Thursday, October 12th 2017

On Intel's Decision to no Longer Disclose All-core Turbo

Intel is no longer going to disclose all-core Turbo Boost speeds, starting with their 8th Gen Coffee Lake processors that have just been released. The information comes straight from the blue giant. Answering a query from ExtremeTech on the matter, the company said that "[W]e're no longer disclosing this level of detail as its proprietary to Intel. Intel only specifies processor frequencies for base and single-core Turbo in our processor marketing and technical collateral, such as ARK, and not the multi-core Turbo frequencies. We're aligning communications to be consistent. All Turbo frequencies are opportunistic given their dependency on system configuration and workloads."

This decision is a rollback that does little more than rob users of another data point that has really always been there. The practical effect of this change isn't anything to write home about: Intel's Turbo Boost capabilities were never guaranteed performance levels (the fact that the advertised Turbo speeds were called "Max Turbo" implied Turbo levels could be lower.) However, there's also not much that can be said to explain this change in stance from the blue giant. If anything, this decision only opens up debate and speculation regarding the reasons why Intel is making this change: and the skeptics among us will always default to foul play or dark linings.

To our Forum dwellers: this piece is marked as an Editorial

For one, it could be said that Intel is doing this in order to unlock a lot more leeway in CPU binning. Absent all-core turbo speeds means that Intel now only has to guarantee two levels of performance for each of its chips: all-core base clocks (which for the 8700K, for example, is set at 3.7 GHz), and single-core Turbo (a more impressive 4.7 GHz). These are the only frequencies Intel now has to make sure all of their 8700K chips hit. This gives a whole new weight to the "silicon lottery" concept, in that now users can be saddled with the most basic 8700K that only achieves an all-core clock of just 3.7 GHz and not a switch more, or an amazing chip that hits 5.3 GHz easily.

Pore over Intel's ARK page, and now the 8700K processor is being listed as having a max Turbo frequency of 4.7 GHz - but that one frequency only really applies to single-core Turbo. So not only do Intel CPUs now look better to the unwary, distracted user (what, max 4.7 GHz on six cores, that's insane), but now there's also the chance of something like this happening: "So what if your unlocked K processor doesn't overclock a single MHz on all cores? We don't really specify it should be able to, do we?"
To add to the confusion, it's also worth mentioning the "MultiCore Enhancement" option that most Intel motherboards ship with, which when enabled, overrides even Intel's previous maximum all-core Turbo Boost specs. Now, even if users and reviewers disable the option to find out what's Intel's rated (and now hidden) max Turbo Boost for any given processor, there's no guarantee that the frequencies achieved will be the same for all processors of the same product name. After all, different OC potential exists among chips according to die quality - and the fact that most motherboards now feature CPU voltages set on Auto should add to this scenario, with some CPUs requiring lower voltages to achieve higher clockspeeds than others, which theoretically, should mean different auto Turbo limits according to power consumption and thermal headroom. At the extreme of this situation, it might be impossible for reviewers to achieve parity on CPU reviews absent of disabling all-core Turbo features, since there won't be a baseline value they can consider: CPUs will be reviewed with all-core Turbos that are dependent on CPU quality and automated Turbo Boost. Unless all tech review sites agree on a globally accepted all-core Turbo speed, but that's slightly utopian, at the very least.
Skepticism aside, the main issue here, I feel, is that the decision was made without any clear focus or mention as to why. Now yes, Intel might not have any shady reason for doing this - but nevertheless, there is a reason behind this decision; otherwise, the company just wouldn't make the move. All of the above scenarios are result of one thing only: the absence of clear communication, which ends up with users scratching their heads at a seemingly opaque decision.Sources: ExtremeTech, Intel ARK
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89 Comments on On Intel's Decision to no Longer Disclose All-core Turbo

#1
dorsetknob
"YOUR RMA REQUEST IS CON-REFUSED"
john_ said:
You want a table of turbo frequencies for FULLY UNLOCKED PROCESSORS? That's nice :laugh: :toast: :laugh:
Did not Intel AMD make it well known that core(s) Overclocks were Dependent on the Cooling solution Applied to the CPU
Posted on Reply
#2
EarthDog
dorsetknob said:
Did not Intel AMD make it well known that core(s) Overclocks were Dependent on the Cooling solution Applied to the CPU
Doesnt intel do the same thing????

