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  1. Intel Xe DG1 graphics card 3DMark leak again suggests AMD and Nvidia won’t be troubled But at least this rumor is more promising than the last leak we saw for DG1 (Image credit: Shutterstock) Intel’s Xe DG1 graphics card has been spotted in a 3DMark benchmark, or at least the rumor mill believes that result is for Intel’s first crack at a discrete GPU. As ever, we shouldn’t read too much into this given that it is just speculation that this is DG1, although the source is a reliable one, the ever-present TUM_APISAK. But even if the leak is on the money, remember that this is an early sample GPU, and won’t reflect the exact performance Intel may achieve with the final product. At any rate, the purported DG1 graphics cards scored 5,538 in 3DMark’s Fire Strike test (paired with an Intel Core i9-9900K processor) and hit a graphics score of 5,960. That’s not a massively impressive result, but as we’ve already mentioned, it must be treated with caution. It’s in the ballpark of a graphics card as old as the GeForce GTX 750 Ti, albeit a bit faster than that veteran GPU (which scored 5,402 for graphics in a 3DMark result highlighted on Twitter). As Wccftech, which spotted this, observes, it’s a fair way behind the GTX 1050 to pick out another example from Nvidia’s line-up – that previous-gen budget card is around 500 points to 800 points better than the DG1 depending on which 3DMark result you look at. No cause for concern? Anyhow, you get the idea – and as with a previous Geekbench result, which showed that the DG1 wasn’t much better than Nvidia’s low-end MX250, the overall vibe thus far is that Intel’s initial product is not going to be causing either AMD or Nvidia any sleepless nights. That said, at least this new 3DMark leak shows the Intel GPU comfortably outdoing the likes of the MX350, by around a third in terms of that graphics score in fact. Further remember that Intel’s first GPU is likely to be a testing the waters affair, and as we’ve previously heard via the rumor mill, it’s going to be a mobile part – in other words, a graphics card for laptops, not a GPU for a desktop PC. With further development, perhaps it could start to worry Intel’s rivals at least in the notebook arena – particularly when combined with the potential of Xe integrated graphics with Intel’s Tiger Lake mobile processors. Intel Xe DG1 graphics card 3DMark leak again suggests AMD and Nvidia won’t be troubled
  2. Intel Phantom Canyon NUC could be a tiny PC packing a speedy Tiger Lake CPU Next-gen NUC spotted in leaked 3DMark benchmark (Image credit: Future) Intel’s NUC 11 has popped up in a leak which shows a compact PC box packing a quad-core Tiger Lake-U processor with an impressive boost speed, alongside a GTX 1660 Ti graphics card. NUC is short for Next Unit of Computing, and basically means a mini PC that can happily sit in your living room without looking like an eyesore. Intel’s Ghost Canyon has just emerged – see our full review here – and rumor has it that Phantom Canyon and Panther Canyon will follow (perhaps later this year, if a leaked roadmap is correct) using 11th-gen Tiger Lake-U (10nm+) processors. Hardware Leaks (well-known leaker Rogame’s new tech site) spotted a 3DMark Time Spy benchmark which is purportedly from a Phantom Canyon NUC (that’s the ‘extreme’ version targeted at enthusiasts, as opposed to the mainstream ‘performance’ model which will allegedly be Panther Canyon). The device apparently being tested is powered by a quad-core (eight-thread) Tiger Lake-U mobile processor with a base clock of 2.3GHz and boost to 4.4GHz. Remember that the CPU is an engineering sample, or early version of the chip, so the final product will be faster still. And that Turbo to 4.4GHz already looks impressive compared to what we see with Ice Lake mobile CPUs which top out at a boost of 4.1GHz. Rogame guesses that this chip is a 28W Core i5 Tiger Lake sample. GPU power The NUC in the benchmark pairs this processor with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, albeit the mobile version of that graphics card, not the full desktop GPU. Presumably there will be a higher-end configuration of Phantom Canyon with a more powerful GeForce card, that will allow it to compete better with the performance of the next-gen consoles which are, after all, also due late this year (and apparently not affected by any coronavirus-related delay – although Intel’s NUC might be). Remember that these NUC 11 models are still in the realm of speculation, with nothing officially confirmed by Intel yet. According to that previous rumor we heard, which spilled a lot of details, the Phantom Canyon box is expected to be 1.35 liters and will have room for that discrete GPU, whereas Panther Canyon will be smaller and rely on Intel’s integrated Xe (Gen12) graphics. PCIe 4.0 support is also expected to be on board. Source: Intel Phantom Canyon NUC could be a tiny PC packing a speedy Tiger Lake CPU (TechRadar)
  3. Intel is acquiring the company behind Killer gaming networking cards Rivet Networks now belongs to Intel for an undisclosed amount Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Intel has acquired Rivet Networks, the maker of Killer-branded NICs (network interface cards responsible for managing your connection) found in some laptops from popular brands like Dell, Alienware, HP, and other manufacturers. Killer’s own networking products were noteworthy for providing gaming-centric features like minimizing latency to keep you from missing a beat in-game, and prioritizing network traffic for games and other applications that need it the most. Rivet Networks has been a competitor to Intel in the NIC space for over a decade. With this acquisition, Intel can capitalize on the gaming market. This acquisition isn’t as out of left field as it might seem. A few years back, Intel and Rivet Networks collaborated to develop the Killer Wireless-AC 1550 NIC, with Intel handling the manufacturing, according to Anandtech. Now, Intel’s press release says that Rivet Networks’ Killer brand of products, including its software, will be rolled into its portfolio. The chances are good that, at some point in the future, we’ll see a new Intel NIC with some obvious Killer DNA implemented in a gaming laptop or some other kind of high-performance machine. That said, Intel doesn’t give much in the way of details regarding when we should expect something new to come to fruition. The press release says that Rivet Networks is a “terrific complement to our existing Wi-Fi products,” so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Intel declined to share the transaction price for the acquisition. Source: Intel is acquiring the company behind Killer gaming networking cards (The Verge)
  4. Intel Core i5-10600K vs AMD Ryzen 5 3600: the mid-range CPU rumble continues Can the Intel Core i5-10600K topple the AMD Ryzen 5 3600? (Image credit: Shutterstock) With the official launch of Intel's 10th-generation Comet Lake-S processors, the Intel Core i5 10600K vs AMD Ryzen 5 3600 debate was inevitable. While the best processors from Intel are still considered the gold standard for the industry, AMD is slowly increasing its market share at Intel's expense – and in some ways even surpassing them. In the mid-range processor class, it's undeniable that the Ryzen 5 3600 isn't as "fast" as the competing Intel Core i5-9600K in terms of clock speed. But with hyper-threading technology, higher IPC (instructions per clock) performance and a lower price point, the Ryzen 5 has become a popular choice among non-OEM and budget-conscious consumers. With the release of the Intel Core i5-10600K, however, has Intel successfully reasserted its decades-long computing dominance, or does the Ryzen 5 continue to hold its own against the industry behemoth latest offering? (Image credit: Future) Price and availability Intel Core i5-10600K launch price is set at $262 (around £230, AU$400), which is pretty much in line with the pricing for Intel's previous generation Core i5 chips. The Ryzen 5 3600, meanwhile, costs significantly less with a starting price of $160 (around £150, AU$245). Now that the Comet Lake-S has officially launched, Intel's 9th generation Core i5 processors may see a price drop that put them more in line with AMD's offering, though the Core i5-9600K still comes in around $200/£245/AU$308. Even with that price drop though, the six-core, six-thread 9600K still comes up short against the six-core, 12-thread Ryzen 5 3600. How does the Ryzen 5 3600 compare to Intel's latest offering though? (Image credit: Future) (Image credit: Future) Specifications The biggest change for the Core i5 10600K over its predecessor is hyperthreading. The 10600K is a six-core, 12-thread processor with a listed base clock speed of up to 4.1GHz, boostable to a maximum single-core turbo frequency of 4.8GHz. It comes unlocked, so it can be overclocked, and includes an integrated Intel UHD 630 GPU. Its Thermal Design Power (TDP) comes in at 125W, 30Ws higher than its predecessor. It supports 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes, up to 128GB of dual-channel, non-ECC DDR4-2933 RAM, and has an L3 cache size of 12MB. The AMD Ryzen 5 3600, meanwhile, also has 6 cores and 12 threads, but with a lower base clock speed of 3.6GHz. Its max turbo speed is 4.2GHz. It can also be overclocked but does not come with an integrated GPU. Its TDP is much lower than the Intel Core i5-10600K's, coming in at 65W, supports 20 PCIe 4.0 lanes, and up to 128GB of dual-channel ECC DDR4-3200 RAM. The Intel Core i5-10600K requires the latest Intel LGA 1200 chipset, however, so if you're using an Intel Core i5-9600K and you're looking to upgrade to the 10600K, you'll need to purchase a brand new motherboard to go along with it. The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 uses the same AM4 socket as its predecessor, some it squeezes the last bit of useful life out of the older boards. (Image credit: Intel) Performance We haven't been able to test or benchmark the latest Intel chips, which means we have to go off what Intel has reported for the Core i7 and i9 processors in terms of performance. According to Intel, the desktop Comet Lake processors will provide up to 33% higher frames per second (FPS) while playing Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord over its predecessor, with up to 10% higher FPS in Player Unknown: Battlegrounds and 13% higher FPS in Monster Hunter World. How well this translates to the Core i5 is impossible to discern, so these figures need to be taken with a grain of salt until we've had a chance to test the Core i5-10600K ourselves. If these numbers are at least in the same ballpark for the 10600K, then we can expect an improvement over the 9600K, even if it's a modest one. So how does that stack up against the Ryzen 5 3600? Considering that it is a very popular CPU for gamers, gaming performance is going to be a crucial battleground for the two chipmakers. (Image credit: TechRadar) Intel Core i5 10600K vs AMD Ryzen 5 3600: which is going to be the gaming CPU champion? The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 was able to match the gaming performance of Intel's 9th generation Core i5 chips at a significantly lower price point, so how likely is it that Intel's latest mid-range Comet Lake processor can bring gamers back to the Intel fold? It is tough to say without benchmarking the chip ourselves, but there are several major hurdles that are cutting against Intel in this fight. While the Core i5-10600K features 4K-capable integrated graphics, expecting high-performance gaming out of an integrated GPU is a fool's errand. Most gaming consumers are going to be looking to utilize a more powerful discrete GPU for their rigs, so one of Intel's major advantages over the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is someone moot. What's more, the Ryzen 5 3600 matched the Core i9 9900K's performance nearly frame-for-frame so the 10% to 33% FPS improvements that Intel is promising for Comet Lake processors, while important, are likely to be tinkering on the margins when the Ryzen 5 3600 is already pumping out nearly 120 FPS on Middle Earth: Shadow of War and 101 FPS on Warhammer: Total War II. Assuming that the Intel Core i5 10600K performs as well as the Intel Core i9, is the difference between 100 FPS and 120 FPS worth the extra investment required to jump to the Intel 10600K? Don't forget, you'll need to buy a whole new LGA 1200 motherboard as well. On the high end, these kinds of performance differences might make sense, but for a gamer on a budget, those extra 20 FPS look awfully expensive, especially when your game already looks amazing - and that's assuming Intel can deliver that kind of performance bump at the Core i5 level, which still isn't certain. At this point, it still looks very much like the AMD Ryzen 5 3600 will remain the preferred CPU for mid-range gaming rigs, so Intel has some work to do to reassert its once monolithic position. Source: Intel Core i5-10600K vs AMD Ryzen 5 3600: the mid-range CPU rumble continues (TechRadar)
