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Intel Xe-HPG Arc Alchemist Graphics Card Alleged Pricing Points Towards $650-$825 Range

Intel's Arc Alchemist lineup of graphics cards, based on Xe-HPG GPU configuration, is nearing the launch. With the current situation with AMD and NVIDIA GPUs outputting graphics card prices over the default MSRP, we wonder how Intel would place pricing of its upcoming GPUs and fit inside the market. And today, we got the first round of speculations based on Intel's Arc Alchemist GPU giveaway called Xe-HPG Scavenger Hunt. There are two principal bundles: one worth $900 that includes Intel Arc merchandise, Xbox Game Pass PC for six months, Intel Premium Arc Alchemist graphics card, and one worth $700 that consists of three months of Xbox Game Pass PC, Intel Arc merchandise, and Intel Performance Arc Alchemist graphics card.

According to some preliminary calculations from Tom's Hardware, we assume that with the $900 bundle containing one Premium Arc Alchemist GPU and other prizes, the card will cost as much as $825 when all things get removed. Going down the ladder, Intel has paired a bundle worth $700 with a Performance Arc GPU, which is roughly worth $650 on its own. It indicates that the two Intel Performance and Premium Arch Alchemist graphics cards are respectfully worth $650 and $825. What will the final pricing look like? We don't know. However, we assume that it could be very similar to this. For more information we have to wait for the official launch.

Intel's Attempts at Acquiring SiFive Fail to Deliver, Company Now Seeks IPO

Back in June, SiFive, a company focusing on providing RISC-V-based IP solutions, received an offer for a takeover from Intel. With a value of over two billion dollars, the company's request was on the table to accept. However, according to the latest report from Bloomberg, SiFive declined an offer and aimed to get an initial public offering or get acquired by an even larger vendor. What made the company reject, you might question?

Well, according to sources familiar with the deal, Intel's offer of two billion USD was not enough, and it interrupted the company's ideologies of operation. SiFive management didn't like how Intel would integrate the company in its roadmaps and decided to stay independent. For now, the company is looking to start an initial public offering or get acquired an even larger company that would respect its vision and guidelines, unlike Intel's offer.

Intel Core i7-12700K and Core i9-12900K Pricing Leaks

US computer component and electronics store Micro Center appears to have gotten ahead of things and listed the upcoming Intel Core i7-12700K and Core i9-12900K pricing on its website almost two weeks ahead of the official sale start. This should be MSRP pricing and if it's good or bad is a question of how you look at it, since both chips are significantly more expensive than their 11-series counterparts and much higher than the MSRP for those parts.

Intel's Core i7-11700K launched at US$399 and the new Core i7-12700K will beat that by $70, as it should launch at US$469.99, which seems like a large chunk of money to pay for the extra efficiency cores. The Core i9-11900K launched with a US$539 price point and the Core i9-12900K brings that up by US$130 to US$669.99. These prices are obviously not confirmed as yet, but Micro Center tends to be one of the cheapest places in the US to get CPUs, so we doubt there's any price gouging going on here.

First MSI Intel Z690 Motherboards Leak

So far, all of the leaked Intel Z690 based motherboards have been void of anything from MSI, but now we get a look at some of their upcoming models courtesy of a couple of different leaks.This gives us a pretty good look at several different market segments from MSI, although none of its really high-end models have leaked yet.

MSI's product stack is a bit cryptic, as we have a pair of MEG boards, one MPG board, one MAG board and a more entry level Pro board. Starting from the bottom working our way up, the Pro Z690-A WiFi appears to be a slightly beefier version of its current Z590-A Pro, with DDR5 support, a pair of 8-pin 12 V EPS connectors, as well as a fourth M.2 slot for NVMe SSDs. We don't spot any real stand-out features on this board, but it looks fairly competent for the market segment.

