HW News - OC Battle with Jay, RAM Prices, 2080 Ti Delays, & More

By Published October 02, 2018 at 1:11 am

We've been working hard at building our second iteration of the RIPJAY bench, last featured in a livestream where we beat JayzTwoCents' score in TimeSpy Extreme, taking first place worldwide for a two-GPU system. Since then, Jay has beaten our score -- primarily with water and direct AC cooling -- and we have been revamping our setup to fire back at his score. More on that later this week.

In actual news, though, it's still been busy: RAM prices are behaving in a bipolar fashion, bouncing around based on a mix of supply, demand, and manufacturers trying to maintain high per-unit margins. Intel, meanwhile, is still combating limited supply of its now-strained 14nm process, resulting in some chipsets getting stepped-back to 22nm. AMD is also facing shortages for its A320 and B450 chipsets, though this primarily affects China retail. We also received word of several upcoming launches from Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA -- the RTX 2070 and Polaris 30 news (the latter is presently a rumor) being the most interesting.


Samsung Possibly Limiting Production Intentionally

Samsung is now anticipating demand to be less than originally expected for DRAM and NAND. With bit growth being lower than originally forecast, Samsung fears demand will soften as the market could reach oversupply. In order to shore-up high prices, Bloomberg says Samsung could cut back production of chips to keep supply tight, and thus, prices favorable--at least for them.

There continues to be speculation of the memory market  being somewhat inundated with DRAM (finally), as smartphone sales slow and laptop shipments are expected to be interrupted. If Samsung makes moves to curtail production and augment supply, SK Hynix and Micron could very well follow suit, which could keep memory prices high into the foreseeable future.  

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-20/samsung-is-said-to-plan-lower-chip-growth-to-maintain-prices

Ampere Computing Unveil

Earlier this year, former Intel President Renee James launched her own semiconductor business, Ampere Computing. Ampere’s vision is to create ARM based chips for servers, recognizing the low power and security benefits over x86 based chips (see: Spectre and Meltdown). To that end, Ampere have unveiled the eMAG processor and a future roadmap, of sorts.

The first batch of chips come in 16 or 32 core variants, using ARMv8-A cores, and are built on TSMC’s 16nm FinFET process. The CPUs start at $550 for the 16-core model, and $850 for the 32-core chip. Microsoft and Lenovo are among Ampere’s first customers.

Source: https://amperecomputing.com/ampere-announces-availability-of-emag-for-hyperscale-cloud-computing-and-unveils-aggressive-multi-generation-roadmap/

Rumor: AMD Revisits Polaris (Again)

Polaris has been re-hashed a few times now. The RX 480 launched in July of 2016, with the RX 580 following-up in April of 2017. The 580 has remained a competitive mid-range option, while Vega 56 has directly competed with the GTX 1070-class cards. Now that mining seems to have collapsed on itself, inventory is fast becoming available again for consumers, and it’s looking like there might be another Polaris re-release on the horizon.

A post on ChipHell recently indicated a move to Polaris 30 on 12nm TSMC silicon. If the rumor holds true, there would be potential for a down-costed version of the RX 580 cards with potential power consumption improvements, depending on how much AMD pushes clocks.

Phoronix, the leading benchmarking site for hardware on Linux, noticed a new Polaris device ID in a recent kernel patch.

This is interesting timing for AMD to capitalize on a market that has rebelled against the new flagship cards, but it must still compete with the remaining Pascal stock.

RTX 2070 Release & RTX 2080 Ti Delays

NVidia has publicly announced the RTX 2070 to launch on October 17th, and declared an MSRP of $500 for partner models, or $600 for the FE card. We’re curious to see the lowest price of partner models that pop-up, but it does look like the FE card uses the same external ID as the other 20-series releases. We would guess most good partner models will end up around $600, but don’t have firm pricing from partners yet. The RTX 2070 will use a new TU106 package, rather than being a cut-down version of the RTX 2080’s die. We don’t yet know the die size.

Source: https://twitter.com/NVIDIAGeForce/status/1044618811977150464

Separately, it appears as if nVidia has announced to its Founders Edition customers a second delay in shipping for RTX 2080 Ti orders. The new arrival date has been pushed out to October 5th to 9th, although some customers will receive them earlier than that. Arrival is based upon supply of the card.

Source: https://www.computerbase.de/2018-09/nvidia-turing-geforce-rtx-2080-ti-verzoegerung/

AMD Ryzen R7 2800H and R5 2600H

AMD have added two new Raven Ridge based APUs to their line-up, aimed at high-end gaming laptops. The Ryzen R7 2800H and R5 2600H are 4C/8T parts, with both chips offering configurable TDPs (34-54W). The R7 2800H offers Vega 11 Radeon graphics, with 11 CUs and a base/boost of 3.3/3.8GHz. Meanwhile, the R5 2600H comes equipped with Vega 8 graphics, using 8 CUs and a base/boost of 3.2/3.6GHz.

