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Intel Clover Trail-based Systems Won't Receive Creators Update - Ever

We recently covered how users with systems powered by Intel's Clover Trail CPUs were having issues with a "Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC" error when trying to update their machines to Microsoft's latest Windows 10 Creators Update. The systems in question - built around Intel's Clover Trail Atom processors - are generally low-cost, low-power machines (mainly 2-in-1) released between 2012 and 2015 under Windows 8 and 8.1. These systems were deemed ready to receive Windows 10; however, now it looks as if they won't ever be able to support it.

In our last piece, we wondered if this problem was only temporary; now it seems it's permanent. Microsoft has however announced that Clover Trail-based systems will still receive security updates (just not feature updates) until 2023. The issue seems to lay with Clover Trail's integrated GPU drivers; Clover Trail Atoms use GPU technology licensed from Imagination Technologies. Ars Technica's Peter Bright says that "Imagination appears unwilling, and Intel appears unable, to update the GPU drivers to meet the demands of the Creators Update. So systems built with such hardware will never be upgradable beyond the Anniversary Update."

Benchmarks Find Intel Core i7-7700K Better Than i7-7800X for Gaming

Over at Techspot, Steven Walton managed to get a hold of Intel's new six-core, 12-thread Core i7-7800X CPU, and chose to take it for a spin over a levy of gaming benchmarks. The results don't bode particularly well for Intel's new top i7 offering, though: it is soundly beat by its smaller, svelter brother in virtually all gaming tasks.

Out-of-the-box results are somewhat in line with what we would expect: the Core i7-7700K does bring about a base clock increased by 700 MHz compared to the i7-7800X (4.2 GHz vs 3.5 GHz), and has a higher boost clock to boot (4.5 GHz vs 4 GHz.) And as we've seen over and over again, including with Intel rival AMD's Ryzen offerings, frequency usually trumps core count when it comes to performance when applications are exposed more than four cores. And this leads to Walton's results: the Core i7 7700K is still king in pure FPS terms, coming in with a much more attractive proposition than the 7800X in both minimum and maximum FPS, as well as power consumption.

Intel to Launch Multiple Six-core CPUs on Coffee Lake Architecture, i5 Lineup

In what could be a decisive response from Intel towards AMD's recent Ryzen success and core count democratization, reports are making the rounds that Intel is preparing for a shakedown of sorts of its i7 and i5 CPU line-up under the upcoming Coffee Lake architecture. We recently saw (and continue to see) AMD deliver much more interesting propositions than Intel in a pure power/performance/core ratio. And Intel seems to know that its lineup is in dire need of revision, if it wants to stop its market dominant position from bleeding too much.

A report from Canard PC claims that Intel will thoroughly revise its CPU lineup for the Coffee Lake architecture, with an i7-8700K six-core, 12-thread processor being the top offering. This 8700K is reported to deliver its 12 threads at a 3.7 GHz base clock, and a 95 W TDP. These are comparable to AMD's Ryzen 5 1600X processor, which ships with the same six cores and 12 threads under the same TDP, though it has 100 MHz less in base clock speed. However, AMD's Ryzen 5 1600X does retail for about $249 - and you can go even lower to Ryzen 5 1600's $219 - which probably won't happen with Intel's top of the line i7 offering. A slight mention towards the Ryzen 7's 95 W TDP - the same as this reported i7 8700K - even though it has 2 more physical cores, and 4 extra threads.

RMA Fraud on Amazon Targeting AMD Ryzen Buyers

Amazon inventory of AMD's Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 processors seem to be suffering from RMA fraud, if several reddit reports and a general article from WCCFtech are to be believed. The RMA fraud appears to consist of a scheme in which an unknown party has been buying up quantities of Ryzen 7 or 5 series CPUs, and RMAing them back to Amazon with a fake CPU inside. The fake CPU appears to be an older Intel-based LGA packaged model, ironically.

The RMA gets by because the heatspreader is relabeled with an authentic looking AMD Ryzen label, which is presumably enough to fool a very PC-knowledge limited Amazon RMA check-in employee. This means the product gets sold again as an open-box item, as usually happens with RMAs.

