ASUS Demonstrates Z77 Motherboard Features at PC Perspective

Subject: Motherboards, Processors, Chipsets | April 23, 2012 - 12:05 PM |
Tagged: Z77, Ivy Bridge, Intel, asus, 3770k

Last week our good friends at ASUS stopped by the PC Perspective offices to bring along their entire new lineup of Z77 motherboards and show off the changes and new features being offered.  At the time, there we were something we couldn't show you including our overclocking demonstration as it was using the brand new Intel Ivy Bridge processor.  Not only can we now show you that but we have broken up the demo portion of the video in quicker, bite-sized segments. 

Overclocking

JJ Guerrero shows us the basics of overclocking Ivy Bridge both from the updated UEFI and the AI Suite II software.

 

WiDi on the Desktop

Did you know that desktop PCs using the correct Intel wireless controllers will be able to support Wireless Display technology?  

More videos after the break!!

ASUS and Z77 Platform Live Review: We Want Your Questions!

Subject: Motherboards, Processors | April 14, 2012 - 01:26 PM |
Tagged: Z77, video, live review, Ivy Bridge, asus

In case you haven't noticed, there are Z77 motherboards for sale ahead of the launch of Intel's 3rd generation Core processor.  In line with the release of this new CPU, our friends at ASUS are stopping by the PC Perspective offices to give our readers a chance to see the company's entire Z77 lineup and their impressive new feature set demonstrated and explained on camera.

You will hear about features like Wi-Fi GO!, Digi+ Power Control, SupremeFX III audio technology, GameFirst networking technology, the mPCIe Combo Card, Fan Xpert 2 software and a whole lot more!  Stay tuned for our full Ivy Bridge processor and launch review!!

asusz77.png

We also want to use this opportunity to solicit questions from our readers and fans that they might have about the Intel Z77 chipset, the Ivy Bridge processor and the new line of ASUS Z77 motherboards.  You submit these questions in one of several ways:

  1. Leave a comment on this news post.
     
  2. Send me a questions via Twitter, to @ryanshrout.
     
  3. Leave a question on our Facebook page, http://facebook.com/pcper

To make things better, on launch day, we'll be giving away a few ASUS Z77 motherboards as well so be sure you submit your questions SOON!  We are recording the content for this on Sunday, April 15th, so hurry!!

PC Perspective Live Review Recap: Z77 Motherboard Roundup

Subject: Motherboards, Processors, Chipsets | April 13, 2012 - 11:37 PM |
Tagged: Z77, video, msi, live review, Intel, gigabyte, ECS, asus

A PC Perspective Live Review Recap is a recorded version of a previously live streamed event from http://pcper.com/live.  If you couldn't make the original air time, or simply want to re-watch, the on-demand version is provided below!

Z77 chipset based motherboards are already available and on the market and while we can't share performance or details on the Ivy Bridge processor yet, we can show off and discuss the Z77 chipset and motherboards.  In our Live Review we did a quick unboxing and preview of several models including:

  • MSI Z77A-GD65 - $169
  • Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H - $189
  • Intel DZ77GA-70K - $239
  • ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe - $274
  • ECS Z77H2-AX (Non Golden Model - $164)

Author:
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: AMD

More MHz for the Masses

AMD has had a rough time of it lately when it comes to CPUs. Early last year when we saw the performance of the low power Bobcat architecture, we thought 2011 would be a breakout year for AMD. Bulldozer was on the horizon and it promised performance a step above what Intel could offer. This harkened back to the heady days of the original Athlon and Athlon 64 where AMD held a performance advantage over all of Intel’s parts. On the graphics side AMD had just released the 6000 series of chips, all of which came close in performance to NVIDIA’s Fermi architecture, but had a decided advantage in terms of die size and power consumption. Then the doubts started to roll in around the April timeframe. Whispers hinted that Bulldozer was delayed, and not only was it delayed it was not meeting performance expectations.

fx6200_01.jpg

The introduction of the first Llano products did not help things. The “improved” CPU performance was less than expected, even though the GPU portion was class leading. The manufacturing issues we saw with Llano did not bode well for AMD or the upcoming Bulldozer products. GLOBALFOUNDRIES was simply not able to achieve good yields on these new 32 nm products. Then of course the hammer struck. Bulldozer was released, well behind schedule, and with performance that barely rose above that of the previous Phenom II series of chips. The top end FX-8150 was competitive with the previous Phenom II X6 1100T, but it paled in comparison to the Intel i7 2600 which was right around the same price range.

