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Intel 400-series Chipset Motherboards to Lack PCIe Gen 4.0, Launch Pushed to Q2

Intel's upcoming 400-series desktop chipset will lack support for PCI-Express gen 4.0. The motherboards will stick to gen 3.0 for both the main x16 PEG slots wired to the LGA1200 socket, and general purpose PCIe lanes from the PCH, according to a Tom's Hardware report. It was earlier expected that 400-series chipset motherboards will come with preparation for PCIe gen 4.0, so even if the upcoming 10th gen "Comet Lake" desktop processors lacked gen 4.0 root-complexes, the boards would be fully ready for the new bus standard in 11th gen "Rocket Lake" desktop processors.

10th gen "Comet Lake" desktop processors are built on 14 nm process, and implement Intel's current-gen CPU core design Intel has been implementing since 6th gen "Skylake." It's only with 11th gen "Rocket Lake" that the mainstream desktop platform could see a new CPU core design, with the company reportedly back-porting "Willow Cove" CPU cores to the 14 nm process. "Rocket Lake" is also expected to feature a small Gen12 iGPU with 32 execution units, and a new-gen uncore component that implements PCIe gen 4.0. PCIe gen 4.0 doubles bandwidth over gen 3.0, and while only a handful GPUs support it, the standard is made popular by a new generation of M.2 NVMe SSDs that are able to utilize the added bandwidth to push sequential transfer rates beyond M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 limitations.

MSI Registers Z490 Motherboards With the EEC

As we gear up for another Intel CPU launch with their 10th Gen Comet Lake-S CPUs with up to 10 cores, motherboard manufacturers have to go through the process of getting their products approved through various regulatory requirements. The Eurasian Economic Commission is one which constantly gives little snippets towards the future, and now, MSI motherboards based on Intel's Z490 chipset and LGA 1200 socket have shown up.

Knowing MSI's usual staple of motherboards for each product generation, there aren't many surprises here. The entries refer to these MSI motherboards: Z490-A PRO (Standard ATX); Creator Z490I (Mini-ITX); MAG Z490 TOMAHAWK (Standard ATX); MPG Z490M GAMING EDGE WIFI (Micro-ATX); MPG Z490 GAMING; CARBON WIFI (Standard ATX); MPG Z490 GAMING PLUS (Standard ATX); MEG Z490I UNIFY (Mini-ITX); MEG Z490 UNIFY (Standard ATX); MPG Z490 GAMING EDGE; WIFI (Standard ATX); MEG Z490 ACE (Standard ATX); MEG Z490 GODLIKE (E-ATX). You can expect the GODLIKE to be so in both features and price, as usual, topping out MSI's lineup.

Intel joins CHIPS Alliance to promote Advanced Interface Bus (AIB) as an open standard

CHIPS Alliance, the leading consortium advancing common and open hardware for interfaces, processors and systems, today announced industry leading chipmaker Intel as its newest member. Intel is contributing the Advanced Interface Bus (AIB) to CHIPS Alliance to foster broad adoption.

CHIPS Alliance is hosted by the Linux Foundation to foster a collaborative environment to accelerate the creation and deployment of open SoCs, peripherals and software tools for use in mobile, computing, consumer electronics and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The CHIPS Alliance project develops high-quality open source Register Transfer Level (RTL) code and software development tools relevant to the design of open source CPUs, SoCs, and complex peripherals for Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and custom silicon.

Pure 12V PSU Standard, Named ATX12VO, Debuts Later This Year

Back at CES, at the FSP booth, we spied an inconspicuous-looking PSU with a curious 10-pin connector in place of the 24-pin ATX. The FSP500-30AKB turned out to be the first public exhibit of a the pure 12-Volt PC power supply standard being pushed by Intel, which is called "ATX12VO," which abbreviates Advanced Technology eXtended 12-Volt Only. According to the specification, the PSU only puts out +12 V and 12 Vsb voltage domains, and does away with the 5 V, 5 Vsb, and 3.3 V domains. This greatly simplifies the design of PSUs, as PCs of today don't use too many power-hungry 5 V or 3.3 V devices (such as half-a-dozen mechanical hard drives). The PC will still need 5 V for interfaces such as USB, but VRM on the motherboard will be responsible for DC-to-DC switching of 12 V to those lower-voltage domains. It's also likely that the motherboard will now put out a handful SATA power connectors.