Intel Adds New Core CPUs to Its Desktop, Laptop Lineups

Intel has recently updated documentation on their available list of processors based on the 7th generation of the Core Family. These new Kaby Lake-based CPUs will further flesh-out Intel's offerings in both the desktop, laptop, and professional segments with new entries in the Core i3, Kaby Lake-U, and Xeon E3 lines of processors.

The new Core i3 processors make use of the S-0 stepping, instead of the B-0 stepping of previously-released processors. The additions are comprised of the i3-7340 (4.2 GHz, 4 MB cache, 51 W TDP); i3-7320T (3.6 GHz, 4MB cache, 35 W TDP); i3-7120 (4 GHz, 3 MB cache, 51 W TDP); and the i3-7120T (3.5 GHz, 3 MB cache, 35 W TDP.) On the laptop side of the equation, Intel is introducing four new processors: the Core i3-7007U (2 cores, 4 threads, 2.1 GHz, 3 MB cache); the Core i3-7110U (2 cores, 4 threads, 2.6 GHz, 3 MB cache); the Core i5-7210U (2 cores, 4 threads, 2.5 GHz base, 3.3 GHz Turbo, 3 MB cache); and the Core i7-7510U (2 cores, 4 threads, 2.7 GHz base, 3.7 GHz Turbo, 4 MB cache.) Lastly, Intel is adding the new E3-1285 v6 Xeon to its lineup. This one brings increased clock speeds (4.1 GHz base, 4.5 GHz Turbo) with Intel's HD P630 integrated graphics, increasing the TDP by 19 W ( to 91 W) compared to the already existing Xeon E3-1275 v6 - for a 300 MHz clock speed increase. This Xeon should be the new highest-end processor for the iMac, which should place its pricing above the $612 mark previously held by the Xeon E3-1280 v6.

Sources: Intel, via AnandTech

GIGABYTE Releases First Wave Of Products Based On Skylake Purley Architecture

GIGABYTE today announced its latest generation of servers based on Intel's Skylake Purley architecture. This new generation brings a wealth of new options in scalability - across compute, network and storage - to deliver solutions for any application, from the enterprise to the data center to HPC. (Jump ahead to system introductions).

This server series adopts Intel's new product family - officially named the 'Intel Xeon Scalable family' and utilizes its ability to meet the increasingly diverse requirements of the industry, from entry-level HPC to large scale clusters.. The major development in this platform is around the improved features and functionality at both the host and fabric levels. These enable performance improvements - both natively on chip and for future extensibility through compute, network and storage peripherals. In practical terms, these new CPUs will offer up to 28 cores, and 48 PCIe lanes per socket.

MIT, Stanford Partner Towards Making CPU-Memory BUSes Obsolete

Graphene has been hailed for some time now as the next natural successor to silicon, today's most used medium for semiconductor technology. However, even before such more exotic solutions to current semiconductor technology are employed (and we are still way off that future, at least when it comes to mass production), engineers and researchers seem to be increasing their focus in one specific part of computing: internal communication between components.

Typically, communication between a computer's Central Processing Unit (CPU) and a system's memory (usually DRAM) have occurred through a bus, which is essentially a communication highway between data stored in the DRAM, and the data that the CPU needs to process/has just finished processing. The fastest CPU and RAM is still only as fast as the bus, and recent workloads have been increasing the amount of data to be processed (and thus transferred) by orders of magnitude. As such, engineers have been trying to figure out ways of increasing communication speed between the CPU and the memory subsystem, as it is looking increasingly likely that the next bottlenecks in HPC will come not through lack of CPU speed or memory throughput, but from a bottleneck in communication between those two.

AMD Threadripper 1950X 16-core Appears on Geekbench and SiSoft Sandra

With AMD's Threadripper family just a few weeks away from launch, it appears we are already getting some preliminary benchmark results in via both Geekbench and SiSoft Sandra benchmarks. This latest set of leaks isn't the first bench of the flagship 1950X, but it is the newest and thus should give us a more accurate picture of present optimizations.

