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."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

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.

DSC05249.JPG

"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:

Click Here to go to Processors   Processors

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."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:

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.

1539859475wuqa2fhrqs_1_5_l.jpg

"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.

IMG_6896.JPG

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.

IMG_8760.png

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

IMG_5374.png

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.

IMG_5456.png

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
IMG_4518.png
 
 
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. 
 
IMG_5456.png
 
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.

IMG_9130.png

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.

IMG_8939.png

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. 

IMG_5456.png

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. 

IMG_3191.png

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.

01.jpg

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.

table.png

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.

WX-structure.png

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.

ryzenmaster.png

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. 

performance.png

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.

Image_02S.jpg

"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.

gb-single.png

gb-multi.png

gb-change.png

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.

icon.jpg

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. 

138914-athlon-pib-left-facing-1260x709_2.png

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.

pro.PNG

 

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.

KIRIN_980.PNG

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:

K980.png

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.

980_SD.jpg

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.

mali_g76.jpg

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

AMD's Ryzen Threadripper 2950X now available for purchase for $899

Subject: Processors | August 31, 2018 - 10:36 AM |
Tagged: Threadripper, ryzen, 2nd generation threadripper, 2990wx, 2950x

Today, AMD's 2nd generation Ryzen Threadripper 2950X has finally reached retail availability. As you might remember from the launch a few weeks ago, the 32-core Threadripper 2990WX has already been on store shelves, but the 2950X was set to arrive on August 31st.

DSC05137.JPG

For those that need a bit of a refresher on 2nd generation Threadripper, you check out our full review of both the 2950X and 2990WX. Ultimately, we found the Threadripper 2950X is a great CPU for people looking to bridge the gap between content creation and gaming, with near top-level performance in both areas.

So far, we've spotted the 2950X on Newegg and at Microcenter, and Amazon.

specs-table.png

The 12-core and 24-core variants of 2nd generation Threadripper processors are still set to be coming later in the year.

Source: AMD

IFA 2018: Intel Announces New 8th Generation Mobile Processors

Subject: Processors, Mobile | August 28, 2018 - 04:00 PM |
Tagged: whiskey lake, mobile, Intel, ifa 2018, amber lake, 8th generation

Tonight at the consumer electronics trade show IFA in Berlin, Intel announced their latest processors aimed at thin-and-light notebooks and 2-in-1 devices. Continuing the ever elongated 8th generation processor family from Intel, these new mobile CPUs are comprised of both 5W (Amber Lake-Y) and 15W (Whiskey Lake-U) parts.

1.png

Whiskey Lake-U

  Core i7-8565U Core i7-8550U Core i5-8265U Core i5-8250U Core i3-8145U
Architecture Whiskey Lake Kaby Lake Refresh Whiskey Lake Kaby Lake Refresh Whiskey Lake
Process Tech 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+
Cores/Threads 4/8 4/8 4/8 4/8 2/4
Base Clock 1.8 GHz 1.8 GHz 1.6 GHz 1.6 GHz 2.1 GHz
Max Turbo Clock 4.6 GHz 4.0 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.6 GHz 3.9 GHz
Memory Support DDR4/LPDDR3 DDR4/LPDDR3 DDR4/LPDDR3 DDR4/LPDDR3 DDR4/LPDDR3
Memory Speeds 2400/2133 2400/2133 2400/2133 2400/2133 2400/2133
Cache 8MB 8MB 6MB 6MB 4MB
TDP 15W 15W 15W 15W 15W

Just as we saw with the Kaby Lake Refresh CPUs last year, these 15W parts maintain the same quad-core, eight-thread configurations. 

On the highest end part, the i7-8565U, we see an increase of 600MHz on the max turbo clock, while the base clock remains the same. The i5-8265U sees a smaller uptick of 300MHz boost while also keeping the same base clock of 1.6GHz as the previous generation.

Amber Lake-Y

  Core i7-8500Y Core i7-7Y75 Core i5-8200Y Core i5-7Y75 Core m3-8100Y Core m3-7Y32
Architecture Amber Lake Kaby Lake  Amber Lake Kaby Lake Amber Lake Kaby Lake
Process Tech 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+ 14nm+
Cores/Threads 2/4 2/4 2/4 2/4 2/4 2/4
Base Clock 1.5 GHz 1.3 GHz 1.4 GHz 1.2 GHz 2.1 GHz 1.1 GHz
Max Turbo Clock 4.2 GHz 3.6 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.3 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.0GHz
Memory Support LPDDR3 LPDDR3 LPDDR3 LPDDR3 LPDDR3 LPDDR3
Memory Speeds 1866 1866 1866 1866 1866 1866
Cache 4MB 4MB 4MB 4MB 4MB 4MB
TDP 5W 4.5W 5W 4.5W 5W 4.5W

As we can see, the Amber Lake CPUs provide a significant frequency advantage over the previous Kaby Lake-Y processors, especially with the turbo frequencies ranging from 600-900MHz improvements.

