PCPer Mailbag #60 - You Touched My Silicone Sensitive Areas

Subject: Editorial | November 9, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, pcper mailbag, Allyn Malventano

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our Q&A show where each week a member of the team answers your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

This week Allyn's back for a variety of questions:

00:26 - Samsung has said they are going to slow down DRAM and NAND production to keep prices high. Would Samsung be able to slow production enough to stop prices for the end consumer from falling further than they already have? Bonus question, how low do you think price per gig will go on TLC and MLC?

06:06 - I am building a new home desktop/server for Emby and it needs a new HDD. What’s the most important factor to consider: amount of cache, rotational speed, or SATA type? Regarding the CPU, would a Ryzen 5 or 7 be adequate for streaming up to four videos from the server at 1080p?

12:47 - Does higher L3 cache per core increase single-threaded performance? If so, does this mean for example that the i7-8700K has faster single-threaded performance than the i5-8600K if frequency is same and hyper-threading is off?

15:48 - The Spectre/Meltdown microcode updates hit Broadwell-E processors hard in terms of performance. In Windows 10 1803 you could hide the patch (KB4100347) and everything was fine. Do you know how this will work in Windows 10 1809? Is the microcode update still something that can be skipped, or is it rolled into the 1809 update?

20:21 - Are there any CPUs available now that have hardware-based fixes for Spectre and Meltdown? If not, is there a timetable of when they may be available?

24:28 - What are considered to be “silicone sensitive areas” within a PC or laptop? I’m looking to replace the TIM on my laptop (Lenovo E585) to cut down on fan noise and I saw that as a marketing bullet on some Thermal Grizzly Hydronaut.

Want to have your question answered on a future Mailbag? Leave a comment on this post or in the YouTube comments for the latest video. Check out new Mailbag videos (usually) each week!

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Source: YouTube

AMD Releases Q3 2018 Financial Results

Subject: Editorial | October 24, 2018 - 09:13 PM |
Tagged: amd, quarterly results, Q3 2018, ryzen, EPYC, Polaris, Vega, 7nm, 12nm, Intel, nvidia

This evening AMD announced their Q3 2018 results. Things were at the lower end of the guidance scale from last quarter, but the company still had some solid results. Q3 revenue was $1.65B as compared to Q3 2017’s $1.58B. It is down from the previous quarter’s high of $1.76B. At first glance this seems troubling, but the results are not as negative as one would assume. GAAP net income was a healthy $102M. Q3 2017 was at $61M while Q2 2018 was up at $116M. Profits did not fall nearly as much as one would expect with a decrease of $110M revenue quarter over quarter.

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Probably the largest factor of the decrease was the negligible sales of GPUs to the crypto market. AMD had expected such a dropoff and warned about it in their Q2 guidance. That particular drop off was sudden and dramatic. AMD looks to continue to lose marketshare in add-in graphics due to their less competitive offerings across the spectrum. GeForce RTX sales of course did not impact AMD this previous quarter, but with no new AMD offerings on the horizon users look to have been waiting to see exactly what NVIDIA would release.

Ryzen sales have been steady and strong, making up some of the shortfall from the graphics market. Desktop chips are moving briskly for the company and continues to be a strong seller historically for the company. AMD is also starting to move more mobile processors, but it seems that the majority of parts are still desktop based. AMD looks to continue moving older inventory with aggressive pricing on those and manufacturing of the new 2000 series parts has been relatively smooth sailing for the company.

Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom had a strong quarter, but with less growth as some analysts had been hoping for. Semi-Custom was weaker this quarter, but IP revenue is up. Console chips are weaker at the moment due to the platforms being relatively mature and not exhibiting the sales of the previous two holiday seasons. To further offset the decrease in Semi-Custom, AMD is reporting that the enterprise products (GPU and EPYC) have seen good growth. Overall this division was down 5% from Q3 2017, but up 7% from the previous quarter.

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Perhaps the most interesting figure of this is Gross Margins. AMD was able to improve margins from 36% to 40%. This 4% increase quarter on quarter is a significant jump for the company. This means that AMD continues to keep costs under control for the company and is able to deliver product more efficiently than in the year before. It is still a far cry from Intel and NVIDIA, which typically have magins between 55% to 65%. AMD has a long ways to go before reaching that kind of level. Part of the margin offset was again due to IP licensing. If IP licensing was removed then we would see 38% margins rather than 40%.

So what are the overall lessons of the past quarter? EPYC sales are not as brisk as analysts had hoped for, but they are also not non-existent. It has shown solid growth for the company and has offset shortfalls in other areas of the company. Their IP and Semi-Custom areas are still very solid, even though AMD does suffer from console lifecycles and downturns. GPUs continue to sell, but not nearly at the rate they were due to the crypto market. Their Polaris based options are well suited to compete in the sub-$300 US market. The Vega based products were finally down to MSRP, but they had a harder time going against the mature and well liked GeForce GTX 1070 and 1080 products. This will be further compounded with the introduction of the RTX products in those price ranges.

