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Thread: Anandtech News

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    Anandtech: CES 2020: Lian Li Unveils The O11D Mini: A Versatile 38 Liter ATX Chassis

    During CES 2020, renowned chassis manufacturer Lian Li unveiled its latest chassis, the O11D Mini. Remodelling the popular O11 Dynamic into a more compact shell, Lian Li has made the new O11D Mini very space-efficient for an ATX case, with a total volume of just 38 liters.
    The Lian Li O11D Mini can fit ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini-ITX motherboards, and offers plenty of support for water-cooled systems. Depending on the form factor of the motherboard installed, the O11D Mini can house up to three 280 mm radiators with a mini-ITX motherboard installed, a 280 mm and 240 mm radiator with a micro-ATX motherboard, and two 240 mm radiators with an ATX sized board. Bundled with the O11D is three motherboard trays, one for each of the supported form factors.
    Devised from the same DNA as the Lian Li O11 Dynamic, which also allows users to order customized water-cooled mid-plates for better cooling support with style, the O11D Mini retains a similar design, but with a much smaller desktop footprint. At the rear is four PCI blanking plates with an all-black aluminum design, while the internal structure is made of steel. The case also includes a tempered glass side panel, as well as a glass front panel.
    While there is no other information available at present on exact dimensions or the maximum supported graphics card length, the Lian Li O11D Mini is on display at CES 2020. Lian has said the price is expected to be below $100 and will hit retail shelves in May of this year.


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    Anandtech: CES 2020: EVGA Showcases New Nu Audio Pro Card

    Initially announced last November, EVGA at CES 2020 showcased the new second generation Nu Audio Pro audio card. The latest model improves upon its predecessor in several ways, including adding 7.1 channel output option, as well as adding RGB lighting. Overall, EVGA remains a relative newcomer to the sound card market, with the company having started off its journey with the original Nu Audio last year, targeting the more niche high-end internal audio solution market.

    Nu Audio vs Nu Audio Pro
    The new Nu Audio Pro improves upon the first generation in terms of component choices; it still contains the same XMOS xCORE-200 DSP accompanied by Asahi Kasei Microdevices’ (AKM) AK4493 DAC, the AKM AK5572 ADC, and the Cirrus Logic CS5346 ADC. But it’s said that the supporting analog components have been improved so the new characteristics of the card are enhanced.
    Design-wise, we’re also seeing a refresh as the new card now sports a red-black finish, and it has hopped on the RGB train with side-mounted LED strips that can be animated and synced with audio playback.
    The main board is a straightforward replacement to last year’s model and comes at a $199 price tag.

    Nu Audio Pro & Nu Audio Pro Surround
    Instead, what’s special for EVGA's audio card this year is the introduction of a second daughter board that allows for 7.1 channel audio playback. The second board has three additional outputs and is fully self-contained in terms of the audio signal generation, including its own DACs. The interface between the card is digital via a repurposed DisplayPort connector between the two boards. The daughterboard’s PCIe connector just serves as grounding as well as structural support – in theory you can have this free-floating instead of having it take up a PCIe slot on your motherboard, but there might be degradations due to possible lesser grounding.
    The full Nu Audio Pro kit with the 7.1 add-on card can be had for $299; otherwise the boards are sold separately for $199 and $119 respectively, with availability set in the comings months. Overall, EVGA tells us that they’re continuing to iterate on their designs, and that the company is also investigating the development of an external USB version of the card (The PCIe versions actually use a PCIe to USB bridge internally for connectivity) in the future.
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    Anandtech: Asustor, QNAP, and Synology Introduce New NAS Units at CES 2020

    The network-attached storage (NAS) vendors had a relatively quiet presence at CES 2020 compared to what we used to see in earlier years. We have a few announcements and show presence coverage from a couple of vendors to cover, but, a commentary on the current stage of the NAS market is first required to set the stage.
    Where is the Network-Attached Storage Market Headed?