These higher frequencies give these low power processors a substantial performance uptick from the previous generation, as long as the thermal solutions in the end product notebooks are up to the task of actually achieving these high turbo boost frequencies.

3.png

Across the board, Intel is marketing these CPU platforms as having increased connectivity options, with built-in 802.11AC 160MHz dual-band Wi-Fi support (which Intel is referring to as Gigabit WiFi). Additionally, both the Amber Lake and Whiskey Lake families have options to be paired with Intel LTE modems for cellular connectivity.

2.png

Also on the connectivity side, we see support for native USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) ports through the chipset on Whiskey Lake-U.

Intel is also touting battery life improvements with "16 hours on a single charge with power-optimized systems targeted to achieve about 19 hours" on the Whiskey Lake-U platform. However, as always, take these specifications with a grain of salt until we see real products with these processors integrated into them and benchmarked.

Source: Intel

Vive la différence! Threadripper 2 on Linux and Windows 10

Subject: Processors | August 21, 2018 - 03:51 PM |
Tagged: 2990wx, threadripper 2, linux, windows 10, amd

Windows 10 is much better at dealing with multithreaded tasks but Linux has been optimized for both high core counts and NUMA for quite a while, so looking at the performance difference is quite interesting.  Phoronix tested a variety of Linux flavours as well as Windows 10 Pro and the performance differences are striking, in some cases we see results twice as fast on Linux as Win10.  That does not hold true for all tests as there are some benchmarks which Windows excels at.  Take a look at this full review as well as those under the fold for a fuller picture.

image.php_.jpg

"Complementing the extensive Linux benchmarks done earlier today of the AMD Threadripper 2990WX in our review (as well as on the Threadripper 2950X), in this article are our first Windows 10 vs. Linux benchmarks of this 32-core / 64-thread $1799 USD processor. Tests were done from Microsoft Windows 10 against Clear Linux, Ubuntu 18.04, the Arch-based Antergos 18.7-Rolling, and openSUSE Tumbleweed."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

Source: Phoronix

ThreadRipper 2: Die Four Real

Subject: Processors | August 13, 2018 - 02:18 PM |
Tagged: Zen+, Threadripper, second generation threadripper, ryzen, Intel, Core i9, 7980xe, 7960x, 7900x, 2990wx, 2950x

The 2950X and 2990WX are both ThreadRipper 2 chips but are very different beasts under the hood.  The 2950X has two active die similar to the original chips while the 2990WX has four active die, two of which utilize an Infinity Fabric link to the other two to communicate to the memory subsystem.  The W in the naming convention indicates the 2990WX is designed for workstation tasks and benchmarks support that designation.  You will have seen our results here, but there are many other sources to read through.  [H]ard|OCP offers up a different set of benchmarks in their review, with a similar result; with ThreadRipper AMD has a winner.  The 2990WX is especially important as it opens up the lucrative lower cost workstations market for AMD.

DSC05134.JPG

"AMD teased us a bit last week by showing off its new 2nd Generation Threadripper 2990WX and 2950X packaging and specifications. This week AMD lets us share all our Threadripper data we have been collecting. The 2990WX is likely a lot different part than many people were expecting, and it turns out that it might usher AMD into a newly created market."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

Source: [H]ard|OCP

Zen+ and the art of thermal maintenance

Subject: Processors | August 9, 2018 - 04:36 PM |
Tagged: Ryzen 7 2700, amd, Zen+

There is a ~$30 difference between the Ryzen 7 2700 and the 2700X, which begs the question as to whom would chose the former over the latter.  The Tech Report points out another major difference between the two processors, the 2700 has a 65W TDP while the 2700X is 105W; pointing to one possible reason for choosing the less expensive part.  The question remains as to what you will be missing out on and if there is any reason not to go with the even less expensive and highly overclockable Ryzen 7 1700?   Find out the results of their tests and get the answer right here.

