AMD Launches 2nd Gen 15W and 35W Ryzen 3000 Mobile Processors with Vega Graphics

Subject: Processors | January 6, 2019 - 03:07 PM |
Tagged: Zen+, vega APU, ryzen mobile, ces2019, athlon, amd

AMD today officially announced its lineup of 2nd generation Ryzen mobile processors, designated Ryzen 3000 Series Mobile Processors. Unlike AMD’s expected 3000-series desktop launch, which will be based on Zen 2, these new mobile variants stick with AMD’s 12nm Zen+ architecture.

Each 15- or 35-watt model features Vega graphics and core/thread counts ranging from 2 cores/4 threads to 4 cores/8 threads. AMD is touting improvements in battery life and overall performance, claiming that the top-end 15-watt part can best the Intel i7-8550U by up to 29 percent in media editing, while the mid-tier 15-watt Ryzen 5 3500U beats its Intel counterpart, the i5-8250U, by up to 14 percent in website loading speed.

Model Cores/Threads TDP Boost/Base Freq. Graphics GPU Cores Max GPU Freq.
AMD Ryzen 7 3750H 4/8 35W 4.0/2.3GHz Vega 10 1400MHz
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U 4/8 15W 4.0/2.3GHz Vega 10 14000MHz
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H 4/8 35W 3.7/2.1GHz Vega 8 1200MHz
AMD Ryzen 5 3500U 4/8 15W 3.7/2.1GHz Vega 8 1200MHz
AMD Ryzen 3 3300U 4/4 15W 3.5/2.1GHz Vega 5 1200MHz
AMD Ryzen 3 3200U 2/4 15W 3.5/2.6GHz Vega 3 1200MHz
AMD Athlon 300U 2/4 15W 3.3/2.4GHz Vega 3 1000MHz
AMD A6-9220C 2/2 6W 2.7/1.8GHz R5 3 cores
192 shaders
720MHz
AMD A4-9120C 2/2 6W 2.4/1.6GHz R4 3 cores
192 shaders
600MHz

The initial batch of laptops featuring Ryzen 3000 Series Mobile Processors will be available in the first quarter from partners Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Huawei, Lenovo, and Samsung, with additional product launches coming later in the year.

In addition to its flagship Ryzen mobile lineup, AMD is launching a Zen-based Athlon mobile processor, the Athlon 300U, to target entry-level price points. The company has also announced two new 6-watt A-Series chips aimed at the Chromebook market.

Finally, on the software side, AMD announced that starting this quarter, it will provide Radeon Adrenalin driver support to any laptop with a Ryzen processor and integrated Radeon graphics. This will simplify the driver situation for both consumers and manufacturers, as well as give AMD the ability to directly update gamers’ devices for the latest features and game optimizations.

With AMD getting its arguably less-exciting mobile announcements “out of the way” to start CES, this paves the way for the company to make its big desktop-focused announcements during Dr. Lisa Su’s CES keynote on Wednesday.

Source: AMD

ARM Introduces Cortex-A65AE with SMT for Self-Driving Vehicles and Industrial Automation

Subject: Processors | December 31, 2018 - 09:46 PM |
Tagged: SMT, self driving car, cortex A65AE, armv8-a, arm safety ready, arm

Over the holidays I noticed that ARM released information on a new core design aimed at autonomous driving systems. The Cortex-A65AE is part of the company's Automotive Enhanced lineup and follows on the Cortex-A76AE) with its split-lock and other features that are part of ARM's Safety Ready program.

ARM524_Auto chip diagram_Image_ST2-01.png

Aimed at processors that will be used in self driving cars, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), aviation, and industrial automation, the Cortex-A65AE core design integrates several safety and redundancy features that meet ASIL D specifications which is a hazard and risk assessment test for an ISO standard (26262) focused on road vehicle safety. Processors will be able to have up to eight cores and will support SMT with each physical core able to run two threads (at different exception levels and/or under different OSes). The cores can be run independently for performance or in lock step for redundancy and integrity checking comparing each other's calculation results (Split-Lock and Dual Core Lock Step respectively). Using the simultaneous multithreading, two threads on a physical core and operate in lock step mode with two other threads on a different physical shadow core according to Anandtech.

ARM has not yet released full details about the Cortex-A65AE core but it utilizes a 6A65AE4-bit out of order execution pipeline with the. ARMv8-A. It can be customized to suit the needs of ARM's partners so exact chip specifications will differ, but in general Cortex-A65AE cores can have 16 to 64 KB L1 instruction and data caches, 64 to 256 KB L2 cache, an optional L3 cache up to 4MB. Other features include support for ARM TrustZone, ECC memory, and ACP connections for accelerators. The new cores are built with ARM's DynamIQ technology and are slated to be used in chips built on the 7nm process node.

According to ARM, Cortex-A65AE cores are 70% faster in integer performance per core and offer up to 3.5 times the memory throughput and six times the read bandwidth for ACP accelerators versus the existing Cortex-A53 cores. The notable performance jump is likely the result of a combination of moving to a smaller process node, the addition of SMT, and architectural improvements and cache and inter-chip routing optimizations.

ARM is positioning the Cortex-A65AE as complementary to the Cortex-A76AE which is to say that the new core is not a direct replacement for it. While the Cortex-A76AE is high performance, the A65AE is high throughput and both cores reportedly have their place in future ADAS and self-driving cars. The Cortex-A65AE cores can be clustered together to do the initial processing and sensor fusion calculations from all of the inputs from cameras, radar, lidar, and other hardware. From there, clusters including Cortex A76AE chips (or a mix of the two) along with other accelerators can be responsible for making the decisions based on the sensor information. How well it works in practice and how this heterogenous setup will compare to competing offerings from NVIDIA, Intel/MobileEye, and others remains to be seen. I am all for the self-driving car future though so the more competition and developments in that space is always nice to see even if it's still a ways off yet!

