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Intel Mobility Xe GPUs to Feature Up to Twice the Performance of Previous iGPUs

Intel at the Intel Developer Conference 'IDC' 2019 in Tokyo revealed their performance projections for mobility Xe GPUs, which will supersede their current consumer-bound UHD620 graphics under the Gen 11 architecture. The company is being vocal in that they can achieve an up to 2x performance uplift over their previous generation - but that will likely only take place in specific scenarios, and not as a rule of thumb. Just looking at Intel's own performance comparison graphics goes to show that we're mostly looking at between 50% and 70% performance improvements in popular eSports titles, which are, really, representative of most of the gaming market nowadays.

The objective is to reach above 60 FPS in the most popular eSports titles, something that Gen 11 GPUs didn't manage with their overall IPC and dedicated die-area. We've known for some time that Intel's Xe (as in, exponential) architecture will feature hardware-based raytracing, and the architecture is being developed for scalability that goes all the way from iGPUs to HPC platforms.

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 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 Designing Zen 4 for 2021, Zen 3 Completes Design Phase, out in 2020

AMD in its 2nd generation EPYC processor launch event announced that it has completed the design phase of its next-generation "Zen 3" CPU microarchitecture, and is currently working on its successor, the "Zen 4." AMD debuted its "Zen 2" microarchitecture with the client-segment 3rd generation Ryzen desktop processor family, it made its enterprise debut with the 2nd generation EPYC. This is the first x86 CPU microarchitecture designed for the 7 nanometer silicon fabrication process, and is being built on a 7 nm DUV (deep ultraviolet) node at TSMC. It brings about double-digit percentage IPC improvements over "Zen+."

The "Zen 3" microarchitecture is designed for the next big process technology change within 7 nm, EUV (extreme ultraviolet), which allows significant increases in transistor densities, and could facilitate big improvements in energy-efficiency that could be leveraged to increase clock-speeds and performance. It could also feature new ISA instruction-sets. With "Zen 3" passing design phase, AMD will work on prototyping and testing it. The first "Zen 3" products could debut in 2020. "Zen 4" is being designed for a different era.

2nd Gen AMD EPYC Processors Set New Standard for the Modern Datacenter

At a launch event today, AMD was joined by an expansive ecosystem of datacenter partners and customers to introduce the 2nd Generation AMD EPYC family of processors that deliver performance leadership across a broad number of enterprise, cloud and high-performance computing (HPC) workloads. 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors feature up to 64 "Zen 2" cores in leading-edge 7 nm process technology to deliver record-setting performance while helping reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) by up to 50% across numerous workloads. At the event, Google and Twitter announced new 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processor deployments and HPE and Lenovo announced immediate availability of new platforms.

"Today, we set a new standard for the modern datacenter with the launch of our 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors that deliver record-setting performance and significantly lower total cost of ownership across a broad set of workloads," said Dr. Lisa Su, president and CEO, AMD. "Adoption of our new leadership server processors is accelerating with multiple new enterprise, cloud and HPC customers choosing EPYC processors to meet their most demanding server computing needs."

AMD Reports Second Quarter 2019 Financial Results

AMD (NASDAQ:AMD) today announced revenue for the second quarter of 2019 of $1.53 billion, operating income of $59 million, net income of $35 million and diluted earnings per share of $0.03. On a non-GAAP basis, operating income was $111 million, net income was $92 million and diluted earnings per share was $0.08.

"I am pleased with our financial performance and execution in the quarter as we ramped production of three leadership 7nm product families," said Dr. Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO. "We have reached a significant inflection point for the company as our new Ryzen, Radeon and EPYC processors form the most competitive product portfolio in our history and are well positioned to drive significant growth in the second half of the year."

Intel Starts Shipping 10 nm Ice Lake CPUs to OEMs

During its second quarter earnings call, Intel announced that it has started shipping of 10th generation "Core" CPUs to OEMs. Making use of 10 nm lithography, the 10th generation of "Core" CPUs, codenamed Ice Lake, were qualified by OEMs earlier in 2019 in order to be integrated into future products. Ice Lake is on track for holiday season 2019, meaning that we can expect products on-shelves by the end of this year. That is exciting news as the 10th generation of Core CPUs is bringing some exciting micro-architectural improvements along with the long awaited and delayed Intel's 10nm manufacturing process node.

