Dan Dobrowolski Intro and Motherboard Review Format

Zarathustra

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Glad to see you guys are doing this. I was wondering where I'd go to get some good information on the Ryzen 3000 and x570 launches.

The aspect of these boards that is the most interesting to me is how the PCIe lanes are laid out, and which ports share lanes. This is total make or break for me when it comes to a motherboard, especially having as few PCIe lanes as they have these days, and it is usually very difficult to gleam how it all works from the vendors websites pre-purchase.

Hoping this type of information makes it in to the reviews!
 

Dan_D

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Well, except for what's already leaked out there or what some sites have been authorized to say so far, X570 and Ryzen 3000 series CPU's are under embargo until 7/7/19. That said, I don't have any information, or not much information that's not already out there in some form. What it looks like from the block diagrams I've seen online is that X570 incorporates some type of switching technology on the back end like Intel's HSIO that allows the motherboard vendors some flexibility that they didn't have previously for configuring their motherboard features.

14

This is an example of what I'm talking about. You see where it says: "Pick one". That's for motherboard manufacturers to choose from. They can decide how they want to adjust the configuration.

So, from the CPU side nothing has changed. You get 20x PCIe lanes, 4x of which are reserved for communication with the PCH. Then you have 4x dedicated USB 10Gbps ports and dedicated storage interface comprised of four PCIe lanes. These can be allocated as a single 4x NVMe slot or it can be split into two 2x NVMe slots or it can incorporate 2x SATA ports and a single 2x NVMe slot. None of the manufacturers are likely to do anything but use this for a single 4x NVMe M.2 slot. It will almost always be a type 22110 slot.

On the PCH side, we have a dedicated 8x PCIe slot and after that the choices are in the diagram. We will probably see several variations on one pick one category and the second will probably generally be allocated as SATA ports if I had to guess. Or we'll see some PCIe switches which will allow us to have slots or an extra 2x or 4x cluster of SATA ports which will be shared. That will give us a potential for 6 to 8 SATA 6Gbps ports and the last PCIe x4 lanes that will be shared with the SATA ports will almost certainly be allocated as another x4 M.2 slot. This one, potentially supporting SATA as well as PCIe devices.

From the X570 motherboards I've seen pictures of so far, I think I'm 100% spot on with the above assuming I'm reading this correctly. The motherboards all seem to have three PCIe x16 slots. Two will be allocated as x16/0 or x8/x8 with an additional x8 slot tied to the PCH. So that's an improvement, and where all the new lanes are technically going. There are also cases where we are seeing some PCIe x1 slots scattered around the expansion slot area, so that's where one o the "pick ones" are going. The second "pick one" is definitely going towards SATA and M.2 slots. The first pick one is likely also M.2 as well. I'm seeing 3x M.2 slots on most of these boards and only one of that can go to the CPU directly.

Based on what you said in the other thread, I don't think you can get what you want out of X470 or even Z390. I think you have to decide whether or not to go with X399 or X570. No one uses PLX chips anymore because they are extremely expensive and they don't improve performance, just flexibility. The reason I bring up X399 is because it will give you what you want and there are deals to be had on Threadripper 12 core and 16 core parts. Plus, in theory, you should be able to get a drop in upgrade when Threadripper 3000 series chips hit in Q4 2019. Plus, X399 is a bargain compared to the price of some of these X570 motherboards. So that's something to think about.
 

Zarathustra

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Well, except for what's already leaked out there or what some sites have been authorized to say so far, X570 and Ryzen 3000 series CPU's are under embargo until 7/7/19. That said, I don't have any information, or not much information that's not already out there in some form. What it looks like from the block diagrams I've seen online is that X570 incorporates some type of switching technology on the back end like Intel's HSIO that allows the motherboard vendors some flexibility that they didn't have previously for configuring their motherboard features.

View attachment 14

This is an example of what I'm talking about. You see where it says: "Pick one". That's for motherboard manufacturers to choose from. They can decide how they want to adjust the configuration.