  5. Intel Comet Lake CPU overclocking looks limited unless you buy a Core i9, going by MSI’s findings Overclocking headroom reportedly seems to be lacking in Core i5 and i7 chips (Image credit: Intel) MSI has revealed some data on Intel’s imminent Comet Lake desktop processors which sheds at least some light on how well they overclock – and the answer, apparently, is not particularly well, unless you’re forking out for a Core i9 model. MSI’s Eric van Beurden and Michiel Berkhout revealed their findings on the overclocking potential of Intel’s silicon in a livestream, testing Core i5, i7 and i9 models from the 10th-gen Comet Lake-S range, as spotted by Videocardz. They evaluated batches of the CPUs and then gave percentages of the processors which fell into three categories – level A, B, or C. Level A were the top-tier CPUs with lots of headroom for overclocking, whereas B-grade chips were at the level of Intel’s advertising, and C-grade were a little below that expected performance (in terms of overclocking, that is – not baseline performance, it’s important to note). The really interesting statistic is that 27% of Core i9-10900K (and KF) chips tested were A-grade processors, but the figures were much lower with the corresponding Core i7-10700 (just 5%) and Core i5-10600 (2%) models. So at least going by these stats from MSI, your chances of getting a Core i7 or i5 with good overclocking potential would seem to be very slim indeed, but we've reached out to Intel for comment anyways. The better news is that when it came to C-grade CPUs, percentages were pretty uniform at 27%, 32% and 31% for Core i9, i7 and i5 chips respectively. Making the grade In other words, while you may be much less likely to get an A-grade chip with Core i7 and i5 offerings, you will likely hit B-grade, and there is no greater chance of getting a C-grade affair; at least according to these findings. Note that even with these supposedly C-grade processors, there should be absolutely no danger that it won’t perform to its advertised base specs as mentioned – these chips are just going to be an underwhelming proposition when it comes to overclocking. As the folks from MSI observed, those buying higher-end Comet Lake CPUs will likely find them to be a much more suitable proposition for overclocking, but that makes sense in terms of Intel using the best silicon for the most expensive chips. And of course those buying Core i9 processors are likely to be the ones going for high-end motherboards, hefty cooling solutions and big overclocks anyway. Source: Intel Comet Lake CPU overclocking looks limited unless you buy a Core i9, going by MSI’s findings (TechRadar)
  6. Tile announces partnership with Intel to track missing PCs Integrations coming later this year Image: Tile Tile has announced a partnership with Intel to bring its tracking technology to laptops in order to help customers track down misplaced or stolen PCs. Intel will be providing “updated solutions” to OEMs later this year, which means we might start seeing Tile laptops in late 2020 or early 2021. Tile trackers connect, via Bluetooth, to a Tile mobile app, which you can use to check their location on a map (if they’re in Bluetooth range). You can also set off an alarm. (It’s quite loud.) If your tracker is out of Bluetooth range, you can ping Tile’s crowd-finding network, which will send you a notification with your laptop’s location whenever it comes close to another Tile device. Tile and Intel haven’t released a ton of details about how the Tile integration will work. Their main promise is that integrated Tiles will let you track PCs even when they’re in sleep mode. It’s possible that the specifics of Tile’s integration will vary by manufacturer. Intel says it is “working closely with PC manufacturers to determine the best Tile experience for their customers.” We do have one example already, though. Tile’s first shot at laptop integration — the HP Elite Dragonfly — was announced at CES 2020 and is already on the market. That notebook has a physical Tile tracker built into the device. The tracker has its own separate hardware, including a battery and speaker, which means it can operate and sound its alarm for a limited time even when the Dragonfly is off. It does draw some power from the system, but the impact on battery life is a matter of seconds, according to HP. The Elite Dragonfly is a pricey business laptop, so it might be nice to see it come to more affordable mainstream devices. Let’s just hope that the impact on battery life remains minimal in those cases, too. Source: Tile announces partnership with Intel to track missing PCs (The Verge)
  7. Intel Comet Lake release date, news and features Comet Lake desktop is finally here We’re going to dive into everything Comet Lake, as well as discuss any rumors about future desktop parts. Intel Comet Lake mobile processors are now out in the world, finally making their way into the best Ultrabooks in late 2019. And now, they’re bringing the fight to AMD Ryzen 4000, with chips making their way to gaming laptops and workstations. Keeping track of Intel’s releases is already confusing enough – looking at you, Cannon Lake – and its 10th-generation Comet Lake processors have really taken things to a new level. Designed alongside Intel’s Ice Lake processors for laptops, these chips were released around the same time as Ice Lake, with the two altogether making up Intel’s 10th-generation Core lineup. The only major difference is the manufacturing process, with Ice Lake being the first 10nm processors Intel has put out in the mainstream and part of Project Athena, and Comet Lake being yet another iteration of the 14nm Skylake architecture. On top of that, there are also the Comet Lake-S processors for desktop. After being the subject of speculation for months, these desktop processors are now officially launched and well on their way to computers, with Asus and MSI being the first ones to unveil Intel Comet Lake-S Z490 motherboards. Since there’s already a mouthful of information out there about Intel Comet Lake, let us help you make sense of it all. We’ve broken Intel Comet Lake range down for you, covering everything from rumors and speculations about future desktop parts to all the official news from Intel. Keep this page bookmarked, as we'll update it with any new information that comes our way. Cut to the chase We still don't know when we'll actually see Comet Lake-S desktop chips. Intel Comet Lake release date Intel pushed out its 10th-generation Comet Lake processors for laptops back in August, with the actual laptops filtering out over the following months. On top of those, Intel has announced early April the full lineup of Comet Lake-H processors, which will be the high-performance chips that will be found in gaming laptops this year. That means we will be seeing those chips out in the wild in the next few months. As for the Comet Lake-S desktop chips, they’re officially here, with Intel launching them on April 30. However, we still don’t know when they’ll actually hit the streets, though it will probably be within the next month or so. Luckily, it won’t be long until we’ll see them inside desktop PCs soon. The Intel Core i9-9900KS was released in October 2019, but we’re sure that we’ll see the Intel Core i9-10900K soon, and it will provide a worthy update. We might not see Intel launching its latest flagship mainstream desktop processors before Q4. Intel Comet Lake price Now that the Comet Lake processors for laptops are out, the price tag for each chip is also finally available. We’ve listed them out for you below so you can decide whether or not to upgrade. These are Intel’s recommended price for every Comet Lake chip: Intel Core i7-10710U – $443 (about £340, AU$635) Intel Core i7-10510U – $409 (about £315, AU$585) Intel Core i5-10210U – $297 (about £230, AU$425) Intel Core i3-10110U – $281 (about £215, AU$405) With laptop pricing, though, it’s important to keep in mind that these aren’t prices that consumers will ever see. Instead, it’s a suggested price that Intel gives to its distributors, which can charge above or below this price to laptop manufacturers. These prices will generally be worked into the overall price of the laptop, but these numbers can still give a decent idea of which segment of the laptop market each chip falls into. As far as Intel Comet Lake-S processors, these are Intel’s recommended prices for each: Intel Core i9-10900K – $488 (about £395/A$765) Intel Core i9-10900KF – $472 (about £380/A$740) Intel Core i9-10900 – $439 (about £355/A$690) Intel Core i9-10900F – $422 (about £340/A$660) Intel Core i7-10700K – $374 (about £302/A$585) Intel Core i7-10700KF – $349 (about £280/A$545) Intel Core i7-10700 – $323 (about £260/A$505) Intel Core i7-10700F – $298 (about £240/A$465) Intel Core i5-10600K – $262 (about £215/A$410) Intel Core i5-10600KF – $237 (about £190/A$370) Intel Core i5-10600 – $213 (about £170/A$335) Intel Core i5-10500 – $192 (about £155/A$300) Intel Core i5-10400 – $182 (about £150/A$285) Intel Core i5-10400F – $157 (about £130/A$245) Intel Core i3-10320 – $154 (about £125/A$240) Intel Core i3-10300 – $143 (about £115/A$225) Intel Core i3-10100 – $122 (about £98/A$190) These are about on par with Coffee Lake Refresh prices below, with some differences here and there that are pretty negligible. Intel Core i9-9900K – $488 (£519, AU$899) Intel Core i7-9700K – $374 (£409, AU$659) Intel Core i7-9700 – $323 (about £250, AU$450) Intel Core i5-9600 – $192 (about £150, AU$260) Intel Core i5-9400 – $182 (£194, about AU$250) Intel Core i5-9400F – $182 (£188, about AU$250) Intel Core i3-9350K – $173 (about £130, AU$240) Intel Core i3-9350KF – $173 (£194, about AU$230) Intel Core i3-9320 – $154 (about £118, AU$215) Intel Core i3-9300 – $143 (about £110, AU$199) Intel Core i3-9100 – $122 (about £90, AU$170) Intel Core i3-9100F – $122 (about £90, AU$170) Now that the Comet Lake processors for laptops are out, the price tag for each chip is also finally available. Intel Comet Lake specs Comet Lake is yet another iteration of Intel’s 14nm manufacturing process. This means that there isn’t much improvement in the way of power efficiency, and thermals will probably start to ramp up. We haven't got a chance to test each of these processors yet, but we expect the difference over 8th-generation Whiskey Lake chips to be pretty minor – aside from the Intel Core i7-10710U, of course, which boasts is a 6-core (12-thread) processor with a boost of up to 4.7GHz. We've got all the specs of the Intel Comet Lake Mobile chips here: Intel Core i7-10710U – 6-cores, 12-threads | 12MB Cache | 1.1GHz base / 4.7GHz boost Intel Core i7-10510U – 4-cores, 8-threads | 8MB Cache | 1.8GHz base / 4.9GHz boost Intel Core i5-10210U – 4-cores, 8-threads | 6MB Cache | 1.6GHz base / 4.2GHz boost Intel Core i3-10110U – 2-cores, 4-threads | 4MB Cache | 2.1GHz base / 4.1GHz boost These may look very similar to Whiskey Lake, but with some higher clock speeds. The biggest differences here, though, are the inclusion of Wi-Fi 6 compatibility and Thunderbolt 3 on the die. As far as Comet Lake-S desktop processors go, there’s a noticeable increase in cores, threads and turbo speeds that’s reflected across the new Comet Lake-S lineup. What's perhaps most notable is the Core i7-10700K, which still has that massive 125W TDP, but offers 8 cores and 16 threads with a 5.1GHz turbo. That’s a higher spec than the 9900K Here are the Comet Lake-S processors specs, with a noticeable increase in TDP across the board – even the Intel Core i5-10600K has a 125W TDP – which means increased heat: Core i9-10900K: 10 Cores, 20 threads | 3.7GHz base, 5.3GHz boost | 125W TDP Core i9-10900: 10 cores, 20 threads | 2.8GHz base, 5.1GHz boost | 65W TDP Core i7-10700K: 8 cores, 16 threads | 3.8GHz base, 5.1GHz boost | 125W TDP Core i7-10700: 8 cores, 16 threads | 2.9GHz base, 4.8GHz boost | 65W TDP Core i5-10600K: 6 cores, 12 threads | 4.1GHz base, 4.8GHz boost | 125W TDP Core i5-10600: 6 cores, 12 threads | 3.3GHz base, 4.8GHz boost | 65W TDP Core i5-10500: 6 cores, 12 threads | 3.1GHz base, 4.5GHz boost | 65W TDP Core i5-10400: 6 cores, 12 threads | 2.9GHz base, 4.3GHz boost | 65W TDP Core i3-10320: 4 cores, 8 threads | 3.8GHz base, 4.6GHz boost | 65W TDP Core i3-10300: 4 cores, 8 threads | 3.7GHz base, 4.4GHz boost | 65W TDP Core i3-10100: 4 cores, 8 threads | 3.6GHz base, 4.3GHz boost | 65W TDP We haven’t had the chance to test these processors. However, a much recent benchmark leak hints that this successor, the Intel Core i9-10900K, shows that it will deliver an almost 30% leap in performance. On the mid-range side, we’ve already gotten a preview of how these might compare to AMD Ryzen 3000, which shows that Intel will have to offer some competitive prices for its Comet Lake-S chips to keep up with AMD. Leaked benchmarks for the i7-10700K, i5-10600K and i5-10600KF show off their single-core performance, unsurprisingly outmatching their respective AMD rivals. Images Credit: TechRadar Source: Intel Comet Lake release date, news and features (TechRadar)
  8. Intel NUC 9 Extreme review: small size, big potential Intel’s latest NUC computer takes on the small form factor gaming PC world ForFor the past few years, some of the most exciting developments in the PC gaming world have been around small form factor PCs. These compact machines are a fraction of the size of traditional gaming PC towers, but still manage to pack in cutting edge components, including the bulkier high-end graphics cards necessary for modern gaming. Some are even as small as the gaming PC’s arch nemesis, the gaming console. You could easily use one of these computers in an entertainment stack or just have it sit on top of your desk. But actually building and owning a gaming-grade small form factor PC requires a level of expertise and patience that can make many enthusiasts question whether it’s worth it all. Small PCs are notorious for being difficult to work in, having limited options when it comes to compatible components, and having poor thermal performance because of their small cases and restricted airflow. Intel’s new NUC 9 Extreme (also known as Ghost Canyon) is the company’s answer to those problems. The latest version of Intel’s Next Unit of Computing (NUC) mini PCs, the NUC 9 is an exceptionally compact computer that packs enough power to run the latest AAA games at high resolutions and high frame rates. It’s also easy to assemble, easy to work in, and has a surprisingly effective cooling system. Of course, Intel hasn’t been able to figure everything out, and there are some significant caveats with this system. The first is the price: Right now, Intel sells the NUC 9 as barebone kits, which start at just under $1,000 for a model with a Core i5 processor and stretch to over $1,600 with a Core i9 chip. Those kits do not include memory, storage, operating systems, or graphics cards – which means a top of the line system with a modern GPU, adequate storage for games, fast RAM, and Windows 10 will tally up to well over $2,000. The other caveat is that Intel’s not exactly using standard parts here. The NUC 9’s main brains are found in a cartridge that plugs into a PCi Express port on the tiny board inside the case. This cartridge is where up to two storage drives, laptop-size RAM, a laptop-class processor, and most of the computer’s I/O live. It has a blower-style fan and a heatsink built into it, as well as Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth radios. Next to the CPU cartridge is where you can plug in a desktop-grade graphics card – though it has to be a “mini” size card, as you only have eight inches of clearance to work with. Finally, the main board has one more M.2 NVMe slot, bringing the total supported storage drives to three. Below all of this is a 500 watt custom Flex ATX power supply. Those limitations mean you can’t just grab whatever parts you want and jam them into the NUC 9 case and be done – you will be working within a set of finite constraints, much like any other mini PC. But at the end of the day, Intel has managed to make a system that is shockingly small, surprisingly easy to live with, and as powerful as a modern gaming PC. Our review of Intel Nuc 9 Extreme Verge Score 8 of 10 Good Stuff Incredibly compact Excellent performance Relatively quiet operation Easy to assemble and work in Great selection of I/O Bad Stuff Wildly expensive Future upgradeability uncertain Limited GPU options CPU options are already a generation behind Buy for $1,639.99 from B&H It’sIt’s hard to overstate just how compact the NUC 9 is, given its capabilities. At roughly 5 liters of volume, it’s smaller than virtually every other small form factor PC that has a discrete GPU. It’s even smaller than a PlayStation 4. This is a computer you can easily put in a backpack and take with you and still have plenty of room inside the bag. Unlike most gaming PCs, which are so large they must be kept under a desk or sitting on the floor, the NUC 9’s natural home is on top of your desk. Despite its compact size, working in the NUC 9 is very simple and straightforward, especially compared to other mini PCs. Disassembling the computer entirely can be done in less than 15 minutes, even if you have little experience building PCs. Since Intel is currently selling the NUC 9 only in barebone kits, you’ll have to take it apart to install storage, RAM, and the graphics card. But it’s such a simple procedure that anyone even interested in this computer should have no trouble with it. Eventually, Intel and its retail partners will likely offer complete systems that are just plug-in-and-go, but for now, this computer requires a light level of DIY work. The mesh sides help keep the NUC 9’s powerful components cool. They also have a skull printed on them. The back of the NUC 9 is where most of the I/O is located, and it’s a lot. There are other clever design bits through the NUC 9’s frame. The sides are all mesh, which helps keep the powerful components cool without the use of a liquid cooling system. The top panel comes off with just two screws and houses two small 80mm fans. There are no wires connecting those fans — the panel has metal contacts on the end of it that meet with contacts in the case frame to provide power to them, much like the components inside of Apple’s new Mac Pro. Perhaps my only gripe with the NUC 9’s design is it has tacky-looking skulls screen printed on the side panels. At least they don’t light up and there are no other gaudy gaming PC tropes – the NUC 9 is a sleek black box that can work in an office as easily as at home. The back of the computer is littered with I/O, including four USB 3.2 Gen 2 (USB-A) ports, two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, HDMI, 3.5mm optical audio, and two gigabit Ethernet jacks. Around front are two more USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports, ideal for mouse and keyboard dongles, a combo headphone / mic jack, and a full-size UHS-II SD card slot. All of that is before you get to the video outputs that are on whatever graphics card you install – my review unit’s card has DisplayPort, HDMI, and DVI options. That adds up to more I/O than you’ll find on many computers three or four times the size of this little box, and makes the NUC 9 a compelling option for video editors and content creators that would make use of the Thunderbolt 3 ports and SD card slot. It takes less than 15 minutes to fully disassemble the NUC 9. The largest GPU that can fit inside the NUC 9 chassis is 8 inches long and only two PCI slots wide, which limits your options. Under a fan is where the CPU, two storage drives, and laptop-size RAM slots are located. ForFor this review, Intel sent a top-line NUC9i9QNX model, which comes with a 9th Gen eight-core Core i9-9980HK processor. This is similar to the chip you might find in high-end gaming laptops or a specced-out MacBook Pro, and has a max turbo peak speed of 5GHz with a base clock of 2.4GHz and a 45W TDP. Compared to desktop-class Core i9, this chip consumes much less power and produces much less heat. On the flip side, a desktop chip can maintain boost speeds for longer periods because it can draw more power. In the NUC 9, this chip can be overclocked, but I tested it using its out of box configuration. This is the best chip you can get for the NUC 9 right now – Intel has not said if or when 10th Gen chips, which are now arriving in gaming laptops, will be available for the platform. In addition, this machine has 16GB of 2666MHz DDR4 RAM, two storage drives totaling almost a terabyte and a half (a 380GB Intel Optane drive and a 1TB Kingston NVMe drive), and an Asus RTX2070 Dual Mini card with 8GB of GDDR6 video memory and two fans. Were you to build a similar spec NUC 9, complete with a Windows 10 license, it would cost you just under $3,000, which is arguably a very steep price for this level of performance. It’s no secret that you could build or buy an equivalent gaming PC for much less money, but it certainly won’t be as small and compact as the NUC 9. (You could also opt for less expensive components within this build – that 380GB Intel Optane SSD rings up for over $500 on its own.) This unique combination of a laptop-grade processor and full desktop-level graphics card packs a punch. I was able to run modern AAA games at 1440p resolution and ultra graphics settings and still maintain well above 60 frames per second. Games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider managed 70 frames per second with DLSS enabled, while Forza 4: Horizons was able to average 93 frames per second in its benchmark tool with all graphical settings turned to the max. Star Wars: Battlefront II ranged between 60 and 80 frames per second, depending on how many players were on screen, while Red Dead Redemption II hovered around 39 frames per second with all of its graphical goodies enabled. Should you be playing at 1080p resolution, as the vast majority of gamers still are today, you can expect all of those frame rates to be even higher. The NUC 9 hits near enough to the performance of a full-size gaming PC with a desktop processor and similar-spec graphics card that I’d say the use of the laptop processor here is of little consequence to performance. What the laptop chip does have an effect on is the system’s thermals and cooling requirements. Since the 9980HK consumes less than half the power of the 9900K desktop equivalent, Intel didn’t equip the NUC 9 with a liquid cooling system. Instead, it manages to keep the system running at peak performance with just those three small fans. In testing, the CPU would range between the high 70s and low 80s degrees Celsius while under load, and hovered in the mid 40s when being used for light productivity work. Those temps aren’t high enough to cause significant thermal throttling, and are lower than most gaming laptops with the same processor can manage. The NUC 9’s fans are also surprisingly quiet while under load. When I was playing a game and wearing headphones or using a competent set of speakers, they didn’t bother me at all. The system is significantly quieter than a typical gaming laptop, which has much worse airflow properties and has to run its fans faster and louder to compensate. I did notice the NUC 9’s fans when I was doing basic productivity work, though. Since this box is designed to sit on top of your desk, it’s never more than a couple feet away from your ears, and its fans routinely turn on and off even while doing basic web browsing. I don’t wear headphones or play music when I’m working, so I found it easy to be distracted or irritated by the NUC 9’s fans. It’s not much different than any other fan-cooled PC, but since those are mostly stored under your desk, the noise is more noticeable here. Thanks to its powerful components and generous I/O, the NUC 9 might also appeal to video editors and content creators. In my basic video export test, the NUC 9 with my test configuration was able to render a five and a half minute 4K video in Adobe Premiere in about 10 minutes. That’s not as fast as larger desktop rigs, but it’s on par with high-end laptops that have this same processor. The front of the Intel NUC 9 Extreme houses two USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports, a UHS-II SD card reader, and a combo headphone / mic jack. Intel’sIntel’s past NUC computers have prioritized size and power consumption over everything else, which made them impressively tiny machines that could be installed in a variety of unique applications – even mounted behind a TV or monitor. The NUC 9 is not that – this is what you get when Intel goes for broke on performance and it’s not a direct replacement for the older NUC systems. What it is, though, is a very impressive little box, with a lot of clever ideas on how to make PCs smaller, without giving up their performance or ability to upgrade components. As it stands right now, it’s trivial to upgrade the storage and RAM, while options are a bit more limited on what GPUs will fit in this small case. But the bigger question is on whether or not Intel will follow through on supporting the CPU cartridge idea and release new versions with upgraded CPUs in the future. If it does, then the optimist in me says this could be a very compelling and practical platform for those that don’t care to go fully into the world of custom PC building, but also want a powerful computer that can be easily upgraded in the future. That last point remains unknown, though, so the realist take is that the NUC 9 Extreme remains a very interesting and capable, albeit extremely expensive, mini PC. Photography by Dan Seifert / The Verge Source: Intel NUC 9 Extreme review: small size, big potential (The Verge)
  9. Intel’s 10th-generation H-series laptop CPUs break 5GHz Comet Lake's newest H-series parts boast impressive clock frequencies. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all 3 images. Yesterday, Intel announced the launch of its newest laptop CPUs, the tenth generation Comet Lake H-series. If you're not up on all the minutiae of CPU naming schemes, H-series parts (for both Intel and AMD) are specialty high-performance parts with much higher thermal design power than the standard U-series, and they're usually deployed in systems with higher-powered, discrete graphics. Pay careful attention to the word "fastest" First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all 4 images. The big news Intel is pushing on the tenth series Comet Lake H-series is their high turbo clockrate. All of the i7 SKUs, as well as the lone i9, are capable of breaking 5GHz on the high end of their turbo clock rate. Most consumers would define the "fastest" processor in terms of real performance—time to complete benchmarks, frames per second achieved in AAA gaming titles, and so forth. Intel talks a lot about the "fastest" processor but seems careful to hide its definitions away in the fine print. The footnote 22 referenced at the end of "10-10980HK: The fastest mobile processor" reads: Based on Intel Core i9-10980HK's highest achievable max turbo frequency of 5.3GHz, exceeding all other mobile products available as of April 2020. Includes use of Intel Thermal Velocity Boost. User experience varies with workload. See end notes for details. For reference, Intel's Thermal Velocity Boost is roughly equivalent to AMD's Precision Boost Overdrive—it's an automatic, dynamic overclocking mode that takes temperature and power levels into account when deciding just how far into the red it can drive a core right now for a little additional performance. While it's certainly true that the 5.3GHz turbo claimed here for the i9-10980HK—or even the 5GHz claimed for the lowest-tier i7, the i7-10750H—are higher maximum clock speeds than we've seen out of the factory until now, it strikes us as likely that many users may not achieve clock rates quite that high—or be able to keep them there for very long. A final note on clock speeds: the i9-10980HK is fully frequency-unlocked. We have no idea how you're supposed to cram additional cooling into a laptop chassis to support any additional, out-of-spec overclocking—but if that's your dream, the i9-10980HK will be ready to fulfill it. May the Force be with you. Much faster than January 2017 First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all 4 images. The performance charts in Intel's slides only compare the new SKUs to seventh-generation Intel CPUs—and not something fancy like going head to head with desktop parts, either. The slide that touts the 10th-gen i9-10980HK as designed to be amazingly faster vs a three-year-old enthusiast PC seems to imply that it might—but referring to the footnotes, the comparisons are against seventh-generation laptop parts. Even the actual part being compared isn't consistent in this slide; Game FPS is compared against an i7-7920HQ, while overall performance, video rendering, and export are compared against an i7-7820HK. These slides are, frankly, a mess. It's difficult to get a solid grasp on how much of an improvement the 10th-generation H-series is against anything meaningful—whether that be Comet Lake's U-series parts, AMD's Ryzen 4000 parts, or even a simple generation-on-generation against last year's Coffee Lake i9-9980HK. None of the benchmarks shown here offer any direct, raw numbers at all—so there really isn't anything to be learned here beyond "faster than our products from 2017." Intel had no performance slides at all for the i5 H-series line, but we're confident that those, too, are faster than equivalent 2017 models. Conclusions We try very hard not to dogpile on a CPU manufacturer that's having a bad year or two—the hardware market truly needs multiple sources for compatible products to stay viable and consumer-friendly. With that said, it seems clear that Intel is heading into a very, very bad year in 2020. And we must note that a common reader complaint—"you're rating their marketing slides"—is unavoidably on-point this time around, since there's so little real data present. Intel's presentation on its newest, fastest laptop parts clearly targets users who are considering upgrading from a much older model and aren't really looking any further than Intel itself. And to be fair, we agree with their conclusions in that regard—you will absolutely see a significant performance boost if you upgrade a 2017-era laptop to a 2020-era laptop. So if your only criterion is "will this be faster than the laptop I have?" and you're firmly on Team Intel, Comet Lake's 10th-generation H-series won't disappoint you. However, consumers looking for either the fastest system or the smartest purchase would be well-advised to wait until some of these systems hit the streets for independent testing. The good Definitely faster than January 2017 models Crazy-high turbo speeds, serious overclocking technology AX201 Wi-Fi 6 support Thunderbolt 3 support DDR4-2933 RAM, up to 128GB The bad Unlikely to compete strongly with AMD Ryzen 4000 models No Deep Learning Boost / AVX-512 support In systems without discrete graphics, the on-die UHD 620 can't hang with Ice Lake's Iris+ or Ryzen 4000's Vega The ugly No mention of battery life whatsoever No i5 H-series performance slides at all No usable comparisons with modern parts at all Listing image by Intel Corporation Source: Intel’s 10th-generation H-series laptop CPUs break 5GHz (Ars Technica) (To view the article's image galleries, please visit the above link)
  10. Intel Core i9-10900K leak hints that the CPU is ready to lead the charge against Ryzen 3000 30% performance jump compared to predecessor flagship Core i9-9900K (Image credit: Future) Intel’s Core i9-10900K has been the subject of another benchmark leak as we come closer to its release (preceded by a possible unveiling at the end of April), and this fresh result could help to calm fears that Comet Lake chips might just struggle in the face of AMD’s Ryzen line-up. The Geekbench 5 result was uncovered by Tum_Apisak, who is the source of a lot of leaked benchmarks on Twitter. The incoming flagship Core i9-10900K managed to record a single-core result of 1,437, and in multi-core the CPU hit 11,390 (assuming this benchmark isn’t fabricated in some manner, of course). Compared to the processor it will succeed, the Core i9-9900K, that’s a pretty considerable boost – this hit 1,340 in single-core and 8,788 in multi-core (although not in an identical system, so we have to bear that firmly in mind – there may have been different quantities and spec of system memory, for example). At any rate, in terms of multi-core with this particular comparison, we are looking at an almost 30% leap in performance with the incoming 10th-gen processor. So yes, that’s impressive, but then we’d expect the Comet Lake offering to outdo the previous flagship, of course. The thing is that some of the previous leaked benchmarks have indicated that we might not get that much of a relative boost, so this would seem to put paid to any of those fears (along with worries that Intel might be struggling to tame the power consumption of the 10900K, perhaps, as we’ve also heard on the grapevine). As we get closer to the release of the processor, of course it makes sense that any leaked benchmark result would be more in line with the performance we might expect from the finished release version of the CPU (as opposed to engineering samples which are somewhat hampered due to being early versions of the silicon). Getting more out of 14nm Given that the 10900K has 25% more cores than the 9900K (10 versus 8), with no other factors coming to bear, you’d expect a roughly similar increase in multi-core performance – so the 30% figure shows that Intel has still been able to squeeze more out of its 14nm process. Of course, upping the maximum boost slightly from 5GHz to 5.1GHz (as per the rumor mill) would help in that regard, but may not entirely account for the extra horsepower, which is presumably due to Intel’s further refinements of 14nm with Comet Lake. Refinements that must be increasingly difficult to make at this point, given how hard Intel has had to push 14nm (and for so long). Which is another reason why folks were somewhat concerned about the sort of performance we might get with 10th-gen desktop processors compared to current offerings. Of course, all this remains speculation at this point, so we shouldn’t get carried away with any of this theorizing; but at least the latest indications are more positive than some of the previous buzz we’ve heard. Intel needs to produce something special to help combat the success of Ryzen 3000 in the desktop arena, which has been storming ahead for AMD. And of course Ryzen 4000 isn’t too far away either, with even bigger potential gains for AMD, which might mean Intel could take action on the pricing front (it has been dropping CPU prices elsewhere in recent times, after all). Running against that possibility is the fact that Intel isn’t known for coming in from the get-go with competitive pricing in a new product line, but as ever, we shall see when Comet Lake actually launches. Source: Intel Core i9-10900K leak hints that the CPU is ready to lead the charge against Ryzen 3000 (TechRadar)
  11. Intel’s Core i3-10100 could be the best value gaming CPU ever made Incoming chip might be a budget champ, going by these leaked specs (Image credit: Intel) Intel’s 10th-gen Comet Lake desktop CPUs are hopefully set to arrive soon (although we might still be waiting until June) and it’s possible that the minnow of the next-gen range could make the biggest impact in some ways – as an incredibly tempting budget gaming processor. The Core i3-10100 might sit at the bottom of Comet Lake’s CPU hierarchy, but going by a leak from the SiSoft Sandra database (highlighted by the eagle-eyed Tum_Apisak once again), this chip is actually specced similarly to the Core i7-6700K – a much-respected and still excellent processor for gaming. As PC GamesN, which spotted this tweet, points out, the respective specs are very similar – both the i3-10100 and i7-6700K are quad-core and eight-thread chips, with the former having a base clock of 3.6GHz and boost to 4.3GHz, assuming this leak is correct of course. That compares to a boost of 4.2GHz for the 6700K, so you’re actually getting more juice potentially with the Comet Lake i3 offering, although the older Skylake chip has a higher base clock (4GHz). As one of the people commenting on the tweet put it, they are crying into their i7-7700K, even. The real point here is that Intel’s i7-6700K was released at an asking price of $350 (back in 2015), and while we obviously don’t know what price the Core i3-10100 will carry, the prospect is that it will be excitingly low compared to that figure. Indeed, it’s likely to be around a third of the cost, and probably pitched at the $120 mark (given that the Core i3-9100 has an official asking price of $122). Maybe – just maybe – it could even sneak in slightly lower than that, given the pressure Intel is now under from AMD’s incredibly successful Ryzen 3000 processors (with Ryzen 4000 offerings now on the horizon to boot). Budget assault Intel needs to do something, and alongside the flagship 10-core Comet Lake offering at the high-end, perhaps its strategy is kind of a pincer movement with the Core i3-10100 providing a compelling assault at the other end – the budget sector of the desktop CPU market. Exciting processor times indeed, although there are some caveats, including that upgraders will need to bear in mind that they’ll require a new motherboard (with an LGA 1200 socket) for compatibility with the Comet Lake processors. Also, while quad-core processors remain a fine proposition for many games, there are titles out there which demand more than four cores ideally, and a good deal of gamers are looking for multi-core specifications way in excess of four because of that. From a future-proofing perspective, quad-core obviously isn’t ideal either. Remember, though, this is a budget gaming CPU, and for just over a hundred bucks, what do you expect? At that price level, if these rumored specs are on the money, Intel could be pushing out a storming and affordable processor for those who want to build a cheap gaming PC that doesn't suck. Source: Intel’s Core i3-10100 could be the best value gaming CPU ever made (TechRadar)
  12. Intel 12th-gen CPUs could beat AMD by bringing Lakefield feature to desktop Hybrid theory (Image credit: Intel) We may still be waiting for Intel’s 10th-gen Comet Lake-S desktop CPUs to arrive, but a new leak has detailed the chipmaker’s future Alder Lake-S platform that could see it offer a version of ARM's big.LITTLE architecture designed for the desktop. Intel first started talking about big.LITTLE in 2018 when it unveiled Lakefield, the company’s first hybrid processor that combines one big 10nm Sunny Cove core for performance and four, smaller 10nm Atom cores for low-energy tasks. While Lakefield is aimed at ultra-low power designs, the firm is reportedly planning to bring this hybrid approach to its upcoming Alder Lake-S desktop CPUs. Leaked slides courtesy of China’s PTT reveal that much like ARM's big.LITTLE, the design of Intel’s incoming CPUs, which Videocardz speculates could arrive as 12th-gen Intel Core chips for desktop, is clearly divided into two groups. There will be three configurations of Alder Lake-S, according to the leak. The first is an 8+8+1 configuration comprising 8 high-powered “big” cores, 8 low-powered “little” cores, an iGPU and a 125W TDP. This 8+8+1 setup will also be available in an 80W TDP envelope, and will reportedly debut alongside a lesser-specced 6+0+1 config with 6 big cores and an iGPU with no little cores. Hang on a minute What’s not clear from the leak, however, is what Intel’s smaller and bigger cores – likely based on the Golden Cove and Gracemont architectures – are designed for. With ARM’s big.LITTLE platform, which was designed for phones as a battery-saving feature, the smaller cores are used for less power-hungry applications, while the big cores are utilized for high-performance tasks. Though laptops and desktops are not as constrained by power as mobile devices, tailoring this CPU configuration for desktop could make for battery life improvements in future notebooks, assuming Intel goes down a similar route to ARM. Elsewhere, online speculation suggests that the upcoming desktop platform, which will unlikely debut until 2021 at the earliest, will be built the 10nm++ manufacturing process and support PCIe Gen4. There’s also talk that Alder Lake-S will require new LGA 1700 socket, suggesting that the upcoming LGA 1200 sockets will only be used for Intel’s 10th-generation Comet Lake-S and 11th-gen Rocket Lake-S CPUs. Separately, a leak courtesy of Dell suggests that Intel’s long-awaited 10th-generation desktop Comet Lake CPUs will be arriving any day now. A now-deleted YouTube video posted by the company showcases its latest XPS Tower desktop computers equipped with 10th-generation Intel Core processors, which are currently only available in mobile form. We did hear that Intel wouldn't catch up with AMD on desktop until 2021, so it's possible that Team Blue may try to leverage this design to get ahead of Team Red. But, given that we're still waiting on Intel's 10th-generation desktop chips, we'll be waiting quite a while to see how this plays out. Source: Intel 12th-gen CPUs could beat AMD by bringing Lakefield feature to desktop (TechRadar)
  13. AMD vs Intel: which chipmaker does processors better? The battle between AMD and Intel rages on (Image credit: AMD; Intel) If you're looking to build your first PC or workstation, you're probably at least familiar with the AMD vs Intel rivalry. And even if you're an experienced builder and looking for the best PC components, we can help you sort out the differences between AMD Ryzen 300 and Threadripper CPUs as well as Intel's latest Coffee Lake, Ice Lake, and Cascade Lake-X Intel and AMD are like Mac and Windows 10: they don't get along with one another on a technical level, and they both have very dedicated users and fanbases. Since these two brands don't mix, it's the most important choice you'll have to make when you're looking for the best processor for your next PC build. Both brands have their benefits as well as flaws when it comes to graphics and overclocking capabilities as well as price points and component variety. It can be a lot to take in, so we'll break down each brand's available components, including CPUs and graphics cards. We'll look at overall costs, performance, and where each brand is headed in the coming years so you won't get stuck with an obsolete build before you even get it finished. (Image credit: TechRadar) AMD vs Intel: price In the past, if you were looking for a decent CPU with a budget-friendly price, your go-to choice was AMD. However, with their newest generation of Ryzen CPUs, AMD has been on par or even surpassed Intel components on price. The AMD Ryzen 9 3950X, for instance, is easily the brand's most expensive unit, retailing for around $750 (£580, AU$1130). However, the sticker shock you feel backs up some impressive technology. The Ryzen 9 3950X boasts 16 cores and 32 threads, exceeding the previous flagship, the Ryzen 9 3900X. And it doesn't just have more cores and threads than its predecessor, the Ryzen 9 3950X has more cache memory and faster processing speeds. It also has the ability to store up to four different profiles for different performance and overclocking settings, so no matter if you're a casual or hardcore gamer or hobbyist artist and animator, you'll always have the best performance you can get out of your CPU. When it comes to Intel, Coffee Lake Refresh processors are designed for desktop usage, and are probably what most people are familiar with. The latest generation of Coffee Lake Refresh processors from Intel includes the i9-9900K which retails for around $550 (£420, AU$830) and gives you 8 cores to work with as well as native integrated graphics. With this CPU, you'll be able to handle not only day-to-day work, but also just about any new game that comes onto the market. Intel also has a new line of Ice Lake processors for laptops, launching the i7-10710U in August of 2019. This line of laptop processors retails on the high end for around $440 (£340, AU$665), adding to the cost of pre-built laptops you'll find in places like Best Buy and Walmart. Intel is planning to launch an entirely new line of laptop processors in late 2020 under the name Tiger Lake. These processors will retail for around the same price as their Ice Lake line, but provide a boost in performance. If you're in the market for a really high-end CPU and have super deep pockets, the third generation of AMD Threadripper units is the best choice for professional 3D modeling artists, animators, filmmakers, and data scientists. The Threadripper 3990X retails for a whopping $3,900 (£3,030, AU$5,890), putting it well out of range of casual PC builders and average PC gamers. This CPU is built with 64 cores and 128 threads to give you plenty of power to render 3D models and rip through complex mathematical models to get the most out of your workday. (Image credit: Intel) AMD vs Intel: performance So you've set yourself a budget for a new CPU, but you still have a ton of options when it comes to performance. On the whole, AMD and Intel Processors have been on a pretty even keel when it comes to overall performance. Between the two, it all comes down to whether you need to multitask well or want to play games at their highest settings. If you're looking at buying an AMD processor, be advised that very few of their available CPUs feature integrated graphics. Those that do are referred to as an Accelerated Processing Unit. The ultra-low budget AMD Athlon 240GE retails around $80 (£62, AU$120) and features Radeon Vega 3 integrated graphics. This makes it perfect for low- to mid-grade gaming as well as video streaming for high quality graphics rendering at a low price. However, if you're into higher-end gaming, you'll have to pair a Ryzen 7 or 9 CPU with a dedicated GPU to take your game to the next level. If you're looking for a processor that can handle day-to-day work and multitasking, the AMD Ryzen line is a safe bet, as they offer the most PCIe lanes so you can use more solid-state drives for super-fast computer start up and file recall. AMD processors also tend to run hotter than their Intel counterparts, so you'll need to consider either a supplementary fan or liquid cooling system for your new CPU. With Intel, on the other hand, each chip has on-die integrated Intel HD or Iris graphics, so you can play most mainstream games or stream quality video right out of the box, no matter what CPU you pick. However, like their AMD cousins, if you want to play more graphically demanding games, you'll need to choose a companion GPU. But with the newest Coffee and Ice Lake processors, each CPU will beat out AMD Ryzen and Threadripper units on core-by-core performance - though that gap is minimal. The late 2020 introduction of Tiger Lake could see even more integrated graphic rendering ability for a better streaming or gaming experience right out of the box. Intel has also heavily hinted at plans to release their own dedicated Intel Xe GPU in 2020. (Image credit: Future) AMD vs Intel: specs We've reviewed both the Ryzen 9 3950X and the Intel i9-9900K to give you more insight on each processor's capabilities, performance, and price. Both processors give you plenty of power, but each has their own pros and cons. As mentioned before, the Ryzen 9 3950X has 16 cores and 32 threads. This gives you all the power you need and then some to tackle everyday multitasking and general workloads in an office setting. It also has enough juice to give you great frame rates in both full HD and 4K gaming settings so you don't have to deal with terrible amounts of lag or screen tearing. The entire Ryzen 3000 series are all fairly evenly-matched when it comes to frame rates and multitasking abilities, so it all comes down to how many cores and threads you'll need. The Ryzen 9 3950X features dual channel memory support and 64MB of cache. This ensures faster recall of your frequently-used files and programs. With a base clock speed of 3.5 GHz and a Max Boost Clock of 4.7 GHz, you'll be able to tackle just about any game or work task at blazing speeds. The Intel i9-9900K has half the number of cores and threads as the Ryzen 9 3950X, but it makes up for some of that with slightly stronger single core performance. The i9-9900K has a base speed of 3.6GHz and a Turbo clock of a whopping 5GHz. It also uses just 95 watts of power compared to the Ryzen 9's 105 watts - though you are getting around half the total performance. With Intel's integrated graphics, you'll get both full HD and 4K video and graphical support right out of the box. You'll not only get a great picture for both streaming video and playing the latest games, you'll also get awesome frame rates as well, preventing lag and screen tearing. (Image credit: Intel) AMD vs Intel: technical and customer support AMD has an entire webpage dedicated to customer and technical support of their CPUs. On this page, you can download the latest drivers for integrated Radeon graphics processors or GPUs. You can also check up on your product's warranty, download full spec sheets, and ask other AMD users questions on a dedicated forum. If you have a problem with a specific unit, you can use a drop-down menu to select your CPU to be directed to a page of driver download links and a customer support page for more in-depth troubleshooting. Intel's official site also has a dedicated page for technical support when you have trouble with your new or existing CPU. You'll be able to browse a variety of blog posts that answer frequently asked questions, view spec sheets, download drivers, and access the support community forums if your question isn't answered by the FAQ. Intel also offers live phone or chat support if you need help walking through a solution. (Image credit: AMD) AMD vs Intel: future speculation AMD has had a massively successful past few years with their Ryzen and Threadripper lines of CPUs. With twice the number of cores and threads as their counterparts, they've given Intel something to worry about and proven their worth as a reliable choice for PC components. Intel, on the other hand, has seen some embarrassing failures such as their lackluster release (or lack thereof) of Cannon Lake. However, they seem to have taken their knocks and learned a few lessons to apply to future releases. Intel has announced plans for future releases of their Tiger Lake and Comet Lake-S lines of processors for laptops and desktops, respectively. The new CPU line will most likely try to stay abreast of AMD's Ryzen and Threadripper products. However, it's unlikely that Intel will be able to top AMD any time soon, as even Intel CFO George Davis has admitted that Team Blue won't reach parity with AMD's 7nm manufacturing process until 2021. Future generations of AMD's Ryzen processors will most likely continue to give you more cores and threads for faster and more efficient multitasking. Whenever AMD Ryzen 4000 processors for desktop make their way to market - which should be some time this year - the shift to a more efficient 7nm+ manufacturing process should see further boosts to IPC (instructions per clock) performance along with power efficiency. Threadripper's future seems to stay on track to offer powerful CPU options to industry professionals for 3D modeling and animation or data science work. Source: AMD vs Intel: which chipmaker does processors better? (TechRadar)
  14. Intel admits it won't catch up with AMD 7nm until 2021 Let alone beat it (Image credit: Intel) It's no secret that Intel has been having a rough time keeping up with rivals AMD when it comes to the best processors, as Team Red moves to 7nm and beyond. And it might be quite a while until Intel can truly catch up. As reported by Tom's Hardware, Intel CFO George Davis gave a presentation at the Morgan Stanley conference, where he asserted that Team Blue wouldn't reach process parity with competitors until it produces the 7nm node at the tail end of 2021. Now, we know that Intel has been having some trouble shrinking its manufacturing process down, but Davis further demonstrated how far out it would be when he said that Intel wouldn't take the lead from AMD until it jumped to 5nm sometime in the future. This is likely distressing news to anyone holding out hope that Intel would absolutely smash the competition in 2020, or anyone hoping that 10nm desktop would be the holy grail. Word on the street is that whenever Comet Lake-S desktop chips make it to the street, they'll be based on that ageing 14nm process, which would make sense given this timeline. However, Davis also says something during his presentation that would help explain why this isn't as bad an option as it may seem. He states that the 10nm manufacturing process behind microarchitectures like Ice Lake won't exactly go down in history as one of the best CPU architectures ever, as Intel has had to cut clock speeds pretty significantly – which is one of the reasons why you'll find a good deal of laptops using 10th-generation Comet Lake, rather than the 10nm Ice Lake. It's still going to be interesting to see what CPUs Intel will push out over the next couple of years while we're waiting for Team Blue to gain parity with AMD. If Intel can keep pushing its clock speeds higher, it's possible that it could maintain its niche within PC gaming while it plays catch up with AMD's smaller manufacturing process. Until then... Right now it's looking like Intel will unleash a lineup of 10th-generation Comet Lake-S chips for desktop that will come with up to 10 cores and 20 threads on the Core i9 part. Again, this will likely be based on the same 14nm process that Intel has been refining since Skylake way back in 2015. While its disappointing that Intel won't be releasing desktop processors on its 10nm process, it's likely that just refining the 10nm manufacturing process again is what will allow Intel reach the high clock speeds that its next-generation processors are rumored to hit. This will likely help Intel at least somewhat keep up with the IPC improvements we're expecting out of AMD Ryzen 4000 for desktop. Where this lack of parity might hurt Intel the most, however, is in mobile. Intel teased its Tiger Lake chips back at CES 2020, but if the move to 7nm Zen 2 cores can do as well for AMD as it did with its desktop chips, Ryzen 4000 Mobile could spell serious danger for Intel. During the Morgan Stanley conference, Davis did double down on the fact that Intel is investing heavily in software and AI to narrow the gap between the two chip manufacturers. However, only time will tell whether or not these solutions will make much of a difference to every day users. AMD Ryzen 4000 is right around the corner, and we'll see how this battle will play out in the very near future. Source: Intel admits it won't catch up with AMD 7nm until 2021 (TechRadar)
  15. Whoops – did Dell just accidentally reveal Intel’s 10th-gen desktop processors early? Video slip-up (Image credit: Dell/Engadget) Dell may have just accidentally revealed Intel’s 10th-generation Comet Lake desktop processors early, thanks to a YouTube video made to promote its new XPS Tower desktop PCs. While we’ve seen 10th-generation Intel processors in laptops, we’ve not yet seen any desktop parts officially from Intel – though there have been plenty of rumors and leaks. However, it seems like an official reveal of Intel 10th-generation Comet Lake desktop processors is coming very soon, with the video (which has now been taken down) stating that the desktop XPS Tower will come with 10th-generation Intel Core processors – which Intel hasn’t officially announced. We don’t know much more about the 10th-generation Intel processor that will be included in the Dell XPS Tower, but rumors suggest there will be a number of chips released, including the Core i9-10900K and i7-10700K, along with i5 and i3 chips. All the cores According to Wccftech, a new benchmark leak suggests the Intel Core i9-10900K will be the flagship CPU for this year, and will feature 10 cores, 20 threads and a 125 TDP. It will apparently have a base clock of 3.7GHz and a boost of 5.1GHz. Further benchmarks suggest the 10-core Intel Core i9-10900K will offer similar levels of performance to the 12-core AMD Ryzen 9 3900X. With AMD recently eating into Intel’s CPU market share, the release of 10th-generation desktop processors will be crucial for Intel – but can it be happy that Dell has seemingly spoiled the surprise? Either way, we hope these CPUs live up to their promise. Source: Whoops – did Dell just accidentally reveal Intel’s 10th-gen desktop processors early? (TechRadar)
  16. Intel promises Full Memory Encryption in upcoming CPUs Intel's security plans sound a lot like "we're going to catch up to AMD." First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all 5 images. At Intel's Security Day event on Tuesday, the company laid down its present and future vision for security-focused features in its hardware. Intel's Anil Rao and Scott Woodgate opened their presentation with a present-and-future discussion of Intel's SGX (Software Guard Extensions), but their coverage of the company's plans to bring Full Memory Encryption to future Intel CPUs was more interesting. Software Guard Extensions Intel SGX—announced in 2014, and launched with the Skylake microarchitecture in 2015—is one of the first hardware encryption technologies designed to protect areas of memory from unauthorized users, up to and including the system administrators themselves. SGX is a set of x86_64 CPU instructions which allows a process to create an "enclave" within memory which is hardware encrypted. Data stored in the encrypted enclave is only decrypted within the CPU—and even then, it is only decrypted at the request of instructions executed from within the enclave itself. As a result, even someone with root (system administrator) access to the running system can't usefully read or alter SGX-protected enclaves. This is intended to allow confidential, high-stakes data processing to be safely possible on shared systems—such as cloud VM hosts. Enabling this kind of workload to move out of locally owned-and-operated data centers and into massive-scale public clouds allows for less expensive operation as well as potentially better uptime, scalability, and even lower power consumption. Intel's SGX has several problems. The first and most obvious is that it is proprietary and vendor-specific—if you design an application to utilize SGX to protect its memory, that application will only run on Intel processors. The second is that you must design your application around SGX—you can't just flip a switch and turn it on. SGX enclaves are also limited in size. All enclaves on a system must fit into the Enclave Page Cache, which is currently limited to 128MiB total—not 128MiB per process. Obviously, you can't fit entire operating systems—or even most containers—in only 128MiB, which means that application developers must make careful and extremely difficult decisions about which parts of memory are "confidential" and which are not. IBM's Danny Harnik tested several functions inside SGX enclaves, including sgx_sha256_msg, provided by the Intel sgxsdk API. Danny Harnik Finally, there are potentially severe performance impacts to utilization of SGX. IBM's Danny Harnik tested SGX performance fairly extensively in 2017, and he found that many common workloads could easily see a throughput decrease of 20 to 50 percent when executed inside SGX enclaves. Harnik's testing wasn't 100 percent perfect, as he himself made clear—in particular, in some cases his compiler seemed to produce less-optimized code with SGX than it had without. Even if one decides to handwave those cases as "probably fixable," they serve to highlight an earlier complaint—the need to carefully develop applications specifically for SGX use cases, not merely flip a hypothetical "yes, encrypt this please" switch. Full Memory Encryption Enlarge / This looks like an advertisement for AMD Epyc processors, until you get to that bright yellow "solutions available today" box and realize we're talking about Intel. Intel Corporation For the moment, Software Guard Extensions are the only Intel offering available. But after discussing real-world use of SGX, Rao moved on to future Intel technologies—specifically, full-memory encryption. Intel refers to its version of full-memory encryption as TME (Total Memory Encryption) or MKTME (Multi-Key Total Memory Encryption). Unfortunately, those features are vaporware for the moment. Although Intel submitted an enormous Linux kernel patchset last May for enabling those features, there are still no real-world processors that offer them. With no TME or MKTME enabled processors available, it makes sense to explain the basic technological concepts using the similar technologies that do exist today—AMD's SME (Secure Memory Encryption) and SEV (Secure Encrypted Virtualization). For obvious reasons, this wasn't a part of Intel's presentation—but it's the only way to talk about the concepts in an already-implemented, real-world sense. In 2016, AMD proposed a new technology to secure memory from unauthorized users, called SME (Secure Memory Encryption). Unlike Intel's SGX, SME would allow any page in RAM to be encrypted and decrypted in hardware. Any page marked for encryption would be encrypted with an ephemeral 128-bit AES key—generated via hardware RNG (random number generator) at each reboot. These ephemeral keys are only accessible to the CPU hardware itself and cannot be exposed to users (including root or system administrator level users). SME, like SGX, requires some planning on the part of developers. However, a stricter subset of SME, called TSME—Transparent Secure Memory Encryption—would allow for the entirety of system RAM to be encrypted using SME. As an entire-system feature, TSME is enabled or disabled in system BIOS (or UEFI), and it requires no special planning on the part of application developers—once enabled, everything's encrypted, and that's all there is to say about it. Enlarge / In this HASP 2018 presentation, researchers from Wayne State University and the University of Houston demonstrated negligible performance impact from enabling AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization. Wayne State University / University of Houston AMD's approach to memory encryption also involves far less performance impact than Intel SGX. In a 2018 presentation, researchers from Wayne State University and the University of Houston showed most workloads entirely unimpacted by Secure Encryption Virtualization (a subset of AMD's SME that allows whole-VM encryption, with a separate key used for each covered virtual machine), despite significant performance impacts with Intel's SGX. Since Intel's TME and MKTME are—for the moment—still hypothetical, it's too soon to make any bold predictions about what their performance impact will be. But with AMD's example in front of us, it seems reasonable to expect they should have little real performance impact in use, unlike SGX. Conclusions This is probably a difficult time to give exciting presentations on Intel's security roadmap. Speculative prediction vulnerabilities have hurt Intel's processors considerably more than their competitors', and the company has been beaten significantly to market by faster, easier-to-use hardware memory encryption technologies as well. Rao and Woodgate put a brave face on things by talking up how SGX has been and is being used in Azure. But it seems apparent that the systemwide approach to memory encryption already implemented in AMD's Epyc CPUs—and even in some of their desktop line—will have a far greater lasting impact. Intel's slides about their own upcoming full memory encryption are labeled "innovations," but they look a lot more like catching up to their already-established competition. Listing image by Intel Corporation Source: Intel promises Full Memory Encryption in upcoming CPUs (Ars Technica) (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  17. Intel Comet Lake-S prices have leaked, and it looks like AMD will win in price again Come on, Intel (Image credit: Intel) Historically speaking, the Intel vs AMD battle has typically played out like this: Intel was more expensive while offering top-end performance, while AMD processors were much more affordable. But, that's changed recently, with AMD providing better performance and prices, while Intel is just expensive – and it doesn't look like that's about to change. Renowned leaker @momomo_us spotted EU pricing for a pretty wide range of 10th-generation Intel Comet Lake processors from the low-end Celeron G5900 to the mid-range Intel Core i5-10600. And well, they're pretty expensive. This pricing leak places the Intel Core i5-10500 at €252 (about $270, £210, AU$412), which is far more expensive than even the Ryzen 5 3600X which is currently €225 (about $240, £190, AU$370) on German retailer CaseKing. Now it's very likely that Intel could pull out a single-core win over AMD's chips, but even with Hyperthreading, it probably won't win in multi-core workloads. That's not even considering the elephant in the room that is AMD Ryzen 4000. We still haven't seen Intel announce a release date for its Comet Lake processors, and it's very possible that they'll have to face up directly against AMD's Zen 3 processors. If that happens, AMD's refinement of its 7nm architecture could see IPC improvements that put Intel's chips to shame. It's very possible, however, that these leaked prices are simply wrong – keep in mind that Intel did absolutely slash prices on its 10th-generation Core X processors when it knew they wouldn't compete with Threadripper 3rd Generation. Either way, we won’t know what the actual prices for Intel’s 10th-generation processors will look like, we just hope they’ll be affordable and Intel won’t price itself out of relevance. Via PCGamesN Source: Intel Comet Lake-S prices have leaked, and it looks like AMD will win in price again (TechRadar)
  18. Intel's 10th-generation desktop processors might see the return of the F-Series Intel Comet Lake doesn't need an iGPU anyway An Intel desktop CPU (Image credit: Intel) We're still waiting for an official annoucnement of Intel Comet Lake processors for desktop PCs, but a new leak may indicate more of what's in store. There could be a whole new slew of F-series CPUs to round the product stack based on details in a leaked presentation slide reported on by Informática Cero and shared by Videocardz. The slide shows off six new CPUs split in half between unlocked and locked models. Here's a breakdown of the products listed: Intel Core i9 10900KF - 10-core/20-thread at 3.7GHz/4.8GHz all-core turbo Intel Core i7 10700KF - 6-core/16-thread at 3.8GHz/4.7GHz all-core turbo Intel Core i5 10600KF - 6-core/12-thread at 4.1GHz/4.5GHz all-core turbo Intel Core i9 10900F - 10-core/20-thread at 2.8GHz/4.5GHz all-core turbo Intel Core i7 10700F - 6-core/16-thread at 2.9GHz/4.6GHz all-core turbo Intel Core i5 10600F - 6-core/12-thread at 2.9GHz/4.0GHz all-core turbo As you can see, all six chips listed include the "F" in their name that typically indicates the omission of Intel's integrated graphics. This has generally resulted in a small price cut compared to the non-F versions without otherwise making significant changes to what the CPU itself could offer. The product stack lines up well enough with what we might expect from Intel, and even some recent leaks. An Intel Core i7-10700K benchmark leaked about a week ago and showed an 8-core/16-thread chip with a 3.8GHz base clock and 5.3GHz turbo boost. The base clock of the 10700K even lines up with the base clock of the 10700KF. The difference in the turbo boost clocks could be a result of an actual difference between the two chips aside from the disabled iGPU on the 10700KF. Good news for gamers Not everyone needs an integrated GPU like those found on many of Intel's processors. Gamers generally use dedicated GPUS anyways, as they're needed to run their favorite games, and that leaves the CPU's integrated graphics sitting mostly idle. It becomes wasted space while adding to the initial cost of the processor. If Intel is preparing a stack of Comet Lake-S desktop processors that include these F-series chips, gamers will have an easier time choosing what they want to get. The extra bit of price reduction Intel can offer on these chips will also help it compete against AMD, which has been an a winning streak with its Ryzen 3rd generation processors. Most of the Ryzen processors offer excellent value with incredible multi-core performance thanks to their high core counts – and most of these don't include integrated graphics, either. Of course, the Ryzen processors are already on sale. We still don't know when Intel will come out with desktop Comet Lake-S chips. It's already starting to feel like Intel may be running behind schedule since AMD's Ryzen 3rd generation has gone mostly unanswered for the better part of a year. It may just be the case the Intel is running late, as a product listing was recently posted for a CPU cooler compatible with the unannounced LGA 1200 socket that is expected for Comet Lake-S, PCGamesN reports. That could suggest the manufacturer was anticipating a launch date that Intel couldn't make. It certainly seems like Intel Comet Lake-S chips are on the way. The question is just whether Intel will launch them in time to compete with Ryzen 3000 or if it will have to face up against Ryzen 4000. Source: Intel's 10th-generation desktop processors might see the return of the F-Series (TechRadar)
  19. Intel may be taking the fight to AMD when it comes to high clock speeds with Comet Lake A lot of megahertz (Image credit: Intel) It's now well into 2020 and we still haven't seen an official announcement of 10th-generation Intel Comet Lake processors for desktop PCs – but we're at least getting more and more leaks. This time around, the leak in question is from the 3DMark Database. Spotted by renowned leaker TUM_APISAK, it points to the Intel Core i7-10700K as being an 8-core, 16-thread processor with a massive turbo boost of 5.3GHz. Now, if you notice, this is a huge improvement over 9th-generation Intel Coffee Lake Refresh which only had an 8-core processor without Hyperthreading as its Core i7 part. Intel is clearly feeling the heat from AMD, and that just means that multi-threading is back in fashion with Team Blue. Plus, we're expecting a 10-core Intel Core i9 part out of Comet Lake, too. However, it's not all sunshine and roses. Right now Intel Comet Lake processors are expected to be manufactured on the same 14nm process Intel has been using since Skylake back in 2017. With AMD Ryzen 3rd generation pushing IPC (instructions per clock) higher than Coffee Lake Refresh and with AMD Ryzen 4000 expected to do the same - a high boost clock might not be enough to give Intel the desktop boost it needs. Now, to be clear, we won't know what the specs of Intel's Comet Lake processors are going to be until the Santa Clara chip manufacturer is ready to share, but leaks like this give us an idea of what to expect. At this rate, we probably won't see these processors until Computex 2020, which is also when we're expecting to see AMD's next lineup. Needless to say, the Taipei tech show is going to be extremely exciting this year. Source: Intel may be taking the fight to AMD when it comes to high clock speeds with Comet Lake (TechRadar)
  20. Intel Core i9-10900K leak shows CPU has the upper hand vs AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3DMark results point to a powerful 10-core CPU (Image credit: Intel) Intel’s Core i9-10900K has had more benchmarks leaked, with new 3DMark processor scores indicating that the incoming 10-core flagship handily beating AMD’s Ryzen 9 3900X. The benchmarks, spilled on Twitter by the ever-watchful TUM_APISAK, show the 10900K recording a score of 28,462 for Physics in Fire Strike Extreme, and a CPU result of 13,142 in Time Spy. AMD’s Ryzen 9 3900X hits 27,137 and 12,624 respectively in those benchmarks as you can see in the tweet above, meaning that in this comparison, Intel’s Comet Lake-S desktop champion beats it out fairly comfortably, by almost 5% and 4% respectively. The tweet also indicates that the Core i9-10900K has a base clock of 3.7GHz, and boost to 5.1GHz as previously rumored. That won’t be all-core boost, of course, but just single-core – although the 10900K is set to boost higher than the AMD’s 3900X, which has a maximum boost of 4.6GHz, and all-core boost of closer to the 4GHz mark (although that will vary from chip to chip, as ever). Previous speculation contends that the 10900K will have all-core boost to 4.8GHz. Clocks not cores The 3900X sports a couple more cores, being a 12-core affair, but Intel has been playing the ‘clock speeds are more important than cores’ card of late, and these 3DMark results would seem to back that up. Although we have to bear in mind that leaked benchmarks should always be treated with caution, and of course you can only read so much into isolated pre-launch results. It does seem, though, that Intel is endeavoring to squeeze everything it can out of its existing 14nm process, and apparently succeeding to remain more than competitive with AMD’s new 7nm chips – although the Comet Lake price to pay will undoubtedly be a higher level of power usage, particularly in comparison to Ryzen. Indeed, there is speculation that the delay of the next-gen Comet Lake desktop CPUs is due to Intel struggling to get the power requirements of this flagship processor under control. At maximum load, we’ve heard whispers that the 10900K could demand 300W from the PC’s power supply. Intel’s top-end 9th-gen processors can be pretty power-hungry themselves, so again, that rumor isn’t really a surprise (although equally, we can’t assume that it’s true of course). There have been further rumors of the Comet Lake-S launch sliding, perhaps even to May, but the fact is Intel really needs to get the range out of the door as quickly as possible. Otherwise, these next-gen processors may end up coming too close to AMD’s launch of Ryzen 4000 desktop CPUs, which will be an entirely different performance ballgame (with perhaps up to a 20% performance increase on current Ryzen chips). The other area in which Intel can be competitive is with pricing, and we’ve heard chatter that the chip giant does intend to drop the asking prices of more of its CPUs, so could that potentially mean these Comet Lake products? That’s not clear by any means, but if it does happen, that will obviously be great news for consumers, as doubtless AMD will have to respond. Source: Intel Core i9-10900K leak shows CPU has the upper hand vs AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (TechRadar)
  21. (Reuters) - Intel Corp’s shares hit their highest in nearly two decades on Friday after cloud computing demand fired up the chipmaker’s data center business and allayed concerns of market share loss to rival AMD, lifting stocks across the sector. At least 15 brokerages raised their price targets on Intel’s stock, with J.P.Morgan making the most aggressive move by boosting its target by $12 to $80, well above the median price target of $65. Revenue at Intel’s data center business jumped 19% and sales to cloud computing providers surged 48% year-over-year in the fourth quarter. “We think Intel is benefiting from an improving macro economic climate versus company specific improvements at this time,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Mitch Steves said, adding that he expects strong results from data center rivals AMD and Nvidia . Shares of AMD, which will report earnings next week, rose 1% to a record high. Nvidia shares were also up 1%. European chipmakers ASML Holding NV and STMicroelectricals NV rose almost 2%. Intel's stock was up 8.6% at $68.75, a level it has not seen since the peak of the dotcom boom in 2000, propelling the broader Nasdaq .IXIC and the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index .SOX to record highs. Other major chipmakers such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd and Texas Instruments have also given upbeat forecasts this month, cementing hopes of a rebound in the market that fell nearly 12% in 2019, according to research firm Gartner. However, Intel has struggled with delays in its 10nm chip technology, losing its lead to rival TSMC in the race to supply to the “new data economy”, which includes 5G, autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence. AMD has partnered with TSMC to launch several new products based on the smaller 7nm design. Intel said on Thursday it would release nine 10nm products this year and launch its lead 7nm product next year. “We continue to expect competitive headwinds to impact Intel’s server and PC CPU strongholds over the next few quarters, as AMD continues its onslaught on Intel’s hegemony,” Morningstar analysts said. Intel has also been facing a shortage of PC chips, and the company said it would boost its capacity to make such chips, in a sign that the manufacturing woes that plagued chipmakers over the past year were starting to ease. Source