The Cortex-A65AE being the first Cortex-A core to feature multithreading is also interesting and I am very curious if we will see that capability expanded to other ARM processors outside of the AE series. While SMT may not be worth it for mobile devices like smartphones and even tablets, perhaps future ARM-powered Always Connecred Windows notebook PCs will use processors with SMT capable cores as it would be easier to justify the extra cost in power and size to include multithreading.

What are your thoughts?

(PS I hope everyone had a safe holiday or at least a good week if you don't celebrate! I am looking forward to 2019 and continuing to serve you with bad puns and allegedlys technology coverage!)

Source: ARM

MSI's holiday miracle, you can now overclock the Athlon 200GE

Subject: Processors | December 26, 2018 - 11:52 AM |
Tagged: overclock, 200GE, amd, msi, b350, b450, AM4

If you happen to have an MSI B450 or B350 motherboard, get out there and grab the latest UEFI BIOS which updates support for AGESA version 1.0.0.6 as it may be pulled soon.  The reason it may not last is because it will let you overclock your Athlon 200GE processor, something which is generally impossible to pull off.  TechSpot tried it out successfully on a variety of MSI boards, such as the Gaming Pro Carbon AC and managed to bump the $55 processor from 3.2GHz to 3.8GHz.  You won't see a huge increase in performance, though you will see some and it makes for an interesting experiment.

2018-12-02-image-2.jpg

"In an unexpected turn of events, it's now possible to overclock the otherwise-locked $55 Athlon 200GE processor. In what appears to be a slip up by MSI, the component maker has enabled Athlon overclocking with their latest BIOS release across its entire AM4 motherboard lineup."

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Source: TechSpot

AMD Announces Availability of Athlon Processors With Vega Graphics APUs

Subject: Processors | December 22, 2018 - 12:02 AM |
Tagged: Zen, ryzen, rx vega, athlon, APU, amd, 240GE, 220GE

Today AMD announced the availability of its budget Zen-based Athlon Processor with Vega Graphics APUs and released details about the Athlon 220GE and Athlon 240GE APUs that complement the Athlon 200GE it talked about back in September.

AMD Athlon Processor With Radeon Vega Graphics_APU.png

These Athlon 200-series processors are aimed at the budget and mainstream markets to fill the need for a basic processor for everyday tasks such as browsing the internet, checking email, and doing homework. The APUs utilize a 14nm manufacturing process and pair Zen CPU cores with a Vega-based GPU in a 35 watt power envelope, and are aimed at desktops utilizing the AM4 socket.

The Athlon 200GE, 220GE, and 240GE are all dual core, 4-thread processors with 4MB L3 cache and GPUs with 3 compute units (192 cores) clocked at 1 GHz. They all support dual channel DDR4 2667 MHz memory and have 35W TDPs. Where the Athlon APUs differ is in CPU clockspeeds with the higher numbered models having slightly higher base clock speeds.

APU Model Athlon 200GE Athlon 220GE Athlon 240GE
Cores/Threads 2 / 4 2 / 4 2 / 4
Base Freq 3.2 GHz 3.4 GHz 3.5 GHz
Graphics CUs 3 3 3
Graphics Freq 1 GHz 1 GHz 1 GHz
L3 Cache 4MB 4MB 4MB
TDP 35W 35W 35W
Pricing (SEP) $55 $65 $75

The Athlon 200GE starts at 3.2 GHz for $54.98 with an additional $10 buying you the 3.4 GHz 220GE and another $10 premium buying the $74.98 Athlon 240GE's 3.5 GHz CPU clocks. The Athlon 220GE seems to be the best value in that respect, because the extra $10 buys you an extra 200 MHz and the jump to the 240GE only gets an extra 100 MHz for the same extra cost. (Keep in mind that these chips are not unlocked.) Then again, if you are on a tight budget where every dollar counts, the 200GE may be what you end up going with so that you can buy better RAM or more storage.

The new chips are available now but it seems retailers aren't quite ready with their listings as while the 200GE is up for sale at Amazon, the 220GE and 240GE are not yet listed online at the time of writing.

The Athlon 200GE-series APUs introduce a new lower-end option that sits below Ryzen 3 at a lower price point for basic desktops doing typical office or home entertainment duties. With a 35W TDP they might also be useful in fanless home theater PCs and game streaming endpoints for gaming on the big screen.

I am also curious whether these chips will be used for by the DIY and enthusiast community as the base for budget (gaming) builds and if they might see the same popularity as the Athlon X4 860K (note: no built-in graphics). I would be interested in the comparison between the 4c/4t 860K ($57) and the 2c/4t 200GE ($55) to see how they stack up with the newer process node and core design. On the other hand, enthusiasts may well be better served with the overclockable Ryzen 3 2200G ($97) if they want a budget Zen-based part that also has its own GPU.

What are your thoughts on the new Athlon APUs?

Related reading:

Source: AMD

AMD Ryzen Mobile Picasso APUs Spotted in Benchmark Results

Subject: Processors | December 19, 2018 - 08:47 PM |
Tagged: Zen+, ryzen mobile, ryzen, rumor, picasso, geekbench, amd

Twitter user APISAK is at it again with more hardware leaks, and this time the rumors surround AMD's next generation mobile 3000U-series "Picasso" APUs which will replace Raven Ridge in 2019. The new APUs were reportedly spotted by APISAK (@TUM_APISAK on Twitter) as reported by Hexus in two HP laptops in 14" and 17" form factors and offer power efficiency and performance improvements over Raven Ridge's CPU cores along with Vega-based graphics. Searching around online and parsing the various conflicting rumors and speculation on Picasso, I think it is most likely that Picasso is 12nm and utilizes Zen+ CPU cores though it remains to be seen how true that is.

Ryzen Mobile AMD APUs.jpg

Based on previous roadmaps, AMD's APUs have trailed the desktop CPUs in process technology and architecture instead opting to refine the previous generation for mobile rather than operating at its bleeding edge so while 2019 will see Zen 2 architecture-based CPUs and GPUs built on 7nm, APUs in 2019 are likely to stick with 12nm and Zen+ tuned for a mobile power envelope with tweaks to SenseMI and technology like mobile XFR and dynamic power delivery.

