Shut up! MEG did good at Threadripping

Subject: Motherboards | September 7, 2018 - 02:55 PM |
Tagged: msi, eatx, B350I PRO AC, b350, amd

Threadripper boards are expensive and the MSI MEG X399 Creation is no exception and Guru 3D takes a look to see if it is a good value.  This eATX board sports four PCIe 16x slots and a pair of PCIe 1x slots, support for up to eight DIMMs of DDR4-3600 and three M.2 ports, not counting the M.2 Xpander-Aero PCIe add-in card looks like a GPU but instead adds an additional four M.2 ports.  That barely scratches the surface of what the MEG has to offer; more will be revealed to you if you visit Guru 3D.

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"For Ryzen Threadripper 2000 MSI released a new motherboard which we review, their MEG X399 Creation. The board is stylish, loaded with features has subtle LED effects, terrific WIFI and obviously off..."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

MSI's B350I PRO AC, gone but not forgotten

Subject: Motherboards | August 24, 2018 - 04:15 PM |
Tagged: mini-itx, msi, b350, B350I PRO AC, amd, ryzen

The MSI B350I Pro AC is not a new motherboard but it is worth remembering for anyone looking to build a small system.  However [H]ard|OCP is teasing you a bit; the board was in stock when they started the review but has been discontinued very recently with the B450I Gaming Plus AC replacing it.  Why is it worth looking at, you may ask?  The board is a solid base to build a SFF system off of and will be selling at a discount if you can find it; so keep your eyes open and you might get it for a song.

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"While we might be late to the party with a B350 review, we were running tests with it and were so impressed we thought we would put it through the full review process. MSI’s B350I PRO AC might just have been worth the wait. How does this inexpensive powerhouse fair against more expensive offerings?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

AMD Releases B450 Chipset for Ryzen

Subject: Chipsets | July 31, 2018 - 11:50 PM |
Tagged: amd, ryzen, b450, x470, x370, b350, a320, Intel, motherboards

Today AMD is launching their latest chipset product supporting Ryzen CPUs and APUs. When Ryzen was launched we had a pretty robust selection of boards based on the A320, B350, and X370 chipsets. These products brought AMD to the present in terms of capabilities and modern features across the board. AMD no longer bifurcated their sockets and chipsets in regards to AM3+ and FM2+, but instead focused all products on the new AM4 socket. AMD plans to support this socket til at least 2020, and most AM4 boards should be able to handle upcoming CPUs with a BIOS update.

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The release of the new Ryzen 2000 parts brought in the new X470 chipset which provided some extra features as compared to the X370. Most of the I/O was the same but it brought in support for Precision Boost 2 as well as the free StoreMI storage functionality. For the enthusiast looking on the AMD side, the X470 is the no-brainer especially if they want to run multiple graphics cards. This is not the best overall option if the enthusiast is looking for single GPU usage as well as a much lower price.

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AMD is presenting the new B450 chipset that looks to fill the gap that the new X470 leaves. It is a partial redesign of the B350 and it provides a couple of extra features. Most interesting is that the chip actually runs about 2 watts lower in power than the B350 did at idle. The B450 joins the X470/370 in having StoreMI support as well, which the B350 does not offer. Unlike the X470, the B450 parts do not allow the bifurcation of the CPU’s PCI-Ex16. Without utilizing the 6 PCI-E lanes off the southbridge the B450 will not support multi-GPU off of the CPU PCI-E controller. Motherboard manufacturers may in fact use a x4 electrical connection in a x16 slot to utilize CrossFire, but AMD did not necessarily intend that to be a standard feature.

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One area that AMD does focus on is giving users the ability to overclock any CPU they have. While AMD has the “x” designation after certain SKUs, they are not the only ones that can be overclocked (unlike Intel and their non-K variants). Even though AMD may specify that a CPU can only go up to a max of 2933 speeds, it is easy to get those memory targets well above that. 3200 is very common for these parts and should almost be the specification for the Ryzen 2000 series.

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The aforementioned StoreMI gets included with the B450 support, as compared to it not supported on the previous B350. I doubt there is anything hardware related not allowing StoreMI to run on the older SB350, but AMD is working on the whole product segmentation thing.  Throwing in some free software now and then can be seen as a solid value added feature. StoreMI has significant performance benefits for users who rely on smaller SSDs for the OS. Applications are intelligently managed so that they act like they are installed on the SSD only.