The new CPUs are supposed to get around 18% IPC improvement on average when looking at direct comparison to previous generation of Intel CPUs, while being clocked at same frequency. This time, even regular mobile/desktop parts will get AVX512 support, alongside VNNI and Cryptography ISA extensions that are supposed to bring additional security and performance for the ever increasing number of tasks, especially new ones like Neural Network processing. Core configurations will be ranging from dual core i3 to quad core i7, where we will see total of 11 models available.

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X Cinebench R15 Performance Spied

Market availability of the 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X may be far away, given its September 2019 launch, but engineering samples (ESes) of the chip seem to be already in circulation. "uzzi38" on Twitter posted this spy-shot of a 3950X ES making short work of Cinebench R15. CPU-Z recognizes the chip by its codename "Matisse," and puts out the correct CPU core and thread count, but doesn't give a name-string. It also recognizes the MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE motherboard this test is run on.

The purported Ryzen 9 3950X ES, overclocked to 5.42 GHz, scores a gargantuan 5,501 points in the multi-threaded benchmark. To put this number into perspective, at stock frequencies, a Ryzen Threadripper 2950X (same core-count, double the memory bus width), scores 3,645 points. The 3950X benefits from not just its massive overclock that's over 1 GHz higher than the stock TR-2950X, but also higher IPC, and a more consolidated memory interface. This feat goes to show that AMD's upcoming Ryzen chips love to overclock, and deliver a significantly higher single-thread performance over the previous generation.

Intel to Cut Prices of its Desktop Processors by 15% in Response to Ryzen 3000

Intel is embattled in the client-segment desktop processor business, with AMD's imminent launch of its 3rd generation Ryzen desktop processors. Intel's 9th generation Core processors may lose their competitiveness to AMD's offerings, and are expected to get relieved by the company's "Ice Lake" desktop processors only in 2020. Until then, Intel will market its processors through price-cuts, promotions, bundles, and focusing on their gaming prowess. The company will refresh its HEDT (high-end desktop) processor lineup some time in Q3-2019. According to Taiwan-based industry observer DigiTimes citing sources in the motherboard industry, Intel's immediate response to 3rd generation Ryzen will be a series of price-cuts to products in its client-segment DIY retail channel.

According to these sources, prices of 9th generation Core processors could be cut by a minimum of 10 percent, and a maximum of 15 percent, varying by SKUs. This could see prices of popular gaming/enthusiast SKUs such as the Core i9-9900K, the i7-9700K, and the i5-9600K, drop by anywhere between $25 to $75. AMD is launching the Ryzen 9 3900X to compete with the i9-9900K, the Ryzen 7 3800X to compete with the i7-9700K, and the Ryzen 5 3600X to take on the i5-9600K. The three SKUs, according to AMD's internal testing, match the Intel chips at gaming, and beat them at content-creation tasks. At the heart of 3rd generation Ryzen processors is AMD's new Zen 2 microarchitecture, which brings significant IPC gains. AMD is also increasing core-counts on its mainstream desktop platform with the introduction of the Ryzen 9 family of 12-core and 16-core processors in the AM4 package.

Intel "Ice Lake" IPC Best-Case a Massive 40% Uplift Over "Skylake," 18% on Average

Intel late-May made its first major disclosure of the per-core CPU performance gains achieved with its "Ice Lake" processor that packs "Sunny Cove" CPU cores. Averaged across a spectrum of benchmarks, Intel claims a best-case scenario IPC (instructions per clock) uplift of a massive 40 percent over "Skylake," and a mean uplift of 18 percent. The worst-case scenario sees its performance negligibly below that of "Skylake." Intel's IPC figures are derived entirely across synthetic benchmarks, which include SPEC 2016, SPEC 2017, SYSMark 2014 SE, WebXprt, and CineBench R15. The comparison to "Skylake" is relevant because Intel has been using essentially the same CPU core in the succeeding three generations that include "Kaby Lake" and "Coffee Lake."

A Chinese tech-forum member with access to an "Ice Lake" 6-core/12-thread sample put the chip through the CPU-Z internal benchmark (test module version 17.01). At a clock-speed of 3.60 GHz, the "Ice Lake" chip allegedly achieved a single-core score of 635 points. To put this number into perspective, a Ryzen 7 3800X "Matisse" supposedly needs to run at 4.70 GHz to match this score, and a Core i7-7700K "Kaby Lake" needs to run at 5.20 GHz. Desktop "Ice Lake" processors are unlikely to launch in 2019. The first "Ice Lake" processors are 4-core/8-thread chips designed for ultraportable notebook platforms, which come out in Q4-2019, and desktop "Ice Lake" parts are expected only in 2020.

AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT Confirmed to Feature 64 ROPs: Architecture Brief

AMD "Navi 10" is a very different GPU from the "Vega 10," or indeed the "Polaris 10." The GPU sees the introduction of the new RDNA graphics architecture, which is the first big graphics architecture change on an AMD GPU in nearly a decade. AMD had in 2011 released its Graphics CoreNext (GCN) architecture, and successive generations of GPUs since then, brought generational improvements to GCN, all the way up to "Vega." At the heart of RDNA is its brand new Compute Unit (CU), which AMD redesigned to increase IPC, or single-thread performance.

Before diving deeper, it's important to confirm two key specifications of the "Navi 10" GPU. The ROP count of the silicon is 64, double that of the "Polaris 10" silicon, and same as "Vega 10." The silicon has sixteen render-backends (RBs), these are quad-pumped, which work out to an ROP count of 64. AMD also confirmed that the chip has 160 TMUs. These TMUs are redesigned to feature 64-bit bi-linear filtering. The Radeon RX 5700 XT maxes out the silicon, while the RX 5700 disables four RDNA CUs, working out to 144 TMUs. The ROP count on the RX 5700 is unchanged at 64.

Intel Challenges AMD to Beat it in "Real World Gaming"

AMD is on the verge of launching its 3rd generation Ryzen "Matisse" processors that are widely expected to take the performance crown from Intel. At its Computex 2019 reveal, AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su claimed that these processors beat the competition in all areas, including gaming. Motherboard manufacturers threw their weight behind AMD by pulling out their most premium brands for the AMD "Valhalla" desktop platform that consists of these processors, mated with an AMD X570 chipset motherboard. Ahead of its E3 2019 keynote Monday afternoon, Intel has come out with a challenge. Chipzilla dares AMD to beat it in "real-world gaming."

At its "gaming performance for the real world" address in Los Angeles Jon Carvill, VP of marketing, challenged AMD to beat it in real world gaming with its upcoming processors. "So you're going to hear a lot about gaming CPUs this week," he began. "They may or may not come from certain three letter acronyms. That said, here's what I want to challenge you. I want to challenge you to challenge them. If they want this crown come beat us in in real world gaming, real world gaming should be the defining criteria that we use to assess the world's best gaming CPU. I challenge you to challenge anyone that wants to compete for this crown to come meet us in real world gaming. That's the measure that we're going to stand by."

Intel 10th Generation Core Case-badges Revealed

Intel laid rest to speculation that post 9th generation, it could replace its Core brand with something else. The 10th generation Core processors, built around the 10 nm "Ice Lake" microachitecture, will feature the first noteworthy IPC increments since "Skylake" thanks to their new "Sunny Cove" CPU cores. These will also feature DLBoost, a fixed-function matrix-multiplication hardware that speeds up deep-neural net building and training by 5x, as well as certain AVX-512 instructions. The cores will be optimized to cope with 2.4 Gbps 802.11ax Wi-Fi and faster Ethernet standards. The first of these chips will target mobile computing platforms, and will be quad-core parts like the dies pictured below. To save notebook PCB real-estate, Intel will put the processor and PCH dies into a multi-chip module. It will be quite a wait for the desktop implementation, but at least you know what their case-badges look like.

AMD Announces 3rd Generation Ryzen Desktop Processors

AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su at her 2019 Computex keynote address announced the 3rd generation Ryzen desktop processor family, which leverages the company's Zen 2 microarchitecture, and are built on the 7 nm silicon fabrication process at TSMC. Designed for the AM4 CPU socket, with backwards compatibility for older AMD 300-series and 400-series chipset motherboards, these processors are multi-chip modules of up to two 8-core "Zen 2" CPU chiplets, and a 14 nm I/O controller die that packs the dual-channel DDR4 memory controller and PCI-Express gen 4.0 root complex, along with some SoC connectivity. AMD claims an IPC increase of 15 percent over Zen 1, and higher clock speeds leveraging 7 nm, which add up to significantly higher performance over the current generation. AMD bolstered the core's FPU (floating-point unit), and doubled the cache sizes.

