High-End Intel Broadwell-E Processors Listed and Priced

With the official release nearly upon us, Intel’s Broadwell-E CPUs have started popping up everywhere. First, we had all of the various motherboard vendors announce support for the new Broadwell-E CPUs for their X99 motherboards. Next, Intel even leaked the chips on their driver website, confirming the rumoured specifications. Now, we finally get retail listing for the chips from NCIX along with pricing.

The pricing is pretty exorbitant right now with the low-end i7-6800K coming in at $629.99. All fo the other CPUs are much more expensive with the  i7-6850K at $889.99 and i7-6900K at $1495.99. That’s the same price as the rumoured $1500 for the i7-6950X which is listed for an exorbitant $2349.98. Of course, these are likely only placeholder prices till the real launch so we can expect the real prices to be quite a bit lower if past history is anything to go by.

Broadwell-E is expected to bring the 10 core i7 6950X along with Broadwell improvements to Intel’s HEDT. With a relatively simple updated, X99 motherboards with LGA 2011-3 will work with the new chips. While these prices are unrealistic, in my mind, intel may plan to squeeze consumers as much as they can. Intel recently cut 12,000 staff and if they can find a way to make more money, they’ll take it.

ASRock X99 BIOS Updates Reveal Broadwell-E Line Up

Ahead of Intel’s much awaited Broadwell-E processor launch, ASRock announced the release of a new BIOS with support for X99 CPUs that are available on today’s market. The update applies to all of the motherboard manufacturers’ X99 product lines.

The new Broadwell-E processors will fit in the same LGA2011-V3 sockets as their Haswell predecessors and introduce a 14nm manufacturing process. The new BIOS will support the new ten core Core i7-6950X, the Core i7-6900K, i7-6850K and i7-6800K processors. So far there has been little in the way of information on the new processors available from reliable sources. ASRock is the first reputable place to confirm Intel’s offerings (well, the names at least) ahead of the Intel announcement due at Computex 2016. Although, MSI was the first motherboard manufacturer to release widespread BIOS updates for their X99 range.

There were rumors at one point of Intel cancelling the Broadwell-E range in favour of some Skylake chips. However, the release from Asrock certainly thwarts this. The ten core beast, the 6950X will run at a base clock of 3GHz and have a 3.5GHz boost clock, boasting 10 cores and 20 threads. From the release, it will be unlocked to allow enthusiasts and professional overclockers to tinker and overclock the processors to the absolute maximum they can get. It’ll come with a whopping 25MB of layer three cache and will work in most X99 motherboards, providing the manufacturer releases a new bios that can support them.

Will you be upgrading to the latest from Intel as soon as it hits the market? Let us know in the comments below.

Thecus N2810 2-Bay 4K Capable SMB NAS Review

Introduction


Today’s review is a little bit special as I don’t just get the chance to test one of the newest NAS on the market, but also a new operating system at the same time. Thecus N2810 2-bay SMB multimedia NAS server with 4K playback is in the testing area and it comes with Thecus’ brand new ThecusOS 7.0.

Thecus N2810 NAS is powered by an Intel Celeron N3050 Braswell dual-core processor with 1.6GHz base clock and a 2.16GHz burst speed. This is a great processor for NAS usage as it’s both powerful and energy-efficient. On top of that, the N2810 supports hardware AES 256-bit encryption for that extra layer of security without impacting performance the way a software solution will. This is backed by 2GB DDR3 memory, but you can upgrade the system to a maximum of 8GB DDR3 RAM should you require more. The standard 2GB should still be plenty for normal usage scenarios and seamless 4K media playback.

Thecus opted for a full USB 3.0 setup which is a nice thing to see. Thanks to the USB bus’ compatibility you can easily use legacy devices while having maximum speed on your modern equipment such as high-end flash drives and external SSDs. There are two USB 3.0 ports on the rear and one on the front. The front port also features a convenient one-touch copy button that allows you to copy content to or from a USB drive with a single press of the button.

The two RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet ports on the N2810 support 10/100/1000 BASE-TX Auto MDI/MDI-X and Wake-on-LAN. You can naturally also set them up for link aggregation and Thecus allows you to set all seven modes: Load balance, Failover, 802.3ad, Balance-XOR, Balance-TLB, Balance-ALB, and Broadcast.

There is also the HDMI port for direct playback on your TV or monitor without the need for any other device at all. This is a feature we see more and more on modern NAS devices and it is one that I really love. While streaming is great, a direct connection allows for higher compatibility with formats and there are fewer points of failure or lag on the way. That said, the Thecus N2810 has absolutely no trouble streaming either, but we’ll get to that later.

Keen eyes will already have spotted the serial UART port too and that isn’t something that we usually see on NAS devices, it is however an awesome feature. We sometimes find the port on the PCB, but rarely on the device itself. UART stands for Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter and is part of the serial communication protocol.

The N2810 is the first Thecus NAS to run the completely new ThecusOS 7.0 operating system and user interface. The refreshed OS offers an easy to use and intuitive user interface and quite a lot of new features over the previous OS including the new Photo Station, Thecus App Center with over 700 apps, and user profiles. Besides the design and feature improvements, it also got a push in regards to the performance where it gets even more out of your hardware.

The N2810 steps up to the challenges that 4K playback creates and provides a robust hardware platform that is able to handle multiple tasks with ease. The built-in HDMI port allows you to transform the NAS into a multimedia hub by connecting it directly to your TV or media center to utilize the power of KODI. There are plenty of streaming options too with basic DLNA as well as Plex Media Server that can stream to your consoles with ease. The server can also automatically assemble iTunes, iPhoto, and Aperture content. Apple TV and Chromecast are both supported too, completing the circle of media abilities.