Interestingly, the single core performance dropped a bit on GeekBench, from 4216 to 4074. It made up for it in multi-threading however, where the chip posted a result of 26768, up from 24723. Sadly, these numbers still pale in comparison to the 10-core i9-7900X, in both single threaded and multi-threaded figures. As the 1950X ships with significantly lower clocks compared to the i9-7900X's clocks (with boost considered, anyway), I suppose it truly will come down to whether these CPUs can close the gap via overclocking, or optimizations towards launch and beyond. Either way, it seems there may be a bit of a hill to climb to get there. Whether or not it is surmountable remains to be seen.

Steam Survey Update: It's All About Quad-cores, NVIDIA and Windows 10

An update to the Steam survey results is always worth noting, especially with the added, tremendous growth Valve's online store service has seen recently. And it seems that in the Steam gaming world at least, quad-core CPUs, NVIDIA graphics cards, and Windows 10 reign supreme.

Windows 10 64-bit is the most used operating system, with 50.33% of the survey. That the second most used Windows OS is the steady, hallmark Windows 7 shouldn't come as a surprise, though it does have just 32.05% of the market now. OS X has a measly 2.95% of the grand total, while Linux comes in at an even lower 0.72%. While AMD processor submits may have increased in other software, it seems that at least in Steam, those numbers aren't reflected, since AMD's processor market share in the survey has decreased from 21.89% in February to just 19.01% as of June, even though the company's Ryzen line of CPUs has been selling like hotcakes. Quad-core CPUs are the most used at time of the survey, at 52.06%, while the next highest percentage is still the dual-core CPU, with 42.23%.

New DDR4 Record on AMD Ryzen Platform: DDR4-4079.2 MHz

A new DDR4 overclocking record was achieved by Australian overclocker "newlife", breathing new life towards Ryzen's memory frequency support. Don't just count your fireworks right now, though: while impressive the result came with some caveats in the form of the user's Ryzen 5 1400 CPU: it was down-locked to a paltry, performance-murdering 800 MHz.

After shipping with what could be considered by some as broken DDR4 memory support, AMD's Ryzen platform has in the meantime received the proper amount of care such a pivoting product for AMD should. A series of AGESA updates which improved AMD's performance in gaming, as well as DDR4 memory support have been under distribution since the platform's launch, and those updates have surely worked towards achieving this record today. The score was achieved with a single 8 GB G.Skill Trident Z E-die memory kit, which is usually rated for 3600 MHz frequencies (F4-3600C17-4GTZ), using 18-20-20-58-93-1 timings. This module was seated on a GIGABYTE AORUS AX370-Gaming K7 motherboard (F4 BIOS).

Source: HW Bot

Intel X299 Platform Called a "VRM Disaster" by Overclocker der8auer

It would seem Intel's X299 platform is already having some teething issues, with user "der8auer" of overclocking fame claiming the platform is essentially a complete "VRM disaster." In the video in which these claims are made, he levies the blame to both Intel and the motherboard manufacturers "50/50." For Intel's part, he blames them for the short product launch which was pulled in from August to June, giving the motherboard manufacturers in der8auer's words "almost zero time for developing proper products."

In the video, der8auer elaborates to basically claim a completely lack of consistency among the quality of VRMs and their heatsinks in various manufacturers. In his first test, he takes a CPU that is known to do 5.0 GHz and on a Gigabyte Aorus branded mainboard found himself unable to even hit 4.6 GHz with dangerously high VRM temperatures. He goes on to blame the heatsinks on the VRMs, going so far to call the Gigabyte solution more of a "heat insulation" device than a cooler, as a simple small fan over the bare VRM array did many magnitudes better than a simple standard install with the stock VRM cooler attached. After an MSI-branded board did similar, it became clear this was not an isolated issue.

It's Coffee Lake Again: Intel Six-Core Processor Surfaces on Geekbench

After rearing its head on SiSoft Sandra, it seems that an engineering sample of Intel's upcoming Coffee Lake CPUs has appeared again - this time on Geekbench. Coffee Lake is supposed to be Intel's version of a core-count democratization. It is expected that the company will introduce six-core CPUs to their i7 line of processors (since apparently the i9 moniker is now limited to the company's HEDT solutions). This should bring about a reshuffle of Intel's CPU line-up, though it remains to be seen how the company will go about that way.

