HW News - Intel Drops IGP, NVIDIA Class Action Complaint

By Published January 03, 2019 at 1:07 pm

CES is next week, beginning roughly on Monday (with some Sunday press conferences), and so it's next week that will really be abuzz with hardware news. That'll be true to the extent that most of our coverage will be news, not reviews (some exceptions), and so we'd encourage checking back regularly to stay updated on 2019's biggest planned product launches. Most of our news coverage will go up on the YouTube channel, but we are still working on revamping the site here to improve our ability to post news quickly and in written format.

Anyway, the past two weeks still deserve some catching-up. Of major note, NVIDIA is dealing with a class action complaint, Intel is dropping its IGP for some SKUs, and OLED gaming monitors are coming.


NVIDIA Class Action Complaint Filed

A Class Action complaint has been filed against NVIDIA for material misrepresentation of the company’s ability to recover from cryptocurrency market downturns. Note that this is presently a complaint, which means NVIDIA still has about a month to respond in a formal fashion.

The complaint directly quotes NVIDIA investor meetings that suggested the company is “master at managing our channel, and we understand the channel very well.” NVIDIA suggested overall low impact to product performance from cryptocurrency mining, indicating an ability to sustain volume after the inevitable crash. Schall Law Firm alleges that these claims were false and misleading, and that the multi-quarter leftover stock of Pascal GPUs affected NVIDIA stock performance in a significant way. Investors looking at losses in excess of $100,000 may join the suit.

Schall Law Firm states the following in its complaint:

“NVIDIA touted its ability to monitor the cryptocurrency market and make rapid changes to its business as necessary. [...] NVIDIA also claimed to the market that any drop off in demand for its GPUs amongst cryptocurrency miners would not negatively impact the Company’s business because of strong demand for GPUs from the gaming market. Based on these facts, the Company’s public statements were false and materially misleading throughout the class period. When the market learned the truth about NVIDIA, investors suffered damages.”

The law firm’s press release further stated: “Investors who purchased the Company’s shares between August 10, 2017 and November 15, 2018, inclusive (the ‘Class Period’), are encouraged to contact the firm before February 19, 2019.”

At time of writing this news story, NVIDIA’s stock fell from a 6-month peak of $289 on October 1st to $134 on December 28th. The steepest decline was November 15th, where NVIDIA fell from $202 to $145 per share by November 19th.

NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang recently stated that the company was suffering a “crypto-hangover,” and that Pascal still saturated the channel. Rumors within the industry indicated a delayed 2060 launch as NVIDIA waited for Pascal stock to clear. NVIDIA remains in a domineering position in the GPU market, but that won’t last forever. Intel is working toward a 2020 GPU release and is known to be working on discrete GPUs, with AMD playing catch-up with Navi.

Source: https://schallfirm.com/cases/nvidia-corporation/

Intel 9th “Generation” F-SKUs

Rumors and online retailers listing placeholders indicate Intel will be releasing new variants of some of their 9th generation Core CPUs, denoted with a “F” suffix. GamersNexus also received several credible tips of the F-SKU CPUs over the past few months, and so we believe these rumors to be coalescing as likely fact. The new F SKUs would be devoid of an IGP, and a disabled IGP could mean slightly higher base clocks and more overclocking headroom. We aren’t fully sure of the motive behind the product -- it could be low yields on the IGP that allow Intel to release a cheaper counterpart in the F-SKU family. Unfortunately, initial placeholder pricing suggests a higher MSRP than the non-F counterparts, so we’ll see what happens once they really release. The reduced thermal density may improve overclocking, although an idle IGP shouldn’t impact performance too much. We’ll see how it does in the lab.

Selling chips without IGPs makes sense for high-end parts that won’t see use with QuickSync-accelerated rendering, as most of these are used alongside a discrete GPU when in gaming configurations. This allows Intel to take processors that likely had IGP defects and make them profitable; moreover, a disabled IGP can act as “dark silicon”, contributing nothing while creating thermal complications.

So far, the listed parts include the Intel Core i9-9900KF, i7-9700KF, i5-9600KF, and i5-9400F. Stock is allegedly expected for these chips on January 3, 2019, which would be just a few days before CES and is likely around the same time as this video goes live.

Frequencies point toward a 3.6GHz 9700KF and 9900KF, the same as the K-SKU parts, but turbo frequencies are yet unconfirmed.