The N2810 is an SMB NAS and as such comes with a comprehensive list of enterprise-oriented features too, although none of them are limited to firms and enterprises, home users can take equal advantage of them. The Thecus System Failover feature is a fault tolerance process that creates mirrored data volumes. With at least two Thecus NAS available, data is copied by schedule and all changes are mirrored between the two NAS. While the second NAS is not visible, it communicates with the primary NAS. In the event of a power or network failure, a scheduled maintenance, or other unforeseen circumstances, System Failover automatically redirects operations to the secondary Thecus NAS, which then acts as the primary NAS.

Local failover is also achieved easily with a Thecus NAS and Snapshots. With BTRFS support, users can enjoy the simplicity of snapshot backups through BTRFS subvolumes. Snapshots of data at various time points can be manually or automatically made and just as easily later restored to rollback files or folders to previous states.

To complete the backup and failover abilities, the N2810 comes bundled with Acronis Backup Software that can backup all your data to the NAS with a single click as well as local backups and Time Machine support. Real-time remote replication (Rsync) is naturally also supported and it is one of the easiest to use and widest available backup methods.

Security is an important factor on a NAS, after all, it’s the device that holds all your files, memories, and data. Whether you’re an enterprise user or a home user, a virtual private network can come in very handy. The N2810 can operate as a VPN server and allow users to remotely access through a secure network.

Thecus also added Intel Security to the package that gives you an active defense against viruses that might have made it onto your NAS. The software protects you by scanning the files on your NAS and defending it against possible threats. Intel Security is the world’s largest dedicated security technology company and Thecus users will be able to benefit from Intel Security’s powerful software on their NAS entirely for free.

With the Thecus N2810, it is also an easy task to set up your own personal cloud service that will work with mobile iOS and Android devices with the use of Thecus’ T-OnTheGo app and your PCs. The mobile app enables users to access, copy, stream, and edit any data between their NAS and mobile device. Your own personal cloud, available from anywhere with internet access. The access from anywhere is made as easy as it could be thanks to the built-in DDNS feature that will give your NAS a name rather than a difficult to remember and mostly changing IP address.

You can also reverse the whole thing and use the public cloud systems together with the N2810 NAS. The system will work with DropBox, Amazon S3, and ElephantDrive cloud backup functionality. Guard your data with RAID at home and an additional level of protection in the Cloud. Just drag and drop files into the folder on your NAS and access them on any computer or mobile device with DropBox, Amazon S3 or ElephantDrive.

With currently available hard disk drives you get up to 8TB in the consumer sector and 10TB in the enterprise sector. With two drive bays at your disposal, that’s already a lot of storage and you can take maximum advantage of this storage thanks to iSCSI and the efficiency of iSCSI thin provisioning. Connect through iSCSI for the fastest data transfer speeds available and make wasted disk space a thing of the past with thin provisioning’s flexible storage functionality.

Feature Highlights

  • Embedded with Intel Celeron N3050 Dual Core CPU
  • Running on the newly-designed and enhanced ThecusOS 7.0
  • Seamless 4K Multimedia Playback
  • Uninterrupted Accessibility with Thecus System Failover
  • Secure Remote Access with Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • Faster Transfers: 2 LAN Ports for Link Aggregation
  • 99% Virus Prevention: Bundled with Free Intel Security
  • Complete Client Side Protection: Bundled with Free Acronis Software

Packaging and Accessories

Thecus packed the N2810 in a beautiful box that clearly shows the intended usage, as a 4K capable multimedia center.

The rear of the box continues the beautiful full-colour wrapping with the feature highlights. There’s no doubt that you have a premium device in your hands when you look at the package.

It continues on the sides where the brand new Thecus OS 7 is presented on one side.

The second side reveals the hardware specifications, device size,  and package content.

Inside the product is a quick installation guide and a product disk as well as the warranty card and product notes.

Besides the manuals and the NAS itself, there is also a power adapter with connection cord, two sets of drive tray keys, an RJ45 LAN cable, and a security latch for the power cable that can prevent accidental removal.

Intel Accidentally Leaks i7-6950X Broadwell-E CPU Listing

As with most product launches, Intel has kept Broadwell-E largely under wraps. The few pieces of information that have come out have largely been from leaks. This all changes today as Intel has been the one to accidentally reveal information about the i7 6950X. On the list of Intel Management Engine downloads for the various Intel CPUs, a listing for the i7 6950X Broadwell-E has popped up.

While pretty plain as expected from the source, it does confirm a number of details. In line with previous leaks, the 6950X will the a 10 core giant, with the standard 2.5MB of L3 cache for a total of 25MB. Clock speed is also pretty much where we expected it to be, with a 3.5Ghz Turbo Boost clock off of the 3Ghz base clock. Even the listing it looks like Intel’s latest Management Engine is all set for Broadwell-E as well.

As we’ve reported earlier, Broadwell-E is expected to drop sometime in Q2 2016. This means the launch will be happening within the next 3 months. Expect pricing to be steep at about $1500 for the 6950X and $1000 for the 6900K. If AMD’s 8 core 3Ghz Zen performs well enough though, we may see a substantial price drop for Broadwell-E later in the year.

Intel’s New Broadwell Xeon Chips Will have 22 Cores

In a growing trend for Intel’s server targeted chips, this Thursday they released the newest Xeon E5-2600 processors, which contain as many as 22 cores.

The move to developing chips with an ever-increasing number of cores allows them to cater to the needs of cloud and mobile service providers, whose servers make full use of multiple cores and processing threads to allow more video and applications to be streamed from a single server simultaneously. The chips also provide benefits in workstation usage. When combined with a powerful graphics processor, it will be able to assist in the development of cutting-edge, high-quality experiences such as virtual reality applications and 4K video editing.