Ryzen continues to be a very good seller across the board. I had hoped that AMD would break down numbers between Ryzen CPUs and APUs, but I have not seen numbers that hint at what ratio they sell at. In retail the Ryzen 2000 series CPUs look to be some of the most popular products based on price/performance. However, retail is only a small portion of processor sales and Intel still holds the vast majority of marketshare here. AMD is competing, but they have not taken significant chunks from their competition over the past year. They have done enough to achieve several positive quarters in a row, but this is not the slam dunk that the original Athlon 64 was back in 2003/2004.

AMD expects further weakness in their results next quarter. Guidance is for revenue around $1.45B, plus or minus $50M. This is still higher than Q4 2017 results, but it is a significant drop from Q3 results. AMD expects strong Ryzen, EPYC, and datacenter GPU growth during this time. It is expected that consumer GPU and Semi-Custom will continue to drop. There does look to be a 7nm GPU introduction this next quarter, but it is probably the long rumored Vega refresh that will be aimed directly at datacenter rather than consumer.

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2018 has so far been a year of solid growth and execution for AMD on the CPU side. Their GPU side has suffered a bit of a slide, but this is to be expected by how much belt-tightening AMD has done in the past several years to get their CPU architecture back on track. The lion’s share of development resources was shunted off to the CPU side while the GPU side had to fight for scraps. I believe this is no longer the case, but when development takes years for new GPUs the injection of new resources will not become apparent for a while.

2019 continues to look better for AMD as they are expecting an early release of 7nm EPYC parts which should compete very well with Intel’s 14nm based Xeon products. AMD is expecting a significant uptick in sales due to the thermals, pricing, and performance of these new Zen 2 based parts. The company also continues to point to the end of 1H for introduction of 7nm Ryzen parts based on Zen 2. These will be showing up quite a few months before Intel’s 10nm offerings will be available. Rumors have it that the new Zen 2 based parts exhibit a significant IPC increase that should make them far more competitive to the best that Intel has on the desktop and mobile markets. Combine these IPC improvements with the 7nm boost in power and clocks for the parts, and AMD could have a very good product on their hands. AMD also is expecting a 1H release of 7nm Navi GPUs which should prove to be more competitive with current NVIDIA products that rely on 16nm and 12nm process nodes from TSMC.

While Q3 was a drop in revenue for the company, their current cost structure has still allowed them to make a tidy profit. The company continues to move forward with new products and new developments.

 
Source: AMD

Beginning of a new journey

Subject: Editorial | October 24, 2018 - 11:00 AM |
Tagged: Ryan Shrout

As a high school senior in 1999, I started a journey that would carry me forward and through the next 19 years of my life, shaping it in ways I could not possibly understand at the time. What began as a website dedicated to the first AMD Athlon motherboard (K7M.com!) and progressed to one of the biggest hardware review websites in the US, brought me access to amazing technology and conversations with luminaries in the PC field.

I wrote hundreds of reviews, recorded weeks of video, and made many of you sit through more than 500 episodes of a weekly podcast! I was able to co-host This Week in Computer Hardware on the TWiT network for nearly as long. Just thinking about the amount of content that I typed or spoke is kind of mind-boggling.

Today marks the beginning of a second journey, one that I didn’t know would ever come. I have accepted a role at Intel as the company’s Chief Performance Strategist. In this capacity, I will help influence and drive performance leadership across Intel’s product portfolio. My first day will be in mid to late November. It is a challenge that I am looking forward to pursuing and an opportunity to catalyze Intel’s leadership even further.

As with others in my position that followed a similar path, this was not a simple decision. PC Perspective was my life, my passion, and my pride for these past 19 years. I took joy in the fact that I was able to build this up from nothing, with the help of a dedicated and intelligent team of hard-working reviewers and writers. Those of you that have paid attention will already know that my writing for PC Perspective has dwindled as my time was spent on other pursuits like Shrout Research. In my place, Ken took over the role of primary reviewer and has done an amazing job in the process.

Starting today, I will no longer be involved with PC Perspective or the content that will be posted. In reality, Ken has been managing that already with the help of Allyn, Josh, Jeremy, and the other team members. I am fully relinquishing ownership of the site to the team, removing myself from all aspects of finances and content prior to my Intel start date.

Shrout Research is another venture that closes as this opportunity opens. I am extremely proud of what I was able to create there in a short period, working with some of the largest technology companies in the world on product design, go-to-market planning, message testing, and much more. Contracts and projects have been finalized.

Many of you might want to know the why of my decision to leave behind the independent contracting and self-employment world and shift to working for Intel. For me, this isn’t a move dictated by finances (PC Perspective and Shrout Research were doing well). Nor is it one of external, negative pressure. Our team has weathered worse in both areas, and we would have done so again.

