Subject: General Tech | August 16, 2018 - 03:16 PM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: xeon, video, Turning, Threadripper, ssd, Samsung, QLC, podcast, PA32UC, nvidia, nand, L1TF, Intel, DOOM Eternal, asus, amd, 660p, 2990wx, 2950x
PC Perspective Podcast #509 - 08/16/18
Join us this week for discussion on Modded Thinkpads, EVGA SuperNOVA PSUs, and more!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano
Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg
Program length: 1:35:10
There is no 3
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Picks of the Week:
Subject: General Tech | August 16, 2018 - 02:28 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, threadripper 2, 2990wx, overclocking, LN2
The low cost workstation class 2990WX has been verified as running at 5.955GHz on an MSI MEG X399 Creation board, with the help of a lot of liquid nitrogen. The Inquirer has links to the setup that Indonesian overclocker Ivan Cupa needed in order to manage this feat, which required fans to cool certain portions of the motherboard as well. You are not likely to see this set up installed in a server room but the achievement is no less impressive as that is an incredible frequency to reach. Check it out in all it's glory.
"So far, it would seem that AMD is on top when it comes to willy-waving, though it's worth noting that overclocked performance is a tad nebulous and real-world in-app performance is really where choosing an Intel or AMD chip comes to play."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- TSMC sees pickup in orders for mining ASICs @ DigiTimes
- ARM takes aim at Intel with its laptop-class processor ambitions @ The Inquirer
- Foreshadow and Intel SGX software attestation: 'The whole trust model collapses' @ The Register
- Intel’s 10nm Cannon Lake chip gets another outing in new NUC mini PC @ Ars Technica
- IoT shouters Chirp get themselves added to Microsoft Azure IoT @ The Register
- What Are the Best CCleaner Alternatives? @ TechSpot
- Cougar Armor S Gaming Chair @ TechPowerUp
- NikKTech & 1MORE Feel The Sound European Giveaway
Aggressively Pursuing New Markets
ARM has had a pretty fascinating history, but for most of its time on this Earth it has not been a very public facing company. After the release of the iPhone and ARM’s dominance in the mobile market, they decided to push their PR efforts up a few notches. Now we finally were able to see some of the inner workings of a company that was once a little known low power CPU designer that licensed cores out to third parties.
The company was not always as aggressive as what we are seeing now. The mobile space for a long time was dominated by multiple architectures that all have eventually faded away. ARM held steady with design improvements and good customer relations that ensured that they would continue into the future. After the release of the original iPhone, the world changed. Happily for us, ARM changed as well. In previous years ARM would announce products, but they would be at least three years away and few people took notice of what they were up to. I originally started paying attention to ARM as I thought that their cores might have the ability to power mobile gaming and perhaps be integrated into future consoles so that there would be a unified architecture that these providers could lean upon. This was back when the 3DS and PSP were still selling millions of units.
This of course never came to pass as I had expected it to, but at least ARM did make it into the Nintendo Switch. ARM worked hard to quickly put faster, more efficient parts out the door. They also went on a buying spree and acquired several graphics startups that would eventually contribute to the now quite formidable Mali GPU family of products. Today we have an extensive lineup of parts that can be bundled into a tremendous amount of configurations. ARM has a virtual monopoly in the cellphone market because they have been willing to work with anyone who wants to license their designs, technologies, and architectures. This is actually a relatively healthy “monopoly” because the partners do the work to mix and match features to provide unique products to the marketplace. Architectural licensees like Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung all differentiate their products as well and provide direct competition to the ARM designed cores that are licensed to other players.
Today we are seeing a new direction from ARM that has never been officially explored. We have been given a roadmap of the next two generations of products from the company that are intended to compete in not only the cellphone market, but also in the laptop market. ARM has thrown down the gauntlet and their sights are set on Intel and AMD. Not only is ARM showing us the codenames for these products, but also the relative performance.
Subject: Processors | August 9, 2018 - 04:36 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Ryzen 7 2700, amd, Zen+
There is a ~$30 difference between the Ryzen 7 2700 and the 2700X, which begs the question as to whom would chose the former over the latter. The Tech Report points out another major difference between the two processors, the 2700 has a 65W TDP while the 2700X is 105W; pointing to one possible reason for choosing the less expensive part. The question remains as to what you will be missing out on and if there is any reason not to go with the even less expensive and highly overclockable Ryzen 7 1700? Find out the results of their tests and get the answer right here.
