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Thread: Anandtech News

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    #9561

    Anandtech: ADATA Demonstrates 32 GB DDR4 Modules, Built on Micron 16 Gb

    Earlier this year Intel enabled support of high-capacity 32 GB memory modules based on 16 Gb memory chips on select client platforms for enthusiasts and prosumers, but until recently 32 GB unbuffered DIMMs were only available from Samsung. This is going to change soon as a leading supplier of memory modules for enthusiasts prepping their 32 GB UDIMMs that are demonstrated at Computex.
    To build 32 GB UDIMMs, module producers need 16 Gb ICs. These DRAMs are produced using the most advanced process technologies possible: 2nd/3rd Gen 10nm-class. Up until recently such chips were only available from Samsung and the latter primarily used them to build high-end RDIMMs for servers or SO-DIMMs for laptops and mobile workstations. But now Micron is starting to ramp up production of its 16 Gb DDR4 memory chips, so later this year there will be two suppliers of high-capacity DDR4 DRAMs. Officially, the company has not launched its 16 Gb DDR4 memory chips quite yet, but ASRock is showing off Micron’s 32 GB DDR4 modules at this year's Computex, which confirms that Micron is sampling the new chips to and modules to customers and partners.
    This brings us to the subject of ADATA, who happens to be one of Micron's largest customers. Unlike Micron, ADATA is at this year's show, where they are demonstrating their new 32 GB UDIMMs. Officially, the company is not stating who the memory supplier is behind its 32GB DDR4-2666@1.2 V DIMMs, but given ADATA's close relationship with Micron, it is easy enough to read the unofficial subtext. Of course, this is a speculation to some degree on our side though. The company did confirm that these were not Samsung chips at any rate.
    ADATA does not disclose its launch plans concerning 32 GB unbuffered DIMMs, but it is logical to expect them to arrive sometime later this year. As for the price, we are talking about premium products, so expect a premium tag.
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    #9562

    Anandtech: GIGABYTE’s PCIe 4.0 SSD Uses 77g of Copper Due to 8W TDP, up to 2TB

    One of the hot ticket items at this year’s Computex was the range of PCIe 4.0 storage devices available. All of them except one was built on the Phison E16 reference design, making most of them pretty much the same, save the NAND being used. We reported on GIGABYTE’s design before, when it was simply part of a press release, but we got to see one on the show floor later in the week.
    The most obvious difference between all of the Phison turn-key solutions between the vendors will be in the heatsink designs. Because the E16 controller is just Phison’s high-end design with the PCIe 3.0 PHY replaced with the PCIe 4.0 PHY, it stresses the actual compute parts of that controller to the limit, and we get a toasty design. In order to combat this toastyness, GIGABYTE has added a 77g copper cooler to their drive.
    We are told that the 5 GB/s read/write limit is actually caused by the controller rather than the NAND, so with a new controller next year we expect to get closer to the PCIe 4.0 x4 bus limits. But for now, we have this 8W TDP design that requires substantial cooling. We’re told that it can be used for laptops, but it is unlikely without being attached to the main CPU heatpipe. GIGABYTE paired the SSD with its Quad M.2 PCIe 4.0 add-in card so show that the speeds can ramp up quite a lot, almost up to 15 GB/s.
    GIGABYTE is one vendor that will be supplying its drives in AMD’s Ryzen 3000 press kits, and the company expects to offer 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB models to the market in July.
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    Gallery: GIGABYTE’s PCIe 4.0 SSD Uses 77g of Copper Due to 8W TDP





