200-Series Union Point Motherboards

josejones

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I am interested in the 200-Series Chipset Union Point Motherboards due to: "Intel’s next generation Optane storage products that use Intel’s 3D XPoint memory architecture." Does that require the Kaby Lake CPU or will it also work with Sky Lake?

When will they start showing up? I am curious about the abilities and limitations of Intel’s 3D XPoint memory and Optane storage as well as Samsungs version.

"the new 200-series chipset will mostly remain the same but will include increased I/O performance that is very important for the platform to be ready for Intel’s next generation Optane storage products that use Intel’s 3D XPoint memory architecture. So the basic features of the 200-series chipset aside from supporting Kaby Lake-S processors will include up to 24 PCI-e 3.0 lanes (up from 20 on 100-Series Chipset)

Intel’s 7th Generation Kaby Lake and 200-Series Chipset Platform
http://wccftech.com/intel-kaby-lake-200-series-chipset-processor-platform/

Intel’s 3D XPoint Memory Performance Tested, Up to 8X Performance Increase Over Conventional SSDs
http://wccftech.com/intels-3d-xpoint-memory-featured-optane-ssds-optane-dimms-8x-performance-increase-conventional-ssds/

http://www.nextplatform.com/2015/10/28/intel-shows-off-3d-xpoint-memory-performance/

Samsung Announces 950 Pro NVMe M.2 SSDs (17 minutes)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcOeKG-sHKk

 

josejones

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Actually, Kaby Lake and the 200-series chipset Union Point motherboards supporting Intel’s 3D XPoint memory architecture and Intel’s next generation Optane storage are the next thing coming out around the corner in 2016 along with the next generation SSD's with the NVMe interface to go with.

 

CaedenV

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I would not get too terribly excited about the 200 series chips or XPoint just yet.

XPoint is essentially a large external CPU Cache... like a sort of L4 Cache. This is super helpful for 3D content cration with large assets that need to be rendered on the CPU instead of the GPU, or for "Big Data" research software. This is not going to help you run Adobe content creation software, or video games any faster than you currently do because they would have to be reprogrammed to take advantage of this additional storage medium that runs along side traditional storage solutions (RAM and SSDs).
... Plus, it will be extremely expensive. No idea on a $/GB yet... but most 1st gen products aimed exclusively for production house work tends to be out of reach for normal people.

Still, things like XPint or HMC are certainly the future where you can combine storage and active memory into a single medium. Launching a program would essentially just mean marking a section of storage as 'active' and your program is up and running. No need to copy from SSD to RAM any longer... but that won't affect normal users for several generations yet.


For the 200 series chipsets, we don't even know if they will be out this year. If anything they will be out in 4th quarter, probably November. But with Intel's track record I would not be surprised if it gets pushed back to next year. Either way, don't expect any reliably news on it until July at the earliest.
Looking at the planned features of the new platform about the only thing to really get excited about is adding more HISO/PCIe lanes which will allow you to run more concurrent mobo features at the same time. The ability to run 2 NVMe SSDs in RAID, plus 2 16x GPUs, as well as a few USB ports and onboard Ethernet will be nice.
Mobile chips will also get better battery life by having hardware support for modern HD/4K video formats... but outside of that it is really a very minor upgrade from the old platform.


Out of curiosity, with the insane speed capabilities of NVMe SSDs, what advantage do you think XPoint would give you?
 

epobirs

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Immediate advantage? Not anything huge. That generation will be the foundation upon which new techniques are tested and refined to make the full exploitation of the tech happen, as you yourself describe above. (A quicker to implement interim approach might be to treat the Optane block of memory as a non-volatile RAM disk. Apps would still transfer to main RAM to run but would get there fantastically quick and compatibility to existing apps shouldn't be a problem.) Once the hardware is there it's going to take a good while to work out all the details for how the software side should work. OS makers like Microsoft and Apple will have to decide if they'll try to accommodate existing apps or only support new version that change the way installation works.