This move represents a new challenge and the chance to influence the direction of a major player in the technology field from within. The opportunity to work at a company with the legacy of Intel and be trusted with the scope of this role is humbling. It’s not often that this is presented, and after 19 years, I found the opportunity seemed like the right one, at the right time.

Not only does this career path provide a new challenge, but it also offers me the chance to create professional progress while allowing for more nights and mornings with my daughter – a significant personal plus for me.

I have dozens of people that I could and should thank for the success and opportunity provided to PC Perspective and Shrout Research over these many years. All of the writers and reviewers that dedicated time and energy to the site, the advertisers that continued to support it through the violent swings of the PC market, and the companies that were willing to take a chance on a young (relatively, at least) analyst trying to shift into a new space; I wouldn’t be where I am or have the life I do without you. Special thanks go to friends like Kyle, Tom, Jon, Bernie, Patrick, and so many others. You have been a sounding-board for more than half of my life, and I can never show my appreciation enough.

As for PC Perspective, I am confident it will continue doing reviews, news, and analysis of the hardware you love for as long as you, the reader, support them. As I said earlier; they have already been running the show without me for some time, and they will continue doing the excellent job that has brought PCPer.com to where it stands today.

As for me, you’ll be able to find my ramblings on Twitter (@RyanShrout), or if you need to reach me through email, you can do so at rshrout@gmail.com.

Finally, I want to thank all of YOU for reading my reviews, listening to the podcasts, supporting PC Perspective on Patreon, and offering valuable feedback that helped to make this place, and me personally, better. 

PCPer Mailbag #59 - Nearly 1 Hour of Storage Discussion With Mr. Malventano

Subject: Editorial | October 19, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, pcper mailbag, Allyn Malventano

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our weekly show where Ryan and the team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

Allyn takes the hot seat this week to answer your storage questions:

00:23 - Would you worry about NVMe cooling? If you’re running video editing workloads, should you spend time trimming thermal pads on motherboard heatsinks to avoid overcooling the flash? Also, NVMe or Optane for an editing rig?

10:39 - I recently cloned my Samsung 850 EVO to a new ADATA SX8200. All was well at first, but when I formatted the EVO, Windows refused to boot and gave a BSoD. It would only boot once I removed every other drive from the system except the NVMe. Any ideas why?

13:51 - If I have a 3-year-old SM941 and it works fine, what kind of upgrade path do I have? MLC/NVMe are still good...better than TLC/QLC. So, Optane?

19:49 - What are the developments needed to give us even faster speeds than today’s NVMe? Where is the bottleneck that limits current speeds?

28:01 - Will NVMe SSD pricing ever catch up with SATA SSD drives?

30:33 - Will QLC replace TLC on lower-end SSDs?

32:42 - Can you overclock SSDs? If so, what kind of positive and negative impacts would it have?

37:20 - Does regularly TRIMing an SSD extend its life? If so, how often should I run a TRIM command on my drives?

43:57 - Is there any negative impact on an SSD from leaving it connected to power at all times even when idle compared to only powering it up when I need to use it? I use an SSD for my wireless Samba server in my semi-truck to stream videos in my off time but most of the day it sits there doing nothing.

46:55 - Allyn, have you and Steve Gibson ever done a podcast or talk together?

Want to have your question answered on a future Mailbag? Leave a comment on this post or in the YouTube comments for the latest video. Check out new Mailbag videos (usually) each week!

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss our weekly reviews and podcasts, and please consider supporting PC Perspective via Patreon to help us keep videos like our weekly mailbag coming!

Source: YouTube

PCPer Mailbag #58 - 'Better Late Than Never' Edition

Subject: Editorial | October 11, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, pcper mailbag, Josh Walrath

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our weekly show where Ryan and the team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

So, yeah, we missed a few weeks. We're going to blame it on Jim and his lack of pneumonia-proof lungs. What a loser. But, hey, they say whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Turns out that's not true at all.

Without further ado, the role of Ryan Shrout in today's performance will be played by plucky young up-and-comer Josh Walrath:

00:56 - Do you think we'll see AMD GPUs with ray tracing capabilities in the next few months to compete with NVIDIA?

06:06 - Has NVIDIA changed the yardstick for measuring GPU performance? The metrics until now have been higher frame rates at higher resolutions, but it seems we’re about to start prioritizing ray tracing performance instead. Would a gamer playing today at 4K or 144Hz consider it a downgrade to switch to 1080p with ray tracing? Will consumers who invested in 4K and high refresh rate displays feel cheated by the shift to ray tracing, even though there are only a handful of supported titles scheduled for the near future?

11:46 - Would you rather see companies push to truly achieve mainstream 4K HDR 60fps performance with better textures and polygon counts instead of this new shift to ray tracing?

14:11 - I recently added a Samsung 970 EVO to my system, but I wasn’t able to install Windows on it unless I disconnected all of my other drives first. What could have caused this?

17:01 - Is anyone else unable to map a network drive in Windows 10 after upgrading to version 1803? Did Microsoft kill off HomeGroup without sufficient testing? Help!

