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
HisDivineOrder
Just looks like Intel's renewed "competition" with AMD led to Intel adopting a very Intel-like mindset about speed listing. I keep hearing how AMD leads the way and it would appear that's true.

Thanks AMD! AMD innovation once again influences Intel, guys!
Posted on Reply
#2
cyneater
intel we are now losing shitting our selfs so we will become c^@$s once more.
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#3
lexluthermiester
Steevo said:
If they could sell a CPU at 4Ghz and 700Mhz boost to all cores and 1Ghz boost on two cores reliably off ever wafer, they would.

It seems more like they are.

1) Binning with more flaws and higher voltages. Salvage more dies that have higher power consumption, or lower clock potential.
2) Screwing with overclockers.
3) Protecting their product. Preventing overclocking on more boards.
4) Trying to make more money. People will be pushed to buy higher priced parts to ensure performance.
This is what is very likely going on.
Posted on Reply
#4
EarthDog
lexluthermiester said:
This is what is very likely going on.
You think so?

1. TDP is a given value and all. So, no. Period.
2. This has absolutely nothing to do with overclockers... do tell how these are associated...
3. What?????? What do motherboards have to do with this?????
4. What 2x????? Performance doesnt change...

Seriously... none of that makes any sense whatsoever. Wow.
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#5
lexluthermiester
EarthDog said:
You think so?

1. TDP is a given value and all. So, no. Period.
2. This has absolutely nothing to do with overclockers... do tell how these are associated...
3. What?????? What do motherboards have to do with this?????
4. What 2x????? Performance doesnt change...

Seriously... none of that makes any sense whatsoever. Wow.
Um, did you read the response I was quoting? Try again...
Posted on Reply
#6
EarthDog
I did.. and answered it one by one... with numbers. It was a response to both of you. I dont buy any of his four reasons. :)
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#7
JackOne
It is funny that some people will always defend certain companies (Intel in this case) no matter what they're doing.

Again: hiding information intentionally - now, not always, they didn't do it before - isn't a good thing. It is not possible that this is a good thing, it means, they have to take precautions to not get into issues with people when they can't guarantee a certain clock on these locked CPUs - thus removing the information so they don't have to guarantee anything. It's called politics and happens everyday. This is basically technology politics. Some people will buy this i5 8400 and it will perform way slower than the golden sample in the reviews and then they're screwed. Especially when they don't recognise it. Basically what I said earlier. There's nothing good in hiding information, and no, I don't owe Intel anything. Nobody does. They want me / us to buy their stuff, so they have to give us the information we want, or we go and buy AMD, for example. We don't owe them anything, they have to deliver. Funny to think of the opposite even for a second.
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#8
londiste
JackOne, Intel has not been publishing that information for CPUs with more cores for a long while now. For desktop 7000-series, the tables showed up only in September, for 6/8-core s2011 CPUs the tables showed up for 5000-series in late September. There is nothing new here.

And again, Intel is not alone in this. AMD as the main competitor has never released these details. And in a the same way, they do have low baseclock models in the lineup. An example - Ryzen 7 1700 has base clock of 3 GHz. If I am wrong in this, please link to AMD documentation with a frequency table for Ryzen CPUs (I have been looking at some result discrepancies in reviews that seem to boil down to different clock speeds in some tests, so far I have been unable to find documentation about what the clock speeds are supposed to be).
Posted on Reply
#9
JackOne
londiste said:
JackOne, Intel has not been publishing that information for CPUs with more cores for a long while now. For desktop 7000-series, the tables showed up only in September, for 6/8-core s2011 CPUs the tables showed up for 5000-series in late September. There is nothing new here.
This isn't about AMD, and this is news. If it weren't news it obviously wouldn't be reported and debated everywhere. :roll:

Basically, using AMD to defend Intel, is what demasks you as a fanboy, aside from defending Intel anyway.
Posted on Reply
#10
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
JackOne said:
They want me / us to buy their stuff, so they have to give us the information we want, or we go and buy AMD, for example. We don't owe them anything, they have to deliver.
Actually Intel doesn't owe you or any of us anything other than a working product...and this lack of provided information does not affect the working product. If you or we don't like what they offer then we don't buy it.

