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    #9571

    Anandtech: GeIL Demonstrates DDR4-5000 Memory Modules: Not for Sale

    The rather long lifespan of DDR4 memory has allowed manufacturers to learn how to build modules running at speeds and voltages well above those specified by JEDEC’s standard. Nowadays, leading makers of modules offer DDR4 memory rated for interface data rates of up to 4600+ MT/s. At Computex, GeIL demonstrated its Super Luce modules rated for 5000 MT/s, but will such modules hit the market?
    Samsung’s legendary B-die chips enabled many professional overclockers to set records by hitting ultimate speeds. But while high-quality modules with cherry-picked chips are required to set records, they are not the only things that are needed for ultra-high speeds. Far not all CPUs and memory controllers can work in DDR4-5000 mode, GeIL says. In fact, only about 2% of processors can do this, so out of 50 CPUs only one can potentially hit such an extreme memory transfer rate.
    Considering how rare processors with extremely potent memory controllers are, GeIL does not think that it makes a lot of sense to produce DDR4-5000 memory modules commercially as very few end users will be able to take advantage of such modules. So while GeIL (and probably other makers of advanced memory modules) can offer DDR4-5000 and even faster memory modules, it is unlikely that such devices will be made widely available.
    Gallery: GeIL Demonstrates DDR4-5000 Memory Modules. But Will It Sell Them?


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    #9572

    Anandtech: Galax Goes White: A PCIe 4.0 2TB SSD with a White PCB

    There were a number of PCIe 4.0 SSDs on the Computex show floor this year, mostly using the Phison reference design. Galax still used the turnkeys solution, but applied its own unique touch to the design. The PCB is white.
    Galax, which is a brand of Palit, implements its own unique design ID to all the products it produces: namely GPUs. A good number of its product line go for super high end cooling solutions, but from time to time the company branches out into other products, such as memory or storage. In this case it appears that Galax is one of the primary partners with Phison to bring PCIe 4.0 SSDs to the market using the Phison E16 controller.
    However, as many of Galax’s GPUs are white, so will be the M.2 SSDs. To be honest, it was a refreshing change from the other vendors just using a plain reference design. However, that realization was short lived – the drive is rated for 8W TDP, which means it requires cooling. Galax has a white cooler with a heatpipe for its M.2 SSD.
    The drive is rated to ~4.8GB/s read and write, which is actually limited by the controller, not the NAND, and we expect to see faster drives next year when most of the SSD controller companies come out with newer designs.
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    Gallery: Galax Goes White: A PCIe 4.0 2TB SSD with a White PCB





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    #9573

    Anandtech: Colorful Has a Single-Slot GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Graphics Card

    Discrete graphics cards for Mini-ITX PCs have become rather popular in the recent years as small form-factor gaming computers are gaining traction in general. Meanwhile, video cards with a single-slot cooling system are rather rare possibly because producers of hardware do not expect a strong demand for such products. Fortunately, select makers still roll-out single-slot GPUs from time to time.
    Colorful demonstrated its N1660TI-606-SI3 card based on the GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics processor (TU116 processor with 1536 CUDA cores, clocked at 1500 – 1770 MHz), 6 GB of GDDR6 memory, and featuring a single-wide cooling system with one fan at Computex. The card has three display outputs (DisplayPort 1.4, DVI-D, HDMI 2.0b) and one 8-pin PCIe power connector. The card uses Colorful’s own design and does not rely on NVIDIA’s reference PCB.
    The N1660TI-606-SI3 video card from Colorful is designed for densely-packed gaming systems featuring multiple add-on cards, but not necessarily SFF machines. The maximum GPU temperature that the card can handle is 89ºC, so it requires a PC with good airflow inside.
    Colorful will start sales of its N1660TI-606-SI3 graphics card in the near future, yet its pricing is unknown. Since the product is unique, it will be priced differently than most of GeForce GTX 1660 Ti boards.
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    #9574