(Yes)

But, that intel, big bad wolf!
Posted on Reply
#3
john_
I No said:
Wow ... so much drama over something that might raise legal concerns to the company yet everyone's calling it shady like said company OWES them anything .... it's a business that wants to protect themselves from the average Joe that might sue them over 1 Mhz of frequency. I would do the same unless I want to run the whole damn establishment into the ground.
AMD was crucified for the "Up to 1GHz" frequencies, of the R9 290X graphics cards. There where plenty of articles back then saying "Ignore the FPS, look at the frequency. It's much lower than it should". No one cared back then about the "Up to". No one cared about the performance of the R9 290X that was excellent. Everyone was asked to focus on the frequencies. And while everyone was exaggerating back then, there was a basic logic to this. 10 people where buying identical cards, 10 people where getting probably slightly different performance numbers from those 10 supposedly identical cards. There where also articles about AMD sending golden samples to press and retail parts being inferior.
Well, it's not so much different this case, is it? 10 people get an i5 8400, 10 people end up with different performance numbers. And those i5's send to reviewers, could easily be golden samples.

EarthDog said:
Intel did it... previously. ;)

And what does "fully unlocked" have to do with them showing or not showing boost tables???
It means that you can have the same performance from different chips. When a processor is locked, an inferior quality chip compared to the golden sample send to the press, or even the average retail chip, will be performing worst. How much worst? We don't know yet, but in any case you can't "fix" that, by changing some option in the BIOS or something. When the chip is unlocked, you do have that option by choosing a Turbo something option in the BIOS, in the manufacturer's software running in Windows or by just overclocking it. There is a difference.

dorsetknob said:
Did not Intel AMD make it well known that core(s) Overclocks were Dependent on the Cooling solution Applied to the CPU
Can you improve the performance of a locked processor with cooling? You can make it worst with a bad cooler, but can you make it better? I am not talking about processors that throttle here, but about same model processors that are configured differently from the factory. Maybe I understand it wrong, don't know.
Posted on Reply
#4
I No
john_ said:
AMD was crucified for the "Up to 1GHz" frequencies, of the R9 290X graphics cards. There where plenty of articles back then saying "Ignore the FPS, look at the frequency. It's much lower than it should". No one cared back then about the "Up to". No one cared about the performance of the R9 290X that was excellent. Everyone was asked to focus on the frequencies. And while everyone was exaggerating back then, there was a basic logic to this. 10 people where buying identical cards, 10 people where getting probably slightly different performance numbers from those 10 supposedly identical cards. There where also articles about AMD sending golden samples to press and retail parts being inferior.
Well, it's not so much different this case, is it? 10 people get an i5 8400, 10 people end up with different performance numbers. And those i5's send to reviewers, could easily be golden samples.
Precisely what they want to avoid. In case you weren't paying attention while taking out the all core boost from the spec sheet means that the company cannot guarantee that from 100 chips 100 will clock the same on all cores because it would fall into the false advertisement category... scenario: John Doe uses his brand new Intel CPU to run uhmmm .... take your pick... let's say Starcraft 2. John Doe notices that the boost is active on 2 cores instead in 6 ergo John Doe has a nice motive to take Intel to court regarding this because it's not specified WHEN that boost can occur and under which circumstances. Rule of thumb says either you build a nice disclaimer that explains every scenario to John Doe when he's buying the product (obviously that's gonna be some triple digit number of pages) or you take it out of the spec sheet instead of going: 4.1 GHz under scenario X, 3.7 Ghz under scenario Y, etc. Come to think about it AMD does the same thing for their CPU's the only difference is that AMD's boost is across all cores oh yeah and it's still "UP TO X Ghz" depending on the voltage cooling etc etc.
Also regarding the golden samples, at the end of every review that's out there the words "Please note that our sample has". None of the chips would perform the same, they never had.
Posted on Reply
#5
john_
I No said:
Precisely what they want to avoid. In case you weren't paying attention while taking out the all core boost from the spec sheet means that the company cannot guarantee that from 100 chips 100 will clock the same on all cores because it would fall into the false advertisement category... scenario: John Doe uses his brand new Intel CPU to run uhmmm .... take your pick... let's say Starcraft 2. John Doe notices that the boost is active on 2 cores instead in 6 ergo John Doe has a nice motive to take Intel to court regarding this because it's not specified WHEN that boost can occur and under which circumstances. Rule of thumb says either you build a nice disclaimer that explains every scenario to John Doe when he's buying the product (obviously that's gonna be some triple digit number of pages) or you take it out of the spec sheet instead of going: 4.1 GHz under scenario X, 3.7 Ghz under scenario Y, etc. Come to think about it AMD does the same thing for their CPU's the only difference is that AMD's boost is across all cores oh yeah and it's still "UP TO X Ghz" depending on the voltage cooling etc etc.
Also regarding the golden samples, at the end of every review that's out there the words "Please note that our sample has". None of the chips would perform the same, they never had.
So they will end up advertising a single core frequency with huge letters on the box (it seems that every 6-8 years we will be getting a Pentium 4 of some kind, from both companies) and on advertising material, while also getting better scores on reviews than those the majority of chips would be archiving in reality. And only a few read reviews. Most read charts. Almost no one will notice that "Please note that our sample has".

