Subject: General Tech | April 19, 2018 - 10:08 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: x470, wd black nvme, Samsung, s9 plus, ryzen, podcast, Pinnacle Ridge, Intel, coffee lake, amd, 2700x, 2600x
PC Perspective Podcast #496 - 04/19/18
Join us this week for discussion of the Ryzen 7 2700X and Ryzen 5 2600X, WD's new NVMe SSDs, performance benchmarks of the Galaxy S9 Plus and more!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Allyn Malventano, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath
Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg
Program length: 1:59:30
Podcast topics of discussion:
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A Year Later
Despite what might be considered an overall slump in enthusiast PC building due to record low GPU availability and sky-high memory prices, 2017 was one of the most exciting and competitive years in recent history when it comes to CPU innovation. On the desktop side alone, we saw the launch of AMD's new Zen CPU architecture with the Ryzen 1000 series of parts starting last March; we also saw new HEDT platforms from both Intel and AMD, and Intel's first 6-core mainstream CPUs.
Although the timeline doesn't quite work out for Ryzen to have affected the engineering-side of Intel's decision to release a 6-core desktop processor, it's evident AMD's pressure changed Intel's pricing and release schedule.
With little desktop competition, it's likely that the i7-8700K would have been a more expensive part, and released later. It's likely that Coffee Lake would have seen a full stack product launch in early 2018, as opposed to the staggered launch we experienced where only one compatible chipset and a subset of CPUs were available for months.
AMD and Ryzen have put significant pressure on Intel to remain competitive, which is good for the industry as a whole.
We're now at just over a year since AMD's first Ryzen processor releases, and looking at the first appearance of the codename Pinnacle Ridge CPUs. Launching today are the Ryzen 7 2700X and 2700, and the Ryzen 5 2600x and 2600 processors. Can AMD keep moving the needle forward in the CPU space? Let's take a look.
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of ECS
The ECS Z370 Lightsaber motherboard is the latest offering in ECS' L337 product line, offering support for the Intel Z370 chipset. Similar to previous iterations of the Lightsaber board, the Z370-Lightsaber builds on the those board by adding dual-m.2 slot support, enhanced power support, as well as support for the latest Intel Coffee Lake-based processors. With an MSRP of $199, ECS priced the Z370 Lightsaber to be price-competitive with other mid-tier Z370-based offerings.
Courtesy of ECS
ECS designed the Z370 Lightsaber with a 14-phase digital power delivery system, using high efficiency chokes and MOSFETs, as well as solid core capacitors for optimal board performance. The following features into the Z370 Lightsaber board: six SATA 3 ports; two PCIe X2 M.2 ports; a Rivet Networks Killer E2500 GigE NIC; three PCI-Express x16 slots; three PCI-Express x1 slots; a 3-digit diagnostic LED display; on-board power, reset, Quick overclock, BIOS set, BIOS update, BIOS backup, and Clear CMOS buttons; a dual BIOS switch; Realtek audio solution; integrated DVI and HDMI video port support; and USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.1 Gen2 port support.
Courtesy of ECS
For the integrated audio solution, ECS used a Realtek chipset on a separate PCB to minimize audio crosstalk and interference. The also include a removable audio amplifier chipset and high-end Nichicon audio capacitors for a superior audio experience.
Subject: Processors | April 16, 2018 - 10:02 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: coffee lake, coffee lake s, 8700k, Z370, Z390, 6+2, 8+2
One more piece of evidence was brought to our attention recently, as spotted by an eagle-eyed user on Reddit. Intel's Technical Documentation website now seems to contain documents referencing an unreleased "Coffee Lake S 8+2" product.
In Intel nomenclature, 8+2 would refer to 8 CPU cores, plus 2 integrated GPU cores. For example, the current 6-core i7-8700K processor is referred to as a 6+2 processor configuration. Hence, the 8+2 processor being referenced here would be a sibling to the 8700K, with two more CPU cores.