Moving on to the actual Geekbench scores, Intel's 6-core, 12-thread CPU delivers a 4,619 single-core score, and a 20,828 multi-core score. This is more or less inline with AMD's Ryzen 5 1600X 6-core, 12-thread processor. However, AMD's solution is clocked higher than this particular engineering sample was (3.6 GHz on the Ryzen 5 vs 3.2 GHz on the Intel Coffee Lake sample, a 400 MHz difference.) This probably means that finalized Intel silicon with come with higher clocks, and therefore, a more commanding performance.

Source: Hot Hardware

Intel Coffee Lake Six-core Processor Rears its Head on SiSoftware Sandra

After the absence of some further details on Intel's upcoming Coffee Lake mainstream CPU architecture (which is understandable, really, considering how the X299 platform and accompanying processors are all the rage these days), some new details have emerged. Intel's Coffee Lake architecture will still be manufactured on the company's 14 nm process, but is supposedly the last redoubt of the process, with Intel advancing to a 10 nm design with subsequent Cannon Lake.

The part in question is a six-core processor, which appears identified as a Genuine Intel CPU 0000 (so, an engineering sample.) SiSoft Sandra identifies the processor as a Kaby Lake-S part, which is probably because Coffee Lake processors aren't yet supported. The details show us a 3.1 GHz base, and a 4.2 GHz boost clock, with a 256 Kb L2 cache per core and a total of 12 MB L3 (so, 2 MB per core, which is in-line with current Kaby Lake offerings.) The 6-core "Coffee Lake" silicon will be built on a highly-refined 14 nm node by Intel, with a die-size of 149 mm². Quad-core parts won't be carved out of this silicon by disabling two cores, but rather be built on a smaller 126 mm² die.

Source: Hot Hardware

AMD EPYC 7000 Series Details Leaked, Including Product Specifications and Clocks

A set of details on AMD's upcoming Naples platform's family of EPYC CPUs has leaked on the site, claiming that the top product, the EPYC 7601, will feature a turbo clock of no less than 3.2 GHz (base clocks are more moderate at around 2.2 GHz for the EPYC 7601), with a core count of 32 Zen units, and 64 threads. These clocks are pretty high for a 32-core CPU, and will probably be only for a handful of cores at a time. The EPYC 7601 is also a hot chip according to this leak, in both thermals and price. It costs over $4000 USD, and has a TDP of 180 Watts (not bad at all for a 32-core part, though!)

The rest of the lineup is detailed as well, but as this is a leak that is blatantly admitting to violating an NDA, it goes without saying this could be nothing more than a fabrication. Take it with your usual dose of healthy skepticism.

For the full details of the leak (including the rest of the expected lineup), you can view the source link below.


Linux Raspberry Pi Devices Being Infected by Cryptocoin "Mining Malware"

If you have your Raspberry Pi setup and have never changed the default password on the standard "pi" user, it's probably time to do so. A new malware has come out that exploits the simple fact several users apparently have never changed this password. Once it installs itself, it exploits the recent rise in value on cryptocurrency (Bitcoin recently topped $3000 per BTC) to mine cryptocoins for the authors benefit. This not only uses almost 100% of your poor Raspberry Pi's limited CPU, but also makes it part of a "mining botnet" that nets the controller money, adding insult to injury. The malware also makes an anonymous proxy on your box, which needless to say is probably not a good thing.

ASUS Showcases the First Ryzen Powered Laptop: The ROG STRIX GL702ZC

At Computex 2017, ASUS showcased the first Ryzen-powered laptop, which the company had already teased a while back. The STRIX brings to an end a period of lacking competition in the laptop space; before this, if you wanted a high-performance gaming (or even professional-grade) laptop, you went with one with an Intel processor inside, or not at all. AMD is back in the fold, and Ryzen was the one who rose to the challenge.

The ROG STRIX GL702ZC packs a Ryzen 7 1700 8-core, 16-thread CPU; the absence of an X there isn't a typo, considering AMD themselves say the company's XFR (eXtended Frequency Range) is meant to accelerate CPU speeds under the right thermal conditions (and headroom), which a laptop almost surely wouldn't have.) This is a full desktop CPU (and I stress, an 8-core, 16-thread one) running inside a laptop. And this laptop dresses itself fully in red, with the graphics workhorse being an RX 580. The RX 580 is a great 1080p card, so it will feel right at home on the ROG STRIX GL702ZC's 17.3", 1080p IPS panel with FreeSync support. Let's just hope this is the first in a wave of AMD-powered laptops. We'll be here to see what happens with Ryzen-based APUs closer to the end of the year.

