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ASUS Teases Collage of Upcoming AMD X570 Motherboards

With AMD expected to launch its 3rd generation Ryzen processor family at the 2019 Computex, the show is expected to have unveilings of several compatible motherboards based on the new AMD X570 chipset. ASUS posted a collage picture that teases its upcoming X570 lineup. This appears to include boards from pretty much all of ASUS's brands, including the high-end ROG Crosshair, the upper mainstream ROG Strix, the mainstream TUF Gaming, and the sober Prime series. From this, the ROG Strix board appears to be the first one we've come across that doesn't use a fan-heatsink to cool the 15W TDP X570 chipset. The Ryzen 3000 "Matisse" processor and X570 chipset make up AMD's "Valhalla" desktop platform.

AMD X570 Unofficial Platform Diagram Revealed, Chipset Puts out PCIe Gen 4

AMD X570 is the company's first in-house design socket AM4 motherboard chipset, with the X370 and X470 chipsets being originally designed by ASMedia. With the X570, AMD hopes to leverage new PCI-Express gen 4.0 connectivity of its Ryzen 3000 Zen2 "Matisse" processors. The desktop platform that combines a Ryzen 3000 series processor with X570 chipset is codenamed "Valhalla." A rough platform diagram like what you'd find in motherboard manuals surfaced on ChipHell, confirming several features. To maintain pin-compatibility with older generations of Ryzen processors, Ryzen 3000 has the same exact connectivity from the SoC except two key differences.

On the AM4 "Valhalla" platform, the SoC puts out a total of 28 PCI-Express gen 4.0 lanes. 16 of these are allocated to PEG (PCI-Express graphics), configurable through external switches and redrivers either as single x16, or two x8 slots. Besides 16 PEG lanes, 4 lanes are allocated to one M.2 NVMe slot. The remaining 4 lanes serve as the chipset bus. With X570 being rumored to support gen 4.0 at least upstream, the chipset bus bandwidth is expected to double to 64 Gbps. Since it's an SoC, the socket is also wired to LPCIO (SuperIO controller). The processor's integrated southbridge puts out two SATA 6 Gbps ports, one of which is switchable to the first M.2 slot; and four 5 Gbps USB 3.x ports. It also has an "Azalia" HD audio bus, so the motherboard's audio solution is directly wired to the SoC. Things get very interesting with the connectivity put out by the X570 chipset.
Update May 21st: There is also information on the X570 chipset's TDP.
Update May 23rd: HKEPC posted what looks like an official AMD slide with a nicer-looking platform map. It confirms that AMD is going full-tilt with PCIe gen 4, both as chipset bus, and as downstream PCIe connectivity.

MSI X570 MPG Motherboards Leaked: Gaming Pro Carbon, Gaming Plus

The folks over at Videocardz have treated us to a leak on MSI's upcoming X570 motherboards. The company's mid-tier MPG motherboards usually include the likes of the Gaming Carbon and Gaming Plus motherboards, and this round of motherboard development is no different. Both motherboards join leaked designs from other brands that showed active cooling being mounted on top of the chipset, a throwback to another era.

The leaked Gaming Plus is the lower-tier of the two leaked solutions of today, cutting on reinforcements on some expansion ports (such as the PCIe 16x slot). The Gaming Pro Carbon features a fancier design (with RGB lighting); the chipset hroud also serves as cooling for M.2 slots you can populate underneath (or so it seems). The Gaming Pro Carbon has more attention to detail on the placement of connectors such as SATA, and seems to have a slight advantage on the overall motherboard power delivery circuits, but these are just being eyeballed. One thing we can see is that while the Gaming Pro Carbon features MSI's Audio Boost feature, the Gaming Plus doesn't. Expect more details to be available closer to launch.

BIOSTAR Racing X570GT8 Zen 2 Motherboard Pictured and Detailed

MSI, without naming its product, teased its MEG X570 Ace motherboard late last week, obeying the cardinal rules of a teaser, such as not putting out clear pictures or names. BIOSTAR probably wanted to do something similar, but ended up leaking glaring details and pictures of its flagship socket AM4 motherboard based on the AMD X570 chipset, the Racing X570GT8. The X570 is AMD's first in-house design chipset for the AM4 socket after "Promontory" and FM2-based "Bolton," supplied by ASMedia. It was necessitated by the need to get downstream PCIe connectivity from the chipset to be certified for the latest generations (gen 3.0 or later), by AMD, and overcome many of the connectivity limitations of ASMedia "Promontory," from which AMD carved out previous socket AM4 chipsets.

