Monday, June 25th 2018

Intel Shelves Z390 Express As We Knew It, Could Re-brand Z370 as Z390

Intel is rumored to have shelved the iteration of its upcoming Z390 Express chipset as earlier publicized, the one which had certain new hardware features. It could now re-brand the existing Z370 Express as Z390 Express and probably bolster its reference design with heftier CPU VRM specifications, to cope better with its upcoming 8-core LGA1151 processors. The Z370 Express is similar in feature-set to the brink of being identical to its predecessor, the Z270 Express. This move could impact certain new hardware features that were on the anvil, such as significantly more USB 3.1 gen 2/gen1 ports directly from the PCH, integrated WiFi MAC, and Intel SmartSound technology, which borrowed certain concepts from edge-computing to implement native speech-to-text conversion directly on the chipset, for improved voice control latency and reduced CPU overhead.

The reasons behind this move could be a combination of last-minute cost-benefit analyses by Intel's bean-counters, and having to mass-produce Z390 Express on the busier-than-expected 14 nm silicon fabrication node, as opposed to current 300-series chipsets being built on the 22 nm node that's nearing the end of its life-cycle. Intel probably needed the switch to 14 nm for the significant increases in transistor-counts arising from the additional USB controllers, the WiFi MAC, and the SmartSound logic. Intel probably doesn't have the vacant 14 nm node capacity needed to mass-produce the Z390 yet, as its transition to future processes such as 10 nm and 7 nm are still saddled with setbacks and delays; and redesigning the Z390 (as we knew it) on 22 nm may have emerged unfeasible (i.e. the chip may have ended up too big and/or too hot). The Z390 Express chipset block-diagram, which we published in our older article has been quietly removed from Intel's website. It's also rumored that this move could force AMD to rethink its plans to launch its Z490 socket AM4 chipset.
Source: Benchlife.info
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46 Comments on Intel Shelves Z390 Express As We Knew It, Could Re-brand Z370 as Z390

#1
Caring1
Once again on AMD's coat tails, following them.
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#2
stimpy88
Intel seem to be lost, and out of control.

If you don't give customers what they want, and can't be bothered to include much needed new features in to your own self-enforced CPU socket "upgrades", then maybe your customers won't be bothered to buy it...
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#3
Polo6RGTI_
MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon BIOS showing 8 core CPU is supported.
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#4
dj-electric
This is just a bi-product of waking up to a new reality. I'm fine with this. This means innovation will be taking a step forwards.
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#5
T1beriu
this move could force AMD to rethink its plans to launch its Z490 socket AM4 chipset.
About a month ago Steve from GamersNexus said he has info from inside AMD that Z490 was axed.
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#6
las
Intel needs to wake up. Get 10nm working or Zen 2 @ 7nm will cap tons of marketshare early next year. Fix the terrible TIM job in the process. Atleast on the K-models.

Intel should be very happy that current Ryzen is not able to OC much and general performance (especially in games) sometimes drop post OC, because turbo boosts higher than what all core OC is capable of (eg. 2700X hits 4.35 boost stock, but all-core OC is more like 4.1ish).

Hopefully Zen 2 hits 4.5 GHz+
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#7
stimpy88
T1beriu, post: 3861080, member: 164497"
About a month ago Steve from GamersNexus said he has info from inside AMD that Z490 was axed.
What a coincidence... Makes you wonder if Intel is pressuring AMD, and forcing them to slow down... Lots of backroom deals going on, methinks!
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#8
R-T-B
stimpy88, post: 3861086, member: 178509"
Makes you wonder if Intel is pressuring AMD, and forcing them to slow down...
What magic leverage are you picturing they have over AMD?

"You'd better slow down, or we'll release the megachip?" :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#9
First Strike
stimpy88, post: 3861086, member: 178509"
What a coincidence... Makes you wonder if Intel is pressuring AMD, and forcing them to slow down... Lots of backroom deals going on, methinks!
That is perhaps not the most brilliant theory I've ever heard. A much more likely explanation is that, Intel spied to know that AMD axed their X490, and in great relief, canceled their 14nm Z390, which had already been caught in a great production mess.
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#10
I No
R-T-B, post: 3861098, member: 41983"
What magic leverage are you picturing they have over AMD?

"You'd better slow down, or we'll release the megachip?" :laugh:
If Intel ever gets that 10nm process to work as intended AMD's in a for a bumpy ride. At this point the playing field is starting to level, let's just hope that AMD can keep up and not go into the comfort zone. Intel is far from irrelevant best to remember that, they have enough R&D budget to come up with something nice, it won't be this year though, the only thing that might be a saving grace would be the 8/16 SKU that's taping out.... if it tapes out this year .... this is from the consumer's POV. As for the other sectors, until the contracts run out Intel's gonna be fine, it's going to be fun to see what happens when said contracts are over.
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#11
Vya Domus
dj-electric, post: 3861075, member: 87186"
This is just a bi-product of waking up to a new reality. I'm fine with this. This means innovation will be taking a step forwards.
A childish battle for names instead of focusing on products ? That's certainly an interesting definition for innovation.

