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AMD Readying Commemorative 50th Anniversary Editions of Radeon VII, Ryzen 7 2700X

AMD is going to celebrate their 50th anniversary in a big way, with commemorative editions of both its highest performance GPU and CPU in the form of the Radeon VII and Ryzen 7 2700X, respectively. This isn't so surprising - after all, if partners are readying their own special editions, it would be amiss for the red team not to do the same. It's a time to lavish their lineup with something that marks the fifty years of the company's existence - alongside its bright (and not so bright) spots.

The Radeon VII will apparently bring the red up to 11, with a red-colored shroud and LED lighting - and apart from that, we simply don't know. It's speculated the Ryzen 7 2700X will be packaged in a prettier box, with increased core clocks to boot - perhaps through core binning and a higher maximum boost threshold. It would make sense for AMD to do the same on their own Radeon VII - celebrating a 50th anniversary with increased performance across the board seems an easy conclusion to come to. We'll just have to wait a few more days, though - apparently, the company will be introducing these products next week, come April 29th. If you want a piece of AMD's history, this could be your chance - albeit a limited one when it comes to actual production numbers for these limited edition GPU and CPU.

AMD Announces the Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC Series

At the Taiwan Embedded Forum, AMD announced the Ryzen embedded product family is growing with the new AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC. Building upon the success of the Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC, the AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC provides embedded customers with dual core, quad-threaded performance, as well as the ability to run fanless, low power solutions for 4K displays; while providing leading-edge security features. The AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 is perfect for applications in digital displays, high-performance edge computing, networking, thin clients and more.

Customers like Advantech, ASRock Industrial, IBASE, Netronome, Quixant and others are already working on Ryzen Embedded R1000-based products. As well, Atari© is using the high-performance Vega 3 graphics and 'Zen' CPU architecture in the AMD Ryzen Embedded R1000 SoC to power the upcoming Atari VCS game system.

Steam Hardware Survey Shows AMD's Continued Struggle to Gain Market Share

Steam's latest hardware survey has been released, and while there is no real head scratching changes, it does continue to give us a glimpse into current market trends. In regards to CPU adoption, both six-core and eight-core processors now account for 12.2% and 2.2% respectively. Looking at just Windows data shows six-core processors gained a bit over 2% market share in 3 months. Meanwhile, eight-core offerings saw a market share increase of roughly 0.5%. Speaking of processors, Intel still dominates the market capturing an 82% share. AMD, while competitive in many tasks besides gaming still only has an 18% share. Looking at the data would lead one to believe AMD is gaining back market share; however looking at previous hardware surveys their current share is mostly holding steady. Considering Intel still offers better gaming performance for the time being its unlikely AMD will make any real gains in the Steam hardware survey until gaming performance reaches true parity.

Looking at graphics cards, NVIDIA still reigns supreme holding the same 75% market share they have been clutching for quite some time. AMD, on the other hand, continues to struggle, holding a paltry 15% share with Intel and their integrated graphics still managing to hold a 10% share. Considering AMD's only release as of late was the Radeon VII it is not all that surprising to see no change here. That said, NVIDIA's dominance is indeed not a good thing as it means competition is minimal, and pricing is likely to remain high. Right now according to the Steam hardware survey, NVIDIA currently holds the first 12 spots in regards to today's most popular graphics cards, which combine for a 52.8% share. The most popular of these being the GTX 1060. You have to go all the way down to 13th place to find an AMD graphics card which just so happens to be the Radeon RX 580 with its 1.1% share. To find the next AMD graphics card you have to go all the way down to 19th where the companies Radeon R7 Graphics holds steady at 0.87%. Hopefully, AMD's upcoming Navi graphics architecture can bring them back to prominence and drive more competition.

AMD "Cato" SoCs Figure in Futuremark SystemInfo

AMD could be giving finishing touches to its new generation of embedded SoCs codenamed "Cato." The chips surfaced on screenshots of UL Benchmarks (Futuremark) SystemInfo, across three models: the RX-8125, the RX-8120, and the A9-9820. For the uninitiated, the RX series embedded processors are part of the company's Ryzen Embedded family. The RX-series are differentiated from the A-series either by microarchitecture, or lack of unlocked multipliers, or other features, such as integrated graphics.