In any event, Picasso APUs are rumored to include the Ryzen 3 3200U, Ryzen 3 3300U, and Ryzen 5 3500U based on Geekbench results pages as well as the low-end [Athlon?] 3000U and the high-end Ryzen 5 3700U - according to the source. The 3000U and 3700U are known in name only, but the middle-tier APUs have a bit more information available thanks to Geekbench. The Ryzen 3 3200U is a dual core (four thread) part while the Ryzen 3 3300U and Ryzen 5 3500U are quad core (eight thread) CPUs. All Picasso APUs are rumored to use Vega-based graphics. The dual core APU has the highest base clock at 2.6 Ghz while the 3300U and 3500U start at 2.1 GHz. The Ryzen 5 3700U allegedly clocks from 2.2 GHz to 3.8 GHz and likely has the highest boost clock of the bunch. The parts use the FP5 mobile socket.

Picasso APU Geekbench scores based on HP Laptop 17-ca1xxx except 3200U Compute which is from HP Laptop 14-cm1xxx. Carrizo APU scores based on HP Pavilion. The i5-8359U CPU scores are from. HP Elitebook X360 and Compute score from Dell Latitude 7490.
  Athlon(?) 3000U Ryzen 3 3200U Ryzen 3 3300U Ryzen 5 3500U Ryzen 5 3700U A10-8700P (Carrizo) Intel Core i5-8359U
Cores / Threads ? 2 / 4 4 / 4 4 / 8 4 / 8 2 / 4 4 / 8
Base / Boost Clocks ? 2.6 / ? GHz 2.1 / ? GHz 2.1 / ? GHz 2.2 / 3.8 GHz 1.8 / 3.19 GHz 1.9 / 3.59 GHz
Cache ? 4 MB 4 MB 4 MB 4 MB 2 MB 6 MB
Graphics Vega Vega 3 6 CU (920 MHz) Vega 6 6 CU (1.2 GHz) Vega 8 8 CU (1.2 GHz) Vega R6 6 CUs (GCN 1.2) UHD 620 24 CUs (1.1 GHz)
Socket FP5/AM4 FP5/AM4 FP5/AM4 FP5/AM4 FP5/AM4 FP4 1356 FCBGA
Geekbench Single Core ? 3467 3654 3870 ? 2113 4215
Geekbench Multi Core ? 6735 9686 11284 ? 4328 12768
Geekbench Graphics ? 23698 26540 31947 ? 20009 16279

Looking at the Geekbench results (which you should take with a grain of salt and as just an approximation because final scores would depend on the platform, cooling, and how it ends up clocking within its power envelope) it seems that AMD may have a decent chip on its hands that improves the performance over Raven Ridge a bit and significantly over its older Excavator-based pre-Zen designs. A cursory comparison with Kaby Lake shows that AMD is not quite to par in CPU performance (particularly per core but it comes close in multi-core) but offers notably better compute / GPU performance thanks to the Vega graphics. It seems that AMD is closing the gap at least with Zen+.

I am remaining skeptical but optimistic about AMD's Picasso APUs. I am looking forward to more information on the new chips and the devices that will use them. I am hoping that my educated guess is correct with regard to Picasso being 12nm Zen+ or better as rumor is mainly that Picasso is a Raven Ridge successor that offers power and performance tweaks without going into further detail. I expect more information on Picasso (APU) and Matisse (CPU) to come out as soon as next month at CES 2019.

What are your thoughts on Picasso?

Source: Hexus

Intel Unveils Next-Gen Sunny Cove CPU, Gen11 Graphics, and 3D Stacking Technology

Subject: Processors | December 12, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: xeon, Sunny Cove, processor, intel core, Intel, integrated graphics, iGPU, Foveros, cpu, 3D stacking

Intel’s Architecture Day was held yesterday and brought announcements of three new technologies. Intel shared details of a new 3D stacking technology for logic chips, a brand new CPU architecture for desktop and server, and some surprising developments on the iGPU front. Oh, and they mentioned that whole discrete GPU thing…

3D Stacking for Logic Chips

First we have Foveros, a new 3D packaging technology that follows Intel’s previous EMIB (Embedded Multi-die Interconnect Bridge) 2D packaging technology and enables die-stacking of high-performance logic chips for the first time.

2d-and-3d-packaging-drive-new-design-flexibility.jpg

“Foveros paves the way for devices and systems combining high-performance, high-density and low-power silicon process technologies. Foveros is expected to extend die stacking beyond traditional passive interposers and stacked memory to high-performance logic, such as CPU, graphics and AI processors for the first time.”

Foveros will allow for a new “chiplet” paradigm, as “I/O, SRAM, and power delivery circuits can be fabricated in a base die and high-performance logic chiplets are stacked on top”. This new approach would permit design elements to be “mixed and matched”, and allow new device form-factors to be realized as products can be broken up into these smaller chiplets.

3d-packaging-a-catalyst-for-product-innovation.jpg

The first range of products using this technology are expected to launch in the second half of 2019, beginning with a product that Intel states “will combine a high-performance 10nm compute-stacked chiplet with a low-power 22FFL base die,” which Intel says “will enable the combination of world-class performance and power efficiency in a small form factor”.

Intel Sunny Cove Processors - Coming Late 2019

Next up is the announcement of a brand new CPU architecture with Sunny Cove, which will be the basis of Intel’s next generation Core and Xeon processors in 2019. No mention of 10nm was made, so it is unclear if Intel’s planned transition from 14nm is happening with this launch (the last Xeon roadmap showed a 10 nm transition with "Ice Lake" in 2020).

Intel_CPUs.jpg

Intel states that Sonny Cove is “designed to increase performance per clock and power efficiency for general purpose computing tasks” with new features included “to accelerate special purpose computing tasks like AI and cryptography”.