I No, post: 3861104, member: 165756"
If Intel ever gets that 10nm process to work as intended AMD's in a for a bumpy ride.
Not quite , AMD is certain to have 7nm products before Intel. In addition to that both nodes are fairly comparable , it's not like their process is some sort of holy grail.
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#12
dj-electric
Vya Domus, post: 3861106, member: 169281"
A childish battle for names instead of focusing on products ? That's certainly an interesting definition for innovation.
What i meant was that next time we should expect actual innovation, as plans for new features took a back sit.
Posted on Reply
#13
I No
Vya Domus, post: 3861106, member: 169281"
A childish battle for names instead of focusing on products ? That's certainly an interesting definition for innovation.



Not quite , AMD is certain to have 7nm products before Intel. In addition to that both nodes are fairly comparable , it's not like their process is some sort of holy grail.
It's more dense than TSMC's node, that would be one, and the major advantage would be that the process is in-house. Then again nothing is stopping them from using TSMC's fabs anyway, they used to do it with the ATOM chips. Even a refresh of the 8th gen on 10 mn would prove to be competitive in lieu of developing a new arch.
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#14
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Intel is holding a lot of cards but none of them add up to a winning score. Chipzilla knew years ago that 10nm had problems. If they were smart (and how could they not be?), they would have put plans in motion for plan B (e.g. silicon-germanium). I think they'll eventually pull a rabbit out of their hat like AMD did. I just don't know when.


I No, post: 3861111, member: 165756"
It's more dense than TSMC's node, that would be one, and the major advantage would be that the process is in-house. Then again nothing is stopping them from using TSMC's fabs anyway, they used to do it with the ATOM chips. Even a refresh of the 8th gen on 10 mn would prove to be competitive in lieu of developing a new arch.
TSMC doesn't have the capacity.
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#15
Vya Domus
I No, post: 3861111, member: 165756"
Even a refresh of the 8th gen on 10 mn would prove to be competitive in lieu of developing a new arch.
Competitive or not , by the look of things it will be late. Intel doesn't seem to have a back up plan for when they don't have a leading node anymore.
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#16
Bones
Vya Domus, post: 3861125, member: 169281"
Competitive or not , by the look of things it will be late. Intel doesn't seem to have a back up plan for when they don't have a leading node anymore.
What's kinda crazy about it all is the guy (Keller) that made Ryzen work is currently employed by Intel working on things and Intel ATM is a mess.
As long as Intel will pay him enough he'll stay and do his thing BUT I'm also sure in the end he will have a say - His credentials alone give him leverage to have it.

However it's also been said before the guy is more of a mercenary than anything, he goes where the money is.
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#17
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
He's a freelancer because corporations don't want microarchitectures from scratch year after year after year. They iterate on established microarchitectures before pursuing a new one. Keller has no interest in that process.

That said, Keller is apparently senior vice president at Intel which is a cushy executive job, not engineering.
Posted on Reply
#18
I No
Funny thing is that Intel's 7nm is still on track. It would be funny if they decide to skip the 10, even though they would need to play second for another couple of years or so. But then again time will tell...
Posted on Reply
#19
Vya Domus
Bones, post: 3861130, member: 144474"
What's kinda crazy about it all is the guy (Keller) that made Ryzen work is currently employed by Intel working on things and Intel ATM is a mess.
As long as Intel will pay him enough he'll stay and do his thing BUT I'm also sure in the end he will have a say - His credentials alone give him leverage to have it.
If they would have had a new architecture they would have at least announced/leaked it by now in order to calm down investors and such.
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#20
jabbadap
Unlikely. Z390 is just existing Q370 with OC capabilities turned on. Maybe they are confused after seeing eight core cpu running on z370. So I don't buy that rename bit at all. It might be cancelled altogether rather than rename kaby point chipset to z390.
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#21
bug
Since it was a slight update to Z170, I doubt anyone will miss this.
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#22
erixx
Dull panorama...
Somewhat off topic: how well did I do ordering an X299 yesterday to bring some excitement to my basement matrix :)
Posted on Reply
#23
las
Vya Domus, post: 3861125, member: 169281"
Competitive or not , by the look of things it will be late. Intel doesn't seem to have a back up plan for when they don't have a leading node anymore.
From what I'm reading and watching on YouTube, it sounds like Intel's 10nm is more advanced than TSMC 7nm.
Intel 14nm is also more advanced than GloFo 12nm.

Marketing "nm" I guess...
Posted on Reply
#24
bug
las, post: 3861201, member: 111974"
From what I'm reading and watching on YouTube, it sounds like Intel's 10nm is more advanced than TSMC 7nm.
Intel 14nm is also more advanced than GloFo 12nm.

Marketing "nm" I guess...
Yeah, it's getting increasingly more complicate to compare. And yet, as Hector Ruiz himself once said: "customers aren't buying nanometers".
Does anyone remember today how Vega was supposed to draw less power because it was built on 14nm (as opposed to Pascal's 16nm)? We can never infer anything meaningful from these numbers, yet somehow we keep trying...
Posted on Reply
#25
las
bug, post: 3861208, member: 157434"
Yeah, it's getting increasingly more complicate to compare. And yet, as Hector Ruiz himself once said: "customers aren't buying nanometers".
Does anyone remember today how Vega was supposed to draw less power because it was built on 14nm (as opposed to Pascal's 16nm)? We can never infer anything meaningful from these number, yet somehow we keep trying...
You are right. Maybe we should not care that much about nm..
Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge.. 32nm to 22nm.. Didn't change much either..
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