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Most of the boards will be under $120 with a sweet spot around $70. Features of course will vary from board to board and that will affect the price. The overall functionality of the boards should be about the same though. Plenty of SATA ports, one NVME, USB 3.0/3.1/Gen1/Gen2, and the six PCI-E lanes which can have multiple uses. At launch there are around 25 boards already available from the major manufacturers.

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The B450 is aimed to be a cost effective, yet feature rich motherboard that further accentuates the price advantage that AMD holds over Intel in terms of performance and core counts. When combined with lower priced yet comparable boards from Intel, AMD feels their value proposition is further accentuated. This product helps flesh out the chipset and motherboard offerings for the AM4 ecosystem. AMD continues to be aggressive in grabbing more marketshare and selling competitive products across the board.

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Source: AMD

A difference of 10; testing a B350 against a B360

Subject: Processors | April 11, 2018 - 06:06 PM |
Tagged: ryzen, Intel, i5-8400, coffee lake, B360, b350, AMD Ryzen 5 1600, amd

With the launch of Intel's B360 chipset, the price difference between a Coffee Lake and Ryzen system have been much reduced; in part because RAM and GPU will account for the vast majority of your expenses.  TechSpot tested the Ryzen 5 1600 against an i5-8400 on a B360 motherboard, as well as a Z370 to show the difference between those two chipsets.  Overall, the results came out in a tie, with AMD's chip better at tasks which benefit from multithreading while Intel's topped out when gaming. 

Of course, we are quickly approaching the arrival of Ryzen 2, which may change things drastically.

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"Before the incoming 2nd-gen Ryzen parts arrive this shootout will let us establish how AMD and Intel currently stack up with all the latest Windows updates, BIOS updates, driver updates and new motherboards we have on hand, giving us an up to date reference point for the new CPUs."

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Source: TechSpot

Podcast #473 - AMD Q3 Earnings, Forza 7 Performance, Allyn's storage rant, and more!

Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2017 - 11:40 AM |
Tagged: xbox one, x370, VROC, video, ROG Strix, podcast, nzxt, forza 7, b350, asus, ARM PSA, amd

PC Perspective Podcast #473 - 10/26/17

Join us for discussion on AMD Q3 Earnings, Forza 7 Performance, Allyn's storage rant, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts: Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Ken Addison

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:03:33

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
    1. 0:27:25 Allyn’s RAID rant
  3. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
    1. 0:45:55 Allyn: Cinemaps
  4. Closing/outro

 

Source:

As cheap as Mortar? MSI's new B350 motherboard for Ryzen

Subject: Motherboards | July 10, 2017 - 03:38 PM |
Tagged: amd, b350, B350 Mortar, msi, AM4, mATX

MSI's B350 Mortar comes in the model you see below as well as an Arctic version if you prefer a different colour scheme.  AMD's B350 chipset carries a lower cost than the X370 series but retains most of the features enthusiasts delight in, such as M.2, support for DDR4-3200MHz, a USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C plug and a Realtek ALC892 HD audio codec for audio.  Indeed about the only thing you lose is the ability to run multiple GPUs, which is not exactly a common need on an mATX build.  Modders-Inc were taken with this low cost motherboard, especially the amount of customization available in the UEFI to adjust your fan speeds ... and yes it has your RGBs.

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"AMD's B350 chipset is challenging Intel's market dominance in a different subset that the chip giant did not expect: affordability. If AMD's Ryzen product releases sound too familiar with that of Intel's line, that is because it is deliberate. It is basically an aggressive move by AMD, challenging Intel directly that they can take over the naming scheme and do …"

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Source: Modders Inc

Gigabyte Launches GA-AB350N-Gaming WIFI Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard

Subject: Motherboards | June 28, 2017 - 01:44 AM |
Tagged: gigabyte, mini ITX, b350, amd, AM4, raven ridge, SFF, ryzen

Gigabyte is joining the small form factor Ryzen motherboard market with its new GA-AB350N-Gaming WIFI. The new Mini ITX motherboard sports AMD’s AM4 socket and B350 chipset and supports Ryzen “Summit Ridge” CPUs, Bristol Ridge APUs (7th Gen/Excavator), and future Zen-based Raven Ridge APUs. The board packs a fair bit of hardware into the Mini ITX form factor and is aimed squarely at gamers and enthusiasts.

