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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2020, 01:50 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by The Stilt View Post
They chose to use the NOR size card, but thats not the only reason.

Few potential other reasons:

Differences between the different chipset families.
300 and 400-series chipsets are entirely different compared to X570 in terms of the design and the code required to run them.
300 and 400-series (Promontory and Promontory LP) chipsets were made by ASMedia and they were practically PCIe to multi-IO extenders, with limited additional functionality.
Meanwhile the X570 (Bixby) is made by AMD, by repurposing the Zen 2 IOD design. The X570 is much more advanced than its predecessors and it also requires significantly heavier software infra to work.
Limiting the chipset support might boil down to something as simple as hardened security (CPU to Chipset PSP, etc) or something similar, which cannot be supported one the older chipsets.

Fairness towards the ODMs and the use of resources.
When Ryzen launched back in 2017 the ODMs did not expect to be expected to provide support their X370 (and B350) motherboards until 2020, despite the longevity of AM4 socket was known.
Had they known, the motherboards would have been significantly more expensive than they were, to amortize the lost sales and the cost of keeping the old boards supported in terms of the compability with the new CPUs.
So every time the CPUs stay compatible with the previous gen. motherboards it has a negative effect financially not only to the ODM, but on AMD as well. In addition to that, it tends to have at least a minor negative effect on the current gen. platform stability and / or overall functionality as well.

What happens is that the ODM will lose new motherboard sales due to the platform compability and in addition to that, they have to pour their very limited resources in supporting the previous gen. platforms which usually have even more problems and therefore require even more work than the current gen. ones.
So when the bios engineers (who already are stretched so thin that you can see through them) have to spend their time on the previous gen. products as well, it starts affecting stability of the current gen. products as well. To get some idea of what kind of a workload the bios engineers are dealing with, typically
a single engineer has to take care of 10+ motherboard SKUs (that was the situation at least at the time of X570 launch). And people who think that the job of a bios engineer is similar to what the community does with their own modding tools... they're mistaken and sadly so. While its true that both AMD and Intel
provide almost all of the low-level code to the ODMs that is basically ready to be "injected" the majority of a bios as you know it consists of much more than that (ODM specific code).

- Q: So why won't the ODMs hire more bios engineers then?
- A: Not with those margins they don't.

- Q: So why have they been supporting the newer gen. CPUs until now, is AMD forcing their hand?
- A: No AMD wouldn't and probably even couldn't do that. The customers do. Imagine if a major ODM would simply state that they choose not to support newer gen. CPUs even if they technically could. They would get bad rep so far up their tail that they could taste it.

In my opinion, this was absolutely the right call despite it'll leave a sour taste in the mouths of many people.
In my books, 300-series board owners have already received more than they paid for, three sittings worth.

For those who purchased a high-end X470 board or a refreshed B450 board I do have to feel for, especially when most people thought (and quite rightly so) that there is an existing upgrade path after Zen 2 as well.
Comms could have come up with such an explanation instead of saying some bullocks that it is the rom size. The last line of processors for the platform. A platform they have been supporting all chipsets including the 500 for the last six month or so. My B350 got a bios update last month.

See, if the competition comes up with a compelling line of cpus this year, AMD may lose some of the market they worked hard for in this segment. Not because of this issue but the issue of not communicating properly.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2020, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by The Stilt View Post
They chose to use the NOR size card, but thats not the only reason.

Few potential other reasons:

Differences between the different chipset families.
300 and 400-series chipsets are entirely different compared to X570 in terms of the design and the code required to run them.
300 and 400-series (Promontory and Promontory LP) chipsets were made by ASMedia and they were practically PCIe to multi-IO extenders, with limited additional functionality.
Meanwhile the X570 (Bixby) is made by AMD, by repurposing the Zen 2 IOD design. The X570 is much more advanced than its predecessors and it also requires significantly heavier software infra to work.
Limiting the chipset support might boil down to something as simple as hardened security (CPU to Chipset PSP, etc) or something similar, which cannot be supported one the older chipsets.

