Subject: Motherboards | May 30, 2017 - 08:00 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: x299, VROC, skylake-x, raid, NVMe, LiveDash, kaby lake-x, Intel, HEDT, computex 2017, asus, 802.11ad
Alongside the announcement of Intel's Core i9 Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X CPUs, ASUS has unveiled details of their X299 motherboards. While we've already taken a look updates to the Republic of Gamers line of products, ASUS also released details about their "Prime" and "TUF" X299 products.
The Prime line of motherboards from ASUS are their entry-level options for any given platform. However just because they are the lowest cost boards doesn't mean that they are lacking in features.
All X299 Prime motherboards feature 3-way SLI thanks to the additional PCIe lanes available in the X299 platform (supported 44 lane CPUs are required). These available x16 slots are all reinforced with ASUS SafeSlot technology to help prevent heavy GPUs from damaging your motherboard.
The new Prime motherboards also feature the Realtek S1220A which we first saw on ASUS's Z270 products. ASUS claims that the S1220A paired with high-quality audio components on board help produce an onboard sound that rivals some dedicated sound cards.
Additionally, all X299 boards feature RGB LED headers with Aura Sync compatibility for maximum customizability.
For the storage-focused, Intel VROC technology found on ASUS's X299 boards will allow for high-speed M.2 NVMe SSD RAIDs without being bottlenecked by chipset bandwidth, unlike on the Z270 platform.
Though the use of an add-in card users will be able to RAID multiple M.2 SSDs into a bootable array, utilizing full bandwidth from the available CPU PCIe lanes. ASUS even says that you can link multiple of these VROC cards together!
In addition to these features, the Prime X299-Deluxe adds some very exciting features
Wireless networking has seen an enhancement with the adoption of integrated 802.11ad Wi-Fi. This brand new wireless technology capable of 4.6Gbps transfer speeds uses spectrum in the 60Ghz range. While these high-speed radio waves cannot penetrate surfaces like walls, for applications like super fast file transfer between PCs in one room, or high-quality video streaming to wireless displays this should be ideal.
Along with Intel VROC support, the Prime X299-Deluxe has dual onboard M.2 Slots and a single U.2 Slot for high-speed storage options.
The new LiveDash display is a small OLED panel on the motherboard that allows you to display system statistics as well as custom animations and text for additional customization.
In addition to the features on the motherboard, ASUS is including their ThunderboltEX 3 expansion card with the Prime X299-Deluxe so that owners can utilize Thunderbolt 3 technology with up to 40Gbps of bandwidth.
ASUS TUF X299
The TUF line has always been focused on ultimate reliability and durability. This is accomplished with high-quality components and more stringent testing standards than other products.
The ASUS TUF X299 Mark 1 is the all-new flagship motherboard for the TUF line. Redesigned Thermal Armor design helps to streamline airflow across the motherboard while also providing cooling to the onboard M.2 slot.
The Fortifier backplate uses a carefully shaped metal plate to stiffen the board to prevent warping. A removable GPU holder is also supplied to help support the weight of heavy graphics cards.
The new version of ASUS TUF Detective software allows users to perform diagnostics wirelessly over an included USB Bluetooth adapter rather than depending on a wired connection like the previous implementation.
The TUF X299 Mark 2 removes the Thermal Armor and Fortifier, but retains all of the great reliability and durability aspects of the TUF Mark 2,
ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe, Prime X299-A and TUF X299 Mark 1 motherboards will be available at leading resellers in North America starting in late June
An abundance of new processors
During its press conference at Computex 2017, Intel has officially announced the upcoming release of an entire new family of HEDT (high-end desktop) processors along with a new chipset and platform to power it. Though it has only been a year since Intel launched the Core i7-6950X, a Broadwell-E processor with 10-cores and 20-threads, it feels like it has been much longer than that. At the time Intel was accused of “sitting” on the market – offering only slight performance upgrades and raising prices on the segment with a flagship CPU cost of $1700. With can only be described as scathing press circuit, coupled with a revived and aggressive competitor in AMD and its Ryzen product line, Intel and its executive teams have decided it’s time to take enthusiasts and high end prosumer markets serious, once again.
Though the company doesn’t want to admit to anything publicly, it seems obvious that Intel feels threatened by the release of the Ryzen 7 product line. The Ryzen 7 1800X was launched at $499 and offered 8 cores and 16 threads of processing, competing well in most tests against the likes of the Intel Core i7-6900X that sold for over $1000. Adding to the pressure was the announcement at AMD’s Financial Analyst Day that a new brand of processors called Threadripper would be coming this summer, offering up to 16 cores and 32 threads of processing for that same high-end consumer market. Even without pricing, clocks or availability timeframes, it was clear that AMD was going to come after this HEDT market with a brand shift of its EPYC server processors, just like Intel does with Xeon.