Intel provided this list of Sunny Cove’s features:

  • Enhanced microarchitecture to execute more operations in parallel.
  • New algorithms to reduce latency.
  • Increased size of key buffers and caches to optimize data-centric workloads.
  • Architectural extensions for specific use cases and algorithms. For example, new performance-boosting instructions for cryptography, such as vector AES and SHA-NI,  and other critical use cases like compression and decompression.

Integrated Graphics with 2x Performance

Gen11_Pipeline.png

Intel slide image via ComputerBase

Intel did reveal next-gen graphics, though it was a new generation of the company’s integrated graphics announced at the event. The update is nonetheless significant, with the upcoming Gen11 integrated GPU “expected to double the computing performance-per-clock compared to Intel Gen9 graphics” thanks to a huge increase in Execution Units, from 24 EUs with Gen9 to 64 EUs with Gen11. This will provide “>1 TFLOPS performance capability”, according to Intel, who states that the new Gen11 graphics are also expected to feature advanced media encode/decode, supporting “4K video streams and 8K content creation in constrained power envelopes”.

And finally, though hardly a footnote, the new Gen11 graphics will feature Intel Adaptive Sync technology, which was a rumored feature of upcoming discrete GPU products from Intel.

Discrete GPUs?

And now for that little part about discrete graphics: At the event Intel simply “reaffirmed its plan to introduce a discrete graphics processor by 2020”. Nothing new here, and this obviously means that we won’t be seeing a new discrete GPU from Intel in 2019 - though the beefed-up Gen11 graphics should provide a much needed boost to Intel’s graphics offering when Sonny Cove launches “late next year”.

Source: Intel

Getting the most out of the i5-9600K

Subject: Processors | November 30, 2018 - 06:34 PM |
Tagged: Core i5-9600K, overclocking, Intel

For just under $300 and offering decent performance at it's stock clocks of 3.7GHz and 4.6GHz Turbo, the i5-9600K is an attractive chip for many looking to build a new system.  However, by overclocking it you can get even more bang for your buck, which is exactly what [H]ard|OCP has been looking into.  They attached a RX480 V3 Radiator, and D5 Photon Reservoir/Pump Combo V2 to cool the chip which let them hit 5.25GHz perfectly stable with some noticeable results.  See the settings they used as well as some tips in their full review.

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"The Intel Core i5-9600K Processor will likely hit the the sweet spot for a lot of desktop PC enthusiasts and gamers. We have a solid 6-Core count with a Turbo Boost clock of 4.6GHz coming in for right around $270. What kind of overclock will the new 9600K CPU support and remain 100% stable?"

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Processors

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Meet the i9-9980XE

Subject: Processors | November 13, 2018 - 03:36 PM |
Tagged: x299, Threadripper, skylake-x, Intel, i9-9980XE, i9-7980XE, HEDT, core x, amd, 2990wx

The new ~$2000 i9-9980XE is a refreshed Skylake chip, using Intel's 14-nm++ process, with 18 multithreaded cores running at 3GHz with a Boost clock of 4.4GHz.  If you were to lift up the lid, you would find the same Solder Thermal Interface Material we saw in the last few releases so expect some brave soul to run delidding tests at some point in the near future.  As it stands now, The Tech Report's overclocking tests had the same results as Ken, with 4.5GHz across all cores being the best they could manage.  While the chip does offer new features, many of them are aimed specifically at production tasks and will not benefit your gaming experience.

Check out the performance results here and below the fold.

 

mesh.png

"Intel is bolstering its Core X high-end desktop CPUs with everything in its bag of tricks, including 14-nm++ process technology, higher clock speeds, larger caches, and solder thermal interface material. We put the Core i9-9980XE to the test to see how those refinements add up against AMD's high-end desktop onslaught."

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Processors

 

AMD Shows Off Zen 2-Based EPYC "Rome" Server Processor

Subject: Processors | November 7, 2018 - 11:00 PM |
Tagged: Zen 2, rome, PCI-e 4, Infinity Fabric, EPYC, ddr4, amd, 7nm

In addition to AMD's reveal of 7nm GPUs used in its Radeon Instinct MI60 and MI50 graphics cards (aimed at machine learning and other HPC acceleration), the company teased a few morsels of information on its 7nm CPUs. Specifically, AMD teased attendees of its New Horizon event with information on its 7nm "Rome" EPYC processors based on the new Zen 2 architecture.

AMD EPYC Rome Zen 2.jpg

Tom's Hardware spotted the upcoming Epyc processor at AMD's New Horizon event.

The codenamed "Rome" EPYC processors will utilize a MCM design like its EPYC and Threadripper predecessors, but increases the number of CPU dies from four to eight (with each chiplet containing eight cores with two CCXs) and adds a new 14nm I/O die that sits in the center of processor that consolidates memory and I/O channels to help even-out the latency among all the cores of the various dies. This new approach allows each chip to directly access up to eight channels of DDR4 memory (up to 4TB) and will no longer have to send requests to neighboring dies connected to memory which was the case with, for example, Threadripper 2. The I/O die is speculated by TechPowerUp to also be responsible for other I/O duties such as PCI-E 4.0 and the PCH communication duties previously integrated into each die.

"Rome" EPYC processors with up to 64 cores (128 threads) are expected to launch next year with AMD already sampling processors to its biggest enterprise clients. The new Zen 2-based processors should work with existing Naples and future Milan server platforms. EPYC will feature from four to up to eight 7nm Zen 2 dies connected via Infinity Fabric to a 14nm I/O die.

AMD Lisa Su Holding Rome EPYC Zen 2 CPU.png

AMD CEO Lisa Su holding up "Rome" EPYC CPU during press conference earlier this year.

The new 7nm Zen 2 CPU dies are much smaller than the dies of previous generation parts (even 12nm Zen+). AMD has not provided full details on the changes it has made with the new Zen 2 architecutre, but it has apparently heavily tweaked the front end operations (branch prediction, pre-fetching) and increased cache sizes as well as doubling the size of the FPUs to 256-bit. The architectural improvements alogn with the die shrink should allow AMD to show off some respectable IPC improvements and I am interested to see details and how Zen 2 will shake out.