The Xeon E5-2600 v4 lineup includes 27 different chips, all based on the new Broadwell microarchitecture. Broadwell offers a number of improvements which allows these new chips to offer as much as a 5% increase in speed over previous generation Haswell architecture chips. According to tests run by Dell using SAP benchmarks on a Linux OS, the new chips were observed to be as much as 28% faster than their predecessors. The main issue with chips packing so many cores is cooling as a result, the frequency of the top-line 22-core Xeon E5-2699 v4 has had to be set to 2.2 GHz, where it still draws 145 watts of power.

Of course, these chips aren’t for the average consumer, with the prices for these new chips peaking at $4,115 for the 22 core model. For their largest customers, Intel is even willing to deliver customized versions of these new Xeons, which we can be sure will hold an even heftier price tag.

Intel Ditches ‘Tick-Tock’ for ‘Process-Architecture-Optimization’

Adopted in the troubled days of 2006 and Netburst, ‘Tick-Tock’ has served Intel well, pushing the processor firm ever forwards. Though it has served Intel well in the past, recent years have shown that the strategy has become untenable. It comes as no surprise now, that Intel has revealed the successor to ‘Tick Tock’, PAO, or better known as ‘Process-Architecture-Optimization’.

Unlike ‘Tick-Tock’, ‘Process-Architecture-Optimization’ carries a much more unwieldy title but it is the natural evolutionary step. While the old way was to introduce a new process on the Tick year  followed by a new architecture in the Tock year, PAO builds on the same idea. Under PAO, the first year is a new process node, which is based on a known architecture. This will then be followed the next year by a new architecture and finally, in the third year, Intel will optimize both the process and architecture for the final release on that process.

The perfect example is this upcoming generation where we saw Broadwell on the new 14nm node in 2014. That was followed the next year with the new Skylake architecture  in 2015 and then Kaby Lake, which is an optimized Skylake architecture still on 14nm will drop this year. The delays and costs Intel faced with 14nm and 10nm simply precluded them moving onto a new node in the 2 years ‘Tick Tock’ requires.

Moving to a 3-year cadence makes much more sense as Intel has already been slipping into a 2.5 year ‘Tick Tock’ cycle since the launch of Haswell/Haswell-Refresh. By changing it to 3 years, Intel is just accepting the reality that moving to newer process nodes is just going to be harder and longer.  PAO is the new normal as Moore’s law is dead and there is nothing anyone can do about until we move past silicon.

Intel Broadwell-E Release Coming Soon – Includes 10 Core 6950X

For those of you waiting for Intel Broadwell-E, they may still be a bit ways away but it looks like they will be right on time. According to early leaks, Intel’s roadmaps pointed to an early Q2 launch the Haswell-E successor. It looks like those leaked roadmaps are right on target as Gigabyte has released a new BIOS update for their X99 series of motherboards. According to the release notes the update is meant to “Support 2016 Q2 coming new CPU” which is likely Broadwell-E.

As the replacement for Haswell-E, the new lineup will continue to use the same X99 and LGA2011-3 platform, meaning an in place upgrade for current users. The new chips will be based on the Broadwell architecture, coming in 4 variants, the 6800K, 6850K, 6900K and 6950X. These will range from the usual 6 cores up to the new monster 10 core 6950X. Don’t expect pricing to change from Haswell-E though as the 6950X is expected to cost 50% more than the 5960X.

With a Q2 launch, Intel has a good chance to lap in some sales before Zen arrives with its rumoured 16-cores. On the flip side, some users may also choose to wait and see what AMD will be offering before sinking their hard-earned cash into some shiny new hardware. On a final note, the new BIOS also notes that “This BIOS prohibits updating to earlier version BIOS” so there will be no turning back.

Intel Superclocked Broadwell Xeon Leaked

 

Even as the process nodes continue to decrease year after year, it seems like clock speeds only keep going up. When Intel launched Devil’s Canyon and Skylake, those chips basically had the highest stock frequencies ever shipped by them. An upcoming CPU though may soon top all previous record holders with the highest stock frequency ever. At 5.1Ghz, the reported Xeon E5-2602 V4 will surpass all Intel chips and even AMD’s 9590 which is limited to 5Ghz.

Based off 14nm Broadwell-EP, the 2602 V4 is a surprise given Broadwell hasn’t clocked that well. On the other hand, the 14nm process has been pretty good to overclockers. Being a Xeon, you can sure that the 5.1Ghz speed will be guaranteed and be able to run 24/7. Given the high clock speed, it’s no surprise that the TDP is a whopping 165W. The 2602 V4 is also a quad-core chip with Hyper-Threading, understandable since finding enough cores that can all clock that high. This is backed by 10MB of L3 cache with quad channel DDR4 on LGA 2011-3.

Unfortunately for consumers, the chip is expected to a limited run and only for release to specific enterprise customers. It will likely be used for highly single-threaded workloads that require the high core clocks. Hopefully, there may be some way for consumers to get the chips but given the strict binning, cost is likely astronomical and supply severely limited.

Intel’s 10 Core i7-6950X Cost may be Astronomical

Following right on the heels of the first consumer octa-core i7-5960X CPU, 2016 is the year that we may finally see a deca-core CPU from Intel. Called the i7-6950X, the new chip will be the flagship for Intel’s HEDT Broadwell-E platform. According to a new report though, the price is going way up this time, set for an exorbitant $1500 USD. Compared to previous HEDT flagships, this will be quite a jump.