So, from the CPU side nothing has changed. You get 20x PCIe lanes, 4x of which are reserved for communication with the PCH. Then you have 4x dedicated USB 10Gbps ports and dedicated storage interface comprised of four PCIe lanes. These can be allocated as a single 4x NVMe slot or it can be split into two 2x NVMe slots or it can incorporate 2x SATA ports and a single 2x NVMe slot. None of the manufacturers are likely to do anything but use this for a single 4x NVMe M.2 slot. It will almost always be a type 22110 slot.

On the PCH side, we have a dedicated 8x PCIe slot and after that the choices are in the diagram. We will probably see several variations on one pick one category and the second will probably generally be allocated as SATA ports if I had to guess. Or we'll see some PCIe switches which will allow us to have slots or an extra 2x or 4x cluster of SATA ports which will be shared. That will give us a potential for 6 to 8 SATA 6Gbps ports and the last PCIe x4 lanes that will be shared with the SATA ports will almost certainly be allocated as another x4 M.2 slot. This one, potentially supporting SATA as well as PCIe devices.

From the X570 motherboards I've seen pictures of so far, I think I'm 100% spot on with the above assuming I'm reading this correctly. The motherboards all seem to have three PCIe x16 slots. Two will be allocated as x16/0 or x8/x8 with an additional x8 slot tied to the PCH. So that's an improvement, and where all the new lanes are technically going. There are also cases where we are seeing some PCIe x1 slots scattered around the expansion slot area, so that's where one o the "pick ones" are going. The second "pick one" is definitely going towards SATA and M.2 slots. The first pick one is likely also M.2 as well. I'm seeing 3x M.2 slots on most of these boards and only one of that can go to the CPU directly.

Based on what you said in the other thread, I don't think you can get what you want out of X470 or even Z390. I think you have to decide whether or not to go with X399 or X570. No one uses PLX chips anymore because they are extremely expensive and they don't improve performance, just flexibility. The reason I bring up X399 is because it will give you what you want and there are deals to be had on Threadripper 12 core and 16 core parts. Plus, in theory, you should be able to get a drop in upgrade when Threadripper 3000 series chips hit in Q4 2019. Plus, X399 is a bargain compared to the price of some of these X570 motherboards. So that's something to think about.


Hmm.

If I go down this list and pick my favorites, I'd have:

- 16x graphics slot and 4x m.2 off of the CPU
- one 8x slot off of the chipset
- one 4x slot off of the chipset (pick one, #1)
- four 1x slots off of the chipset (pick one, #2)

I really have no need for SATA, or additional USB ports or anything else they'd want to cram on board.

I have three USB devices. Mouse, Keyboard and a microphone. One more so I can poke in a USB stick every now and then and I'm golden.

Fingers crossed that something like this will avail itself.
 

Dan_D

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Hmm.

If I go down this list and pick my favorites, I'd have:

- 16x graphics slot and 4x m.2 off of the CPU
- one 8x slot off of the chipset
- one 4x slot off of the chipset (pick one, #1)
- four 1x slots off of the chipset (pick one, #2)

I really have no need for SATA, or additional USB ports or anything else they'd want to cram on board.

I have three USB devices. Mouse, Keyboard and a microphone. One more so I can poke in a USB stick every now and then and I'm golden.

Fingers crossed that something like this will avail itself.

7x slots aren't really going to be usable in most cases. It won't happen that way either. Your going to get 3x PCIe x16 slots and maybe one or two x1 slots. The rest will be allocated to additional M.2 slots with the ability to share at least one of them with additional SATA ports.
 

Zarathustra

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7x slots aren't really going to be usable in most cases. It won't happen that way either. Your going to get 3x PCIe x16 slots and maybe one or two x1 slots. The rest will be allocated to additional M.2 slots with the ability to share at least one of them with additional SATA ports.

That's fair, unless you have a very unusual GPU, one of those slots is always going to be covered. I wouldsn't even need all four of those slots, but it would be nice to have one or two, and the way thay phrase the "choose one" in the diagram it makes it sound like you get all four or nothing at all :p
 

Dan_D

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That's fair, unless you have a very unusual GPU, one of those slots is always going to be covered. I wouldsn't even need all four of those slots, but it would be nice to have one or two, and the way thay phrase the "choose one" in the diagram it makes it sound like you get all four or nothing at all :p

Nope. It isn't true. Think of it this way, an M.2 slot is really a micro-PCIe slot. It uses 4x PCIe lanes. In the "pick one" block, they may offer a choice of 4x SATA ports or a single 4x PCIe slot. However, those lanes can be shared with anything the motherboard makers want to integrate. It just becomes an either or type of thing and it increases board complexity and cost. But this is something they've been doing forever.
 