    As an active follower of the network-attached storage (NAS) market and a media analyst covering CES for more than a decade, the change in the approach of the NAS vendors to the show over time has been interesting to observe. At a higher level, it also shows the direction in which the NAS market is headed. In the early 2010s, the cloud concept was still in its infancy and over-the-top (OTT) streaming was just taking off. However, the rise of smartphones and the associated user-generated content meant that consumers suddenly had a significant amount of data at home that needed access in a centralized manner. A number of vendors attempted to capitalize on this home consumer demand by releasing NAS units catering specifically to this market segment. Fast forward to 2020, and a number of things have changed on the home consumer front:

    • Smartphones are backed up by virtually free and virtually unlimited cloud storage, and most consumers are not bothered by the downscaling of the photo and video resolutions
    • Cloud-based services also enable easier sharing of content with contacts around the world - an aspect that has been a pain point when the content resides on a local NAS device.
    • Cloud-based services such as OneDrive even provide ransomware protection - meaning that even PC / notebook backups for many consumers are moving to the cloud
    • Physical media usage has dropped down considerably, and most consumers do not bother to back up their Blu-rays and DVDs. OTT services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Hulu are able to provide instant gratification with a good UI and steady stream of new content compared to media stored in a local server.

    The factors mentioned above have led to the market for consumer-focused NAS devices experiencing little to no growth in the past couple of years. While the underlying data storage explosion thesis remains unchanged. However, the place where the data gets stored as well as the type of customers who want fast, reliable, and centralized storage with a focus on privacy have become skewed. From the perspective of NAS vendors, the primary growth area is in small businesses and enterprises. We will be seeing hardware and software features focusing on various segments of that market moving forward. For example, QNAP already has Thunderbolt 3-equipped NAS units for enterprises involved in media production.
    Where does that leave the consumer NAS models? Since the area is not a growing segment, we will see second tier vendors such as ZyXEL (which last released new NAS units back in 2015) completely exit the market. We also believe that Netgear is completely dropping the home-consumer oriented models in the ReadyNAS lineup. Some vendors (such as Iomega / LenovoEMC) have lso completely exited the NAS market despite having had SMB- and enterprise-focused units in their lineup. Moving forward, the retail crowd will be served by units such as the Western Digital My Cloud Home / Home Duo / Expert / Pro series. Given the huge hard drive capacities, the retail crowd hardly needs more than four bays. This segment is also least bothered by aspects such as SSD caching. Synology, QNAP, and Asustor will release updated models of their 2-bay and 4-bay NAS units every year or two, but the main focus will be on their SMB offerings. On the software side, we believe that NAS apps such as Plex, Twonky Media Server etc. will slowly turn into abandonware. Prosumers and enthusiasts among the home consumers will end up purchasing low- and mid-range SMB NAS units for their privacy-focused centralized data storage needs.
    The effects of the above trends has already been seen at CES over the last few years. In the early 2010s, Synology used to have a presence at one of the press events (Pepcom or ShowStoppers) and also a booth in the main show floor. QNAP used to have either a booth or a suite at one of the hotels. Asustor used to share a suite with Asus. At CES 2020, Synology had a fly-in and fly-out presence at Pepcom along with a 4-bay NAS announcement. QNAP did have a booth and a number of announcements, but the focus was mostly on business features. Asustor announced a new business NAS unit, but didn't have any presence at the show. Netgear didn't have any ReadyNAS units on display in their suite. We did have some upcoming / second-tier vendors such as Terramster displaying their wares at the show. Vendors such as QNAP, Synology, and Asustor have begun organizing their own annual user conferences to announce new products and software features. Additionally, other business conferences focused on virtualization, security etc. are turning out to be better events for these NAS vendors. Overall, CES is no longer an important show for the NAS market. Having said that, the rest of this piece captures some of the demonstrations and announcements made in the NAS space as part of CES 2020.
    Asustor's Lockerstor 10 Pro