GIGABYTE Z690 AERO D Combines Function with Absolute Form

GIGABYTE's AERO line of motherboards and notebooks target creators who like to game. The company is ready with a premium motherboard based on the Intel Z690 chipset, the Z690 AERO D. This has to be the prettiest looking motherboard we've come across in a long time, and it appears to have the chops to match this beauty. The Socket LGA1700 motherboard uses large ridged-aluminium heatsinks over the chipset, M.2 NVMe slots, and a portion of the rear I/O shroud. Aluminium fin-stack heatsinks fed by heat-pipes, cool the CPU VRM. You get two PCI-Express 5.0 x16 slots (x8/x8 with both populated). As an AERO series product, the board is expected to be loaded with connectivity relevant to content creators, although the box is missing a Thunderbolt logo. We expect at least 20 Gbps USB 3.2x2 ports, and 10 GbE networking, Wi-Fi 6E.

Intel Reports Third-Quarter 2021 Financial Results

Intel Corporation today reported third-quarter 2021 financial results. "Q3 shone an even greater spotlight on the global demand for semiconductors, where Intel has the unique breadth and scale to lead. Our focus on execution continued as we started delivering on our IDM 2.0 commitments. We broke ground on new fabs, shared our accelerated path to regain process performance leadership, and unveiled our most dramatic architectural innovations in a decade. We also announced major customer wins across every part of our business," said Pat Gelsinger, Intel CEO. "We are still in the early stages of our journey, but I see the enormous opportunity ahead, and I couldn't be prouder of the progress we are making towards that opportunity."

In the third quarter, the company generated $9.9 billion in cash from operations and paid dividends of $1.4 billion. Intel CFO George Davis announced plans to retire from Intel in May 2022. He will continue to serve in his current role while Intel conducts a search for a new CFO and until his successor is appointed. Third-quarter revenue was led by strong recovery in the Enterprise portion of DCG and in IOTG, which saw higher demand amid recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19. The Client Computing Group (CCG) was down due to lower notebook volumes due to industry-wide component shortages, and on lower adjacent revenue, partially offset by higher average selling prices (ASPs) and strength in desktop.

A Closer Look at the Intel Core i9-12900K Retail Package

Intel has had a little streak of quirky, over-the-top retail packages for its flagship desktop processors since the 9th Generation Core i9-9900K, which carries on into the 12th Gen with that of the Core i9-12900K. Overclocking.com posted a set of unboxing images. It's important to note here, that these are images of the retail i9-12900K, and not some special package sent to reviewers.

The package involves a hard paperboard hollow cube with two open sides. You undo a set of pull-tabs that are probably held together by factory seal, to pull out a pair of plastic stands holding what looks like a stack of silicon wafers in place. This decorative plastic canister is painted in gold-chrome and disperses colors like a fabricated wafer does. You open the two halves of this "wafer" to find your processor inside, with some Styrofoam cushioning. A separate compartment in the paperboard housing contains the documentation and a case-badge.

Intel Alder Lake Doesn't Look Like an Overclockers Dream

Another day, another Intel Alder Lake leak, although this time it seems to be the same Core i9-12900K retail CPU that is being tested in China. Some additional details have been provided on its ability to overclock and although it's perfectly possible to overclock these upcoming CPUs from Intel, it's going to be hard to cool them, even for very small gains in clock speeds.

An all core P-core overclock, with the E-cores at default requires quite the Voltage bump as well, since according to the leaked information, going from 4.9 GHz and a power draw of 233 Watts, with a CPU Voltage of 1.275 V to 5.2 GHz, sees a jump of almost 100 Watts. The CPU Voltage also has to be bumped to 1.38 V in the sample used. However, pushing the CPU to 5.3 GHz requires 1.44 V and pushes the CPU power to a massive 400 W, which is high-end GPU territory. That said, we're hearing that not all CPUs need this high Voltage to hit 5.2 GHz, although we also understand that 5.3 GHz is not a speed that will be easily attained. Apparently the best way to get the most performance out of these news CPUs will be to tune the turbo settings, rather than to try and overclock them.

