It is difficult to underestimate the impact of the introduction of AMD processors, codenamed Ryzen, to the market. Immediately, among their capabilities was support for the usual USB, SATA interfaces, as well as PCI-E lines, intended not only for the video card, but also for the M.2 drive that uses them. Thus, the “chipsets” of the 300th and 400th series, soldered onto motherboards, increased the list of capabilities of the assembled system, acting as an “expander” or, moving to computer terminology, a hub. The introduction from the ASUS Prime X370-Pro review will help visualize this image.
In the three thousand model range of models, engineers moved away from using a single crystal (we are talking in the context of the AM4 desktop platform) and moved on to the so-called. “chiplets”. The computing units, together with the cache, are produced using 7 nm lithographic technologies, they are called CCD (Core Complex Die), the rest, including the memory controller, is placed in another crystal, manufactured according to 12 nm standards, it is called cIOD (Central I / O Die, where I/O means “input-output”). PCI-E lines are also brought here, now we are ready to work with generation 4.0 devices – for the first time in the history of the development of the PC world. Communication with the hub also takes place with the participation of this interface, and not any specially developed one. In other words, it is possible (in theory) to release boards without this element, which has long been familiar to everyone.
In addition to the obvious cheaper production of crystals (from one complex to three simplified ones), the Infinity Fabric bus was untied from the KP frequency, that is, from the RAM, thus the last element of the system will now have little to hold back in overclocking. I note that CPUs with up to eight cores, inclusive, consist of two “chiplets”, and more productive models – of three (a second CCD is added).
Former hubs for AMD were produced by a contractor represented by ASMedia. This time they didn’t have time to release a chip suitable for the customer’s ideas, so AMD independently took up its development, or rather, they used a part of the Matisse processors (cIOD), which is responsible specifically for I / O, releasing a crystal at powers with 14 nm standards (according to the current on the Web positions of AMD representatives), let me remind you that the first generation of their CPU (Summit Ridge) was produced using the same technology.
Therefore, we got absolute support for PCI-E 4.0, and SATA and USB – the usual versions (for USB, this is 3.2 Gen2 in its most correct spelling by this time).
Each motherboard manufacturer is free to define the final configuration of the ports provided by the X570 in its own way. By shifting the focus of attention from the PCI-E lines to the more familiar SATA, it will be possible to increase their set to 12 pieces, while the hub will still have eight unused fourth-generation PCI-E lines. The chip turned out to be much more powerful than the previous ones (figures from 10 to 15 W are mentioned), which is why, in most cases, motherboard manufacturers have equipped the corresponding cooler with a fan.
Architecturally, the new generation of processes will be able to offer the market of cores and threads twice as much as before (with the release of the Ryzen 9 3950X in the fall, they will become 16C / 32T), the hardware should be ready for this, first of all, I’m talking about the power of the voltage converter. We’ll take a look at the ASUS board from the Prime product family, the Pro model has been the most powerful so far, and thus get a general idea of the capabilities of the platform as a whole.
ASUS Prime Pro models of previous generations were distinguished by the minimal presence of “extra” elements, which are most often identified with other series designed for the interest of gamers and enthusiasts. Now such an ascetic approach has become history. We see the appearance of a convex visor with an integrated backlight element. There is a soldered start button for the system, a complex of Q-LED indicators has appeared, which facilitates the initial diagnosis of the system. The presence of Armory Crate, previously found only in the feature set of ROG series boards, is also surprising. There are no additional controllers here, the main features of the device are collected in a summary table.
|Model||ASUS Prime X570-Pro|
|Official product page on the Web||asus.com|
|Processor socket||AMD AM4|
|Processors||AMD Series: Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7|
|Memory||4 DIMM DDR4 SDRAM 2133/2400/2666/2800*/2933*/3000*/3200*/3400*/3466*/3600*/3733*/3866*/4000*/4133*/4266*/4400*(OC ), maximum 128 GB|
|PCI slots||2 x PCI Express 4.0 x16 (x16+x0, x8+x8) — CPU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 (x8) — APU/Athlon
1 x PCI Express 4.0 x16 (x4) — X570
3 x PCI Express 4.0 x1 — X570
|M.2||1 x PCI Express 4.0 x4, SATA (Key M, 2242/2260/2280/22110) — CPU
1 x PCI Express 3.0 x4, SATA (Key M, 2242/2260/2280/22110) — APU/Athlon
1 x PCI Express 4.0 x4, SATA (Key M, 2242/2260/2280/22110) — X570
|Integrated video core (in APU)||Radeon Series: Vega|
|Video connectors||DisplayPort 1.2
|Number of connected fans||7x 4pin|
|PS/2 ports||1 (keyboard/mouse)|
|The port is USB||5 x 3.2 Gen2 (4 connectors on the rear panel (1x C), X570)
4 x 3.2 Gen1 (4 connectors on the rear panel, CPU/APU/Athlon)
2 x 3.2 Gen1 (no connectors on the rear panel, X570)
4 x 2.0 (no connectors on the rear panel, X570)
|Serial ATA||6 x SATA 6Gb/s (X570)|
|RAID||0, 1, 10 (SATA, X570)|
|Built-in sound||Crystal Sound 3 (7.1, HDA):
Codec — Realtek S1220A
|Networking||Intel I211-AT (Gigabit Ethernet)|
|LED Addressable Header||1x Gen 2|
|LED RGB Header||2|
|UEFI||UEFI AMI BIOS, 256 Mb Flash ROM|
|Dimensions, mm||305 x 244|
|Additional features||Aura Lighting Control, Armoury Crate, Fan Xpert 4, Node Connector, Power-on button, Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED), Thermal sensor connector, поддержка AMD 3-Way CrossFireX и NVIDIA 2-Way SLI|
|Retail price, $||250 (presumably)|
Packaging and equipment
The dimensions of the box are the usual, the design is made in the same, unchanged style for products of the Prime family.