"Cato" is shrouded in mystery. One possible explanation could be AMD manufacturing the existing "Raven Ridge" IP on its refined 12 nm process, and "Zen+" enhancements to its CPUs. SystemInfo reading 8 logical processors could be a case of a 4-core/8-thread CPU configuration with SMT enabled. Another theory pegs this to be a new silicon, based on new IP, and 8 CPU cores. This is less probable since AMD is less stingy with SMT across its product-stack, and is hence less likely to deprive an 8-core silicon of SMT. If the latter theory is true, then this could simply be a case of the SystemInfo module not correctly detecting the prototype chips.

EK Water Blocks Announces EK-Velocity sTR4 Water Block for 3rd Gen Threadripper

EK Water Blocks, the leading premium liquid cooling manufacturer, is releasing a new Quantum Line series EK-Velocity sTR4 water block lineup specifically designed for HEDT AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors. The cooling engine is utilizing a 3rd generation design with the cold plate covering the IHS of the AMD Ryzen Threadripper processor while the fin structure is covering the entire multi-die CPU layout. This brings further improvements to the cooling performance and heat transfer compared to previous generations.

The release of higher core count HEDT processors opened new opportunities and challenges for cooling solutions. The primary goal in designing the new EK-Velocity sTR4 water block was to completely redesign the cooling engine to achieve even better performance than the previous generations. A dense micro-fin structure counts 91 wide grooves to enable superb heat transfer.

Robust, Full-Metal Water Blocks - EK-Velocity WS and EK-VRM ASUS ROG Dominus Extreme

EK Water Blocks, the leading premium computer liquid cooling gear manufacturer, is releasing the EK-Velocity WS, a robust premium grade water block for narrow ILM LGA 3647 (Socket P) Intel processors, and the EK-VRM ASUS ROG Dominus Extreme, a VRM water block tailor-made for the ROG Dominus Extreme motherboard. Both are all metal water blocks with nickel plated copper cold plates and nickel plated brass tops. No compromise on quality, durability, and performance!

Without Silicon, Intel Scores First Exascale Computer Design Win for Xe Graphics - AURORA Supercomputer

This here is an interesting piece of tech news for sure, in that Intel has already scored a pretty massive design win for not one, but two upcoming products. Intel's "Future Xeon Scalable Processors" and the company's "Xe Compute Architecture" have been tapped by the U.S. Department of Energy for incorporation into the new AURORA Supercomputer - one that will deliver exascale performance. AURORA is to be developed in a partnership between Intel and Cray, using the later's Shasta systems and its "Slingshot" networking fabric. But these are not the only Intel elements in the supercomputer design: Intel's DC Optane persistent memory will also be employed (in an as-of-yet-unavailable version of it as well), making this a full win across the prow for Intel.

Spoiler Alert: New Security Vulnerability Found Affecting Intel CPUs

A new security vulnerability has been found that only affects Intel CPUs - AMD users need not concern regarding this issue. Dubbed Spoiler, the newfound security vulnerability was discovered by the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in partnership with the University of Lübeck, and affects all Intel CPUs since the introduction of their Core architecture. This vulnerability too affects Intel's speculative execution design, and according to the researchers, works independent of OS, virtual machine, or sandboxed environments.

As the researchers explain, Intel's speculative execution of certain memory workloads requires the full physical address bits for the information in memory to be known, which could allow for the full address to be available in user space - allowing for privilege escalation and other microarchitectural attacks. According to the researchers, a software solution to this problem is impossible, which means this is yet another silicon-level bug that needs to be addressed in future processor designs.

Coinhive Closing up Shop March 8th in Wake of Monero Forks, Crypto Crash

Remember Coinhive, one of the most negative faces of crypto currencies to ever grace the world wide web? The platform, which allowed for websites (or malicious players) to inject web pages' code with cryptocurrency mining algorithms that hijacked visitors' CPUs to mine the privacy-focused Monero cryptocurrency has announced they are shuttering their doors (and services) on the 8th of March. The company cites changes to Monero's rewards and has rates declines following some hard forks, as well as overall crypto market value being down, with Monero having deprecated some 85% since the website put its code up for grabs.