18:48 - Why do different types of RAM work better on Intel or AMD platforms?

20:57 - Do you expect the new Intel HEDT refresh parts to hold the higher frequencies at the same power level as before? And if so will that be down to the soldered IHS or more of the actual improvement in the cores/chip? Will the “optimization” provide an IPC increase?

23:16 - Do you think Zen 2 / Ryzen 3 will bring memory controller performance into parity with their Intel counterparts?

Want to have your question answered on a future Mailbag? Leave a comment on this post or in the YouTube comments for the latest video. Check out new Mailbag videos (usually) each week!

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss our weekly reviews and podcasts, and please consider supporting PC Perspective via Patreon to help us keep videos like our weekly mailbag coming!

Source: YouTube

PCPer Mailbag #57 - How Many Rays Would a Ray Tracer Trace If a Ray Tracer Could Trace Rays?

Subject: Editorial | September 7, 2018 - 10:03 PM |
Tagged: video, Ryan Shrout, pcper mailbag

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our weekly show where Ryan and the team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

On today's show:

00:51 - NVIDIA 7nm GPU plans?
03:57 - NVIDIA vs. AMD for older CPUs?
06:33 - Threadripper workstation boards?
08:43 - Jensen Huang?
10:19 - Ray tracing performance drop?
12:50 - Ray tracing quality vs. performance slider?
15:10 - Updates for RTX AI breaking games?
17:13 - PCPer interviews with game developers?

Want to have your question answered on a future Mailbag? Leave a comment on this post or in the YouTube comments for the latest video. Check out new Mailbag videos each Friday!

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss our weekly reviews and podcasts, and please consider supporting PC Perspective via Patreon to help us keep videos like our weekly mailbag coming!

Source: YouTube

Intel Gamer Days! Win a $6,000 Falcon NW Tiki!

Subject: Editorial | September 1, 2018 - 12:00 AM |
Tagged: tiki, intel gamer days, giveaway, falcon northwest, contest

Guys and gals, we have quite the event for you this September. PC Perspective is partnering with Falcon Northwest and Intel to support the Intel Gamer Days promotion, and with that, you get the chance to win a Tiki PC worth about $6,000.

Yes, $6K.

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Falcon Northwest Tiki  (configuration as reviewed)
Processor Intel Core i7-8086K (Coffee Lake)
Motherboard ROG STRIX Z370-I GAMING
Cooler Asetek 550LC 120mm AIO Water Cooler
Graphics NVIDIA TITAN Xp 12GB
Memory 32GB (2x16B) G.SKILL RIPJAWS V DDR4-3000
Storage

Intel SSD Optane 905P 1.5TB U.2

Power Supply Silverstone SFX-650W 
Dimensions 4" Wide x 13.5" Deep x 13.25" Tall. (715 cubic inches)
OS Windows 10 Pro
Price $6,242 (as configured) - Falcon NW

This is the exact same Tiki machine that we reviewed here at PC Perspective in July, and now it can find a home in YOUR home.

Entry information is below. A HUGE thank you goes to Falcon Northwest and Intel for supporting our readers and fans with this opportunity. Get in there and enter!

Intel Gamer Days with Falcon Northwest and PC Perspective!

PCPer Mailbag #56 - Ray tracing, Raytracing, Ray-tracing!

Subject: Editorial | August 31, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, Ryan Shrout, pcper mailbag

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our (mostly) weekly show where Ryan and the team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

On today's show:

00:40 - AMD ray tracing vs. NVIDIA?
03:00 - RTX tensor and RT cores?
04:55 - DirectX Raytracing vs. NVIDIA RTX?
08:18 - Ray tracing vs. Raytracing vs. Ray-tracing?
09:22 - HDMI 2.1 missing from RTX?
10:52 - Isolating drives in a dual-boot PC?
12:47 - Underclocking Ryzen for lower TDP?
14:37 - Cooling M.2 NVMe and Optane?
16:01 - Tariffs and PC hardware prices?
17:18 - RIP optical media?

Want to have your question answered on a future Mailbag? Leave a comment on this post or in the YouTube comments for the latest video. Check out new Mailbag videos each Friday!

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss our weekly reviews and podcasts, and please consider supporting PC Perspective via Patreon to help us keep videos like our weekly mailbag coming!

Source: YouTube

PCPer Mailbag #55 - Under Negative Pressure

Subject: Editorial | August 17, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, Ryan Shrout, pcper mailbag

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our weekly show where Ryan and the team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

Yeah, OK, we missed a few weeks. It's all Jim's fault. Anyway, Ryan's back to tackle these questions:

00:22 - SATA cable failures?
01:54 - Tiered storage for consumers? Windows Storage Spaces vs. StoreMI?
04:29 - Low-end PC gaming vs. future consoles?
07:11 - Ryzen cores on future consoles?
10:34 - GPU for 1440p HDR ultrawide?
12:25 - TR4 socket issue?
13:26 - Why doesn't Intel make RAM?
14:40 - Negative pressure PC case?
16:05 - Normalizing RAM prices?