Also read:

Intel unveils Xeon Cascade Lake Advanced Performance Platform

Subject: Processors | November 5, 2018 - 02:00 AM |
Tagged: xeon e-2100, xeon, MCP, Intel, Infinity Fabric, EPYC, cxl-ap, cascade lake, amd, advanced performance

Ahead of the Supercomputing conference next week, Intel has announced a new market segment for Xeons called Cascade Lake Advanced Platform (CXL-AP). This represents a new, higher core count option in the Xeon Scalable family, which currently tops out at 28 cores. 

cxl-ap.png

Through the use of a multi-chip package (MCP), Intel will now be able to offer up to 48-cores, with 12 DDR4 memory channels per socket. Cascade Lake AP is being targeted at dual socket systems bringing the total core count up to 96-cores.

UPI.jpg

Intel's Ultra Path Interconnect (UPI), introduced in Skylake-EP for multi-socket communication, is used to connect both the MCP packages on a single processor together, as well as the two processors in a 2S configuration. 

Given the relative amount of shade that Intel has thrown towards AMD's multi-die design with Epyc, calling it "glued-together," this move to an MCP for a high-end Xeon offering will garner some attention.

When asked about this, Intel says that the issues they previously pointed out with aren't inherently because it's a multi-die design, but rather the quality of the interconnect. By utilizing UPI for the interconnect, Intel claims their MCP design will provide performance consistency not found in other solutions. They were also quick to point out that this is not their first Xeon design utilizing multiple packages.

Intel provided some performance claims against the current 32-core Epyc 7601, of up to 3.4X greater performance in Linpack, and up to 1.3x in Stream Triad.

As usual, whether or not these claims are validated will come down to external testing when people have these new Cascade Lake AP processors in-hand, which is set to be in the first half of 2019.

More details on the entire Cascade Lake family, including Cascade Lake AP, are set to come at next week's Supercomputing conference, so stay tuned for more information as it becomes available!

Source: Intel

Crack a PB 2 with AMD

Subject: Processors | October 30, 2018 - 03:30 PM |
Tagged: threadripper 2, precision boost 2, amd, 2970wx, 2920x

Now that you've had some time to digest Ken's look at the 2920X and 2970WX, take a look at how AMD's new silicon performed on other test beds.  Over at The Tech Report they ran the 2920X paired with DDR4-3200 and spent a fair amount of time testing workstation tasks including DAWBench VI tests.  There are also a number of games they tested which are not included in our suite so start your reading over there.

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"While those figures may seem little changed from those of the Ryzen Threadripper 1920X, AMD's Precision Boost 2 technology promises a more graceful descent to that base clock as cores and threads become loaded down.""

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

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Shopping for new CPU before the end of the year?

Subject: Processors | October 26, 2018 - 05:48 PM |
Tagged: Intel, and, ryzen, Threadripper, HEDT, coffee lake

The Tech Report took a look at the current market and are now offering their opinion on which ones you should consider.  The question is more complicated than simply buying the most expensive AMD or Intel processor you can afford; not many of your games are CPU limited and even those that are will see more benefit if you switch the API being used.  Read on for a variety of suggestions at various price points as well as why picking up a top end processor might actually give you less performance.

2ndgen-duo.jpg

"Choosing a CPU for a gaming PC can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. We walk you through the types of gaming experiences where CPUs matter and where they don't, and we pick chips for every budget that make the most of today's powerful graphics cards."

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CASES & COOLING

 

Refreshing Intel's Coffee was quite effective

Subject: Processors | October 19, 2018 - 01:55 PM |
Tagged: 2700x, amd, coffee lake, coffee lake refresh, i5-9600K, i7-9700K, i9-9900K, Intel, ryzen 7, Z390

With the advent of the 9th generation of Core processors from Intel, we see the market return to what we have been used to in the past.  Intel's offering is now faster and more effective than AMD's Ryzen, but it is also significantly more expensive.  Instead of getting an APU and heatsink for ~$300, you will be paying ~$530 for just the processor with no cooler.  That said the i9-9900K makes sense for those who have spent the money on an RTX 2080 Ti and a high resolution monitor, since they've already set a large budget; while those with less lofty dreams will be very happy with the Ryzen 7 2700X.

The question of overclocking is an interesting one, as Ken had no luck getting the chip to run above 5GHz.   [H]ard|OCP had a slightly better experience, hitting 5.14GHz with a 3600MHz memory bus, which could not match the content creation power of Threadripper 2 even though it was sucking down more juice.  Check out their review and then browse through the ones below.

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"The new 9th generation Intel i9-9900K CPU is upon us! AMD has been pushing into Intel's desktop market and Intel knows it. Today Intel is pulling the curtain back on "not paid for" reviews and we are happy to be serving you one of those up here today. Is the i9-9900K better than the Ryzen 7 2700X, and is it worth the staggering price premium?"

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

 

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Intel unveils updated X-Series HEDT processors, 28-core Xeon for Workstations

Subject: Processors | October 8, 2018 - 11:14 AM |
Tagged: xeon w-3175x, xeon, x299, Intel, i9-9890xe, C621, 9th generation, 28-core

Consumer processors weren't the only Intel products to see an update today, as Intel announced updates to their HEDT lineup, as well as a new platform for their 28-core processor previously announced at Computex.

IMG_3454.png

First is the Xeon W-3175X, which readers will remember from the now infamous Intel demonstration at Computex, featuring a 5 GHz overclock achieved through the use of a 1HP water chiller.

Today we were introduced to the final product iteration of this 28-core demo, the Xeon W-3175X. Utilizing the same C621 chipset, this processor is essentially a Xeon Platinum 8180 which launched in late 2017 but with an unlocked multiplier and running at higher clock speeds.

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The Xeon W-3175X provides a 600 MHz base clock and a 500 MHz Turbo Boost 2.0 clock advantage over the Xeon Platinum 8180. Along with these clock speed increases comes a TDP increase to 255W, compared to the 205W TDP of the Xeon 8180.