Fairness towards the ODMs and the use of resources.
When Ryzen launched back in 2017 the ODMs did not expect to be expected to provide support their X370 (and B350) motherboards until 2020, despite the longevity of AM4 socket was known.
Had they known, the motherboards would have been significantly more expensive than they were, to amortize the lost sales and the cost of keeping the old boards supported in terms of the compability with the new CPUs.
So every time the CPUs stay compatible with the previous gen. motherboards it has a negative effect financially not only to the ODM, but on AMD as well. In addition to that, it tends to have at least a minor negative effect on the current gen. platform stability and / or overall functionality as well.

What happens is that the ODM will lose new motherboard sales due to the platform compability and in addition to that, they have to pour their very limited resources in supporting the previous gen. platforms which usually have even more problems and therefore require even more work than the current gen. ones.
So when the bios engineers (who already are stretched so thin that you can see through them) have to spend their time on the previous gen. products as well, it starts affecting stability of the current gen. products as well. To get some idea of what kind of a workload the bios engineers are dealing with, typically
a single engineer has to take care of 10+ motherboard SKUs (that was the situation at least at the time of X570 launch). And people who think that the job of a bios engineer is similar to what the community does with their own modding tools... they're mistaken and sadly so. While its true that both AMD and Intel
provide almost all of the low-level code to the ODMs that is basically ready to be "injected" the majority of a bios as you know it consists of much more than that (ODM specific code).

- Q: So why won't the ODMs hire more bios engineers then?
- A: Not with those margins they don't.

- Q: So why have they been supporting the newer gen. CPUs until now, is AMD forcing their hand?
- A: No AMD wouldn't and probably even couldn't do that. The customers do. Imagine if a major ODM would simply state that they choose not to support newer gen. CPUs even if they technically could. They would get bad rep so far up their tail that they could taste it.

In my opinion, this was absolutely the right call despite it'll leave a sour taste in the mouths of many people.
In my books, 300-series board owners have already received more than they paid for, three sittings worth.

For those who purchased a high-end X470 board or a refreshed B450 board I do have to feel for, especially when most people thought (and quite rightly so) that there is an existing upgrade path after Zen 2 as well.
One thing is Amd provides the major bios agesa, so i guess ODM job is simpler on Amd platform then Intel?

Im on X570 so i am carefree with Zen3 support, but i am scared if Gigabyte 128mb is enough for full Zen2 and Zen3 inside because they cheaped out!
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2020, 04:50 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by dansi View Post
One thing is Amd provides the major bios agesa, so i guess ODM job is simpler on Amd platform then Intel?
Not really.
Both manufacturers provide a significant amount of reference code.
AMD calls it as AGESA, Intel as FSP.

Personally, I'm not touching Gigabyte motherboards, but I wouldn't worry about the future compability of your Gigabyte X570 board.
Its on Gigabytes responsibility to solve the potential issue caused by the NOR size (i.e. being a cheapskate).

Last edited by The Stilt; 05-15-2020 at 04:54 AM.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2020, 05:07 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by The Stilt View Post
Not really.
Both manufacturers provide a significant amount of reference code.
AMD calls it as AGESA, Intel as FSP.

Personally, I'm not touching Gigabyte motherboards, but I wouldn't worry about the future compability of your Gigabyte X570 board.
Its on Gigabytes responsibility to solve the potential issue caused by the NOR size (i.e. being a cheapskate).
They already had to compromise from B350 to X570.

They removed RGB controls from the bios for X570. You can only now do the changes through OS software now. On B350 you could control your RGB bling inside BIOS.
Was a little irritated about that regression. You didn't need OS software on B350 to make changes.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-16-2020, 08:02 PM
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@ TheStilt,

You're assuming (or projecting the assumption) AMD and the board makers have not had any other net-gain from the compatibility angle. They seem to be assuming this too.

