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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.

AMD "Renoir" APU 3DMark 11 Performance Figures Allegedly Surface

AMD "Renoir" is the company's next-generation APU that improves iGPU and CPU performance over the current 12 nm "Picasso" APU. An AMD "Renoir" APU engineering sample running on a "Celadon-RN" platform prototyping board, was allegedly put through 3DMark 11, and its performance numbers surfaced on Reddit, in three data-sets corresponding with three hardware configurations. In the first one, dubbed "config 1," the CPU is clocked at 1.70 GHz, the iGPU at 1.50 GHz, and the system memory at DDR4-2667. In "config 2," the CPU runs at 1.80 GHz, and the iGPU and memory frequencies are unknown. In "config 3," the CPU runs at 2.00 GHz, the iGPU at 1.10 GHz, and the memory at DDR4-2667. Raw benchmark output from 3DMark 11 Performance preset are pasted for each of the configs below (in that order). The three mention 3DMark database result IDs, but all three are private when we tried to look them up.

The "config 1" machine scores 3,547 points in the performance preset of 3DMark 11. It's interesting to note here that the iGPU clock is significantly higher than that of "Picasso." In "config 2," a 3DMark performance score of 3,143 points is yielded. The CPU clock is increased compared to "config 1," but the score is reduced slightly, which indicates a possible reduction in iGPU clocks or memory speed, or perhaps even the iGPU's core-configuration. In "config 3," we see the highest CPU clock speed at 2.00 GHz, but a reduced iGPU clock speed at 1.10 GHz. This setup scores 2,374 points in the 3DMark performance preset, a 33% drop from "config 1," indicating not just reduced iGPU clocks, but possibly also reduced CU count. "Renoir" is expected to combine "Zen 2" CPU cores with an iGPU that has the number-crunching machinery of "Vega," but with the display- and multimedia-engines of "Navi."

Intel Gemini Lake Refresh Coming This November

Intel is preparing to debut its next generation Pentium Silver and Celeron "Gemini Lake Refresh" low-power processors in November 2019. The latest company roadmap slide detailing low-power SoC rollout, sourced by FanlessTech, pinned their launch sometime between week 45-47 (November). These are two key variants of this silicon, J and N. The J variant targets low-power desktops and AIOs, while the N variant targets notebooks, tablets, and other portables.

"Gemini Lake Refresh" SoCs are built on Intel's latest 14 nm node, and pack up to four "Goldmont Plus" CPU cores, and the same Intel UHD graphics, but offer significantly higher clock-speeds on both the CPU cores and the iGPU. Leading the pack is the Pentium Silver J5040, clocked at 2.00 GHz with up to 3.20 GHz boost. This chip succeeds the J5005, which ticks at 1.50 GHz with 2.80 GHz boost. The table below details the other J and N series models with the clock-speeds and core-counts.

Intel Scraps 10nm for Desktop, Brazen it Out with 14nm Skylake Till 2022?

In a shocking piece of news, Intel has reportedly scrapped plans to launch its 10 nm "Ice Lake" microarchitecture on the client desktop platform. The company will confine its 10 nm microarchitectures, "Ice Lake" and "Tiger Lake" to only the mobile platform, while the desktop platform will see derivatives of "Skylake" hold Intel's fort under the year 2022! Intel gambles that with HyperThreading enabled across the board and increased clock-speeds, it can restore competitiveness with AMD's 7 nm "Zen 2" Ryzen processors with its "Comet Lake" silicon that offers core-counts of up to 10.

"Comet Lake" will be succeeded in 2021 by the 14 nm "Rocket Lake" silicon, which somehow combines a Gen12 iGPU with "Skylake" derived CPU cores, and possibly increased core-counts and clock speeds over "Comet Lake." It's only 2022 that Intel will ship out a truly new microarchitecture on the desktop platform, with "Meteor Lake." This chip will be built on Intel's swanky 7 nm EUV silicon fabrication node, and possibly integrate CPU cores more advanced than even "Willow Cove," possibly "Golden Cove."