Unfortunately, the actual documents are hidden behind an Intel login page, so we are unable to view them in full, but rather only have titles and short descriptions of their contents.
Given their recent appetite for the "i9" brand as the highest-end configurations, as we saw on the recent Coffee Lake-H notebook processor launch, I would expect this to be the first mainstream Intel desktop processor to carry the "i9" branding.
Additionally, we see documents referring to design aspects of both the existing Coffee Lake-S 6+2 part (8700K) and this new 8+2 part. This brings us hope that Z370 motherboards will remain compatible with this new processor, and not require yet another chipset.
While it seems likely that these new processors will launch alongside a Z390 chipset, we would expect the same level of compatibility while adding connectivity features built into the chipset such as USB 3.1 Gen 2 and 802.11ac wireless, as we saw on the recent H370 and B360 chipsets.
With the launch of AMD's Ryzen 2000-series of processors looming later this week, it seems like Intel is playing the waiting game before launching this 8-core processor. Speculation is that we could see this part before Computex in June.
Subject: Memory | April 13, 2018 - 10:46 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: adata, xpg, ddr4, Samsung, overclocking, 5ghz, coffee lake, Z370
ADATA recently announced that it was able to overclock its upcoming XPG Spectrix D41 RGB DDR4 memory to 5 GHz on air cooling. The new Spectrix modules were first shown off at CES 2018 along with phase change cooled Spectrix D80 DIMMs.
Not content to let G.Skill have all the fun, ADATA took its 2132 MHz AX4U470038G19-DR41 memory and pushed it to 5 GHz in dual channel mode with fairly tight timings of 21-26-26-45-2T. They do not mention how much voltage was needed, but the XMP 2.0 profile of 4608 MHz at 19-19-19-39 and 1.45V suggests that likely at least 1.5V was needed. For comparison, G.Skill was able to hit 5007.4 MHz at CL21-26-26-46-2T while ADATA hit 4996.8 MHz at 21-26-26-45-2T (as reported by CPU-z). Both memory manufacturers used a MSI Z370I Gaming Pro Carbon AC motherboard and Intel Coffee Lake Core i7-8700K to achieve their overclocks. ADATA had the processor clocked at 4.3 GHz (100 BCLK x 43x multiplier).
ADATA’s Spectrix D41 memory uses stylized heat spreaders along with RGB LEDs along the top edges. According to ADATA it is using carefully screened Samsung B-die ICs which so far appear to be the best chips out there for DDR4 when it comes to pushing clocks and AMD compatibility. While a retail kit clocked at 5 GHz (at least when XMP is turned on) out of the box is still far off, the increasing number of successful overclocks is promising for enthusiasts that are looking for kits to overclock on their own. I am still waiting for the memory kit makers to demonstrate the 5GHz on air feat with an AMD platform though as so far the attempts have all used an Intel platform. Perhaps once Ryzen 2000 CPUs and X470 motherboards are out we will see what 5 GHz does for Infinity Fabric.
Tom Chan, director at ADATA Technology, was quoted in the press release as stating:
“For us, the next critical step will be working to make this more than just a technological milestone, but something that will be accessible to gamers, overclockers and others, so that they can ultimately benefit from this amazing performance.”
ADATA / XPG have not yet announced pricing for its Spectrix D41 (or D80) kits but hopefully they will be available soon. The Spectrix D41 should be available in up to 16GB per DIMM capacities and up to 4600 MHz with XMP 2.0 profiles. I am curious whether the D80 with its phase change cooler could be overclocked any more than 5 GHz or if that is simply the limits of Samsung’s current generation ICs regardless of cooling method (outside of exotic cooling like lquid helium or liquid nitrogen and needing ludicrous amounts of voltage of course heh).
