GN received an Intel Launch Update document from a source connected to one of the suppliers. The document contains information pertaining to the remainder of Coffee Lake’s chipset launches, a planned Pentium launch, and additional information on the roadmap into 2018. Because Intel color codes documents by supplier, we have removed some color-coded elements of the slides and taken other steps to protect our sources, like removing color from the image. We have confirmed the legitimacy of these slides with other sources in the industry; however, note that many of them suggested Intel’s roadmap changes almost monthly, at this point.
Of immediate interest to our audience, we learned that Intel plans to launch Pentium Silver and Celeron Gemini Lake CPUs in 4- and 2-core 10W SOC variants in October and November, following the known Coffee Lake launch. The company aims to follow Z370 with launches of its H370, H310, and B360 in the first quarter of 2018. These launches will be accompanied by other 6-, 4-, and 2-core CPUs from the 8th Generation Coffee Lake-S series. Intel aims to launch Q370 and Q360 business chipsets in 2Q18. The BGA Pentiums will come first, with enthusiast desktop likely later.
We also know that Intel is launching its Optane 900P SSD at or near CitizenCon, the event centered around Star Citizen. The SSD will be Intel’s first SSD for the enthusiast market, following the launch of enterprise Optane SSDs earlier this year. Remember that these are different from the cache drives we’ve seen thus far, and may be more valuable to the enthusiast market. The Optane 900P SSDs will ship in 280GB and 480GB AIC variants, and will be advertised as “optimized for Roberts Space Industries’ Star Citizen” at CitizenCon.
We were also told that the Z370 chipset is more of a stop-gap solution for immediate launch, and that Z370 contains trace optimizations for power delivery that are necessary to make Coffee Lake work well. This is the real reason that Coffee Lake isn’t meant to be compatible with Z200 chipsets. We learned through multiple sources that some earlier engineering boards supported intercompatibility between the products, but that this was eventually disabled in firmware to ensure Coffee Lake is used on platforms which have had their power delivery optimized properly. We learned that Z390 should carry with it greater performance improvements than found on Z370, but don’t have further information than that.
Zen 2 Matisse in 2019
The next piece of news is no surprise to anyone: AMD’s Zen 2 release, codenamed after artist Matisse, is scheduled for launch in 2019 on the AM4 platform. The Zen+ optimization should ship in 2018. In other words, the sky is still blue.
This was information leaked to Informatic Cero, so grain of salt in mind, it indicates largely items that we already mostly knew as a community. The Zen+ iteration should feature performance optimization, but we don’t know what kind – it could be clock tuning, latency fixes, or platform improvements. Zen 2 will still use existing platforms, but is about two years out.
In APU news, Raven Ridge is rumored for 2018 with 8-thread Zen CPUs and 704 streaming processors from 11 Vega CUs.
AMD Vega 64
Tom’s Hardware DE published a story indicating that MSI contacts had informed the outlet of no plans to support the Vega 64 release with custom cards. This follows a troubled launch for Vega, which has routinely pushed back potential launch dates of partner cards. The cards were originally slated for late August, then early September for ASUS and later for others, and now October.
Gigabyte noted that they would likely produce a custom Vega card at some point, but they aren’t 100% committed at this time. Gigabyte is targeting end of October, along with ASUS. We understand this to be largely a supply issue, more than anything else.
ASUS has had problems of its own, with the Strix Vega 64 card getting stuck in limbo while waiting for AMD to finalize and sign the final BIOS revision, a result of AMD trying to lock-down customization of their cards. ASUS is now stuck waiting for a new driver revision, as AMD’s latest driver launch hosts an incompatibility with the VBIOS, causing clock drops up to 180MHz.
Corsair Vengeance DDR4 4600MHz
Corsair recently outed two new pair of 16GB DDR4 kits, clocked at 4500 and 4600 MHz, respectively. Per the usual with memory, the 4500MHz kit offers the tighter timings of the two, and runs at a lower voltage. Alternatively, the 4600MHz kit uses slightly more latent timings and drinks a bit more voltage to afford the boost in clocks.
The 4500MHz kit is available for $480; the 4600MHz kit will go for $550.
G.SKILL AMD-compatible Trident Z RGB Kits
G.SKILL is rolling out Trident Z RGB kits aimed at Ryzen and Threadripper. The kits will come in speeds of 2400, 2933, and 3200MHZ; capacities range from 16GB to 128GB. The modules will feature the well-recognized Trident Z anodized aluminum heat spreader, replete with the RGB lightbar. The kits are schedule for an October 2017 release, with no current word on prices.
GeIL EVO X ROG-Certified RGB Kits
Also in memory news is GeIL and what they’re calling a “world first” with what’s being touted as the first fully RGB illuminated DDR4 memory module with ASUS ROG certification. Boasting aside, theses sticks do offer support for ASUS AURA for synchronized RGB lighting. These memory kits are available in both dual and quad channel, both running at 3000MHz and offering the standard XMP 2.0 support. Both kits will offer latencies of CL 15-17-17-35 at 1.35V.
No current word on price/availability.
EVGA EPower V Standalone VRM Board
EVGA has readied the newest version of its EPOWER line—standalone VRM boards aimed at replacing the VRMs on VGAs. The EVGA EPOWER V has 12+2 phase design (12 for VCORE, 2 for VMEM) and is powered by 3x 6-pin PCIe connectors. In broad terms, EVGA’s EPOWER VRMs afford elite overclockers increased power stability, rich voltage options, and the ability to adjust voltages on the fly. It also offers fan headers for cooling—of which it needs—and easily accessible probe points for measurements via multimeters.
For more information, will let readers defer to the source article.
Western Digital 12 TB WD Gold: 8 PMR Platters with Helium
Western Digital’s newest WD Gold offering packs 8x PMR (perpendicular magnetic recording) platters with fourth-generation HelioSeal technology. The WD Gold 12 TB uses eight 1.5 TB platters spinning at 7200 RPMs with 256MB of cache. As this drive is aimed at enterprise workloads, it is abounding with enterprise features such as advanced vibration detection and protection, TLER, RAFF, and a dual-stage actuator that can adjust the fly height of the read-write heads in real time. The WD Gold is rated for continuous operation with an annual rated workload of 550 TB and comes with a 5-year warranty.
The WD Gold 12 TB will be offered through retail channels, such as Newegg, where the price currently sits at $540.
Host: Steve Burke
Video: Andrew Coleman
Additional Reporting: Eric Hamilton