Additionally, Xeon W-3175X will support the same six-channel ECC memory configuration as the Xeon Platinum 8180. Similarly, the Xeon W-3175X will use the LGA3647 socket, currently only found on the Xeon Scalable family of processors.

Given that current lack of LGA3647-based workstation motherboards and the TDP increase over the Xeon Scalable processor, this new Xeon-W part will mean the release of all-new motherboards, a sneak peak of which we saw at Computex. ASUS and Gigabyte are said to be the launch partners, with motherboard options to be available in December alongside the processor.

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On the slightly more reasonable side, we have the refresh of Intel's X-series HEDT processors.

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Topping off with the 18-core i9-9980XE, this lineup looks very familiar to Intel's current HEDT lineup, aside from some clock speed and core count increases.

Instead of starting at a 6-core, 12-thread configuration like the 7th generation, the 9th generation HEDT parts now start at the same 8-core, 16-thread configuration we see with the i9-9900K. Similarly, there are now two 10-core SKUs, the i9-9820X and i9-9900X.

Across the board, we see a 300-400 MHz increase on the base clocks of these new parts compared to the previous generation, as well as a 200-300 MHz to the Turbo Boost 2.0 clock speeds.

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The X-series processors will once again feature a soldered connection between the die and heatspreader for increased thermal performance.

These new X-series processors will continue to use the X299 platform, although we expect to see a few newly revised motherboards based on the X299 chipset from partners as we have for other HEDT launches.

While the new 9th generation consumer CPUs feature a combination of hardware, software, and microcode updates for side-channel attack vulnerabilities like Spectre and Meltdown, both the new X-series CPUs as well as the Xeon W-3175X only feature microcode and software fixes as detailed below:

  • Speculative side channel variant Spectre V2 (Branch Target Injection) = Microcode + Software
  • Speculative side channel variant Meltdown V3 (Rogue Data Cache Load) = Microcode
  • Speculative side channel variant Meltdown V3a (Rogue System Register Read) = Microcode
  • Speculative side channel variant V4 (Speculative Store Bypass) = Microcode + Software
  • Speculative side channel variant L1 Terminal Fault = Microcode + Software
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One of the points that Intel stressed this morning when announcing these new products is the importance of their Mesh architecture as compared to AMD's Infinity Fabric-based solution to core count scaling. 
 
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Intel claims the performance benefits that the unified memory architecture, where all cores can access memory, provides over the Threadripper 2990WX are significant in some applications including Autodesk Maya, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Unreal Engine build times.
 
In general, the announcements of these high-core count processors are relatively tame compared to the updates that Intel's consumer desktop CPUs saw today. AMD has been very aggressive with their second generation Threadripper processors in term of pricing and performance, so it will be interesting to see how these new Intel X-series processors change the HEDT market outlook.
 
As for the 28-core Xeon-W part, it seems odd for Intel to be launching a whole new desktop platform in-order to compete with the likes of the 24 and 32-core second generation Threadripper processors from AMD. 
 
The Xeon W-3175X will be available starting in December, while the new Intel X-series processors will be available in November.
Source: Intel

Intel announces 9th Generation Core processors with up to 8-cores, 16-threads

Subject: Processors | October 8, 2018 - 11:14 AM |
Tagged: Z390, STIM, ryzen, Intel, i9-9900K, i7-9700K, i5-9600K, 9th generation, 2700x

At their event in New York City today, Intel took the wraps off of their much-rumored 9th generation series of desktop processors.

Built upon the same "14 nm++" process technology as Coffee Lake, this new 9th generation is launching with 3 new processor models.

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At the lower end, we have the i5-9600K, replacing the current i5-8600K. Staying with the same 6C/6T configuration, the 9600K improves the base frequency by 100 MHz, while adding 300 MHz to the rated single-core Turbo Boost 2.0 clock speed.

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Moving onto the 8-core processors, we have the i7-9700K and the i9-9900K. Coming with Intel's first consumer i9 processor also comes the first i7 desktop processor not to feature Hyper-threading. While both processors have eight physical cores, only the i9-9900K will feature Hyper-threading allowing for a 16-thread configuration. Both processors maintain the same 95W TDP as the i7-8700K.

The lack of Hyper-Threading on the i7-9700K will provide quite the interesting performance comparison with the current flagship 6C/12T i7-8700K.

The flagship Intel Core i9-9900K has a base clock 100 MHz lower than the i7-8700K but features the same 5.0 GHz single-core Turbo Boost clock as the i7-8086K. Intel has also said that the all-core frequency for the i9-9900K is 400 MHz faster than the i7-8700K. Additionally, the i9-9900K features 16MB of cache, compared to the 12MB found on the i7-8700K.

Price-wise, both the i5-9600K and i7-9700K are similar to the 8th generation processors they are replacing, while the i9-9900K will come in at $500. 

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Addressing one of the most common complaints from enthusiasts about recent Intel processors, the 9th generation series of processors will come with what Intel is referring to as "Solder Thermal Interface Material" (STIM). 

Switching back to solder as the TIM for these CPUs should provide significantly improved thermal conductivity, resulting in additional overclocking headroom as well as cooler and quieter operation at stock frequencies without the need of delidding.

Alongside these new processors comes the launch of a new chipset from Intel, Z390. In addition to native USB 3.1 Gen 1 (10 Gbit/s) support, Intel claims the Z390 chipset will sport improved power management for the 8-core processor variants, as well as integrated 802.11 AC connectivity. 

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The Z390 platform will continue to feature the same "up to 40" PCI Express lanes that we've seen for several generations, with 16 lanes being directly connected to the CPU, and the rest coming from the chipset which is still connected via a DMI 3.0 link.

Despite the launch of a new chipset in the form of Z390, these new 9th generation chipsets will maintain compatibility with all previous 300-series Intel chipsets, such as Z370 through updates that will be made available by motherboard manufacturers. 

