Shopping for a CPU in 2018 has been a bit of a moving target. Between the launch of AMD's Ryzen 2000 series processors in the beginning of the year, new AMD Threadripper X and WX-series products, and a consumer CPU refresh from Intel last month, it's been difficult to keep track of.
Now we are rounding out 2018 with new products for the last remaining platform that hasn't seen a refresh this year, Intel's Core X-series of processors, namely the Intel Core i9-9980XE.
Join us, as we talk about Intel's new 9th-generation Core X-series processors, and the current landscape of HEDT desktop platforms.
|Core i9-9980XE||Core i9-7980XE||Threadripper 2990WX||Threadripper 2970WX||Threadripper 2950X||Threadripper 2920X|
|Base Clock||3.0 GHz||2.6 GHz||3.0 GHz||3.0 GHz||3.5 GHz||3.5 GHz|
|Boost Clock||4.4 GHz||4.2 GHz||4.2 GHz||4.2 GHz||4.4 GHz||4.3 GHz|
|L3 Cache||24.75MB||24.75MB||64MB||64MB||32MB||32 MB|
|Memory Support||DDR4-2666 (Quad-Channel)||DDR4-2666 (Quad-Channel)||DDR4-2933 (Quad-Channel)||DDR4-2933 (Quad-Channel)||DDR4-2933 (Quad-Channel)||DDR4-2933 (Quad-Channel)|
|TDP||165 Watts||165 Watts||250 Watts||250 Watts||180 Watts||180 Watts|
Subject: Processors | November 7, 2018 - 11:00 PM | Tim Verry
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.
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 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.
Subject: Processors | November 5, 2018 - 02:00 AM | Ken Addison
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.
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.
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!
Subject: Processors | October 30, 2018 - 03:30 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
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.
"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:
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX @ TechPowerUp
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2920X @ Guru of 3D
- AMD Threadripper 2970WX & 2920X @ Techspot
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2920X @ TechPowerUp
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2970WX @ Guru of 3D
- AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2920X & 2970WX Linux Performance Benchmarks @ Phoronix
A quick refresher and Dynamic Local Mode
In general, the rollout of AMD's second-generation Ryzen Threadripper processors has been a bit unconventional. While the full lineup was announced back in August, there has been a staggered release period.
Later in August, we first got our hands on the Threadripper 2950X and 2990WX, the 16 and 32-core variants. Even though both of these parts were reviewed at the same time, the 2990WX was available first, with the 2950X coming a few weeks later.
Now more than two months later, we are taking a look at the 12-core Threadripper 2920X and the 24-core Threadripper 2970WX which were announced alongside the Threadipper parts that have already been shipping for quite a while now.
Will these new Threadripper processors be worth the wait?
|Threadripper 2990WX||Threadripper 2970WX||Threadripper 2950X||Threadripper 2920X||Core i9-7980XE||Core i9-9900K|
|Architecture||Zen+||Zen+||Zen+||Zen+||Skylake-X||Coffee Lake Refresh|
|Base Clock||3.0 GHz||3.0 GHz||3.5 GHz||3.5 GHz||2.6 GHz||3.6 GHz|
|Boost Clock||4.2 GHz||4.2 GHz||4.4 GHz||4.3 GHz||4.2 GHz||5.0 GHz|
|L3 Cache||64MB||64MB||32MB||32 MB||24.75MB||16MB|
|Memory Support||DDR4-2933 (Quad-Channel)||DDR4-2933 (Quad-Channel)||DDR4-2933 (Quad-Channel)||DDR4-2933 (Quad-Channel)||DDR4-2666 (Quad-Channel)||DDR4-2666 (Dual-Channel)|
|TDP||250 Watts||250 Watts||180 Watts||180 Watts||165 Watts||95 Watts|
|Price (MSRP)||$1799||$1299||$899||$649||$1999||$499 MSRP ($580 street)|
Subject: Processors | October 26, 2018 - 05:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
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.