Retail Intel Core i9-12900K and Core i5-12600K Pictured

Here are some of the clearest shots of retail (non-ES) production versions of the upcoming Intel Core i9-12900K and i5-12600K "Alder Lake-S" desktop processors. Posted to the web by "DDAA117" on Chinese social media Zhihu, the pictures reveal the long and slender packages, with their S-spec codes: SRL4H for the i9-12900K and SRL4T for the i5-12600K. Based on what we know from older reports, the i9-12900K maxes out the "Alder Lake-S" silicon, featuring all 8 P-cores, and 8 E-cores. The i5-12600K, on the other hand, features 6 P-cores and 4 E-cores. Other areas of segmentation between the two include clock speeds, and possibly boost algorithms. The chips will be open to pre-orders from October 27, and generally available from November 4.

Retail Version of Intel Alder Lake Core i9-12900K Overclocked to 5.2 GHz on All Cores

Although we can't confirm it, the screenshot below is said to be of a retail version of the Intel Alder Lake Core i9-12900K that has been overclocked to 5.2 GHz on all P-cores, with the E-cores at stock clocks. It is said to be drawing a massive 330 Watts at these clock speeds, which is rather a lot for a consumer level CPU.

Sadly details such as the motherboard used and RAM clocks are absent. The E-cores are said to be locked at a maximum clock of 3.7 GHz, so there appears to be no overclocking potential in them. Yes, Intel does manage to edge out AMD's Ryzen 9 5950X at these clock speeds in the multithreaded test, which is no mean feat considering we're looking at eight threads less here, but Intel does so at over twice the power draw.

Update: Updated due to a slight misunderstanding, the E-cores were apparently enabled, but running at stock clock.

Intel's CEO Blames Predecessors for Current State of the Company, Wants Apple Business Back with Better Processors

It's funny how new company CEOs always seem to blame their predecessors for whatever went wrong and it seems like Pat Gelsinger is no different, as he's throwing shade at his predecessors for not having been engineers. At the same time, he's set his mind on winning Apple back as a customer, as all Intel apparently has to do "is create a better chip than they can do themselves", with they being Apple here.

It should be pointed out that Intel hasn't had an engineer at the helm of the company since 2005, so the question is how far back Pat Gelsinger wants to throw the blame, although a guesstimate would be back to at least 2012/2013 when Paul Otellini stepped down. That said, in an interview with Axios, it's stated that "while he acknowledges the need to prove himself, Gelsinger said he will rebuild the company's credibility with its customers so that if they say they need a million of some chip by Monday, the order will be there by Sunday night."

ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II with RGB Now Also Available in 280 and 420 Models

ARCTIC, one of the leading manufacturers of low-noise PC coolers and components, has added the powerful Liquid Freezer II 280 and Liquid Freezer 420 RGB and A-RGB models to its award-winning AIO range. The multi-compatible water coolers are also equipped for Intel's new Alder Lake CPUs with LGA1700 sockets. With the efficient PWM-controlled pump, featuring a VRM fan for additional cooling in the socket area, as well as the proven 140 mm P-fans, achieving high static pressure with very low noise, the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II series clearly sets itself apart from other AIOs and offers plenty of overclocking flexibility.

A maintenance-free water circuit and the integrated cable management, which hides the PWM and RGB cables in the hose sleeves, plus a six-year manufacturer's warranty underline the high quality and complete the attractive price-performance ratio of the Liquid Freezer II range. The color-capable, effective LED lighting of the fans makes these high-performance coolers the ideal choice for gaming PCs. Optionally, the Liquid Freezer II 280 RGB and Liquid Freezer 420 RGB are also available in a bundle with Arctic's software-controlled RGB controller.

Intel 12th Gen Core Availability from November 4, Pre-orders Begin October 27: Report

Intel 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake" desktop processors will be available from November 4, 2021, according to a leaked Intel channel document by Wccftech. It confirms that Intel will only debut unlocked "K" and "KF" SKUs and companion Z690 chipset in November, with the first wave being limited to the Core i9-12900K, i9-12900KF, i7-12700K, i7-12700KF, i5-12600K, and i5-12600KF. Pre-orders of these parts, along with product announcements, are set to go live on October 27. Reviews of these processors will be published on the same day as retail availability, on November 4. There's no word on when the "locked" non-K SKUs and more affordable chipsets, such as the B660, H670, and H610, come out, but older reports suggest an early-2022 launch for those. Given that memory isn't tied with these dates, DDR5 memory modules should be available any day now.

