AMD Releases NVMe RAID Support for X399 Threadripper Platform

Subject: General Tech | October 2, 2017 - 04:12 PM |
Tagged: X399, Threadripper, nvme raid, NVMe, amd, 960 PRO

A recent support page and community update posting suggest that NVMe RAID support is coming to Threadripper and the X399 platform imminently (as soon as motherboard manufacturers release an updated BIOS/UEFI). AMD will support up to six NVMe drives without adapters in a RAID 0, 1, or 10 array with all the drives wired directly to the PCI-E controller in the CPU rather than being routed through the chipset (meaning no DMI bottlenecking). There are no limits on the brand of drives and the NVMe RAID update is free with no hardware or software keys needed to unlock it.

AMD X399 NVMe RAID.png

NVMe SSDs are very fast on their own, but when combined in a RAID array directly wired to the CPU things really get interesting. AMD claims that it saw read speeds of 21.2 GB/s when reading from six Samsung 960 Pro 512 GB drives in a RAID 0 array! The company also saw near perfect scaling with their test array (when adding up to six drives over a single drive) with reads scaling 6x on reads and 5.38x on writes. Intel's VROC seems to have the theoretical performance advantage here with the ability to RAID more total drives (four per VMD and three VMDs per CPU) but only after purchasing a hardware key and when using more than one VMD it can't be a bootable OS array. When it comes to bootable arrays, AMD would appear to have the upper hand with free support for up to six drives that can be used to run your bootable OS array! Windows has never booted faster! (heh)

Along with its partners releasing BIOS updates, AMD is releasing updates to its NVMe RAID Driver (version 17.50) and RAIDXpert2 Windows management ultility. Currently, Windows 10 x64 build 1703 is officially supported and fresh installs of Windows are recommended (and if you are currently running your Windows OS off of a RAID array a fresh install is required).

AMD Threadripper X399 NVMe RAID IoMeter.png

Once BIOS updates are available (and they are coming shortly), users will have to jump through a few hoops to get a NVMe RAID up and running, but those hoops may just be worth it for enthusiasts wanting the best storage performance! For one, if you have a RAID array (bootable or not) you will not be able to do an in-place upgrade. If you have a SATA RAID you must back up your data and break down the array before updating the UEFI/BIOS and installing the Windows driver. Further, if your existing array is bootable with your operating system installed on it you will need to back up your data, upgrade the BIOS, and perform a fresh install of Windows with the AMD supplied F6 driver. After upgrading the BIOS, there will be a new menu item (the exact name will vary by manufacturer but SATA Mode and SATA Configuration are likely suspects) where users will need to change the mode from SATA or AHCI to RAID.

Oh, and did I mention to back up your data before diving into this? NVMe RAID support for Threadripper is a long-awaited feature and has a lot of promise with Threadripper offering up 64 PCI-E lanes and, according to AMD, many boards offering 7 slots (6 with a graphics card) which is where AMD is getting the six drive support number. It is appears that using adapters like the Asus Hyper M.2 cards or DIMM.2 slots would allow users to go past that six drive limit though. 

NVMe RAID support on X399 / Threadripper is a feature we are in the process of testing now (see comments) and I am very interested in what the results are! Stay tuned for more information as it develops!

Also read:

Source: AMD

Grado's new PS2000e has a lot to live up to with a £2,700 pricetag

Subject: General Tech | October 2, 2017 - 03:38 PM |
Tagged: audio, Grado, PS2000e

Grado has a well deserved reputation for providing quality headphones, a reputation which may be somewhat imperilled by a £1000 ($1328USD) price increase compared to last years flagship model.  They are certainly pretty, with a smoky chrome exterior, maple reinforcing the interior and padding on the earcups that is replaceable for those looking for custom comfort.  The drivers offer the same response range of 5-50,000Hz that the PS1000e did and you an audio player or cellphone can power them, but with a 32 ohms impedance you are better off with a dedicated headphone amp.  Kitguru were very impressed with the quality, but it is up to you to decide if the price hike can be justified.