Read the entire review here.

NVIDIA urges you to program better now, not CPU -- later.

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | April 4, 2012 - 04:13 AM |
Tagged: nvidia, Intel, Knight's Corner, gpgpu

NVIDIA steals Intel’s lunch… analogy. In the process they claim that optimizing your application for Intel’s upcoming many-core hardware is not free of effort, and that effort is similar to what is required to develop on what NVIDIA already has available.

A few months ago, Intel published an article on their software blog to urge developers to look to the future without relying on the future when they design their applications. The crux of Intel’s argument states that regardless of how efficient Intel makes their processors, there is still responsibility on your part to create efficient code.

nvidiainteltf2.jpg

There’s always that one, in the back of the class…

NVIDIA, never a company to be afraid to make a statement, used Intel’s analogy to alert developers to optimize for many-core architectures.

The hope that unmodified HPC applications will work well on MIC with just a recompile is not really credible, nor is talking about ease of programming without consideration of performance.

There is no free lunch. Programmers will need to put in some effort to structure their applications for hybrid architectures. But that work will pay off handsomely for today’s, and especially tomorrow’s, HPC systems.

It remains to be seen how Intel MIC will perform when it eventually arrives. But why wait? Better to get ahead of the game by starting down the hybrid multicore path now.

NVIDIA thinks that Intel was correct: there would be no free lunch for developers, why not purchase a plate at NVIDIA’s table? Who knows, after the appetizer you might want to stay around.

You cannot simply allow your program to execute on Many Integrated Core (MIC) hardware and expect it to do so well. The goal is not to simply implement on new hardware -- it is to perform efficiently while utilizing the advantages of everything that is available. It will always be up to the developer to set up their application in the appropriate way.

Your advantage will be to understand the pros and cons of massive parallelism. NVIDIA, AMD, and now Intel have labored to create a variety of architectures to suit this aspiration; software developers must labor in a similar way on their end.

Source: NVIDIA Blogs

How efficiently do Intel and AMD's latest architectures handle virtualization on Ubuntu?

Subject: Processors | April 3, 2012 - 12:43 PM |
Tagged: virtualization, ubuntu 12.04, Sandy Bridge E, Intel, FX 8150, Core i7 3960X, bulldozer, amd

Phoronix is taking the latest Ubuntu release and testing the performance on AMD's FX 8150 against Intel's Core-i7 3960X to see their relative performance in a virtual environment.   Both machines had issues, Xen had critical issues which prevented it from running on the Bulldozer and ASUS motherboard system, while the Sandy Bridge chip had issues with Virtualbox.  The testing was not so much a comparison of the performance difference between the two chips as it is a test of efficiency of these processors running tasks when virtualized.  As both chips averaged 90%+ of base performance when virtualized you can see that both architectures have come a long way in this particular usage.

Also, keep your eyes out for a CPU review from Josh which should be arriving soon.

phoronixbuckle.jpg

"With the upcoming availability of Ubuntu 12.04 "Precise Pangolin" being a Long-Term Support (LTS) release that will be quickly making its way into many enterprise environments, here's a look at the virtualization performance of this popular Linux distribution. In particular, being looked at is the Linux virtualization performance of KVM, Xen, and Oracle VirtualBox compared to bare metal when using Intel Sandy Bridge Extreme and AMD Bulldozer hardware."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

 

Source: Phoronix

Intel Ivy Bridge Processors To Launch March 23 2012

Subject: Processors | March 19, 2012 - 06:33 PM |
Tagged: Ivy Bridge, Intel, cpu, 22nm

Jeremy posted earlier that Guru3D managed to spot a list of Ivy Bridge processors on Intel's site before getting taken down; however, they did not indicate any specific release dates. A recent article over at TechARP today did mention two dates that are allegedly going to be the launch date and release date for Intel's latest Ivy Bridge 22nm processors.

According to the article, Intel will launch their Ivy Bridge CPUs on Friday March 23, 2012, and then the actual release date (when hardware will be available) will be April 29, 2012.

Among the new processors are Intel's standard TDP parts at 77 Watts and low voltage parts with 65 Watt TDPs. Of the standard voltage parts, the "K" series Ivy Bridge CPUs will feature Intel's newest HD 4000 processor graphics and unlocked multipliers. All the nitty-gritty details including clock speeds and core counts are shown in the chart below. The HD 2500 GPU will is the chip that the remaining processors use.