Intel could debut ATX12VO within 2020 via its next-generation desktop platform, which features a 10-pin connector instead of 24-pin. It remains to be seen if the company could help the transition from current PSUs to the new standard by having its motherboard partners include a 24-pin to 10-pin adapter of some sort. In addition to the 10-pin connector, ATX12VO PSUs will put out two other purely-12 V connector types: 8-pin/4+4 pin EPS and 6+2 pin PCIe power. The EPS connector powers the CPU VRM, while the PCIe connector powers add-on cards, such as graphics cards. 4-pin Molex connectors could also be put out, but those will only feature 12 V pins (the 5 V pins will be absent).

Intel Board of Directors Elects New Chairman and New Director

Intel Corporation announced today that at the company's Jan. 15 board meeting Andy D. Bryant stepped down as chairman and the board elected lead independent director Dr. Omar Ishrak to succeed Bryant as an independent chairman, effective immediately. Intel also announced that Alyssa Henry was elected to Intel's board. Her election marks the seventh new independent director added to Intel's board since the beginning of 2016.

Bryant will remain on the board through the end of Intel's 2020 annual stockholders' meeting. He had previously notified the board in March 2019 that he did not intend to stand for re-election at this year's meeting. Bryant made the decision to leave the role now in order to facilitate an effective transition.

QNAP Releases Intel Dual-Core Powered TS-251D Multimedia NAS

QNAP Systems, Inc. today launched the 2-bay TS-251D NAS. Powered by an Intel J4005 dual-core processor, the TS-251D can be used with QNAP's smart AI photo management application, QuMagie, which integrates AI image recognition to group similar photos together in album "People", "Things" and "Places". The 4K media transcoding and streaming capabilities of the TS-251D brings users an excellent and satisfying cross-device multimedia experience. The TS-251D also provides a PCIe slot for expanding its core functionality.

Powered by an Intel Celeron J4005 dual-core 2.00 GHz processor (burst up to 2.7 GHz), DDR4 RAM (up to 8 GB), one Gigabit LAN port, and supports SATA 6 Gbps drives. The TS-251D provides dependable read/write speeds and Intel AES-NI 256 hardware-accelerated encryption to secure sensitive and confidential data on the NAS. The TS-251D also supports snapshots, allowing users to quickly recover data in the event of accidental deletion/modification or ransomware attack.

Intel Reportedly Looking Into Further Reduction in CPU Pricing for 2020

Intel's policy on CPU pricing has been a strong, definite one for years: no price reductions. Faced with less than admirable competition from a struggling AMD back in its Phenom and especially Bulldozer days, Intel enforced a heavy hand on the market and on CPU pricing. However, a much revitalized AMD and difficulties in the transition to the 10 nm process have left Intel with no other recourse than to cut pricing on its CPUs in order to remain competitive. No uptake of new I/O technologies such as PCIe 4.0 has also taken its toll on AMD's position in the server and HEDT market, which has led to recent price-cuts and tightening of Intel's Xeon line of CPUs and price-cuts in the order of 50% in their Cascade Lake-X processors compared to the previous generation.

DigiTimes, citing industry PC makers, says that Intel is gearing up to keep fighting in the only front it actually can, besides puny core count increases on their heavily-iterated Skylake architecture - pricing. This move comes in a bid to keep its market dominance, which Intel themselves have before said - after Zen 2, that is - isn't a priority for the consumer market. You can rest assured that Intel is very, very likely already practicing hefty price reductions for tray-quantity purchases for partners. However, it seems that the company might bring some price cuts on to its upcoming Comet Lake CPUs. The company has always been loathe to reduce pricing on existing inventory, rather choosing to reduce the price on new launches (see the Cascade Lake-X example above), which, arguably, saves Intel's face on claims of only being able to compete on pricing - which lurks dangerously close to Intel being painted as the budget, price-cut alternative to AMD.