"AMD's Ryzen 7 2700 takes all the benefits of AMD's Zen+ architecture and wraps eight of those cores up in a 65-W TDP. We tested the Ryzen 7 2700's performance out in stock and overclocked tune to see what it offers over the hugely popular Ryzen 7 1700."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- One year with Threadripper @ TechSpot
- Battle of the Workstations: AMD Ryzen Threadripper vs Intel Core X-Series @ Techgage
- We Test a $1,000 CPU From 2010 vs. Ryzen 3 @ TechSpot
- Intel's Spectre 'Variant 4' Performance Tested: Speculative Store Bypass @ TechSpot
- Qualcomm's Snapdragon 670 packs high-end features into a mid-range chip @ The Inquirer
Subject: Motherboards | August 8, 2018 - 11:41 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: X399, tr4, threadripper 2, Threadripper, gigabyte, aorus, amd
Gigabyte is gearing up for AMD’s Threadripper 2 processors with the launch of the X399 Aorus Xtreme motherboard which represents the company’s new flagship model for the TR4 socket. The new high end motherboard has been souped-up a bit to support the higher TDP Threadripper 2 processors with a beefed up 10+3 digital power phase and active cooling for the VRMs while also featuring RGB Fusion and modern I/O connectivity options for internal and external components. Gigabyte’s new flagship will be available soon with MSRP pricing of $449.
The X399 Aorus Xtreme motherboard nestles the TR4 socket in the middle of eight DDR4 DIMM slots (quad channel up to 3466 MHz or 3600+ when overclocking). Along the top edge of the motherboard are 10 50A IR3578 digital power phases with high current mosfets for vCore and there are 3 more phases in the left corner of the board (between the DIMM slot and rear IO) for SOC power. The digital IR power phases are cooled by a direct touch heat pipe where the mosfets make contact using new 5W/mK thermal pads on the top side and also reportedly a bit more cooling from a “nano carbon” baseplate on the underside of the motherboard PCB. The heatpipe runs through one passive and one actively cooled fins array heatsink that uses two 30mm fans hidden under the rear IO armor. The board is powered by two 8-pin CPU power, one 24-pin ATX, and one six pin PCI-E power connectors.
The motherboard further features four PCI-E 3.0 x16 slots, one PCI-E 2.0 x1 slot, three M.2 (PCI-E 3.0 NVMe) slots (two 22110 and one 2280), and six SATA ports. The motherboard supports 4-way graphics card setups with the cards running at x16/x8/x16/x8.
Onboard controllers include audio from Realtek, three Ethernet NICs, and a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth radios. The Aorus AMP UP audio uses a Realtek ALC1220-VB audio codec paired with an ESS 9118EQ SABRE DAC and Nichicon capacitors and gold-plated audio jacks. As for the networking, the board has a single 10 Gigabit Ethernet NIC from Aquantia, two Intel i220AT Gigabit Ethernet NICs, and Intel wireless controller for dual band 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2.
Rear I/O on the X399 Aorus Xtreme includes:
- Two physical buttons for power/reset and clear CMOS
- 8x USB 3.0 Type-A
- 2x USB 3.1 (1x Type-A, 1x Type-C)
- 6x Audio (5x 3.5mm analog, 1x optical S/PDIF)
Of course, no high-end enthusiast motherboard would be complete without RGB, and the X399 Aorus Xtreme has that in spades with built in RGB on the heatsinks and multiple headers for adding even more RGB. The RGB Fusion includes two addressable RGB LED headers and two standard RGBW LED headers. The board also has multiple fan and hybrid cooling headers scattered throughout as part of Gigabyte’s Smart Fan 5 suite.
I am looking forward to the reviews of this and other Threadripper 2 motherboards and in seeing how the beefed up cooling and power might help both second and first generation Threadripper processors especially if overclocking!
Subject: Graphics Cards | August 7, 2018 - 03:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, RX 570, RX 580, msi, MECH 2 OC, factory overclocked
MSI have released two new Polaris cards, the MECH 2 versions of the RX 570 and 580. The cards come factory overclocked and the Guru of 3D were able to push the clocks higher using Afterburner, with noticeable improvements in performance. For those more interested in quiet performance, the tests show these two to be some of the least noisy on the market, with the 570 hitting roughly ~34 dBA under full load and the 580 producing ~38dBA. Check out the full review and remember that picking one of these up qualifies you for three free games!