Model Cores / Threads Clock Speed / Turbo Boost (GHz) L3 Cache Processor Graphics TDP Launch Price ($USD)
 i7-3770K  4 / 8  3.5 / 3.9   8 MB  HD 4000  77 W  $332
 i7-3770  4 / 8  3.4 / 3.9  8 MB  HD 4000  77  W  $294
 i5-3570K  4 / 4  3.4 / 3.8  6 MB  HD 4000  77 W  $225
 i5-3570  4 / 4  3.4 / 3.8  6 MB  HD 2500  77 W  $215
 i5-3550  4 / 4  3.3 / 3.7  6 MB  HD 2500  77 W  $205
 i5-3470  4 / 4  3.2 / 3.6  6 MB  HD 2500  77 W  NA
 i5-3450  4 / 4  3.1 / 3.5  6 MB  HD 2500  77 W  $184
 i5-3330  4 / 4  3.0 / 3.2  6 MB  HD 2500  77 W  NA

 

Further, Intel's low voltage Ivy Bridge processors on the desktop feature clock speeds ranging from 2.7 GHz to 3.1 GHz and between 2 and four cores. Of these CPUs, only the top end Intel Core i7-3770T and i7-3770S along with the Core i5-3470T processors will include Intel's Hyper-Threading technology. Also, only the two top end low voltage parts and the Intel Core i5-3475S Ivy Bridge CPU will use Intel's new HD 4000 processor graphics. The remaining parts will use the HD 2500 GPU. The chart below lists the current desktop lineup of low voltage parts including price, core count, and clock speeds.

Model Cores / Threads Clock Speed / Turbo Boost (GHz) L3 Cache Processor Graphics TDP Launch Price ($USD)
 i7-3770S   4 / 8  3.1 / 3.9  8 MB  HD 4000  65 W  $294
 i7-3770T  4 / 8  2.5 / 3.7  8 MB  HD 4000  65 W  $294
 i5-3570S  4 / 4  3.1 / 3.8  6 MB  HD 2500  65 W  $205
 i5-3570T  4 / 4  2.3 / 3.3  6 MB  HD 2500  65 W  $205
 i5-3550S  4 / 4  3.0 / 3.7  6 MB  HD 2500  65 W  $205
 i5-3475S  4 / 4  2.9 / 3.6  6 MB  HD 4000  65 W  NA
 i5-3470S  4 / 4  2.9 / 3.6  3 MB  HD 2500  65 W  NA
 i5-3470T  2 / 4  2.9 / 3.6  3 MB  HD 2500  65 W  $184
 i5-3450S  4 / 4  2.8 / 3.5  6 MB  HD 2500  65 W  $184
 i5-3330S  4 / 4  2.7 / 3.2  6 MB  HD 2500  65 W  NA

 

More Ivy Bridge information on Ivy Bridge's 22nm tri-gate transistors  and a preview of the Intel Core i7-3770K is available here and here respectively.  Jeremy also tracked down an image of the above charts here.

Source: TechARP

Three Intel architectures; one speed

Subject: Processors | March 19, 2012 - 06:05 PM |
Tagged: Ivy Bridge, sandy bridge, sandy bridge-e, i7-3770K (ES), i7-2600K, i7-3960x

VR-Zone took a processor from each of Intel's last three architectures, clocked them all to 4.7GHz and started benchmarking.  By clocking them all the same you get to see a better comparison of the performance of the various architectures, although the motherboard chipset does introduce a variable into the performance results.  As well, the Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770K is an engineering sample and so may not perfectly reflect the performance of the final retail product.  Drop by to see how these chips compare in synthetic benchmarks.

VR_15202.jpeg

"Intel's Core i7-3770K (ES) vs i7-2600K vs i7-3960X, nuff said! We have also included a brief USB 3.0 controller shootout inside, involving the new Z77 (Panther Point) Native USB implementation and other popular solutions."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

 

Source: VR-Zone

ARM Cortex-MO+ Lowest Power Processor Yet At 9µA/MHz

Subject: Processors | March 14, 2012 - 06:21 AM |
Tagged: RISC, embedded systems, cortex-m0+, cortex-m, arm, 32-bit

ARM has recently announced a new 32 bit processor for embedded systems that sips power and is one of the lowest power designs yet. This new ARM processor is a new entrant to the Cortex M lineup and has been labeled the ARM Cortex-MO+. The chip features a full 32-bit RISC instruction set and is manufactured using the older, and low cost, 90nm process.