Primary source: https://twitter.com/KOMACHI_ENSAKA/status/1068782499155693568

Secondary source: https://www.anandtech.com/show/13750/intel-core-i9-9900kf-i7-9700kf-i5-9600kf-i5-9400f-cpus-listed

OLED Gaming Monitors Could Arrive in 2019

Rumblings in the display industry point toward OLED for gaming panels in 2019, marking a momentous occasion for display technology. OLED panels improve image quality while retaining low response times, mixing the response strength of TN and the visual quality of IPS, but improving on each. Organic LED panels haven’t been totally absent from the market, making appearances within TVs and phones, but didn’t show sign of adoption in the PC market until recently.

Now, JOLED, which consists of Japanese Display, Sony, and Panasonic, indicates 2019 will be the year of OLED’s arrival in desktop displays.

OLED panels primarily tout image quality and response times as low as 0.1ms, besting even TN panels. It seems JOLED is confident with the forthcoming entries from ASUS, which will see 21.6” displays in both 1080p and 4K debut in the form of ASUS Proart PQ22UC. No word on price, but they will be expensive.         

Major barriers to OLED adoption have included image retention and burn-in challenges and price, both of which will remain hurdles for PC adoption. We’re curious to hear your thoughts on this one: If you’ve found OLED TV or phone displays to be worthwhile over traditional options, like VA, TN, or IPS, let us know below. If you think they’re overhyped, let us know why. We’re curious about market interest on this one.

Source: http://www.pcgameshardware.de/Monitor-Display-Hardware-154105/News/JOLED-Panel-4K-Ultra-HD-27-Zoll-Asus-Proart-PQ22UC-1272004/

AMD Athlon 240GE and 220GE CPUs

AMD recently announced two more entries in their revived Athlon lineup, ostensibly set to do battle with Intel’s Pentium parts of limited availability. Some time back, we reported on AMD launching the Athlon 200GE APU, which was a low-end part going for $55. We later benchmarked the part with an MSI B350 Tomahawk motherboard and reached 3.9GHz, producing the best performance we’ve seen in the price class. This was done seemingly by fluke, with the MSI board’s AGESA update also unlocking multiplier overclocking on the Athlon 200GE.

Now, AMD has announced availability of the Athlon 240GE and 220GE, fleshing-out the low-end desktop market. Like the 200GE, the new Athlon APUs offer 2C/4T configurations with Radeon Vega graphics and a TDP of 35W. The 240GE is expected to be listed at $75, while the 220GE will be available for $65. As for differences, the 200GE runs at 3.2GHz base clock, the 220GE at 3.4GHz, and the 240GE at 3.5GHz. These differences are nullified by the 200GE and overclocking, of course, and it’s unlikely that the more expensive SKUs will overclock meaningfully higher. Keep in mind that these are Ryzen 1000-series dies, and so frequencies of 3.9 to 4.0GHz are about the max achievable. If you’re willing to go with an MSI board and 200GE, it’s pointless to buy the 220GE or 240GE.

Source: https://www.amd.com/en/processors/athlon-and-a-series

Rumor: RTX 2060 Allegedly Uses Both GDDR5X and GDDR6

Back to rumors momentarily, the mill has been aswirl lately about NVIDIA and multiple alleged cards, with all rumors of questionable veracity; however, this particular rumor is interesting, and maybe not so far fetched, given NVIDIA’s history with the 1060. Rumor has it the RTX 2060 could come in variants of 6GB, 4GB, and 3GB. What’s more, the RTX 2060 could allegedly make use of GDDR5X and GDDR6 memory, adding to confusion. This follows the GTX 1060’s multiple listings, including a 6GB model, 3GB model with one fewer SM, 5GB model, 9Gbps model, and GDDR5X model.

NVIDIA recently refreshed the 1060 with GDDR5X and has a history of using different memory configurations for cards, even stepping down to DDR4 DRAM for the GT 1030.

Source: https://www.tomshardware.com/news/nvidia-geforce-rtx-2060-faq,38257.html

Oops: Lenovo Confirms GTX 1160

Lenovo must be one of NVIDIA’s favorite partners, because the company routinely accidentally posts details pertaining to new video cards. The newest slip comes in the form of a notebook allegedly containing a GTX 1160, marked with an asterisk that notes “All TBD” and accompanied by a memory spec indicating 3GB and 6GB SKUs for the Y530 and Y7000P notebooks.

Tom’s Hardware reports that the GTX 1160 will use TU116 silicon, as opposed to the TU106 RTX 2060 silicon. Other rumors around the web indicate that the GTX 11 series will ax the RT and Tensor cores, focusing back entirely on rasterization. This will likely reduce price, for one.
Source: https://www.tomshardware.com/news/nvidia-geforce-gtx-1160,38301.html

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

Last modified on January 03, 2019 at 1:07 pm

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