L1002692.jpg

"Unfortunately headphone prices seem to be rising in recent years and the PS2000e are no exception – they hit the UK market at a staggering £2,700 retail. Interestingly, the previous Grado PS1000e flagship is £1,700 — or £1000 less."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Audio Corner

Source: Kitguru

Corsair's adjustable Glaive RGB gaming mouse

Subject: General Tech | October 2, 2017 - 02:35 PM |
Tagged: input, gaming mouse, corsair, glaive rgb, PMW3360

The Corsair Glaive RGB gaming mouse is focused on comfort, to that end they provided three different thumb rests, one smooth and slightly-curved, a textured one with a more pronounced curve and a textured, almost flat rest.  The five programmable buttons include two unique thumb buttons, much larger than other mice and set fairly high up; after some mental adjustments The Tech Report found themselves pleased with that arrangement.  The mouse uses a PixArt PMW3360 optical sensor with five customizable DPI levels, up to a maximum 16,000.  The scroll wheel was not quite up to the standard they expect from Corsair but was still acceptable, all in all TR have no problems recommending this mouse.

sideview.png

"Corsair's Glaive RGB breaks with Corsair's angular-and-aggressive mouse-shape tradition by adopting a pleasantly rounded chassis that has the potential to be a crowd-pleaser. We took the Glaive to the mat to see how it games."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

A handy list of tricks you might have forgotten you knew

Subject: General Tech | October 2, 2017 - 12:44 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, windows, apple

TechSpot posted an article compiling a variety of tips on making Windows and MacOS do what you want as well as numerous applications you can use for a variety of tasks.  The recommendations run from the classic obfuscated Windows "God Mode" folder which contains links to the majority of the tools you can use on your system to basic keyboard shortcuts.  If you are trying to figure out where all your storage space went, Space Sniffer for Windows or GrandPerspective for Macs will help you far more than random searches for large folders.  You will probably already know a great number of these tips but it is nice to have a long list compiled in a single location.

Windows_7_godmode.PNG

"Many hardcore computer users might consider themselves above learning new tricks, but there are always new ways to sharpen your skills on the PC and we bet that you will find at least one useful thing here that you didn't know before."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: Techspot

Amazon Web Services Releases Lumberyard Beta 1.11

Subject: General Tech | September 30, 2017 - 05:57 PM |
Tagged: pc gaming, lumberyard, amazon

As we mentioned last week, Amazon has been pushing their Lumberyard fork of CryEngine into their own direction. It turns out that much of their future roadmap was actually slated for last Friday, with the release of Lumberyard 1.11.

This version replaces Crytek’s Flow Graph with Amazon’s Script Canvas visual scripting system. (Think Blueprints from Unreal Engine 4.) This lets developers design logic in a flowchart-like interface and attach it to relevant objects... building them up like blocks. Visual scripting is one area that Unity hasn’t (by default) gotten into, as they favour written scripting languages, such as C#. (Lumberyard also allows components to be written in C++ and LUA, btw.)

amazon-2017-lumberyard-111-scriptcanvas.png

It also replaces Crytek’s CryAnimation, Geppetto, and Mannequin with the EMotion FX animation system from Mystic Game Development. Interestingly, this middleware was flying under the radar recently. It was popular around the 2006-2009 timeframe with titles such as Gothic 3, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, and Risen. It was also intergrated into 2010’s The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest, and that’s about it as far as we know -- a few racing games, too. I’m curious to see how development advanced over the last ten-or-so years, unless its use is more widespread than they’re allowed to announce. Regardless, they are now in Lumberyard 1.11 as their primary animation system, so people can get their hands on it and see for themselves.

If you’re interested in developing a game in Amazon Lumberyard, this release has basically all of their forward-looking systems in place. Even though a lot of features are still experimental, and the engine is still in beta, I don’t think you have to worry about being forced to develop in a system that will be deprecated at this point.

Lumberyard is free to develop on, as long as you use Amazon Web Services for online services (or you run your own servers).