Broadwell-E will be replacing Intel’s current HEDT platform, Haswell-E, which debuted the i7-5960X octa-core. Broadwell-E also marks the move from Intel’s current 22nm process to the new 14nm process Skylake started using. Broadwell-E will continue to use the same X99 Wellsburg platform as well but introduce BCLK overclocking in addition to the current multiplier based overclocking.

At 10 cores and 20 threads, the 6950X marks a jump of $500 or 50% over the previous asking price of the top chip from Intel. The octa-core 6900K will maintain the $1000 USD pricing set by its predecessor. Even when Intel made the jump from 6 core to 8 cores, they kept the price at $1000. This time, the extra cores and 14nm must either be costing Intel a lot more, or they’ve caught on that enthusiasts are willing to pay any price for top of the line chips.

Intel’s Broadwell-E i7-6950X Rumoured to Have 10 Cores and 20 Threads with 25MB Cache

Intel’s new Broadwell-E processors are due for launch during the first quarter of 2016, and a potential leak has revealed that its top-end model, the i7-6950X, will feature 10 cores, up to 20 threads, and a 25MB cache.

According to Chinese tech website Xfastest, the i7-6950X will surpass expectations, boasting more than the 8 cores and 16 threads previously expected, and offering significantly greater specs than the previous Broadwell architecture.

Xfastest’s report reads (translation courtesy of iLeakStuff):

“Some people may think that Intel’s new processor will go as high as 8 cores and 16 threads, but in fact is not the case, this time Intel will launch four new processors: New models are i7-6950X, i7-6900K, i7-6850K and i7- 6800K, where i7-6950X is the Extreme versions of the same frequency and i7-5960X, the clock is 3.0GHz and support Intel Turbo boost, but the number of cores increase into 10 cores, plus HT technical support, up to 20 threads, and the cache capacity are further enhanced from Broadwell, from the original 20MB cache now becomes 25MB”

“Intel Broadwell-E processors use X99 PCH, currently marketed X99 motherboard can receive BIOS update to support the new CPUs i7-6950X, i7-6900K, i7-6850K and i7-6800K, so you do not have to re- buy motherboards”

Leak Reveals Intel’s 14nm Xeon-D and Pentium-D Line-up

Intel first unveiled its Xeon-D processors, built on the 14nm Broadwell architecture and high-powered SoCs, way back in September 2014, but now, thanks to CPU World, we now have an updated line-up for both the Xeon-D and Pentium-D ranges, which now includes 12 and 16 core SKUs and caches of 18 to 24MB caches.

When we first glimpsed the Intel Xeon-D platform – formerly known as Broadwell DE – it consisted of the D-1518, D-1528, D-1537, D-1548, plus the Pentium D 1503, D 1507, D 1517. The updated line-up now includes the high-end Xeon D-1577, Xeon D-1567 and Xeon D-1557. The premier Xeon D-1577 boasts 16/32 cores/threads plus a 24MB cache. While the price is unknown, it is expected to launch during the 4th quarter of 2015.

The full updated line-up courtesy of WCCF Tech can be seen below:

SKU Cores/Threads Cache TDP Launch Date
Xeon D – 1577 16/32 24 MB (TBC) Q4 2015
Xeon D – 1567 12 or 16 Cores (TBC) 18 or 24 MB (TBC) (TBC) Q4 2015
Xeon D – 1557 12/24 18 MB (TBC) Q4 2015
Xeon D – 1548 8/16 12 MB 45W Q4 2015
Xeon D – 1537 8/16 12 MB 35W Q4 2015
Xeon D – 1528 6/12 9 MB 35W Q4 2015
Pentium D – 1519 4 or 6 Cores (TBC) 6 or 9 MB (TBC) (TBC) Q4 2015
Xeon D – 1518 4/8 6 MB 35W Q4 2015
Pentium D – 1517 4/4 6 MB 25W Q4 2015
Pentium D – 1507 2/2 3 MB 25W Q4 2015
Pentium D – 1503 2/2 3 MB 17W Q4 2015

Intel Regrets Skipping Broadwell for Desktop PCs

Intel has admitted that skipping desktop PC iterations of its Broadwell processors last year was a mistake following a massive dip in sales for the company over the last twelve months. Kirk Skaugen, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Client Computing Group at Intel, confessed during this year’s Citi 2015 Global Technology Conference in New York that not releasing Broadwell for PC – instead, opting for the Haswell Refresh – was “a mistake”.

“I mentioned desktop’s more than a $10 billion business for Intel,” Skaugen told attendees of Citi GTC 2015. “We didn’t build a next generation core product our last product for Towers. We made an experiment and we said maybe we are putting technology in to the market too fast, but let’s not build a chip for the mainstream Tower business, more than a $10 billion business. Turns out that was a mistake. It saved us some R&D, but XP end of life and then there was no reason to buy a PC this year.”

One upside of the decision, though, is that demand for new Intel desktop processors has never been higher, with Skaugen conceding that Intel is now “expecting a slightly better than seasonal or high-end to seasonal for the second half [0f 2015] now”.

Thank you Seeking Alpha for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of WCCF Tech.

Don’t Expect Socketed Intel Skylake with eDRAM

When Intel frist revealed that the eDRAM cache introduced with Iris Pro could be accessed by the CPU, many users were elated. CPU performance had long been relatively stagnant and extra faster cache would help improve performance. With up to 50GB/s in each direction, the relatively massive 128MB eDRAM L4 cache would bridge the gap between the large yet slow DDR3/4 and the small yet fast L3 cache. Unfortunately though, Intel has no plans to introduce this to socketed Skylake chips, limiting it to soldered BGA SKUs.