Intel "Panther Canyon" NUC Implements "Tiger Lake" SoC with Xe Graphics

Intel NUC 11 Extreme is the spiritual successor to the "Hades Canyon" and "Skull Canyon" NUC, and implements the company's next-generation 10 nm+ "Tiger Lake" processor. Codenamed "Panther Canyon," the NUC 11 Extreme represents a line of ultra-compact desktops with serious computing power, bringing together the company's highest-performance CPU cores and iGPUs. The "Tiger Lake-U" SoC powering the NUC 11 Extreme will reportedly be configured with a 28-Watt TDP, and will come in Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 variants.

The "Tiger Lake-U" processor is expected to combine next-generation "Willow Cove" CPU cores with an iGPU based on Intel's new Xe graphics architecture, in what could be the first commercial outing for both. The NUC 11 Extreme "Panther Canyon" will also support up to 64 GB of dual-channel DDR4-3200 memory over SO-DIMMs, an M.2-2280 slot with PCI-Express 4.0 x4 and SATA 6 Gbps wiring, and option for Intel Optane M10 cache memory. On the connectivity front, and Intel AX-201 WLAN card provides 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5. A 2.5 GbE wired interface will also be available. These will also be among the first NUCs to feature front- and rear-Thunderbolt ports (possibly next-gen 80 Gbps given that the platform implements PCIe gen 4.0). The NUC 11 Extreme "Panther Canyon" is expected to launch some time in the second half of 2020.

Intel to Detail Xe Graphics Card Architecture at GDC

This year's Game Developers Conference (GDC) that will take place in March is forming to become a very interesting one. According to the GDC schedule platform, Intel is having a presentation about its upcoming Xe graphics card architecture. Saying that "Intel's brand new Xe Architecture, has been teased for a while, and is scheduled for release later this year! This update brings a significant compute, geometry and throughput improvements over today's widely used Gen9 and Gen11 graphics.", Intel is giving us a slight hint of what is to come.

Presented by Intel's senior developer relations engineer, Antonie Cohade, the talk will include an in-depth look of the Xe hardware architecture and its implementations. Said to introduce "powerful new features", the talk about Xe graphics should include a mention of the latest trend in the world of 3D graphics, ray tracing, and show us what are the capabilities of the new GPU architecture.

Razer at CES 2020: Kishi Mobile Controller, Tomahawk Gaming Desktop, and an Epic Sim

Razer had an interesting outing at CES 2020. There were no new PC gaming peripherals, other than Star Wars "storm trooper" co-branded Kraken, Goliathus, and Atheris; but three interesting exhibits. To begin with, Razer Kishi is an adjustable, split game controller for smartphones. The controller's two ends (meant for your left and right hands, wrap around the two ends of your smartphone. You get two analog thumbsticks, a D-pad, four action buttons, and four triggers. The Razer Gamepad app lets you map the controller to your smartphone over Bluetooth, and provides custom button mapping. The company also showed off Arctech line of smartphone sleeves that are designed to dissipate heat.

Having made its mark as a leading gaming notebook vendor, Razer is turning its attention to pre-built gaming desktops, and we saw one of its first creations, the Tomahawk SFF. Much like Apple, Razer has a serious focus on form as much as function, and that's evident with the aluminium CNC precision-milled chassis with tempered glass side-panels, and a size that's fit both for desks and the living room.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold is a Force Multiplier for Road Warriors at CES 2020

The ThinkPad brand from Lenovo has always represented serious business on the move, right from its IBM origins. At CES 2020, the company unveiled what is possibly the best foldable PC design we've seen till date, the ThinkPad X1 Fold. The X1 Fold is a 13.3-inch tablet that folds perfectly along the middle to either a book-like orientation, or as a laptop, in which the top half becomes the display, and the bottom half your keyboard of whichever possible layout. If a touchscreen keyboard doesn't appeal to you, you can dock an accessory that has a physical keyboard and trackpad.