I've spent some time with a Core i5 Skylake system running a Samsung 950 Pro. The benchmarks are amazing and the performance is definitely there for regular operations but the effect may seem too subtle for anyone expecting it to change their computing life. It sort of sneaks up on you, making you aware of how much you were waiting on disk writes even using a good SATA SSD. The systems just aren't equipped to leverage the new capability and for consumer desktops it isn't clear yet what form those new functions will take.

It would be nice if i shipped as an end to end solution with both the hardware and software matching to make the most of the shiny new toy. But how often does that happen?
 

josejones

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They do appear to be pushing things back further and downplaying performance at first so, that's always disappointing. I asked a question in another article and here are a couple responses:

"Real-world software rarely pushes fast storage devices to their limits"

"... I am curious about what all holds back NVMe SSD's from getting their full potential? What all needs to come together to reach their full potential? Will Kaby Lake and the new 200-Series Chipset Union Point motherboards help to get better performance out of the new NVMe & Optane SSD's? I've heard we need a far bigger BUS too. I am holding out for an NVMe SSD that will actually reach the claimed 32 Gb/s or close to it - minus overhead. "

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/zotac-sonix-nvme-ssd-phison-e7,4508-6.html?5706a28fc4cf4=reload#react4508

CRamseyer of Tom's:

"Opine will change things a bit because it lowers the QD1 latency. It will make your computer feel faster thus increasing the user experience.

Beyond that, we need a complete overhaul to effectively utilize NVMe in regular computers. The software needs to reach out for more data at the same time. The Windows file systems (other than ReFS) are all aging. We need a big shift in software across the board. It's just like with video games and other software right now. Nothing pushed the limits of the hardware. VR could be change that but I suspect we are still 5 years away from VR for anyone other than enthusiasts."
Kewlx25:

1) The storage chips need to be faster, but they are pretty fast.
2) Controllers need to be faster. Less complicated overhead, better command concurrency, etc
3) There is a latency vs throughput issue. If most programs are making one request at a time and waiting for the response for that request, then you need really low latency to have high bandwidth. On the other hand, if a program makes many concurrent requests, then it just multiplied its theoretical peak bandwidth.

Similar issue with why TCP has a transmit window. Waiting for a response over high latency slows you down. The main difference is TCP pushes data. Reading from the harddrive pulls data. "
 

josejones

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I'm curious about what they really mean when they say that Intel's Z270-series motherboards will be "Optane ready" ??? I want to know what the spec limitations will be. And will the BUS pipeline/bandwidth be big enough to get the full potential or will it just be another bottleneck?
 

josejones

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Will KabyLake include at least "PCIe 4.0 Ready"? I've not heard anything on that so I assume no, even tho Intel promised PCIe 4.0 for SkyLake and then removed it. They are now claiming the Z270 motherboards will be Optane ready but, with what limitations? Will the BUS pipeline/bandwidth be big enough or just turn into another bottleneck?

I was going to buy a Skylake system but glad I didn't. I may skip Kaby Lake too. I wish they'd just do what they say they're gonna do.

 

Swatantra

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Give me a HUG man.....you are my type guy.......I'm also terribly Interested about kaby lake,200 series Chipset and all over the 3D Xpoint technology.......and same as you...I was also going to buy a Skylake build but skipped for the same reason. and also wishing what you are wishing.:love:
 

Swatantra

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well for your information.... the 200 series chipset will support both kabylake and skylake......and 100 series chipset will also support the both.....
but still don't know if the Skylake CPUs will support optane or not.
 

josejones

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Here's the link I was talking about above in my previous post where Intel originally said SkyLake would include PCIe 4.0 support but they didn't do it so, I was hoping Kaby Lake would:

July 3, 2013: Report: Intel Skylake to Have PCIe 4.0, DDR4, SATA Express
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Skylake-Intel-DDR4-PCIe-SATAe,23349.html

Otherwise, it is just wrong for Intel to be making such claims that they never intend to follow through. Besides, there's little difference between Kaby & Sky Lake aside from supposedly being "Optane Ready" - unless they lied about that too.

Here's the roadmap image that still says PCIe 4.0 :

http://media.bestofmicro.com/V/P/391237/original/Intel-Roadmap-Post-Haswell-Rumour.png

So I wonder if SkyLake &/or Kaby Lake are "PCIe 4.0 Ready" or not?