One reason many had hoped that Intel would introduce socketed Skylake with eDRAM was due to Broadwell. With the socketed i7 5775C and i5 5675C, Intel paired LGA 1150 Broadwell with 128MB of eDRAM as L4. What’s more, both chips were also unlocked and overclockable. Many had hoped that the unlocked Skylake SKUs or even a locked SKU would offer the same combination. Even with the lackluster overclocks, the 5775C can actually match overclocked 6700K in performance. This means a Skylake part with eDRAM would likely far surpass our current 6700K.

There is still room for Intel to add eDRAM to a socketed chip later on with the Kaby Lake refresh. Set for 2016, that will be little more than a minor refresh on the Skylake architecture and probably a drop in replacement on LGA 1151 motherboards. Even then though, we may not truly see eDRAM as a real option till AMD pressures Intel with Zen combined with maybe HBM or eDRAM.

Thank you TechReport for providing us with this information

Intel Prepping 5×5 Mini PC with LGA Socket

Users have long been chiming for a smaller form factor smaller than the current mini-ITX. Intel does have the NUC (Next Unit of Computing) and other vendors have their solutions. Most of these are quite limited in upgradeability and tend to have few if any expansion slots, limiting functionality. In response to this Intel is launching an all new form factor, dubbed “5×5”.

Revealed at IDF, the 5×5 will measure 140mm x 148mm, which is 5.5”×5.8”, making the 5×5 more of a 6×6 really. Being 30% smaller than mini-ITX, the 5×5 will also feature a fixed CPU position and more importantly, support LGA CPUs. Intel is planning to support i3, i5 and i7 CPUs right from the start with integrated graphics. The 5×5 will have uniform CPU and board mounting holes and will support CPUs from 35 to 65W TDP. The platform can probably go lower, but Intel probably doesn’t have plans for a sub 35W LGA chip.

Despite being more flexible than the NUC, discrete graphics won’t be supported as the z-height is targeting 39mm. There is a lot of other I/O though with 2 SO-DIMM slots, a M.2 SSD connector, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth card port, a SATA port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 2 HDMI outputs and Gigabit Ethernet. While the boards will likely be sold standalone, Intel is hoping the chassis and the board will match up, providing a good combo for placing the heatsinks and 2.5″ drives.

Intel has not released any information yet about the expected launch for 5×5, but it probably isn’t far off. While integrated graphics can be limiting, a Skylake LGA chip with GT4 graphics and 128MB of eDRAM will make for a pretty strong small factor gaming rig. If Thunderbolt and USB 3.1 are supported in the future, external graphics might also be possible. Hopefully, Intel can get buy-in from motherboard makers. It will also be interesting to see if AMD will try to get into the game by offering their own 5×5 boards with APUs.

Images courtesy of Intel and hardware.hdblog.it

4K 21.5-Inch Apple iMac Could be Coming This Autumn

9to5Mac, a site that specialises in reporting the latest news and rumours regarding Apple products, may have found evidence that a new 21.5-Inch iMac is on its way – the first update to the series in nearly two years – featuring a 4K display. After digging into the latest release of OS X El Capitan beta, Apple’s successor to Yosemite, 9to5Mac found support for an as-yet non-existent 4096×2304 resolution Apple Retina display.

“Likely destined for a refreshed version of the 21.5-inch iMac, which currently does not have a Retina display, the new El Capitan beta references Mac support for a new 4096 x 2304 resolution Apple-made display panel,” says Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac.

The listings refer to other supported hardware, including Iris Pro 6200, which is Intel’s new Broadwell-integrated graphic chipset – launched earlier this month but not in use in any current iMac iterations – which would certainly be suitable for powering a 4K display. Below that, further reference is made to four of AMD’s new Radeon R9 processors – the M380, M390, M395, and M395X models – which may also feature in the new machine.

BGR has taken this revelation and ran with it, suggesting that a new 4K 21.5-Inch iMac could be hitting stores this Autumn, a common time of year for new Apple desktop releases.

Thank you International Business Times and 9to5Mac for providing us with this information.

PC Specialist Lafité Notebook Review

Introduction


When I found out I’d be reviewing this laptop from PC Specialist I decided to check out their site and do some homework to see what I was getting.  Having no hands on experiences with Intel’s new Broadwell chips previous to this meant I finally get a chance to see what all of the Broadwell fuss was out, or perhaps to discover it was just marketing hype. After a while of making the cheapest and most expensive builds possible to curb my curiosity my very own review unit had arrived. Reading the spec list I was given ahead of the arrival, features like “5th Gen i5 Broadwell CPU”, “1080p 13.3″ screen”, “250GB SSD” were all ticking the right boxes to me, but when I seen how remarkably thin the chassis was on the website photos it was then my interest peaked.

The question is though, is it as good as it looks or is it all style and no substance? Let’s get this unboxed and find out!

Specifications

  • Name: PC Specialist Lafité
  • Case: PC Specialist Lafité Silver Aluminium Chassis
  • Processor: Intel® CoreTM i5 Dual Core Processor i5-5200U (2.20GHz, 2.7GHz Turbo)
  • System Memory: 8GB Kingston SODIMM DDR3 1600MHz (1 x 8GB)
  • Main Boot Drive: 250GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD, SATA 6Gb/s (upto 540MB/sR | 520MB/sW)
  • Graphics card: Intel® HD Graphics 5500
  • Battery: Lafité Series 4 Cell Lithium Ion Battery (6,300mAh)
  • Optical Recovery MediaWindows 8.1 (64-bit) DVD with paper sleeve
  • Optical Drive: None
  • Wireless: Gigabit LAN & Wireless Intel® AC-3160 M.2 + Bluetooth
  • Screen: 13.3″ Matte Full HD IPS LED (1920 x 1080)
  • OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit
  • Warranty: 3 Year Standard Warranty (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
  • Price: £599 as configured Delivered.