Under the hood of the X1 Fold is an Intel "Lakefield" Hybrid x86 SoC that combines high-performance and high-efficiency x86 cores and dynamically allots workload to them while power-gating on the fly (a la ARM big.LITTLE). When it comes out mid-2020 (likely a Computex 2020 launch), the ThinkPad X1 Fold will be driven by Windows 10X, a new operating system Microsoft is designing specifically for dual-screen mobile computing devices. The Flex 5G is Lenovo's first business notebook with an integrated 5G modem (in addition to Wi-Fi 6), so you can enjoy high-speed mobile Internet on the move. Lastly, we spotted the Lenovo Ducati notebook, a co-branded product of the company's MotoGP team sponsorship.

Khronos Group Releases Vulkan 1.2

Today, The Khronos Group, an open consortium of industry-leading companies creating advanced interoperability standards, announces the release of the Vulkan 1.2 specification for GPU acceleration. This release integrates 23 proven extensions into the core Vulkan API, bringing significant developer-requested access to new hardware functionality, improved application performance, and enhanced API usability. Multiple GPU vendors have certified conformant implementations, and significant open source tooling is expected during January 2020.

Vulkan continues to evolve by listening to developer needs, shipping new functionality as extensions, and then consolidating extensions that receive positive developer feedback into a unified core API specification. Carefully selected API features are made optional to enable market-focused implementations. Many Vulkan 1.2 features were requested by developers to meet critical needs in their engines and applications, including: timeline semaphores for easily managed synchronization; a formal memory model to precisely define the semantics of synchronization and memory operations in different threads; descriptor indexing to enable reuse of descriptor layouts by multiple shaders; deeper support for shaders written in HLSL, and more.

Core i9-10990XE 22-core Processor Last Gasp of the X299 Platform?

Way back in June 2018, when the first Threadrippers made landfall, it was reported that Intel was working on a new 22-core "Skylake-X" silicon that sat in between the 18-core HCC (high core-count) die, and the 28-core XCC (extreme core-count) die. The roughly 700 mm² XCC die, with its 6 memory channels, couldn't be integrated with the LGA2066 package, and was reserved for the enterprise LGA3647 package that made a workstation/quasi-client debut with the 28-core Xeon W-3175X. It was hence rumored that an in-between 22-core silicon was under development that could be integrated with LGA2066. Fast forward to 2020, and Intel's client HEDT processor lineup doesn't look much different from its 2017 one. The 18-core i9-10980XE leads the pack, and despite its $1,000 price, has received largely lukewarm reviews. If screenshots surfacing on Chinese tech forums are to be believed, Intel is toying with the idea of the 22-core die meant for LGA2066 once again.

Referenced as Core i9-10990XE in straight-up CPU-Z screenshots, the processor is based on the "Cascade Lake-X" microarchitecture, and has the same I/O as the i9-10980XE, looking at the instruction sets featured. It has 22 cores and HyperThreading enables 44 threads. Cache hierarchy and balance are characteristic of "Cascade Lake," with 1 MB of dedicated L2 cache per core, and 30.25 MB of shared L3 cache. The I/O is likely identical to the i9-10980XE as that's a function of the platform and the socket. What's more interesting are the clock-speeds. The name-string of the engineering sample references a nominal clock-speed of 4.00 GHz, and in the screenshot, the chip is shown running at 5.00 GHz (at least on one core). There's also a performance benchmark to go with the leak, possibly CineBench R20 nT. Here, the i9-10990XE is shown scoring 14,005 points, which is in the same ballpark as the 24-core Ryzen Threadripper 3960X.

Sharp's Dynabook Portégé is World's Lightest 13-inch Notebook

At this year's CES show, Sharp, a company behind Dynabook, unveiled what they call the world's lightest 13-inch notebook weighing in at just 1.9 lbs or 0.86 kilograms for all the metric system folks out there. The Portégé X30L-G as it is called is a 13-inch laptop of many qualities. For starters, it comes equipped with a 13.3-inch, 1080p IGZO display with a peak brightness of 470 nits. At its core, the Portégé X30L-G uses Intel's 10th generation of Core processors, presumably the Comet Lake variants. Onboard is also Intel's WiFi 6 standard for faster internet speeds, while the I/O is petty decent as well with two USB-A, one USB-C, one HDMI and one Ethernet port.