Design compulsions of being a flagship product aside, there are signs of a clear focus on strengthening the CPU VRM on the Racing X570GT8, to cope with the rumored Ryzen 9 series 16-core "Zen 2" processor. The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8+4 pin EPS connectors, conditioning it for the processor with a 12-phase VRM. There are two metal-reinforced PCI-Express x16 slots wired to the AM4 SoC, and we get the first glimpse of the PCI-Express gen 4.0 lane switching and re-driver circuitry. We haven't seen anything to suggest that the downstream PCIe lanes from the X570 chipset are gen 4.0, yet, but we expect them to at least be gen 3.0. The presence of three M.2 slots bodes well for the downstream PCIe lane count. ASMedia "Promontory" puts out a paltry eight gen 2.0 lanes. It's also interesting to see an active fan-heatsink cooling the X570 chipset, indicating a rather high TDP compared to the 3-5 Watt TDP of the 400-series "Promontory" low-power variant chipsets. The component choices by BIOSTAR look premium and are a callback to its T-Power glory days enthusiasts remember.

AMD Ryzen 3000 "Zen 2" a Memory OC Beast, DDR4-5000 Possible

AMD's 3rd generation Ryzen (3000-series) processors will overcome a vast number of memory limitations faced by older Ryzen chips. With Zen 2, the company decided to separate the memory controller from the CPU cores into a separate chip, called "IO die". Our resident Ryzen memory guru Yuri "1usmus" Bubliy, author of DRAM Calculator for Ryzen, found technical info that confirms just how much progress AMD has been making.

The third generation Ryzen processors will be able to match their Intel counterparts when it comes to memory overclocking. In the Zen 2 BIOS, the memory frequency options go all the way up to "DDR4-5000", which is a huge increase over the first Ryzens. The DRAM clock is still linked to the Infinity Fabric (IF) clock domain, which means at DDR4-5000, Infinity Fabric would tick at 5000 MHz DDR, too. Since that rate is out of reach for IF, AMD has decided to add a new 1/2 divider mode for their on-chip bus. When enabled, it will run Infinity Fabric at half the DRAM actual clock (eg: 1250 MHz for DDR4-5000).

MSI Teases MEG X570 Ace Motherboard for Zen 2

With the 2019 Computex almost upon us, motherboard vendors are ready with socket AM4 motherboards based on AMD X570 chipset, which launches alongside the company's first wave of 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse" processors based on the 7 nm "Zen 2" architecture. MSI put out a teaser animation of its flagship motherboard based on the AMD X570, the MEG X570 Ace. MEG, or MSI Extreme Gaming, is the company's top tier of client-segment motherboards, positioned above MPG (MSI Performance Gaming), and MAG (MSI Arsenal Gaming). Within MEG, MSI has three known sub-brands, GODLIKE, Creation, and Ace. The MEG Ace brand is the cheapest of the three, and designed to offer the most high-end features at its price-point.

Given that the company is teasing a MEG Ace product, it could be testing the waters with "Zen 2," and probably begin working on a GODLIKE product only if these processors establish a superiority over not just the i9-9900K, but also the upcoming 10-core "Comet Lake" chip. AMD's flagship is rumored to be the Ryzen 9 3850X, a mammoth 16-core/32-thread chip clocked up to 5.10 GHz. The "5 6 7" artwork with interposing "3000" indicate three distinct things: The highlighted "6" indicates onboard 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) controller. The 5 and 7 could indicate the X570 chipset. The "3000" of course references Ryzen 3000 series.

AMD X570 Chipset to Feature 40 PCIe 4.0 Lanes

As we gear up for launch of AMD-s Ryzen 3000 series, details are bound to come up with increasing frequency. One of the latest, regarding AMD's in-house developed X570 chipset, which brings a renewed feature set to the AM4 platform, pertains to its PCIe lanes. AMD has included a grand total of 40 PCIe 4.0 lanes on the chipset, which will be distributed between PCIe uplink, USB 3.1 Gen2, USB 2.0 and SATA, as the spec sheet below (which may not be real) indicates. That's a whole load of bandwidth for the PC platform, not counting those PCIe lanes that are to be provided by the Ryzen CPUs.

