Subject: Motherboards | June 13, 2018 - 04:27 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Z370, gigabyte, aorus, GAMING 7-OP, ULTRA GAMING WIFI-OP, ULTRA GAMING 2.0-OP, HD3-OP
A limited number of Gigabyte's new Z370 motherboards will come with 32GB of Optane built in the board, or at least that is how the PR describes it.
The boards will ship with Gigabyte's M.2 Thermal Guard installed which leads one to surmise that these are not permanently connected to the motherboard similar to how a BGA processor is installed but are instead already installed in an M.2 slot. Regardless of how they attached it, you get the benefits of Optane memory right from the beginning, which is not a bad thing in any way.
This is not their first bundle, you can still grab an Ultra Gaming + 32GB Optane on Amazon, which gives us an idea of the price. Lets hope we don't see branding which describes the board as coming with 32GB of RAM already installed as this could lead to a lot of disappointment for someone who didn't pick up any DDR4.
You can see the effect of using Optane memory on your computer in Ken's review.
Is it a usable feature?
EDIT: We've received some clarification from Intel on this feature:
"The feature is actually apart of RST. While this is a CPU-attached storage feature, it is not VROC. VROC is a CPU-attached PCIe Storage component of the enterprise version of the product, Intel RSTe. VROC requires the new HW feature Intel Volume Management Device (Intel VMD) which is not available on the Z370 Chipset.
The Intel Rapid Storage Technology for CPU-attached Intel PCIe Storage feature is supported with select Intel chipsets and requires system manufacturer integration. Please contact the system manufacturer for a list of their supported platforms."
While this doesn't change how the feature works, or our testing, we wanted to clarify this point and have removed all references to VROC on Z370 in this review.
While updating our CPU testbeds for some upcoming testing, we came across an odd listing on the UEFI updates page for our ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-E motherboard.
From the notes, it appeared that the release from late April of this year enables VROC for the Z370 platform. Taking a look at the rest of ASUS' Z370 lineup, it appears that all of its models received a similar UEFI update mentioning VROC. EDIT: As it turns out, while these patch notes call this feature "VROC", it is officially known as "Intel Rapid Storage Technology for CPU-attached Intel PCIe Storage " and slightly different than VROC on other Intel platforms.
While we are familiar with VROC as a CPU-attached RAID technology for NVMe devices on the Intel X299 and Xeon Scalable platforms, it has never been mentioned as an available option for the enthusiast grade Z-series chipsets. Could this be a preview of a feature that Intel has planned to come for the upcoming Z390 chipset?
Potential advantages of a CPU-attached RAID mode on the Z370 platform mostly revolve around throughput. While the chipset raid mode on the Z370 chipset will support three drives, the total throughput is limited to just under 4GB/s by the DMI 3.0 link between the processor and chipset.
Like we've seen AMD do on their X470 platform, CPU-attached RAID should scale as long as you have CPU-connected PCI-Express lanes available, and not being used by another device like a GPU or network card.
First, some limitations.
Primarily, it's difficult to connect multiple NVMe devices to the CPU rather than the chipset on most Z370 motherboards. Since the platform natively supports NVMe RAID through the Z370 chipset, all of the M.2 slots on our Strix Z370-E are wired to go through the chipset connection rather than directly to the CPU's PCIe lanes.
To combat this, we turned to the ASUS Hyper M.2 X16 card, which utilizes PCIe bifurcation to enable usage of 4 M.2 devices via one PCI-E X16 slot. Luckily, ASUS has built support for bifurcation, and this Hyper M.2 card into the UEFI for the Strix Z370-E.
Aiming to simplify the setup, we are using the integrated UHD 620 graphics of the i7-8700K, and running the Hyper M.2 card in the primary PCIe slot, usually occupied by a discrete GPU.
Subject: Processors | April 16, 2018 - 10:02 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: coffee lake, coffee lake s, 8700k, Z370, Z390, 6+2, 8+2
One more piece of evidence was brought to our attention recently, as spotted by an eagle-eyed user on Reddit. Intel's Technical Documentation website now seems to contain documents referencing an unreleased "Coffee Lake S 8+2" product.
In Intel nomenclature, 8+2 would refer to 8 CPU cores, plus 2 integrated GPU cores. For example, the current 6-core i7-8700K processor is referred to as a 6+2 processor configuration. Hence, the 8+2 processor being referenced here would be a sibling to the 8700K, with two more CPU cores.