Source: Amazon

Fallout Is 100%-off at Steam!

Subject: General Tech | September 29, 2017 - 08:12 PM |
Tagged: bethesda, fallout, pc gaming

Until tomorrow (Saturday, September 30th, 2017) at 11:59pm PDT, Steam and Bethesda have the original Fallout game for free. Like EA’s On the House promotion through Origin, this is not just a free weekend. If you “install” the game from the Steam store (although you only need to “install” it to your library -- you can actually install it whenever you like) then it is, apparently, yours to keep.

bethesda-2017-fallout1logo.jpg

Honestly, whenever I get around to it, this would be my first time playing the game, too. Back in the 1997 time frame, I was mostly playing games like Command & Conquer (including Red Alert). I never really got into RPG games, be it Western or Eastern. But, due to the wonders of PC gaming, I can just go back and, you know, play whatever I missed... because old games can be awesome, too.

Okay, I’m rambling. Add it to your Steam library if you haven’t already (and, of course, if you have a Steam account).

Source: Fallout

MSI Unleashes Z370 Godlike Gaming E-ATX Motherboard

Subject: General Tech | September 29, 2017 - 06:19 PM |
Tagged: Z370, overclocking, msi, LGA 1151, eatx, e-atx, coffee lake

**********UPDATE**************

In response to a few questions readers have brought up about the NICs on the MSI Z370 Godlike Gaming; this board to features the Killer xTend technology from Rivet Networks we saw at Computex.  The three Killer Ethernet ports and Killer WiFi allow you to use your PC as both a network switch and a WiFi extender.  Several of GIGABYTE's AORUS Gaming motherboards will also feature this technology.

*******************Now back to your regularly scheduled PR******************

 

MSI is entering the Z370 motherboard fray with two flagship boards the ATX MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon AC and the E-ATX Z370 Godlike Gaming. The latter board takes Z370 to the extreme with more power phases, cooling, expansion, and, of course, RGB LEDs!

MSI Z370 Godlike Gaming Package.png

The massive motherboard features a massive digital power delivery with solid aluminum heatsinks to keep them cool as well as show off RGB bling. MSI did not specify how it has divided up the phases or the number, but there’s as many as 18 power phases (in reality likely less). Power inputs include both an 8-pin and 4-pin EPS connections along with the standard ATX 12V 24-pin and a 6-pin connector to supply extra power to the PCI-E slots. There are four steel shielded DDR4 DIMM slots with dedicated digital PWM power delivery supporting up to 64 GB at 4133 MHz.

The Z370 Godlike Gaming further features four steel reinforced PCI-E x16 slots, a single PCI-E x1 slot, and three M.2 (key M) slots (using the included PCI-E riser card you can get two extra M.2 slots). On the traditional storage front, the motherboard has six SATA 6 Gbps and one U.2 port. RGB support comes in the form of MSI’s own “Mystic Light” technology that includes on board LEDs as well as a header for RGB strips (and MSI’s site shows the board comes with a Phanteks branded RGB strip) that can be controlled with software. As far as cooling there are headers for a CPU fan, water pump, and eight system fans.

MSI is using a Killer 1535 chip for 802.11ac Wi-Fi (2x2) as well as three Killer E2500 Gigabit Ethernet NICs. Audio is handled by “MSI Audio Boost” which is two Realtek ALC 1220 based EMI shielded audio processors along with an ESS DAC and amplifier with gold plated audio jacks (including a ¼” jack for high end headphones). MSI claims the LED bordered isolated power audio design includes separate PCB layers for the left and right audio channels and high end WIMA and Nichicon capacitors.

Around back the MSI Z370 Godlike Gaming includes:

  • 2 x Wi-Fi antenna connections
  • 1 x PS/2
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C
  • 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A
  • 6 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
  • 3 x Gigabit Ethernet (Killer E2500)
  • 7 x Audio
    • 5 x 3.5mm
    • 1 x 6.35mm
    • 1 x S/PDIF

Users can get additional USB 3.1 ports using internal headers powered by ASMedia ASM3142 and ASM1074 chipsets (Gen 2 and Gen 1 respectively).

