Subject: Motherboards | February 21, 2017 - 10:16 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ryzen, M.2, ddr4, biostar, amd, AM4
The X370GT7 is part of Biostar's racing series and features a black PCB with checkered flag artwork and LED-backlit "armor" over the rear IO edge. The motherboard surrounds the AMD AM4 socket with two large heat spreaders cooling a 8+4 Digital Power+ power phase (PowIRstage IC), four DDR4 slots (up to 64GB at 2667 MHz), and a M.2 (32 Gbps) slot with bundled SSD heat spreader that matches the racing and carbon fiber aesthetic.
The bottom half of the AM4 Motherboard houses the X370 chipset, six SATA 3 ports, two PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots (running 1 at x16 or both at x8 with Ryzen, Bristol Ridge is limited to one x8 slot), one PCI-E 2.0 x16 (electrically x4) slot, and three PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots. Biostar also highlights the inclusion of 5050 LED headers and a USB 3.1 front panel header with "Lightning Charger" which supports Quick Charge 2.0 (12V@1.5A) as well as Apple devices (5V@2.4A).
Around back, the X370GT7 has the following rear IO ports:
- 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C
- 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2
- 4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (USB 3.0)
- 3 x Video Outputs:
- 1 x DisplayPort (4K@60Hz)
- 1 x HDMI 2.0 (4K@60Hz)
- 1 x DVI-D (1200p@60Hz)
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek RTL8118AS)
- Audio (Realtek ALC1220, 8 channel Blu Ray Audio, "Biostar Hi-FI")
- 5 x Analog out
- 1 x S/PDIF
While an Intel NIC would have been nice to see, the Biostar board looks to offer up a decent package of connections and the Realtek audio codec has been around for a while and should be fairly well developed at this point though we will have to see how well Biostar's Hi-Fi implementation fares. Further, Biostar also offers a small touch panel on the board called GT Touch that lets users switch UEFI profiles between performance and eco-friendly modes as well as power and reset buttons for testing outside of a case. For LED fans Biostar bundles software called "LED DJ" that lets you configure an LED light show that responds to music being played on the PC. (Yes, this is a thing now hehe.)
It is nice to see Biostar rising to the occasion and offering up more options for Ryzen CPUs. Unfortunately as is the case with more things there is no word on pricing or availability yet though rumors would suggest an early march release to coincide with Ryzen processors hitting store shelves.
- CES 2017: Gigabyte Teases New AM4 Platform Motherboards
- AMD Details AM4 Chipsets and Upcoming Motherboards
- Dissecting AMD Zen Architecture - Interview with David Kanter
Subject: Memory, Shows and Expos | January 4, 2017 - 07:13 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: G.Skill, ddr4, ddr4-4266, ddr4-4133, G.Skill Trident Z
Kaby Lake CPUs and the associated Z270 motherboards can handle DDR4 frequencies higher than we have seen previously, good news for overclocking enthusiasts. G.SKILL may be first past the post with new DIMMs, you can pick up their Trident Z DDR4-4266 DIMMs on NewEgg right now, $230 for a 16GB dual channel kit.
This extra speed does come with an associated cost, they rate the voltage of these modules higher than you would expect from DDR4 at 1.4V as opposed to the 1.35 we are accustomed to and you should keep this in mind when shopping for a motherboard. It will be interesting to see if these extremely high frequencies have any noticeable effect in gaming performance however they are already breaking records, 8 world records and 21 global first place records.
You can see the various frequencies and timings currently available, expect to see more companies announcing new DIMMs very soon.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: Memory | November 5, 2016 - 05:42 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: G.Skill Trident Z, G.Skill, ddr4
Yesterday G.Skill announced the launch of the soon-to-be fastest DDR4 64 GB kit using 16 GB modules running at 3600 MHz. The new Trident Z kit uses Samsung 8Gb chips and pairs four 16 GB DIMMs supporting XMP 2.0 and CAS latencies of 17-19-19-39.
The DDR4 memory kit features stylized brushed aluminum heatspreaders with red accents similar to those used on existing Trident Z kits. Out of the box the kit runs at 1.35 voilts though overclockers should be able to push them further to eke out a bit more speed beyond the stock 3600 MHz!