Unfortunately, the actual documents are hidden behind an Intel login page, so we are unable to view them in full, but rather only have titles and short descriptions of their contents.
Given their recent appetite for the "i9" brand as the highest-end configurations, as we saw on the recent Coffee Lake-H notebook processor launch, I would expect this to be the first mainstream Intel desktop processor to carry the "i9" branding.
Additionally, we see documents referring to design aspects of both the existing Coffee Lake-S 6+2 part (8700K) and this new 8+2 part. This brings us hope that Z370 motherboards will remain compatible with this new processor, and not require yet another chipset.
While it seems likely that these new processors will launch alongside a Z390 chipset, we would expect the same level of compatibility while adding connectivity features built into the chipset such as USB 3.1 Gen 2 and 802.11ac wireless, as we saw on the recent H370 and B360 chipsets.
With the launch of AMD's Ryzen 2000-series of processors looming later this week, it seems like Intel is playing the waiting game before launching this 8-core processor. Speculation is that we could see this part before Computex in June.
Subject: Memory | April 13, 2018 - 10:46 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: adata, xpg, ddr4, Samsung, overclocking, 5ghz, coffee lake, Z370
ADATA recently announced that it was able to overclock its upcoming XPG Spectrix D41 RGB DDR4 memory to 5 GHz on air cooling. The new Spectrix modules were first shown off at CES 2018 along with phase change cooled Spectrix D80 DIMMs.
Not content to let G.Skill have all the fun, ADATA took its 2132 MHz AX4U470038G19-DR41 memory and pushed it to 5 GHz in dual channel mode with fairly tight timings of 21-26-26-45-2T. They do not mention how much voltage was needed, but the XMP 2.0 profile of 4608 MHz at 19-19-19-39 and 1.45V suggests that likely at least 1.5V was needed. For comparison, G.Skill was able to hit 5007.4 MHz at CL21-26-26-46-2T while ADATA hit 4996.8 MHz at 21-26-26-45-2T (as reported by CPU-z). Both memory manufacturers used a MSI Z370I Gaming Pro Carbon AC motherboard and Intel Coffee Lake Core i7-8700K to achieve their overclocks. ADATA had the processor clocked at 4.3 GHz (100 BCLK x 43x multiplier).
ADATA’s Spectrix D41 memory uses stylized heat spreaders along with RGB LEDs along the top edges. According to ADATA it is using carefully screened Samsung B-die ICs which so far appear to be the best chips out there for DDR4 when it comes to pushing clocks and AMD compatibility. While a retail kit clocked at 5 GHz (at least when XMP is turned on) out of the box is still far off, the increasing number of successful overclocks is promising for enthusiasts that are looking for kits to overclock on their own. I am still waiting for the memory kit makers to demonstrate the 5GHz on air feat with an AMD platform though as so far the attempts have all used an Intel platform. Perhaps once Ryzen 2000 CPUs and X470 motherboards are out we will see what 5 GHz does for Infinity Fabric.
Tom Chan, director at ADATA Technology, was quoted in the press release as stating:
“For us, the next critical step will be working to make this more than just a technological milestone, but something that will be accessible to gamers, overclockers and others, so that they can ultimately benefit from this amazing performance.”
ADATA / XPG have not yet announced pricing for its Spectrix D41 (or D80) kits but hopefully they will be available soon. The Spectrix D41 should be available in up to 16GB per DIMM capacities and up to 4600 MHz with XMP 2.0 profiles. I am curious whether the D80 with its phase change cooler could be overclocked any more than 5 GHz or if that is simply the limits of Samsung’s current generation ICs regardless of cooling method (outside of exotic cooling like lquid helium or liquid nitrogen and needing ludicrous amounts of voltage of course heh).
Subject: General Tech | March 7, 2018 - 01:01 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, coffee lake, Z370, z270. z170
Some enterprising hardware enthusiasts have proven Intel's claim that Coffee Lake can only run on the Z370 chipset, even thought the pins physically match, to be somewhat less than accurate. There are some limitations which stem from the difference in power draw, the basis of Intel's reasoning for the incompatibility. The modders who made this work would not suggest trying to use an i5 or i7 chip, only an i3 as the power draw is not so far out of spec. This is more of a proof of concept mod, it is not recommended you pick up a Coffee Lake CPU to slap into an older board as your main machine. If you are curious how this was achieved you can drop by The Inquirer for more details.
