Subject: General Tech, Motherboards | August 18, 2013 - 12:22 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: thunderboltex, thunderbolt
Thunderbolt has not exactly caught on for mainstream devices. Outside of media production, USB has a strong brand and carries less of a premium than Thunderbolt. Motherboard vendors and system builders can also more easily implement USB 3.0. Intel, according to VR-Zone, addresses this problem with a reference PCI Express x4 add-in card to be produced and marketed by select Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) partners.
The select partners are, according to current plans, ODMs with existing Thunderbolt motherboard designs.
ASUS TB_Header Add-in Card, about 19 months ago
Thunderbolt is, basically, the marriage between PCIe and DisplayPort as an external interface. Motherboards can either ship with Thunderbolt ports or a header for non-existent add-in cards. These TB_Headers, on ASUS motherboards, are General Purpose I/O (GPIO) connections used for a fairly unclear task. Officially, they help facilitate a DisplayPort connection to the integrated GPU although they are required even if using DisplayPort pass-through. The card has been stuck in certification woes.
In the Intel's reference design plans, both a GPIO header and internal DisplayPort connection are required on motherboards wishing to support this add-in card. This ends the hope of current system owners wishing to upgrade most existing rigs.
This initiative more seems like an attempt to defer most of the cost of Thunderbolt implementation to a down-the-line upgrade option. I do feel bad for ASUS. They appear to have the problem solved over a year ago with a solution very similar to the one Intel is working on now. If certification were not an issue, they could have very well been first to market. Now it appears they will be in the first wave.
Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | June 5, 2013 - 08:58 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: computex, thunderbolt, Thunderbolt 2, Light Peak
We received Thunderbolt, on the PC at least, a year ago. While not yet ubiquitous, we will be receiving an update to the interface sooner than you would expect. The main advantages of Thunderbolt is the ridiculous bandwidth and ability to daisy-chain with displays. Thunderbolt 2 looks to advance both of those features.
Thunderbolt is based around a PCI Express signal for data and DisplayPort for video, both combined down a single cable. The cable, in fact, is compatible with Mini DisplayPort adapters and devices if used exclusively for video. The upgrade to Thunderbolt 2 advances the video standard to DisplayPort 1.2; as a result, Thunderbolt 2 devices will be capable of driving a 4K monitor (supposedly with sound) without requiring multiple cables to be connected.
In terms of strict bandwidth, Thunderbolt 2 will provide double the data rate of the original Thunderbolt. Instead of 10Gbps, new devices will be able to transfer at 20Gbps. This is especially useful for video content creators looking to manage, in real time, 4K or 120Hz data transferring between cameras and video gear. Struggling with large video capture bandwidth is something we know about...
As expected, there is not really any talk about specific prices yet (I would expect that depends on implementation) but you should look forward to it landing either really late this year or early next year. As for the original Thunderbolt? Well, the new standard is backwards compatible but there is concern whether new devices would be fairly crippled without the new standard.
Subject: General Tech | April 11, 2013 - 01:26 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: video, xeon, thunderbolt, roccat, quadro, premiere, podcast, opencl, nerdytec, Ivy Bridge-E, haswell, frame rating, firepro, falcon ridge, DirectX 12, couchmaster, ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #246- 04/11/2013
Join us this week as we discuss the ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe Mini-ITX motherboard, more Frame Rating, DirectX 12 and more!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malventano
Program length: 1:01:46
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Week in Review:
0:24:00 NerdyTec COUCHMASTER
News items of interest:
0:47:00 Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
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Subject: Storage | April 9, 2013 - 08:24 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: usb 3.0, thunderbolt, hard drives, g-technology, g-drive, g-dock
G-Technology took the wraps off of a new external storage product lineup during NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) this week. The new series includes the G-Dock thunderbolt-connected hard drive dock, and the G-Drive and G-Drive Plus Evolution external hard drives.
