HW News - 10nm 'Death,' 9900K Availability, Vega 20, & RX 590

By Published October 28, 2018 at 10:22 am

Intel broke silence this week in response to media reports that its 10nm process "died," denying the claims outright and reaffirming target delivery for 2019. This follows reports emboldened by Semiaccurate of the discontinuation of the current 10nm process development, a site that previously accurately predicted issues with 10nm production. We've also seen plenty of AMD news items this week, including a slumped earnings report, Vega 20 rumors, and RX 590 rumors.

The shows notes are below the video, as always, for those favoring reading.


‘9th Gen’ CPUs Already Overpriced and Hard to Find

The Intel i9-9900K has an SEP of $488 for 1000 units, but the CPU is currently selling for $580 at most US retailers, and is subsequently out of stock. We have received countless emails from viewers and readers complaining of missing pre-order shipments from Amazon and Newegg, with many of you receiving Z390 boards before the CPUs.

The i7-9700K isn’t faring any better; it’s going for $410 - $420, which is well over expectations. 1K unit pricing on these is $374. Unsurprisingly, it’s mostly out of stock as well. The i5-9600K is in the best shape so far, selling for $280, which is within reason of the $262 1K unit price. It is also available at Newegg, at time of writing.

For the 9900K, we have a hard time recommending the CPU at $580

Source: https://www.amazon.com/Intel-i9-9900K-Desktop-Processor-Unlocked/dp/B005404P9I

Source: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117957

Intel Denies Death of 10nm

A story at Semiaccurate has given traction to a rumor that Intel abandoned its troubled 10nm process, claiming it was foredoomed to failure. Intel quickly refuted the idea via its official Twitter account:

“Media reports published today that Intel is ending work on the 10nm process are untrue. We are making good progress on 10nm. Yields are improving consistent with the timeline we shared during our last earnings report.”

Semiaccurate has correctly forecast Intel would face trouble and delays with 10nm in the past, even when the company stated otherwise. Whether or not there’s any truth to SA’s newest estimation, we are presently unsure. Semiaccurate updated their story with Intel’s response and stated that they stand behind their initial reporting.

Source: https://www.semiaccurate.com/2018/10/22/intel-kills-off-the-10nm-process/

Intel Tweet -- https://twitter.com/intelnews/status/1054397715071651841?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1054397715071651841&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theverge.com%2F2018%2F10%2F22%2F18009784%2Fintel-10nm-chips-canceled-report-comment

Intel Could Be Overhauling Architecture for 10nm

Speaking of 10nm, other news points toward an architectural overhaul for the next process shrink. For the long awaited 10nm, Intel could be preparing for their biggest microarchitecture overhaul since 2015’s Skylake. Leaked benchmarks show higher cache levels for Intel’s Ice Lake, with a restructured cache hierarchy as well.

Ice Lake is intended for the 10nm+ node, which should bring higher clocks, an IPC increase, and in-silicon mitigations for Spectre and Meltdown. Intel maintains that 10nm yields are improving in accordance with their timeline of getting Canon Lake CPUs in systems by 2019; Ice Lake is on tap for 2020.   

Source: https://www.overclock3d.net/news/cpu_mainboard/intel_ice_lake_benchmark_leak_suggests_major_core_overhaul/1

Rumor: RX 590 & Vega 20

Rumors have been swirling for some time about a possible RX 590, and new leaks suggest that both ASUS and PowerColor have models being readied for launch. What’s more, an entry in the 3DMark database showed up with drivers named Radeon RX 590 Series. If the information is to be believed, the score obtained was 5,028. This would put a potential RX 590 between a GTX 1070 and 1080. This would make it a 1070 Ti competitor and likely position it not too distant from Vega 56, although cheaper memory could make the device more affordable.

The RX 590 is supposedly based on Polaris 30, a 12nm refresh of Polaris 20. Polaris 30 has recirculated the rumor mill enough that this one seems likely to hold truth. Glean from this what you will, but per the usual with rumors, take the performance numbers with the prescribed amount of salt.

Vega 20 has also been circling the rumor mill lately, but this is one where we would advise a heavier dosage of salt -- an amount similar to what Linus takes when we donate money to his stream, for instance.

The Vega 20 rumors recently perked-up when a mysterious 66AF:C1 device was found in the Final Fantasy XV benchmark, which is one of the worst benchmarks out right now. We have checked with our contacts on this one, learning that Vega 20 won’t arrive until early next year at soonest. We’d also advise disregarding all current performance numbers, as these are likely on early engineering samples that are far from completion.

