AMD Zen 8 Core Engineering Sample Runs at 3Ghz

AMD’s upcoming Zen architecture is arguably the most anticipated hardware release this year. After years in the wilderness, AMD will finally come back with a new CPU design that will challenge Intel again on IPC, process node and power efficiency. According to the latest leak, it appears that Zen is progressing well enough that engineering samples have already been distributed to various partners for testing. This also means AM4 motherboards are already sampling as well.

These stepping A0 samples are that of the previously rumoured 95W, 8 core Zen CPU. That AMD has managed to get an 8 core CPU in a 95W thermal envelope is stunning and combined with the early engineering sample release, points to a strong 14nm LPP process. What’s more, the frequency isn’t a slouch, at 3Ghz base though boost isn’t enabled yet. This is pretty much the same as the base clocks for Intel’s own prosumer i7 5960X which sports 8 cores as well at 3Ghz base and 3.5Ghz boost. We can expect the Es to set the baseline so release Zen will almost certainly clock higher.

At 3GHz, the engineering sample is already faster than the first Bulldozer ones suggesting that 14nm LPP won’t be holding back frequency too much. After all, Intel’s own 14nm process has performed better than their 22nm. Samsung and Global Foundries have also had plenty of time to refine their 14nm process to ensure it will offer the best performance at launch. Hopefully, AMD will be able to be competitive in both IPC and overclocking.

AMD 8 Core Zen 95W CPU May Launch in October

With each passing week, it seems like more rumors are coming concerning AMD’s upcoming Zen processors. From previous reports, we had expected AMD to release Zen near the tail end of 2016 but revenue from the new CPUs was not expected till early 2017. According to the latest rumour though, AMD may have Zen out a bit earlier than expected, with an 8-core chip coming out as early as October, meaning there could be significant revenue from Black Friday and the holiday season.

An October launch pretty much falls smack dab in the middle of AMD’s late 2016/Q4 confirmed launch window. With an 8-core chip with potential SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading) for 16 threads, AMD is striking with a strong with a very competitive chip. Currently, Intel only has one consumer 8-core in the 5960X which is pretty pricey with a large TDP. An 8-core variant would also entice AMD users to consider an upgrade earlier as it doubles the thread count of current Piledriver CPUs on top of the 40%+ IPC increase.

Launching under the Summit Ridge series, the 8-core also boasts a positively regular TDP at 95W. This considers favorably with what Intel has to offer, especially considering AMD is offering double the core count. This is probably due to toned down clock speeds, improved efficiency and the new 14nmLPP process, providing AMD with a jump of 3 process nodes. Intel, for instance, cut power by about 30%+ when they moved from 32nm to 14nm, at the while increasing performance.

Key to Zen, of course, will be how well it will perform. Based on AMD’s figures and what we have been able to glean from multiple leaks,  Zen should hover around Haswell levels of IPC. The bigger question is how AMD prices Zen, though many will undoubtedly jump at the chance to buy a once again, IPC competitive AMD CPU. Hopefully, AMD’s expectations for Zen hold true. I for one, am finally hoping we will see 8C/16T CPUs enter the realm of mainstream hardware.

Supermicro SoC Motherboard with 17 SATA Ports Spotted

A small new motherboard from Supermicro has been spotted on the shop-shelves, the Supermicro A1SA7-2750F. This tiny board is feature packed with a total of 17 SATA3 6GB/s ports and is a totally passive cooled System on a Chip (SoC) supporting up to 64GB memory. Sparked your interest? Here are the rest of the details.

The A1SA7-2750F has an Intel Atom C2750 at it’s heart with 8 cores/8 threads. It is a compact and fanless motherboard operating at 2.4GHz, or 2.6GHz with Turbo. With 4 RAM slots and support for 16GB modules, this board supports up to 64GB ECC/non-ECC DDR3 with a speed of up to 1600MHz.

The 16 blue SATA ports are powered by a LSI 2116 SW 6Gbps SATA/SAS controller and it has an additional yellow SATA port at the top that is controlled by the SoC itself. That is an amazing amount of on-board SATA ports for such a small form factor. The motherboard also has a direct on-board USB port and a SATA DOM power connector. At the bottom we see the single PCI-Express 2.0 x4 connector (in x8 slot).

The rear IO panel has two USB 2.0 ports and two normal Gigabit Ethernet RJ 45 ports, but it also features a dedicated port for the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) and a VGA D-SUB port.

Not only does this Supermicro motherboard have 16 SATA ports, it also comes bundled with cables for them all. That is a big bunch of cables in the box, but other then that and the manual it doesn’t look like many accessors are supplied.

The Supermicro A1SA7-2750F was priced at 66,980 yen including tax, that’s roughly £390. It isn’t the ordinary form factor motherboard (21.08cm x 17.02cm) and won’t fit in cases with ATX mounting. It’s designed for 1U 19″ rack systems, but one could of course just mod the case to fit. The board gets power from a 12V 8-pin and 5V 4-pin connector.

Thank you Akiba PC Watch for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Akiba PC Watch.

Intel Reveals Haswell-E Engineering Sample With 8 Cores and 3 GHz Clock Speed

According to a post from chinese portal VR-Zone, a picture of the first Haswell-E engineering sample which will feature 8 cores and a clock speed of 3 GHz has been revealed. Based on the 22nm Haswell architecture, Intel’s Haswell-E processor stacked in the X or Extreme series would be the chip giant’s first chip to feature 8 native core with 16 threads which will put them in the same line with AMD’s 8 Core processors which have been available since the arrival of Bulldozer in 2011.