This information about all cores boost isn't necessary. Indeed, and you may not remember the days, but it will bring back some of the sense of accomplishment of overclocking. It adds a bit of mystery to find out what each chip will do.
Posted on Reply
#11
dorsetknob
"YOUR RMA REQUEST IS CON-REFUSED"
rtwjunkie said:
Indeed, and you may not remember the days, but it will bring back some of the sense of accomplishment of overclocking. It adds a bit of mystery to find out what each chip will do.
Yes" like Before plug and play Bios" were Common :)
when you had to set dip Switches and jumpers to get FSB Speed and the CPU multiplier to set the CPU speed ( :) and your potential massive overclock
Posted on Reply
#12
JackOne
rtwjunkie said:
Actually Intel doesn't owe you or any of us anything other than a working product...and this lack of provided information does not affect the working product. If you or we don't like what they offer then we don't buy it.
Again, I don't understand why some people here are defending a company known for abusive and shady marketing tricks.

It does very well affect the working product, this is what its all about. If I know the i5 8400 won't boost to 3800 MHz, but instead, depending on quality of the CPU or ASIC, just to 3400, I simply wouldn't buy it. And I wouldn't buy such a shitty locked CPU anyway. I find locked CPUs a nonsense in general. They are made to force us to buy more expensive CPUs just to get unlocked ones. AMD isn't doing that. Intel is doing it, and now they are also effectively lying about Turbo Boost as well.
This information about all cores boost isn't necessary. Indeed, and you may not remember the days, but it will bring back some of the sense of accomplishment of overclocking. It adds a bit of mystery to find out what each chip will do.
I remember those days but this isn't about that. The i5 8400 is locked, no funny dip switches, nothing.

The information is very necessary, it's necessary enough for multiple news on web pages and thousands of posts on the net. The i5 8400 is working great in reviews because of cherry picked examples sent to reviewers from Intel, but the average CPU won't be that great and not boost to 3800 MHz which greatly decreases its performance. I'm also pretty tired of repeating myself to deaf ears.
Posted on Reply
#13
londiste
JackOne said:
This isn't about AMD, and this is news. If it weren't news it obviously wouldn't be reported and debated everywhere. :roll:
Plenty of things that are not news are reported and debated.
In that sector (mass-market desktop processors) there are only two players - AMD and Intel. There are no other companies to try and determine what is industry standard practice on clock speeds. Trying to understand if Intel is doing something weird here should be part of the debate.
JackOne said:
The i5 8400 is working great in reviews because of cherry picked examples sent to reviewers from Intel, but the average CPU won't be that great and not boost to 3800 MHz which greatly decreases its performance. I'm also pretty tired of repeating myself to deaf ears.
Any reliable source for that beyond simple suspicions?
Posted on Reply
#14
EarthDog
JackOne said:
Again, I don't understand why some people here are defending a company known for abusive and shady marketing tricks.

It does very well affect the working product, this is what its all about. If I know the i5 8400 won't boost to 3800 MHz, but instead, depending on quality of the CPU or ASIC, just to 3400, I simply wouldn't buy it. And I wouldn't buy such a shitty locked CPU anyway. I find locked CPUs a nonsense in general. They are made to force us to buy more expensive CPUs just to get unlocked ones. AMD isn't doing that. Intel is doing it, and now they are also effectively lying about Turbo Boost as well.

I remember those days but this isn't about that. The i5 8400 is locked, no funny dip switches, nothing.

The information is very necessary, it's necessary enough for multiple news on web pages and thousands of posts on the net. The i5 8400 is working great in reviews because of cherry picked examples sent to reviewers from Intel, but the average CPU won't be that great and not boost to 3800 MHz which greatly decreases its performance. I'm also pretty tired of repeating myself to deaf ears.
Speculative at best... all of this.

Again, all they said was they are not listing the spec. Turbo boost still works the EXACT SAME WAY and will vary on the external factors intel setup like temperatures and power. Anything else outside of that is reading between the lines and is meritless.



Amazing what people read and take away from the same exact information then purport to be the truth...
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