More details about the features can be found on the reverse side, we are talking about the hardware component, the presence of DIP5 is indicated for the software, but there is no mention of any bonuses.
Therefore, the set turned out to be basic, due to the pre-installed rear panel plug, it is very modest:
- user manual, which illustrates and describes the UEFI sub-items in detail (in English);
- DIY Guide QR code, leading to the page of the official website, which contains detailed instructions for assembling a PC;
- disk with drivers and proprietary software;
- an adapter for convenient connection of ASUS Q-Connector case connectors;
- a set of a pair of screws and stands for M.2 devices;
- coupon with a discount for the procedure of braiding wires (rounding);
- extension cord for connecting a controlled LED strip;
- two SATA 6Gb / s cables, one of which has an L-shaped connector on one of the ends.
Reinforced VRM is accompanied by a pair of sockets for power cables. The dimensions correspond to the ATX format, there are nine holes for fully fixing the device in the case. Yes, the fan in the hub cooler cannot be overlooked. Another interesting thing is the appearance of two chipsets for PCI-E lines (previously it was the only one). The new “quartet” is the PI3EQX16000ZHE models, repeaters (ReDriver) under the fourth generation PCI-E lines, and PI3DBS16000ZHE are directly switches (Mux / DeMux), manufactured by Diodes Incorporated.
The above chipset pair distributes sixteen lanes from the CPU to two full-size PCI-E x16 slots in an x8+x8 layout. The lower one works with a hub, and there are only four PCI-E lanes, despite the much more significant capabilities of the chip. Something more interesting to note from the back of the device did not work out, all hinged structural elements have a screw type of fixation in place.
In addition to the visor, the hub cooler is also ennobled with illumination. There, the LEDs are soldered right on the board, it should be noted that a massive video card will be directly above this area. The overall infrastructure is complemented by three different pads for external devices.
The fan captures air from above, then it moves down the board, towards the M.2 socket, this is where the main exhaust channel is located.
Connection – four-wire. In the lower part there is a ribbed comb with a large distance between the sections, which will have a beneficial effect on acoustic comfort. In the normal mode of operation of the system (without increased load on the hub), the rotational speed is approximately 2500 rpm. There is no need to panic, the noise is not high and in most systems it will be completely invisible. You can distinguish it from a distance of about 30-40 cm from the board, further it becomes more difficult. The plastic housing is attached with two self-tapping screws on the back of the device, which does not add to the tested convenience in future maintenance, although such a design is unlikely to generate a lot of dust.
ROM chip increased to 32 MB. The top footprint for M.2 devices is designed for the longest models.
The lower slot (yes, there are only two of them) is accompanied by a pre-installed heatsink, a thermal interface of sufficient area for any drives is pre-applied. As above, there are no restrictions on the length.
There are six SATA outputs (the word “total” also suggests itself), all of them are of the longitudinal type.
You can use up to four USB case cables, two will connect to 2.0 pads, one to perpendicular 3.2 Gen1, and the last one will provide 3.2 Gen2 balanced output. There are no changes regarding older boards here.
The connection of the two upper PCI-E x16 slots with the socket will be carried out using the CPU, while the APUs of the last three thousandth series (Picasso) will provide only eight lines, so there will be no talk about their fragmentation.
The non-gaming status of the product affected the sound subsystem – there are no separate op amps or DACs, there is a codec protected by a shielding cap, and a set of special capacitors. The network controller is the same, from Intel, providing a communication channel up to 1 Gb / s.
The start button is located above the main power socket, four multi-colored Q-LEDs are soldered above it.
Saved the Node pad needed for the latest ASUS branded accessories. It will be possible to assign other functions to the familiar Reset button on the body, more on that in the next section.
Radiators are very massive and heavy, the fins are not fictitious, but really seriously increase the heat dissipation area. At the same time, their height is quite reasonable, it is unlikely that there will be problems when installing two-section coolers.
The reinforced VRM sector is beyond doubt – we have a very powerful board in front of us. However, there is also an unpleasant moment, the PWM controller was used from budget series of products, it has been seen more than once as part of inexpensive boards, the last time we encountered it when we got acquainted with ASUS TUF B450M-Pro Gaming, model ASP1106GGQW. His duties are described by the 4+2 phase formula. Six assemblies (and chokes) on each side are involved in voltage stabilization for the processor, that is, their total number is 12 pieces. It turns out that the engineers decided to triple (!) the number of elements in each “phase”. For SOC Voltage, a couple of transistors (and chokes) remain, they are adjacent. Looking closely, you can find a couple more seats on the board, but at some point we decided to get by with what we see today. It is rather difficult to understand whether two true “phases” are used, leaving out the idea of doubling the elements there, or here it is single, but doubled. SiC639 from Vishay Intertechnology was chosen as assemblies, they had previously met in the ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula and there were fewer of them.
Thermal pads are widely used to transfer heat to radiators, the contact is full for the hub and transistors, but with chokes (yes, they have their own two units) everything is not so good. On the largest of the radiators, the beauty of the application went against the logic and one throttle turned out to be only half covered, with a sufficient total area of \u200b\u200bthe entire gasket. On a smaller radiator, the edge area is insufficient, but even that is not fully used, while a large part of the gasket was left idle. Both are situations that perfectionist enthusiasts can handle on their own if they deem the elements worth their attention and effort.
For the third season in a row (!) the back panel padding remains identical, this time the pre-installed white plate being the most notable. However, the set is good-looking, quite up-to-date, the widespread introduction of wireless network adapters was completely indifferent, but their presence, obviously, will be a feature for other models of the manufacturer.