used with the system using a weaker water pump or lower pump speed settings as well.

AMD Announces Availability of 2nd Generation Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge" Processors

AMD today announced the global availability of its 2nd Generation Ryzen Desktop processors, starting with four models optimized for gamers, creators, and hardware enthusiasts: Ryzen 7 2700X, Ryzen 7 2700, Ryzen 5 2600X, and Ryzen 5 2600 processors. Using the world's first 12 nm process technology, these 2nd Gen Ryzen processors can offer up to 15% higher gaming performance than 1st Gen Ryzen processors, while delivering the highest multiprocessing performance you can get on a mainstream desktop PC, and enhanced capabilities including Precision Boost 2 and Extended Frequency Range 2 (XFR 2), an included Wraith Cooler, unlocked performance accessed with the new Ryzen Master Utility, and more.

"Last year we started changing the PC industry with the introduction of our first wave of Ryzen processors - delivering more performance, features, and choice to our customers than before. Our 2nd Gen Ryzen CPUs continue this pursuit by raising the standards for enthusiast gamers and creators," said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Computing and Graphics Business Group, AMD. "With this launch we're also demonstrating that we are just getting started, that we are committed to delivering a multi-generational roadmap of leadership high-performance processors that will drive innovation and competition into the industry for years to come."

G.SKILL Announces New Specifications for AMD Ryzen 2000 Series Processors

G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world's leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory and gaming peripherals, is excited to announce the release of new Trident Z RGB and Sniper X series specifications launching in conjunction with the release of the AMD Ryzen 2000 series processors and the X470 platform. Kit specifications starting from DDR4-3200MHz CL16-18-18-38 16GB (2x8GB) to DDR4-3600MHz 18-22-22-42 16GB (2x8GB), these new specifications push the boundaries of AMD system performance to the next level.

Armed with the latest IMC on the new 2nd generation AMD Ryzen processors, G.SKILL aims to bring users ultra-fast high performance memory kits to help increase overall system performance with the new X470 systems. Trident Z RGB, with model numbers ending with TZRX, and Sniper X memory series now introduce several new AMD X470-specific memory specifications. Please see below for a complete list of the new specifications.

AMD Readies Z490 Chipset with More (and Faster) PCIe Lanes

AMD is reportedly readying a new high-end motherboard chipset positioned higher than even its upcoming X470 chipset, which makes its market debut on April 19. The new Z490 chipset, as it's called, is emerging to be significantly different from X470, and could finally overcome its biggest limitation - downstream PCIe connectivity. While the X470, like its predecessor, puts out just 8 downstream PCIe lanes, which are PCI-Express gen 2.0 at that, the new Z490 will put out a total of 12 PCI-Express gen 3.0 downstream lanes, which will power additional bandwidth-hungry devices, such as additional M.2 slots, external USB 3.1 controllers, 10 GbE controllers, etc. The Z490 was first leaked through a GIGABYTE Aorus internal presentation.

In its current implementation, socket AM4 motherboards have a total of 24 PCI-Express gen 3.0 lanes from the AM4 SoC, besides 6-8 gen 2.0 lanes from the chipset. From this SoC budget, 16 lanes are allocated for PEG (PCI-Express Graphics), 4 lanes as chipset-bus (connecting the SoC with the chipset), and the remaining 4 lanes powering one 32 Gbps M.2 slot. Additional M.2 slots are either gen 2.0, from the chipset's downstream lane budget, or split from the PEG budget. The Z490 overcomes this with a downstream PCIe root complex that's not just 50% broader, but also twice as fast, with PCI-Express gen 3.0. The rest of its feature-set appears to be identical to the X470. There's no timeline on when we can expect Z490 to launch.
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