  22. AMD has had Intel on the back foot now across both the consumer and server market, but the chip giant could be ready to throw money at maintaining market dominance. Intel is no doubt feeling the heat in both the consumer and server markets, as AMD manages to outmaneuver the chip behemoth at every turn. But Intel could have an ace up its sleeve, in the form of billions of dollars in cash that it can use to fund a price war. According to DigiTimes, Intel has a multi-phase plan in mind to help bolster market dominance. While most of the plan remains unknown, the first phase is reported to revolve around price cuts for OEM partners, which would trickle down the chain and -- hopefully -- result in cheaper laptops and desktops. Intel has vast, yet declining amounts of cash on hand -- just over $12 billion as of September 2019 -- so potentially has a massive war chest. AMD, on the other hand, is not so comfortable, with only $1.2 billion cash on hand during the same period. Intel is also no stranger to price cuts lately. The Core X line has seen significant price cuts, with the latest generation being about half the price of the previous-generation silicon. While Intel still commands a dominant market share -- over 80% for desktop and laptop PCs, and more than 90% of the server market -- AMD is growing fast, especially in the laptop and server markets. Some reports suggest that AMD is on track to hit 10% market share in the server market by the end of 2020. Small, but if Intel is considering a price war, it's clear that the company is worried about hemorrhaging any more market share. Source
  23. AMD won CES 2020 with Ryzen 4000 mobile, but can it beat Intel? Is AMD coming for the laptop space now? Yeah, we know, this is the most basic shot of a processor ever (Image credit: Future) At CES 2020, AMD spent a lot of time talking about how it had a big 2019, and it definitely has the right to gloat. AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation processors have essentially made Intel irrelevant, especially since Team Blue showed up at CES 2020 with no desktop silicon to its name. No matter how exciting AMD's takeover of the desktop space is, though, it has one giant roadblock before it can totally annihilate Intel in the consumer world: laptops. Now, AMD's presence in the best laptops is definitely growing and Team Red hopes to keep that momentum going into 2020. The company claims that it has 100 new laptop designs that will be coming to market in 2020, but we don't know how many of those will be worth writing home about. But either way, AMD's laptop game is about to expand in a big way. Intel does it too, though (Image credit: Intel) Let's chat about Intel Ice Lake real quick In the desktop world, raw performance is king. The people who build their own PCs care about raw horsepower above anything else, which is why AMD has been able to topple Intel's reign. However, laptops are a bit different. Performance is still definitely an important factor in the best laptops, but for most people what matters is efficiency. With Ice Lake, Intel has made great progress in reducing power consumption and increasing battery life through the use of AI. A big part of Intel's Project Athena, of which Ice Lake is a part, is the ability for your PC to learn how you use it over time, so it can prioritize performance when you personally need it, and saving power when you don't. This is definitely a hard thing to actually test, but it is a feature that is there. Intel has also worked in specific optimizations to quickly wake up your computer from sleep and can even enable unique features through its software integrations in programs like Photoshop. So, while performance hasn't increased in a way that a normal person would notice (Ice Lake is definitely faster than, say, Whiskey Lake), there are still new features being added that offer a lot of value for everyone who uses its laptops. It just happens to be way more subtle and not terribly exciting. Ok, everyone does it. (Image credit: AMD) AMD will likely win in speed It's important to note that AMD Ryzen 4000 mobile processors aren't available for testing yet, so we don't know what real-world performance is going to look like. All we can do is take a look at the specs and spec-ulate about how fast they might be. There's a whole range of AMD Ryzen 4000 processors for thin and light laptops, but it will be spearheaded by the Ryzen 7 4800U. This is a 15W chip with 8-cores, 16-threads and a 4.2GHz boost clock. Compared to the Intel Core i7-1065G7, which has the same 15W TDP but only 4-cores, 8-threads and a 3.8GHz boost clock, it's not looking too great for Intel. And, while we haven't had a chance to even touch a laptop with a Ryzen 4000 processor in it at CES 2020 (they were annoyingly behind a glass panel), we can just assume that AMD is going to absolutely thrash Intel Ice Lake in raw horsepower. Intel Tiger Lake is likely to follow in Ryzen 4000's footsteps and may even exceed it, but that's what happened with Ryzen 2nd Generation back in 2018, and we all know how that turned out. The way it might end up working out, at least in the short term, is that anyone looking for raw horsepower in their laptop is going to go with AMD, but there are too many quality-of-life features in Project Athena to write Intel off. Laptops are Intel's home turf and main money maker – don't expect Intel to lay down and take it in the same way it did with desktop. We just want AMD Ryzen in this thing. (Image credit: Future) The future is still in the future If AMD really wants to claim the laptop space in the same way, we don't think raw performance is going to be enough. Now, we did get a chance to talk to AMD about these new processors, and we were told that AMD is working with hardware vendors to make sure some of the quality-of-life improvements Intel users are used to are included. However, we're going to have to see what kind of software enhancements and, we hate to say it, AI integration AMD can work into its processors. From what we were being told at CES 2020, however, it seems like AMD's current goal is to show laptop manufacturers that it can consistently innovate and continue producing fast-performing processors. After all, in the laptop space a good processor is meaningless if it doesn't have the hardware partners to back it up. But since there are apparently 100 new AMD-powered laptops coming to market this year, it looks like that strategy is starting to pay off. One thing that might help Team Red claim mainstream affection, which will lead to more AMD laptops, is its new Athlon processors. We can geek out about all the flagships out there, but at the end of the day there are a ton of people that only have a few hundred dollars to toss at a laptop. AMD did announce two Athlon processors at CES 2020 that are built for those laptops, and it claims that they can provide a much better experience. AMD is also working with laptop manufacturers to bring features like Windows Hello to the bottom end of the laptop market, and we're huge fans of that idea. Or in this laptop. (Image credit: HP) The future is bright Right now, especially if you want the best laptop or Ultrabook out there, you're getting an Intel processor. Laptops like the Dell XPS 13, HP Spectre x360 and MacBook Pro are all rocking Intel silicon, with no trace of AMD. However, AMD is getting closer to this segment of the market every day with its mobile processors. Lenovo announced the Yoga 7 Slim, which isn't quite the top-end device in its wheelhouse, but it's definitely up there. And, of course, we can't forget the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, even if it ended up not being the greatest laptop out there. The way we look at it, if we can get to the point where users will be able to get the XPS 13 and choose between AMD and Intel we'll be extremely happy. Competition is coming to the high-end laptop space, and it's about damn time. Source: AMD won CES 2020 with Ryzen 4000 mobile, but can it beat Intel? (TechRadar)
  24. Leak shows Intel's DG1 Xe discrete GPU dev kits may be ready to be sampled soon At CES 2020, a couple of days ago, Intel demoed its upcoming 10nm+ Tiger Lake CPUs and also teased its Xe DG1 discrete graphics running Destiny 2. With the chip up and running, Intel appears ready to ship development kits of its Xe GPU according to this leaked press deck. The company appears to have named the kit a 'Software Development Vehicle' (SDV) and these will be sampling to independent software vendors (ISVs) worldwide. The design of the SDV is aesthetically pleasing with stylish grooves on the top and an Xe-branded backplate at the bottom. It is a single fan card with no apparent external power connector hinting at low power requirement for this particular design. It's been known since Supercomputing 2019 that Intel plans to scale its Xe architecture through the entire spectrum of the graphics market, from high end HPC needs down to low power(LP) mobile use cases, starting with Tiger Lake. Intel seems to have reiterated on that fact and has only added a nomenclature denoting each tier of performance. To sum up, Intel's plans with its Xe architecture seem grand as the company looks to take on two behemoths in the GPU market. With time, we will know how Intel has managed to measure up. via Videocardz Source: Leak shows Intel's DG1 Xe discrete GPU dev kits may be ready to be sampled soon (Neowin)
  25. Intel’s Horseshoe Bend concept is a look at the future of foldable PCs A sleek 17-inch OLED monster Earlier today, Lenovo announced the ThinkPad X1 Fold, a 13-inch tablet PC with a folding OLED screen and an Intel processor. But Intel doesn’t expect it to be a one-off. The chip giant has brought its own folding PC concept along to CES, with a view toward providing inspiration for an entirely new category of devices. The prototype is called Horseshoe Bend, and the biggest difference between it and the X1 Fold is, well, it’s much bigger. The OLED display is 4:3 and 17.3 inches diagonal when unfolded, which means it feels much closer to a traditional laptop size when you fold it at an angle and use it on a desk. There’s also a Surface-style kickstand so you can make use of the full display size when paired with a wireless keyboard. The most common mode of operation is likely to be somewhat like a laptop where content and UI exists under your fingers as well as in front of your face. Webpages feel like they scroll on forever; you can continue reading an article just by moving your hand away. Another use case demoed was video editing where you can manipulate the timeline directly where the keyboard would normally be. If you want to play a video full-screen, you can just turn the display around and use the kickstand. If the on-screen keyboard doesn’t do it for you, you can attach a wireless one to the bottom half of the display. Horseshoe Bend is built around Intel’s new 10nm Tiger Lake architecture, which is set to ship in laptops later this year. It allows for a 7mm-thick chassis with a 9W TDP and without any active cooling. The device we saw was running regular Windows 10, but Intel expects Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 10X to be a good fit for the category later on. Compared to the X1 Fold, Horseshoe Bend obviously doesn’t have the fit and finish of a shipping device, but with its thinner bezels and slimmer profile, in some ways, it does feel sleeker. Of course, there’s also something to be said for putting a much bigger slice of OLED in front of you. Unfortunately, Intel wouldn’t let us fully fold the screen ourselves, so we can’t tell you all that much about how the Intel-designed hinge feels to actually use. What we can say is that Intel really does seem to be pushing this form factor, and it expects to be working with several manufacturers to help develop these devices in the not-too-distant future. Source: Intel’s Horseshoe Bend concept is a look at the future of foldable PCs (The Verge)
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