For companies and/or users that used Coinhive's code to mine Monero with other users' systems - usually, without their consent or knowledge - have until April to withdraw any earnings they have amassed. After that, it's all gone. It's quite obvious that this was only one of the first manifestations of wrongly-designed cryptomining, but then again, some users will always take advantage of these sorts of tools.

ASRock DeskMini 310 supports Intel 9th Gen Processors

The world leading motherboard and mini PC manufacturer - ASRock, announces DeskMini 310 supports Intel the latest 9th Generation Core series 65-watt LGA1151 processors. ASRock DeskMini 310 adopts with Intel H310 chipset, supports up to 32GB DDR4-2666MHz memory, dual 2.5-inch hard drive and one M.2 (2280) PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe SSD. ASRock provides various optional accessories of DeskMini 310, includes USB 2.0 cable, VESA mount kit, and Wi-Fi ac kit. With comprehensive accessories, DeskMini 310 can satisfy diverse demands from all users.

Asetek Unveils the 690LX-PN AIO Cooler for Intel Xeon W-3175X at $399

In time with Intel's launch of the new Xeon W-3175X 28-core workstation CPU today, Asetek has announced their first, and only to date, certified CPU cooler for the processor. The cooler, code-named 690LX-PN, is a closed loop liquid cooler developed in collaboration with Intel, and approved by the latter to be used with the 28-core behemoth that no doubt needs more ample cooling than most of Intel's desktop offerings. It is rated for a 500 W TDP, thanks to the use of a triple 120 m radiator (copper/brass instead of aluminium, for a change) with fans pre-installed, and their latest Gen6-s pump integrated with a copper cold plate.

The cold plate in question is fairly large relative to the pump, which indicates that the cooling engine itself is not necessarily optimized for the larger heatspreader on the CPU. The cooler is only compatible with this CPU platform, and is also the only cooler approved by Intel for the platform as of the time of this post. It is available for purchase on the Asetek web shop, and comes with a 2-year warranty.

AMD Re-structures Leadership Team; James Prior Leaves AMD

Let me be the first to say that the two may not be directly related, but it is an awfully strong coincidence that both pieces of news come out on the same day. Indeed, earlier in the day AMD put out a press release (full release past the break) announcing "multiple organizational changes focused on strengthening the company's senior leadership team and accelerating growth." Several familiar names have been promoted within the company to be in charge of more products and visions across their CPU and GPU business units. Mark Papermaster, for example, is now an executive VP as well as CTO of AMD, and the company has also hired in new talent, including industry veteran Sandeep Chennakeshu, as executive VP of "Computing and Graphics responsible for the company's high-performance PC, gaming and semi-custom businesses".

Perhaps all this re-structuring and new hiring comes in handy, at a time when we have seen several people leave AMD for Intel or otherwise. Indeed, shortly after that press release went out, word got to us that James Prior, Senior Product Manager for AMD, and an ardent employee for nearly 6 years, is no longer working for the company. We have no word yet on what is next for James, but it was more than a small surprise to know that the person you just spoke with at CES, and had a long conversation of AMD's desktop processors, is gone just like that. We have known James for many years now, and can attest to his work ethics as well as being a great guy all-round. We wish him the best in his future ventures, and look forward to also seeing how AMD's re-structuring turns out.

Bulldozer Core-Count Debate Comes Back to Haunt AMD

AMD in 2012 launched the FX-8150, the "world's first 8-core desktop processor," or so it says on the literal tin. AMD achieved its core-count of 8 with an unconventional CPU core design. Its 8 cores are arranged in four sets of two cores each, called "modules." Each core has its own independent integer unit and L1 data cache, while the two cores share a majority of their components - the core's front-end, a branch-predictor, a 64 KB L1 code cache, a 2 MB L2 cache, but most importantly, an FPU. There was much debate across tech forums on what constitutes a CPU core.