New Details On Intel's Upcoming 10-core Skylake-X i9 7900X Surface

SiSoft Sandra is one of the best (and more common) sources for details on upcoming, as-of-yet-unreleased hardware details and characteristics. Now, details on one of Intel's upcoming Skylake-X parts have surfaced, which gives us some details on what are likely final specifications, considering how close we are to X299's accelerated release.

The processor in the spotlight is one of Intel's 10-core processors, the Core i9 7900X (which is erroneously reported by the software as the Core i7 7900X), Intel's 10-core CPU. While initial reports pegged this CPU at as running at clock speeds of 3.30 GHz base and with 4.30 GHz Turbo Boost, it would seem Intel's release silicon will leverage much higher stock speeds, with the reported values on this SiSoft report being a staggering 4.0 GHz base, and 4.5 GHz Turbo Boost. These are extremely high clock speeds for a ten-core part, but all the other details about the Core i9 7900X check out: there are 14,080 KB (13.75 MB) of shared L3 cache, 1 MB L2 cache per core (for a total of 10 MB), as well as a 175 W TDP. This difference in clock speeds (especially when you compare it to Ryzen's much lower clock speeds) are probably an indicator of not only architectural differences between both designs, but a statement on Intel's fabrication process capabilities. And as an added bonus, check the motherboard that was used: a juicy, as-of-yet-unknown, X299 Gigabyte AORUS Gaming 7. Two details of this magnitude in a single screenshot? It's clearly a case of having your cake and eating it too.

Source: Overclockers UA

CRYORIG Releases NZXT CAM Powered H7 Quad Lumi RGB Cooler

PC cooling and peripherals innovator CRYORIG announces their collaboration project with NZXT, the software controlled RGB LED H7 Quad Lumi will be releasing this June. The H7 Quad Lumi is based on CRYORIG's award winning H7, the H7 Quad Lumi features a total of four 6 mm high-end copper heatpipes, NZXT CAM Powered Lumi Lighting System as well as a new QF120 1.600 RPM LED fan. Co-developed with NZXT, CRYORIG has managed to add a built-in RGB LED controller directly into the H7 Quad Lumi. Running on NZXT's CAM, the H7 Quad Lumi can independently control the logo and base lighting of the heatsink through CAM software and smartphone app.

Intel's Upcoming Core i9 Skylake-X CPU Benchmarks Surface

It seems that Intel's accelerated released schedule for its upcoming HEDT platform is starting to slowly bear fruits, with many details leaking through the cracks almost non-stop during the last few days (and before you ask, yes, I did have more links to show you.)

These should be two of the top performing processors in Intel's line-up, and the i9 7900X (10-core) and 7920X (12-core) have been tested on integer and floating point calculations. The 10-core i9-7900X (3.1 GHz base frequency, no Turbo listed)) scores 107 points in single-core benchmarks, and 1467 points in the multi-core test. The 12-core, 2.9 GHz base frequency 7920X, however, scores a head-scratchingly-higher 130 points in the same single-threaded benchmark, despite carrying the same architecture at... hmm... lower clocks. Maybe this processor's Turbo is working as expected, up to 3.25 GHz (average), and that's the factor for the higher single-core performance?

AMD Ryzen 9 "Threadripper" Lineup Leaked

Today is an eventful day in the tech world, with two high-impact leaks already offering themselves up to our scrutiny. We had previously covered AMD's upcoming HEDT platform, based on the company's new X399 chipset, as having a quite distinctive lineup of processors, with not only 16 and 12-core offerings hot on foundries presses', but also some 14-core, 28-thread chips as well. Now, a leak has apparently revealed the entire Ryzen HEDT platform, whose processor marketing name, Ryzen 9, sounds really close to Intel's Core i9.