It seems AMD will be using PCIe support level as a differentiator factor for its chipsets. The X570 is reported to be the only chipset to feature PCIe 4.0 support, while all other chipsets below it (B550 and so on) will only support PCIe 3.0. These lower-end chipsets should be manufactured by ASMedia.

ASUS and ASRock AMD X570 Chipset Motherboards Listed

AMD X570 is the companion premium chipset option for the company's 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse" processor family, and is expected to debut alongside the first of these processors some time in June, 2019. Unlike the X470 and X370, the new X570 will be based on an in-house chipset design by AMD, and probably manufactured at GlobalFoundries on its 14 nm node. The mid-range "B550" and lower chipset models could continue to be sourced from ASMedia. Motherboard majors ASUS and ASRock put out their first partial lists of motherboard models based on the AMD X570.

ASUS will launch as many as seven motherboard models in its Republic of Gamers (ROG) family, led by the Crosshair VIII Formula. This indicates that ASUS is placing high enough sales expectations from the "Valhalla" platform across the competitive landscape to come out with an ROG Formula product. You can expect goodies such as 8-layer PCBs, liquid-cooling preparation for the VRM heatsinks, Thunderbolt, or 10 GbE, and the most number of overclocker-friendly features. Next up, are the ROG Crosshair VIII Hero and Crosshair VIII Hero WiFi, which could be the company's second-best product offerings. For the first time on the AMD platform, ASUS will launch an ROG Impact mini-ITX product, with the ROG Crosshair VIII Impact. There will be three ROG Strix family products based on the X570, the Strix-E (premium ATX), Strix-F (mid-range ATX), and Strix-I (premium mini-ITX).

ASMedia to Continue as Chipset Supplier to AMD, But X570 an In-house Chipset

AMD's socket AM4 and socket TR4 chipsets are originally designed by ASMedia. With its "Zen" family of processors being full-fledged SoCs, the motherboard "chipset" only serves to increase connectivity, and ASMedia already holds certifications for key groups such as the PCI-SIG, USB-IF, SATA-IO, NVM-Express group, etc. It's being reported now that ASMedia will develop some, if not all 500-series chipsets, with the exception of X570. The X570 will be an in-house design by AMD, which will use its own foundry partners (likely GloFo 14 nm) to manufacture it. This presents AMD with an opportunity to harden it against vulnerabilities, and have greater control over pricing, not to mention overcoming key design shortfalls of "Promontory," such as downstream PCIe connectivity.

This flies in the face of speculation that AMD would discontinue ASMedia's supply of chipset, especially in the wake of the "Chimera" vulnerability affecting "Promontory" 300-series and 400-series chipsets. The supposedly security-hardened 500-series chipset will feature PCI-Express gen 4.0 certification. What this means is that the chipset bus between the AM4/TR4 SoC and the chipset will be PCI-Express 4.0 x4 (64 Gbps), translating to double the bandwidth. It remains to be seen if the downstream PCIe lanes put out by the chipset are gen 4.0, too. Current 400-series chipsets continue to put out stale gen 2.0 lanes, compensated for by additional gen 3.0 lanes put out by the SoC. Sources also mention that ASMedia-supplied chipsets will only hit the market toward the end of 2019, which means AMD X570 could be the only 500-series chipset option between the mid-2019 launch of 3rd generation Ryzen, and late-2019. You should be able to run these processors on older socket AM4 motherboards via BIOS updates, though.

ASRock Readies Nine AMD X570 Motherboards with "Zen 2" Matisse Support

Sometime mid-2019, AMD will launch its 3rd generation Ryzen "Zen 2" processors with core counts of up to 16 cores in the AM4 package. These processors will launch alongside the new AMD 500-series desktop chipset family, led by the X570. AMD assures backwards compatibility of these processors with older chipsets provided motherboard vendors support their customers with BIOS updates. You'll probably need a 500-series chipset motherboard to use PCI-Express gen 4.0 connectivity, while older chipsets will limit connectivity to gen 3.0 (not that there are any GPUs that use gen 4.0).

ASRock is developing as many as nine motherboard models based on the AMD X570, according to a list scored by VideoCardz. These include the X570 Phantom Gaming X and X570 Taichi leading the top-end; X570 Phantom Gaming 6, X570 Phantom Gaming 4, and X570 Extreme4 covering the mid-range, and the entry-level of the lineup consisting of the X570 Pro4/R2.0 and X570M Pro4/R2.0.
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