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Hardware News : Introducing Sam460ex
Posted by m3x on 2010/4/2 19:49:24 (2270 reads) News by the same author
Hardware News

Bassano del Grappa, Italy - 2 April 2010

ACube Systems is happy to announce the new Sam460ex board. This board will join the Sam family together with the Sam440ep-flex.
Based around the AMCC 460ex SoC, the board offers many modern features like: PCI express slots, SATA2 port, Giga Ethernet, DDR2 RAM.



This is the complete features list:

flex-ATX form factor (21.6 x 17 cm)
8 layers PCB
AMCC 460ex SoC ? upto 1.066 Ghz
max 2 GB DDR2 Ram ? 200-pin SODIMM up to 533 Mhz
Silicon Motion SM502 embedded MoC (audio/video) max 64Mb Gfx RAM
Audio 5.1 Realtek ALC655 codec
PCI-express 4x lanes slot (16x mechanical connector)
PCI-express 1x lane slot (* check notes below)
PCI slot, 32 bit, 66/33 Mhz, 3.3V
1x SATA2 port (* see notes below)
6x USB2 EHCI/OHCI ports
2x 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports
Lattice XP2 FPGA with 80 I/O pins expansion connector (optional)
UMTS/GSM module (optional requires add-on card)
512 MB NAND Flash (optional)
integrated SD card reader
RTC clock
Serial port, 8-wires
I2C and SPI/I2C buses
passive cooling
U-Boot 2009.08

Notes: the SATA2 port and the PCI-e 1x slot are mutually exclusive, only one of them can be used at a time.

Price: the exact price will be announced when the board is available to the user (due the varying USD / EURO exchange rate) it will be in the range of EUR 600 - 650. The board will NOT replace the Sam440ex-flex board.

More information on:

ACube Website
Sam4x0 website


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Author Thread
328gts
Published: 2010/4/2 20:01  Updated: 2010/4/2 20:01
Home away from home
Joined: 07/07/2009
From: Man Cave, Canada
Comments: 2479
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
welcome big brother for the Sam440 flex

I'm soo happy with my Sam440flex @800 but would have bought this 460ex in a heart beat if it were available...big congrats to ACube
nubechecorre
Published: 2010/4/2 20:31  Updated: 2010/4/2 20:31
Just can't stay away
Joined: 11/24/2006
From: Sanremo
Comments: 1854
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
Marko
Published: 2010/4/2 20:53  Updated: 2010/4/2 21:22
Quite a regular
Joined: 09/20/2008
From: Gothenburg, Sweden (via Finland)
Comments: 522
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
Great news!!
ikir
Published: 2010/4/2 21:08  Updated: 2010/4/2 21:08
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 11/27/2006
From: SYS:Prefs/
Comments: 374
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
Great news. Low on money right now, I must sell something to save more money for this!
gregthecanuck
Published: 2010/4/2 22:24  Updated: 2010/4/2 22:25
Just popping in
Joined: 12/05/2006
From: Vancouver, Canada
Comments: 192
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
Good points:

- Twice memory performance of 440 (533 vs 266)
- 256KB L2 cache
- PCI-Express slots
- 2GB memory capacity

But....

- Only one SATA connector?

This means if you want to have a system with a CD/DVD-ROM or multiple hard drives you have to invest in a PCI SATA card. This is a step backwards IMO. I wonder what drove this decision?
orgin
Published: 2010/4/2 22:41  Updated: 2010/4/2 22:41
Supreme Council
Joined: 11/16/2006
From: Sweden
Comments: 3204
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
@gregthecanuck

This is from the manual:

Boot
The current U-Boot version support booting from the following devices:
- SATA2 hard disk connected on the onboard controller port J15 (* check notes)
- SATA hard disk and/or DVD connected to a Silicon Image 3112 controller on PCI slot
- SATA hard disk and/or DVD connected to a Silicon Image 3114 controller on PCI slot
- USB mass storage
- internal SD card reader J31
- Network

Perhaps you can boot from an USB CD/DVD device.
gregthecanuck
Published: 2010/4/2 23:27  Updated: 2010/4/3 6:27
Just popping in
Joined: 12/05/2006
From: Vancouver, Canada
Comments: 192
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
@Origin

It looks like you should have your hard drive connected to the internal SATA2 port and your DVD drive connected to USB? I am not aware of any internal USB DVD devices (somebody prove me wrong) so this means you either buy a PCI SATA card or run with an external DVD drive.