No-one is considering the PC eco-system where the lack of having to buy a motherboard leads to the purchase of a GPU, or some RAM, or a new case or a new {insert pricey thingy in here}.

There seems to be an unwritten assumption that nothing loses out when the purchaser has to buy a new motherboard. Intel hasn't needed to care about GPU in the past...AMD and the motherboard makers who make GPU certainly do. Nothing exists in a vacuum although it seems like the brain or brains who took this decision does.

I can tell you something though, the 'regular joe' that the tech commenters keep referring to as the important market will not be the people who give motherboard makers the repeat sales they think they are missing out on. They won't be buying the expensive stuff either.

If all we have are reasons such as 'X not known, Y not expected', this boils down to incompetence, poor foresight and poor planning. There is a nefarious element to this whole scenario as well since AMD sat on the decision, then hid it in an NDA for another product, to ensure the sales of an erstwhile dead-end product while they had nothing as an alternative. This was very definitely a calculated act. There would be less consternation if AMD had give people ample reasonable warning. Justifying the decision with a flimsy excuse and then re-writing history to try to make it watertight is a massive act of hubris.

The real incompetent mistake AMD made was not ensuring all AM4 CPU could at least boot with any bios. Instead they invent complicated and time consuming operational processes to bridge the gap they built themselves. Not solving the problem always causes new problems to be solved. This is what happened. I expect the AMD people who perform this approach to decision making will do well in government if they should choose that career path.

The X570 chipset feels like either a vanity project or an engineering fudge. Either way it is a problem of AMD's making that they decided X570 would be so different from all other chipsets and requires massive, and likely different code to work.

The platform stability has been shocking on each generation at launch and no cognisance is being given to consumers who engaged from the beginning and manged to stick with it so that AMD could get to the point they feel they can bin these users off.

I've lost count of the amount of corporates who starve their golden goose to death through incompetence and they always come to regret it. Popcorn is out to see what the effect is on AMD's incremental desktop growth after this.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-17-2020, 01:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by TitusPrime View Post
@ TheStilt,

You're assuming (or projecting the assumption) AMD and the board makers have not had any other net-gain from the compatibility angle. They seem to be assuming this too.

No-one is considering the PC eco-system where the lack of having to buy a motherboard leads to the purchase of a GPU, or some RAM, or a new case or a new {insert pricey thingy in here}.

There seems to be an unwritten assumption that nothing loses out when the purchaser has to buy a new motherboard. Intel hasn't needed to care about GPU in the past...AMD and the motherboard makers who make GPU certainly do. Nothing exists in a vacuum although it seems like the brain or brains who took this decision does.

I can tell you something though, the 'regular joe' that the tech commenters keep referring to as the important market will not be the people who give motherboard makers the repeat sales they think they are missing out on. They won't be buying the expensive stuff either.

If all we have are reasons such as 'X not known, Y not expected', this boils down to incompetence, poor foresight and poor planning. There is a nefarious element to this whole scenario as well since AMD sat on the decision, then hid it in an NDA for another product, to ensure the sales of an erstwhile dead-end product while they had nothing as an alternative. This was very definitely a calculated act. There would be less consternation if AMD had give people ample reasonable warning. Justifying the decision with a flimsy excuse and then re-writing history to try to make it watertight is a massive act of hubris.

The real incompetent mistake AMD made was not ensuring all AM4 CPU could at least boot with any bios. Instead they invent complicated and time consuming operational processes to bridge the gap they built themselves. Not solving the problem always causes new problems to be solved. This is what happened. I expect the AMD people who perform this approach to decision making will do well in government if they should choose that career path.

The X570 chipset feels like either a vanity project or an engineering fudge. Either way it is a problem of AMD's making that they decided X570 would be so different from all other chipsets and requires massive, and likely different code to work.