Want to have your question answered on a future Mailbag? Leave a comment on this post or in the YouTube comments for the latest video. Check out new Mailbag videos each Friday!

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss our weekly reviews and podcasts, and please consider supporting PC Perspective via Patreon to help us keep videos like our weekly mailbag coming!

Source: YouTube

Intel Releases Q2 2018 Results

Subject: Editorial | July 29, 2018 - 07:49 PM |
Tagged: TSMC, Skylake, ryzen, Results, Q2, Intel, amd, 7nm, 2018, 10nm

The day after AMD announced their quarterly results, Intel followed up with a very impressive quarter of their own. Intel has reported another record quarter with $17B in revenue and $5B net. The business is extremely healthy and they continue to provide a lot of value and returns to shareholders. Typically Q2 is the second slowest quarter of the year, but Intel was able to improve their revenues by $900M over Q1. In certain quarters a 5% increase may not be all that large, but it is a significant jump from Q1 to Q2.

Intel-Swimming-in-Money.jpg

Intel reported that nearly all areas of the company have grown. Client Computing Group showed a 6% increase year over year, which is good news for the industry in general as many have (often) predicted that the PC market is in decline. This is also in the face of renewed competition from AMD and their Zen architecture based products. AMD also has grown steadily over the past year in terms of shipping products, so that further reinforces the impression that the PC market continues to grow steadily.

The data-centric business is steadily closing the gap between it and the PC centric group. CCG posted $8.7B in revenues while the data groups combined came in at around $8.1B. The Data Center Group was $5.5B of that result. It is up a very impressive 27% yoy. Intel has what seems to be a juggernaut in the data center with their Xeon products, and that growth is quite likely to continue growing as the need for data processing in our information rich world seemingly knows no bounds.

Intel raised their outlook for the year by nearly $2B to an impressive $69B in revenues. This is easily 10x that of their primary competitor. 2018 has certainly been a very profitable year for Intel and it looks to continue that trend throughout the last two quarters. Intel continues to improve upon their 14nm processes and it has allowed them to achieve a 61.4% margin. Compare this to AMD’s 37% margin and we can understand why 2018 is looking so good. Intel has lost a little bit on margin as compared to last year, but the amount of products being shipped is simply stunning as compared to its rival.

results.PNG

There were some expecting AMD to be taking up more of Intel’s marketshare, but that has not been the case. If anything, while AMD’s bottom line has improved, Intel appears to have actually taken more share in an expanding market. Unlike 2003 when AMD had the superior product with the Athlon 64 over Intel’s Pentium 4, the current Ryzen CPUs are “merely” competitive. While the performance and efficiency jump for AMD’s architecture is impressive considering the previous “Bulldozer” based generation, they now offer comparable performance with a price/core count advantage over Intel. This has not been enough to convince people and organizations to change en masse to AMD’s offerings. In 2003 a 2 GHz Athlon 64 was outperforming a 3.2 GHz Pentium 4. AMD was able to continue outperforming Intel even though they were at a serious process disadvantage.

While Q3 and Q4 look to continue Intel’s string of record quarters, things do not look as rosy when we get into 2019. Intel has had an endless stream of problems getting their advanced 10nm process up and running. It was originally expected to replace Intel’s 14nm process around two years after that particular process had been introduced. Then it turned into three years. Now we are five years into Intel using a 14nm variant for their latest generation of products. Intel used to have a 18 to 24 month lead over the competition when it comes to process technology, but now that advantage has all but evaporated. In theory Intel’s 10nm process is superior to what TSMC is offering with its 7nm in terms of die size, power, and transistor performance. However, those advantages do not amount to anything if it is unworkable. Intel has been very tight lipped with analysts and shareholders about the exact issues it is facing with the direction they set on with 10nm. It seems the combination of materials, tolerances, and self-aligned quad patterning is problematic enough that Intel cannot get consistent results with yields and bins.

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In the conference call Intel said that 10nm parts will be available on shelves by the holiday season of 2019. This means that Intel expects to hit high volume manufacturing near the end of 1H 2019. Intel further stated that data center parts will be shipping shortly after desktop and mobile, so most expect the first products to hit in Q1 2020. The problem that Intel will is that TSMC will be starting volume manufacturing of their 7nm parts shortly, if not already. AMD has 7nm EPYC sampling to partners and has spoken of a 1H introduction of those parts in volume. AMD will be introducing the Zen 2 architecture in that time on both server and desktop, and they are hinting at a significant IPC uplift with these parts.

If Intel is able to hit its 10nm goal in late 2019, AMD will have around a nine month window where they theoretically could have a superior product than Intel. AMD will surely come ahead from a density standpoint. If we combine this with the potential IPC improvement and a small uplift in transistor performance, then Zen 2 products should be able to outclass anything Intel comes out with. If AMD is really on the ball, then their EPYC processors could have a year to themselves without a comparable product from Intel.

