While Computex is officially over now, there is still a load of info to go through from all the different announcements. GIGABYTE was one of the many excited board partners showcasing many of the new advanced technologies that AMD has instigated with its Zen 2 platform, and it goes beyond just the CPU.
With the AMD announcement of Zen 2 and the Ryzen 3000-series desktop processors, there is a huge shift in the platform as a result, thanks in large part to the introduction of PCIe gen 4.0, which doubles the per-lane bandwidth over PCIe 3.0. While components on their own may not see a huge boost in performance, the knock-on effect won’t be seen for a while.
To start off with, GIGABYTE has a huge collection of motherboards for the updated AM4 platform, as Ryzen 3000 is now a serious competitor to Intel, not just in pure performance, but as a platform. You can see this shift in focus purely by the sheer number of motherboard options being released in the first go, including both ITX and EATX form factors – something we just don’t see for a new platform in any generation.
GIGABYTE’s focus this time around was based around its Aorus Xtreme Power, the concept of maximizing power delivery to all of its products efficiently, and in large enough quantity for overclockers, right across the range of X570 boards. At the top end is the X570 Aorus Xtreme, an EATX board with 16 phases of power for the CPU.
Aorus Xtreme Motherboard
Currently, AMD’s top-end 12-core 3900X has a TDP of 105 Watts, but the 16-core will use quite a bit more, likely around 150 at least, maybe 200 Watts, and that’s without overclocking. GIGABYTE is building out its board for future chips, and with more power for overclockers. It’s not uncommon now to see non-HEDT CPUs pulling 500 Watts when OC’d. The Aorus Xtreme motherboard has 16 true phases of power, 14 for Vcore, and 2 for SOC, each phase using Infineon TDA21472 MOS drivers, capable of 70 Amps each phase, which is over 1100 Amps total. There are no phase doublers here. This is also spread over an 8-layer PCB too, and a lot of heatsinking, which will be needed when dealing with over 1000 Watts of power. This is a board meant for extreme overclocking.
GIGABYTE ITX X570 I Auros Pro WiFi
It’s not just the EATX board either, the top-end ATX board, the X570 Aorus Master, has 12+2 individual power phases without doublers, just using slightly less powerful 50 Amp MOS drivers from IR. That’s still 700 Amps, and well outside what a typical water cooler could handle. Even the tiny ITX X570 I Auros Pro WiFi has 6+2 dedicated phases, capable of pumping out 560 Amps. Most of the heatsinks are direct-contact heatpipes with real fins as well. Even if you are not one for overclocking, the stability provided by such a redundant power supply should keep the CPU stable for years.
We’re in a new generation of Wi-Fi too, so Wi-Fi 6 comes as standard, using Intel’s chipset capable of speeds matching 2.5Gbps Ethernet in some cases (with the right access point). The switch to PCIe 4.0 means we’re going to see a huge jump in the number of SSD options, with many companies, GIGABYTE included, releasing these monstrous 5GB/s M.2 NVMe SSDs. These are rather chunky SSDs, with large heatsinks, capable of extreme 5000MB/s read and 4000MB/s writes. Capacities will be less of a concern too, as 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB drives will be made available.
Aorus M.2 PCIe 4.0 Riser Card
If 5GB/s is not enough, or you need more than 2TB, the opening up of more bandwidth enables the use of very high bandwidth SSDs with riser cards. The Aorus M.2 PCIe 4.0 Riser Card allows for four M.2 SSDs to be linked together in a RAID 0 array and transfer at an incredible 15GB/s, with 8TB of capacity. This would not be a cheap drive, and the use of RAID 0 limits it to being a temporary cache drive for large projects, but its throughput would be unmatched by any other drive on the market.
Pricing is unknown at the moment across the products, but as with many new technologies, rather than updated versions, things are likely to be on the pricey side, at least initially. We expect to see most, if not all products to become available in the next month or so, as it ties in with the launch of AMD’s Ryzen 3000 CPU launch in June.