"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:
- Intel Core i7-9700K @ TechPowerUp
- The Performance & Power Efficiency Of The Core i7 990X vs. Core i9 9900K @ Phoronix
- Checking in on Intel's Core i7-5775C for gaming in 2018 @ The Tech Report
- Ryzen 5 2600X @ OCC
- AMD Ryzen 5 2600 – Does AMD Have an Underrated Gaming Beast? @ Bjorn3d
Subject: Processors | October 19, 2018 - 01:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
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.
"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:
- Core i9-9900K @ The Tech Report
- Intel Core 9600k @ Guru of 3D
- Intel Core 9700k @ Guru of 3D
- Intel Core 9900k @ Guru of 3D
- Intel Core i9 9900K – Intel’s Answer to RYZEN is here! @ Bjorn3d
- Intel Core I9 9900k @ Modders-Inc
- Intel Core i9-9900K @ TechARP
- Intel Core i9-9900K @ Kitguru
- Intel Core i9 9900K Linux Benchmarks - 15-Way Intel/AMD Comparison On Ubuntu 18.10 @ Phoronix
- Intel Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K @ TechSpot
- Intel 9th Generation Core i9 9900K Review @ OCC
- Intel Core i9-9900K 3.6 GHz @ TechPowerUp
- A Look At Linux Application Scaling Up To 128 Threads @ Phoronix
- AMD Dual EPYC 7601 Benchmarks - 9-Way AMD EPYC / Intel Xeon Tests On Ubuntu 18.10 Server @ Phoronix
- AMD Athlon 200GE: Benchmarking The $60 Zen+Vega Chip @ Phoronix
- Ryzen 5 2600X vs. 2600: Which should you buy? @ Techspot
- AMD Athlon 200GE 3.2 GHz @ TechPowerUp
One of the most radical changes to happen in the last two years in the PC hardware space has to be the launch of AMD's Ryzen processors. Despite the failure that was the FX-series with their Bulldozer architecture, AMD managed to shock the industry with the performance of their next generation Zen architecture.
After generations upon generations of consumer processors topping out at four cores going back to the Core 2 days, Intel finally launched their first 6-core processor for consumers with the 8700K almost exactly a year ago.
AMD's continued to persevere with the launch of the second generation Ryzen 7 2700X earlier this year, which managed to improve the single-threaded performance gap between AMD and Intel.
Still, this performance gap existed, leaving room for what Intel is launching today, their first 8-core mainstream consumer processor, the Core i9-9900K. Finally having core count parity with AMD, and still holding an advantage in single-threaded performance, this launch has garnered a lot of attention.
|Core i9-9900K||Ryzen 7 2700X||Threadripper 2950X||Core i9-7900X||Core i7-8700K||Core i7-7700K|
|Architecture||Coffee Lake Refresh||Zen+||Zen+||Skylake-X||Coffee Lake||Kaby Lake|
|Base Clock||3.6 GHz||3.7 GHz||3.5 GHz||3.3 GHz||3.7 GHz||4.2 GHz|
|Boost Clock||5.0 GHz||4.3 GHz||4.4 GHz||4.3 GHz||4.7 GHz||4.5 GHz|
|Memory Support||DDR4-2666 (Dual-Channel)||DDR4-2933 (Dual-Channel)||DDR4-2933 (Quad-Channel)||DDR4-2666 (Quad-Channel)||DDR4-2666 (Dual-Channel)||DDR4-2400 (Dual-Channel)|
|TDP||95 W||105 W||180 W||140 W||95 W||91 W|
Subject: Processors | October 8, 2018 - 11:14 AM | Ken Addison
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.
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.
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.
On the slightly more reasonable side, we have the refresh of Intel's X-series HEDT processors.
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.
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
Subject: Processors | October 8, 2018 - 11:14 AM | Ken Addison
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.