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Old 05-29-2019, 12:31 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 13,108
Default AMD Announcements, new CPUs, new chipsets, PCIe 4, etc.

Geek time: I thought I'd mention the new AMD processors, x570 chipset, third party motherboards and PCIe 4/NVMe SSDs that vendors are announcing at the big Computex trade show in Taiwan this week.

For me the most intersting thing here is the AMD x570 chipset supporting PCIe 4. That's the first x86 compatible system with PCIe 4.


PCIe 4 is twice the speed of current PCIe 3. Is backwards compatible with PCIe 3 and earlier, you'll be able to plug PCIe 3 and earlier cards into PCIe 4 slots, but to get full PCIe 4 speeds a PCIe 4 card has a new connector. Clearly for audio we don't need PCIe 4 speeds, but it's interesting for GPUs and SSD storage and as a connection to very fast LANs.


PCIe and NVMe has become important for disk IO and vendors have already demonstrated M.2 format PCIe 4/NVMe SSDs with ~5 GB/sec read rates. That's a tiny little drive for 5 GB/sec, and I remember when a 20 MB/sec disk drive was fast...

The M.2 PCIe/NVMe SSDs should also work in current PCIe 3/NVMe M.2 slots and in with PCIe backplate slot card adapters, just at degraded performance. Current PCIe 3/NVMe M.2 cards should work in the new slots.


Come on Samsung don't be shy... what are you up to ??


AMD announced their Ryzen 3000 / Zen II based CPUs, look at that price/performance...


As that article notes understanding what happens with higher-end Threadripper processors will be interesting. Some more mention here...


Intel's competitive response here and/or AMD market share gain will be interesting to watch, especially while Intel does not have PCIe 4. The likely use of PCIe 4 will be GPUs, and SSD. AMD has already got some (non consumer so far) GPUs supporting PCIe 4. I expect NVIDIA to be aggressive there as well.... but to some extent we'll see how much PCIe 4 hits desktop workstations vs. say data center and high performance server systems, including using GPUs for AI/ML. Intel and others may start talking more about PCIe 5, I am not sure I believe that a jump to PCIe 5 can happen quickly, and not affordably. The PCIe 4 announcements is also kinda embarrassing for Intel's Opteron SSDs that were supposed to challenge Flash SSDs for high performance write-intensive applications--they don't have PCIe 4 support. (and OK Opteron is still intersting for some enterprise use, not much value for our needs).


What these x570 systems announced don't include is USB 4. And that's a pity as USB 4 is a mash up of Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 technologies. Getting USB 4 broadly available in hardware all vendors is important as it will push Microsoft and others to provide better support for Thunderbolt drivers and peripherals. Not all USB 4 implementations will support all the data-link speeds/Thunderbolt technology, but I expect/hope that we'll see full USB 4 on lots of high-end PCs and tablets etc.

This is also intersting wrt Apple's new Mac Pro supposedly coming out this year. I sure would love any new expensive workstation to include PCIe 4 for SSDs, I'm not sure Apple could switch to AMD processors to get there... if that meant no current Thunderbolt 3 or USB4... likely a non-starter.
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:15 AM
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JFreak JFreak is offline
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Tampere, Finland
Posts: 16,336
Default Re: AMD Announcements, new CPUs, new chipsets, PCIe 4, etc.

Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
Clearly for audio we don't need PCIe 4 speeds
Surely we don't as 24bit 96k track only requires 0.275MB/sec which means even a "slow" SSD can sustain more tracks than we have voices.

BUT if you have extensive sample library and also use them heavily, an insanely fast SSD helps in opening sessions and browsing thru presets.
What we do in life, echoes in eternity.
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:06 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 13,108
Default Re: AMD Announcements, new CPUs, new chipsets, PCIe 4, etc.

Right, but it is other stuff where new performance will allow changes. Say things like very fast SSD combined with filesystems snapshot technology for near instantaneous backups, next generation LAN technology for super fast SANs and fast SSD for local caching for better collaboration and content storage, speed of working with video, we are already largely at the point where PCIe 3/NVMe drives completely remove any effort needed for storage optimization. Just throw everything on one or more of those drives and most users should be set, especially with disk cache as well.

We may be at a turning point in the computer/tech industry. The competition and economic side of this is really fascinating, NVMe SSDs are already fallen to quite affordable costs, AMD is already been dragging down some CPU costs, yet the market has some supply issues that keeps prices high. Some folks expect Apple to make a jump at some time and do an ARM based Mac, converge iOS and macOS more, etc. their rumored frustration with Intel CPU thermal and supply issues and own high volume Arm CPU contract manufacturing capability etc. and while there are lots of threats and competition I would not discount Intel and how they will respond... Only the Paranoid Survive (good Andy Grove/Intel book to read for folks interested in the computer industry).

And again the thing I most want to see now in new Windows PCs is USB 4 with Thunderbolt 3 support. That should lead to better audio interface/driver support, focus on low-latency improvements etc. maybe give Avid more flexibility for a replacement for a managed migration off DigiLink etc. Intel Ice Lake with integrated Thunderbolt 3, also announced at Computex and available later this year, is hopefully a step in that direction. https://www.tomshardware.com/news/in...b-c,39477.html

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 05-29-2019 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:51 AM
AlexLakis AlexLakis is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Annapolis, MD
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Default Re: AMD Announcements, new CPUs, new chipsets, PCIe 4, etc.

We need a new breakthrough, like plant/cell technology (make sure you water your computer each day and give it plenty of sunlight!)
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