chiponfan.jpg

"AMD's Ryzen 7 2700 takes all the benefits of AMD's Zen+ architecture and wraps eight of those cores up in a 65-W TDP. We tested the Ryzen 7 2700's performance out in stock and overclocked tune to see what it offers over the hugely popular Ryzen 7 1700."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

Processors

Intel Shows Latest Xeon Roadmap at Data Centric Innovation Summit

Subject: Processors | August 8, 2018 - 07:39 PM |
Tagged: xeon, intel DL boost, Intel, ice lake, dcg, data centric, cooper lake, cascade lake

Today at Intel's Data Center Group's Data-Centric Innovation Summit, they provided a peek into the future of Xeon processors.

cascade-lake.jpg

Coming later this year are the oft-rumored Cascade Lake Xeons. In addition to supporting Optane DC Persistent memory, Cascade Lake will offer hardware-based mitigations for Spectre/Meltdown vulnerabilities.  

intel-dlboost.jpg

Intel Deep Learning Boost will also make its first appearance in the Cascade Lake products. In its first iteration, DL Boost will provide a vector neural network instruction set (VNNI) based on AVX-512 for faster inference acceleration. Intel is working to add VNNI to industry standard deep learning frameworks like TensorFlow and Caffe.

xeon-roadmap.jpg

Next, in late 2019, we have the Cooper Lake architecture. Still based on 14nm technology, Cooper Lake will expand upon Intel DL Boost and add support for the BFloat16 data type, which provides the same level of precision as double precision (32-bit) floating points, but in a smaller (16-bit) data size. 

In 2020, after Cooper Lake, comes Ice Lake – the first 10nm-based Xeon. While details are sparse about what improvements Ice Lake will bring architecturally, Intel has said that it will be compatible with Cooper Lake platforms, giving users an upgrade path.

Source: Intel

AMD Announces 2nd Generation Threadripper with up to 32 Cores

Subject: Processors | August 6, 2018 - 09:00 AM |
Tagged: Zen+, XFR 2.0, Threadripper, StoreMI, ryzen, r7 2700x, Pinnacle Ridge, Intel, Core i9-780xe, amd, 2nd generation threadripper, 12nm

First teased at Computex earlier this summer, AMD has now released details and availability information for their 2nd Generation Threadripper CPUs.

18143522-R_Threadripper Metal_right.png

Based upon the same 12nm Zen+ architecture we saw with the Pinnacle Ridge CPUs like the R7 2700X, Threadripper will now be split into two product families, the X, and the WX series.

2gtr-news-2.PNG

The X-series is mostly a refresh of the Threaripper SKUs that we saw last year, with 12 and 16-core variants. The Threadripper 2920X and 2950X will retain the same two die, 4 CCX arrangement that we saw with the previous generation, with the ability to run in either unified or non-unified memory modes. 

Notably, the 8-core variant found in the original Threadripper lineup seems to be absent in the 2nd generation.

2gtr-news-3.PNG

This new generation of Threadripper comes in less expensive than the last, with a $50 price drop on the 12-core CPU, and a $100 price drop on the 16-core variant.

2gtr-news-4.PNG

The newest aspect of the 2nd Generation Threadripper Lineup is the addition of the "WX" series processors. These higher core count processors are being marketed by AMD more towards "Creators and Innovators" rather than gamers.

2gtr-news-5.PNG

Available in both 24 and 32-core variants, the Threadripper WX series represents the highest core count consumer CPUs ever launched. Since we know that Zen+ dies contain a maximum of 8 cores, we can assume that these processors are using a 4 die configuration, similar to the EPYC server parts, but likely with the same 64 lanes of PCIe and 4 channel memory controllers

This pricing is extremely aggressive compared to the highest core count competitor from Intel, the $2000 18-core i9-7980XE.

All 2nd Generation Threadripper CPUs will include the 2nd Generation Zen features that we saw in the R7 2600 and 2700 series, including XFR 2.0, StoreMI, and improved memory support and latency. 

Additionally, these new Threadripper CPUs will use the existing X399 chipset, with UEFI updates being made available for existing X399 boards, as well as some new variants such as the MSI MEG X399 Creation launching alongside the new CPUs.

specs-table.png

Availability of these processors is staggered, with the 32-core WX CPU shipping first on August 13th (and available now for preorder on Newegg and Amazon), followed shortly by the 16-core 2950X. However, we won't see the 12 and 24 variants until October.

Stay tuned for our review of these parts as they reach retail availability! 

Source: AMD