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AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X a 24-core Chip the Range Starts With

With its 3rd generation Ryzen Threadripper "Castle Peak" HEDT processor family, AMD isn't bothering with 16-core models as the company's mainstream desktop socket AM4 platform already offers those many cores with the upcoming Ryzen 9 3950X. The lineup will begin with the Ryzen Threadripper 3960X, which is the 24-core/48-thread part. The model number "3950X" is already taken up by the 16-core socket AM4 chip. Confirmation of this came from an "Ashes of the Singularity" screenshot that references an "AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X 24-core Processor."

AMD's decision to start the lineup at 24 cores is interesting, as it looks to keep up its competitiveness against Intel, which recently launched its 10th generation "Cascade Lake-X" Core i9 HEDT processor series, with all parts priced under $1000, including the range-topping 18-core/36-thread one. It remains to be seen if the Threadripper 3960X can beat it while holding onto a sub-$1,000 price. The previous-generation 24-core 2970WX beat the i9-9980XE in some rendering and simulation tests that scaled with cores and which weren't too heavy on memory bandwidth. With its 3rd generation Threadripper series, AMD is eliminating a key memory bottleneck, giving each core on the chip an equal access to the processor's monolithic quad-channel memory interface.

Intel Marketing Tries to Link Stability to Turbo Boost

There is no correlation between CPU frequency boosting behavior and system stability. Intel today launched its "10th generation" Core X HEDT processors, with core-counts ranging between 10 to 18, priced between $590 and $978. Based on the 14 nm "Cascade Lake-X" silicon, these chips have the same exact IPC as "Skylake" circa 2015, but offer nearly double the number of cores to the Dollar compared to the 9th generation Core X series; and add a couple of useful instruction sets such as DLBoost, which accelerates DNN training/building; a few more AVX-512 instructions, and an updated Turbo Boost Max 3.0 algorithm. The chips offer clock-speed bumps over the previous generation.

Intel's main trade-call for these processors? Taking another stab at AMD for falling short on boost frequency in the hands of consumers. "The chip that hits frequency benchmarks as promised, our new #CoreX -series processor, provides a stable, high-performance platform for visual creators everywhere," reads the Intel tweet, as if to suggest that reaching the "promised" clock speed results in stability. AMD was confronted with alarming statistics of consumers whose 3rd generation Ryzen processors wouldn't reach their advertised boost frequencies. The company released an updated AGESA microcode that fixed this.

Intel 10th Gen Core X "Cascade Lake-X" Pricing and Specs Detailed

Ahead of their October 7th product launch and November availability, we have confirmation of the specifications and pricing of Intel's 10th generation Core X "Cascade Lake-X" HEDT processors in the LGA2066 package. These chips feature compatibility with existing socket LGA2066 motherboards with a UEFI BIOS update, although several motherboard manufacturers are launching new products with some of the latest connectivity options, such as 2.5 GbE wired Ethernet, and 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 WLAN.

The 10th generation Core X HEDT processor family is based on the new 14 nm++ "Cascade Lake" silicon, which comes with hardware fixes against several classes side-channel vulnerabilities, and introduces an updated instruction-set that includes more AVX-512 instructions, and the new DLBoost instruction. DLBoost leverages new fixed-function hardware on silicon to accelerate AI deep-learning neural-set building and training by up to 5 times. Intel's first wave of 10th gen Core X lineup is rather slim, with just four processor models. The company did away with the Core i7 brand extension, as core-counts in the mainstream desktop segment have already reached 8-core. The lineup now begins at 10-core/20-thread, with the chip's full 48-lane PCI-Express and 4-channel DDR4 interfaces enabled across the board. All models feature the "XE" brand extension, and feature unlocked base-clock multipliers.

Intel Cascade Lake-X Core i9-10980XE Put Through Its Paces in GeekBench

Intel's upcoming Extreme Edition Core i9-10980XE from the Cascade Lake-X family. Cascade Lake-X (CSL-X) will be Intel's next take on the High End Desktop (HEDT) systems. The Core i9-10980XE is pegged as the flagship on that lineup, sporting an 18-core, 36-thread design, and are still based on Intel's 14 nm process node. These processors will be pin-compatible with Intel's LGA 2066 platform. Caches are expected to be set at 1.125 MB, 18 MB and 24.75 MB of L1, L2 and L3.

Base clocks set in the Geekbench 4 entry are set at 4.1 GHz, with a maximum boost of 4.7 GHz. That's a lot of frequency on a 14 nm CPU with 18 cores; if previous entries on the Intel HEDT family (such as the i9-9980XE) sported a 165 W TDP with clocks of 3.0 GHz and 4.4 GHz respectively, it seems highly unlikely that Intel will keep the same TDP for the i9-10980XE - and even if they do, power consumption will certainly be higher. Those reported clocks for the i9-10980XE may not be right, however - we don't know the conditions of the test run.