    Anandtech: Spotted at Computex: The Ultimate GPU Air Cooling Solution

    Graphics cards and PCIe cards come with a limited set of cooling options. Some of the low TDP models are passive, before going up to active cooling on higher TDP models. Air cooling comes with one, two, or three fans, and even moves to triple-slot coolers. Beyond this is liquid cooling, either with a dedicated pump and reservoir per card, or a water block in a combined water cooling system. What if you want to deafen your neighbors with noise? Powercolor has a solution for you.
    On display was a Xilinx high-end FPGA connected to an airflow chamber mechanism that is powered by two large 250+ CFM (cubic feet per minute) high static pressure fans that pushes the air through to a single PCIe slot gap with a small air cooler. Each fan directs the air to either side of the card. This solution minimizes the amount of heatsink on the PCIe card and instead replaces it with this air chamber and some loud deafening fans.
    Truth be told, this is for a server installation. However it seems alarmingly bulky, especially as a goal of the single slot design might be for density, and that air chamber seems overly large. That card in this case is a 2x100 GbE design for a SmartNIC or machine learning, but could easily be a new GPU jacked up to a few hundred watts.
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    Anandtech: Spotted at Computex: An AMD EPYC-Based System with 108 Intel Ruler SSDs

    Intel’s ‘ruler’ SSD form-factor is meant to maximize density of solid-state storage devices and improve Intel’s competitive positions on two markets: storage and compute. As it turns out, AMD’s server platform can also benefit from Intel’s EDSFF E1.L drives thanks the number of PCIe lanes supported by the processor. In fact, at Computex we spotted one of the first AMD EPYC-based server carrying 108 E1.L ‘ruler’ SSDs.
    EchoStreams’s FlacheSAN2N108N-XX is a 2U machine based on AMD’s EPYC ‘Naples’ with up to 32 cores accompanied by 16 DDR4 memory slots for up to 2 TB of RAM, several M.2 and PCIe slots for caching SSDs or accelerators, six Microsemi PCIe switches and so on. The key feature of the machine is the number of supported hot-swappable E1.L SSDs from Intel as well as storage capacities featured by 108 drives. At present, Intel offers DC P4500-series SSDs featuring up to 8 TB capacities, thus, the server can support a total capacity of up to 864 TB.
    When it comes to performance, the FlacheSAN2N108N-XX offers up to 30 GB/s (or 240 Gbps) through RDMA NVMe-oF, it can support up to four NICs, though right now the company does not list exact models.
    Intel developed its EDSFF (E1.L and E1.S) aka ‘ruler’ PCIe SSDs in a bid to increase NAND flash storage density in servers and make drives more thermally efficient. Meanwhile, because Intel’s current-generation Xeon Scalable CPUs have 48 PCIe lanes, whereas AMD’s existing EPYC processors feature 128 PCIe, AMD’s platforms can actually take more advantage of such SSDs than Intel’s own platforms.
    The FlacheSAN2N108N-XX is already listed on EchoStreams’s website, so expect it to become available shortly. As for pricing, it will depend on exact configuration.
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    Anandtech: ASUS Pro WS X570-Ace: A No-Nonsense All-Black Motherboard with x8/x8/x8