These new 9th generation processors will also feature a combination of hardware and software fixes for the following side-channel attack security vulnerabilities like Spectre and Meltdown:

  • Speculative side channel variant SpectreV2 (Branch Target Injection) = Microcode + Software
  • Speculative side channel variant Meltdown V3 (Rogue Data Cache Load) = Hardware
  • Speculative side channel variant Meltdown V3a (Rogue System Register Read) = Microcode
  • Speculative side channel variant V4 (Speculative Store Bypass) = Microcode + Software
  • Speculative side channel variant L1 Terminal Fault = Hardware

While the almost $500 price tag is substantially higher than AMD's $330 8-core Ryzen 7 2700X, Intel's advantage in single-threaded performance combined with matched core counts should provide for quite the interesting comparison.

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The i9-9900K is available for pre-order today, and will launch on October 19th. No word on the rest of the 9th generation lineup, but we expect them to launch at the same time as the i9 processor.

Source: Intel

AMD Announces Threadripper 2970WX, 2920X Availability, New Dynamic Local Mode Feature

Subject: Processors | October 5, 2018 - 04:42 PM |
Tagged: ryzen, Threadripper, 2990wx, 2970wx, 2950x, 2920x, dynamical local mode, NUMA, UMA

AMD has provided an update to their continued rollout of 2nd generation Threadripper CPUs, including the 12 and 24-core variants.

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Both of these new Threadripper SKUs will be available starting on October 29th, for a price of $649 for the 12-core 2920X and $1299 for the 24-core 2970WX.

The more surprising announcement comes in the form of a new software feature for the Threadripper WX-series processors called "Dynamic Local Mode" which aims to address some of the performance issues caused by the non-traditional memory structure of these processors, where not all CPU cores have direct access to a memory controller.

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A diagram of the memory structure utilized in the Threadripper WX-series processors

According to the blog post on AMD's website, Dynamic Local Mode will run as a Windows 10 service and measure how much CPU time each thread is utilizing.

This service will then begin to reallocate these demanding threads to the CPU cores which have direct memory access until it runs out of available cores. In that case, the service will start to assign threads to the remaining cores.

This dynamic operation ensures for applications that aren't consuming all 48/64 threads on the WX-series processors, that direct memory access will be available when needed. In particular, this should provide an advantage to gaming, which typically takes up less than eight cores, but is dependant on fast memory access.

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Users will be able to enable and disable this feature on the fly through the Ryzen Master, and it will not require a reboot unlike the existing Dynamic/Local mode toggle for the Threadripper X-seres processors. 

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AMD is claiming that they've measured up to a 47% increase in performance with Dynamic Local Mode enabled while gaming in certain titles.

Dynamic Local Mode is set to be enabled with a new version of AMD's Ryzen Master software, available alongside these new Threadripper SKUs on October 29th. We hope to have hands-on this software beforehand to test how this fixes some of the issues we saw in our initial review of the Threadripper 2990WX. Stay tuned for more info!

Source: AMD

$55 of Athlon agility, the 200GE

Subject: Processors | September 18, 2018 - 02:26 PM |
Tagged: amd, athlon, 200GE

If you are building a system on a budget, AMD is currently the king of the low cost machine.  For a mere $55 you can grab the dual core, four thread, 3.2 GHz Athlon 200GE and it's three Radeon compute units, add in a motherboard for the same price, a spare SSD and the only major remaining cost would be the DDR4.  The Ryzen 3 2200G is a better performing chip overall and is unlocked but it costs twice as much and might not be needed for some builds as you can game quite comfortably at 720p with the 200GE as Techspot demonstrates in their review.

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"AMD's most affordable Zen based processor yet, the Athlon 200GE is just dual-core, but before your shrek louder than the coil whine of a cheap graphics card, consider the price, this is a $55 processor."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

Source: TechSpot

Huawei Kirin Cheating Extends to Geekbench, P20 Pro Tested

Subject: Processors, Mobile | September 9, 2018 - 04:50 PM |
Tagged: p20 pro, Kirin 970, Kirin, Huawei

This story first appeared on ShroutResearch.com.

Last week the gang at Anandtech posted a story discovering systematic cheating by Huawei in smartphone benchmarks. In its story, AT focused on 3DMark and GFXBench, looking at how the Chinese-based silicon and phone provider was artificially increasing benchmark scores to gain an advantage in its battles with other smartphone providers and SoC vendors like Qualcomm.

As a result of that testing, UL Benchmarks (who acquired Futuremark) delisted several Huawei smartphones from 3DMark, taking the artificial scores down from the leaderboards. This puts the existing device reviews in question while also pulling a cloud over the recently announced (and impressive sounding) Kirin 980 SoC meant to battle with the Snapdragon 845 and next-gen Qualcomm product. The Kirin 980 will be the first shipping processor to integrate high performance Arm Cortex-A76 cores, so the need to cheat on performance claims is questionable.

Just a day after this story broke, UL and Huawei released a joint statement that is, quite honestly, laughable.

"In the discussion, Huawei explained that its smartphones use an artificial intelligent resource scheduling mechanism. Because different scenarios have different resource needs, the latest Huawei handsets leverage innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence to optimize resource allocation in a way so that the hardware can demonstrate its capabilities to the fullest extent, while fulfilling user demands across all scenarios.

To somehow assert that any kind of AI processing is happening on Huawei devices that is responsible for the performance differences that Anandtech measured is at best naïve and at worst straight out lying. This criticism is aimed at both Huawei and UL Benchmarks – I would assume that a company with as much experience in performance evaluation would not succumb to this kind of messaging.

After that AT story was posted, I started talking with the team that builds Geekbench, one of the most widely used and respected benchmarks for processors on mobile devices and PCs. It provides a valuable resource of comparative performance and leaderboards. As it turns out, Huawei devices are exhibiting the same cheating behavior in this benchmark.