    In H2 2019, Asustor had launched the Lockerstor 8 (AS6508T) and Locketstor 10 (AS6510T) tower form-factor NAS units along with demonstrations of the AS-T10G and AS-U2.5G 10Gb and 2.5Gb network adapters. They had also demonstrated updates to various native apps in the Asustor Data Manager (ADM) OS. These Denverton (Atom C3538) units came with dual Intel-based 10GBASE-T ports and dual Realtek-based 2.5G RJ-45 ports along with two M.2 NVMe SSD slots for caching purposes. Priced at $999 (AS6508T) and $1149 (AS6510T), they are cost-effective solutions for SMBs.
    The Lockerstor 10 Pro (AS7110T) uses an Intel Xeon quad-core processor with DDR4 ECC memory. This 10-bay NAS comes with a 10Gb port as well as three 2.5Gb ports, has dual M.2 NVMe / SHCI SSD slots, and two USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) ports. Availability is slated for Q1 2020. We do not have any additional details as yet, but, it seems strange that the Lockerstor 8 and 10 come with dual 10Gb ports, while the Lockerstor 10 Pro has got to make do with just one. We have reached out to Asustor for further comments.
    QNAP's TS-251D and TS-230

    QNAP has been regularly releasing updates to their QTS and also announcing new hardware models throughout the year. As part of CES 2020, they announced the TS-251D (2-bay single-gigabit NAS featuring the Intel Celeron J4005, with a PCIe 2.0 x4 expansion slot for either additional M.2 SSDs or NBASE-T ports up to 10 Gb or USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports) and the TS-230 (2-bay single-gigabit NAS featuring a Realtek RTD1296 quad-core Cortex A53-based SoC and 2GB of DDR4 RAM) for home consumers.
    QNAP also launched the VS-8348 VioStor NVR NAS with a Core i5-8400T and QVR Pro native app for SMB video surveillance recording needs. The company has also been focusing on AI solutions. As part of this, they are adding face recognition to their QVR Pro motion search functionality. The same technology is being demonstrated with the QVR Face to monitor staff attendance in office environments, and digital signage products. Another AI application is their KoiMeeter video conferencing solution that can provide audio transcription and real-time translation in meetings. The QuWAN QoS features helps optimize network bandwidth for unhindered meetings. The company has also been making a big push in the network infrastructure space with their Guardian switches. The QGD-1602P was the new product being demonstrated in this segment. An update to the existing QGD-1600P, it integrates 10G SFP+ ports and has a 370W total PoE budget. It can also run the QTS operating system. The QuCPE Edge Computing Server was also being displayed at CES 2020.
    Synology's DS420j

    Synology announced the 4-bay DS420j NAS at CES 2020, though the details of the unit have been public for a few months now. It is based on the same Realtek RTD1296 used by QNAP in its TS-230 unit. The DS420j accommodates two extra bays compared to that unit and comes with 1GB of RAM . There is a single gigabit LAN port and two USB 3.0 ports in the unit. The unit supports the ext4 filesystem only for the internal volume.
    Synology is also promising new features in their updates to the Synology DSM over the course of 2020, but was silent on the details. We look forward to hearing about the new features shortly. On the business / enterprise side, Synology also announced the availability of the SA3600, a 12-bay Xeon-D 1567-based NAS with SATA / SAS support, two 10GB BASE-T ports, and four gigabit LAN ports. The 2U rackmount NAS also comes with two PCIe 3.0 x8 slots and can support both btrfs and ext4 for the internal volume. They key feature of the SA3600 is the expandability offered with the help of the 12- and 24-bay RX1217sas and RX2417sas expansion units. The maximum number of supported drive bays is 180.
    Terramaster at CES 2020

    Terramaster started off as a direct-attached storage (DAS) manufacturer. We had reviewed one of their offerings back in 2017. Recently, they have started a push on the NAS front too, with products targeting a wide range of customers ranging from home consumers to enterprises. The products on display at CES 2020 were actually the ones launched last year, but they did provide insight into the breadt of their offerings.
    The key product from Terramaster, in our opinion, is the surprisingly affordable F5-422. At $570 for a 10GBASE-T Apollo Lake x86-based 5-bay unit supporting btrfs, it doesn't break the bank. However, the platform holds back the maximum speeds to around 650 MBps over the 10GBASE-T port. Terramaster's TOS 4.1 operating system is the Linux-based OS for their NAS units and it comes with a 'desktop-like' UI similar to Synology's DSM. The company also had rackmount enterprise NAS units based on Denverton and Core i3 platforms, as well as Thunderbolt 3-equipped DAS units at their booth.