Intel "Alder Lake" has Compatibility Issues with Older Versions of Denuvo DRM Middleware

Users of Intel's upcoming 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake" processors will potentially run into compatibility issues with some of the older games that use older versions of popular DRM middleware such as Denuvo, an Intel document targeted at developers, cautions. This is mainly due to the hybrid CPU core nature of "Alder Lake," which could confuse the middleware. Solutions such as Denuvo perform stringent hardware checks to ensure only a valid user in a given environment, with a set of hardware, gets to play the game. Our article on Denuvo performance impact has more details on how the solution works.

"If your existing or upcoming game uses a DRM middleware, you might want to contact the middleware provider and confirm that it supports hybrid architectures in general, and the upcoming Intel ADL platform in particular. Due to the nature of modern DRM algorithms, it might use CPU detection, and should be aware of the upcoming hybrid platforms. Intel is working with leading DRM providers such as Denuvo to make sure their solutions support new platforms," reads the Intel Developer Guide. While this should be no probem for some of the newer (less than 3 years old) games that use Denuvo, which are still under support lifecycle from their developers, some of the older ones may require updates.

Huge List of Close to 100 Upcoming Z690 Motherboards Leaks

If the amount of upcoming Z690 was anything to go by, one could presume that the motherboard makers are backing Intel's upcoming platform to the max, as a leaked list of what should be close to every Z690 that will hit the market, counts a total of 98 boards. The list covers ASRock, ASUS, Biostar, NZXT, Gigabyte and MSI, but not EVGA and some other smaller players.

ASUS is apparently planning no less than 30 different models/SKUs, since some are clearly DDR4/DDR5 SKUs of the same model or SKUs with or without Wi-Fi, but even so, that's a massive launch lineup. Gigabyte isn't far behind with 27, followed by MSI at 24 and ASRock at 14, if we didn't count wrong. There isn't much news in terms of details of each of the boards here though, but it's clear that the high-end SKUs are mostly DDR5, while the mid-range and standard models are mostly using DDR4. The only slight surprise here is that only ASRock has more DDR4 than DDR5 models, with ASUS having exactly half of each, but Gigabyte and MSI are going with a preference for DDR5. ASRock, ASUS and Gigabyte appear to have liquid cooled SKUs, but it's not clear if MSI will offer such a SKU of its Godlike board.

TerraMaster Launches 8-Bay RackMount NAS for Business and Government Use

TerraMaster, a professional brand that specializes in providing innovative storage products for home, businesses and enterprises, presents its line-up of 8-bay storage servers designed to meet the needs of modern businesses for enterprise virtualization, data-intensive applications, and service continuity. TerraMaster's Rackmount NAS Series is equipped with the latest technologies and advanced securities to deliver efficient performance with excellent data security making it ideal for business and government use.

The TerraMaster 8-Bay Rackmount NAS Series support up to 1000 user accounts with RBAC rights management and Windows ACL. This allows easy user and access rights management. The 8-Bay Rackmount NAS Series supports 2.5" and 3.5" drives and comes fitted with four RJ-45 1 GbE LAN ports. All models also come with one PCIe 3.0 X16 slot and two PCIe 3.0 x8 slots offering expansion flexibility for 10GbE NIC cards or dedicated RAID cards.

CapFrameX Benchmarking Software Receives Official Support for Intel Core i9-12900K

The CapFrameX GPU benchmarking tool from ComputerBase has recently been updated to fully support Intel's 12th Generation hybrid desktop processors including the flagship Core i9-12900K. The latest beta will now correctly read and display the telemetry from the high-performance (Golden Cove) and high-efficiency (Grace Mont) cores using the processors CPUID and its EAX register. The software can also list information about the integrated Xe-LP graphics if it is enabled in addition to the usual suite of load, voltage, power consumption, and temperature readings from the CPU. The changelog and a link to download the latest 1.6.6 beta can be found below.