This type of competition does not mean that Intel will simply shrivel up and die, but it is causing investors to rethink holding onto the stock after the pretty impressive run up over the past several years. Intel still has more fab space available to it than AMD could dream of at this point. There will be a lot of competition for 7nm wafer starts that will be shared by AMD, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Apple (not to mention dozens of other fab-less semi firms). AMD could very well sell as many chips as it can make, but it simply cannot address the needs of all of the markets that it is competing in. If GLOBALFOUNDRIES 7nm process is similar to TSMC’s, then we will see AMD be able to supply far greater amounts of product to the market, but GF is at least six months behind TSMC when it comes to ramping up their next generation process line. I would not expect GF based CPUs to hit anytime before Q2 2019, if not towards the end of that quarter.

outlook.PNG

Does this mean that Intel expects nothing except doom and gloom throughout 2019 and possibly into 2020? I do not think so. Intel will retain its market dominance, but it looks to be experiencing a situation that is a combination of a competitor hitting its stride as well as some bad luck/poor planning with manufacturing. This should open the door for AMD to make significant advances in marketshare and allow the company to make some serious money by improving their ASPs as well as shipping more parts.

2018 will undoubtedly be a record year for Intel. It is 2019 that is giving pause to investors and shareholders. If Intel can clean up its 10nm process in a timely manner they will close the door on any advances from AMD. If the company continues to experience issues with 10nm and never in fact gets it out the door, then it will be a long couple of years til Intel gets out their 7nm process. The rumor is that engineers have been pulled off of 7nm to fix 10nm. If this is the case, then I hesitate to even think when we will be seeing that upcoming node coming to fruition.

Source: Intel

PCPer Mailbag #54 - Let's All Pretend to Comprehend Allyn

Subject: Editorial | July 27, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, pcper mailbag, Allyn Malventano

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our weekly show where Ryan and the team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

On today's show, Allyn makes a triumphant return after conquering Europe:

00:42 - Reliability of larger hard drives?
04:47 - 970 EVO vs. 950 Pro?
07:15 - Windows drive letter limit?
09:12 - How does a second parity drive work?
15:24 - Benefits of disabling hyper-threading?
17:18 - The fate of Optane?
18:58 - Consoles with SSDs?
22:06 - Factors that will lower SSD prices?
25:46 - Seagate drive reliability?

Want to have your question answered on a future Mailbag? Leave a comment on this post or in the YouTube comments for the latest video. Check out new Mailbag videos each Friday!

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss our weekly reviews and podcasts, and please consider supporting PC Perspective via Patreon to help us keep videos like our weekly mailbag coming!

Source: YouTube

AMD Announces Q2 2018 Results

Subject: Editorial | July 25, 2018 - 09:47 PM |
Tagged: Vega, ryzen, Q2 2018, Polaris, Intel, EPYC, amd, 7nm, 12nm

Today AMD has released their Q2 results for 2018 and they have fallen in line with previous estimates. The company reported revenue of $1.76B, up $110M from last quarter’s $1.65B. Their net income is $116M which is again up significantly from last quarter’s $81M. These results dwarf Q2 2017’s $1.15B in revenue and a loss of $42M. AMD has shown steady and solid growth since the release of the Ryzen processors and their continuing evolution of the RX series of graphics cards.

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The computing group which includes CPUs and GPUs showed a small drop in revenue due to multiple factors. CPU ASPs are steadily dropping for AMD since the original introduction of the Ryzen processors. The top end R7 1800X was introduced at $499 and has slowly dropped in price as the year wore on. This year AMD released the successor to the 1800X in the R7 2700X, but it was released at a $329 price point. We can see that the pricing mix of these CPUs is not as rich as they were on Ryzen’s initial release. The play here seems to be AMD improving efficiency of production as well as a willingness to sacrifice ASPs to gain any kind of marketshare.

GPUs have suffered as well due to the drop off in mining based purchases due to cryptocurrency dropping in value as well as the continued introduction of specialized ASICs performing better in those particular workloads. AMD claims a fairly palatable drop of only around 4% in sales due to the decrease in mining demand. It is likely that partners are feeling more of a pinch in this instance as the selling prices of these cards are finally reaching introductory MSRP levels as well as seeing reasonable availability. We do not know the specifics of AMD’s GPU sales to partners, but it seems like that price has been stable since introduction with the partners and resellers profiting to a greater degree than AMD.

The bright spot for this quarter was that of Enterprise and Semi-Custom. AMD switched around accounting on how it handles Semi-Custom so that accounted for some of the positive gains this quarter saw. AMD also started its collaboration with the Chinese for their own version of a Zen CPU. AMD continues to provide console makers with SoCs in two of the three major product lines out there. AMD is also likely currently contracted by both Sony and Microsoft for the next generation of consoles which will be released in the next two years, though none of the parties involved in such speculation has verified that information. I have a hard time considering that both Sony and Microsoft would abandon what has been a very beneficial partnership to create cutting edge products for their marketplace.