Beyond that there is not much to the announcement other than G.Skill claiming the speed crown. Looking online, it seems the previous highest speed offered was 3466 MHz so the new modules are a decent bit faster.
According to G.Skill, the new Trident Z 64GB kit will be available in December. They have not yet released pricing, but I would expect it to MSRP for at least $570 considering G.Skill and Corsair currently have DDR4 3466 MHz 64GB kits priced at $540 and $530 respectively. If you are into overclocking, you can probably save a few bucks and overclock some lower specc'ed memory, but these might be good if you are building a workstation that doesn't need ECC (e.g. a video editing and streaming monster heh).
Subject: Memory | September 28, 2016 - 05:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition, corsair, ddr4, ddr4-3200, DHX
Corsair's DOMINATOR PLATINUM Special Edition series comes in 32GB kits, either four 8GB DIMMs or a pair of 16GB DIMMs, in your choice of Chrome or Blackout finishes. All kits are DDR4-3200MHz but with the 10-layer PCB and DHX heatsinks Corsair feels that reaching 3600MHz will be trivial and higher frequencies possible for talented tweakers. They will be available directly from Corsair, $330 for the quad-channel kit and $300 for the dual channel.
You can read the full PR by clicking below.
Subject: Memory | September 2, 2016 - 09:24 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: gskill, ddr4
Judging by a quick scan of Newegg USA, G.SKILL is pretty much alone in bringing 8GB DIMMs to speeds above DDR4-3733. They already have a 2x8GB kit in the DDR4-4000 and DDR4-4133 ranges, but they're now introducing a 4x8GB kit into the DDR4-3866 classification. The chip is rated at CL18-19-19-39 when supplied with 1.35V. This is much higher voltage than slower sticks, but, as far as I can tell, pretty good at that speed. It also supports XMP 2.0 to automatically configure your BIOS, which is a bonus.
Granted, I cannot think of too many situations where four channels of high-bandwidth memory will give you any real benefits, apart from obviously a narrow list of overclocking record categories. Current DDR4-capable processors can do up to 16GB DIMMs. Personally, I'd tend to err on the side of slower, denser sticks of RAM. I'm more concerned about leaving everything I want in memory, versus any potential bottlenecks I might introduce in giving my CPU work. That's just me, though. If you have the need for high-bandwidth, quad-channel, DDR4 memory, then here you go.
Pricing has not yet been announced. That said, a 2x8GB DDR4-4000 (the next category up) of the same brand can be found for around $190 USD. 2x8GB DDR4-4133 (the next category above that) is about $220 USD. While those kits contain half the sticks, 2 vs 4, the new kit might be slightly cheaper per stick than these. That's just speculation, though, until retailers show their stock.
Subject: Memory | August 20, 2016 - 05:25 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: X99, Samsung, ripjaws, overclocking, G.Skill, ddr4, Broadwell-E
Early this week at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, California G.Skill showed off new low latency DDR4 memory modules for desktop and notebooks. The company launched two Trident series DDR4 3333 MHz kits and one Ripjaws branded DDR4 3333 MHz SO-DIMM. While these speeds are not close to the fastest we have seen from them, these modules offer much tighter timings. All of the new memory modules use Samsung 8Gb chips and will be available soon.
On the desktop side of things, G.Skill demonstrated a 128GB (8x16GB) DDR4-3333 kit with CAS latencies of 14-14-14-34 running on a Asus ROG Rampage V Edition 10 motherboard with an Intel Core i7 6800K processor. They also showed a 64GB (8x8GB) kit clocked at 3333 MHz with timings of 13-13-13-33 running on a system with the same i7 6800K and Asus X99 Deluxe II motherboard.
G.Skill demonstrating 128GB DDR4-3333 memory kit at IDF 2016.
In addition to the desktop DIMMs, G.Skill showed a 32GB Ripjaws kit (2x16GB) clocked at 3333 MHz running on an Intel Skull Canyon NUC. The SO-DIMM had timings of 16-18-18-43 and ran at 1.35V.
Nowadays lower latency is not quite as important as it once was, but there is still a slight performance advantage to be had tighter timings and pure clockspeed is not the only important RAM metric. Overclocking can get you lower CAS latencies (sometimes at the cost of more voltage), but if you are not into that tedious process and are buying RAM anyway you might as well go for the modules with the lowest latencies out of the box at the clockspeeds you are looking for. I am not sure how popular RAM overclocking is these days outside of benchmark runs and extreme overclockers though to be honest.