RX 590 Source: https://hothardware.com/news/asus-prepping-radeon-rx-590-rog-strix-polaris-refresh

Vega 20 Source: http://benchmark.finalfantasyxv.com/result/

Rumor: Zen 2 Could Offer 13% IPC Increase

Italian publication Bits n’ Chips have indicated they believe AMD’s Zen 2 architecture will completely overhaul AMD’s core design, and bring about a double digit IPC increase, to the tune of 13%.

There is little data to go on, and there is nothing that suggests such an IPC increase would affect anything but high compute workloads. Consumer chips based on Zen 2 are expected in 2019.

Source: https://www.techspot.com/news/76989-amd-zen-2-architecture-could-offer-greatly-improved.html

AMD Lands Oracle as Latest EPYC Customer

AMD is slowing gaining momentum in the enterprise market, where Intel has dominated for years. AMD and Oracle have announced a partnership that will see Oracle deploy AMD EPYC processors in their bare metal virtual machines, available immediately in some parts of the world. Oracle joins Microsoft and Baidu in adopting AMD’s EPYC CPUs as part of their cloud business.

The AMD EPYC based E-series will start with the E2, with pricing at 0.03 cents per core hour, and configurable up to 64 cores. Oracle and AMD will offer several instances ,ranging from 16 to 64 cores, dual socket configurations, and up to 512GB of RAM.   

Source: https://www.anandtech.com/show/13504/oracle-puts-amd-epyc-in-the-cloud

AMD Earnings Down from Crypto Crash

We’re not financial experts, so we don’t go too deep into the money side of things. We can speak to GPU demand, though. AMD posted lower-than-expected earnings for this quarter, showing a 15% drop on October 25th. AMD’s revenue hit $1.65B, which is about $500 million under target. On the upside, the company’s gross revenue is up from 37% last quarter to 40% this quarter.

As for the demand aspect, AMD increased GPU production for 2Q18 to meet demand, and slowed production in 3Q18 with expectations that crypto demand would fall. AMD was right in this estimate, but may have been wrong in just how many of its GPUs were being used for miners outside of direct sales to mining farms. The computing and graphics segment revenue fell $100 million below the target fall of $50 million, putting AMD at a $150 million drop in computing & graphics revenue. Note that this segment includes CPUs, confusingly, so we can’t see how well each department is doing.

Financial analysts seem mixed on this report: Some, like Seeking Alpha, see opportunity in the gross margin increase, while others, like Motley Fool, are skeptical of performance.

Source: https://seekingalpha.com/article/4214864-amd-loved-q3-earnings

Source: https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/10/25/amd-was-blinded-by-easy-money-and-now-its-paying-t.aspx

Samsung’s EUV Based 7nm Chips

Samsung announced their new LPP process based on 7nm EUV lithography, and in so doing, is the first manufacturer to officially adopt extreme ultraviolet lithography. According to Samsung, wafer production will begin for the  EUV-based 7LPP at the S3 fab in Korea. These new designs based on 7LPP will power 5G applications, automotive, datacenter, IoT, and artificial intelligence, just to name a few.

The 7nm EUV process brings a myriad of benefits, assuming Samsung pulls it off. Samsung promises a 40% area efficiency, 20% performance increase, and 50% less power consumption compared to its existing 10nm FinFET process.

Source: https://www.tomshardware.com/news/samsung-7nm-chips-euv-7lpp,37944.html

Motorola Partners With iFixit To Support Right to Repair

Motorola is the first phone maker to support right to repair, by collaborating with iFixit to offer DIY kits for replacing batteries and displays. These kits will come with all the necessary tools and parts to allow users to perform a replacement themselves.

This something of an unprecedented move, and one that is 180 degrees to the likes of other phone makers, of whom go out of their way to limit out-of-house repairs. As devices get smaller, and more complicated, they also get more expensive. Extending the life of electronics saves customers money, and helps control the severe e-waste problem. Good on Motorola.  

Source: https://www.ifixit.com/Device/Motorola_Android_Phone

Ryan Shrout Leaves PC Perspective for Intel

Some pretty big news within the tech publication space this week, as Ryan Shrout of the long standing PC Perspective has announced he’s leaving for Intel. Shrout started PC Perspective in 1999, albeit it existed in a different form back then. PC Perspective was officially founded in 2004, and Shrout has been there for the last 19 years. Additionally, Shrout developed Shrout Research, a firm dedicated to market research, analysis and consulting.

At Intel, Shrout will take the role of Chief Performance Strategist. As he transitions to his new role, Shrout has divested himself of both PC Perspective and Shrout Research, saying that he has fully relinquished ownership of PC Perspective to the team.   

Source: https://www.pcper.com/news/Editorial/Beginning-new-journey

Editorial: Eric Hamilton
Host: Steve Burke
Video: Andrew Coleman

Last modified on October 28, 2018 at 10:22 am

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