londiste said:
Does being fully unlocked matter in this context? Why?
Already explained why. A bad or not explanation, the fact is that you do have more options with an unlocked chip and you do have the option to get those frequencies or even better frequencies by using some auto overclocking function that the motherboard manufacturer is offering or by doing manual overclocking yourself. With a locked chip you only know where the ceiling is. By not having any warranty for that chips frequencies, that ceiling will be lower than what you are thinking and considering that a 1% difference can charge a models place in the charts, this isn't exactly insignificant.
Posted on Reply
#6
EarthDog
A chip being unlocked has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with this. Boost is there on locked and unlocked cpus. Overclocking is a completely unrelated story to this. Locked chips will still boost.
Posted on Reply
#7
john_
EarthDog said:
A chip being unlocked has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with this. Boost is there on locked and unlocked cpus. Overclocking is a completely unrelated story to this. Locked chips will still boost.
Yes they will boost with ONE core at the frequency expected giving the performance that is expected. In all other cases?
Posted on Reply
#8
EarthDog
john_ said:
Yes they will boost with ONE core at the frequency expected giving the performance that is expected. In all other cases?
ALL CORE BOOST IS NOT GOING AWAY. They are simply changing what info is public...the change is all core boost values, which were NEVER guaranteed (by intel OR amd), are not listed.

Anything else outside of that is pure speculation.


Edit: and the dude i replied to, john, deleted multiple posts... wth?????
Posted on Reply
#9
londiste
EarthDog said:
ALL CORE BOOST IS NOT GOING AWAY. They are simply changing what info is public...the change is all core boost values, which were NEVER guaranteed (by intel OR amd), are not listed.

Anything else outside of that is pure speculation.
Actually, not only all core boost.
All the boost states inbetween. CPU boosts to different clocks when 2, 3, 4, 5 or however many cores are loaded. Less loaded cores, more boost. That has a large part to play in how much of that information can be stated as a fact. There are too many variables.

This does not mean that there is no internal function to determine these boost clocks but that is also dynamic to some degree, not a fixed table.
Posted on Reply
#10
EarthDog
Well aware of that. Trying not to address one issue at a time as not to confuse. ;)





Why the hell did that dude delete his posts??? Wth is going in here????
Posted on Reply
#11
I No
EarthDog said:

Why the hell did that dude delete his posts??? Wth is going in here????
I still see them. Maybe he blocked you?:))
Posted on Reply
#12
john_
EarthDog said:
ALL CORE BOOST IS NOT GOING AWAY. They are simply changing what info is public...the change is all core boost values, which were NEVER guaranteed (by intel OR amd), are not listed.

Anything else outside of that is pure speculation.


Edit: and the dude i replied to, john, deleted multiple posts... wth?????
Wait, what? I deleted NOTHING. I NEVER DELETE POSTS. Even if I have a mistake somewhere, I ALWAYS KEEP THE OLD TEXT and just follow with an edit. Don't lie about me.

I No said:
I still see them. Maybe he blocked you?:))
No one is blocked. Maybe he blocked me, and after replying he can't see my posts. When you block someone you can't see his posts. You can't even see the quotes from his posts and you get the idea that people are just posting nonsense replying to no one :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#13
EarthDog
Must have borked on my phone....I see them now on the desktop.. :)




EDIT: And now they are gone again... on my desktop machine...