The laptop's chassis is made out of magnesium alloy and it features dust and drops resistance per military testing methodologies, making it a durable design that can take on everyday work. Additionally, there is a battery of unknown capacity that is advertised to last up to 14.5 hours, however, that is based on Dynabook's testing and we will have to wait for 3rd party reviews to confirm. The X30L-G is going to arrive sometime in February for the price of $1600.

Intel Unveils Xe DG1-SDV Graphics Card, Demonstrates Intent to Seriously Compete in the Gaming Space

At a media event on Wednesday, Intel invited us to check out their first working modern discrete graphics card, the Xe DG1 Software Development Vehicle (developer-edition). Leading the event was our host Ari Rauch, Intel Vice President and General Manager for Graphics Technology Engineering and dGPU Business. Much like gruff developer-editions of game consoles released to developers several quarters ahead of market launch, the DG1-SDV allows software developers to discover and learn the Xe graphics architecture, and develop optimization processes for their current and future software within their organizations. We walked into the event expecting to see a big ugly PCB with a bare fan-heatsink and a contraption that sort-of looks like a graphics card; but were pleasantly surprised with what we saw: a rather professional product design.

What we didn't get at the event, through, was a juicy technical breakdown of the Xe graphics architecture, and its various components that add up to the GPU. We still left pleasantly surprised for what we were shown: it works! The DG1-SDV is able to play games at 1080p, even if they are technically lightweight titles like "Warframe," and aren't maxing out settings. The SDV is a 15.2 cm-long graphics card that relies on the PCI-Express slot for power entirely (and hence pulling less than 75 W).

Alienware Shows Off Concept UFO - a Portable, Tablet-like Mini PC

At CES 2020, Dell's gaming-inspired division, Alienware, had a handful of new products to showcase. Among these, we found a new product that is still in development called the Concept UFO. The UFO is a concept product that hints a new development strategy for gaming PCs, and that is a portability first approach. Inspired by Nintendo's Switch console, this computer puts gaming PCs on the go. Designed to be a handheld based solution, this PC is based on Windows 10 operating system so you can be sure that all of your existing game libraries are also playable on it as well.

Having an Intel processor as its base, the Concept UFO uses Intel's iGPU to power an 8-inch display of unknown resolution. While we don't know which architecture is powering the UFO, we speculate that Ice Lake is behind it. Our speculation is based on an assumption that, if the concept is capable of playing games, Alienware would put as high-performance iGPU as possible, and such performance is currently only found inside Intel's Ice Lake processors, in form of Intel Iris Plus integrated graphics. Frank Azor of AMD tweeted a question if anyone would like to see this product come with new AMD 4000 series of Ryzen mobile processors, so we could be in for a surprise, given that final specifications are not determined. Ryzen 4000 series would represent a perfect choice as it offers a lot of CPU and GPU power in a mere 15 W TDP package, however, we don't know what solution will be present in the end.

ASUS Announces A15/17 and F15/17 TUF Gaming Laptops

At this year's CES, ASUS announced the latest addition to their TUG gaming lineup of laptops - two 15-inch TUF Gaming A15 and TUF Gaming F15, and two 17-inch TUF Gaming A17 and TUF Gaming F17. Being advertised as durable, high-performance gaming laptops, the TUF lineup is here to bring "unprecedented experience for the price" meaning that the pricing of these models will be more than adequate for what they offer. Inside these new machines are the latest mobile processors from both Intel and AMD. The "A" series, as it is called, is an AMD based solution that features Ryzen 4000 series of mobile processors, which can be configured to go up to 8 cores and 16 threads, while the so-called "F" series is based on Intel's 10th generation of Core processors, which can be configured to go up to 6 cores and 12 threads.