 

Nicholas_L

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My thoughts exactly. In a presentation though Intel and Micron stated that 3dxpoint would be 1000 faster than SSDs. When asked by the audience in what terms, they answered, "like an SSD is 1000 faster than a mechanical drive". This is so arbitrary. Which HDD? Which SSD? This is not a fair answer.
I run 3 950 pros in Raid0. DMI 3.0 is the speed cap factor. 200series is also DMI 3.0. More SSDs wont make any difference. As you say if 3dxpoint isnt priced consumer-friendly, which everyone doubts, nothing is going to change in the near future.

Two x16 pci lanes? Nice..but.. for what? To be saturated by what? The maximum two 1080 on SLI?

The only good thing I find is that new gen cpus can be used in both 100 and 200 series. So if the new i7-7700k is any good, there would be no point upgrading the motherboard. So far, "leaked" specs indicate not much of a significant improvement. That all is my humble opinion.
 

josejones

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Thanks for your post, Nicholas, I have to agree. I was really hopeful at first that Intel would fulfill their promise to do much better than just 5% performance increases but, they appear to have forgotten or just don't care:

"I spoke briefly with [Intel's new GM and VP of its Desktop Client Platforms Group, Lisa Graff] at CES about her plans, and she observed that high-end desktop processor sales had been fairly flat in recent years—but when she looked at the performance numbers, the reason was clear. Intel hasn't given enthusiasts much of a reason to upgrade since Sandy Bridge."

March 19, 2014: Intel to renew commitment to desktop PCs with a slew of new CPUs
http://techreport.com/review/26189/intel-to-renew-commitment-to-desktop-pcs-with-a-slew-of-new-cpus

I thought SkyLake or KabyLake would've had the performance jump Intel promised, but nope. Maybe CannonLake.

Skylake motherboards are a bag-o-shite!
https://forum.teksyndicate.com/t/skylake-motherboards-are-a-bag-o-shite/93582

Help me understand PCIE lanes
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2450115

I was hoping to make the jump to PCIe 4.0 & Optane ready to future proof. Here's my rig - I'm just waiting for something awesome to upgrade to. I may have to wait for Cannonlake.

MB: MSI 790FX-GD70
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955
RAM: 8g Mushkin 1600
GPU: Evga 760 SC 2g
PSU: Seasonic X-750w
HD: WD Blue 500g sata3
HD: Seagate 3T sata3
EX-HD: 1T WD
 

josejones

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Here's the latest:

Intel Optane Technology SSDs and Memory Roadmap Leaked – 3D XPoint Based SSDs To Land By Year End Under Mansion Beach Platform
http://wccftech.com/intel-optane-ssd-memory-roadmap/
 

josejones

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Still not really getting much usable info on the new Z270 Series motherboards. Will KabyLake include support for PCIe 4.0 or not? I've not heard anything on that so I assume no, even tho Intel promised PCIe 4.0 for SkyLake and then removed it. They are now claiming the Z270 motherboards will be Optane ready but, with what limitations? Will the BUS pipeline/bandwidth be big enough or just turn into another bottleneck?

I was going to buy a Skylake system but glad I didn't. I may skip Kaby Lake too. I wish they'd just do what they say they're gonna do. Just burned out on always being disappointed over the last 5 or 6 years with meager 3-5% performance increases.
 

josejones

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Alright, so the Z270 Series motherboards will have no significant changes from the Z170 mobos beyond Optane support (which I could care less about & prefer the Samsung 960 Pro), which makes sense when we look at SkyLake and KabyLake - minor performance enhancements but nothing to get excited about. For that we'll have to wait for 10nm CannonLake and the Z370 motherboards around this time next year. So, what info do we have on the Z370 motherboards?
 

josejones

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Time 1:52 and hear him say SATA Express is dead so it's gone from this board

"you may have noticed when you start looking at our motherboards closely is that we no longer have SATA Express that interface has been pretty much dead for the past year but, it is being replaced by U.2 which is an extension of the M.2 standard"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7D8droAVWDA
 

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