Opening the outer box reveals shows the majority of the notebook inner box is surrounded by extremely strong air padding

Removing the air padding reveals the inner box, it may be plain, but there’s no chance of damage in transit here.

The contents merely a few items, including AC Adapter, SSD Manual and PC Specialist handbook

Up close on the power supply.

CPU-Z

GPU-Z

Apple May Release New Force Touch iMac and Macbook Pro Lineup This Week

Thinking of buying a new iMac or MacBook Pro? Then you should wait a bit longer. Rumour has it that Apple may release a new iMac and Macbook Pro lineup sooner than you might expect.

Apple has just dropped support for some of its ageing products over the weekend and the move might bring some new lineups, as far as Mac Generation’s sources tell. So what to expect after the company revealed its new Force Touch MacBook at the Spring Forward event?

Sources tell that a new 15-inch MacBook Pro and a 27-inch iMac is working their way onto Apple’s store this Wednesday and if the rumours prove to be true, it means that the new MacBook Pro lineup will be the first 15-incher to be shipped with Apple’s Force Touch trackpad.

As always, there are no confirmed specs for the products until Apple officially release them. However, rumours tell that they will be fitted with the latest Intel Broadwell CPUs, which could give the MacBook Pro lineup a boost in battery life.

Even if all the above turns out to be true, we still have to wait until Wednesday to actually see them. So how likely are you to buy a new MacBook Pro or iMac? Let us know!

Thank you BRG for providing us with this information

Eurocom Announced Armadillo 2 Broadwell Ultrabook

EUROCOM builds some incredible and portable systems that usually are built with one thing in mind, the best efficiency and most power possible.

The new 14″ Armadillo 2 ultrabook is slightly different as it was designed to be a perfect everyday companion. It should be compact and lightweight enough to carry everywhere while still giving you the power you need to perform your tasks.

 

The Armadillo 2 is built around the Intel Core i5-5200U Broadwell CPU and supports up to 2TB storage, Intel HD Graphics 5500 and up to 32GB RAM, all packed in a beautiful brushed aluminium chassis that only is 2.1 cm thick and weighs 1.8kg.

Armadillo 2 supports Intel’s Platform Trust Technology (Intel PTT), which is a new platform functionality for credential storage and key management. It has a 4 cells Smart Lithium-Ion 44WH battery pack for up to 7 hours of battery life.

Specifications:

  • Display: 14.0-inch (35.56cm) FHD 1920-by-1080 LCD panel 16:9 panel, 3.2mm; eDP
  • Processor: powered by Intel 5th Generation Broadwell-U (14nm), Intel Core i5-5200U
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500 with Dynamic Video Memory Technology
  • Memory: up to 32GB; DDR3L-1333/1600/1866; 2 SODIMM 204pin sockets
  • Dimensions/Weight: 340(W) x 240(D) x 21(H)mm; 1.8kg
  • Power: Battery: up to 430 minutes; removable 4 cells Smart Lithium-Ion, 44.6WH; battery shipping mode; AC Adapter: 65W 100-240V, DC 19V 3.42A
  • Storage: up to 2TB SSD/HDD; 1x HDD/SSD (7mm) + 1x mSATA (SATA3)
  • Card Reader: 6-in-1 Push-Push; MMC/RSMMC SD/miniSD/SDHC/SHXC
  • Keyboard & Touchpad: large size touchpad 104x59mm; high quality A4 size keyboard
  • Sound System: High Definition Audio; 2 microphone array for high fidelity recordings with noise cancellation; 2
  • speakers 2W 4Ohm
  • Ports: Card Reader, 2x USB 3.0; HDMI 1.4, RJ-45 (LAN), DC-in (Right Side); Kensington Lock, Microphone jack, headphone jack (Left Side)
  • Security: Kensington Lock, Intel PTT (Platform Trust Technology)

You can configure your system directly on EUROCOM’s website where the fun begins at £588 and a fully equipped model easily costs you £2386. However, for that price you will get a 1TB HDD and 1TB SSD, 32GB RAM, pre-installed Windows with retail disk and ac/a/b/g/n and Bluetooth Wireless abilities.

Intel Broadwell Core i7-5775C Price Tag Revealed

We are nearing the start of Computex and retailers are already eager to list what they have to offer once products get launched. This is the case of Intel’s Broadwell Core i5-5675C and Core i7-5775C CPUs, which will launch during the first week of June.

Before anything else, I would like to point out that all Broadwell processors will feature four cores and come with the Iris Pro 6200 graphics solution. They also have a low power consumption of 65W and we will even see a couple of them compatible with the LGA1150 socket. To clarify everything, all models ending in ‘C’ will have support for the LGA1150 socket, while the ones ending in ‘R’ will only be BGA1364 compatible.

In addition to the latter, the ‘C’ models will be the ones that come with unlocked multipliers, as we previously seen with the ‘K’ and ‘X’ models, and we will only see a 4MB L3 catch with no hyper threading for the i5’s.

Now to the part you were all waiting for. Retailer such as NCIX (via Guru3D) already priced the i7-5775C with a pre-order tag of $499.99. Before you go enraged by the latter price tag, remember that prices are subject to change and even so, they are likely to go down after a while. So what do you think about the current price? Are you willing to spend that much for a Broadwell CPU?

Thank you Guru3D for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Guru3D

Intel Broadwell Processors Available Very Soon

We’ve been waiting for a new processor for a while, AMD recently released the A8-7850K, but no mainstream processor options. Well Intel have finally announced the release date of the Broadwell 14nm processors; June 2nd.