Intel Ghost Canyon NUC, Comet Lake-H, and Tiger Lake Processors Teased

During this year's CES, Intel had an event called the Performance Workshop, where many things were presented. Among those are Intel's upcoming Comet Lake-H CPUs, Ghost Canyon NUC 9, and last but not the least there was a mention of the future Tiger Lake processor and its AI performance. Starting with the Comet Lake-H announcement, Intel promised to deliver 8 core, 16 thread processors that are capable of reaching as high as 5 GHz clock speeds, in a 45 W TDP. These processors are the answer to AMD's upcoming "Renoir" Ryzen 4000 series of mobile processors, which are rumored to feature up to 8 cores and 16 threads as well. The advertised 5 GHz boost on these Comet Lake-H CPUs is for the Core i7 model, while Core i9 SKUs are supposed to reach even higher speeds. All the system improvements tied to Comet Lake like support for WiFi 6, Thunderbolt 3 and Optane memory support are also present on these CPUs.

Dell Technologies Launches New Era of PCs and Displays with 5G, AI, and Premium Design

Dell Technologies today unveiled new products and software across its premium Latitude, XPS and displays portfolios to help people innovate, collaborate and accomplish more in the next decade. Featuring artificial intelligence (AI), 5G and innovative design, the latest Dell Technologies' PCs and displays make work and play more seamless, intelligent and enjoyable.

"The PC industry has never been more vibrant with built-in AI, 5G and the best design we've ever seen, all to help make our lives easier and more fulfilled," said Sam Burd, president of Dell Client Solutions Group. "What's exciting to me is that, with all of the cool news we'll see come out of CES next week, the PC plays a central role in helping people innovate, influence and achieve more."

AMD Stock Broke All-Time Record for the Company, Peaked at $49.10 per Share

AMD veterans yesterday must've sneakily left their respective offices yesterday for a well-deserved rest and a glass of champagne - and if they didn't, they deserved it. The company yesterday broke their previous all-time stock pricing record achieved way back in June 2000, at $47.50 per share, when it traded at $49.10 per share yesterday.

It's been a long time coming for AMD, and irrespective of any brand loyalty, it certainly pays, as a consumer and as an enthusiast, to see a company that nearly went bankrupt in 2016 - who had to sell and then lease back their own headquarters for a quick cash infusion, spin-off its manufacturing division in a change of strategy that couldn't have been easy on morale - achieve such a colossal feat. Even more impressive this is should you even be considering the blue behemoth the company actually has to contend with - a $260.35B Intel who, by both happenstance and poor CPU execution vision, is being fired upon on all markets by comparative David AMD, today valued at $51.07B. Here's hoping all AMD employees got their well-deserved party and standing ovation from each other. None of them - not even Lisa Su - achieved this alone.

Samsung Expands Computing Portfolio with Galaxy Book Flex Alpha

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today introduced Galaxy Book Flex α (alpha), a new variant of Galaxy Book Flex that offers long-lasting battery, immersive QLED display, and exquisite design features at a competitive price-point. Today's consumers are constantly striving to blend their personal and work lives - and everything in between. Galaxy Book Flex α is the latest installment in Samsung's new line of Galaxy Computing devices, which combine the productivity and premium experience of a laptop with the mobility and flexibility of a smartphone.

"We all have different routines, and we need technology that works the way we work, and with our new Galaxy Computing line, we're giving consumers the ability to choose a PC that meets their unique needs," said Alanna Cotton, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Samsung Electronics America. "Galaxy Book Flex α is a stellar new variant of the Galaxy Computing line, offering many of the best design, hardware, and display features at an accessible price-point."

Core i9-10900K up to 30% Faster than i9-9900K: Intel

Intel's upcoming Core i9-10900K desktop processor is up to 30 percent faster than the Core i9-9900K according to the company, which put out a performance guidance slide that got leaked to the web. Based on the 14 nm "Comet Lake-S" silicon and built for the new LGA1200 platform (Intel 400-series chipset motherboards); the i9-10900K is a 10-core/20-thread processor that leverages increased TDP headroom of 125 W to sustain higher clock-speeds than 9th generation "Coffee Lake Refresh," while also offering a 25% increase in processing muscle over the i9-9900K, thanks to the two additional CPU cores.