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    Anandtech: Intel: 28 W Ice Lake Core i7-1068G7 Coming Q1

    One of most frequent questions I’ve had in my personal inbox over the last few weeks has been questioning the existence of the fastest Ice Lake processor. Back when Intel announced the Ice Lake family, it consisted of a top 28 W part, several 15 W chips, and a number of 9 W CPUs. To date, all we’ve seen are the 15 W chips, and so I reached out to Intel asking for an update on the situation.


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    Anandtech: I Ran Off with Intel’s Tiger Lake Wafer. Who Wants a Die Shot?

    One of the surprises at CES from Intel was the presence of Tiger Lake, Intel’s next generation platform beyond Ice Lake. Tiger Lake is Intel’s vehicle for delivering the first generation of its Xe-LP graphics in a mobile form factor, and there has been a lot of buzz around what Tiger Lake exactly is. We learned this week that it is built on a 10nm+ process, which is different to the ‘10nm’ Ice Lake process (and don’t ask about what Cannon Lake was). Intel has also promoted that Tiger Lake will have higher performance than Ice Lake, both in CPU and graphics, and come with the next generation AI features. Tiger Lake will be out by the end of 2020, but the thing that surprised us most at CES 2020 was the presence of a Tiger Lake wafer.


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    Anandtech: CES 2020: Corsair Announces The A500 CPU Cooler, Back to Air Cooling

    Although Corsair's cooling division is more widely known for its extensive range of CLC CPU cooling solutions, Corsair has once again moved back into the air-cooled CPU cooler business. Corsair has once before tried to tackle the market with its older A50 and A70 models, the new A500 looks to target Noctua's NH-D15 with some very interesting features.
    Moving back into the air cooling market after the launch of the Corsair A50 and A70 air CPU coolers, the new Corsair A500 looks to add a new dimension to its current cooling line-up. More known for its closed-loop liquid solutions, the A500 is a dual fan tower cooler with cooling capabilities stretching up to 250 W TDP. While the A500 doesn't support AMD's TR4 socket, it supports Intel's 2011 LGA20xx sockets, including AM4, AM3, FM2, and LGA115x.
    In an interesting design twist to conventional tower coolers, the Corsair A500 uses a ratchet-style slide and lock fan retention system, which is designed to make users lives easier when installing. It is a full tower cooler with dimensions of 144 x 169 x 171 mm, with two of Corsair's ML120 cooling fans which can ramp up to 2400 rpm are included in the package. On the cooling plate, Corsair has pre-applied its XTM50 thermal paste out of the box for first-time applications.
    When asked about why Corsair is going the air-cooling route after many successful AIO launches, it stated that the air cooling market is still huge with users, especially those who still don't trust liquid-cooled solutions due to rare issues such as leaks. Aiming for Noctua's NH-D15 CPU cooler which many in the industry see as the golden standard, Corsair states the performance is on par with the NH-D15, if not better in certain situations.
    Corsair has priced the A500 at $99.99 and is available to pre-order directly on Corsair's store. The A500 is expected to hit retail channels later on in the week.


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    Anandtech: CES 2020: ASUS’ Latest VivoBook S Packs 10th Gen, Lots of Colors