MSI Z370 Godlike Gaming.png

Retail versions of the motherboard should come with a PCI-E riser card with two M.2 slots, headphone adapter, custom sleeved SATA cables, three I/O backplates, three 2-pin temperature probes, a SLI bridge, and a 400mm LED strip.

I am interested in this board from an overclocking perspective as the beefy power phases and additional CPU power from the 8+4 pin connectors should allow for some extreme overclocking fun to be had and enable higher everyday stable overclocks as well. This board has just about everything you could want from a high-end motherboard (except Intel NICs, 10 GbE, and Thunderbolt but you can't have everything!), but it is sure to come at a hefty premium. MSI is not yet talking pricing or availability though unfortunately.

In other Z370 news:

Source: MSI

ICANN not update the root KSK system on schedule

Subject: General Tech | September 29, 2017 - 12:53 PM |
Tagged: icann, bind, dns, ksk, networking, security

ICANN have had to delay their planned upgrade to the root key signing keys used by DNS thanks to between 5-8% of key validators lacking the new KSK key.  If a validator only possess the 2010 key, they would no longer be able to resolve DNS properly and the vast majority of the internet would disappear for stuck on the old system.  The Register points out that the problem will actually be much larger as ICANN assumed that everyone has updated to the newest version of BIND DNS database, and only scanned those validators using the newest version. 

The reason for the update is to increase the length of the root KSK that DNS depends on, which will greatly increase the security of anyone surfing the net and to help move this forward ICANN will be publishing a list of those out of date validators in the hopes publicity will spur them to upgrade.  As with IPv6, we will wait and see.

dnskeyen.PNG

"A multi-year effort to update the internet's overall security has been put on hold just days before it was due to be introduced, over fears that as many as 60 million people could be forced offline."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Source: The Register

AMD will have Ryzen to their Pinnacle next February

Subject: General Tech | September 28, 2017 - 12:23 PM |
Tagged: 12nm, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, amd, ryzen, Pinnacle 7, Pinnacle 5, Pinnacle 3, Pinnacle, x470, b450

DigiTimes reports today that AMD has informed motherboard makers that their new series of chips, the Pinnacle family, will in launch early 2018.  They will lead with the Pinnacle 7 series, with Pinnacle 5 and 3 series arriving in March.  April will see the low powered models while Enterprise will have to wait for the Pro until May.  The chips will be built on GLOFO's 12nm process and will hopefully build on AMD's current successes with Ryzen.  You will also meet the new 400 series chipset, so far the X470 and B450 have been mentioned.  While this is still officially a rumour, it is a fairly solid one. 

Pinnacle_Mountain_Sunrise.jpg

"AMD has informed its partners that it plans to launch in February 2018 an upgrade version of its Ryzen series processors built using a 12nm low-power (12LP) process at Globalfoundries, according to sources at motherboard makers."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

Podcast #469 - Marseille mCable, Core i9, Coffee Lake, Vega mGPU, and more!

Subject: General Tech | September 28, 2017 - 12:06 PM |
Tagged: Z370, video, Vega, skylake-x, shield, podcast, mGPU, mCable, marseille, Intel, gigabyte, Core i9-7980XE, Core i9-7960X, Core i9, coffee lake

PC Perspective Podcast #469 - 09/28/17

Join us for discussion on AMD Raven Ridge rumors,  Intel and Global Foundries new fabrication technology!

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: Ryan Shrout, Jermey Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano

Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:27:57

Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
  3. Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
    1. 1:16:00 Ryan: Silicon Zeroes game
    2. 1:22:10 Jeremy: Going out of style discount - GIGABYTE GA-Z270-GAMING K3
    3. 1:24:10  Allyn: DIY Oleophobic Coating
  4. Closing/outro

Subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube Channel for more videos, reviews and podcasts!!

Source: