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Intel Discontinues 8th Gen Core "Coffee Lake" Desktop Processor Family

Intel today issued a product change notice announcing the discontinuation of its 8th generation Core desktop processor family, and models of Pentium Gold and Celeron processors based on the 14 nm "Coffee Lake" silicon. The PCN covers every 8th gen SKU in the retail- and OEM channels. The company set key dates for the discontinuation. The lineup is discontinued as of June 1, 2020. Suppliers and OEM customers can last order their products on December 18, 2020. The last product shipment is slated for June 4, 2021. It's likely that the 9th generation Core desktop processor family will be follow next year. The 8th generation Core "Coffee Lake" saw the first increase in core counts for Intel's mainstream desktop processor family in close to a decade.

Intel 10th Generation Comet Lake Desktop Processors and 400-Series Chipsets Announced, Here's what's New

Intel today launched its 10th generation Core desktop processor family and its companion Intel 400-series chipsets. Based on the 14 nm++ silicon fabrication process and built in the new LGA1200 package, the processors are based on the "Comet Lake" microarchitecture. The core design of "Comet Lake" and its IPC are identical to those of "Skylake," however Intel brought significant enhancements to the processor's clock-speed boosting algorithm, increased core- or thread counts across the board, and introduced new features that could interest enthusiasts and overclockers. The uncore component remains largely unchanged from the previous-generation, with support for DDR4 memory and PCI-Express gen 3.0. Use of these processors requires a new socket LGA1200 motherboard, they won't work on older LGA1151 motherboards. You can install any LGA115x-compatible cooler on LGA1200, provided it meets the thermal requirements of the processor you're using.

At the heart of the 10th generation Core processor family is a new 10-core monolithic processor die, which retains the same basic structure as the previous-generation 8-core "Coffee Lake Refresh" die, and 4-core "Skylake." The cores are arranged in two rows, sandwiched by the processor's uncore and iGPU blocks. A ring-bus interconnect binds the various components. The cache hierarchy is unchanged from previous generations as well, with 32 KB each of L1I and L1D caches; 256 KB of dedicated L2 cache per core, and 20 MB of shared L3 cache. The iGPU is the same Gen 9.5 based UHD 630 graphics. As we mentioned earlier, much of Intel's innovation for the 10th generation is with the processor's microcode (boosting algorithms).
Intel Core i9-10900K 10th Gen Intel Core Desktop Comet Lake Lineup 10th Gen Intel Core Desktop Comet Lake Lineup 10th Gen Intel Core Desktop Comet Lake Lineup

AMD Releases Athlon 3000G Low-cost Desktop Processor

AMD today released its Athlon 3000G low-cost desktop processor to cap off its entry-level. Based on the 14 nm "Raven Ridge" silicon, the chip combines a 2-core/4-thread CPU based on the original "Zen" microarchitecture, with Radeon Vega 3 integrated graphics based on the "Vega" architecture, and featuring 3 NGCUs (192 stream processors). AMD dialed up the CPU clock speeds to 3.50 GHz, a 300 MHz increase over that of the "previous gen" 200GE, and iGPU engine clock speed by 100 MHz to 1.10 GHz. A unique feature this time around is unlocked base-clock multiplier, enabling CPU overclocking. AMD is pricing the Athlon 3000GE at just $49 (MSRP), it competes with Intel's Pentium Gold G5000 series processors.

Read the TechPowerUp review of the AMD Athlon 3000G here.

Curiously Named "Athlon Gold" Surfaces on Geekbench Database

A Geekbench database submission from an HP "17-ca2xxx" laptop (likely a prototype), spilled the beans on an upcoming AMD Athlon Gold 3150U processor, with nomenclature that looks inspired from the Pentium Gold. Intel uses the "Gold" and "Silver" brand extensions to distinguish processors based on its performance microarchitectures from those based on its low-power microarchitectures (eg: a "Skylake" based Pentium Gold, and a "Goldmont" based Pentium Silver). The addition of "Gold" to the Athlon brand could denote performance rivaling mobile versions of Pentium Gold found in entry-level full-size notebooks.

Moving on to the test itself, and we see the Athlon Gold 3150U being listed as a "Raven Ridge" derivative featuring a 2-core/4-thread CPU and Radeon graphics (likely "Vega 3" as with its desktop counterpart). The CPU is shown having a 2.40 GHz base frequency, and 3.30 GHz boost, 512 KB L2 cache per core, and 4 MB shared L3 cache. The chip scores 3,559 single-core points, and 7,336 points multi-core, comparable to entry-level dual-core processors from this generation. This makes us wonder what the Athlon "Silver" could be, and whether AMD is working on a new low-power microarchitecture in the near future.