Going on Intel’s ‘Tick Tock’ CPU roadmap, these will be the ‘tick’ of the new 14nm process; since Ivybridge the ‘tick’ process has been slightly problematic. Originally the Ivybridge i5-3570k had thermal issues with some users resorting to ‘de-lidding’; the same reportedly happened to these Broadwell CPU’s, hence the exceptionally late release date.

The CPU’s due to be released are the Core i7-5775k and the Core i5-5675k. These will be similar to the current i7 and i5 k series chips; the i7 will be a quad core with hyperthreading, 3.3GHz base clock and 3.7GHz boost clock speed. The i5 will be a simple quad core and have a slightly lower base clock and turbo clock of 3.1GHx and 3.6GHz respectively. Both chips will feature 6MB last level cache, Intel Iris Pro 6200 graphics and a TDP as low as 65W.

These processors will be released extremely late, which will be close to the release of the Intel Skylake processors in early Autumn, but what makes these appealing is the compatibility with the current Z97 chipset.

Are you looking forward to the release of the Broadwell chips? Will you be hanging on until the release of Skylake? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

 

Akasa Announced Newton S Chassis for Broadwell NUC

Intel’s NUC series are pretty cool devices and they can be used for a lot of different things and usage scenarios. Such a device also needs a fitting enclosure and Akasa thinks so too and expands their Newton series with a new mini chassis.

Akasa has introduced a new chassis for the Broadwell version of the Intel NUC called the Newton S (model number: A-NUC15-A1B). The tiny chassis has fanless cooling thanks to the aluminium it is built from and the included heatsinks that connects the chassis directly to the vital parts, making the whole thing one ‘giant’ heatsink. The compact sized chassis easily fits anywhere and also comes with VESA compatible mounting holes for mounting it directly to a monitor, monitor stand or arm, or other VESA compatible device.

The compact sized chassis easily fits anywhere and also comes with VESA compatible mounting holes for mounting it directly to a monitor, monitor stand or arm, or other VESA compatible item.

The aluminium chassis only measures 176.5 x 200 x 53.5mm and adds a few things to the package. It comes with extra serial port, two antenna fitting holes for wireless connections, USB 3.0, IR receiver opening and space for one 2.5-inch HDD or SSD up to 9.5mm.


You also get an alternate backplate in the package and everything else to fit any of the following NUC models inside: NUC5i5MYBE, NUC5i5MYHE, NUC5i3MYBE, NUC5i3MYHE, NUC5i5RYH, NUC5i5RYK, NUC5i3RYH, and NUC5i3RYK.

Intel’s 14nm Broadwell Systems Are here but Might Be Shortlived

Intel’s Broadwell generation ran into some trouble last year and as a result of this, the launch got delayed. In return, this means that the new 5th generation Intel Core processors will have a short lifespan until the 6th generation launches later this year. The Broadwell range of processors might however still be a valid option for many people as it retains the current socket and will be supported by current generation 9-series motherboards.

Major pre-built desktop manufacturers have begun to list systems with the new Broadwell processors and the highlights are the Core i5-5675C and the Core i7-5775C. These processors aren’t exactly successors to the current flagships, but they do come with an unlocked multiplier and a reduced power consumption. Whether the reduced 65W TDP will result in better overclocking abilities is yet to be seen, but in theory it should and they could come out as a winner on that front.

Broadwell is essentially a shrunken Haswell, but Intel did add a couple new features such as ADCX that will improve things, but nothing that is a real game changer. The i5-5675C has 4MB L3 cache and the i7-5775C has 6MB L3 cache, but both feature the Iris Pro 6200 iGPU with full support for DX12 and 4K resolutions. The added 128MB eDRAM cache helps to achieve the new resolution standards such as 4K and 5K by keeping the most relevant information stored here and only using the system memory for the lesser uses resources. The Iris Pro 6200 also supports the VP8 decoder to achieve full hardware decoding that works on any resolution and with cropping.

Where this 5th generation is an entry into the 14nm CPU world, the real change will come with the 6th generation Skylake with support for both DDR3 and DDR4 memory, and that will hopefully also be the time where we’ll see DDR4 memory prices fall to a more consumer-friendly level.

Thank you PConline via TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

New Asus RG6 ROG Console is Powered by Intel Broadwell and GTX 960M

If you wanted a powerhouse console for your living room, Asus just came forth with a solution. The company just announced its RG6 ROG console-inspired gaming PC, featuring a minimalistic and extremely silent design.

The RG6 looks to maintain the company’s Republic of Gamers design and is powered by an Intel i5 5th Gen Broadwell CPU, 8GB DDR3L which is also upgradeable to 16GB, Nvidia’s GTX 960M graphics solution and even comes with an optional SSD slot. The company looks to have added one of their ROG M801 keyboard and Sica RA01 mouse in the bundle too.

Aside from its ultra-silent operating environment, outputting 20dB in idle and 28 dB in full-load, the RG6 comes with a built-in 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Intel Gigabit Ethernet with GameFirst III that aims to provide lag-free connectivity. In terms of connectivity, the gaming-PC comes with a HDMI and DisplayPort output, four USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports that also feature a USB Charger option.

When it comes to the audio, the RG6 comes with the SupremeFX ELNA audio capacitors that offer to connect you system with either the HDMI or S/PDIF optical port. In addition to the latter, audio jacks are available on both the front and back of the console. Its Sonic Studio also aims to help you personalize sound modes and te equalizer.

Asus’ RG6 comes pre-installed with Windows 8.1 and has support for Steam Big Picture Launcher out-of-the-box, even if you choose to use just a game-pad controller, giving user an additional option to add the SteamOS just as easily after the console is officially launched.