Not a huge hassle but I am surprised that ACube didn't implement the SATA controller from the 440. Perhaps it was a cost issue.

EDIT: Follow-up - there *are* USB to SATA adapters out there. Perhaps ACube could test/supply one as an accessory.
Amigo1
Published: 2010/4/3 6:25  Updated: 2010/4/3 6:25
Quite a regular
Joined: 12/06/2006
From:
Comments: 526
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
Great! Thanks aCube!!! looking forward for this!
Daz
Published: 2010/4/3 8:19  Updated: 2010/4/3 8:19
Just popping in
Joined: 09/21/2009
From:
Comments: 39
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
Quote:
@gregthecanuck

Good points:

- Twice memory performance of 440 (533 vs 266)
- 256KB L2 cache
- PCI-Express slots
- 2GB memory capacity

But....

- Only one SATA connector?

This means if you want to have a system with a CD/DVD-ROM or multiple hard drives you have to invest in a PCI SATA card. This is a step backwards IMO. I wonder what drove this decision?


Or you could buy a Silicon Image PCI-e (1x) to SATA card, there are a number of these on e-bay. Hopefully AmigaKit etc. will include something like this with theirs. This would leave the PCI and PCI-e 16x free.

Another downside though is no Xena chip..

Interesting times ahead, X1000, SAM460ex, what next..

Darren
Hondo
Published: 2010/4/3 8:55  Updated: 2010/4/3 8:57
Just popping in
Joined: 12/05/2006
From: Planet Boing
Comments: 68
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
Quote:
I must sell something to save more money for this!


What about your soul?

You would be the first Amigan to go this far (wait maybe Helgis already did it?)
Templario
Published: 2010/4/3 10:21  Updated: 2010/4/3 10:21
Quite a regular
Joined: 03/28/2010
From: None
Comments: 698
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
Great new for this new hardware from ACube only its price.
Kicko
Published: 2010/4/3 12:40  Updated: 2010/4/3 12:40
Just can't stay away
Joined: 10/25/2007
From: Gothenburg / Sweden
Comments: 1175
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
Now this is a good entry level. If i didnt have A1 i should have been bought this. For me its going to be X1000.
Tuxedo
Published: 2010/4/3 13:07  Updated: 2010/4/3 13:08
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 11/28/2006
From: Perugia, ITALY
Comments: 339
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
Quote:
EDIT: Follow-up - there *are* USB to SATA adapters out there. Perhaps ACube could test/supply one as an accessory.


That's a nice point!
I too think that a single sata was really not sufficent!
With my miggy I see DVD, play CD, make mp3/ogg from the cd, browse DVD from magazines, burn dvd with my photo, music, etc...
using an external usb dvd was really ugly...
So we have 2 choiche:

1 - the adapter you tell about.
2 - an internal usb device that can be cottected to an internal usb port...

for my personal use the optical device was a must!

Another thing I think was needed was a 128 mb card(like a Radeon9250 integrated) with more memory for a basic use of the new mobo...currently my wb setup(1680x1050 32bit) with many windows/screens eat more that 64(not more than 64 but more...), and since I will really like to use that new mobo on a little nice case, non add cards was really needed!