AMD unveiled three high-end SKUs for now, the $329 Ryzen 7 3700X, the $399 Ryzen 7 3800X, and the $499 Ryzen 9 3900X. The 3700X and 3800X are 8-core/16-thread parts with a single CPU chiplet. The 3700X is clocked at 3.60 GHz with 4.40 GHz maximum boost frequency, just 65 Watts TDP and will be beat Intel's Core i7-9700K both at gaming and productivity. The 3800X tops that with 3.90 GHz nominal, 4.50 GHz boost, 105W TDP, and beat the Core i9-9900K at gaming and productivity. AMD went a step further at launched the new Ryzen 9 brand with the 3900X, which is a 12-core/24-thread processor clocked at 3.80 GHz, which 4.60 boost, 72 MB of total cache, 105W TDP, and performance that not only beats the i9-9900K, but also the i9-9920X 12-core/24-thread HEDT processor despite two fewer memory channels. AMD focused on gaming performance with Zen 2, with wider FPU, improved branch prediction, and several micro-architectural improvements contributing to a per-core performance that's higher than Intel's. The processors go on sale on 7/7/2019.

AMD Zen 2 CPUs to Support Official JEDEC 3200 MHz Memory Speeds

An AMD-based system's most important performance pairing lies in the CPU and system RAM, as a million articles written ever since the introduction of AMD's first generation Ryzen CPUs have shown (remember the races for Samsung B-die based memory?). There are even tools that allow you to eke out the most performance out of your AMD system via fine memory overclocking and timings adjustment, which just goes to show the importance the enthusiast community derives from such tiny details that maximize your AMD Zen-based CPU performance. Now, notorious leaker @momomo_us has seemingly confirmed that AMD has worked wonders on its memory controller, achieving a base JEDEC 3200 MHz specification - up from the previously officially supported DDR4-2666 speeds in the first-gen Ryzen (updated to DDR4-2933 speeds on the 12 nm update).

Intel 10nm Ice Lake to Quantitatively Debut Within 2019

Intel put out interesting details about its upcoming 10 nanometer "Ice Lake" CPU microarchitecture rollout in its recent quarterly financial results call. The company has started qualification of its 10 nm "Ice Lake" processors. This involves sending engineering samples to OEMs, system integrators and other relevant industry partners, and getting the chips approved for their future product designs. The first implementation of "Ice Lake" will not be a desktop processor, but rather a low-power mobile SoC designed for ultraportables, codenamed "Ice Lake-U." This SoC packs a 4-core/8-thread CPU based on the "Sunny Cove" core design, and Gen11 GT2 integrated graphics with 64 execution units and nearly 1 TFLOP/s compute power. This SoC will also support WiFi 6 and LPDDR4X memory.

Intel CEO Bob Swan also remarked that the company has doubled its 10 nm yield expectations. "On the [10 nm] process technology front, our teams executed well in Q1 and our velocity is increasing," he said, adding "We remain on track to have volume client systems on shelves for the holiday selling season. And over the past four months, the organization drove a nearly 2X improvement in the rate at which 10nm products move through our factories." Intel is prioritizing enterprise over desktop, as "Ice Lake-U" will be followed by "Ice Lake-SP" Xeon rollout in 2020. There was no mention of desktop implementations such as "Ice Lake-S." Intel is rumored to be preparing a stopgap microarchitecture for the desktop platform to compete with AMD "Matisse" Zen 2 AM4 processors, codenamed "Comet Lake." This is essentially a Skylake 10-core die fabbed on existing 14 nm++ node. AMD in its CES keynote announced an achievement of per-core performance parity with Intel, so it could be interesting to see how Intel hopes 10 "Skylake" cores match up to 12-16 "Zen 2" cores.

AMD Zen3 to Leverage 7nm+ EUV For 20% Transistor Density Increase

AMD "Zen 3" microarchitecture could be designed for the enhanced 7 nm+ EUV (extreme ultraviolet) silicon fabrication node at TSMC, which promises a significant 20 percent increase in transistor densities compared to the 7 nm DUV (deep ultraviolet) node on which its "Zen 2" processors are being built. In addition, the node will also reduce power consumption by up to 10 percent at the same operational load. In a late-2018 interview, CTO Mark Papermaster stated AMD's design goal with "Zen 3" would be to prioritize energy-efficiency, and that it would present "modest" performance improvements (read: IPC improvements) over "Zen 2." AMD made it clear that it won't drag 7 nm DUV over more than one microarchitecture (Zen 2), and that "Zen 3" will debut in 2020 on 7 nm+ EUV.