AMD Confirms: Ryzen 9 3950X and Threadripper 3rd Generation Coming in November

AMD just released an update on their upcoming processor launches this year. First revealed at E3, just a few months ago, the Ryzen 9 3950X is the world's first processor to bring 16-cores and 32-threads to the consumer desktop space. The processor's boost clock is rated at "up to 4.7 GHz", which we might now actually see, thanks to an updated AGESA software that AMD released earlier this month. Base clock for this $749 processor is set at 3.5 GHz, and TDP is 105 W, with 72 MB cache. While AMD said "September" for Ryzen 9 3950X back at E3, it looks like the date got pushed back a little bit, to November, which really makes no difference, in the grand scheme of things.

The second big part of today's announcement is that AMD is indeed working on "Rome"-based third generation Threadripper processors (probably the industry's worst-kept secret), and that these CPUs will also be launching in November, right in time to preempt Intel from having any success with their upcoming Cascade Lake-X processors. Official information on AMD's new HEDT lineup is extremely sparse so far, but if we go by recent leaks, then we should expect new chipsets and up to 32-cores/64-threads.
AMD's full statement is quoted below.

Intel "Cascade Lake-X" HEDT CPU Lineup Starts at 10-core, Core i9-10900X Geekbenched

With its 10th generation Core X "Cascade Lake-X" HEDT processor series, Intel will not bother designing models with single-digit core-counts. The series is likely to start at 10 cores with the Core i9-10900X. This 10-core/20-thread processor features a quad-channel DDR4 memory interface, and comes with clock speeds of 3.70 GHz base, a 200 MHz speed-bump over the Core i9-9900X. The chip retains the mesh interconnect design and cache hierarchy of Intel's HEDT processors since "Skylake-X," with 1 MB of dedicated L2 cache per core, and 19.3 MB of shared L3 cache.

Geekbench tests run on the chip show it to perform roughly on par with the i9-9900X, with the 200 MHz speed-bump expected to marginally improve multi-threaded performance. Where the "Cascade Lake-X" silicon is expected to one-up "Skylake-X" is its support for DLBoost, an on-die fixed function hardware that multiplies matrices, improving AI DNN building and training; and pricing. Intel is expected to price its next-generation HEDT processors aggressively, to nearly double cores-per-Dollar.

Intel to Increase Cores-to-the-Dollar Across the Board with Cascade Lake-X?

Intel is preparing to increase core-counts across the board with its upcoming Core X "Cascade Lake-X" HEDT processor family, launching next month. The first indication of this comes from an Intel slide that claims a 1.74 to 2.09x increase in performance-per-Dollar over "Skylake-X." The "Cascade Lake" microarchitecture already made its debut in the enterprise market as Intel's 2nd generation Xeon Scalable processors, and its IPC is similar clock-to-clock, to its predecessor (Skylake).

If Intel is claiming such performance-per-Dollar increases, it only points to a significant increase in core counts to the Dollar (think 16-core at $999, 28-core at $1999, etc.). Adding value to these chips are certain new AI accelerating instruction sets, such as DLBoost, support for Optane DC Persistent Memory, increased memory clock-speeds, and higher CPU clocks across the board compared to the Core X 9000-series. The Core X "Cascade Lake-X" processor family debuts this October.

AMD 3rd Gen Threadripper Coming This October to Take on Intel's New HEDT Lineup?

AMD is planning to surprise Intel by unveiling its 3rd generation Ryzen Threadripper HEDT (high-end desktop) processor lineup around the same time Intel launches its 10th generation Core "Cascade Lake-X" processor and the "Glacial Falls" HEDT platform, according to sources in the motherboard industry, speaking with DigiTimes. We're fairly sure the sources aren't referring to AMD's 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X processor, because it has already been announced and will be available in September.

The 3rd generation Ryzen Threadripper will likely be a derivative of the company's "Rome" multi-chip module, and compatible with existing socket TR4 motherboards with a BIOS update, although a new chipset could also be launched to enable PCI-Express gen 4.0. AMD has the option to deploy up to 64 CPU cores across eight 7 nm "Zen 2" chiplets, while the 12 nm I/O controller die will be likely reconfigured for the HEDT platform with a monolithic 4-channel DDR4 memory interface and 64 PCIe gen 4.0 lanes. It's capable of 8 memory channels on the 2nd generation EPYC.

Intel "Comet Lake" Not Before 2020, "Ice Lake-S" Not Before Q3-2020, Roadmap Suggests

Earlier this week, news of Intel's 10th generation Core "Comet Lake" processors did rounds as the company's short-term response to AMD's 3rd generation Ryzen processors. According to slides leaked to the web by Hong Kong-based tech publication XFastest, "Comet Lake" isn't Intel's short-term reaction to "Zen 2," but rather all it has left to launch. These processors won't launch before 2020, the slide suggests, meaning that AMD will enjoy a free rein over the processor market until the turn of the year, including the all-important Holday shopping season.