The New Processors
Normally I would jump into the new platform, technologies and features added to the processors, or something like that before giving you the goods on the CPU specifications, but that’s not the mood we are in. Instead, let’s start with the table of nine (9!!) new products and work backwards.
|Core i9-7980XE||Core i9-7960X||Core i9-7940X||Core i9-7920X||Core i9-7900X||Core i7-7820X||Core i7-7800X||Core i7-7740X||Core i5-7640X|
|Architecture||Skylake-X||Skylake-X||Skylake-X||Skylake-X||Skylake-X||Skylake-X||Skylake-X||Kaby Lake-X||Kaby Lake-X|
|Base Clock||?||?||?||?||3.3 GHz||3.6 GHz||3.5 GHz||4.3 GHz||4.0 GHz|
|Turbo Boost 2.0||?||?||?||?||4.3 GHz||4.3 GHz||4.0 GHz||4.5 GHz||4.2 GHz|
|Turbo Boost Max 3.0||?||?||?||?||4.5 GHz||4.5 GHz||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Cache||16.5MB (?)||16.5MB (?)||16.5MB (?)||16.5MB (?)||13.75MB||11MB||8.25MB||8MB||6MB|
|DDR4-2666 Dual Channel|
|TDP||165 watts (?)||165 watts (?)||165 watts (?)||165 watts (?)||140 watts||140 watts||140 watts||112 watts||112 watts|
There is a lot to take in here. The most interesting points are that Intel plans to one-up AMD Threadripper by offering an 18-core processor but it also wants to change the perception of the X299-class platform by offering lower price, lower core count CPUs like the quad-core, non-HyperThreaded Core i5-7640X. We also see the first ever branding of Core i9.
Intel only provided detailed specifications up to the Core i9-7900X, a 10-core / 20-thread processor with a base clock of 3.3 GHz and a Turbo peak of 4.5 GHz using the new Turbo Boost Max Technology 3.0. It sports 13.75MB of cache thanks to an updated cache configuration, includes 44 lanes of PCIe 3.0, an increase of 4 lanes over Broadwell-E, quad-channel DDR4 memory up to 2666 MHz and a 140 watt TDP. The new LGA2066 socket will be utilized. Pricing for this CPU is set at $999, which is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it is $700 less than the starting MSRP of the 10c/20t Core i7-6950X from one year ago; obviously a big plus. However, there is quite a ways UP the stack, with the 18c/36t Core i9-7980XE coming in at a cool $1999.
The next CPU down the stack is compelling as well. The Core i7-7820X is the new 8-core / 16-thread HEDT option from Intel, with similar clock speeds to the 10-core above it, save the higher base clock. It has 11MB of L3 cache, 28-lanes of PCI Express (4 higher than Broadwell-E) but has a $599 price tag. Compared to the 8-core 6900K, that is ~$400 lower, while the new Skylake-X part iteration includes a 700 MHz clock speed advantage. That’s huge, and is a direct attack on the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X that sells for $499 today and cut Intel off at the knees this March. In fact, the base clock of the Core i7-7820X is only 100 MHz lower than the maximum Turbo Boost clock of the Core i7-6900K!
Subject: General Tech | May 17, 2017 - 12:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, amd, rumour, release dates, ryzen, skylake-x, kaby lake x, Threadripper, X399, coffee lake
DigiTimes has posted an article covering the probable launch dates of AMD's new CPUs and GPUs as well as Intel's reaction to the release. Not all of these dates are confirmed but it is worth noting as these rumours are often close to those eventually announced. Naples will be the first, with the server chips launching at the end of June but that is just the start. July is the big month for AMD, with the lower end Ryzen 3 chips hitting the market as well as the newly announced 16 core Threadrippers and the X399 chipset. That will also be the month we see Vega's
Founders Frontier Edition graphics cards arrive.
Intel's Basin Falls platform; Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X along with the associated X299 chipset are still scheduled for Computex reveal and a late June or early August release. Coffee Lake is getting pushed ahead however, it's launch has been moved up to late August instead of the beginning of next year.
Even with Intel's counters, AMD's balance sheet is likely to be looking better and better as the year goes on which is great news for everyone ... except perhaps Intel and NVIDIA.