TheHig

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Just getting acquainted with the FPS site and Forum all.

@Dan_D When can we expect some testing on Ryzen 3k on some b450 boards there Double D?:LOL:

Specifically what changes the new bios for x570 boosting shenanigans that have been reported will show vs the b450 and x470 boards. Its expected that x570 will see a slight lift with boost frequency sorted. What about the older boards? Will there be a performance gap that is appreciable then? Early reviews seem to show close performance CPU wise. Just brainstorming. Looking forward to your reviews.
 

Dan_D

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So far, my MSI board's latest BIOS does not fix the boost clocks on the CPU. I haven't tested the older boards, but even AMD said that B450 and X470 performance would be essentially the same. Having said that, I don't think this is entirely accurate, but that's speculative on my part. It comes down to a few things and how they play out.

Memory Clocks
The B450 and X470 platforms, (and X370/B350) motherboards do not clock memory as high as X570 does. While the board design impacts this somewhat, this might really come down to the memory controller on the older Ryzen CPU's being at fault rather than the motherboards. If that's the case, then I have no doubt that any performance gaps in memory, will only be seen on the extreme end of the spectrum. For example: The MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE has clocked RAM as high as DDR4 5133MHz. It is unlikely you will ever see that on any X470 motherboard and if you do, it will only happen with the highest end boards.

BIOS
We probably won't see that much BIOS work done on the legacy motherboards for Ryzen 3000. Even if we do, it will probably only be on the super high end X470's or what counts for super high end in that product family. All of that aside, AMD has done quite a bit to change the BIOS on the X570's and add tuning options to aid in overclocking, but to also use features like PBO with the +25-200MHz offset. I do not know if we will see this on the older boards, but its probable we won't see all the X570's tuning options added to those older boards. It might not even be possible.

VRM Quality
Lastly, we come down to VRM quality. This is where X570 shines. That said, the VRM's are overbuilt, so its possible that you can get by with a lot less. The automatic overclocking and PB2 should work the same on both platforms so that's a plus for the X470 crowd. That is, the boost algorithm applies its clock increases based on preset limits for the CPU's for PPT, TDC, and EDC which are defined by the CPU. So that should work the same on all platforms. However, with PBO, the motherboards defined limits are used. These are set by manufacturers, although the user may be able to set these on some boards. So your mileage may vary somewhat there.

One thing I never got to do over the years was take one of these newer CPU's and try it on the older generation motherboards to see how well they worked. I will be trying out X470 and perhaps B450 if I can find the time. I do have a B450 board on hand. I need to get boost clocks working on X570 first, and then I'll try the chip on the other platforms and see what you can expect.
 

Dan_D

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Brent and Dan? In one place? Consider me registered.

Appreciated. :)

Actually, its pretty much all of us from HardOCP. Myself, Brent, Paul Johnson and Richard Gouge. We've got some of the same news guys here as well. David Schroth was one of the video card guys back on HardOCP as well. Although, he hadn't worked for Kyle in a couple of years. He's largely the one that made this possible. Everyone on the team either worked for Kyle to the end or had worked with Kyle in the past. We are all literally former HardOCP editors or at least news posters.
 

Eduardo_Domingot

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Appreciated. :)

Actually, its pretty much all of us from HardOCP. Myself, Brent, Paul Johnson and Richard Gouge. We've got some of the same news guys here as well. David Schroth was one of the video card guys back on HardOCP as well. Although, he hadn't worked for Kyle in a couple of years. He's largely the one that made this possible. Everyone on the team either worked for Kyle to the end or had worked with Kyle in the past. We are all literally former HardOCP editors or at least news posters.
Oh I know. That's why I'm here.
 

Mjz_5

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I’m glad i found this site. I was a long time patron of hardOCP and I was sad that the site closed down. Also disappointing that Kyle went to go work with the devil :).
 
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