It’s not that big of a secret that AMDs Ryzen refresh lineup will be accompanied by a new generation of mainboards as well. Up until now we just knew that the socket will not change and that all currently available mainboards should be compatible with the new chips. At least after updating the BIOS. What we didn’t know was what those new mainboard will have to offer.
It looks like we finally got a glimpse at one tiny detail.
The AMD 400 series chipset appeared on the integrators list of PCI-SIG. The detail that can be seen is the fact that the 400 series chipset will offer PCIe 3.0.
Currently the chipset itself only supports PCIe 2.0 therby setting some technical limits that are present even in the high end boards with AMDs x399 chipset like the x399 Taichi. The Ultra M.2 sockets of ASRocks boards for example have to rely on the PCIe 3.0 lanes of the CPU to work. Because the chipset isn’t involved there you can’t create a raid consisting of drives connected to those sockets.
In addition those drives take up connections of which there is a hard limit. With Threadripper for example you get to connect 8 PCI devices to the CPU, one of which will be the chipset itself.
So the Ryzen refresh, which should not only bring higher clock speeds and support for higher memory frequencies, should be accompanied by mainboards that finally get rid of the one major flaw we saw with the Ryzen launch and possibly enable even higher I/O performance. Hopefully this is just a first glimpse at what AMD has planned and we’ll get even more improvements.