"Join us as we review the MSI Radeon RX 570 and 580 MECH 2 OC with 8GB graphics memory. This all-new two slot cooled mainstream graphics card series will allow you to play your games in both the Full HD 1080P as well as gaming in WQHD (2560x1440) domain. The new MECH 2 series come with revamped looks and cooling."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- MSI Radeon RX 580 Mech 2 8 GB @ TechPowerUp
- NVIDIA GPU Generational Performance Part 1 @ [H]ard|OCP
- NVIDIA GPU Generational Performance Part 2 @ [H]ard|OCP
- AMD’s “fine wine” revisited – the Fury X vs. the GTX 980 Ti @ BabelTechReviews
- GTX 1060 6GB vs the RX 580 8GB vs the GTX 980 4GB revisited @ BabelTechReviews
- eForce GTX 1060 3GB vs. Radeon RX 570 4GB: 2018 Update @ Techspot
- XFX RX 570 RS 8GB XXX Edition @ OCC
- The GTX 1070 versus the GTX 980 Ti @ BabelTechReviews
Star Control: Origins, Strange Brigade and Assassin's Creed Odyssey FREE with Radeon RX Vega, RX 580 or RX 570
Subject: General Tech | August 7, 2018 - 02:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, gaming, rx vega, RX 580, RX 570, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Strange Brigade, Star Control: Origins
AMD is offering three free games with the purchase of one of their new GPUs between today, August 7th, and November 3, 2018 with the game codes being redeemable until December 31, 2018. None of the three games are yet released, Strange Brigade comes on August 28, Star Control: Origins on September 20 and Assassin's Creed Odyssey coming October 5.
As you do get them all for free the usual pre-order advice would not apply and you should definitely take advantage of this deal if you have any inclination of picking up an AMD GPU in the near future.
This announcement comes at the same time as the arrival of the new MECH 2 RX 570 and 580 series from MSI, with a reasonable overclock out of the box and an updated cooler design. Look out for more news on those two GPUs very soon.
Today, AMD announced that gamers can get the PC versions of the highly anticipated Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Star Control: Origins and Strange Brigade for FREE when they buy an AMD Radeon RX Vega, RX 580 or RX 570 graphics card, once the titles are released.
Fast-forward to the year 2086 to join the galactic community and feel the thrill of ship-to-ship battle in Star Control: Origins. Stand against an ancient forgotten evil power in Strange Brigade. And forge your destiny and define your own path in war-torn Ancient Greece as you live an epic adventure in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
Strange Brigade will be available on August 28, Star Control: Origins will be available on September 20 and Assassin's Creed Odyssey will be available on October 5. The promotional period begins August 7 and expires November 3, 2018. Games can be redeemed until December 31, 2018.
The promotion is available worldwide with the following exceptions: China, Cuba, North Korea, Syria, Sudan and Iran
Subject: General Tech | August 7, 2018 - 02:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, EPYC, Intel, market share, server
AMD is continuing to see success in the server room, grabbing a bit more market share from Intel this quarter. The estimated revenue was $57.66m in the Q2 2018 whereas Q1 was $36m, as far as actual market share, AMD has increased their slice of the pie by 1.3% versus an increase of 0.5% this time last year. AMD is hopeful they can reach 5% by the end of the year; The Register notes that 2.1% or so would be more in line with the current trend. Regardless this is great news for AMD and indicates the attractiveness of EPYC for those companies looking for server upgrades.
"Aaron Rakers, senior analyst at Wells Fargo, has seen the second 2018 quarter numbers. He told The Register: "Intel's server CPU share is estimated to have dec lined to 98.7 per cent vs 99 per cent in the prior period and 99.5 per cent a year ago."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- AMD's second-generation Ryzen Threadripper CPUs revealed @ The Tech Report
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX & 2950X Unboxing @ [H]ard|OCP
- AMD unveils 'record breaking' Threadripper 2 CPUs with sights set on Intel @ The Inquirer
- Threadripper 2950X and 2990WX (specs and unboxing) @ Guru of 3D
- Microsoft U-turn sees Skype Classic given a reprieve (for the moment) @ The Inquirer
- Palm-branded Smartphones Could Return This Year @ Slashdot
- NAND we'll send foreign tech packing, says China of Xtacking: DRAM-speed... but light on layer-stacking @ The Register
- Don’t touch that link: Machine learning and the war on phishing @ Ars Technica
- TSMC chip fab tools hit by virus, payment biz BGP hijacked, CCleaner gets weird – and more @ The Register
- TSMC says variant of WannaCry forced factory shutdown @ The Inquirer
- 12 Windows Clipboard Managers Tested @ Techspot
- Divoom Timebox Smart Music Clock Review @ NikKTech
- 60,000 board gamers, one convention hall: Gen Con 2018 in picture @ Ars Technica
- NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 Router @ TechPowerUp
Subject: Processors | August 6, 2018 - 09:00 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Zen+, XFR 2.0, Threadripper, StoreMI, ryzen, r7 2700x, Pinnacle Ridge, Intel, Core i9-780xe, amd, 2nd generation threadripper, 12nm
First teased at Computex earlier this summer, AMD has now released details and availability information for their 2nd Generation Threadripper CPUs.
Based upon the same 12nm Zen+ architecture we saw with the Pinnacle Ridge CPUs like the R7 2700X, Threadripper will now be split into two product families, the X, and the WX series.