I know I need to click to see his posts as I put the guy on ignore ages ago... but those messages aren't even there... posts are simply.. GONE. LOL!

EDIT2: You CAN see quotes from those who are ignored... I believe it says ignored member. I removed you off the ignore list and can now see the posts.. but something was fucked up here, likely on my side....




Either way, unlocked/locked has nothing to do with this, nor does overclocking. This is a factory spec which just isn't listed. It doesn't mean it is going away or that there are dubious/nefarious actions behind it.
Posted on Reply
#14
john_
EarthDog said:
Must have borked on my phone....I see them now on the desktop.. :)




EDIT: And now they are gone again... on my desktop machine...

I know I need to click to see his posts as I put the guy on ignore ages ago... but those messages aren't even there... posts are simply.. GONE. LOL!

EDIT2: You CAN see quotes from those who are ignored... I believe it says ignored member. I removed you off the ignore list and can now see the posts.. but something was fucked up here, likely on my side....




Either way, unlocked/locked has nothing to do with this, nor does overclocking. This is a factory spec which just isn't listed. It doesn't mean it is going away or that there are dubious/nefarious actions behind it.
I wonder why you bother with me if you have blocked me in the past.

And why you bother rushing to post that I delete my posts.

Maybe because no matter what I post, you will ALWAYS have a complete different perspective about that? Because you ALREADY have made up your mind BEFORE you even read what I post? And of course in cases like this, where someone has blocked someone else, if I post something with which you do agree, you will probably avoid mentioning it anyway.

Thanks for clarifying that and saving me future time.

PS If you want to see posts from members you have blocked, just open a private tab. That way you can read their posts in the private tab, and reply from a regular tab where you will still be logged in.
Posted on Reply
#15
R-T-B
Quit whining about blocks or unblocks or I'm going to frog punch you an unblockable one.

...

Sorry, I is grumpy in the mornings.
Posted on Reply
#16
EarthDog
john_ said:
I wonder why you bother with me if you have blocked me in the past.

And why you bother rushing to post that I delete my posts.

Maybe because no matter what I post, you will ALWAYS have a complete different perspective about that? Because you ALREADY have made up your mind BEFORE you even read what I post? And of course in cases like this, where someone has blocked someone else, if I post something with which you do agree, you will probably avoid mentioning it anyway.

Thanks for clarifying that and saving me future time.

PS If you want to see posts from members you have blocked, just open a private tab. That way you can read their posts in the private tab, and reply from a regular tab where you will still be logged in.
Responses like these only affirm why you are on ignore. Not once did i disparage you, and then this...

I mentioned the posts were deleted as it could have been a forum issue or for any other reason. :)

I like to have faith in people... sometimes they have a bad day, or a week. And after a while will check and see if they chilled out.

Guess not...back to ignore. :(

Apologies for the confusion i caused. :)
Posted on Reply
#17
john_
R-T-B said:
Quit whining about blocks or unblocks or I'm going to frog punch you an unblockable one.

...

Sorry, I is grumpy in the mornings.
Whining? Who is whining? And I like how you respond to a post that it is obvious it is going to be the last one in this series of posts. Get a coffee. On second thought, better don't get a coffee. Caffeine not good in these cases. My bad.
Posted on Reply
#18
R-T-B
john_ said:
Whining? Who is whining? And I like how you respond to a post that it is obvious it is going to be the last one in this series of posts. Get a coffee. On second thought, better don't get a coffee. Caffeine not good in these cases. My bad.
It was an attempt at humor because in case you were not aware, the conversation was taking a turn for the worse.

It's called "defusing the situation"

I also didn't name anyone on purpose. You seem to be quite content to be angry anyways though, so have fun with that.

*Gets some caffeine*
Posted on Reply
#19
londiste
In their core dynamic clock speeds for CPUs are simple enough. There is a base clock that CPU is essentially guaranteed to hit with any load, all cores being loaded being the main thing here. Then there is maximum boost clock which is for one core load only.

Both these clocks are published by both Intel and AMD. I will use lower range models for examples as the ranges are wider there:
Ryzen 7 1700 has base clock of 3.0GHz and Precision Boost of 3.7GHz. In reality, 1700s will generally run at 3.2GHz with all-core load.
i7 7700 has base clock of 3.6GHz and Max Turbo 4.2GHz. Intel has also published the frequency table for it showing that Max Boost for 1 core load is 4.2GHz, for 2 core load 4.1GHz and for 4 core load 4.0GHz.

