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Print 18 comment(s) - last by typo101.. on Jan 11 at 10:14 PM


"Mako" details

"Wahoo" details
PCI Express configuration revealed

Chile Hardware has come across more details of AMD’s upcoming RD790 chipset. The RD790 is the successor to AMD’s previously released 580X chipset, formerly known as CrossFire Xpress 3200. This time around AMD is only releasing a new north bridge. The upcoming RD790 is expected to pair with the existing SB600 south bridge.

Nevertheless, the RD790 has plenty of PCI Express lanes to go around. AMD has equipped the RD790 with 42 PCI Express lanes for plenty of expansion capabilities. Thirty-two PCI Express lanes are dedicated to two PCIe x16 slots for CrossFire operation. These lanes can be further divided to deliver four PCIe x8 slots as well. PCI Express 2.0 will be supported as well.

There will still be plenty of PCIe lanes for other devices or even more PCIe slots. As the two PCIe x16 or four PCIe x8 slots only take advantage of 32 PCIe lanes, there are ten remaining lanes with six lanes used for PCIe x1, x2, x4 slots and integrated PCIe devices and another four lanes used for the south bridge interconnect.

As far as processor support goes the RD790 supports HyperTransport 3.0 and Socket AM2+. Socket AM2+ will be the new socket used by AMD’s upcoming Stars core based processors.

It is unknown when RD790 will make its official debut; however, AMD has been shipping reference boards to manufacturers. There are two reference boards available: Mako and Wahoo. Mako is the single processor reference board with support for socket AM2 and AM2+ processors. It will consist of the RD790 coupled with the SB600. The PCI Express lane configuration for Mako is as follows: two full-speed PCIe x16 slots, one physical PCIe x16 slot with four lane signaling for physics, one physical PCIe x4 slots with two lanes shared between Gigabit Ethernet and SATA and one PCI slot.

Wahoo is the new 4x4 reference board powered by a combination of the RD790 and SB600. It will support socket 1207+ processors. Wahoo will feature a slightly different PCIe lane configuration. There will be one dedicated full-speed PCIe x16 slot while the secondary slot can be configured for x8 or x16 signaling. The third physical PCIe x16 slot will have eight PCIe lanes. Lastly it will have one PCIe x1 and one PCI slot.


All PCIe slots on RD790 based motherboards will be compatible with the PCI Express 2.0 specification.



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Yeah, so we've got lots of PCI-e lanes...
By darkavatar on 1/9/2007 11:28:16 PM , Rating: 2
Heck, even if we had 128 lanes, but two double slot graphic cards for X-fire and you won't have any space left for anything else.

What's the use of all those extra lane for?
Octo-SLI on two PCBs?

I actually created an account just to say this....




By RussianSensation on 1/9/2007 11:57:39 PM , Rating: 2
We've seen boards that are able to fit 2 crossfire cards and a physics card. For optimal performance you would want 16x lanes for each of the cards for a total of 32. I am sure as physics start to become more integrated into games and more complex an 8x lane wouldn't be out of the question. That's already a total of 40x. At the same time if it doesn't cost much more, if at all to increase the number of lanes, why not?


RE: Yeah, so we've got lots of PCI-e lanes...
By Assimilator87 on 1/10/2007 12:15:32 AM , Rating: 3
Hopefully, with all those PCI-E lanes, we can have all PCI-E slots be 16X and ditch 1X, 4X, and 8X.


By ceefka on 1/11/2007 1:46:43 PM , Rating: 2
It would give some freedom of choice, but for now it would be a little too much.

1 PCIe lane should be plenty for most soundcards and ethernet cards for that matter. RME's MADI PCI-card can handle 64 channels i/o @48KHz/24bit in full duplex. If you leave enough room for it you can have three of those (192 i/o!). 384KHz/32bits won't be here very soon. They will probably make a 4x at some point, but most soundcard manufacturers haven't even left PCI yet.


By Comdrpopnfresh on 1/10/2007 12:46:12 AM , Rating: 3
eventually there should be gigabit ethernet pci-e cards, pci-e sound and physics cards, pci-e tv tuners, and so on. With both of these cards being the beginning of the next generation (both with 4x4, and stars), they are being made to be able to adapt with possible changes in the times- whether or not those changes happen.