That's only my personal opinion naturally!
TSK
Published: 2010/4/3 18:43  Updated: 2010/4/3 18:43
Just can't stay away
Joined: 02/23/2007
From: Finland, the land of Santa, sauna, sisu and salmiakki
Comments: 1108
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
@Tuxedo
Quote:
Another thing I think was needed was a 128 mb card(like a Radeon9250 integrated) with more memory for a basic use of the new mobo...currently my wb setup(1680x1050 32bit) with many windows/screens eat more that 64(not more than 64 but more...), and since I will really like to use that new mobo on a little nice case, non add cards was really needed!

SM502 can do resolution 1280x1024 max and it doesn't have 3D stuff. So you will need an addon gfx card for desktop use anyway.
ikir
Published: 2010/4/4 7:06  Updated: 2010/4/4 7:06
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 11/27/2006
From: SYS:Prefs/
Comments: 374
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
@Hondo

Yeah, i was thinking about that! LOL



@all

It is meant to be modular. For example i will not use a optical drive on mine. My SSD on sata and built in SD reader. I will install OS4 from SD. Apple will do the same in the near future, bye bye optical drives.... welcome sd as the new floppy. I will buy a good but cheap pci express ati. And anyway sata card are very cheap too!
orgin
Published: 2010/4/4 10:58  Updated: 2010/4/4 10:58
Supreme Council
Joined: 11/16/2006
From: Sweden
Comments: 3204
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
@gregthecanuck

Perhaps one could use something like this:

http://webshop.reab.se/PartDetail.aspx?q=p:2244758;b:893;pl:1

Apparently port replication is part of the sata2 standard. So I guess it's up to how standard compliant the onboard sata is.
samwel
Published: 2010/4/4 15:42  Updated: 2010/4/4 15:42
Just popping in
Joined: 12/04/2006
From: Sweden
Comments: 124
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
Interesting read on AMCC site.. They have made the move from 90nm to 60nm and soon thereafter 40nm..
Hmm what if 460EX was produced in 40nm? 2.5GHz? 4cores? 1.5GHz fanless?

They also have the newer 460SX which seems to lack FPU but seems better than 460EX in most regards..
Tuxedo
Published: 2010/4/4 18:05  Updated: 2010/4/4 18:05
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 11/28/2006
From: Perugia, ITALY
Comments: 339
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
ops...
I completely miss the 1280x1024 thing...
So for me was absolutely unusable!
I love my 1680x1050 res!
COBRA
Published: 2010/4/6 3:51  Updated: 2010/4/6 3:51
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 11/24/2006
From:
Comments: 370
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
@Tuxedo

I think it's obvious that 99% of people will put in a decent PCI-Express Radeon card. In fact for the Amiga market ACube could sell the board without the integrated gfx chip to lower the cost as I think it'll only be interesting for the embedded market.
Tuxedo
Published: 2010/4/6 12:25  Updated: 2010/4/6 12:25
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 11/28/2006
From: Perugia, ITALY
Comments: 339
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
@corba

You're right but...
I missunderstand or the chip does also the audio work?
In that case we have to add a sound card too...
gregthecanuck
Published: 2010/4/7 3:04  Updated: 2010/4/7 3:04
Just popping in
Joined: 12/05/2006
From: Vancouver, Canada
Comments: 192
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
@Cobra -

If I was going to purchase this board I would rather they ditch the built-in video and replace it with a 4-port SATA controller. In other words, move it closer to the 440flex.

My ideal desktop would be very low-profile. I would either use a low-profile PCI-Express video card or use a right-angle adapter with a full-height card.

Perhaps ACube announced the 460 model this early to see what kind of feedback they get.

Even with no changes the board is very nice, but there is always room for tweaks.

Cheers!
Helgis
Published: 2010/4/7 14:19  Updated: 2010/4/7 14:19
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 05/23/2007
From: Bergen/Norway
Comments: 416
 Re: Introducing Sam460ex
It's a very good entry-level system, but like Kicko, i am going for the top-of-the-class A1-X1000. I will call mine "Xandra"
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