The G-Dock is an aluminum external hard drive enclosure that features two hot-swappable drive bays that can accept up to two G-Drive (or G-Drive Plus) external hard drives. The G-Dock includes two Thunderbolt ports for daisy chaining other Thunderbolt devices and to connect to the PC. While in the G-Dock, the drives connect via SATA 6Gbps ports. The G-Dock supports JBOD, RAID 1, and RAID 0 modes to configure it for storage, data redundancy, and performance. The G-Dock comes with a Thunderbolt cable and two 1TB G-Drive Evolution external hard drives. It has a MSRP of $749.95 and will be available in May.
G-Technology's G-Dock enclosure accepts the company's own G-Drive ruggedized hard drives. The G-Drive Evolution drives are fitted into an aluminum case. The 2.5" 7200 RPM drives come in 500GB and 1TB capacities. According to G-Technology, the external hard drives are capable of up to 126MB/s transfer speeds. The G-Drives connect via SATA 6Gbps while in the G-Dock, but the drives also feature USB 3.0 ports to connect to PCs when it is used as an individual drive. Available in May, the G-Drives have an MSRP of $149.95 for the 500GB capacity and $199.95 for the 1TB model.
Finally, the G-Drive Plus is a 2.5" 7200 RPM drive that is also installed in an aluminum case (though it is a bit thicker than the non-plus G-Drive). It has the same USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps ports, but it is only available as a 1TB drive. It is reportedly capable of up to 250MB/s transfer rates. The speed increase comes at the cost of a higher MSRP of $349.95. The G-Drive Plus will be available this summer.
The G-Dock and included G-Drives are Mac formatted out of the box and have a 3 year warranty. The company is positioning the multi-bay dock and hard drives at media professionals that need high-capacity portable storage and high-bandwidth connections.
Subject: General Tech | April 9, 2013 - 02:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, thunderbolt, falcon ridge, DSL4510, DSL4410
As promised, the new Falcon Ridge Thunderbolt controller will be arriving soon, bringing improvements to Thunderbolt. There will be two different updates supplied by Intel, the first is a doubling of bandwidth to 20Gbit/s which will significantly outpace eSATA and may help drive adoption of the new standard. Less attractive for the consumer but interesting to businesses is a new revision of the current 10Gbit/s standard which will require less power to do the same job as the current controller. The Inquirer also mentions that Intel is still looking to replace the copper with fibre optics, though what that will do to the already high price of Thunderbolt cables is unknown as of yet.
"CHIPMAKER Intel has announced an update to its Thunderbolt bus boosting bandwidth to 20Gbit/s while introducing 10Gbit/s controllers with lower power consumption."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Ubuntu 13.04 Linux Can Outperform Apple OS X 10.8.3 @ Phoronix
- Synthesizing graphene in your basement laboratory @ Hack a Day
- TTexas Instruments previews H.265 codec on eight-core Keystone DSP @ The Inquirer
- Microsoft's security apps still trip up on Windows 8 @ The Register
- Website Problems With Internet Explorer 10? Switch Modes @ TechARP
Subject: General Tech, Storage | April 8, 2013 - 04:00 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: thunderbolt, nab 13, Intel, falcon ridge, DSL4510, cactus ridge
Way back in July of 2012 Tim Verry wrote a news story on PC Perspective discussing the upcoming Falcon Ridge and Cactus Ridge Thunderbolt controllers, due out in 2014 and 2013 respectively. It appears this is coming to fruition at the NAB Show 2013 this week in Las Vegas, with two new variants of Thunderbolt on display by Intel.
Cactus Ridge, now known as the DSL4510 and 4410 controllers will add support for DisplayPort 1.2 when connected to native DisplayPort displays while also improving power management and lowering the implementation costs for hardware designers.
Maybe more exciting is the prototype of next-generation silicon for Thunderbolt, code named Falcon Ridge, that runs at 20 Gbps, double that of current Thunderbolt implementations. Intel promises that this will enable 4K video file transfer and display simultaneously. As expected, production will start in late 2013 with ramping in 2014.