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    #9563

    Anandtech: InWin’s Signature Y?ng: A $4000 PC Case Designed by Customers

    There are many expensive highly-customizable PC cases on the market these days, but for some people even the fanciest chassis is not enough. For customers looking for something completely exclusive, InWin introduced its Signature Y?ng: a PC case that users can design themselves and have it 3D printed and processed by Inwin.
    Designed after butterfly pupation processes and various organic forms, InWin’s Y?ng is a full-tower E-ATX open-air chassis compatible with a variety of motherboards, graphics cards and cooling systems. The case still has a metallic carcass for installing PC components as well as a metallic stand. That carcass has USB and audio connectors, everything you expect from a normal desktop.
    To get a Y?ng, users will have to go to InWin’s website, choose their concept, customize it however they want and then the company will produce it and ship it to them. Production process includes 13 steps: InWin 3D prints the form, then it polishes it, paints it, glazes it, paints again, polishes again (not necessarily in the exact order though). In fact, the process looks similar to that used to paint premium cars, only InWin’s workers do loads of things manually.
    Each Y?ng has its own unique number and since users can customize it above and beyond, each Y?ng chassis is exclusive. That uniqueness will come at a price. Each Y?ng from InWin will cost around $4,000. Meanwhile, the Signature Y?ng will not be InWin’s most expensive chassis as it will still sit below last year’s Z-Tower Silver that comes at a price of $5,500.
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    Anandtech: Silicon Motion: PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD Controller in Development, Coming Q2 2020

    Being the next step in PCIe, SSD controller makers are looking to release their PCIe 4.0 designs into the market. Silicon Motion is not an exception, with its upcoming design scheduled to come to retail over the coming quarters.
    Having captured a noteworthy share of turn-key SSD market in the recent years, Silicon Motion has a modern lineup of controllers that includes its top-of-the-range SM2262EN, the mainstream SM2263XT/SM2263G, and the SM2263EN for entry-level 3D QLC NAND-based SSDs. SMI’s PCIe 4.0 SSD controller, the SM2267G, is in its final stages of development, it will be made available in the near future - ADATA showcased a prototype at Computex. The plan is to make SSDs featuring a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface available sometime in the second quarter of 2020 and aligning it with a launch of a next-generation mainstream PC platform.
    What is noteworthy is that Silicon Motion’s PCIe 4.0 x4 controller is, as the company says, it belongs to a new design generation of its controllers, so we expect a variety of new features. Areas to expect are obvious: performance optimizations, compatibility with new types of 3D NAND flash memory, and improvements of endurance.
    Actually, neither the features nor the specs of the SMI's PCIe 4x4 controller are confirmed by Silicon Motion at this point, but there is a clear plan to make Silicon Motion-powered PCIe 4.0-enabled drives available sometime in Q2 in 2020.
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    #9565

    Anandtech: Azza 806 Table Mini: I Might Buy This Case, or, Why Bother with a Chassis?

    I’m a sucker for a big, powerful system. I want the CPU, the GPU, the fast storage, the lot. As a reviewer, I can change my daily system frequently and often, which means it can be hard to pull away from the most powerful bulky units. The appeal of having something small is obviously there, but it’s hard to combine the two into one neat unit. Azza might solve my problems for me.
    The 806 Table Mini is a long SFF system that is designed to sit on your desk, with the monitor on top. There’s space underneath for the keyboard, and inside is enough space for a mini-ITX motherboard, a good cooler, a power supply, a reasonably sized graphics card, and on top is a tempered glass panel. The 3.5mm jacks and USB outlets are on the side, with a power button on the front. It looks like the PSU support is almost full ATX, with plenty of space for SATA/U.2 drives, and the only real limitations are in the CPU cooler height.
    I believe it is mostly made out of aluminium, with Azza looking to sell this model at the end of the year. The person on the booth at Computex said it would be retailing for around $250, which is rather high.
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    Gallery: Azza 806 Table Mini: I Might Buy This Case, or, Why Bother with a Chassis?