Multiprocessor-aware operating systems had to be tweaked on how to properly address a "Bulldozer" processor. Their schedulers would initially treat "Bulldozer" cores as fully independent (as conventional logic would dictate), until AMD noticed multi-threaded application performance bottlenecks. Eventually, Windows and various *nix kernels received updates to their schedulers to treat each module as a core, and each core as an SMT unit (a logical processor). The FX-8350 is a 4-core/8-thread processor in the eyes of Windows 10, for example. These updates improved the processors' performance but not before consumers started noticing that their operating systems weren't reporting the correct core-count. In 2015, a class-action lawsuit was filed against AMD for false marketing of FX-series processors. The wheels of that lawsuit are finally moving, after a 12-member Jury is set up to examine what constitutes a CPU core, and whether an AMD FX-8000 or FX-9000 series processor can qualify as an 8-core chip.

EKWB: The past can be the future with EK Classic

EK , the leading premium liquid cooling gear manufacturer, announces the global launch of their new Classic Product Line. It includes an NVIDIA RTX 2000 series GPU block, CPU blocks for both the most popular AMD and Intel platforms, and a pump-reservoir combo unit. Whether you only care about cooling performance, or just prefer the clean and timeless design of EK, the Classic Line will fulfill all your needs.

For users who want to experience the core essence of liquid cooling, the EK CLassic Line of products will offer excellent value regarding performance that is accompanied with simple and minimalistic looks. While designing and engineering the portfolio of the Classic Lineup, the performance of the products was not compromised at any moment.

Bitspower at CES 2019- New Blocks, Sensor Displays, Fans, and LN2 Cooling!

CES may have officially ended but our coverage from the trade show continues. Bitspower had invited TechPowerUp to come visit their suite, mentioning there would be something new and unexpected, and that indeed was the case. Our tour began with the customary showcase of the new GPU water blocks compatible with reference, and board partner designs, for the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 and relatively new AIC RTX 2070/80(Ti) cards as well. These feature integrated RGB lighting compatible with all major motherboard lighting solutions for control, and adopt the split central-inlet flow design as well.

Alphacool Shows Off Eisblock Flatboy 1U CPU Block and Updated NexXxoS V2 Radiators

To meet demands of the 1U server market and extreme enthusiasts Alphacool had on display their Eisblock Flatboy CPU block. While this latest solution is predominately targeted at servers with support for Intel's LGA3647 and LGA 2066 and AMD's TR4. That said, enthusiasts running a Threadripper system can also easily make use of the block as well. The only detailed specifications we have currently is that It measures in at 79 mm x 63.8 mm x 25.5 mm and offers multiple G1/4" connection options including 3x in and 5x out.

EKWB Releases Velocity D-RGB CPU Blocks with Addressable RGB Lighting

We took a detailed look at the EK-Velocity CPU waterblock recently, which was released in over 14 different combinations of top material (acetal, acrylic, nickel-plated brass), base plate (copper, nickel-plated copper), and even specific RGB and non-RGB versions. Part of their new "Quantum" design philosophy, today saw the addition of more versions to choose from. In particular, for those who felt having 24 RGB LEDs displaying the same color was not enough, EKWB has introduced two (each for Intel and AMD sockets) digital addressable RGB LED versions to allow for every single LED to shine a different hue.

As with the other RGB versions, these are compatible with ASUS Aura, MSI Mystic Light, Gigabyte/AORUS RGB Fusion, ASRock Polychrome Sync and other digital RGB controllers, thus allowing for a cohesive lighting ecosystem in your PC build. Everything else is similar, including the new cooling engine that offers lower restriction to coolant flow while not necessarily improving on thermal performance relative to the older EK-Supremacy EVO. The EK-Velocity D-RGB CPU block comes in a nickel/plexi or nickel/acetal version for Intel and AMD sockets and are priced at 99.90€ and 99.90€ respectively (inc. VAT in EU).