    During Computex 2019, ASUS unveiled its range of X570 motherboards catering to various market segments. While its ROG branded boards are traditionally targeted at gamers and enthusiasts, the ASUS Pro WS X570-ACE is aimed at workstation users with official support for ECC memory, triple full-length PCIe 4.0 x8, and dual Gigabit LAN.
    Some of the main traits of the ASUS WS X570-ACE include three full-length PCIe 4.0 slots which operate at x16, x8/x8, and x8/x8/x8, with that last x8 coming from the chipset. There is also a single PCIe 4.0 x1 slot. For most X570 models announced, this is one of the only models to optimize all three full-length slots at a minimum of x8. This makes this model more than interesting, as it means ASUS is fusing multiple PCIe links from the chipset into a single PCIe slot.
    There are two PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots with a single U.2, and just four SATA ports. The dual LAN ports are powered by two Gigabit controllers (Intel I211-AT and Realtek 8117), with a Realtek S1220A HD audio codec driving the onboard sound. Connectivity is a focus on this model with five USB 3.1 G2 Type-A, six USB 3.1 G1 Type-A, and four USB 2.0.
    The ASUS Pro WS X570-Ace follows a different design from the rest of its motherboard line-up, with straight angled heatsinks, following a uniformed black design with fins. Compared with the other ASUS X570 models, the feature set is a little thin due to its workstation focused design.
    ASUS hasn't revealed any pricing for the Pro WS X570-Ace, but it is expected to launch alongside the Ryzen 3000 series processors on 7/7.
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    Anandtech: Google Reveals Stadia Launch Details: November 2019, Starting With a $129

    A couple months back at GDC 2019, Google announced their intent to step into the video game streaming market with Stadia. Based around Google’s cloud computing platform that’s been heavily augmented with AMD Vega 56-caliber video cards, Google pitched Stadia as a high-end game streaming service, capable of streaming games at up to 4K@60fps with HDR. With the initial announcement being mostly a technology intro and teaser of what the service could be capable of, Google promised more to come later this year, and now in a pre-recorded presentation this morning, the company has announced their launch plans for the service and how it will work for customers.
    As revealed in their announcement, Google will ultimately have options for both subscription and subscription-free gaming, with the aptly named Stadia Pro and Stadia Basic services. However only the subscription service, Stadia Pro, is launching this year, and that will arrive in November. Even with that division, however, Google won’t just be taking just anyone who wants to hand over $9.99/month for the Stadia Pro service. Instead, Google will be limiting access to the service (at least for 2019) to customers who purchase a $129 hardware and service bundle from the company, which Google calls the Stadia Founders Edition.
    The Stadia Founders Edition bundle includes both 3 months of Stadia Pro service along with Google hardware and some extra perks. On the hardware front, Google will be including a Chromecast Ultra to use as a console, as well as the service’s unique Stadia Controllers, which are Wi-Fi enabled and connect directly to Google’s services rather than their host device. The Founders Edition bundle also includes a full copy of Destiny 2 as a bundled game (ed: thought I understand Destiny 2 is about to go Free-To-Play), along with whatever games are available as part of the regular Pro subscription.
    Overall, the Stadia Founders Edition bundle seems to be an effort by Google to throttle early use of the service, so that they can avoid a Day 1 crush of user demand. This is a problem virtually any popular multiplayer game vendor can relate to – everyone wants to play right away – and due to Stadia’s hardware requirements, Google can’t just spin up more instances like they can over their generalized server infrastructure. None the less, it also means that at least for 2019, Stadia has a very literal buy-in requirement to use the streaming service.
    Meanwhile, nothing else has been said about the server hardware itself. While we still suspect that Google is going to be using Zen 2 processors here, Google hasn’t added anything to what they announced back in March: AMD GPUs with Vega 56-like specifications, paired with a custom x86 processor that runs at 2.7GHz and supports AVX2.