Subject: Processors | April 11, 2018 - 06:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ryzen, Intel, i5-8400, coffee lake, B360, b350, AMD Ryzen 5 1600, amd
With the launch of Intel's B360 chipset, the price difference between a Coffee Lake and Ryzen system have been much reduced; in part because RAM and GPU will account for the vast majority of your expenses. TechSpot tested the Ryzen 5 1600 against an i5-8400 on a B360 motherboard, as well as a Z370 to show the difference between those two chipsets. Overall, the results came out in a tie, with AMD's chip better at tasks which benefit from multithreading while Intel's topped out when gaming.
Of course, we are quickly approaching the arrival of Ryzen 2, which may change things drastically.
"Before the incoming 2nd-gen Ryzen parts arrive this shootout will let us establish how AMD and Intel currently stack up with all the latest Windows updates, BIOS updates, driver updates and new motherboards we have on hand, giving us an up to date reference point for the new CPUs."
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- POWER9 Benchmarks vs. Intel Xeon vs. AMD EPYC Performance On Debian Linux @ Phoronix
- Intel Core i5 8600 @ Guru of 3D
- Intel Core i7-8750H Review: Hexa-core Processor for Laptops @ Techspot
- Core i7 2600K Tested in 2018 - Time to upgrade @ Techspot
Subject: Motherboards | April 6, 2018 - 05:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, H370, B360, H310, H370N Wifi, gigabyte, coffee lake
The Tech Report published an overview of Intel's new entry level boards and chips which were introduced to compete with AMD's Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G. Along with the look at the new silicon comes a review of a new Gigabyte board which is wee bit different from the one Morry reviewed. Even with the small stature of the H370N WiFi, Gigabyte still included a pair of M.2 ports, two HDMI ports of which one is HDMI 2.0, DP 1.2, four USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A and a single Type-C. If you are looking to build a fully functional and yet affordable SFF system you should check this out.
"Intel's H370, B360, and H310 chipsets promise to power the kinds of affordable boards that have been sorely missed alongside locked Coffee Lake CPUs. We explore what kinds of load-outs builders can expect from this new silicon and check out Gigabyte's H370N Wifi to see how motherboard makers might implement H370's fresh features."
Here are some more Motherboard articles from around the web:
- Intel B360 vs. Z370 Chipset: Finally an 8th-Gen Budget Platform @ TechSpot
- Gigabyte Aorus H370 Gaming 3 WIFI @ Guru3D
- Gigabyte Aorus B360 Gaming 3 WIFI @ Guru3D
- MSI B360 Gaming Pro Carbon @ Guru3D
- ASUS ROG STRIX H370-F Gaming @ Guru of 3D
- EVGA X299 Dark Motherboard Review @ Hardware Asylum
- Gigabyte MZ31-AR0: EPYC Motherboard With Dual 10Gb/s LAN, 16 SATA Ports, Seven PCI-E Slots @ Phoronix
Subject: Mobile | April 4, 2018 - 04:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, gigabyte, gaming laptop, coffee lake h, coffee lake, aero 15Xv8, Aero
Intel have stated that their new Coffee Lake processors are immune to Spectre and Meltdown, which is one of the more compelling reasons to consider an upgrade in several generations of chips. Gigabyte's new Aero 15Xv8 contains such a chip, the i7-8750H which runs at 2.2 GHz base and 4.2 GHz in Turbo Boost 2.0 mode. Along with the new CPU is a GTX 1070 Max-Q which makes this 0.7" (18 mm) thick, 4.4lb (2 kg) laptop an impressively compact gaming machine. Take a look at The Tech Report's review to see how this new CPU performs, as well as the laptop overall.
