Section by Gavin Bonshor

X570 Motherboards: PCIe 4.0 For Everybody

One of the biggest additions to AMD's AM4 socket is the introduction of the PCIe 4.0 interface. The new generation of X570 motherboards marks the first consumer motherboard chipset to feature PCIe 4.0 natively, which looks to offer users looking for even faster storage, and potentially better bandwidth for next-generation graphics cards over previous iterations of the current GPU architecture. We know that the Zen 2 processors have implemented the new TSMC 7nm manufacturing process with double the L3 cache compared with Zen 1. This new centrally focused IO chiplet is there regardless of the core count and uses the Infinity Fabric interconnect; the AMD X570 chipset uses four PCIe 4.0 lanes to uplink and downlink to the CPU IO die.

Looking at a direct comparison between AMD's AM4 X series chipsets, the X570 chipset adds PCIe 4.0 lanes over the previous X470 and X370's reliance on PCIe 3.0. A big plus point to the new X570 chipset is more support for USB 3.1 Gen2 with AMD allowing motherboard manufacturers to play with 12 flexible PCIe 4.0 lanes and implement features how they wish. This includes 8 x PCIe 4.0 lanes, with two blocks of PCIe 4.0 x4 to play with which vendors can add SATA, PCIe 4.0 x1 slots, and even support for 3 x PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 slots.

AMD X570, X470 and X370 Chipset Comparison
Feature X570 X470 X370
PCIe Interface (to peripherals) 4.0 2.0 2.0
Max PCH PCIe Lanes 24 24 24
USB 3.1 Gen2 8 2 2
Max USB 3.1 (Gen2/Gen1) 8/4 2/6 2/6
DDR4 Support 3200 2933 2667
Max SATA Ports 8 8 8
PCIe GPU Config x16
x8/x8
x8/x8/x8*
x16
x8/x8
x8/x8/x4
x16
x8/x8
x8/x8/x4
Memory Channels (Dual) 2/2 2/2 2/2
Integrated 802.11ac WiFi MAC N N N
Chipset TDP 11W 4.8W 6.8W
Overclocking Support Y Y Y
XFR2/PB2 Support Y Y N

One of the biggest changes in the chipset is within its architecture. The X570 chipset is the first Ryzen chipset to be manufactured and designed in-house by AMD, with some helping ASMedia IP blocks, whereas previously with the X470 and X370 chipsets, ASMedia directly developed and produced it using a 55nm process. While going from X370 at 6.8 W TDP at maximum load, X470 was improved upon in terms of power consumption to a lower TDP of 4.8 W. For X570, this has increased massively to an 11 W TDP which causes most vendors to now require small active cooling of the new chip.

Another major change due to the increased power consumption of the X570 chipset when compared to X470 and X370 is the cooling required. All but one of the launched product stack features an actively cooled chipset heatsink which is needed due to the increased power draw when using PCIe 4.0 due to the more complex implementation requirements over PCIe 3.0. While it is expected AMD will work on improving the TDP on future generations when using PCIe 4.0, it's forced manufacturers to implement more premium and more effective ways of keeping componentry on X570 cooler.

This also stretches to the power delivery, as AMD announced that a 16-core desktop Ryzen 3950X processor is set to launch later on in the year, meaning motherboard manufacturers needed to implement the new power deliveries on the new X570 boards with requirements of the high-end chip in mind, with better heatsinks capable of keeping the 105 W TDP processors efficient.

Memory support has also been improved with a seemingly better IMC on the Ryzen 3000 line-up when compared against the Ryzen 2000 and 1000 series of processors. Some motherboard vendors are advertising speeds of up to DDR4-4400 which until X570, was unheard of. X570 also marks a jump up to DDR4-3200 up from DDR4-2933 on X470, and DDR4-2667 on X370. As we investigated in our Ryzen 7 Memory Scaling piece back in 2017, we found out that the Infinity Fabric Interconnect scales well with frequency, and it is something that we will be analyzing once we get the launch of X570 out of the way, and potentially allow motherboard vendors to work on their infant firmware for AMD's new 7nm silicon.