Intel Expands 9th Gen Core Desktop and Mobile Processor Families

Today, Intel launched the most powerful generation of Intel Core mobile processors ever: the new 9th Gen Intel Core mobile H-series processors, designed for gamers and creators who want to push their experience to the next level. "Our new 9th Gen platform is designed to delight gamers, creators and performance users by giving them more of what they want. We are bringing desktop-caliber performance with up to 5 GHz and 8 cores in a range of thinner systems and new level of connectivity with Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) so users can game or create where they want," said Fredrik Hamberger, general manager of the Premium and Gaming Laptop Segments at Intel.

There are 580 million enthusiast PC gamers and 130 million PC-based content creators today who care about raw performance as much as they do responsiveness of their PC. They require PCs that can handle everything from demanding AAA games to taxing creative workloads like editing, rendering and transcoding massive 4K video - all while on the go. The 9th Gen Intel Core mobile processors deliver desktop-caliber performance in a mobile form factor and feature amazing performance; the fastest, most reliable wireless with Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (Gig+); the most versatile wired connectivity with Thunderbolt 3; and support for Intel Optane memory technology.

Several Gen11 GPU Variants Referenced in Latest Intel Drivers

The latest version of Intel Graphics drivers which introduce the company's latest UWP-based Graphics Command Center app, hide another secret in their INF. The file has pointers to dozens of variants and implementations of the company's next-generation Gen11 integrated graphics architecture, which we detailed in a recent article. Intel will implement Gen11 on two key processor microarchitectures, "Ice Lake" and "Lakefield," although later down the line, the graphics technology could trickle down to low-power Pentium Silver and Celeron SoC lines, too, with chips based on the "Elkhart Lake" silicon.

There are 13 variants of Gen11 on "Ice Lake," carved using execution unit (EU) count, and LP (low-power) aggressive power management. The mainstream desktop processors based on "Ice Lake," which are least restrained in power-management, get the most powerful variants of Gen11 under the Iris Plus brand. Iris Plus Graphics 950 is the most powerful implementation, with all 64 EUs enabled, and the highest GPU clock speeds. This variant could feature on Core i7 and Core i9 brands derived from "Ice Lake." Next up, is the Iris Plus Graphics 940, with the same EU count, but likely lower clock speeds, which could feature across the vast lineup of Core i5 SKUs. The Iris Plus 930 comes in two trims based on EU count, of 64 and 48, and could likely be spread across the Core i3 lineup. Lastly, there's the Iris Plus 920 with 32 EUs, which could be found in Pentium Gold SKUs. There are various SKUs branded "UHD Graphics Gen11 LP," with EU counts ranging from 32 to 64.

Intel Rolls Out the 4 GHz Pentium Gold G5620 Processor

Intel rolled out its first Pentium-branded processor with 4.00 GHz clock-speed, the Pentium Gold G5620 (retail SKU: BX80684G5620). The chip replaces the G5600 on top of the entry-level product stack. Based on the 14 nm "Coffee Lake" microarchitecture, it packs a 2-core/4-thread CPU clocked at 4.00 GHz without Turbo Boost. 256 KB of L2 cache per core and 4 MB of shared L3 cache are also offered. The integrated graphics solution is Intel's workhorse UHD Graphics 630, with 24 execution units. The dual-channel DDR4 integrated memory controller supports up to 64 GB of DDR4-2400 memory. The chip's TDP is rated at 65W. Pricing is up in the air, with retail channel shortages expected to swing the chip on both sides of the $100-mark. Availability is slated for early-March, 2019.

MSI Goofup Unlocks Overclocking on AMD Athlon 200GE

MSI late November released BIOS updates for its entire range of socket AM4 motherboards, mainly to include AGESA 1.0.0.6, which improves memory compatibility. The updates also pack various motherboard model-specific fixes. Apparently there has been a goof-up with this update (not in a bad way, though). The latest BIOS updates "accidentally" unlock the otherwise locked Athlon 200GE dual-core processor with integrated graphics.

No, you won't get more cores or iGPU stream processors, but the base-clock multiplier letting you easily overclock the processor is now unlocked. This adds value to the $55 processor, given that competing Celeron and Pentium Gold SKUs are overpriced in the market these days. In their overclocking adventures with the 200GE paired with a MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC motherboard, TechSpot observed that the chip (which is clocked at 3.2 GHz by default) wouldn't POST beyond 3.90 GHz, and that you need vCore at 1.4 V to sustain even 3.90 GHz. They found 3.80 GHz at 1.35 V to be 100% stable (an 18.75% overclock). The memory clocks are still restricted to DDR4-2666, although you can still play with timings.

Microsoft Announces the Surface Go Convertible at $399

Today, Microsoft announces Surface Go: the most portable and affordable Surface product yet. Many of us play different roles throughout the day, moving from work or school to home and everywhere in between. Our team designs every Surface to adapt to that dynamic lifestyle, to strike a balance between performance and versatility, form and function. Our products don't do just one thing because people don't do just one thing.

We pioneered categories like the 2:1 to provide the mobility of a tablet with the performance of a laptop, inspiring new ways of creating. As you pursue your passions, connect with friends and family, and work with your team, the products you're able to take on the go with you are the ones that can keep up with the huge range of things you want to accomplish.

Microsoft Launching New Budget Surface Tablet on July 13th

Expectations of a budget Microsoft Surface tablet that would bring the company's reach to mainstream pricing ranges have been doing the rounds for years now. The company, however, has preferred to build on its product design chops on a higher margin market, going after Apple's usual product language. It now seems those days are over, as rumors and leaks have somewhat coalesced into an actual, impending product launch - if insiders are correct, this product should materialize this Friday, July 13th.

The new Surface tablet will launch starting from $399 under Microsoft's Education program, but configuration options should bring options up to the $829 mark. The screen is expected to be a 10" affair, with an 1800x1200 resolution. CPU options should start with Intel's "Gemini Lake" Pentium Silver N5000, a quad-core SoC with a 1.1 GHz base clock and up to 2.7 GHz boost. The more expensive versions will likely feature the Intel Pentium Gold 4410Y and the Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y, both based on the "Kaby Lake" architecture. Base configurations should carry 4 GB of DDR4 memory (configurable up to 8 GB), and 64 GB of storage (up to 256 GB), on a 562 g body and USB Type-C. A special-purpose Type cover and mouse will be made available as well.

ASUS Intros H370 Mining Master Motherboard - Those Aren't USB Ports

ASUS rolled out one of its first crypto-currency miner-friendly motherboards based on the Intel 300-series chipset platform, now that cheaper Pentium Gold and Celeron processors for this platform are available. The H370 Mining Master puts out all 20 PCI-Express gen 3.0 lanes of the H370 Express chipset as x1 slots. It does this in a space-saving way - wiring out each PCIe "port" as USB 3.0 physically (using its 9 pins), which you wire out using USB 3.1 type-A male-to-male cables into open-ended PCIe x1 risers. You can plug in 20 graphics cards over risers, besides a 21st card on the board's PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot.

The rest of the board is pretty spartan, which is what miners need. The LGA1151 socket is powered by a simple 4+2 phase VRM. Power is drawn from three 24-pin ATX, and one 8-pin EPS. The CPU socket is wired to two DDR4 DIMM slots, supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel memory, the x16 slot, and the H370 Express chipset. Storage connectivity includes just two SATA 6 Gbps ports. You get six USB 3.0 ports (four on the rear panel, two via headers). Display outputs include DVI and HDMI. Legacy connectivity includes PS/2 combo, and one serial COM header. 6-channel HD audio, and one 1 GbE interface, driven by an Intel i219-V, makes for the rest of it. ASUS threw in onboard power/reset buttons, and POST debug display to sweeten things.

AMD Readies Athlon 200GE and Athlon Pro 200GE: First Athlon Branded "Zen"

AMD is giving finishing touches to the Athlon 200GE (YD200GC6M2OFB) and Athlon Pro 200GE (YD200GC6M20FB) socket AM4 APUs, which will likely be a part of the company's answer to Intel's Pentium Gold series. The "E" brand extension denotes energy-efficiency, and both chips have a rated TDP of just 35W. The two are based on AMD's 14 nm "Raven Ridge" silicon, and pack a 2-core/4-thread CPU based on the "Zen" microarchitecture, clocked at 3.20 GHz.

Unlike previous few generations of Athlon-branded parts, which were essentially socket FM2(+) APUs devoid of integrated graphics, the Athlon 200GE and Athlon Pro 200GE do feature the Radeon Vega integrated graphics solution, but we expect it to be watered down compared to the Ryzen 2000G series chips. What sets the Athlon Pro part apart from its non-Pro sibling is the same feature that set Ryzen Pro apart, such as SEV. The two chips surfaced on the updated CPU compatibility lists of ASUS Crosshair VII Hero X470.

Intel Celeron and Pentium Gold Coffee Lake Processors Spotted on Amazon

Amazon listed for a brief moment four upcoming Coffee Lake processors on their website. The crew over at Tom's Hardware managed to grab some screenshots of the processors right before the pages were taken down. The models in question belong to the Celeron and Pentium Gold families. The Celeron G4900 and G4920 are dual-core processors that lack hyperthreading. Both models are rated at 54W TDP. However, the G4900 operates at 3.1 GHz, while the G4920 runs at 3.2 GHz. Although Amazon didn't leak the pricing, we did some digging of own. According to Connection, the Celeron 4900 goes for $46.27 and the Celeron G4920 for $58.14. Similar to the Celeron models, the Pentium Gold G5500 and G5600 are also dual-core processors and possess a 54W TDP. However, the Pentium Gold models do come with hyperthreading. The G5500 runs at 3.8 GHz and the G5600 at 3.9 GHz. In terms of pricing, the Pentium Gold G5500 costs $82.06 and the faster Pentium Gold G5600 goes for $94.92.

Cheaper Intel 300-series Chipset Motherboards Around the Corner

Right now, it makes little sense to pick up Intel's Core i3 quad-core and cheaper Core i5 six-core chips, only to pair them with the company's premium Z370 Express chipset-based motherboards, which start around $139. The company had promised a second wave of Core i3 and Core i5 "Coffee Lake" processors, and newer Pentium Gold and Celeron parts based on the silicon; alongside three cheaper motherboard chipsets - H370 Express, B360 Express, and H310 Express; for launch some time in Q1-2018. We're getting word that March could be a busy month for PC hardware retailers.

The H370 has an almost identical feature-set to the Z370, except its lack of support for CPU overclocking and multi-GPU (PCIe segmentation). The B360 is slightly cheaper, and has fewer connectivity options. The H310 is entry-level, and has the least connectivity options. H370-based motherboards could be priced between $100 to $170; B360-based ones $80 to $130, and H310-based ones $50 to $70. Online retailers have already begun listing some of these motherboards. A list was compiled by Redditor dayman56. It includes links to over a dozen such listings of ASRock and GIGABYTE motherboards that, if not anything else, confirm model names.

Intel "Coffee Lake" Based Pentium Gold Processors Begin Selling

Even as Intel is giving final touches to its massive 8th generation Core family product stack expansion with up to eight new SKUs, retailers have started stocking up, and secretly selling some of these chips. Last week, we brought you the story of Newegg beginning to sell new Core i5 and Celeron 49xx series SKUs, namely the Core i5-8600 (non-K), the i5-8500, the Celeron 4920, and the Celeron 4900. We're now hearing of three other SKUs that have made it to the shelves, the Core i3-8300, and three Pentium Gold models.

The Core i3-8300, like the i3-8350K, is a quad-core chip that lacks HyperThreading, but unlike the current entry-level i3-8100, features a hearty 8 MB of L3 cache. It lacks the unlocked multiplier of the i3-8350K. It is clocked at 3.70 GHz, and lacks Turbo Boost. It's selling at USD $134.99 in tray quantities, so we expect its boxed retail unit price to be $139-$149. The Pentium Gold family consists of 2-core/4-thread chips backed by 4 MB of L3 cache. Leading the pack is the Pentium Gold G5600, clocked at 3.90 GHz, followed by the G5500 clocked at 3.80 GHz, and the G5400 at 3.70 GHz. The three could occupy price-points ranging between $80-$99.

Intel Announces New Pentium Silver and Celeron Processors

Intel delivers industry-leading innovations and creates new experiences across its portfolio products. Today, Intel unveils the all-new Intel Pentium Silver and Intel Celeron processors.

The new Intel Pentium Silver and Intel Celeron processors are based on Intel's architecture codenamed Gemini Lake, and are engineered for a great balance of performance and connectivity for the things people do every day - working on office documents and spreadsheets, browsing online, enjoying favorite shows and movies, and editing photos - with great battery life. And it can all be performed on a range of devices at an amazing value. Pentium Silver will deliver 58 percent faster productivity performance compared with a similar 4-year-old PC.

Intel to Rebrand Pentium "Kaby Lake" Processors as Pentium Gold

Intel this Tuesday, issued a curious-looking product-change notification (PCN) directed at retail-channel distributors, which points to the re-branding of 7th generation Pentium "Kaby Lake" desktop processors under the new Pentium Gold brand (PCN #115827-00). The re-brand affects retail SKUs of the Pentium G4560, G4620, and G4600. Intel is borrowing the precious-metal nomenclature from its Xeon product-line over to the Pentium brand, which will help consumers tell the MSDT (mainstream-desktop) Pentium processors from the ULP (ultra low-power) chips branded Pentium.

When this product-change comes into effect from the 2nd of November, 2017, MSDT Pentium dual-core chips will be branded Pentium Gold, while low-power "Gemini Lake" SoCs will bear the Pentium Silver brand, besides Celeron. Re-branded names apart, the Pentium Gold SKUs will be identical to the parts they are replacing. The Pentium G4560, for example, will be re-branded Pentium Gold G4560 (or simply "4560") and will carry an identical feature-set. You probably won't even need to update your motherboard BIOS (of your 100-series and 200-series chipset motherboards) to use these chips. It's not likely that these chips will work on 300-series chipset motherboards since they feature a different pin-map, and the retail box design will reflect that with clear markings. The name change also comes with a refreshed case-badge and a slightly modified box design.
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