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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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"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."

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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.

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"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."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP
Author:
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: AMD

Widening the Offerings

Today, we are talking about something that would have seen impossible just a few shorts years ago— a 32-core processor for consumers. While I realize that talking about the history of computer hardware can be considered superfluous in a processor review, I think it's important to understand the context here of why this is just a momentous shift for the industry.

May 2016 marked the launch of what was then the highest core count consumer processor ever seen, the Intel Core i7-6950X. At 10 cores and 20 threads, the 6950X was easily the highest performing consumer CPU in multi-threaded tasks but came at a staggering $1700 price tag. In what we will likely be able to look back on as the peak of Intel's sole dominance of the x86 CPU space, it was an impossible product to recommend to almost any consumer.

Just over a year later saw the launch of Skylake-X with the Intel Core i9-7900X. Retaining the same core count as the 6950X, the 7900X would have been relatively unremarkable on its own. However, a $700 price drop and the future of upcoming 12, 14, 16, and 18-core processors on this new X299 platform showed an aggressive new course for Intel's high-end desktop (HEDT) platform.

This aggressiveness was brought on by the success of AMD's Ryzen platform, and the then upcoming Threadripper platform. Promising up to 16 cores/32 threads, and 64 lanes of PCI Express connectivity, it was clear that Intel would for the first time have a competitor on their hands in the HEDT space that they created back with the Core i7-920.

Fast forward another year, and we have the release of the 2nd Generation Threadripper. Promising to bring the same advancements we saw with the Ryzen 7 2700X, AMD is pushing Threadripper to even more competitive states with higher performance and lower cost. 

DSC05134.JPG

Will Threadripper finally topple Intel from their high-end desktop throne?

Click here to continue reading our review of the Ryzen Threadripper 2950X and 2990WX.

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.

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"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."

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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

AMD builds semi-custom SoC with Zen and Vega for Chinese gaming market

Subject: Graphics Cards, Processors | August 3, 2018 - 04:41 PM |
Tagged: Zen, Vega, SoC, ryzen, China, APU, amd

This story originally appeared on ShroutResearch.com.

Continuing down the path with its semi-custom design division, AMD today announced a partnership with Chinese company Zhongshan Subor to design and build a new chip to be utilized for both a Chinese gaming PC and Chinese gaming console.

The chip itself will include a quad-core integration of the Zen processor supporting 8 threads at a clock speed of 3.0 GHz, no Turbo or XFR is included. The graphics portion is built around a Vega GPU with 24 Compute Units running at 1.3 GHz. Each CU has 64 stream processors giving the “Fenghuang” chip a total of 1536 SPs. That is the same size GPU used in the Kaby Lake-G Vega M GH part, but with a higher clock speed.

The memory system is also interesting as Zhongshan Subor has integrated 8GB of GDDR5 on a single package. (Update: AMD has clarified that this is a GDDR5 memory controller on package, and the memory itself is on the mainboard. Much more sensible.) This is different than how Intel integrated basically the same product from AMD as it utilized HBM2 memory. As far as I can see, this is the first time that an AMD-built SoC has utilized GDDR memory for both the GPU and CPU outside of the designs used for Microsoft and Sony.

ChinaJoy_2.jpg

This custom built product will still support AMD and Radeon-specific features like FreeSync, the Radeon Software suite, and next-gen architecture features like Rapid Packed Math. It is being built at GlobalFoundries.

Though there are differences in the apparent specs from the leaks that showed up online earlier in the year, they are pretty close. This story thought the custom SoC would include a 28 CU GPU and HBM2. Perhaps there is another chip design for a different customer pending or more likely there were competing integrations and the announced version won out due to cost efficiency.

Zhongshan Subor is a Chinese holding company that owns everything from retail stores to an education technology business. You might have heard its name in association with a gluttony of Super Famicom clones years back. I don’t expect this new console to have near the reach of an Xbox or PlayStation but with the size of the Chinese market, anything is possible if the content portfolio is there.

It is interesting that despite the aggressiveness of both Microsoft and Sony in the console space in regards to hardware upgrades this generation, this Chinese design will be the first to ship with a Zen-based APU, though it will lag behind the graphics performance of the Xbox One X (and probably PS4 Pro). Don’t be surprised if both major console players integrate a similar style of APU design with their next-generation products, pairing Zen with Vega.

Revenue for AMD from this arrangement is hard to predict but it does get an upfront fee from any semi-custom chip customer for the design and validation of the product. There is no commitment for a minimum chip purchase so AMD will see extended income only if the console and PC built around the APU succeeds.

Enthusiasts and PC builders have already started questioning whether this is the type of product that might make its way to the consumer. The truth is that the market for a high-performance, fully-integrated SoC like this is quite small, with DIY and SI (system integrator) markets preferring discrete components most of the time. If we remove the GDDR5 integration, which is one of the key specs that makes the “Fenghuang” chip so interesting and expensive, I’d bet the 24 CU GPU would be choked by standard DDR4/5 DRAM. For now, don’t hold out hope that AMD takes the engineering work of this Chinese gaming product and applies it to the general consumer market.

MSI Confirms Compatibility with Z370 Motherboards and Upcoming Intel CPUs

Subject: Processors | August 1, 2018 - 01:24 PM |
Tagged: msi, Z370, Intel, 9900k, 9700, 8700k

Hot on the heels on an Intel Roadmap leak yesterday that points to Intel's upcoming Coffee Lake refresh desktop processors launching as soon a Q3 2018, MSI today confirmed through a news post on their website that these new processors will retain compatibility with at least Z370 motherboards.

z370-9000series.jpg

The table posted by MSI contains the specific BIOS versions that add compatibility for these new processors for each Z370 motherboard in their lineup. There's no information about other existing Coffee Lake chipsets such as H370 and B360, but previous leaks have pointed towards these motherboards having some level of compatibility with new Intel processors.

The 9000-series is rumored to contain Intel's first 8-core consumer-oriented CPUs, in both non-hyperthreaded (i7-9700K), and hyperthreaded (i9-9900K) forms.

Source: MSI

Banning Talos worship might be worth it, POWER9 still lags behind

Subject: Processors | July 6, 2018 - 03:16 PM |
Tagged: IBM, power9, talos 2, EPYC, xeon

Phoronix were recently given access to three servers running three different POWER9 Talos II configurations and compared them to EPYC and Xeon.  On paper these systems look amazing, thanks to the architecture supporting four threads per core; they tested  a dual 4-core Talos II system, a Talos II Lite with a single 22-core CPU and a Talos II with dual 18-core processors with thread counts of 32, 88, and 144 respectively. 

There were certainly usage scenarios where the dual 18 core system could outpace even the EPYC 7601 but could not surpass the dual Xeon Gold 6138 system.  The review covers a fair amount of benchmarks and configurations but doesn't begin to scratch the surface of wide variety of server configurations you need to consider before abandoning POWER9 altogether but the key metric, performance per dollar, shows these architecture solidly in the middle of the pack.

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"Back in April we were able to run some IBM POWER9 benchmarks with remote access to the open-source friendly Talos II systems by Raptor Computer Systems. We were recently allowed remote access again to a few different configurations of this libre hardware with three different POWER9 processor combinations. Here are those latest benchmarks compared to Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC server processors."

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Source: Phoronix