Memory Hierarchy Changes: Double L3, Faster Memory Benchmarking Setup: Windows 1903
POST A COMMENT

452 Comments

View All Comments

  • FireSnake - Sunday, July 7, 2019 - link

    Awesome!
    I have been waiting for this one.
    Let us start reading.
    Reply
  • WaltC - Sunday, July 7, 2019 - link

    One thing I noticed before I return to the reading is the odd bit about chipsets and memory speeds. Pretty sure the memory controller is on the CPU itself as opposed to the chipset, and I've been running DDR4-3200 XMP CL16 on my Ryzen 1 on both x370 and x470 MSI motherboards with no problems--the same DDR4 2x8 config moved from one motherboard to the next. Reply
  • futrtrubl - Sunday, July 7, 2019 - link

    Guaranteed supported memory speeds and what overclocked memory can generally be used are two very separate things. And yes, that 3200 memory is considered an overclock for the CPU. Reply
  • WaltC - Sunday, July 7, 2019 - link

    Right--so why tie the memory controller to the chipset? QUote: "Some motherboard vendors are advertising speeds of up to DDR4-4400 which until X570, was unheard of. X570 also marks a jump up to DDR4-3200 up from DDR4-2933 on X470, and DDR4-2667 on X370." Almost every x370, x470 motherboard produced will run DDR-4 3200 XMP ROOB. There's an obvious difference between exceeding JEDEC standards with XMP configurations and overclocking the cpu--which I've also done, but that's beside the point. Pointing out present JEDEC limitations overcome with XMP configurations is a far cry from understanding that the chipset doesn't control the memory speeds--the memory controller on the cpu is either capable of XMP settings or it isn't. Ryzen 1 is up to the task. You can also take a gander at vendor-specific motherboard ram compatibility lists to see lots of XMP 3200MHz compatibility with Ryzen 1 (and of course 2k and 3k series). Reply
  • edzieba - Sunday, July 7, 2019 - link

    The new chipset means new boards, to which can be applied more stringent requirements of trace routing for DDR. Same as with the more stringent requirements for PCIe routing for PCIe 4.0. Reply
  • WaltC - Sunday, July 7, 2019 - link

    OK--understood--but improved trace, imo, is mainly for PCIe4.x support with x570-- really not for DDR 3200 support, however, which has already been supported well in x370/x470 motherboards--which I know from practical experience....;) In my case it was as simple as activating the XMP profile #2 in the bios, saving the setting and rebooting. Simply was surprised to see someone tying the mem controller to the chipset! I know that the Ryzen mem controller in the CPU has been improved for Ryzen 3k series, but that has more to do with attaining much higher clocks > 3200MHz for the ram, and is relative to the CPU R 3k series, as opposed to the x570 chipset, since the mem controller isn't in the x570 chipset. All I wanted to say initially is that both DDR 4 3000 & 3200MHz have been supported all the way back to x370 boards, not by the chipset, but by the Ryzen memory controller--indeed, AMD released several AGESA versions for motherboard vendors to implement in their bioses to improve compatibility with with many different brands of memory, too. Reply
  • BikeDude - Sunday, July 7, 2019 - link

    You mentioned 2x8GB. Try with 2x16GB and you might not be as lucky or will have to work harder to get the timing right. Motherboards that only seat two DIMMs will be noticeably easier than four DIMM motherboards.

    If AMD did anything to help grease the wheels, I'm sure many users will appreciate that.

    FWIW, this overclocking guide has helped me a lot: https://www.techpowerup.com/review/amd-ryzen-memor...
    Reply
  • mat9v - Sunday, July 7, 2019 - link

    Does anyone know if 3900X has 3 cores for each CCX (as in 1 core in each CCX disabled) or does it have two CCX's of 4 cores and two CCX's of 2 cores? Reply
  • photonboy - Thursday, July 11, 2019 - link

    3+3 Reply
  • rarson - Monday, July 8, 2019 - link

    WaltC, you're correct. The memory controller is part of the IO die, not the chipset. The chipset is connected to the IO die via 4 PCIe lanes.

    While the subsequent iterations of Ryzen have indeed improved memory support along with the new chipsets, the chipsets have nothing to do with that. I'm assuming the author is using the chipsets to delineate generations of memory improvement, but it could be just as easily (and more clearly) stated by referring to the generation of Ryzen processors.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now