The platform stability has been shocking on each generation at launch and no cognisance is being given to consumers who engaged from the beginning and manged to stick with it so that AMD could get to the point they feel they can bin these users off.

I've lost count of the amount of corporates who starve their golden goose to death through incompetence and they always come to regret it. Popcorn is out to see what the effect is on AMD's incremental desktop growth after this.

As silt said, x570 is just the io die from zen2.
Amd had to make the changes because zen2 is different from zen1, they moved the memory controller out. The results is zen2 is way better than zen1
Zen3 is expected to change again, iirc to combine the ccx or l$cache, which should help with the higher latency.

Thats how i fear for those x570(gigabyte mainly!) boards with small rom size! Zen3 bios may take more space!
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-17-2020, 04:54 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by dansi View Post
As silt said, x570 is just the io die from zen2.
Amd had to make the changes because zen2 is different from zen1, they moved the memory controller out. The results is zen2 is way better than zen1
Zen3 is expected to change again, iirc to combine the ccx or l$cache, which should help with the higher latency.

Thats how i fear for those x570(gigabyte mainly!) boards with small rom size! Zen3 bios may take more space!
Yes i understand X570 is the I/O die from Zen2. It is not a chipset and this is my point. This is what makes it either a vanity project or a fudge; it's not a chipset solution yet they used it as one.

B550 being an actual solution (as in designed/built for the specific purpose) shows X570 is an outlier. It may have 'worked' but it has also come with a lot of unintended consequences it seems.

I'm sure we'll find out in time if AMD changed strategy at some point which caused a hole in their product stack that has been poorly filled.

AM5 seems a long long way off for now and it wouldn't surprise me if AMD pushed out AM5 and have then incompetently reconciled the gap with their historic AM4 roadmaps and marketing. We've seen this recently with the GPU stack.

The lack of technological response from Intel may have been an enabler for this.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-17-2020, 05:04 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by TitusPrime View Post
@ TheStilt,

You're assuming (or projecting the assumption) AMD and the board makers have not had any other net-gain from the compatibility angle. They seem to be assuming this too.

No-one is considering the PC eco-system where the lack of having to buy a motherboard leads to the purchase of a GPU, or some RAM, or a new case or a new {insert pricey thingy in here}.

There seems to be an unwritten assumption that nothing loses out when the purchaser has to buy a new motherboard. Intel hasn't needed to care about GPU in the past...AMD and the motherboard makers who make GPU certainly do. Nothing exists in a vacuum although it seems like the brain or brains who took this decision does.

I can tell you something though, the 'regular joe' that the tech commenters keep referring to as the important market will not be the people who give motherboard makers the repeat sales they think they are missing out on. They won't be buying the expensive stuff either.

If all we have are reasons such as 'X not known, Y not expected', this boils down to incompetence, poor foresight and poor planning. There is a nefarious element to this whole scenario as well since AMD sat on the decision, then hid it in an NDA for another product, to ensure the sales of an erstwhile dead-end product while they had nothing as an alternative. This was very definitely a calculated act. There would be less consternation if AMD had give people ample reasonable warning. Justifying the decision with a flimsy excuse and then re-writing history to try to make it watertight is a massive act of hubris.

The real incompetent mistake AMD made was not ensuring all AM4 CPU could at least boot with any bios. Instead they invent complicated and time consuming operational processes to bridge the gap they built themselves. Not solving the problem always causes new problems to be solved. This is what happened. I expect the AMD people who perform this approach to decision making will do well in government if they should choose that career path.

The X570 chipset feels like either a vanity project or an engineering fudge. Either way it is a problem of AMD's making that they decided X570 would be so different from all other chipsets and requires massive, and likely different code to work.

The platform stability has been shocking on each generation at launch and no cognisance is being given to consumers who engaged from the beginning and manged to stick with it so that AMD could get to the point they feel they can bin these users off.