MSI Liquid Coolers Support Intel's LGA 1700 Socket

With Intel's next-gen CPUs are coming soon, MSI is proud to announce that all our liquid cooler lines fully support the new socket type. Anytime CPUs change, sockets change, so we wanted to make upgrading the CPU an easy task with our coolers. To usher in a new generation of CPUs, we've made sure that our liquid coolers either have the socket already included or users can easily obtain one.

All MSI liquid coolers will support Intel's upcoming LGA 1700 socket. For the MEG CORELIQUID S Series, MAG CORELIQUID C Series, and MAG CORELIQUID P Series the socket is already included. If you have the MPG CORELIQUID K Series and MAG CORELIQUID R Series, you can click on the link below to find out how to obtain an LGA 1700 bracket. Please note that a Version 2 of the MPG CORELIQUID K Series and MAG CORELIQUID R Series will be launching in October. The Version 2 models will have the LGA 1700 bracket already included in the box. The Version 2 models will be clearly labeled and differentiated on every retailer to avoid confusion. You DO NOT need to sign up for a free bracket if you buy a Version 2 model.

Acer Debuts New Large-Screen Chromebooks for Work, School and Entertainment

Acer today debuted four new Chromebooks that meet a range of customer needs, ranging from home and business users to hybrid workers and students. Equipped with the latest processors and sought-after features such as reliable Wi-Fi 6, video conferencing technology and durable designs, the new Acer Chromebooks keep customers connected, productive and entertained.

"Acer's expansive line of Chromebooks means that we're well-equipped to meet any sort of customer need—from display size, processors, durability, connectivity and more," said James Lin, General Manager, Notebooks, IT Products Business, Acer Inc. "Whether a customer needs a device for work, school or entertainment, we've got a Chromebook with exactly the features they're looking for."

Acer Introduces ConceptD 7 SpatialLabs Edition Laptop for 3D Creators

Acer announced the ConceptD 7 SpatialLabs Edition laptop (CN715-73G), bringing eye-popping, glasses-free stereoscopic 3D to designers and developers. The mobile workstation supports creators with Acer SpatialLabs, a suite of optical, display and sensory technologies with real-time rendering capabilities to deliver a glasses-free stereoscopic 3D experience.It's also backed by the NVIDIA Studio ecosystem, featuring NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPUs with exclusive driver technology that enhances creative apps for optimal levels of performance and reliability. Simply put, the new ConceptD 7 is an ideal laptop for 3D modeling, and also an excellent laptop for developers.

"Acer is dedicated to breaking the barriers between people and technology," said Jerry Kao, Co-COO, Acer Inc. "SpatialLabs is a great example of how we try to let that goal guide everything we do. From product and architecture CAD to projects with 3D graphics, designers can finally see their 3D creations in 3D during the workflow to make better judgments, rather than having to wait till afterwards. Developers are also empowered with new ways to tell stories and bring their ideas to life."

Acer Expands Antimicrobial Product Portfolio

Acer announced that it has expanded its antimicrobial product portfolio to multiple product lines, covering both consumer and commercial audiences. From TravelMate laptops for those in the office to Enduro Urban devices for outdoor lovers, plus a host of accessories like a Works With Chromebook certified keyboard and mouse set, antimicrobial devices are now available to a significantly wider range of users.

The Acer TravelMate Spin P4 (TMP414RNA-51) is a business-grade convertible laptop that features Acer's Antimicrobial 360 Design - a silver ion antimicrobial agent covering high-touch surfaces such as the chassis, keyboard, touchpad, and more. Silver ions are highly reactive particles that dramatically reduce the growth rate of microbes upon contact. The laptop also offers powerful performance with up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 vPro processor, more than sufficient to run several programs, webpages and spreadsheets at once, while up to 1 TB of M.2 SSD storage offers plenty of space for all of a user's files and assets. The device features a spill-resistant keyboard, offering peace of mind during coffee-powered crunch periods, and its shock absorbent corners have been certified by an independent party as meeting MIL-STD 810H impact resistance standards.