Intel 10nm "Ice Lake" to Combine "Sunny Cove" CPU Cores with Gen11 iGPU

Intel's upcoming "Ice Lake" die could be the company's biggest processor innovation in a decade, combining new clean-slate design "Sunny Cove" CPU cores, and a new integrated graphics solution based on the company's Gen11 architecture. "Sunny Cove" introduces significant IPC (single-thread performance) gains over "Coffee Lake," introduces new ISA instruction sets, including AVX-512; and a brand new uncore component; while the Gen11 graphics core is Intel's first iGPU to reach the 1 TFLOP/s mark. Intel demonstrated the ultra-low power "Ice Lake-U" SoC platform in its 2018 Architecture Day briefing.

This "Ice Lake-U" chip, with its TDP in the ballpark of 15 W, was shown ripping through 7-zip and "Tekken 7." With 7-zip, Intel was trying to demonstrate vector-AES and SHA-NI improving archive encryption performance by 75 percent over "Skylake." The Gen11 iGPU was shown providing a smoother gameplay than Skylake with Gen9, although the company neither mentioned resolution, nor frame-rates. Anandtech wagers it's above 30 fps.

Phanteks Introduces The New PH-TC12LS RGB CPU Cooler

Phanteks today announced the new PH-TC12LS RGB CPU Cooler. The already popular CPU cooler now gets a new illumination upgrade from the award-winning Halos RGB fan frame.

Phanteks' PH-TC12LS RGB is a low profile CPU cooler designed for cases that are limited in space and clearance. The PH-TC12LS RGB uses six C-type heat-pipes (6mm diameter) to deliver thermal conductivity more efficiently. Equipped with Phanteks' PH-F120MP fan, the PH-TC12LS RGB provides exceptional static pressure and airflow through the heatsink for better cooling performance. The PH-TC12LS RGB includes the Halos RGB fan frame to add ambient illumination to complement your system.

German Retailer Mindfactory.de Shows AMD Outselling Intel 2 to 1 in November

AMD seems to be picking up steam over Intel's previous sky-high dominance of the desktop CPU market (Intel still dominates aplenty, really; but AMD has been clawing back market percentage monthly). The latest figures from the German retailer show shoppers taking advantage of AMD's newfound competitiveness in the CPU space, with increasing sales momentum starting on June 2018 up to a staggering 69% total AMD units sold against Intel's 31% during the month of November.

AMD 8-core Ryzen APU to Power Sony Playstation 5, Says the Rumor Mill

Sony's announcement of the Playstation team skipping E3 2019 took everyone by surprise aside from a few on Reddit who had paid attention to a thread created the day before. Reddit user RuthenicCookie seemed to know a lot more about Sony's plans for their popular game console for the next few years, as well as game titles supporting this current console generation and the next. Amidst a lot of the tasty rumor bits that should interest console gamers, something more relevant to us directly is the mention of the Playstation 5 to continue using AMD for processing power.

This is a logical move to just about everyone familiar with the industry, and Sony needed to up the CPU horsepower in particular to compete with the XBOX One X and offer a true 4K/60 FPS solution for gaming without framerate drops galore. As such, said redditor shared information saying that the current plans involve an 8-core Ryzen-based processor and an estimated console price point of $500. Sony may well share a teaser about the console next year, with retail availability expected in the holiday season 2020 (two years from now, thus). As such, developer kits are likely already ready meaning the specs are finalized as well. This may mean we will see either the first or second gen Ryzen APUs, and not Ryzen 2 as many may have hoped. No word yet on what Microsoft is cooking in their side of the kitchen, but incremental console updates means we may see a Ryzen 2-powered console sooner than later as well.

CPU Shortages Will Continue Into the Second Quarter of 2019 According to Asustek CEO

A few weeks ago we talked about Intel problems in the production chain. The semiconductor giant was facing a shortage of 14 nm CPUs probably due to Intel allocating volumes from the same 14 nm++ node for its upcoming 9th Generation Core processors. That caused a clear rise in the prices of processors like the Core i7-8700K, which had a launch price of $359 and was hard to find for less than $400 a month ago. Prices have relaxed since then, but are still higher than their launch ones.

Intel's processor shortage could continue in the coming months, and in fact Jerry Shen, CEO of Asustek Computer, explained how the problem will continue until at least the second quarter of 2019. In his words, "the continued CPU supply crunch, escalating US-China trade disputes, and increasing competition in the notebook segment in Europe have pressed down Asustek's "operational visibility" for the fourth quarter of 2018 to the lowest level of 20% compared to an over 50% seen in previous years".