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The Enterprise group has also seen sales increase on the EPYC processors. EPYC was released last year, but it was not until this year that actual sales occured. While AMD did not provide specific numbers or guidance here, reading between the lines it looks as if EPYC is starting to gain traction and is shipping in more significant numbers. AMD was very careful in talking about this, as EPYC still has a long ways to go before it can claim to have gained significant marketshare. Lisa Su mentioned earlier that the real ramp for EPYC should occur in 2H 2018. This makes quite a bit of sense as the hardware and software environment for enterprise level products is tremendously different from when AMD was last competitive there. Validation of parts and platforms takes more time, and there are more complex software components involved that have to be updated to work effectively and efficiently on the new Zen architecture and EPYC chips. In the year since EPYC was launched a lot of work has been going on in the background by AMD, their hardware partners, and the software vendors to make sure that when EPYC hits volume production that most of the kinks will be worked out and it is truly enterprise production ready. This isn’t wishful thinking or excuse making. This is simply how a modern enterprise platform evolves and why product cycles are elongated as compared to what we see on the desktop and mobile spaces.

Guidance for next quarter will be disappointing for some investors and readers. AMD claims it will be flat between Q2 and Q3. This is not entirely surprising. Gaining desktop CPU marketshare has not been a slam dunk for AMD with Ryzen. The product stack has made it competitive with Intel and its offerings, and has in fact provided excellent value in terms of IPC and core count. Ryzen is not an Athlon 64. Ryzen was merely competitive with what Intel currently offers as compared to Athlon 64, which was head and shoulders more advanced than what Intel offered at the time with the Pentium 4. AMD is finding advances in marketshare in both desktop and mobile to be slow, but steady. Each quarter since Ryzen was released and the mobile parts being introduced earlier this year, the results have been trending in a positive direction even though ASPs on desktop parts have dropped (though mobile ASPs have increased).

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AMD obviously does not expect big gains this next quarter, and are in fact a little behind the ball when it comes to graphics. NVIDIA is poised to release a new generation of products within the next few months addressing the upper midrange and high end offerings that will erode AMD’s effectiveness with their Vega parts. So while EPYC products will increase in sales, AMD looks like it will be shipping fewer GPUs, at least in the high end. We probably will see Polaris based products have price drops applied to them to keep the meat of the market satisfied with AMD product, but do not expect next generation desktop graphics from AMD until 2019.

This was a productive and solid quarter for AMD. It is hard to argue against that. Their financial house is in far greater order and a solid revenue stream heading towards the company. They are keeping costs under control while aggressively pursuing the markets they have a strong history in. They have continued to leverage their IP with the Semi-Custom group and that provides a steady income from both historical partners and new ones. AMD is not seeing a breakaway quarter or year, but they are building a much more solid foundation and executing on their primary markets while competing effectively with Intel. This is certainly not 2003/2004, but it is a new chapter for AMD as they continue to provide new and interesting products to a market that continues to expand.

 

Source: AMD

PCPer Mailbag #53 - Shroud Says

Subject: Editorial | July 20, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, Ryan Shrout, pcper mailbag

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our weekly show where Ryan and the team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

On today's show:

00:49 - Proprietary motherboard features for future Intel GPUs?
03:04 - Laptops with both Snapdragon and Intel CPUs?
06:38 - Port monitoring for aggregated network connection?
08:08 - DDR3 on 8th Gen Intel CPU in MacBooks?
09:49 - RAM "tuned" for Ryzen?
11:54 - Combining different GPUs in the same system?
13:55 - Safe to remove a GPU backplate?
15:20 - Using GDDR5 as system memory?
17:32 - DisplayPort over USB-C on desktop motherboards?
19:47 - Ryan Shroud?

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Source: YouTube

PCPer Mailbag #52 - Baby Got Backplate

Subject: Editorial | July 13, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, Ryan Shrout, pcper mailbag

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our weekly show where Ryan and the team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

On today's show:

00:49 - Caring for a delidded CPU?
02:47 - APUs with HBM?
05:56 - 4K HDR prices: TVs vs. monitors?
08:19 - What are GPU backplates for?
10:14 - NVIDIA Simultaneous Multi-Projection MIA?
13:21 - Ridiculously cheap SSDs?
17:33 - Autographed Joshtekk prints?
18:26 - Pizza toppings? Aye right!

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Source: YouTube

PCPer Mailbag #51 - Josh Measures It In Nanometers

Subject: Editorial | July 6, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, pcper mailbag, Josh Walrath

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our weekly show where Ryan and the team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

On today's show, Josh is back in the hot seat:

00:59 - PCPer studio audio interfaces? Thunderbolt 3 on chipset?
03:39 - PCPer microphones?
04:54 - PCPer audio podcast vs. YouTube video sound quality?
06:03 - 144Hz HDR at 1440p?
07:33 - Running ASUS 144Hz 4K HDR monitor at 1080p?
09:25 - PCIe 4.0 availability?
11:17 - HBM2 vs. GDDR6 for next-gen GPUs?
13:07 - Ryzen APU stuttering?
14:03 - "So, when's Tom Petersen coming back?" *wink wink*
14:43 - Intel skipping 10nm for 7nm?