"Through considerable tweaking and time, some modders posted on the Overclock forum that they'd managed to coax a Coffee Lake CPU to run on Z270 and Z170 socket-based motherboards, when its only supposed to work on Intel's Z370 chipset."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Google is testing a 72 qubit computer to chase quantum supremacy @ The Inquirer
- Researchers Bypassed Windows Password Locks With Cortana Voice Commands @ Slashdot
- Ryzen 2 benchmark leak points to AMD's fastest CPU yet @ The Inquirer
- GlobalFoundries gears up for the next generations of chip manufacturing @ The Tech Report
- Alexa is laughing manically and frankly we're screwed guys @ The Inquirer
- The Slow Death of the Internet Cookie @ Slashdot
- US service provider hit by 'record-breaking' 1.7Tbps DDoS attack @ The Inquirer
- Marvell cooks up 400* Gbps Ethernet chips @ The Register
Subject: Motherboards | January 9, 2018 - 10:00 AM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: Z370, nzxt, motherboard, CES 2018, CES
Case and accessory maker NZXT is entering the PC components market with the announcement this week of its first ever motherboard. The NZXT N7 Z370 is based on Intel's Z370 chipset and is designed for both simplicity and clean looks.
The board features a built-in digital fan controller, integrated RGB lighting channels, an all-metal cover available in either black or white, and an on-board noise sensor that can help calibrate fan speeds and cooling pumps for a quieter PC.
|CPU||LGA socket 1151 for Intel 8th Generation Core i7/i5/i3|
|Memory||4 x DIMM with 64GB Max
DDR4 up to 3866MHz (O.C.)
|Multi-GPU||NVIDIA 2-Way SLI
AMD 2-Way CrossFireX
|Storage||1 x M.2 2242/2260/2280 (PCIe x4 & SATA modes)
1 x M.2 2242/2260/2280 (PCIe x4 mode only)
4 x SATA 6Gbs
Support for RAID 0/1/5/10
Intel Smart Response Technology
Intel Rapid Storage Technology 15
Intel Optane Memory Ready
|Networking||1 x Intel I219-V Gigabit Ethernet|
|Audio||Realtek ALC1220 Codec with Nichicon Gold Capacitors
7.1 Channel High Definition Audio, 32-bit / 192KHz DAC
|Expansion Slots||2 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)
2 x PCIe 3.0 x4
2 x PCIe 3.0 x1
|Rear I/O||5 x USB 2.0
4 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
1 x DisplayPort 1.2
1 x HDMI 1.4b
1 x Clear CMOS Button
1 x RJ45
1 x Optical S/PDIF Out
7.1 Channel Audio Ports (3.5mm)
|Internal I/O||1 x 24-pin EATX
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V
1 x 4-pin CPU Fan
1 x 4-pin AIO Pump
1 x 4-pin Water Pump
6 x 4-pin System Fans (up to 5W per channel)
3 x USB 2.0 header
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 header
4 x SATA 6Gbps
1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key (PCIe & SATA modes)
1 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key (PCIe mode only)
2 x RGB LED connectors
1 x noise detection module
1 x font panel audio connector
1 x power button
1 x reset button
1 x ROM backup button
1 x dual BIOS switch
4 x SATA data cables
1 x NZXT SLI Bridge
2 x LED light strips
2 x 500mm LED connection cable
2 x 300mm LED extension cable
|Form Factor||ATX (305mm x 244mm)|
The NZXT N7 Z370 motherboard will launch later this month in the US and Europe for $299.99.
Subject: General Tech | January 4, 2018 - 11:28 AM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: Z370, Vega, spectre, msi, meltdown, Koolance, Kaby Lake G, google wifi, cord cutting, apple, Android, 400A-S, podcast
PC Perspective Podcast #482 - 1/04/18
Join us for discussion on Spectre, Meltdown, Cord Cutting, and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store (audio only)
- Google Play - Subscribe to our audio podcast directly through Google Play!
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader (audio only)
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jermey Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano
Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg
Program length: 1:01:54
0:02:15 PCPer Mailbag #24 - 12/29/2017
Week in Review:
0:03:27 Just Picked Up: Google Wifi x4
News items of interest:
0:48:00 The top 20 games of 2017?