AMD "Zen 2" IPC 29 Percent Higher than "Zen"

AMD reportedly put out its IPC (instructions per clock) performance guidance for its upcoming "Zen 2" micro-architecture in a version of its Next Horizon investor meeting, and the numbers are staggering. The next-generation CPU architecture provides a massive 29 percent IPC uplift over the original "Zen" architecture. While not developed for the enterprise segment, the stopgap "Zen+" architecture brought about 3-5 percent IPC uplifts over "Zen" on the backs of faster on-die caches and improved Precision Boost algorithms. "Zen 2" is being developed for the 7 nm silicon fabrication process, and on the "Rome" MCM, is part of the 8-core chiplets that aren't subdivided into CCX (8 cores per CCX).

According to Expreview, AMD conducted DKERN + RSA test for integer and floating point units, to arrive at a performance index of 4.53, compared to 3.5 of first-generation Zen, which is a 29.4 percent IPC uplift (loosely interchangeable with single-core performance). "Zen 2" goes a step beyond "Zen+," with its designers turning their attention to critical components that contribute significantly toward IPC - the core's front-end, and the number-crunching machinery, FPU. The front-end of "Zen" and "Zen+" cores are believed to be refinements of previous-generation architectures such as "Excavator." Zen 2 gets a brand-new front-end that's better optimized to distribute and collect workloads between the various on-die components of the core. The number-crunching machinery gets bolstered by 256-bit FPUs, and generally wider execution pipelines and windows. These come together yielding the IPC uplift. "Zen 2" will get its first commercial outing with AMD's 2nd generation EPYC "Rome" 64-core enterprise processors.

Update Nov 14: AMD has issued the following statement regarding these claims.
As we demonstrated at our Next Horizon event last week, our next-generation AMD EPYC server processor based on the new 'Zen 2' core delivers significant performance improvements as a result of both architectural advances and 7nm process technology. Some news media interpreted a 'Zen 2' comment in the press release footnotes to be a specific IPC uplift claim. The data in the footnote represented the performance improvement in a microbenchmark for a specific financial services workload which benefits from both integer and floating point performance improvements and is not intended to quantify the IPC increase a user should expect to see across a wide range of applications. We will provide additional details on 'Zen 2' IPC improvements, and more importantly how the combination of our next-generation architecture and advanced 7nm process technology deliver more performance per socket, when the products launch.

Intel Announces "Forward-Looking" Architecture Event to be Held December 11th

Intel today announced to press that they've scheduled an event for December 11th. The scheduled event should take the form of a small gathering of both Intel and press professionals, where Intel will be giving insights into its thought process and technologies with some in-depth presentations for technicians and engineers from the blue giant. Intel has become more and more secluded when it comes to the workings and architecture details of its technology advances, with the company even going so far as to cancel the (previously annual) Intel Developer Forums.

The event is apparently focusing on "architecture" considerations for future Intel products, so information shared could be strung with NDAs, and could fall under any product family Intel is working on (CPU, GPU, FPGA, AI...). We'll see what Intel has to share, and what kind of details (or watercolor ideas) can be painted on any future Intel products.

Intel Announces Cascade Lake Advanced Performance and Xeon E-2100

Intel today announced two new members of its Intel Xeon processor portfolio: Cascade Lake advanced performance (expected to be released the first half of 2019) and the Intel Xeon E-2100 processor for entry-level servers (general availability today). These two new product families build upon Intel's foundation of 20 years of Intel Xeon platform leadership and give customers even more flexibility to pick the right solution for their needs.

"We remain highly focused on delivering a wide range of workload-optimized solutions that best meet our customers' system requirements. The addition of Cascade Lake advanced performance CPUs and Xeon E-2100 processors to our Intel Xeon processor lineup once again demonstrates our commitment to delivering performance-optimized solutions to a wide range of customers," said Lisa Spelman, Intel vice president and general manager of Intel Xeon products and data center marketing.
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