Acer Announces Predator Orion 7000 Gaming PC Powered by Intel 12th Generation Core "Alder Lake" CPUs

Acer today announced the expansion of its Predator gaming portfolio with new Predator Orion 7000 series desktops, featuring powerful performance in a stunning design, and two smart 4K gaming projectors. Further enhancing the gaming experience is the Predator gaming desk, which offers two practical surface options and a convenient storage rack.

"Predator Orion 7000-series desktops are premium, powerful rigs for serious players who demand incredible performance from even the most demanding titles," said Jeff Lee, General Manager, Stationary Computing, IT Product Business, Acer Inc. "In order to offer that next-level performance, we're excited to be among the first companies bringing the new 12th Gen Intel Core CPUs to our product portfolio."

MSI Also Unveils PRO DP130 Desktop

MSI, a world leader in high-performance and innovative computing solutions, has announced the PRO DP130 11th Business & Productivity PC. Featuring a powerful processor, MSI external graphics card, exclusive software, and various IO ports, the PRO DP130 11th is designed with efficiency and productivity in mind.

The MSI PRO DP130 Series was inspired by natural bamboo's perseverance, transformation & refinement. A bamboo tree lies dormant for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth. The little plant was growing underground, developing a root system strong enough to support its potential outward growth in the fifth year and beyond. It sustained its life by growing slowly at the start to develop a strong foundation, then it will grow a hundred feet tall. This is the MSI PRO DP130 Series.

First Windows 11 Patch Tuesday Makes Ryzen L3 Cache Latency Worse, AMD Puts Out Fix Dates

Microsoft on October 12 put out the first Cumulative Updates for the new Windows 11 operating system, since its October 5 release. The company's monthly update packages for Windows are unofficially dubbed "patch Tuesday" updates, as they're scheduled to come out on the second Tuesday of each month. Shortly after Windows 11 launch, AMD and Microsoft jointly discovered that Windows 11 is poorly optimized for AMD Ryzen processors, which see significantly increased L3 cache latency, and the UEFI-CPPC2 (preferred cores mechanism) rendered not working. In our own testing, a Ryzen 7 2700X "Pinnacle Ridge" processor, which typically posts an L3 cache latency of 10 ns, was tested to show a latency of 17 ns. This was made much worse with the October 12 "patch Tuesday" update, driving up the latency to 31.9 ns.

AMD put out a statement on social media, which surfaced on Reddit. The company stated that patches for the two issues have been developed, and specified dates on which they'll be released. The patch for the Preferred Cores (UEFI-CPPC2) bug will be released on October 21. Customers can request the patch even earlier. By "customers," AMD is probably referring to big enterprise customers running mission-critical applications on Threadripper or EPYC-powered workstations. The L3 cache latency bug will be fixed through the Windows Update channel, its release is scheduled for October 19.

Intel Confirms that Arc Graphics Will Not Feature Cryptocurrency Mining Lock

Intel's VP and GM of Client Graphics Products and Solutions Roger Chandler has recently confirmed in an interview with Gadgets 360 that the companies upcoming Arc Alchemist desktop graphics cards will not ship with any software or hardware cryptocurrency mining inhibitors. Roger Chandler didn't rule out the possibility of Intel implementing such a lock in the future simply stating that it is not a priority for the company. Intel SVP and GM of Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Raja Koduri also noted that they cannot guarantee sufficient supply will be available to meet consumer demand. These graphics cards are not expected to be released until Q2 2022 with mobile versions coming earlier in Q1 so we cannot be sure how they will affect availability and pricing for the general GPU market. The full interview which also covers reference board designs, workstation products, and XeSS super-resolution technology can be found at the link below.
Roger ChandlerAs far as like software lockouts and things of that nature, we're not designing this product or building any features at this point that specifically target miners. As far as actions we're taking to avoid or lock them out, it's a product that will be in the market and people will be able to buy it. It's not a priority for us.
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