Hardware | Leaked photo confirms AMD's X670 Extreme chipsets

Leaked photos from an MSI meeting confirm that AMD is indeed preparing Extreme variants of the X670 and B650 chipsets.

The footage was published by Twitter user @wxnod, who recently shared a prototype AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs. The new photos show a presentation in an MSI office, presumably by or with AMD experts.

Apparently AMD is currently working on four different chipsets for the Ryzen 7000 platform. This includes the aforementioned X670 and B650 models, but also the previously mysterious Extreme variants (X670E and B650E) of that pair.

The differences between them seem quite clear. Where the regular chipsets come with a PCIe 5.0 slot or a PCIe 5.0 M.2 slot, the Extreme motherboards do both. Both a PCIe 5.0 graphics card and a new PCIe 5.0 SSD can use the new interface simultaneously.

Hardware | Phison's PCIe 5.0 SSD reaches 12.5 GB/s on X670 chipset

Storage manufacturer Phison has demonstrated a new SSD controller over PCIe 5.0 interface, with read speeds of up to 12.5 GB/s on AMD's new motherboard chipset.

Phison’s new SSD card is the PS5025-E26, a first token of the E26 platform on PCIe 5.0 (x4) interface. On paper, the total bandwidth of that interface is 15.8 GB/s which is double that of PCIe 4.0 (x4).

For now, Phison achieves a read speed of 12,457 MB/s and a write speed of 10,023 MB/s, using an early sample SSD. The SSD in question uses an on-board Phison E26 controller and 3D TLC NAND flash storage from Micron.

Phison’s demonstration shows the controller paired with Asus’ X670 Crosshair Hero motherboard, featuring AMD’s new X670 chipset. The motherboard will most likely run on an early sample of a Ryzen 7000 CPU. AMD had previously indicated that it already wants to use PCIe 5.0 storage with the first Zen 4 CPUs and motherboards.

It’s still unclear when Phison’s new PCIe 5.0 products should hit the market, let alone when alternatives will be rolled out to consumers — or at what prices. The company had previously indicated that it plans PCIe 5.0 products for “the second half of 2022”, although “end of 2022” now seems plausible.

The demonstration on an X670 platform is especially relevant, now that AMD is publicly betting on Zen 4 as the first chip generation to embrace the new storage generation, with a generous 24 lanes on PCIe 5.0. According to AMD, the first PCIe 5.0 SSDs should launch simultaneously with Zen 4, later this year.

Hardware | AMD unveils Radeon RX 6600

AMD unveiled their latest GPU yesterday afternoon: the RX 6600 (non-XT). The new video card focuses mainly on 1080p gameplay, albeit with higher refresh rates.

The Radeon RX 6600 video cards have a target price of $329, exactly fifty dollars below the previously released Radeon RX 6600 XT.AMD’s latest budget GPU runs on the same Navi 23 chipset, 8 GB of GDDR6 memory and 32 MB of Infinity Cache, but has slightly fewer cores, at a lower clock speed. The 32 compute units here are scaled back to 28, with a default clock of 2.044 MHz and Boost frequency to 2.491 MHz.

In the unveiling video of the RX 6600, AMD already shows some performance examples. A game like Far Cry 6 hits 75 frames per second at 1080p resolution, on the highest settings with ray tracing and FidelityFX Super Resolution. For less bombastic games, such as Anno 1800, the GPU can also switch to 1440p resolutions.

With the somewhat reversed computing power, the non-XT card has also become slightly more economical. The AMD-specified total board power is 132 watts, which can be supplied via a single 8-pin power connector.

In terms of physical design, there is little difference between the RX 6600 XT and this newer model. AMD’s own reference design again uses the same shape and single fan; with partner manufacturers, the new GPU is often soldered into the existing housings, as is the case.

The Radeon RX 6600 graphics cards should be available immediately. Sales have also started in the Benelux, but by no means all models are equally available. At the time of writing, retailers are asking about one and a half times the suggested retail price for the new budget card: approximately 579 euros.