Picks of the Week:
Subject: Motherboards | December 11, 2017 - 05:11 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Z370 Aorus Ultra Gaming, Z370, Intel, gigabyte, coffee lake
The Z370 for Coffee Lake may look the same as a Z270 for Kaby Lake but unfortunately that is not the case and your Kaby CPU is not going to work. For those who did not upgrade during the previous generation and have been patiently awaiting the availability of Coffee Lake CPUs, [H]ard|OCP's review of the Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Ultra Gaming is worth checking out. The board can be had for around $170 and currently includes a free PCIe WiFi card, for that price there are a lot of extras to be had. The board is also able to offer the possibility of a decent overclock as well!
"Intel’s launched yet another chipset, so for better or worse that means new motherboards for Intel’s mainstream market. We look at GIGABYTE’s Z370 Aorus Ultra Gaming to see if it’s worthy of a Coffee Lake CPU. And now that you can actually find the 8700K in stock, it is worth talking about."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Ultra Gaming @ Kitguru
- The EVGA Z370 FTW MB review – the i7-8700K Road to 5.0 GHz @ BabelTechReviews
- MSI Z370 GAMING PRO CARBON AC @ TechPowerUp
- Asus ROG Rampage VI Extreme @ Guru of 3D
- ASUS Republic Of Gamers Maximus X Apex @ Guru of 3D
- ASRock X299 Taichi XE @ Kitguru
Subject: Motherboards | November 21, 2017 - 02:53 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, Z370, Intel, GAMING PRO CARBON AC
MSI have also released a Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC in addition to the AMD compatible X399 model we have seen reviewed recently. The look is very similar but as there are not quite as many lanes available on the Z370 there are some differences. There are only a pair of M.2 ports, however lane sharing is well thought out and if you install an NVMe drive you will not interfere with your SATA ports; The Tech Report offers more detail in their review. There are also less USB ports, though MSI makes sure to include the important USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, in both Type-A and Type-C. Drop by for all the details and performance results.
"MSI's Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC offers fresh looks and plenty of RGB LEDs to go with Intel's latest CPUs. We poked and prodded this board under both stock and overclocked testing conditions to see how it handles a piping-hot Core i7-8700K in its socket."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASUS TUF Z370-Pro Gaming @ Guru of 3D
- Asus ROG Strix Z370-I Gaming @ Kitguru
- ASUS PRIME Z370-A @ Guru of 3D
- Gigabyte X399 DESIGNARE EX @ Guru of 3D
- ASRock X299 OC Formula @ TechPowerUp
- MSI X299 SLI Plus @ Kitguru
- MSI Z370 Krait Gaming Review @ Neoseeker
- ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming @ TechARP
Subject: Motherboards | October 13, 2017 - 02:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gigabye, Z370, aorus gaming 7, coffee lake, Intel
Gigabyte's Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 is the most feature filled example of this chipset that The Tech Report have yet reviewed and at $250 it costs significantly less than the flagship models of previous generations. There are three each of PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, PCIe 3.0 x1 slots and M.2 ports as well as six SATA ports; a beautiful array of options which utilize more PCIe lanes than are available on this platform so you will need to do some planning before purchasing your storage devices. Audio is handled by Realtec's S1220 with help from an ESS Sabre 9018Q2C DAC installed in way which isolates it from interference from other components. The back panel features HDMI 1.4, DP 1.2 and a USB 3.1 Type C port as well as numerous other earlier generation USB ports and even an old PS/2 for those that need it. The list of features and high end components present on this board is much longer than this, check out the full review to reveal them all.
"Gigabyte's Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 motherboard offers the highest-end power-delivery circuitry, the fanciest onboard audio, and the blingiest RGB LED lighting available in the company's Z370 lineup so far. We put this board to the test to see how high it lets our Core i7-8700K fly."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- ASRock Z370M-ITX/ac: Mini-ITX Motherboard With Dual NICs, WiFi, Triple Display For ~$130 USD @ Phoronix
- MSI X299 Gaming M7 ACK Review @ OCC
- MSI X299 SLI Plus Review @ Neoseeker
- ASUS Rampage VI Apex Overclocking Motherboard Review @ Hardware Asylum
- ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme @ [H]ard|OCP