    ASUS has introduced its new VivoBook S-series laptops that attempt to fuse style with performance in a reasonably priced package. The new notebooks are based on Intel’s latest 10th Generation Core processors and come in in chassis made of brushed aluminum and lightweight plastic with Resolute Red, Gaia Green, Dreamy White, or Indie Black finish.
    ASUS’s 2020 family of VivoBook S notebooks includes 13.3-inch (S13 S333), 14-inch (S14 S433), as well as 15.6-inch (S15 S533) models equipped with a Full-HD display featuring thin NanoEdge bezels as well as 178°/178° viewing angles. The smallest machines come in black or white, whereas the larger laptops actually offer a choice between red, green, black, or white. As far as portability is concerned, the notebooks feature pretty much the same z-height of 15-16mm, but their weight varies from 1200g to 1800g depending on size and GPU installed.
    The VivoBook S13 S333 is powered by Intel’s quad-core Ice Lake processors with up to Iris Plus ‘G7’ graphics with 64 EUs, whereas the VivoBook S14 S433 and the VivoBook S15 S533 are based on Intel’s quad-core Comet Lake processors with UHD Graphics. In both cases, ASUS offers optional GeForce MX discrete GPUs (see exact models in the table below). Whether or not it makes sense to install a standalone graphics processor into a mobile PC with Intel’s Iris Plus ‘G7’ is up to debate, but at least it is possible to get it with systems that come with basic integrated graphics.
    One feature on these notebooks is the colored enter key. ASUS has stated that this key has a yellow outline (it's more visible on darker keyboards) to act as an entry point into the modern world. What this means is that IMs and DMs and social media all require hitting 'Enter' to submit, and so this is one of the lifestyle additions that the company will take into its marketing strategy.
    All the other features and specifications of all the 2020 VivoBook S variants are similar: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A/Type-C, microSD, webcam, Harman/Kardon speakers, microphone, audio jack, and a 50 Wh battery. The manufacturer does not disclose actual battery life figures, but it is reasonable to assume that the VivoBook S13 S333 13.3-incher with integrated graphics will have a considerably longer uptime than the VivoBook S15 S533 15.6-incher with a discrete GPU.
    ASUS's 2020 VivoBook S13/S14/S15
    VivoBook S13
    VivoBook S14
    VivoBook S15
    Display 13.3-inch 1920×1080 14-inch 1920×1080 15.6-inch 1920×1080
    CPU Intel Core i7-1065G7: 4C/8T, 1.3 - 3.9 GHz
    Intel Core i5-1035G1: 4C/8T, 1.0 - 3.6 GHz

    Ice Lake
    Intel Core i7-10510U: 4C/8T, 1.8-4.9GHz
    Intel Core i5-10210U: 4C/8T, 1.6-4.2GHz

    Comet Lake
    Graphics iGPU Intel UHD Graphics 'G1' w/ 32 EUs
    900-1050MHz, 461 - 537 GFLOPS

    Intel Iris Plus Graphics 'G7' w/ 64 EUs
    1.05-1.1GHz, 1.07 - 1.1 TFLOPS
    Intel UHD Graphics
    dGPU NVIDIA GeForce MX350
    NVIDIA GeForce MX330
    NVIDIA GeForce MX250
    RAM 8 GB or 16 GB DDR4-2666
    SSD 16 GB Intel Optane + 256 GB SSD
    32 GB Intel Optane + 512 GB SSD
    Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
    Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0
    USB 2
    × USB 2.0 Type-A
    1 × USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
    1 × USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C
    GbE -
    Card Reader microSD
    Other I/O HDMI, webcam, microphone, stereo speakers, audio jack
    Battery 50 Wh
    Dimensions Width 30.5 cm | 12 inch 32.5 cm | 12.79 inch 36 cm | 14.17 inch
    Depth 19 cm | 7.87 inch 21.3 cm | 8.4 inch 23.4 cm | 9.2 inch
    Thickness 1.5 cm | 0.59 inch 1.57 cm | 0.62 inch 1.6 cm | 0.63 inch
    Weight 1.2 kg | 2.65 lbs 1.4 kg | 3.08 lbs 1.8 kg | 3.97 lbs
    Additional Information ? ? ?
    Price ? ? ?
    ASUS yet has to announce MSRPs of its VivoBook S13 333, S14 S433, as well as S15 S533 laptops, but it is obvious that prices will depend on exact configurations. Good news is that the company promises to launch the notebooks in ‘early 2020’.
    Related Reading:

    Source: ASUS


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    Anandtech: CES 2020: MSI's 300 Hz Gaming Laptops, the GS66 Stealth & GE66 Raider

    MSI demonstrated a revamped version of its sleek and light GS-series Stealth gaming notebook at CES 2020 this week. The GS66 Stealth laptop continues to feature a low-profile design, but now comes in a 'Core Black' aluminum chassis and features the latest internal hardware. In addition, MSI has an all-new compact GE66 Raider gaming notebook with panaramic aurora lighting and new internals. However, the main advantage of the new models over predecessors is its optional display panel with a 300 Hz refresh rate.