    Looking at the service itself, Google has by and large copied the current Xbox 1/Playstation 4 business models. The Pro service that is launching this year is priced at $9.99/month (once the Founders Edition trial service period expires), and combines a mix of free games with access to higher quality streaming. Specifically, the Pro service will allow game streaming at up to Stadia’s maximum resolution of 4K@60fps, along with 5.1 surround sound. Basic users, on the other hand, are capped at 1080p at 60fps, all with stereo sound. More nebulous is how the games included with the Pro service will work, but at a high level it sounds a lot like the Playstation Instant Game Collection/Xbox Live Games With Gold, where there will be a limited selection of games available, and subscribers will get discounted on buying further games.
    Google Stadia Service Tiers
    Pro Basic
    Max Resolution 4K @ 60fps 1080p @ 60fps
    Audio 5.1 Stereo
    "Additional Free Games" Yes No
    Buy Games Yes Yes
    Price $9.99/month Free
    “Buying” being an operative word there. Along with the Pro subscription, Google will also be selling games on the service as well, and this will be how both the Stadia Basic service works and how Pro subscribers get access to games not included in the Pro subscription. For Stadia Basic users the concept is straightforward: if they buy games on Stadia they can stream them for free at any time, at up to the service’s 1080p resolution limit. But with Stadia Basic not launching until next year, the details on how free streaming will work are slim – mainly whether it will be truly free, or if Google will be doing something (e.g. ads) to recoup the cost of the server time. As for Pro users who are already paying for a subscription, they’ll be able to stream purchased games at 4K, like any other Stadia game.
    4K support will come at a cost, however, and not just the Pro subscription. As part of today’s service announcement Google also announced how much bandwidth would be required for the service’s various supported resolutions. Peak 4K streaming will require 35Mbps, or about 16 GB/hour of data. This is well within the abilities of most consumer residential broadband services, but it means that it’s going to eat a fair bit of data in the process. And even then, there’s an argument to be made that 35Mbps is a bit low for 4K@60fps streaming (UHD Blu-rays peak at over 100Mbps), but we’ll see how things work in practice when the service launches. Meanwhile 1080p streaming will take things down a notch, with Google indicating that it will be around 20Mbps.
    And, while these bandwidth ranges are also well within what a solid LTE service can provide, at least for now Google is pushing people towards using heartier, non-cellular connections for the service, telling The Verge “You should not expect your existing cellular connection to work”. So while it can be accessed from an Android smartphone, for example, in practice it looks like Stadia is going to be a moderately tethered service for now, favoring Ethernet and local Wi-Fi connections.
    Finally, on the client hardware side of matters, Google has also specified what devices and platforms Stadia will initially be supported on. Out of the gate, the service will be available on Chromecast Ultra devices, the Pixel 3 series (including the 3a), as well as any computer with the Chrome browser. Google has previously announced that they want to bring access to as many devices as possible, but for now this is a Google-only affair.
    Overall, Google’s plans for the service remain bold. However I’m hoping that this isn’t all Google is going to say about the hardware and how resources are allocated. There are still a lot of interesting questions to answer, not the least of which is who’s providing the Stadia CPU.
    Perhaps the biggest outstanding question is what kind of image quality settings the service will be targeting – with respect to AMD, a single Vega 56 is generally a bit too weak for 4K with all the bells and whistled turned on – and what a 1080p instance gets allocated (half of a Vega 56?). There’s also the multi-GPU factor; Stadia’s infrastructure has the ability to support multiple GPUs, but will Google actually employ it, and will games devs be able to make good use of it? These are all fairly nerdy and in-depth questions, but if Google wants to be able to position Stadia as an alternative to high-end consoles, then it would be nice to see how the hardware and instancing truly stack up.