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    Anandtech: ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming X: DDR4-4666, Triple PCIe 4.0 M.2, Wi-Fi 6

    ASRock announced a number of X570 motherboards for the AMD Ryzen 3000 series of processors during Computex 2019. One of the most high-end options from its range is the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming X which has dual LAN including a 2.5 G port, Wi-Fi 6, triple M.2, and support for DDR4-4666 memory.
    The ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming X is a red, silver, and black themed premium gaming-focused model with some notable inclusions common to the Phantom Gaming branding. The most notable inclusion is the Realtek RTL8125AG 2.5 G LAN which is aimed at arming gamers with networking options. The board also includes a secondary Intel Gigabit port for dual LAN. Also featured is an 802.11ax Wi-Fi wireless interface, a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec, with three PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots, eight SATA ports, and an HDMI output.
    In between the three full-length PCie 4.0 slots is two PCIe 4.0 x1 slots, with support for up to three-way AMD CrossFire, and two-way NVIDIA SLI multi-graphics card configurations. Memory support is also much improved for Ryzen 3000 with official support for up to DDR4-4666, with a total of four slots available for users. On the rear panel is a single USB 3.1 G2 Type-A, one USB 3.1 G2 Type-C, and six USB 3.1 G1 Type-A ports. The onboard audio is driven by the Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec and offers uses five 3.5 mm audio jacks, a single S/PDIF optical output, with software support for Creative's Sound Blaster Cinema 5 software. ASRock's X570 Phantom Gaming X is also geared for enthusiasts with a 14-phase power delivery which uses an 8-pin, and 4-pin pairing of 12 V ATX CPU power inputs. On the rear is a steel PCB brace which adds support to the PCB, as well as extra weight.
    The ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming X isn't as high-end as some of the other its new models such as the X570 Aqua, or X570 Creator, but gamers will find plenty of useful features to sink their teeth into. Pricing information is currently unknown, but the X570 Gaming X is set for launch on 7/7 alongside the Ryzen 3000 series processors.
    Gallery: ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming X Motherboard Gallery


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    #9567

    Anandtech: The OWC Aura Pro X2 SSD Review: An NVMe Upgrade For Older Macs

    Apple was an early adopter of PCIe SSDs, introducing them in 2013 when the NVMe specification was still in its infancy and before any M.2 NVMe hardware was available. As a result, Apple's PCIe SSDs for the era used a proprietary form factor rather than the now-common M.2 standard. But form factor limitations aside, they were still physically and electrically stand-alone SSDs, meaning that unlike Apple's latest machines with integrated SSD controllers, these machines could have their SSDs swapped out for an upgrade.
    This is where Mac accessory and upgrade specialist Other World Computing (OWC) comes in. OWC has offered several aftermarket SSDs in Apple's custom not-quite-M.2 form factor, culminating in the recent release of the Aura Pro X2 SSD. Designed to be a drop-in upgrade, this is a modern high-end SSD with 3D TLC NAND and the latest Silicon Motion SM2262EN controller, with the reference M.2 PCB layout adjusted to fit Apple's form factor. So for older Mac users – and particularly Retina-generation MacBook Pro owners – the Aura Pro X2 SSD presents a chance to breathe some more life into these machines with a newer, larger SSD.

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    Anandtech: Made For Creators, ASRock X570 Creator With DDR4-4600, Two TB3, 10GbE

    During Computex 2019, ASRock announced its range of X570 chipset motherboards for launch on 7/7 alongside the Ryzen 3000 series of processors. The ASRock X570 Creator is focused towards content creators with a range of high-end features including 10 G LAN, support for DDR4-4600, and dual Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports.
    The ASRock X570 Creator is geared towards content creators with a similar feature set to the flagship ASRock X570 Aqua, but without the focus on high-end aesthetics, and water cooling. The X570 Creator has a simplistic and elegant theme with silver heatsinks, with black contrast. Its X570 heatsink is actively cooled, and incorporates an M.2 heatsink, with a standalone heatsink for the top slot; the top M.2 slot supports PCIe 4.0 x4 and SATA, while the bottom slot is geared for just PCIe 4.0 x4 drives. For SATA there are a total of eight ports. On the PCIe front, there are three full-length PCIe 4.0 slots which run at x16/x8/x8, and x8/x8/x4, as well as three PCIe 4.0 x1 slots.
    With the ASRock X570 Creator being one of its more higher-end models, it has two rear panel Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports. with an Aquantia AQC107 10 G LAN port, an Intel Gigabit port, Intel's AX200 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 interface, and six rear-panel USB 3.1 G1 Type-A. It also has two DisplayPorts with an input, and output, as well as one HDMI, a 14-phase power delivery; impressively all of this is on an ATX sized PCB. With memory, the ASRock X570 Creator has four slots with support for up to DDR4-4666.
    The feature set of the ASRock X570 Creator is similar to its other premium X570 models, but the main difference is primarily in the aesthetic. A cleaner, more professional look, without as much flash and pizazz. ASRock's X570 Creator will be available on 7/7, but the official pricing has still yet to be confirmed.
    Gallery: ASRock X570 Creator Motherboard Gallery