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The AB350N-Gaming WIFI has an interesting design in that some of the headers and connectors are flipped versus where they are traditionally located. The chipset sits to the left of CPU socket above the 6-phase VRMs and PowIRStage digital ICs. Four SATA 6Gbps ports and a USB 3.0 header occupy the top edge of the board. Two DDR4 dual channel memory slots are aligned on the right edge and support (overclocked) frequencies up to 3200 MHz depending on the processor used. The Intel wireless NIC, Realtek Gigabit Ethernet, and Realtek ALC1220 audio chips have been placed in the space between the AM4 socket and the single PCI-E 3.0 x16 slot. There is also a single M.2 (PCI-E 3.0 x4 32Gbps) slot on the underside of the motherboard. Gigabyte has also integrated “RGB Fusion” technology with two on board RGB LED lighting zones and two RGBW headers for off board lighting strips as well as high end audio capacitors and headphone amplifier. Smart Fan 5 technology allegedly is capable of automatically differentiating between fans and water pumps connected to the two fan headers and will automatically provide the correct PWM signal based on fan curves the user can customize in the UEFI BIOS. The motherboard is powered by a 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS and while it does not have a very beefy power phase setup it should be plenty for most overclocks (especially with Ryzen not wanting to go much past 4 GHz (easily) anyway).

Rear I/O includes:

  • 1 x PS/2
  • 2 x Antenna (Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi + BT 4.2)
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps)
  • 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps)
  • 6 x Audio (5 x analog, 1 x S/PDIF)
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1 x HDMI 1.4
  • 1 x Realtek GbE

Gigabyte has an interesting SFF motherboard with the GA-AB350N-Gaming WIFI and I am interested in seeing the reviews. More Mini ITX options for Ryzen and other Zen-based systems is a good thing, and moving the power phases to the left may end up helping overclocking and cooling in smaller cases with tower coolers.

Unfortunately, Gigabyte has not yet revealed pricing or availability. Looking around online at its competition, i would guess it would be around $85 though.

Also read;

Source: Gigabyte

ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces Strix X370-F Gaming and Strix B350-F Gaming

Subject: Motherboards | June 2, 2017 - 06:20 PM |
Tagged: x370, Strix X370-F Gaming, Strix B350-F Gaming, ryzen, b350, asus, amd

ASUS just announced two new members of their Strix motherboard series for AMD's Ryzen, the Strix X370-F Gaming and Strix B350-F Gaming.

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The boards offer similar features, they support up to 64GB of DDR4-3200 in their four DIMM slots and offer ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220A with two headphone jacks.  You will find four USB 3.1 ports on the back panels along with HDMI 1.4b and DP 1.2 out and an Intel I211-AT powered gigabit NIC.  Storage options do vary, both have an M.2 slot however the X370 has twice as many SATA ports, eight to the B350's four. 

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The Strix X370-F Gaming

Depending on which model you choose you could have up to three PCIe 3.0 16x slots, one capped at 8x along with support for Crossfire and SLI.  The slots are branded as SafeSlots which are made using an injection molding process that integrates metal framing to support todays monstrous GPUs. 

Those who want their system to stand out can take advantage of the AURA Sync RGB lighting and 3D printer friendly heat shields to make their build unique.  You can compare the boards directly at ASUS and check out the PR just below.

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The Strix B350-F Gaming

Fremont, CA (June 2, 2017) -- — Since its release back in April, AMD’s Ryzen platform has quickly established itself as a viable option, delivering exemplary performance for daily computing and gaming. ASUS was ready for the early unveil, releasing an array of motherboards for value-packed PCs to models geared for high-end rigs. However, pressing demand for Ryzen-based systems shows a need for more options in the middle of the ASUS product stack. So today, we’re bolstering our portfolio with two new AM4 motherboards aimed squarely at gamers who wish to utilize Ryzen performance in their next PC build.