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    #9578

    Anandtech: ASRock X570 Pro4 and X570M Pro4 Motherboards: More For Professionals

    ASRock unveiled a number of its X570 models during Computex 2019: a lot of gaming-focused models, and some extremely high-end offerings, but the ATX sized ASRock X570 Pro4 and microATX X570M Pro4 looks set to offer users less bling and more functionality at a lower price point.
    Starting with the design of the ASRock X570 Pro4 and X570M Pro4 models, both models use the same silver and black theme throughout, with shining silver heatsinks, and a solid looking aluminium rear panel cover which doubles up as the power delivery heatsink. Both the ATX and microATX models use the same 10-phase power delivery, with both opting to use a single 8-pin 12 V EPS CPU power input. Both have dual PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots with one M.2 heatsink, with eight SATA ports, and both also use an Intel Gigabit LAN port, and a Realtek ALC1220 HD audio codec.

    ASRock X570 Pro4 motherboard
    The primary difference aside from the form factor is the ASRock X570 Pro4 naturally has more PCB space for extra PCIe connectivity. This includes two PCIe 4.0 x1 slots on the X570 Pro4 compared to the single PCIe 4.0 x1 on the X570M Pro4, but surprisingly, both feature two full-length PCIe 4.0 x4 slots and an M.2 Key E for users to add their own Wi-Fi/BT module. Both include a DisplayPort and HDMI video output on the rear panel, and four memory slots capable of supporting up to DDR4-4400.

    ASRock X570M Pro 4 microATX motherboard at Computex 2019
    Both the ASRock X570 Pro4 and X570M Pro4 models are set to be launched alongside the Ryzen 3000 series processors on 7/7, but as of yet, no information on pricing is available.
    Gallery: ASRock X570 Pro4 Motherboard Gallery


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    Anandtech: Spotted at Computex: Triple Monitor Mobile Systems are Back

    Notebook users that want another screen often have to carry around a secondary USB display – it’s something that works great for working while travelling, especially in cramped hotel rooms. A couple of years ago, Razer showcased its 3-screen prototype that combines three screens into a single laptop implementation. This prototype demo was well documented not only for its unique feature, but because one of the units was stolen from the trade show and never recovered. Well it appears that other companies want a piece of the three-screen market.
    Enter ACME Portable Corp. If it sounds like the Looney Tunes company that provided Wile E Coyote with all of his failed contraptions, you’re probably not too wrong. On display on their booth at Computex this year, which we happened to pass while walking from one meeting to another, was a tri-screen mobile display. Each of the displays folded out from the center, with also a fold out keyboard and trackpad and front-facing standard PC ports, along with a custom IO implementation.
    This sounds great for a deployment. There’s only one catch.
    It’s a full blown PC. No kidding. Inside are a series of off-the-shelf components. Anyone who wants this system can carry it in this handy bag however, which might be able to qualify for hand luggage on an aeroplane if there’s no hand baggage weight limit.
    Truth be told, this system is likely more for remote military or commercial deployments. Take a full three-monitor system that folds up into its own wheeled suitcase, and all you need is a generator with a standard power output to plug it in to. (Or something like a commercial 100+ Wh battery pack.)

    The funny thing is, as I approached the system on the show floor for the first time, it didn’t look like a full PC. It truly looked like a tri-screen notebook had found its way onto the Computex show floor. But hey, for any content creators out there that need a system at a trade show to edit videos, I may have found your solution.
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    Gallery: Spotted at Computex: Triple Monitor Mobile Systems are Back




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    #9580

    Anandtech: More 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD Options: Patriot with Custom Firmware coming Q4

    If you’ve been following our coverage of Computex, you may have seen that there have been several companies with PCIe 4.0 SSDs to show off. These designs have almost exclusively been based on the new Phison E16 controller, with a variety of intended NAND. Most of these designs rely on Phison’s pre-made ‘turn-key’ solution, which allow vendors a quick time to market, but little to differentiate the models. Patriot is going in a different direction.
    Patriot is still keeping the base layout of the E16 design, with capacities from 500GB to 2TB, along with whichever NAND flash they think is best to use. It will also be paired by an appropriate cooling system. What Patriot will bring to the table is that it will spend some time tweaking Phison’s firmware to find a better balance between performance, power consumption, and endurance.
    Patriot told us that they’re a close partner with Phison, and that they want to provide some additional value to the customer beyond just the standard solution that Phison provides. As a result, Patriot will be later to market than the two companies expected to launch first (Corsair, GIGABYTE), and hopefully will have better specifications as a result. It will be interesting to see if any of these optimizations can be carried over to Phison’s next generation drive for PCIe 4.0 SSDs next year, which is likely going to remove the current 4.8 GB/s limit of the controller.
    As and when Patriot releases the drives to the market, we have requested samples for testing to see the effect of these firmware tweaks.
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    Gallery: More 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD Options: Patriot with Custom Firmware coming Q4




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