In its performance guidance slide, Intel shows the i9-10900K scoring 30% more than the i9-9900K in SPECint_rate_base2006_IC16.0. There's also a 25% boost in floating-point performance, in SPECfp_rate_base2006_IC16.0, which roughly aligns with the additional core count, as both these tests are multi-threaded. Other noteworthy results include a 26% gain in Cinebench R15, and 10% in SYSMark 2014 SE. In tests that don't scale with cores, Intel appears to rely entirely on the increased clock-speeds and improved boosting algorithm to eke out performance gains in the low-to-mid single-digit percentages. Intel is introducing a new clock-speed boosting technology called Thermal Velocity Boost, which can dial up clock-speeds of the i9-10900K up to 5.30 GHz.

Intel 10th Gen Core "Comet Lake" Lineup and Specs Revealed

Ahead of a possible reveal in the sidelines of CES, followed by an early-Q2 2020 product-launch, company slides detailing Intel's 10th generation Core desktop processors in the LGA1200 package, codenamed "Comet Lake-S," leaked to the web courtesy Informatica Cero. They confirm that HyperThreading will play a key role, with Intel enabling it across the lineup. The range-topping Core i9 series will be 10-core/20-thread along with 20 MB of L3 cache. The Core i7 series will be 8-core/16-thread, along with 16 MB L3 cache. The all-important Core i5 series will be 6-core/12-thread, equipped with 12 MB of L3 cache. The Core i3 series will have two sub-tiers: i3-103xx series with 4-core/8-thread and 8 MB L3 cache; and i3-101xx series 4-core/8-thread with 6 MB L3 cache.

The Core i7 and Core i9 "Comet Lake" chips will feature native support for dual-channel DDR4-2933, while the Core i5 and Core i3 will make do with native DDR4-2667 support (memory overclocking possible). Besides core/thread counts, and cache size increases, Intel will dial up clock speeds across the board by as much as 300 MHz per SKU (vs. their 9th gen predecessor), and introduce Turbo Boost Max 3.0, which has been exclusive to its HEDT processors. The introduction of Turbo Boost Max 3.0 could also bring about modern favored-core capability (benefiting Windows 10 1909 and later). The classic Turbo Boost is also available. There's also a mysterious new feature called "Thermal Velocity Boost," with its own set of clock-speeds depending on core/thread load. The chips could also feature Modern Standby C10 power-state support (first to the desktop platform). Intel is said to have also added several new core and memory overclocking features on the K-SKUs.

Intel to Announce Advanced Cooling Solutions for Project Athena Laptops

According to sources at DigiTimes, Intel will announce its advanced cooling solutions for project Athena thin and light laptops, at 2020's CES. Pushing project Athena to be the finest of all laptop options, Intel wants to give users the ability to have their laptops run even cooler than ever with a new thermal solution that will supposedly enable an additional 25-30% of cooling headroom. The new cooling module will combine two ingredients to make up for a powerful cooling solution - vapor chambers and graphite sheets.

Usually, the cooling modules inside laptops are placed between the keyboard and laptop's bottom shell, where they could utilize only a small space, so thermal management became hard. In contrast, Intel's design is combining the vapor chamber with graphite sheets to create a bigger surface for heat dissipation. The vapor chamber will replace all the current modules and connect to graphite sheets placed behind the laptop screen, where a lot of area is available. Connecting the vapor chamber to the graphite sheet is a laptop hinge, where a graphite cooling solution would pass through. This hints at a complete redesign of laptop hinges, so we can expect to see some creative solutions there as well. Additionally, this design will allow manufacturers to make fanless laptops that use lower-power CPU models, and we can expect to see even slimmer laptop designs than ever before.

EVGA Formally Launches the SR-3 DARK Motherboard for Xeon W-3175X

The DARK rises again. Not content to merely shatter records and competition in the consumer market, the EVGA SR-3 DARK merges two extreme performance lines of EVGA motherboards to bring balance to the force with exceptional performance and engineering. Featuring the Intel C622 chipset, hexa-channel memory support, 23 phase power design, 16-layer PCB, dual-10 GbE LAN ports, a waterblock to passively or actively cool the DARK's VRM, and so much more, this board is packed with everything and is still compact enough to fit in a full E-ATX form factor.

With the EVGA SR-3 DARK, you don't need to see its identification to know that the next evolution of the X299 and Z390 DARK motherboards features the latest improvements for performance and enthusiast needs.
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