Below I have compiled results from Geekbench that were run by developer John Poole on a Huawei P20 Pro device powered by the Kirin 970 SoC. (Private app results, public app results.) To be clear: the public version is the application package as downloaded from the Google Play Store while the private version is a custom build he created to test against this behavior. It uses absolutely identical workloads and only renames the package and does basic string replacement in the application.

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Clearly the Huawei P20 Pro is increasing performance on the public version of the Geekbench test and not on the private version, despite using identical workloads on both. In the single threaded tests, the total score is 6.5% lower with the largest outlier being in the memory performance sub-score, where the true result is 14.3% slower than the inaccurate public version result. Raw integer performance drops by 3.7% and floating-point performance falls by 5.6%.

The multi-threaded score differences are much more substantial. Floating point performance drops by 26% in the private version of Geekbench, taking a significant hit that would no doubt affect its placement in the leaderboards and reviews of flagship Android smartphones.

Overall, the performance of the Huawei P20 Pro is 6.5% slower in single threaded testing and 16.7% slower in multi-threaded testing when the artificial score inflation in place within the Huawei customized OS is removed. Despite claims to the contrary, and that somehow an AI system is being used to recognize specific user scenarios and improve performance, this is another data point to prove that Huawei was hoping to pull one over on the media and consumers with invalid performance comparisons.

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Some have asked me why this issue matters; if the hardware is clearly capable of performance like this, why should Huawei and HiSilicon not be able to present it that way? The higher performance results that 3DMark, GFXBench, and now Geekbench show are not indicative of the performance consumers get with their devices on real applications. The entire goal of benchmarks and reviews is to try to convey the experience a buyer would get for a smartphone, or anything else for that matter.

If Huawei wanted one of its devices to offer this level of performance in games and other applications, it could do so, but at the expense of other traits. Skin temperature, battery life, and device lifespan could all be impacted – something that would definitely affect the reviews and reception of a smartphone. Hence, the practice of cheating in an attempt to have the best of both.

The sad part about all of this is that Huawei’s flagship smartphones have been exceptional in nearly every way. Design, screen quality, camera integration, features; the Mate and P-series devices have been excellent representations of what an Android device can be. Unfortunately, for enthusiasts that follow the market, this situation will follow the company and cloud some of those positives.

Today’s data shows that the story of Huawei and benchmarks goes beyond just 3DMark and GFXBench. We will be watching this closely to see how Huawei responds and if any kinds of updates to existing hardware are distributed. And, as the release of Kirin 980 devices nears, you can be sure that testing and evaluation of these will get a more scrutinizing eye than ever.

Athlon rides again!

Subject: General Tech, Processors | September 6, 2018 - 01:22 PM |
Tagged: amd, athlon, Zen, Vega, 200GE, PRO 200GE, ryzen, Ryzen 7 PRO 2700X, Ryzen 7 PRO 2700, Ryzen 5 PRO 2600

AMD is returning the Athlon name to active service with the arrival of the Athlon 200GE, combining their current Zen core with three Radeon Vega 3 GCUs and a GPU core of 1GHz.  The dual core, multithreaded processor will run at 3.2GHz with a TDP of 35W, which should give you an idea of where you will find this new chip. 

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Along with the new Athlon comes four new Pro chips, the AMD Athlon PRO 200GE, Ryzen 7 PRO 2700X, Ryzen 7 PRO 2700 and Ryzen 5 PRO 2600.  These will be more traditional desktop processors with enterprise level features to ensure the security of your systems as well as offering flexibility; with a cost somewhat lower than the competitions.

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Source: AMD

Huawei Announces Kirin 980: Is the World's First 7nm SoC Passing Snapdragon?

Subject: Processors, Mobile | September 2, 2018 - 11:45 AM |
Tagged: SoC, octa-core, mobile, Mali-G76, Kirin, Huawei, HiSilicon, gpu, cpu, Cortex-A76, arm, 8-core

Huawei has introduced their subsidiary HiSilicon’s newest mobile processor in the Kirin 980, which, along with Huawei's claim of the world's first commercial 7nm SoC, is the first SoC to use Arm Cortex A76 CPU cores and Arm’s Mali G76 GPU.

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Image credit: The Verge

Huawei is aiming squarely at Qualcomm with this announcement, claiming better performance than a Snapdragon 845 during the presentation. One of its primary differences to the current Snapdragon is the composition of the Kirin 980’s eight CPU cores, notable as the usual 'big.LITTLE' Arm CPU core configuration for an octa-core design gives way to a revised organization with three groups, as illustrated by AnandTech here:

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Image credit: AnandTech

Of the four Cortex A76 cores just two are clocked up to maximize performance with certain applications such as gaming (and, likely, benchmarks) at 2.60 GHz, and the other two are used more generally as more efficient performance cores at 1.92 GHz. The remaining four A55 cores operate at 1.80 GHz, and are used for lower-performance tasks. A full breakdown of the CPU core configuration as well as slides from the event are available at AnandTech.

Huawei claims that the improved CPU in the Kirin 980 results in "75 percent more powerful and 58 percent more efficient compared to their previous generation" (the Kirin 970). This claim translates into what Huawei claims to be 37% better performance and 32% greater efficiency than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845.

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Image credit: AnandTech

The GPU also gets a much-needed lift this year from Arm's latest GPU, the Mali-G76, which features "new, wider execution engines with double the number of lanes" and "provides dramatic uplifts in both performance and efficiency for complex graphics and Machine Learning (ML) workloads", according to Arm.

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Image credit: AnandTech

Real-world testing with shipping handsets is needed to verify Huawei's performance claims, of course. In fact, the results shown by Huawei at the presentation carry a this disclaimer, sourced from today’s press release:

"The specifications of Kirin 980 does not represent the specifications of the phone using this chip. All data and benchmark results are based on internal testing. Results may vary in different environments."

The upcoming Mate 20 from Huawei will be powered by this new Kirin 980 - and could very well provide results consistent with the full potential of the new chip - and that is set for an official launch on October 16.

The full press release is available after the break.

Source: AnandTech