    Nowadays mobile gamers demand thinner and lighter notebooks, but are not ready to give up desktop-like performance. With the MSI GS66 Stealth and the MSI GE66 Raider, they will actually be getting something that they cannot have even with a desktop PC right now: a Full-HD panel featuring a 300 Hz maximum refresh rate, presumably with a variable refresh rate technology.
    To ensure that the 300 Hz LCD can demonstrate itself in all of its glory, the MSI GS66 Stealth and the MSI GE66 Raider pack the latest and greatest hardware, which specifications are kept under wraps for now, but one can make a good educated guess about them. In case of the GS66, the CPU and the GPU are cooled down using MSI’s redesigned Cooler Boost Trinity cooling system that now uses three fans with blades that are only 0.1 mm thick to maximize airflow.
    MSI showcased its GS66 Stealth and GE66 Raider laptops at CES, but said nothing about availability timeframe of the product. Considering the fact that Acer and ASUS already use overclocked 300 Hz panels with their gaming laptops, it should not be big a problem for MSI to get such panels too. Meanwhile, there might be other components that MSI needs to procure for its upcoming GS66 Stealth and GE66 Raider notebooks.
    Related Reading:

    Source: MSI


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    Anandtech: CES 2020: ASUS Unveils ROG Z11 Mini ITX Chassis For Gamers

    In addition to its new notebook, Chromebook, and system announced during CES 2020, ASUS has unveiled a new gaming chassis designed for mini-ITX motherboards. The ASUS ROG Z11 features an 11-degree tilted interior design for improved heat dissipation and better cable management.
    The ASUS ROG Z11 case is constructed with an aluminium outer frame, with steel interior, and comes with a specially designed motherboard try which is off to an 11-degree angle in comparison to standard motherboard tray implementations. This design is to allow for more airflow which is critical in high-performance systems that are using smaller form factors such as mini-ITX. Due to the implementation of the design, users can position the ROG Z11 upright which resembles a more conventional design, or on its side.
    Hardware compatibility in generic mini-ITX systems can be a little lacklustre, but the ASUS ROG Z11 is designed to accommodate full-size power supplies and has good support for cooling. Supplied with the ROG Z11 is three 140 mm cooling fans, with support for a 240 mm radiator at the rear. Users can also install a 120 mm radiator in the bottom of the chassis.

    On the front panel is a LiveDash 1.77" OLED screen which is also featured on the ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme rear panel cover, and allows users to upload and customize the panel with GIFs and animations. The front I/O panel includes a single USB 3.1 G2 Type-C, one USB 3.1 G2 Type-A, and two USB 2.0 ports, with a button to control the addressable RGB lighting.
    At present, ASUS hasn't revealed any information about the pricing or availability, but it is expected to be launched sometime this year.


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    Anandtech: Here's Some DDR5-4800: Hands-On First Look at Next Gen DRAM

    Just like all major makers of DRAM, SK Hynix produced its first DDR5 memory chips a couple of years ago and has been experimenting with the technology since then. To that end, it is not surprising that the company displayed its DDR5 RDIMM at CES 2020, which implies that development is proceeding as planned.
    At the trade show, SK Hynix demonstrated its 64 GB DDR5 RDIMM with ECC rated for a 4800 MT/sec/pin data transfer rate. The module marked as HMCA8GR8MJR4C-EB carries 20 memory chips marked as H5CNAG4NMJ as well as IDT’s P8900-Z2 register clock driver (RCD). The memory devices are marked differently than the ones SK Hynix used for 16 GB RDIMM back in late 2018, though we do not know the difference.
    The DDR5 RDIMMS feature 288 pins on a slightly curved edge connector (to reduce the insertion force on every pin), just like DDR4 modules, yet its layout and design are a bit different when compared to DDR4 to prevent installment of DDR5 modules into DDR4 slots and vice versa.
    It is unknown whether SK Hynix has already started to sample its DDR5 RDIMMs with developers of server platforms and servers, but it is obvious that all DRAM makers are aligning their DDR5 production schedules with CPU designers and other companies.
    At present, it is unclear when exactly the first DDR5 platforms are set to hit the market, but a good guess would be 2021. One of the first platforms to confirm support for DDR5 memory has been Intel's Xeon Sapphire Rapids, set for deployment in the Aurora Supercomputer. AMD support for DDR5 is unknown so far.
    Related Reading:

    Source: SK Hynix


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