Thunderbolt's integration into the consumer market has been slower than expected but professionals are seeing more and more uses for this kind of extreme bandwidth as the video production pipeline prepares for large scale 4K distribution. We are using Thunderbolt internally at PC Perspective for our Frame Rating capture based graphics testing running at nearly 800 MB/s we have been happy with the results.
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of MSI
With the Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt, MSI took an award winning design and tweaked it to bring an affordable Thunderbolt-based solution to the masses without sacrificing on quality or performance. We put this board through our grueling battery of tests to validate the board's performance promises. The MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt can be found at your favorite retailer for the reasonable price of $169.99.
Courtesy of MSI
The Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt sports a simple design and layout with some of the bells and whistles found on the higher priced boards omitted to keep the feature set intact and the price to a minimum. MSI includes the following features in the Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt's design: SATA 2 and SATA 3 ports; a Realtek GigE NIC; three PCI-Express x16 slots for up to tri-card support; USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports; and a single Thunderbolt port in the rear panel. For an in-depth overview on Thunderbolt technology and its advantages over other interconnect technologies, please see our review here.
Courtesy of MSI
Subject: Motherboards | January 10, 2013 - 04:19 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Z77, thunderbolt, ROG, Maximus V Extreme, lga1155, asus
The new ASUS ROG Maximus V Extreme board has a high standard to meet thanks to the performance of previous models of the Maximus Extreme series. Right off the bat you can tell this board is going to be popular with the enthusiasts as it sports five PCIe slots, capable of running at 8x, 16x, 8x, 8x if you populate four of them, with an extra 4x slot available for another card. For storage there are a half dozen SATA 6Gbps ports with an additional three of the previous version of SATA as well as a single mSATA port and for peripherals you get 10 USB 3.0 ports plus another four USB 2.0 ports. More important for some is the existence of a Thunderbolt port, a brand new feature for this family of motherboards. [H]ard|OCP gave this motherboard a Gold Award, read on to find out why.
"The Maximus V Extreme falls in line with ASUS' latest design philosophies and succeeds the older Maximus IV Extreme which was introduced during the P67 Express chipset days when the Core i7 2600K was the top end LGA1155 CPU. The last iteration of the Maximus was an absolutely incredible motherboard and like all ROG boards has big shoes to fill."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Gigabyte Z77X-UD4H Motherboard @ Hardware Secrets
- Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 vs. Asrock Z77 Extreme11 @ Legion Hardware
- Gigabyte GA-7PESH1 @ AnandTech
- 77 mITX Round-Up: Five of the Best – MSI, Zotac, ASRock, EVGA and ASUS @ AnandTech
- ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe/WD mini-ITX Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews
- BIOS Option Of The Week - SDRAM Idle Limit @ Tech ARP
Subject: Graphics Cards, Motherboards, Displays, Systems | January 9, 2013 - 09:38 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, thunderbolt, thin itx, mini ITX, ces 2013, CES, 4k
One of our final stops at CES this year was to visit with our friends at Gigabyte to see what they had to show off. Right off the bat we found an impressive 4K display configuration with four 1080p monitors. Running off of Gigabyte's GA-Z77X-UP5TH dual-Thunderbolt motherboard, each of the ports was split using a Lenovo adapter, each connecting to a pair of the monitors on the quad-display stand. The result is a stunning 3840x2160 display configuration running completely off of the Intel HD 4000 graphics and the Core i7 processor.
Colin also showed us Gigabyte's push into the world of DIY and OEM All-in-One designs with a couple of motherboards based on the thin mini-ITX standard. These boards are the same X/Y dimensions with a lower Z-height and very specific layout rules so that enclosures, cooling and components can be standardized.
PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: General Tech | January 7, 2013 - 11:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: thunderbolt, Intel, gigabyte, dual thunderbolt, collage technology, ces 2013, CES, 4k
Intel has found a way to emulate 4k display resolution using its on chip graphics and Gigabyte's Dual Thunderbolt technology. The display at CES demonstrated Dual Thunderbolt connectors splitting a 4k signal onto four different 1920 x 1200 displays and successfully displaying every pixel of content as if it was on a single 4k monitor, barring bezels of course. Gigabyte expects to have drivers available for owners of Z77X-UP5 TH or Z77X-UP4 TH motherboards by the end of the month so you will be able to try this for yourself in the very near future. There is one big difference between this technology and NVIDIA Surround and EyeFinity, since the graphics are provided by the HD4000 GPU you are not going to be able to effectively play the majority games at these resolutions, though it is still nice to see Intel present a solution for HTPCs and similarly purposed systems.
Las Vegas, NV, January 7th, 2013 – GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced support for 4k display resolutions using multiple standard 1080p displays with Intel Collage display technology. The new collage feature is available from an Intel graphics driver update that needs to be individually implemented by motherboard companies before it is available to the user.
Using only the Intel HD4000 Graphics of any 3rd generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, GIGABYTE dual Thunderbolt motherboards with the new 4K Collage Graphics driver can power an Ultra HD 4k resolution video stream across four regular displays. Intel Collage display technology is simple to setup, using dual Thunderbolt ports that can be split into a total of four digital streams giving an incredible combined Ultra HD resolution of 3840 x 2400 pixels.
“Our implementation of Intel’s new Collage display technology means that GIGABYTE’s exclusive dual Thunderbolt motherboards are first to power the very latest Ultra HD resolutions across four of today’s standard displays”, commented Henry Kao, Vice President of GIGABYTE Motherboard Business Unit. ”Offering a wealth of possibilities in commercial markets that include digital signage, surveillance, medical and more, we’re also excited to offer PC DIY customers the opportunity to enjoy 4K resolution support with a simple driver update on their existing hardware, and without a VGA card!”
“We are excited about our collage display feature in our Intel platforms with 3rd generation Core i5 and Core i7 processors using Intel HD Graphics”, said Zane Ball, Intel’s General Manager for Desktop platform. “GIGABYTE’s implementation of two Thunderbolt ports enable consumers to connect four monitors via splitters to a single system and experience UltraHD resolution and is a great example of the innovation enabled on these GIGABYTE Z77 motherboards with Thunderbolt.”
Intel Collage Technology
Vertical Collage Mode Setup using a total resolution of 3840*2400
Monitor1:1920*1200 and vertically a crossed two displays (1920*1200)*2=>3840*2400
Two DisplayPort to Dual-DisplayPort adaptors were used in GIGABYTE’s testing and implementation of the Intel Collage Display feature.
The new graphics driver is expected to be available for download from the GIGABYTE website by the end of January, 2013. You can find more detailed information including a setup guide and component compatibility list on the GIGABYTE website here: http://www.gigabyte.com/MicroSite/323/4k.html. More pictures are available in a photo album on the GIGABYTE Motherboard Tech Column facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/GIGABYTEmotherboards/photos_albums
You can also find a short video introducing GIGABYTE 4K display support and Intel Collage display technology here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdTMDfh0Hnk
GIGABYTE Motherboard’s Dual Thunderbolt Ports
As the first motherboards to be certified by Intel featuring dual Thunderbolt ports, GIGABYTE’s ‘TH’ models offer up to 10Gbps data transfer speeds from each port; this means you can transfer industry-leading HD graphics and data simultaneously. Each Thunderbolt port complies with the Display Port 1.1 standard (with support for 2K resolutions from each port), and therefore provide a combined throughput of up to 4K for the ultimate in display future-proofing.
For more information about GIGABYTE Thunderbolt motherboards please visit the GIGABYTE Thunderbolt website: http://www.gigabyte.us/microsite/312/images/thunderbolt.html.
GIGABYTE Dual Thunderbolt Models Dual Thunderbolt Ports are featured on the following GIGABYTE motherboard models:
PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
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