Cortex-M.jpg

The magic happens when we look at the power draw, and according to ARM it will sip power at a mere 9µA (9 microamps) per Megahertz (MHz). It can further run any code designed for (existing) Cortex-M series processor including the Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M4. The new Cortex-M0+ is intended to be used in embedded systems and as microcontroller applications controlling larger machinery.

There is no word yet on pricing or availability; however, support has been promised by the Keil Microcontroller Development Kit and third part software such as Code Red, Micruim, and SEGGER. Freescale and NXP Semiconductor further have been named licensees of the technology thus far. In the case of NXP Semiconductor, they plan to replace existing 8 bit microcontrollers with the ARM Cortex-MO+ in devices such as their UPS units, active cabling, and touchscreens. Freescale, on the other hand, plans to develop their own version of the Cortex-MO+ in the form of the Kinetis L series processor. They will further use the low power chip to operate appliances, portable medical systems, and lighting (among others).

Source: Bit-Tech

Intel in the Cloud with Ray-traces

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors, Mobile | March 8, 2012 - 04:02 AM |
Tagged: ray tracing, tablet, tablets, knight's ferry, Intel

Intel looks to bring ray-tracing from their Many Integrated Core (Intel MIC) architecture to your tablet… by remotely streaming from a server loaded with one or more Knight’s Ferry cards.

The anticipation of ray-tracing engulfed almost the entirety of 3D video gaming history. The reasonable support of ray-tracing is very seductive for games as it enables easier access to effects such as global illumination, reflections, and so forth. Ray-tracing is well deserved of its status as a buzzword.

intel-ray.jpg

Render yourself in what Knight’s Ferry delivered… with scaling linearly and ray-traced Wolfenstein

Screenshot from Intel Blogs.

Obviously Intel would love to make headway into the graphics market. In the past Intel has struggled to put forth an acceptable offering for graphics. It is my personal belief that Intel did not take graphics seriously when they were content selling cheap GPUs to be packed in with PCs. While the short term easy money flowed in, the industry slipped far enough ahead of them that they could not just easily pounce back into contention with a single huge R&D check.

Intel obviously cares about graphics now, and has been relentless at their research into the field. Their CPUs are far ahead of any competition in terms of serial performance -- and power consumption is getting plenty of attention itself.

Intel has long ago acknowledged the importance of massively parallel computing but was never quite able to bring products like Larabee against anything the companies they once ignored could retaliate with. This brings us back to ray-tracing: what is the ultimate advantage of ray-tracing?

 

Ray-tracing is a dead simple algorithm.

 

A ray-trace renderer is programmed very simply and elegantly. Effects are often added directly and without much approximation necessary. No hacking around is required in the numerous caveats within graphics APIs in order to get a functional render on screen. If you can keep throwing enough coal on the fire, it will burn without much effort -- so to speak. Intel just needs to put a fast enough processor behind it, and away they go.

Throughout the article, Daniel Pohl has in fact discussed numerous enhancements that they have made to their ray-tracing engine to improve performance. One of the most interesting improvements is their approach to antialiasing. If the rays from two neighboring pixels strike different meshes or strike the same mesh at the point of a sharp change in direction, denoted by color, between pixels then they are flagged for supersampling. The combination of that shortcut with MLAA will also be explored by Intel at some point.

intel-41914.png

A little behind-the-scenes trickery...

Screenshot from Intel Blogs.

Intel claims that they were able to achieve 20-30 FPS at 1024x600 resolutions streaming from a server with a single Knight’s Ferry card installed to an Intel Atom-based tablet. They were able to scale to within a couple percent of theoretical 8x performance with 8 Knight’s Ferry cards installed.

I very much dislike trusting my content to online streaming services as I am an art nut. I value the preservation of content which just is not possible if you are only able to access it through some remote third party -- can you guess my stance on DRM? That aside, I understand that Intel and others will regularly find ways to push content to where there just should not be enough computational horsepower to accept it.

Ray-tracing might be Intel’s attempt to circumvent all of the years of research that they ignored with conventional real-time rendering technologies. Either way, gaming engines are going the way of simpler rendering algorithms as GPUs become more generalized and less reliant on fixed-function hardware assigned to some arbitrary DirectX or OpenGL specification.

Intel just hopes that they can have a compelling product at that destination whenever the rest of the industry arrives.

Source: Intel Blog