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 Cuts Prices of iGPU-devoid 9th Gen Core F and KF SKUs by up to 20 Percent

Intel Monday revised prices of select 9th generation Core "Coffee Lake Refresh" desktop processor models. These price cuts target the "F" and "KF" brand extensions, which denote a lack of integrated graphics. The price cuts range from 5 percent to 20 percent, and cover key fast-moving SKUs popular with the DIY gaming PC crowd that likes to pair these chips with discrete graphics cards. The entry-level Core i3-9100F gets the biggest cut of the lot. The 4-core/4-thread chip is now selling for USD $97, a 20 percent cut from its $122 MSRP.

Other noteworthy cuts include the popular Core i5-9400F 6-core/6-thread processor, which is now going for $157, compared to its $182 original price. This chip has seen sub-$160 pricing in promotional sales on popular e-tailers such as Newegg. The Core i7-9700F and i7-9700KF are the other popular SKUs among the premium gaming PC build crowd. The two 8-core/8-thread chips are now priced at $298 and $349, respectively. Leading the pack is the Core i9-9900KF, which is going for $463, a small 5% saving over the i9-9900K which you can spend elsewhere, such as slightly faster RAM.

Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7 iGPU Beats AMD RX Vega 10: Benchmarks

Intel is taking big strides forward with its Gen11 integrated graphics architecture. Its performance-configured variant, the Intel Iris Plus Graphics G7, featured in the Core i7-1065G7 "Ice Lake" processor, is found to beat AMD Radeon RX Vega 10 iGPU, found in the Ryzen 7 2700U processor ("Raven Ridge"), by as much as 16 percent in 3DMark 11, a staggering 23 percent in 3DMark FireStrike 1080p. Notebook Check put the two iGPUs through these, and a few game tests to derive an initial verdict that Intel's iGPU has caught up with AMD's RX Vega 10. AMD has since updated its iGPU incrementally with the "Picasso" silicon, providing it with higher clock speeds and updated display and multimedia engines.

The machines tested here are the Lenovo Ideapad S540-14API for the AMD chip, and Lenovo Yoga C940-14IIL with the i7-1065G7. The Iris Plus G7 packs 64 Gen11 execution units, while the Radeon RX Vega 10 has 640 stream processors based on the "Vega" architecture. Over in the gaming performance, and we see the Intel iGPU 2 percent faster than the RX Vega 10 at Bioshock Infinite at 1080p, 12 percent slower at Dota 2 Reborn 1080p, and 8 percent faster at XPlane 11.11.

Intel Gen12 iGPU With 96 Execution Units Rears Its Head in Compubench

Intel's upcoming Gen12 iGPU solutions are being touted as sporting Intel's greatest architecture shift in their integrated graphics technologies in a decade. For one, each Execution unit will be freed of the additional workload of having to guarantee data coherency between register reads and writes - that work is being handed over to a reworked compiler, thus freeing up cycles that could be better spent processing triangles. But of course, there are easier ways to improve a GPU's performance without extensive reworks of their design (as AMD and NVIDIA have shown us time and again) - simply by increasing the number of execution units. And it seems Intel is ready to do just that with their Gen12 as well.

An unidentified Intel Gen12 iGPU was benchmarked in CompuBench, and the report includes interesting tidbits, such as the number of Execution Units - 96, a vast increase over Intel's most powerful iGPU to date, the Iris Pro P580, with its 72 EU - and far, far away from the consumer market's UHD 630 and its 24 EUs. The Gen12 iGPU that was benchmarked increases the EU count by 33% compared to Intel's top performing iGPU - add to that performance increases through the "extensive architecture rework", and we could be looking at an Intel iGPU part that achieves some 40% (speculative) better performance than their current best performer. The part was clocked at 1.1 GHz - and the Iris Pro P580 also clocked to that maximum clock under the best Boost conditions. Let's see what next-gen Intel has in store for us, shall we?
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