I've lost count of the amount of corporates who starve their golden goose to death through incompetence and they always come to regret it. Popcorn is out to see what the effect is on AMD's incremental desktop growth after this.
Your assumption that the money saved by the customer, who doesn't have to spend it on a new motherboard somehow finds its way to AMD's or the same ODM's pockets has few ifs in it as well...
First of all, most of these companies are segmented into different divisions. A sale to division A makes no difference to division B, generally. If division B isn't performing, things and people will be changed.
So if the user who saved money due to motherboard compability ends for some odd reason purchasing a Radeon GPU, the GPU division of AMD will have the sales and not division who has these types of products under its umbrella.
Also I'm pretty sure the profit margin on the chipsets, especially the X570 due to its source and two the fold amortized R&D cost are significantly higher than an average GPU ASIC margins.

Do you think the ODMs rather put resources into designing AMD motherboard, which they're expected to support to no-end for free, essentially, or rather into a Intel motherboard
that has to be supported for two generations max?

"The real incompetent mistake AMD made was not ensuring all AM4 CPU could at least boot with any bios."

I'm not aware of ANY CPU design or platform infrastructure, past or current, which could support future hardware without first updating the software stack
that is required to initialize the hardware. In the past, when things were much more simple it could have been possible but nowdays it is simply not realistic.
Not unless it'll become feasible to have a factory programmed > 4MB persistent storage on the CPU itself, which would contain the code to initialize the CPU. Considering
the cost of a standard NOR flash vs. die area, its not going to happen.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-17-2020, 06:30 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by The Stilt View Post
Your assumption that the money saved by the customer, who doesn't have to spend it on a new motherboard somehow finds its way to AMD's or the same ODM's pockets has few ifs in it as well...
First of all, most of these companies are segmented into different divisions. A sale to division A makes no difference to division B, generally. If division B isn't performing, things and people will be changed.
So if the user who saved money due to motherboard compability ends for some odd reason purchasing a Radeon GPU, the GPU division of AMD will have the sales and not division who has these types of products under its umbrella.
Also I'm pretty sure the profit margin on the chipsets, especially the X570 due to its source and two the fold amortized R&D cost are significantly higher than an average GPU ASIC margins.
I didn't assume the money would find it's way into another division. That is my point. I'm arguing it's now more likely it won't. Consumers don't have infinitely deep pockets and so taking with one hand (having to buy motherboards) can cause with a high probability giving something up with another hand (not buying another component which might just be a CPU upgrade!)

The assumption seems to be that people will just by a motherboard AND still buy everything else they want and have been buying and it won't necessarily happen. I work in corporate tech. I see first-hand the effect competing divisions have on the same customer and it isn't pretty. For the customer or the company. While i accept there are lots of unknowns to do with buyer behaviour due to this change i see lots of 'just go and buy a new motherboard' type posts and AMD being shocked by the backlash suggests they really haven't fully considered it holistically either.

Quote: Originally Posted by The Stilt View Post
Do you think the ODMs rather put resources into designing AMD motherboard, which they're expected to support to no-end for free, essentially, or rather into a Intel motherboard
that has to be supported for two generations max?
No i expect it to be priced in and so it isn't free. This is one of the reasons i mostly buy expensive motherboards. The expensive motherboards don't always get the level of support relative to their price; the volume ones do. People have been moaning about the Intel model for as long as i can remember. The AMD socket compatibility feature WILL have driven sales.

I've been watching the X570 bios revisions closely. A chunky amount of them (at least half if not more) are driven by AMD AGESA updates. The same was true with Zen (so no backwards compatibility issues driving the bios) and so a conclusion i can take from that is that AMD is a driver of the pressure ODM are complaining of (if they are complaining of it, there doesn't seem to be any first-hand explanation of this) and AMD should be looking inward as well.

Quote: Originally Posted by The Stilt View Post
"The real incompetent mistake AMD made was not ensuring all AM4 CPU could at least boot with any bios."