More importantly, the slide suggests that "Comet Lake" will have a market presence spanning Q1 and Q2 2020, meaning that the 10 nm "Ice Lake" won't arrive on the desktop platform until at least Q3 2020. It's likely that the LGA1200 platform which debuts with "Comet Lake" will extend to "Ice Lake," so consumers aren't forced to buy a new motherboard within a span of six months. The platform diagram put out in another slide junks the idea of an on-package MCM of the processor and PCH dies (which was likely ripped off from the "Ice Lake-Y" MCM platform diagram).

Intel to Refresh its LGA2066 HEDT Platform This Summer?

Intel is rumored to refresh its high-end desktop (HEDT) platforms this Summer with new products based on the "Cascade Lake" microarchitecture. Intel now has two HEDT platforms, LGA2066 and LGA3647. The new "Cascade Lake-X" silicon will target the LGA2066 platform, and could see the light of the day by June, on the sidelines of Computex 2019. A higher core-count model with 6-channel memory, will be launched for the LGA3647 socket as early as April. So if you've very recently fronted $3,000 on a Xeon W-3175X, here's a bucket of remorse. Both chips will be built on existing 14 nm process, and will bring innovations such as Optane Persistent Memory support, Intel Deep Learning Boost (DLBOOST) extensions with VNNI instruction-set, and hardware mitigation against more variants of "Meltdown" and "Spectre."

Elsewhere in the industry, and sticking with Intel, we've known since November 2018 of the existence of "Comet Lake," which is a 10-core silicon for the LGA1151 platform, and which is yet another "Skylake" derivative built on existing 14 nm process. This chip is real, and will be Intel's last line of defense against AMD's first 7 nm "Zen 2" socket AM4 processors, with core-counts of 12-16.

Intel Readying 22-core LGA2066 and 8-core LGA1151 Processors

Intel is readying a refresh to its "Basin Falls" HEDT platform (LGA2066 client high-end desktop), with a new 22-core silicon. This part is neither Skylake HCC (20 tiles, up to 18 cores) nor Skylake XCC (30 tiles, up to 28 cores), but a new die with four more tiles than the Skylake HCC silicon, all of which are cores. The new silicon could let Intel design 20-core and 22-core SKUs for the X299 Express chipset, and is seen as a direct response to AMD's 24-core Ryzen Threadripper II processor, which was recently shown beating the 18-core i9-7980X in tech demos. The 32-core Threadripper II could face competition from the 28-core HEDT processor Intel is readying for Q4-2018, but that processor won't be compatible with LGA2066.

In related news, the company is giving finishing touches to a new 8-core "Coffee Lake" die for the mainstream-desktop platform (LGA1151 socket, 300-series chipset). This die features 8 cores, and likely 16 MB of shared L3 cache, while retaining the iGPU and uncore components from the existing Coffee Lake-S die. The chip could retain the classic "Ring Bus" design. The new 8-core mainstream-desktop SKUs, and at least two new high-end desktop SKUs (20-core and 22-core), could be launched in September 2018. The "Basin Falls" refresh, coupled with the new LGA3647 "Purley" derivative for the 28-core monstrosity, will be all Intel has to face AMD this year, with the company's next HEDT silicon, "Cascade Lake-X" being reportedly delayed to the second half of 2019, probably due to foundry problems.

Latest Intel Roadmap Slide Leaked, Next Core X is "Cascade Lake-X"

The latest version of Intel's desktop client-platform roadmap has been leaked to the web, which reveals timelines and names of the company's upcoming product lines. To begin with, it states that Intel will upgrade its Core X high-end desktop (HEDT) product line only in Q4-2018. The new Core X HEDT processors will be based on the "Cascade Lake-X" silicon. This is the first appearance of the "Cascade Lake" micro-architecture. Intel is probably looking to differentiate its Ringbus-based multi-core processors (eg: "Coffee Lake," "Kaby Lake") from ones that use Mesh Interconnect (eg: "Skylake-X"), so people don't compare the single-threaded / less-parallized application performance between the two blindly.

Next up, Intel is poised to launch its second wave of 6-core, 4-core, and 2-core "Coffee Lake" processors in Q1-2018, with no mentions of an 8-core mainstream-desktop processor joining the lineup any time in 2018. These processors will be accompanied by more 300-series chipsets, namely the H370 Express, B360 Express, and H310 Express. Q1-2018 also sees Intel update its low-power processor lineup, with the introduction of the new "Gemini Lake" silicon, with 4-core and 2-core SoCs under the Pentium Silver and Celeron brands.
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