Intel Unleashes 56-core Xeon "Cascade Lake" Processor to Preempt 64-core EPYC

Intel late Tuesday made a boat-load of enterprise-relevant product announcements, including the all important update to its Xeon Scalable enterprise processor product-stack, with the addition of the new 56-core Xeon Scalable "Cascade Lake" processor. This chip is believed to be Intel's first response to the upcoming AMD 7 nm EPYC "Rome" processor with 64 cores and a monolithic memory interface. The 56-core "Cascade Lake" is a multi-chip module (MCM) of two 28-core dies, each with a 6-channel DDR4 memory interface, totaling 12-channel for the package. Each of the two 28-core dies are built on the existing 14 nm++ silicon fabrication process, and the IPC of each of the 56 cores are largely unchanged since "Skylake." Intel however, has added several HPC and AI-relevant instruction-sets.

To begin with, Intel introduced DL Boost, which could be a fixed-function hardware matrix multiplier that accelerates building and training of AI deep-learning neural networks. Next up, are hardware mitigation against several speculative execution CPU security vulnerabilities that haunted the computing world since early-2018, including certain variants of "Spectre" and "Meltdown." A hardware fix presents lesser performance impact compared to a software fix in the form of a firmware patch. Intel has added support for Optane Persistent Memory, which is the company's grand vision for what succeeds volatile primary memory such as DRAM. Currently slower than DRAM but faster than SSDs, Optane Persistent Memory is non-volatile, and its contents can be made to survive power-outages. This allows sysadmins to power-down entire servers to scale down with workloads, without worrying about long wait times to restore uptime when waking up those servers. Among the CPU instruction-sets added include AVX-512 and AES-NI.

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.

Intel Unveils a Clean-slate CPU Core Architecture Codenamed "Sunny Cove"

Intel today unveiled its first clean-slate CPU core micro-architecture since "Nehalem," codenamed "Sunny Cove." Over the past decade, the 9-odd generations of Core processors were based on incrementally refined descendants of "Nehalem," running all the way down to "Coffee Lake." Intel now wants a clean-slate core design, much like AMD "Zen" is a clean-slate compared to "Stars" or to a large extent even "Bulldozer." This allows Intel to introduce significant gains in IPC (single-thread performance) over the current generation. Intel's IPC growth curve over the past three micro-architectures has remained flat, and only grew single-digit percentages over the generations prior.

It's important to note here, that "Sunny Cove" is the codename for the core design. Intel's earlier codenaming was all-encompassing, covering not just cores, but also uncore, and entire dies. It's up to Intel's future chip-designers to design dies with many of these cores, a future-generation iGPU such as Gen11, and a next-generation uncore that probably integrates PCIe gen 4.0 and DDR5 memory. Intel details "Sunny Cove" as far as mentioning IPC gains, a new ISA (new instruction sets and hardware capabilities, including AVX-512), and improved scalability (ability to increase core-counts without running into latency problems).

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.

AMD Zen 2 Offers a 13% IPC Gain over Zen+, 16% over Zen 1

AMD "Zen" CPU architecture brought the company back to competitive relevance in the processor market. It got an incremental update in the form of "Zen+" which saw the implementation of an improved 12 nm process, and improved multi-core boosting algorithm, along with improvements to the cache subsystem. AMD is banking on Zen 2 to not only add IPC (instructions per clock) improvements; but also a new round of core-count increases. Bits n Chips has information that Zen 2 is making significant IPC gains.

According to the Italian tech publication, we could expect Zen 2 IPC gains of 13 percent over Zen+, which in turn posted 2-5% IPC gains over the original Zen. Bits n Chips notes that these IPC gains were tested in scientific tasks, and not in gaming. There is no gaming performance data at the moment. AMD is expected to debut Zen 2 with its 2nd generation EPYC enterprise processors by the end of the year, built on the 7 nm silicon fabrication process. This roughly 16 percent IPC gain versus the original Zen, coupled with higher clocks, and possibly more cores, could complete the value proposition of 2nd gen EPYC. Zen 2-based client-segment products can be expected only in 2019.