No word on availability, or what devices will be powered by these APUs.

Source: https://www.anandtech.com/show/13373/amd-launches-ryzen-7-2800h-ryzen-5-2600h-apus

AMD Experiencing Shortages on A320/B450 Chipsets

While this problem seems to be mostly limited to China, it’s noteworthy that the demand for AMD’s entry level boards are so strong. ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI have all been affected with tight supply of A320, B450, and to a lesser extent, A68 series of motherboards. The increase in demand for entry level boards seems to stem from bundling deals from the above mentioned vendors.

To keep prices stable and mitigate shortages, affected vendors have canceled current bundling promotions, and ASUS has plans for production expansion meet help meet demand.

Source: https://www.techspot.com/news/76515-high-demand-amd-motherboards-causing-shortages.html

Intel Moving Back to 22nm with H310 Chipset

In an attempt to mitigate shortages, Intel intends to relegate the H310 chipset back to the 22nm node. As we’ve reported, Intel is dealing the fallout of its perpetually delayed 10nm process, which leaves them with their 14nm silicon to satiate every market. By moving their lowest-end chip back to a larger node, Intel will gain fab space for their high demand 14nm products.

The “new” H310 chipset will be known as H310C, and is expected to eventually replace existing products SKUs using the vanilla (14nm) H310 chipset at retailers. At this point, it’s reasonable to expect Intel may move other low margin products to the 22nm node, while they try to catch up on demand for 14nm CPUs.

Source: https://www.techspot.com/news/76536-intel-forced-return-22nm-manufacturing.html

Intel Expanding Testing Facilities to Alleviate Shortage

Tom’s Hardware’s Paul Alcorn recently reported that Intel plans to expand their testing facilities, as a lack of 14nm testing facilities may be part of the 14nm production bottleneck. Intel has several 14nm products in the pipeline simultaneously--Coffee Lake, Coffee Lake refresh, Whiskey Lake, Amber Lake, XMM 7560 modems for Apple’s new iPhones, among others--and documents obtained by Tom’s Hardware suggest that testing capacity is as much a problem as fab space.

To hopefully alleviate this problem, the documents detail plans for some of Intel's 14nm silicon to be sent to facilities in Vietnam, where testing will be done under Intel’s “Copy Exactly!” program. This program allows for processes (production, testing, packaging, etc.) to be replicated perfectly.  

Source: https://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-14nm-shortage-test-facility,37783.html

Rapid News: EK Overhaul, Fractal Glass, Newegg Malware

  • EKWB announced the succesory to their venerable EK-Supremacy CPU waterblock: the EK-Velocity. The EK-Velocity will come in 14 different models, all sporting EKWB’s 5th iteration of their cooling design. Among the changes are a new mounting bracket, less flow restrictions, and more uniform RGB implementation. Prices range from $97 to $135. Orders are expected to ship by October 1st.
  • Fractal has released tempered glass window kits, aimed at users wanting to get in on the trend and replace their acrylic windows. The tempered glass windows will be offered in two different kits: the Fractal Design Define R5 Tempered Glass Panel Upgrade Kit and the Define S Tempered Glass Panel Upgrade Kit.
  • Newegg recently revealed that from the dates of August 13th, 2018 to September 18th, 2018, they were affected by a malware attack orchestrated by Magecart, the online attack group recently know for attacking Ticketmaster and British Airways. The Newegg attack was done by redirecting users to a Magecart server disguised as Newegg’s payment process page, where malicious Javascript ran on the backend, acting like a card skimmer, acquiring payment details such as names, addresses, and card details. The disguised domain even had a fake certificate to give the impression of legitimacy. Newegg has since acknowledged the vulnerability and has emailed customers they believe to be affected. Newegg is currently investigating the attack, and if any of our readers/viewers shopped at Newegg between the dates of August 13th and September 18th, you need to immediately get in touch with your card issuer or bank and get new cards.

HW Sales

Ram prices are expected to slide downwards as we go through Q42018, and into 2019. Moreover, demand is somewhat flatlining, and the market is moving towards an oversupply--which could set the stage for much needed price drops. All this is assuming memory makers don’t start decelerating memory production to control supply and maintain prices.

Still, the past week has netted some price dips in RAM kits. Generally, 16GB DDR4 kits with frequencies in excess of 3000 MHz have stayed north of $150.

Corsair's Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4 kit on Amazon is a good buy.

Editorial: Eric Hamilton
Host: Steve Burke
Video: Andrew Coleman, Josh Svoboda

Last modified on October 02, 2018 at 1:11 am

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