AMD's offerings look to offer an edge at least on core-count, with the Red team's top offerings, the Ryzen 9 1998X and Ryzen 9 1998, bringing in a game-changer 16 cores and 32 threads to the table. Perhaps even more importantly, we have to mention that the 1998X (these names, if true, are quite a mouthful, though) achieves a 3.5 GHz base, 3.9 GHz boost clock, which owes nothing to AMD's Ryzen 7 1800X consumer flagship CPUs. Rumors of AMD's frequency demise on higher core-count Ryzen CPUs have been greatly exaggerated, it would seem. And did I mention that these chips are coming with a TDP of 155 W - 5 W lower than Intel's purported 12-core, i9-7920X offering? Consider that for a moment.

Intel's Six-core, Coffee Lake CPUs Surface in SiSoftware

Intel's upcoming Coffee Lake architecture, which is now all but confirmed to have been pulled forward by the company in an attempt to staunch the bleeding incurred from AMD's recently launched, table-turning Ryzen processors, has reared its head in SiSoftware. In some benchmarks, what is identified as a 6-core, 6-thread CPU from Intel surface, with a clockspeed @ 3.5 GHz, 1.5 MB L2 cache (256 Kb per core) and 9 MB L3 cache. This L3 cache is quite puzzling, considering how Intel's Kaby Lake architecture features 2 MB of L3 cache per core. If Coffee Lake were to keep most of Kaby Lake's design - which it will - then this chip should feature something along the lines of 12 MB L3 cache. The reduced amount of cache seems to scream at a disabled chip, but this could also be a case of a reporting error.

Intel to Accelerate Basin Falls Unveil, Coffee Lake Launch

According to DigiTimes, sources among Taiwan-based PC vendors have indicated that Intel's upcoming Basin Falls platform, which includes Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X processors on a new X299 chipset, will be unveiled at Computex 2017 (May 30th, June 3rd), in Taipei - two months earlier than expected. This move comes accompanied by an accelerated launch of the Coffee Lake microarchitecture, which still uses the 14 nm process, to August 2017 from an initial January 2018 launch. If true, this is big in a number of ways - that Intel would bring forward a product launch 4 months has some interesting implications - or at least, confirmations.

Remember that Coffee Lake is supposed to carry an increased number of cores in its mainstream designs. And we all know how Intel's line-up has almost been torn apart by Ryzen's aggressive core and thread-count, with AMD offering more cores and threads than Intel at virtually all price-points. And even if an argument is made regarding Intel's better gaming performance, that's one scenario out of many. Future proofing, professional work, multimedia, all of these assert AMD's dominance in a pure price-performance ratio. I, for one, would gladly give up some FPS in some games and accept an increased number of cores than go the other way around (especially with AMD's platform support and the number of patches that have increased game performance on Ryzen CPUs.)

AMD Ryzen 12-Core, 24-Thread CPU Surges on SiSoftware Sandra

In an interesting report that would give some credence to reports of AMD's take on the HEDT market, it would seem that some Ryzen chips with 12 Cores and 24 Threads are making the rounds. Having an entire platform built for a single processor would have always been ludicrous; now, AMD seems to be readying a true competitor to Intel's X99 and its supposed successor, X299 (though AMD does have an advantage in naming, if its upcoming X399 platform really does ship with that naming scheme.)

AMD's Rumoured Upcoming 16-core Part to Reportedly Run at 3.1/3.6 GHz

Some rumors and whispers have been making the rounds lately, regarding a HEDT platform incoming from AMD. This platform (built upon a new X399 chipset planned exclusively for it) would use a cut-down version of the Naples-based server SP3 socket called SP3r2. SP3r2 and the new chip will reportedly offer quad channel memory support, pitting them directly in competition with Intel's HEDT lineup in terms of memory bandwidth.

Reportedly, engineering samples of the 180W 16-core Ryzen currently run at 3.1 GHz Base, 3.6 GHz Boost clocks, which leads towards performance in the level of two Ryzen 7 1700 chips. If the rumors are true and such a platform is in development, then we will surely hear of some more chips designed for it. Going through the trouble of creating a new chipset and platform for a single CPU model doesn't seem likely. Perhaps some 12-core and 20-core chips are lurking just below the surface?
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