Overclocking Innovation session at IDF 2016.
With regards to extreme overclocking, there was reportedly an "Overclocking Innovation" event at IDF where G.Skill and Asus overclocker Elmor achieved a new CPU overclocking record of 5,731.78 MHz on the i7 6950X running on a system with G.Skill memory and Asus motherboard. The company's DDR4 record of 5,189.2 MHz was not beaten at the event, G.Skill notes in its press release (heh).
Are RAM timings important to you when looking for memory? What are your thoughts on the ever increasing clocks of new DDR4 kits with how overclocking works on the newer processors/motherboards?
Subject: Memory | May 17, 2016 - 04:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: sodimm, ddr4, crucial ballistix sport
Crucial is releasing some new high end memory for gaming laptops and for those mobile devices which work for a living. The new Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 SODIMMs will start at speeds of 2400 MT/s and will be fully Intel XMP compatible assuming you system beleives in those DDR4 speeds; if not look for an update from the manufacturer. The SODIMMs will be available in sizes of up to 16GB per DIMM so you should be able to install quite a large pool of memory. They didn't offer up any pictures as this was being written but instead a Youtube video of how Ballistix memory is made, which you can see below.
Boise, ID, and Glasgow, UK, -- May 17, 2016 – Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced the availability of Ballistix® Sport LT DDR4 SODIMMs. Ideal for gamers and performance enthusiasts, the new modules accelerate gaming laptops and small form factor systems by packing faster speeds into every memory slot, enabling users to run demanding games and applications with ease.
With speeds starting at 2400 MT/s, Ballistix Sport LT SODIMMs offer better latencies, reduced load times, and improved frame rates with integrated graphics. The new modules also feature a sleek black PCB and digital camo design and support Intel® XMP 2.0 profiles for easy installation.
“We’re constantly seeking ways to empower gamers with affordable, easy-to-use products that help them gain that competitive, performance edge,” explained Jeremy Mortenson, product marketing manager, Crucial. “With new platforms supporting faster DDR4 SODIMMS coming to the market, the newest Ballistix SODIMM module does just that.”
The Ballistix Sport LT DDR4 SODIMM modules will be available for purchase at www.crucial.com and through select global partners. All Crucial memory is backed by a limited lifetime warranty Limited lifetime warranty valid everywhere except Germany, where warranty is valid for 10 years from date of purchase.
For more information about Ballistix memory, visit crucial.com/ballistix.
Subject: Memory | May 17, 2016 - 07:07 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: trident z, gskill, G.Skill Trident Z, ddr4
G.Skill recently updated its high end line of Trident Z DDR4 memory modules to add several new color options. While no new speed tiers are being introduced, the existing DIMMs with brushed aluminum silver colored modules with red and black accents will shortly be joined by new modules with 5 new color schemes including silver modules with white or black top bar accents or black modules with white, yellow, or silver accents.
There is nothing groundbreaking here, but it will certainly make putting together a build based around a particular color or theme a bit easier, and that is their goal as these new DIMMs are aimed at modders and enthusiasts who are the most likely group to be running windowed or open air type systems that can show off the internal hardware.
For those interested, the new colors will be available at the end of May. The memory kits in DDR4 3200 Mhz speeds (16GB to 128GB kits) of all timings will be available in the existing red and all the new color schemes. Users wanting the faster speed memory kits (e.g. DDR4 3400) will be limited to the red, white, and black accents (no orange or yellow top pieces on the heat spreader).
Subject: Processors | April 5, 2016 - 10:30 AM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: mobile, hp, GCN, envy, ddr4, carrizo, Bristol Ridge, APU, amd, AM4
Today AMD is “pre-announcing” their latest 7th generation APU. Codenamed “Bristol Ridge”, this new SOC is based off of the Excavator architecture featured in the previous Carrizo series of products. AMD provided very few hints as to what was new and different in Bristol Ridge as compared to Carrizo, but they have provided a few nice hints.