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Source: YouTube

PCPer Mailbag #50 - 6/29/2018

Subject: Editorial | June 29, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, Ryan Shrout, pcper mailbag

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our weekly show where Ryan and the team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

On today's show:

01:06 - Intel vs. AMD in 2019?
05:04 - Reliability of CPU and GPU silicon?
06:33 - Cases with 5.25-inch bays?
09:12 - 2K vs. 4K textures in games?
11:06 - Using an old m.2 SATA SSD in a desktop?
13:00 - NVIDIA NDAs?
17:51 - ThinkPads used during podcast?

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Source: YouTube

PCPer Mailbag #49 - Being Josh Walrath

Subject: Editorial | June 22, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, pcper mailbag, Josh Walrath

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our weekly show where Ryan and the team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

On today's show, Ryan flees the area so Josh steps in to tackle your questions:

01:09 - Thunderbolt 3 built into chipset?
03:42 - New Threadripper, same socket?
05:47 - GPU and motherboard power connector placement vs. optimal cable management?
08:08 - No AMD drivers for Windows 8?
10:46 - USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel compatibility?
12:18 - Where are the Raven Ridge mini desktops?
14:45 - Josh doesn't know which ThinkPads are used during the podcast.
15:11 - Allyn MIA?

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Source: YouTube

Brian Krzanich Resigns from Intel

Subject: Editorial | June 21, 2018 - 11:22 AM |
Tagged: Intel, Brian Krzanich, CEO, Bob Swan, employee conduct

Intel released an announcement this morning that Brian Krzanich has resigned. The Intel CEO stepped down from his position as well as from the board effective immediately. Bob Swan will take over duties as interim CEO. The press released cited Intel’s non-fraternization rules for employees as the basis for the resignation. Brian is married and has two children, so while the relationship is cited as consensual it goes against the basic rules of the company.

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The same announcement also includes financial information pertaining to an increase of the estimate of Q2 earnings. Intel expects to earn in the $16.9B range with the rest of the year looking to be record breaking. This will certainly help soften the blow of the CEO resigning unexpectedly, but there were many in the financial community which did not expect Brian to last throughout the year due to issues with roadmap, manufacturing, and competition from the rest of the industry.

Under Krzanich Intel has thrived financially. The company has seen record revenue and profits throughout his tenure. 2018 does look to be the most successful year in the company’s history. The only downside so far has been the issues with 10nm manufacturing. While this will have no material effect on Intel’s performance this year, the mass production of competing products in 2019 using 7nm processes from TSMC, Samsung, and GLOBALFOUNDRIES will put more pressure on the company than it has seen in years.

Bob Swan will be in charge of finding the next CEO of Intel. No timeline has been announced for the search.

Source: Intel

PCPer Mailbag #48 - 6/15/2018

Subject: Editorial | June 15, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, Ryan Shrout, pcper mailbag

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our weekly show where Ryan and the team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

On today's show:

00:35 - NVIDIA needs to hit 7nm for 2019 GPUs?
04:09 - Where are the microATX X470 boards?
05:56 - Threadripper APU?
07:33 - Buying a higher-end chipset just to overclock RAM?
08:58 - UHD Blu-ray playback vs. 4K gaming performance requirements?
10:25 - Itanium processors still around?
14:02 - Optane waterblock?
15:13 - Intel stole all the good 8700Ks?
16:47 - Why do cases and motherboards still have USB 2.0?

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Source: YouTube

PCPer Mailbag #47 - 6/8/2018

Subject: Editorial | June 8, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: video, Ryan Shrout, pcper mailbag

It's time for the PCPer Mailbag, our weekly show where Ryan and the team answer your questions about the tech industry, the latest and greatest GPUs, the process of running a tech review website, and more!

On today's show:

01:10 - Hybrid hard drives with more than 8GB of flash?
03:51 - i7-8086K vs. hypothetical 8-core Coffee Lake?
05:47 - Gaming chairs?
08:12 - Odd RAM failure?
09:33 - Spectre/Meltdown hardware fix in next Intel CPUs?
12:12 - Stress testing workstation CPU overclock?
13:34 - Time between mass production and retail availability for RAM?
16:11 - NDA procedures at PCPer?

Want to have your question answered on a future Mailbag? Leave a comment on this post or in the YouTube comments for the latest video. Check out new Mailbag videos each Friday!

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to make sure you never miss our weekly reviews and podcasts, and please consider supporting PC Perspective via Patreon to help us keep videos like our weekly mailbag coming!

Source: YouTube