However, there are a number of 'but'-s in there.
- Base clock is worst case scenario, in Intel's case that actually means including full AVX load (with offset). I am not sure what base clock means for AMD.
- Max Boost and Precision Boost clocks are not the end of things either. Intel has (or had as they seem to have hidden or discontinued it and it required software support) Boost 3.0 boost that was 100mhz higher. AMD has XFR (+50/100MHz) that requires X370 motherboard and is opportunistic.
- As you can see from above both Intel and AMD CPUs actually boost higher than base clock with all cores being loaded.
- There are variables in place that will drag down clock speeds and throttle the processor. Most notably, temperature and TDP.

None of this will change. Intel just feels they no longer want to publish the table of potential maximum clock speeds for each number of loaded cores. It is worth noting that AMD does not publish this information either and based on what is publicly available, Turbo Core is more simple around how clocks are determined.

The main reason for not wanting that table published is probably liability as has been mentioned a bunch of times in this thread. When they publish it, customers may feel (justified or not) these clocks are guaranteed when these are just the baseline for determining the current viable clock speed.
There are also technical changes in recent Intel processor families that may have contributed to the decision. AVX/AVX2 is already wreaking havoc in Intel processors when it comes to clock speeds, power consumption and temperatures. Now they are adding AVX-512 starting with HPDT. Intel also seems to be pushing the 1-2-4 core load across the board higher than ever before. Almost across the entire range of last generations the Max Boost is 4.x GHz with very few exceptions. over 4GHz from 4 cores to 18 cores is a wide range. Trying to manage that in given limitations must be hell and that is pushing the frequency ranges to be very wide. This is mostly done with tweaking the Turbo Boost rather than other technical changes. Why they are doing everything to achieve that is probably thanks to Ryzen. If they let low-threaded clocks slip, the gaming edge of Intel's CPUs is lost.

Coffee Lake is in its core still the same Skylake/Kaby Lake and 14++nm process is just a minor improvement.
Take a look at the prime suspect for Intel being malevolent (i5 8400) and compare it to its direct predecessor (i5 7400): https://ark.intel.com/compare/126687,97147
- Now 6 cores need to be fit in the same 65W TDP. That logically means something has to give - and that something is base clock speed that decreased by 200MHz (which is not a bad result from technical perspective).
- The other end is trying to boost the low-core boost clock as I mentioned in previous paragraph. Single core at 4.0GHz is 500Mhz higher than i5 7400 which will no doubt have serious positive effect on single-core perf level.
I do not see any of this as particularly suspicious.
Posted on Reply
#20
john_
R-T-B said:
I also didn't name anyone on purpose.
That's why you should write "Both of you" in the beginning of that sentence. A follow up post usually looks very similar to a quote, a reply. You are excuse for been grumpy and not having drink coffee yet. My bad if I misunderstood your post and treated it as a reply to that last post, which was mine.
Posted on Reply
#21
R-T-B
john_ said:
That's why you should write "Both of you" in the beginning of that sentence. A follow up post usually looks very similar to a quote, a reply. You are excuse for been grumpy and not having drink coffee yet. My bad if I misunderstood your post and treated it as a reply to that last post, which was mine.
It was really a comment at the whole discussion and an attempt at being silly.

I can't punch people through the internet, I've tried...
Posted on Reply
#22
dorsetknob
"YOUR RMA REQUEST IS CON-REFUSED"
R-T-B said:
I can't punch people through the internet, I've tried...


Its Coming :)
it will be a further Development of the Interactive Accessorys Currently restricted to Its Cominginteractive Sex toys
Posted on Reply
#23
xorbe
dorsetknob said:
I Can See Intel issuing DMCA Take down notice's for hardware Sites that Test and then Publish such results for CPU Core Speeds that Differ in the information Intel now Chose to make public :(
The results of one processor would have no bearing on other processors. Intel won't care one bit about such data. If you have more than one foundry, it just makes more sense to spec on just base and max single core turbo. Getting too rigid with various multicore turbo rates is probably a logistics nightmare, just sayin'. I personally wouldn't read too much into this announcement.
Posted on Reply
#25
EarthDog
Rahmat Sofyan said:
Is it related with throttling issue ?
No.
Posted on Reply
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