Intel would be shipping two unlocked processors at launch which will include an X series Extreme edition and K Series Unlocked edition chips. Intel should integrate the Haswell-E processors as the Core i7-5xxx series in which case the X series would be known as Core i7-5960X and K series part would be called the Core i7-5930K. These aren’t confirmed names, but Intel has kept this style of series branding for a while and we suspect they will continue the trend with their Haswell-E and Broadwell generation of processors up until 2015.

The detailed from Intel reveal a 6-8 cores for their Haswell-E processors that would be equipped with a massive 20 MB of L3 smart cache and just like Haswell. It would feature an integrated voltage regulator and the flashgrip part would ship with TDPs around 140W which is impressive since that’s 10W under what we get on the Core i7-3970X which has 6 cores compared to the Haswell-E beast that would feature 8 cores and 20 MB of L3 cache. Intel is aiming for an 55% IPC improvement over quad cores with their flagship Haswell-E processors.

Haswell-E would also keep the great overclocking features that would ship with the “K” series and “Extreme Edition” processors. Both the memory and processor can be overclocked beyond limits with unlocked turbo limits, unlocked core ratios in 80/100 increments, programmable iVR voltage, support for XMP mode, unlocked memory controller and voltage limits, native support for memory up to 2667 MHz, Unlocked PCH and PLL voltage controls and more.

One Haswell-E processor is said to support two x16 and three x8 PCIe v3.x with 40 lanes and would be directly connected to the DDR4 memory controller and the Wellsburg X99 chipset. The feature set would remain the with technologies such as SSE4, AVX, VT, AESNI under its belt. Unlike the Haswell processor which come with 4th gen HD graphics core, the Haswell-E platform wouldn’t feature built-in graphics but someone buying such a costly processors will definitely go for a discrete GPU for graphics.

Intel’s Haswell-E is officially the first HEDT platform to feature support for DDR4 memory which is great news for enthusiasts who want to upgrade from the DDR3 memories which have reached their max overclock speeds. The new DDR4 memory modules consume only 1.2 V of power compared to 1.65/1.5V standard with DDR3. The can feature upto 16 banks of memory and require a 288-Pin DIMM connectors which would be available on the new X99 chipset motherboards. The DDR4 memory controller offers Quad channel memory support.

Haswell-E is expected be released in Q4 2014, however it could very well be pushed to early 2015.

Thank you WCCF for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of WCCF

Three New Intel Xeon E5-4600 v2 CPUs In The Works

Intel is going to introduce Ivy Bridge-EP microprocessors in Q1 2014, branded as Xeon E5-4600 v2, for quad-socket servers. Along with the two Xeon E5-4600 v2 models, the E5-4610 v2 and E5-4657L v2, that were found in a CPU support list on the ASRock website, intel also added three new Xeon E5 microprocessors to the support list. The CPUs in question are the E5-4607 v2, E5-4627 v2 and E5-4650 v2.

CPU World detailed the specs of these new CPUs. First of all, the Xeon E5-4650 v2 processor will have a 2.4 GHz operating frequency and is rumored to have 10 cores judging by the 25 MB L3 cache. The CPU also matches M1 stepping, usually used by 8 and 10-core Xeon E5-xxxx v2 processors and works on a 95 Watt TDP.

The second CPU, the Xeon E5-4627 v2,has a 3.3 GHz frequency and again is only rumored to have 8 cores judging by the integrated 16 MB of level 3 cache. It also takes advantage of M1 core stepping and having a higher frequency, it will work at a much higher 130 Watt TDP.

Last but not least, the third CPU, the Xeon E5-4607 v2 is clocked at 2.6 GHz and is rumored to have 6 cored based on its 15 MB of cache. The processor has S1 core stepping, that was used by 4 and 6-core Ivy Bridge-EP microprocessors and it consumes as much as the Xeon E5-4650 v2, meaning 95 Watt TDP.

Other details or features about the three new Xeon E5-4600 CPUs is unknown at this time, but more details should be available in the near future.

Thank you CPU World for providing us with this information

Secondary Processor And 2Gb RAM Discovered In PlayStation 4

The Playstation 4 console’s internals have been disassembled and inside it has been revealed that several hidden components including a secondary low power processor and 2Gb of DDR3 SDRAM are present. The 2Gb (Gigabit) of memory means that the PS4 has 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM ram. The secondary processor is named “SCEI CXD90025G”, but the exact uses aren’t known right now.

The SCEI CXD90025G is a lower power ARM solution, that is likely used in a variety of tasks including background downloading and also downloading / standby type of tasks. It’s also possible that it will be handling DRM (Digital Rights Management) by using the Microsoft Playready DRM solution. There is also some speculation that the extra resources of the PS4′s secondary processor can be used for other things. including the 15 minute gameplay loop, which is possibly 720P and with H.264 compression.

Another possibility is that it will be used to reduce access time on the hard disk. Because the Playstation 4 was designed to minimize time for game updates and the resuming of gameplay, the secondary processor and memory are likely there to help with saving and resuming state, using them to capture an image of the console before shutting down and resuming from where it was left off when powered back on. Another likely use is that it will help be the systems south bridge.

The secondary ARM processor and Ram will only be used to free up resources from the CPU and provide a low energy alternative to the AMD Jaguar SoC. The Jaguar has 8 cores running at 1.6GHz, the SoC also includes the systems GPU which is a heavily modified AMD Radeon GCN architecture processor, and along with the PS4′s 8GB of GDDR5 will take care of your games.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDgicSBu-As[/youtube]

Thank you RedGamingTech for providing us with this information
Image and video courtesy of RedGamingTech