Based on the latest AMD X370 and B350 chipsets, the ATX-sized Strix X370-F and Strix B350-F include all the core ROG enhancements that make system setup a breeze, while offering performance that stands out from the crowd. To read more about these motherboards, please visit ASUS ROG. ROG B350-F Motherboard

AVAILABILITY
ASUS ROG Strix X370-F Gaming and Strix B350-F Gaming Motherboards will be available in early June at leading resellers in North America.

 

Source: ASUS

AMD AGESA Update 1.0.0.6 Will Support Configurable Memory Sub Timings And Clockspeeds Up To 4,000 MHz

Subject: General Tech | May 30, 2017 - 04:05 PM |
Tagged: x370, ryzen, overclocking, ddr4, bios, b350, amd, agesa

AMD recently announced a new AGESA update that will improve memory compatibility and add new memory and virtualization features that have been sorely missing from AMD’s new Ryzen platforms. The new AGESA 1.0.0.6 update has been distributed to its motherboard partners and will be part of updated BIOSes that should be out by the middle of June.

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The AGESA (AMD Generic Encapsulated Software Architecture) code is used as part of the BIOS responsible for initializing the Ryzen CPU cores, memory controller, and Infinity Fabric. With the 1.0.0.6 update, AMD is adding 26 configurable memory options (including subtimings!) that were previously locked out or limited in the range of values users could set. The biggest change is in clockspeeds where AMD will now allow memory clocks up to 4,000 MHz without needing to adjust the CPU base clock (only the very high-end motherboards had external clock generators that allowed hitting higher than 3200 MHz easily before this update). Additionally, when overclocking and setting clockspeeds above 2667 MHz, users can adjust the clockspeeds in increments of 133 MT/s rather than the currently supported 266 MT/s increments. Also important is that AMD will allow 2T command rates with the new update (previously it was locked at 1T) which improves memory kit compatibility when pushing clockspeeds and/or when running in a four DIMM configuration rather than 2 stick configurations (2T is less aggressive). These changes are especially important for overclocking and, in addition to all the other knobs that will become available, dialing in the highest possible stable clockspeeds. Reportedly, the updated AGESA code does improve on memory kit compatibility and support for more XMP profiles, but the Ryzen platform still heavily favors Samsung B-die based single rank kits. In all, it sounds like there is still more to be done but the 1.0.0.6 update is going to be a huge step in the right direction.

Beyond the memory improvements AMD is also adding support for PCI Express Access Control Services which will improve virtualization support and allow users with multiple graphics cards to dedicate a card to the host and another card to the virtual machine.

ASUS and Gigabyte have already rolled out beta BIOSes for their high-end boards, and other manufacturers and motherboards should be getting beta update’s shortly with the stable releases based on the new AMD code being available next month. I am very interested to see Ryzen paired with 4GHz memory and how that will help gaming and everyday performance and improve things in the Infinity Fabric and CCX to CCX latency department!

Source: AMD
Author:
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: AMD

The real battle begins

When AMD launched the Ryzen 7 processors last month to a substantial amount of fanfare and pent up excitement, we already knew that the Ryzen 5 launch would be following close behind. While the Ryzen 7 lineup was meant to compete with the Intel Core i7 Kaby Lake and Broadwell-E products, with varying levels of success, the Ryzen 5 parts are priced to go head to head with Intel's Core i5 product line. 

AMD already told us the details of the new product line including clock speeds, core counts and pricing, so there is little more to talk about other than the performance and capabilities we found from our testing of the new Ryzen 5 parts. Starting with the Ryzen 5 1600X, with 6 cores, 12 threads and a $249 price point, and going down to the Ryzen 5 1400 with 4 cores, 8 threads and a $169 price point, this is easily AMD's most aggressive move to date. The Ryzen 7 1800X at $499 was meant to choke off purchases of Intel's $1000+ parts; Ryzen 5 is attempting to offer significant value and advantage for users on a budget.

Today we have the Ryzen 5 1600X and Ryzen 5 1500X in our hands. The 1600X is a 6C/12T processor that will have a 50% core count advantage over the Core i5-7600K it is priced against but a 3x advantage in thread count because of Intel's disabling of HyperThreading on Core i5 desktop processors. The Ryzen 5 1500X has the same number of cores as the Core i5-7500 it will be pitted against, but 2x the thread count. 

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How does this fare for AMD? Will budget consumers finally find a solution from the company that has no caveats?

Continue reading our review of the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X and 1500X processors!!