Intel Core i5-9600K Surfaces on GeekBench Database

With the swanky Core i9-9900K and Core i7-9700K eight-core chips getting all the attention, the less glamorous Core i5-9600K is taking shape, which could bring a little more performance to the $250 price-point. This 6-core/6-thread chip succeeds the current-gen i5-8600K, and has the same 9 MB of L3 cache. With not much in the way of micro-architectural IPC improvements, barring silicon-level hardening against certain vulnerabilities, which could improve speculative execution performance (versus processors with software patches that inflict performance penalties); Intel has dialed up clock speeds. The chip is clocked at 3.70 GHz, with a maximum Turbo Boost frequency of 4.60 GHz, compared to the 3.60 GHz nominal and 4.30 GHz Turbo Boost frequencies of its predecessor.

The higher clocks seem to bring the i5-9600K a touch higher than the i5-8600K in terms of GeekBench scores, although still nowhere close to the i7-8700 (non-K). The i5-8600K, if you'll recall, beat some of its pricier previous-generation siblings such as the i7-7700, in multi-threaded tests. Someone with access to an i5-9600K put it through GeekBench 4. The chip scores 6,015 points in the single-core test or about 3.7 percent faster than its predecessor (the i5-8600K typically scores 5,800 points), coming from the 300 MHz higher single-core boost. The multi-core score is 23,393 points, which is a meager 2 percent faster (the i5-8600K typically scores around 23,000 points). The generational jump in performance for the mid-range hence seems to have stagnated. At best the i5-9600K will repair the uncertain price/performance equation the i5-8600K has against the AMD Ryzen 5 2600X.

Intel "Whiskey Lake-U" Core Processor Lineup Detailed

Intel is giving final touches to its 9th generation Core "Whiskey Lake-U" processors for Ultrabooks and other ULV platforms. Successors to 8th Gen "Kaby Lake Refresh" chips, these 15-Watt SoCs may not pack a newer microarchitecture in terms of IPC increases, but Intel is building them on the latest iteration of its 14 nm node, along with tweaks made to their Turbo Boost algorithm, which combined with higher boost clocks, should offer better performance than the previous generation.

The lineup begins with the Core i3-8145U, successor to the i3-8130U. This 2-core/4-thread chip is has a lower nominal clock at 2.10 GHz (vs. 2.20 GHz of its predecessor), but significantly higher boost clocks of 3.90 GHz (vs. 3.40 GHz of the i3-8130U). The Core i5-8265U and top-end i7-8565U are both 4-core/8-thread chips with a nominal clocks of 1.60 GHz and 1.80 GHz, respectively. The i5-8265U has a boost clock of 4.10 GHz and 6 MB of L3 cache; while the i7-8565U tops that with 4.70 GHz boost clocks, and 8 MB of L3 cache. All three chips have 15W TDP, configurable to 25W by applying the "high performance" power scheme.

Intel to Paper-launch 9th Gen Core on August 14, Availability in Q4-2018

Intel's client desktop processor lineup is under tremendous pressure owing to competition from AMD, with the company having to roll out entire processor generations over mere 2-3 quarters. You'll recount that Intel was merrily trotting around with its barely-innovative 7th Gen "Kaby Lake" family in early 2017, when AMD stunned the industry with an outperforming product lineup. The 7th generation barely lasted its planned product cycle, before Intel rushed in a pathetic sub-$500 Core X lineup, and the 8th generation "Coffee Lake" with 50-100% core-count increases. Even that is proving insufficient in the wake of 2nd generation AMD Ryzen "Pinnacle Ridge," and Intel is cutting short its product cycle with the 9th generation Core "Whiskey Lake" (or "Coffee Lake" Refresh) series, that further increase core-counts.

"Whiskey Lake" was originally planned for Q1-2019 alongside the 14 nm original Z390 chipset. Intel wasn't expecting AMD to rebound with Ryzen 2000 series (particularly the tangible IPC increases and improved multi-core boosting). And so, it decided to rush through with a new product generation yet again. The Z370 is being re-branded to Z390 (with an improved CPU VRM reference design), and what was originally meant to come out in Q1-2019, could come out by Q4-2018, at the very earliest by October. Intel reportedly planned availability sooner, but realized that distributors have heaps of unsold 8th generation Core inventory, and motherboard vendors aren't fully ready for the chip. Since getting a 9th gen Core chip doesn't warrant a new motherboard, customers would be inclined to pick up 9th generation chip with their existing boards, or any new 300-series board. This would kill the prospects of selling 8th generation Core CPUs.
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