They were able to provide a die shot of the new Bristol Ridge APU and there are some interesting differences between it and the previous Carrizo. Unfortunately, there really are no changes that we can see from this shot. Those new functional units that you are tempted to speculate about? For some reason AMD decided to widen out the shot of this die. Those extra units around the border? They are the adjacent dies on the wafer. I was bamboozled at first, but happily Marc Sauter pointed it out to me. No new functional units for you!
This is the Carrizo shot. It is functionally identical to what we see with Bristol Ridge.
AMD appears to be using the same 28 nm HKMG process from GLOBALFOUNDRIES. This is not going to give AMD much of a jump, but from information in the industry GLOBALFOUNDRIES and others have put an impressive amount of work into several generations of 28 nm products. TSMC is on their third iteration which has improved power and clock capabilities on that node. GLOBALFOUNDRIES has continued to improve their particular process and likely Bristol Ridge is going to be the last APU built on that node.
All of the competing chips are rated at 15 watts TDP. Intel has the compute advantage, but AMD is cleaning up when it comes to graphics.
The company has also continued to improve upon their power gating and clocking technologies to keep TDPs low, yet performance high. AMD recently released the Godavari APUs to the market which exhibit better clocking and power characteristics from the previous Kaveri. Little was done on the actual design, rather it was improved process tech as well as better clock control algorithms that achieved these advances. It appears as though AMD has continued this trend with Bristol Ridge.
We likely are not seeing per clock increases, but rather higher and longer sustained clockspeeds providing the performance boost that we are seeing between Carrizo and Bristol Ridge. In these benchmarks AMD is using 15 watt TDP products. These are mobile chips and any power improvements will show off significant gains in overall performance. Bristol Ridge is still a native quad core part with what looks to be an 8 module GCN unit.
Again with all three products at a 15 watt TDP we can see that AMD is squeezing every bit of performance it can with the 28 nm process and their Excavator based design.
The basic core and GPU design look relatively unchanged, but obviously there were a lot of tweaks applied to give the better performance at comparable TDPs.
AMD is announcing this along with the first product that will feature this APU. The HP Envy X360. This convertible tablet offers some very nice features and looks to be one of the better implementations that AMD has seen using its latest APUs. Carrizo had some wins, but taking marketshare back from Intel in the mobile space has been tortuous at best. AMD obviously hopes that Bristol Ridge in the sub-35 watt range will continue to show fight for the company in this important market. Perhaps one of the more interesting features is the option for the PCIe SSD. Hopefully AMD will send out a few samples so we can see what a more “premium” type convertible can do with the AMD silicon.
The HP Envy X360 convertible in all of its glory.
Bristol Ridge will be coming to the AM4 socket infrastructure in what appears to be a Computex timeframe. These parts will of course feature higher TDPs than what we are seeing here with the 15 watt unit that was tested. It seems at that time AMD will announce the full lineup from top to bottom and start seeding the market with AM4 boards that will eventually house the “Zen” CPUs that will show up in late 2016.
Subject: Memory | March 14, 2016 - 08:04 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: crucial, ddr4, ddr4-2133
The price of DDR4 continues to come down from the stratosphere and into affordable territory, especially when you look at the kits lower their frequencies to allow you to buy a larger pool of RAM. The Crucial DDR4-2133 32GB kit is an example of this, albeit a strange one as they have opted for two DIMMs as opposed to four. The DDR4-2133 15-15-15-36-2T kit retails for ~$175 and has forgone heatspreaders, not a major problem as they are generally only useful for those who want flashy looking RAM. Unfortunately the price is a bit higher than some of the competition and from Hardware Canucks' testing the DIMMs really do not like to be overclocked. If you are still holding out on upgrading your system solely because of the price of DDR4, do a bit of shopping around as you may be in for a pleasant surprise.
"The Crucial DDR4-2133 32GB memory kit may look unassuming but its combination of huge capacity, good speeds, decent overclocking and a low price make for a perfect combination."
Here are some more Memory articles from around the web:
- Mushkin Redline DDR4 3000MHz 16GB @ eTeknix
- Patriot Viper 4 DDR4 3200MHz 16GB @ eTeknix
- HyperX Savage 2666Mhz 32GB Memory Review @ OCC
- G.Skill Trident Z DDR4-3400 16GB Memory Review @ OCC
- Patriot Viper 4 DDR4 3200MHz 16GB @ eTeknix