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    Anandtech: Essencore 2 TB PCIe 4.0 SSD Enters The Game

    One of the underlying themes of this year’s Computex was the number of PCIe 4.0 SSDs on display (or lack thereof). At present it seems that only drives powered by Phison’s E16 controller might be ready for mass market, although depending on which company you ask, some of them are happy to go with the turn-key solution for quicker time to market, while others want to sit back and tweak the firmware for better performance, but will release later. The Essencore drive at the show however has one feature none of the other drives has.
    The Phison E16 controller is built to use either Toshiba NAND flash, Micron NAND flash, or SK Hynix NAND flash. All the designs we saw at Computex used one of the first two – no-one was willing to commit to SK Hynix NAND at this point. However, given that Essencore is a family brand of SK Hynix, it doesn’t take much to put two and two together. Given the specifications at the booth, it would appear that the Hynix NAND is still easily sufficient to hit the 4.8 GB/s limit of the E16 controller.
    Speaking with our PR rep at Essencore, it would appear that the company is still debating how and when to put a PCIe 4.0 SSD on the market, and if using the Phison E16 solution is the right idea. The company may wait until newer controllers are available before pursuing the product line. We await more information later in the year.
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    Gallery: Essencore 2 TB PCIe 4.0 SSD Enters The Game



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    Anandtech: ASRock’s Internal External GPU: No Box Needed

    If you say ‘Thunderbolt GPU’, it makes it sound like a PCIe device with a Thunderbolt output. Rather than go in this direction, ASRock has developed a GPU + Thunderbolt connection like an eGPU, but all on one PCB. This means that this is an eGPU designed for internal applications, like mini PCs and GPU-accelerated monitors. Confused yet?
    Just imagine an external GPU that connects through Thunderbolt. In most designs, the GPU is replaceable. What ASRock has done is to move all the ‘Thunderbolt’ hardware in the external chassis directly onto the GPU board itself. This means that the price of the chassis can be much cheaper, and the GPU can be used a wide array of devices, not just external GPU boxes (or in this case, a standard box). ASRock is aiming for the OEM market with this first design, using an RX 570 as the base graphics card that can be used to accelerate any number of Ice Lake designs coming later this year which will have integrated TB3.
    Like a standard external enclosure, on the same board as the GPU comes with some extra Ethernet and USB ports. In order to enable this, the board actually has two TB3 controllers in its initial design: one to connect to the host, and the other to provide the Ethernet/USB. Power for the graphics card comes through an external power brick, which could easily be built into any chassis that an OEM wants to use.
    ASRock tried pitching the new design as a ‘Thunderbolt GPU’, which I think is a little misleading. It’s an eGPU design, but built for any number of simple mini-ITX style chassis. This simplifies anyone wanting to build their own GPU box, however with the extra hardware on the GPU, it makes each GPU itself a little more expensive to upgrade. That is the tradeoff.
    ASRock is looking to finalize the design later this year, and sell to OEMs. I’ve told ASRock that the best way forward is to provide a reference design for some of its customers, to showcase what sort of implementation they can do. We will keep abreast of what happens.
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    Gallery: ASRock’s Internal External GPU: No Box Needed




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