Other features include AI Suite III that lets you customize the system’s settings, a 100GB ASUS WebStorage for a year, the HomeCloud that lets you access the console remotely and a one-year license for Kaspersky’s antivirus software.

There is still no word on pricing or availability for the Asus RG6, but more news on this matter is bound to be released soon.

Images courtesy of ASUS ROG

Zotac Announce Two New Broadwell Mini-PC

ZOTAC has announced two new nano sized mini-PCs based on the new Intel Broadwell processors in their M-series. The two new systems are the ZBOX MI522 nano and ZBOX MI542 nano, and they pack a lot of features and power in a very compact form factor thanks to ZOTAC’s years of experience in the field and Intel’s new 14nm chips.

“We are always forward looking and pleased to introduce the latest technology into our mini-PCs so our users can enjoy all the innovations that come with the times. By integrating the new Intel Broadwell CPUs into our new M-series, we are enabling users to get the best of both worlds in terms of speed and power efficiency,” reveals Jacky Huang, Director of Product Management, ZOTAC International.

The only difference between the two models is what processor they use. The ZBOX MI522 is using a Intel Core i3-5010U running at 2.1GHz and the ZBOX MI542 is using a Intel Core i5-2500U with a 2.2GHz core and 2.7GHz boost speed. They both feature two DDR3 SO-DIMM slots for a total of up to 16GB RAM and one 2.5-inch bay for a SATA3 HDD or SSD.

ZOTAC packed quite a few connections into this tiny 127mm x 127mm x 45mm unit. It comes with dual Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, 3-in-1 card reader, 3.5mm stereo jacks for audio and HDMI and DisplayPort for up to 4K resolutions. The mini-PCs also feature 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

ZOTAC also created Plus models of both these mini-PCs, where you get them pre-packed with a 500GB drive and 4GB RAM, ready to use. Availability should be soon, but no word on pricing yet.

MSI Rolls out the MS-98G5 IPC Featuring an Embedded Broadwell Processor

MSI has just launched its MS-98G5 industrial motherboard with an embedded processing and graphics solution. The motherboard is based on the mini-ITX form factor and Intel 4th Gen QM87/HM86 architecture that comes with a BGA-type Haswell/Broadwell Mobile Core i7, i5, i3 or Celeron CPU, various displays, 1 PCIe x16, 8 USB 2.0 and 4 USB 3.0 ports, 5 COM ports, a SATA 3.0 connector, and 2 mini-PCIe slots.

The MS-98G5 is flexible in terms of system integrators, having the auto-switch DC 12/19V power inputs bring more possibilities of display deployment, I/O connection and extra expansion. The motherboard features HDMI, DP, DVI-I, and LVDS in terms of outputs and the HD Graphics as a graphical solution, giving it the high-performance Intel 4th Gen kernel the industrial sector needs for various industrial applications.

Here is a brief spec of the MSI MS-98G5:

  • Haswell/Broadwell Mobile Core i7/i5/i3/Celeron Processor
  • 3 independent displays (HDMI/DP/DVI-I/LVDS)
  • Dual GbE LAN with iAMT (EIA+QM87)
  • 2 x DDR3L 1333/1600 MHz up to 16GB memory
  • 1 x PCIe(x16) w/ riser card to x8+x8 or x8+x4+x4
  • 8 x USB 2.0; 4 x USB 3.0; 5 x COM; SATA 3.0
  • 2 x mini-PCIe slots
  • Auto-switch DC power 12/19V

MSI has yet to give out a release date for the product at hand or a recommended retail price, but customers can go to its web page here for more information on the product.

Thank you Guru3D for providing us with this information

Intel Launches Braswell Entry-level SoCs

Intel has launched the brand new Braswell SoCs that will take the place of the current Bay Trail-D SoCs. The four new SoCs are built on the same 14nm process as Broadwell CPUs, with two dual-core and two quad-core models.

The two new dual-core Braswell parts that are in the Celeron line, the N3000 and the N3050. They both have GPUs with a base frequency of 320MHz and boost to 600MHz and 1MB of L2 cache. The Celeron N3000 has a base clock of 1.04GHz and boosts to 2.08GHz. The N3050 is clocked higher with a base clock of 1.60GHz and a boost of 2.16GHz.

The quad-core Braswell parts both have 2MB of L2 cache with a 640MHz GPU that will boost to 700MHz. The Celeron N3150 comes in with a base clock of 1.6GHz and boosts up to 2.08GHz.  The Pentium N3700 has the same base of 1.6GHz but boosts higher, up to 2.4GHz.

All Braswell SoCs support up to DDR3-1600 memory and have a TDP of 6W, all except the N3000 which comes in with a TDP of 4W.

Source: TechSpot

New Upcoming Intel CPU Information Leaked

Sources have now confirmed to Chinese VR-Zone that Intel will only be launching two Broadwell desktop processors in Q2 2015. The new CPUs are based on the LGA1150 pin layout and will be compatible with the current Z97 motherboards. ASUS and ASRock have also recently announced that their current motherboards will be able to handle the new 14nm Broadwell processors with a BIOS update. The two new CPUs will be the Intel Core i7-5775C and Core i5-5675C.

It is unknown what the C stands for in the product names, but the processors are unlocked for overclocking like the previous K models were. Maybe a name change? maybe an error. Time will tell. The new i7 has four cores and eight threads running at a base frequency of 3.3GHz and with a turbo to 3.7GHz while the i5 has a base speed of 3.1GHz and a Turbo of 3.6GHz on its four cores, four threads base. The i7 comes with 6MB cache while the i5 only has 4MB and both are powered by the Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 iGPU.

Thanks to VR-Zone for providing us with this information