RE: Yeah, so we've got lots of PCI-e lanes...
By misuspita on 1/10/2007 2:28:05 AM , Rating: 2
would't be so many lanes because they can add at some point an integrated PCIe GPU? I believe that one would eat up more lanes than a "normal" device


By typo101 on 1/11/2007 10:14:39 PM , Rating: 2
I thought the whole idea of the AMD/ATI CPU+GPU was the HyperTransport? I don't see a point if it just uses PCIe lanes.


By ATWindsor on 1/10/2007 2:11:09 AM , Rating: 4
I can use PCIe-slots for a lot, what really annoys me is that most (all?) Mobos seem to lock their 16x-slots to only work with GPUs, what is the point of that? What happend to one unified arcitechture insted of AGP + PCI?


The Man is in the Machine
By dolcraith on 1/10/2007 12:28:21 AM , Rating: 2
First mobo that i've seen that has a TPM module on it. I wonder what this means for the future.




RE: The Man is in the Machine
By IntelUser2000 on 1/10/2007 12:53:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
First mobo that i've seen that has a TPM module on it. I wonder what this means for the future.


ALL Intel branded motherboards in the "Executive" series has a TPM chip. The RD790 is probably the first AMD TPM chip mobo then.

I have a board with TPM chip, but disabled since I don't want to have to lose all data forgetting the password :P.


RE: The Man is in the Machine
By Hoser McMoose on 1/10/2007 3:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
I think you just haven't looked around very much, because TPM modules have been available for several years now on many boards. They're definitely not very common on consumer boards because there's basically nothing in TPM to benefit consumers, but on corporate systems they're pretty standard. Take a look at a Dell or HP business class system and you'll find that they pretty much all have TPM modules at least available as an option if not built-in.

As for what it means, probably dick-all. TPM is almost never used because it can be a HUGE pain in the butt to implement properly! It's also really poorly understood by most people, even in the IT business (hell, some people still think TPM has to do with preventing illegal music downloads or some such nonsense!).


PCI-E 2.0?
By shadowofthesun on 1/10/2007 12:44:29 AM , Rating: 2

All PCIe slots on RD790 based motherboards will be compatible with the PCI Express 2.0 specification.


I was not aware there is a PCI-E 2.0 specification... can someone provide me with a reputable link so I can read up on this?
Is it like PCI-E, but with support for more lanes, or does it provide some other benefits as well (ie. higher voltage delivered through the bridge)?

BTW, first time posting on dailytech, I laughed when it told me I might possibly be a robot.




RE: PCI-E 2.0?
RE: PCI-E 2.0?
By cheburashka on 1/10/2007 3:40:17 PM , Rating: 2
In a nutshell, the link speed is doubled, there is better support for changing link widths on the fly (energy savings by reducing bandwidth), and backwards compatable with the 1.1 devices.


Where ATI needs work...
By Rookierookie on 1/10/2007 12:03:03 AM , Rating: 2
...is not on the northbridge, since the NF590 and 570 were almost identical to the NF4 SLI chipsets in terms of PCI-E features anyway. What Nvidia really has a lead over ATI is on the southbridge features, and ATI should really start thinking about launching a full-featured southbridge that can match up to the current generation.




RE: Where ATI needs work...
By Jkm3141 on 1/10/2007 12:10:58 AM , Rating: 2
Do you consider overclock ability a good feature? Because if you do you need to work on the North bridge. Also, SB600 is not exactly bad at features, you are probably just thinking of the older SB450 which did suck.


Wahoo?
By Larrymon2000 on 1/9/2007 11:26:32 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't know AMD was celebrating the release already.




Opterons supported?
By lplatypus on 1/10/2007 8:47:25 PM , Rating: 2
My understanding is that the initial Quad FX motherboard doesn't support Opterons. I wonder if the new dual-socket motherboards based on RD790 will support Opterons as well as Athlon FX's, or if there will be an alternative chipset targeted at workstations and servers?

I wouldn't buy two processors with 125W TDP, but I might be tempted by the lower power rating of the Opterons (68W for the current HE models).




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