Seeing these motherboards, I have to ask questions that someone knowledgeable could answer, about the m.2 situation:
The CPU has 4 PCIe Gen3 lanes dedicated to storage, allowing for one NVMe m.2 "by 4" or a mix, and has 4 PCIe lanes for the chipset to get a mix of other IO, including SATA?.
If the m.2 slot is near and/or below the chipset, does that mean that m.2 comes through the chipset and is muxed with other IO?
The motherboard details mention 2x m.2, like the ASUS ones (the top ASUS link needs a space BTW). Where do I find the 2nd m.2 slot, if they don't have the tell-tale sign of a row of screw holes? Do they have a vertical m.2 slot?
You can see two m.2 slots on the MSI boards, one covered by that heat trapping cover. Gigabyte uses the (useless?) U.2 slot on the edge. Do these mux two SSDs on the PCIe x4, give each a separate pair of PCIe lanes, or is one pure PCIe x4 and the other goes through the chipset?
ASRock marks the m.2 near the CPU as Ultra m.2, and the one near the chipset is without any nomenclature. That appears to be clearer a case of one straight into the CPU and one through the chipset, but is it?
Thanks in advance.
The potential likes:
The look of the ASRock X370 Pro Gaming (but so much dislike for the Fatality name)
The gigabyte DAC-specific USB ports (but that makes the other USB ports low quality?)
ASUS has their own sound tech (but will it achieve high SNR?)
MSI and ASSRock have 2x m.2 on the board (but how much muxing is going on?)
There's the PCIe 3.0 x4 coming from the CPU for storage, which is where the "Ultra M.2" stuff comes from. If the board has a second M.2 slot it is most likely either using some of the PCIe 2.0 threads coming from the chipset or the second slot is SATA only.
As for where that second slot is on the ASUS board, looks like there might be some marketing FUBAR on ASUS's part. Spec sheet on ASUS's website says two M-key slots under "Storage", but then lists it having one M- and one E-key under I/O. Between the spec sheet inconsistency and the lack of other mounting locations on the board, I'd say it definitely does not have two M-key slots for SSDs.
Looks like with these boards, one will only get full performance out of 3 NVME drives and have space for 1 graphics card (if you buy the NVME PCI-e adapters) . Am I right?
When SSDs came out, having more than 1 in a single computer seemed like a dream, but now I have about 4 in each system as prices dropped and I ran out of space. I reckon the same will happen with NVME.
From what I understand there arre 24 Pcien gen 3 lanes on the Ryzen 1800x CPU and 8 gen 2 lanes on the X370 chipset there may be away to run a GPU on 8x mode and 4 PCIe MVMe drives in 4x be it M.2 or U.2 ect I wonder if there are going to be server/work station parts with more PCIe connectivity
Would be interesting to see if we get a Dual CPU motherboard for Ryzen from the chipset for Naples? Or if ASMedia is allowed to brew independent chipsets for motherboards with two AM4 sockets. :)
On the site's of the vendors they all say that the second M.2 is a 4x gen 2 conection so 2gb/sec witch is plenty of fast for storage. Yust use the ulra one for boot. I got a Plextor with pci-e enclosure yust to be sure (3 months ago) witch teoraticly could be in 2cond pci-e time's 4 gen 3 but then you waste 4x gen 3 and run your GVA times 8.