The X-series is mostly a refresh of the Threaripper SKUs that we saw last year, with 12 and 16-core variants. The Threadripper 2920X and 2950X will retain the same two die, 4 CCX arrangement that we saw with the previous generation, with the ability to run in either unified or non-unified memory modes.
Notably, the 8-core variant found in the original Threadripper lineup seems to be absent in the 2nd generation.
This new generation of Threadripper comes in less expensive than the last, with a $50 price drop on the 12-core CPU, and a $100 price drop on the 16-core variant.
The newest aspect of the 2nd Generation Threadripper Lineup is the addition of the "WX" series processors. These higher core count processors are being marketed by AMD more towards "Creators and Innovators" rather than gamers.
Available in both 24 and 32-core variants, the Threadripper WX series represents the highest core count consumer CPUs ever launched. Since we know that Zen+ dies contain a maximum of 8 cores, we can assume that these processors are using a 4 die configuration, similar to the EPYC server parts, but likely with the same 64 lanes of PCIe and 4 channel memory controllers
This pricing is extremely aggressive compared to the highest core count competitor from Intel, the $2000 18-core i9-7980XE.
All 2nd Generation Threadripper CPUs will include the 2nd Generation Zen features that we saw in the R7 2600 and 2700 series, including XFR 2.0, StoreMI, and improved memory support and latency.
Additionally, these new Threadripper CPUs will use the existing X399 chipset, with UEFI updates being made available for existing X399 boards, as well as some new variants such as the MSI MEG X399 Creation launching alongside the new CPUs.
Availability of these processors is staggered, with the 32-core WX CPU shipping first on August 13th (and available now for preorder on Newegg and Amazon), followed shortly by the 16-core 2950X. However, we won't see the 12 and 24 variants until October.
Stay tuned for our review of these parts as they reach retail availability!
Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | August 3, 2018 - 04:41 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: Zen, Vega, SoC, ryzen, China, APU, amd
Continuing down the path with its semi-custom design division, AMD today announced a partnership with Chinese company Zhongshan Subor to design and build a new chip to be utilized for both a Chinese gaming PC and Chinese gaming console.
The chip itself will include a quad-core integration of the Zen processor supporting 8 threads at a clock speed of 3.0 GHz, no Turbo or XFR is included. The graphics portion is built around a Vega GPU with 24 Compute Units running at 1.3 GHz. Each CU has 64 stream processors giving the “Fenghuang” chip a total of 1536 SPs. That is the same size GPU used in the Kaby Lake-G Vega M GH part, but with a higher clock speed.
The memory system is also interesting as Zhongshan Subor has integrated 8GB of GDDR5 on a single package. (Update: AMD has clarified that this is a GDDR5 memory controller on package, and the memory itself is on the mainboard. Much more sensible.) This is different than how Intel integrated basically the same product from AMD as it utilized HBM2 memory. As far as I can see, this is the first time that an AMD-built SoC has utilized GDDR memory for both the GPU and CPU outside of the designs used for Microsoft and Sony.
This custom built product will still support AMD and Radeon-specific features like FreeSync, the Radeon Software suite, and next-gen architecture features like Rapid Packed Math. It is being built at GlobalFoundries.
Though there are differences in the apparent specs from the leaks that showed up online earlier in the year, they are pretty close. This story thought the custom SoC would include a 28 CU GPU and HBM2. Perhaps there is another chip design for a different customer pending or more likely there were competing integrations and the announced version won out due to cost efficiency.
Zhongshan Subor is a Chinese holding company that owns everything from retail stores to an education technology business. You might have heard its name in association with a gluttony of Super Famicom clones years back. I don’t expect this new console to have near the reach of an Xbox or PlayStation but with the size of the Chinese market, anything is possible if the content portfolio is there.
It is interesting that despite the aggressiveness of both Microsoft and Sony in the console space in regards to hardware upgrades this generation, this Chinese design will be the first to ship with a Zen-based APU, though it will lag behind the graphics performance of the Xbox One X (and probably PS4 Pro). Don’t be surprised if both major console players integrate a similar style of APU design with their next-generation products, pairing Zen with Vega.
Revenue for AMD from this arrangement is hard to predict but it does get an upfront fee from any semi-custom chip customer for the design and validation of the product. There is no commitment for a minimum chip purchase so AMD will see extended income only if the console and PC built around the APU succeeds.
Enthusiasts and PC builders have already started questioning whether this is the type of product that might make its way to the consumer. The truth is that the market for a high-performance, fully-integrated SoC like this is quite small, with DIY and SI (system integrator) markets preferring discrete components most of the time. If we remove the GDDR5 integration, which is one of the key specs that makes the “Fenghuang” chip so interesting and expensive, I’d bet the 24 CU GPU would be choked by standard DDR4/5 DRAM. For now, don’t hold out hope that AMD takes the engineering work of this Chinese gaming product and applies it to the general consumer market.