"Gigabyte's Aero 15Xv8 mixes Intel's Coffee Lake Core i7-8750H and Nvidia's GTX 1070 Max-Q graphics card into a potent blend of gaming and productivity potential. We put those parts to the test to see whether the Aero 15X's thin-and-light chassis is up to the task of keeping all of that processing power in check."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
More Mobile Articles
- Acer Switch 7 @ TechSpot
- Fitbit Versa review: Slowly but surely pushing Fitbit past the “fit” bit @ Ars Technica
- OnePlus 5T Review: Price to Performance King! @ Kitguru
- OnePlus 5T Review: The Hard To Beat $500 Smartphone @ Techgage
- Xiaomi Mi A1 review—A $220 iPhone clone with stock Android? Sign us up @ Ars Technica
Introduction and Motherboard Layout
For the launch of the Intel H370 chipset motherboards, GIGABYTE chose their AORUS brand to lead the charge. The AORUS branding differentiates the enthusiast and gamer friendly products from other GIGABYTE product lines, similar to how ASUS uses the ROG branding to differentiate their high performance product line. The H370 AORUS Gaming 3 WIFI is among GIGABYTE's intial release boards offering support for the latest Intel consumer chipset and processor lines. Built around the Intel H370 chlipset, the board supports the Intel LGA1151 Coffee Lake processor line and Dual Channel DDR4 memory running at up to 2667MHz speeds. The H370 AORUS Gaming 3 WIFI can be found in retail with an MRSP of $139.99.
The HS370 AORUS Gaming 3 WIFI motherboard features a black PCB with black and chrome colored heat sinks covering all the necessary board components. The AORUS series logos are emblazoned on the chipset heat sink and the rear panel cover. Further, a large rendering of the logo is silk-screened in the upper left quadrant of the board. The ATX form factor provides more than enough surface area to house the integrated features, as well as giving the board compatibility with most available consumer enclosures.
The board's back is completely free of components, posing no problems with case mounting or mounting the CPU backplate.
GIGABYTE designed the H370 AORUS Gaming 3 WIFI motherboard with a 10-phase digital power system in an 8+2 configuration. The CPU VRMs are passively cooled by dual aluminum heat sinks above and to the upper right of the CPU socket.
Subject: General Tech, Processors, Chipsets | April 3, 2018 - 03:01 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: Intel, H370, H310, coffee lake, B360, 8700k
Since the Coffee Lake-S desktop processor launch with the i7-8700K in October of last year, the processor lineup has remained a bit bare compared to previous generations.
While we are used to an Intel processor platform launch having several SKUs covering the entire spectrum of consumers, from Pentium all the way to up Core i7, Coffee Lake currently sits at just 6 different processor options.
Today, Intel is rounding out the rest of the Coffee Lake desktop lineup with the addition of more traditional desktop SKUs, as well as low-power "T-series" CPUs.
Filling out the i5-lineup, we have two more 6 core options without hyper-threaded in the i5-8600 and i5-8400. The Core i3-8300 provides a 100MHz boost to the existing quad-core i3-8100, while staying in the same 65W TDP.
The little-known T-Series are Intel's lower frequency desktop chips that are configured to run at just 35W while remaining desktop-level performance. Traditionally, these CPUs are used in OEM configurations, but enthusiasts looking for ultra-small form factor and quiet PCs have been known to use these CPUs in the past.
Overall, these CPU announcements are difficult to get too excited about, but help round out the 8th Generation lineup into more available price points, which is always good for consumers looking to build a PC.
Even better news for anyone looking to build an 8th Generation-based PC is the addition of new, lower cost chipsets. Previously, only expensive Z370-based boards were compatible with Coffee Lake processors.
Now, joining the Z370 chipset for consumers, we have the H370, and B360 chipsets. While sacrificing I/O options and overclocking availability, motherboards based on these chipsets should provide a much greater value for consumers looking to build a lower-end Coffee Lake system. The H370, Q370, and B360 chipsets also provide USB 3.1 Gen 2 connectivity directly from the chipset.
In addition, Intel has also added built-in 802.11ac support into all of these new chipsets, providing a solid wireless solution without any additonal peripherals.
No exact word on availability of these new processors or chipsets, but we expect them to start hitting the market very soon!