"Demand for AMD's Ryzen 7- and Ryzen 5-series CPU products has continued rising, which may allow the chipmaker to narrow its losses to below US$50 million for the second quarter of 2017. With Intel also rumored to pay licensing fees to AMD for its GPUs, some market watchers believe AMD may turn profitable in the second quarter or in the third."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Spitballing the performance of AMD's Vega Frontier Edition graphics card @ The Tech Report
- AMD Financial Analyst Day Lisa Su Presentation @ [H]ard|OCP
- AMD Financial Analyst Day Raja Koduri Presentation @ [H]ard|OCP
- Microsoft goes all Sean Spicer when we ask about WannaCry XP patching @ The Inquirer
- Qualcomm Sues Apple Contract Manufacturers @ Slashdot
- HPE shows off ARM-powered 'The Machine' prototype with 160TB memory @ The Inquirer
- Monoprice Releases Their Mini Delta Printer (On Indiegogo) @ Hack a Day
- Chrome on Windows has credential theft bug @ The Register
- Bell Canada hacked: 2m account details swiped by mystery miscreants @ The Register
- Why Microsoft's Windows game plan makes us WannaCry @ The Register
Subject: Processors | April 19, 2017 - 08:00 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: skylake-x, ryzen, kaby lake x, Intel, Core, coffee lake, amd
According to DigiTimes, Intel is expecting to release several new processors earlier than they had originally planned. That said, there are two issues with this report. The first point, which should be expected, is that it compares internal dates that were never meant to be public. It is not like Intel has changed their advertised roadmap.
The second problem is that it’s somewhat contradicted by Intel’s earlier, public statements.
Their rumor claims that Intel will push up the launch of Basin Falls, which is Skylake-X, Kaby Lake-X, and X299, by about two months (around June). It also claims that Coffee Lake, which was originally scheduled for January 2018, will be released in August 2017. Both of these moves are being attributed to AMD’s new products.
The potential, somewhat, sort-of contradiction comes from a tweet that Intel made back in February. In it, they said that the 8th generation of Core processors are expected for 2H’17. This time frame doesn’t include January, although it only barely includes August, too. If Intel was always planning on launching Coffee Lake for the “back to school” season, then at least that half of DigiTimes’ story would be completely incorrect. On the other hand, if Intel’s tweet was talking about a sampling / paper launch in December, with volume shipment soon to follow, then DigiTimes would be fairly accurate.
We don’t know unless someone at Intel confirms either-or.
As for Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X, it would be interesting to see them launch at Computex / E3. Previous rumors (also from DigiTimes) that place it in the Gamescom, which is a huge gaming conference in Cologne. Interestingly, this rumor claims that only the four-, six-, eight-, and ten-core models will arrive at the time, with a twelve-core model waiting until the whole line was supposed to launch.
This omission makes me wonder if, in fact, Intel are rushing the launch, but they realize that they cannot get enough good chips to fill out the top-end SKU. In that case, it would make sense to push the smaller and partially-disabled chips out the door, while banking the big chips that can run all twelve cores at a reasonable voltage for some clock rate.
If so, that would, in fact, speak volumes about AMD’s roadmap (and Intel’s opinion of it).
Subject: General Tech | December 8, 2016 - 01:22 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: rumour, Intel, skylake-x, kaby lake x, LGA 2066
DigiTimes today published a possibly accurate post on the upcoming replacement for the ageing Broadwell-E platform, Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X. These chips will feature a new socket and along with that a new chipset, bearing the predictable name of X299. The quoted prices seem to fit with Intel's pricing scheme, from $468 to $1,780 but we did not hear of any core counts or frequency ranges, the expected release date is about a year away. The new chips will of course support DDR4 and we might see a hint of them at Gamescom 2017 in Germany. They also state you can expect to see Intel's 7xxx family of chips and the accompanying Z270 and H270 chipsets at CES this January; a reasonable expectation.
"The new Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors will feature a new LGA 2066 socket and support DDR4 memory. The CPUs will pair with Intel's new X299 chipsets."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Bluetooth 5 launches with eight times the capacity and double the speed @ The Inquirer
- Sigh... 'Hundreds of thousands' of... sigh, web CCTV cams still at risk of... sigh, hijacking @ The Register
- Symantec: 95.4 percent of PowerShell script is malicious @ The Inquirer
- Improving Storage Performance with Ceph and Flash @ Linux.com
- Firmware freakout sends Epson Wi-Fi printers into reboot loop @ The Register
- Microsoft Officially Closes Its $26.2B Acquisition of LinkedIn @ Slashdot
- Christmas 2016 Mega Worldwide Giveaway @ NikKTech