Quote: Originally Posted by The Stilt View Post
I'm not aware of ANY CPU design or platform infrastructure, past or current, which could support future hardware without first updating the software stack
that is required to initialize the hardware. In the past, when things were much more simple it could have been possible but nowdays it is simply not realistic.
Not unless it'll become feasible to have a factory programmed > 4MB persistent storage on the CPU itself, which would contain the code to initialize the CPU. Considering
the cost of a standard NOR flash vs. die area, its not going to happen.
Requiring some CPU onboard flash is not necessarily the answer. I feel you have just demonstrated linear thinking.

Common, low feature, bios code would do exactly the same. This common low feature element of the bios need not be touched for future iterations of the CPU. Specialise forward on top of that but for the love of God DO NOT have a socket compatible CPU that can't at least get into the bios. Both AMD and the ODM could deprecate having to make changes to the specialised element of the bios as previous gen CPU become mature and legacy. They would all still 'work' though.

The CPU is a SoC at the end of the day and so it should be able to exist separately with basic functionality agnostic of chipset at some point and this is true of every Zen CPU. AMD has made a very big deal of the SoC nature of Zen and yet on the desktop have closely-coupled it to the chipset via bios. Facepalm moment. Theoretically we could all get away with the bottom half of a motherboard not being there with Zen.

Since AMD must have high-level planning in place to facilitate their generations of processors of course they can plan and design in some commonality at a fundamental level to cater for things such as common family interoperability. They just haven't been doing it and the reason that no-one else has ever done it isn't a good enough answer; AMD has demonstrated linear thinking here too. No-one did chiplets before on an x86 CPU yet we have them; AMD science'd the **** out of that one.

The fact AMD marketed the hell out of this but didn't forward plan the requirements to avoid potential negative scenarios demonstrates a half-assed implementation. The 'CPU loaner' scheme is typical of other corporate Operations departments i have interacted with. Operations exist to do work and so the solutions they formulate typically generate lots of work. This makes them feel important. Unfortunately the customer does not want or need this work but it is forced on to them as the only option available. AMD needs to be smarter than this.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 04:28 PM
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I would not worry too much, X470 Gaming 7 supports all CPUs since its release (starting with Zen1/Zen1 APUs) and still has a lot of free space to spare, so it won't be a problem for a board a generation higher. In worst case scenario, APU code can be safely excised as your board (and mine too) does not have any video outputs. Currently, it looks like a lazy and poorly thought through excuse by AMD's PR branch to drop support for fully capable boards or maybe a simple probing for that possibility (considering how community's reacted now, imagine how zen3 launch would be overshadowed if they suddenly announced this drivel at that time.

Quote: Originally Posted by TitusPrime View Post
B550 being an actual solution (as in designed/built for the specific purpose) shows X570 is an outlier.
Considering that it's probably an updated and slightly revamped Promontory with pcie-3.0 support, it actually makes it highly doubtful there are any reasons for compatibility issues related to "uniqueness" of X570. I'd even say it's the other way around - it's highly unlikely that Zen3 IO Die is the same as zen2 (considering topology changes and whatnot), so supporting a 'simple PCI-E hub', as Stilt put it earlier, would actually be much easier than communicating with a previous version of IO Die. Furthermore, considering that all Zen CPUs are a thing in itself (PSP and whatnot, as Stilt said multiple times in his AGESA thread) and it can (and only does) boot on its own, it's highly doubtful these 'unique' features are needed for proper work of Zen3. It's all just business decisions and it'd be fine, if AMD reps did not disparage Intel for doing the same for the sake of expediency and clear-cut transitions for OEMs / MoBo vendors

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Keyboard
A4Tech Bloody B540
Mouse
A4Tech Bloody V7
Audio
Asus Xonar DX
Other
Lamptron FC5V2 Fan Controller
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tsamolotoff is offline  
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