Hardware

Another week, another HW News. While not as busy as last week, we’ve still got some interesting stories. For instance, Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, as well as the main Linux kernel developer, has moved to AMD CPUs for his personal machine -- after 15 some years of Intel-based machines. There’s also a new development in the ongoing SMR saga: Class action lawsuits are being brought against WD in both the US and Canada.  

We also have news of changes to the numbering of AMD’s AGESA microcode updates, updated ARM IP, Intel finally overhauling its stock coolers, and a terrible Nintendo Switch clone that’s begging to be sued. 

On the GN side of things, we’ve been busy analysing Intel’s newest 10th-gen (Comet Lake-S) K-SKU CPUs and their respective Z490 platform. Most recently, we looked at the extreme auto voltage settings on Z490, including Vcore, power limit, and MCE. We also looked at the i5-10400 and i7-10700K. Spoiler alert: they’re both hard to justify. 

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Another busy week of hardware news is in the books, and there’s a lot to talk about. Perhaps most notably, AMD has performed its 180 in regards to Zen 3 support on B4xx chipsets, enabling a one-way upgrade path for those wanting to migrate to Ryzen 4000 later this year. We have an exhaustive (pt1) video (pt2) series (pt3) dedicated to the topic and the current state of BIOSes, so we won’t delve into it here.

As ever, there’s more broad industry news, such as Microsoft admitting it was on the wrong side of the open-source explosion at the turn of the century, and TSMC pulling all chip orders from Huawei thanks to ever tightening US export restrictions. We have yet to see how this will affect Huawei, but it is almost certainly going to be detrimental to its business.

Within GN specifically, we’ve completely sold out of our GN wireframe mouse mats -- thanks for the support! More mouse mats are currently on back-order for the next production run. We expect those back-orders will ship in August. Meanwhile, we’ve posted our i9-10900K review and i5-10600K review, both of which look at frequency performance, overclocking, die sanding tests, and more. It also seems AMD has dropped the price on its Ryzen 9 3900X in response to Comet Lake-S. Additionally, if you happen to live near a MicroCenter, there’s an in-store promotion that will get you the Ryzen 9 3900X for $380.

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It’s been another interesting week in the realm of hardware and technology. The week started off slowly, but ended with a deluge of interesting stories, mostly as it relates to US semiconductor manufacturing. In addition to Intel and Samsung in talks with the Department of Defense, it looks as if TSMC will be adding a second fab to its US roster.

We also have news on AMD’s open-source GPUOpen, and its apparently not so open-source  Radeon Rays solution. Sometimes. There’s also news on the recently unveiled Unreal Engine 5 and how Epic CEO Tim Sweeney feels about the SSD storage solutions in the PlayStation 5. 

Elsewhere at GN, we recently covered Nvidia’s GTC 2020 keynote where Ampere was formally announced -- check out both the article and video. We’ve also been extensively overclocking the Ryzen 3 3100, as well as the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 Infinity Fabric clock (FCLK). 

Linus might have competition from NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang, who today published the GTC 2020 keynote from his kitchen, given the current world circumstances. The company’s GTC event has rarely featured gaming product launches over the last few years, but often features the architectures that lead into them. Volta is a good example of this, where we didn’t really get gaming cards, but we saw what led to Turing. At this year’s event, the company showed off its new Ampere architecture, with a split-focus on reminding us of gaming and ray tracing advancements while also highlighting all the usual AI, machine learning, and deep learning processing goals of the architecture. Ampere sounds like it’ll be coming down to gaming at some point, as opposed to the Volta/Turing relationship, where they were technically different architectures and launches.

We thought NVIDIA might livestream a pre-recorded video, but the company ended up uploading multiple edited videos into at least 8 parts at time of writing (ed: ended up being 9). Admittedly, some of them were a little hard to listen to with obvious cuts and shoved-in words, but we’re probably more sensitive to that than most since we make so many videos here and deal with that weekly.

This article is a direct paste from our video script due to tight timelines on turning content around for news.

Before beginning this week's hardware news recap, we'd like to highlight for our readers -- or those who just prefer referencing our articles rather than scrubbing through videos at a later date -- that we've been making a bigger push to publish written content to the site lately. This site serves almost more as an archive for the scripts than anything else these days, just because the nature of maintaining it is very difficult given our current working hours, but we like it and we know that all of you like the written format. We've made an active effort in increasing how many of our videos (from YouTube) end up on the website in written form, so we published the AMD Ryzen 3 3100 review, Ryzen 3 3300X review, and our B550 vs. X570 (et al) chipset comparison. Check them out on the home page.

In the meantime, we've got a lot of hardware news for the week to recap: The FCC is being forced to reveal its server logs for concerns stemming from fake comments about net neutrality, NVIDIA and AMD are vying over 5nm supply from fab TSMC, RTX Ampere is getting an announcement this week, Intel Alder Lake and LGA1700 are in the rumor mill, and more.

Hardware news this week is slammed with announcements to cover. NVIDIA, Intel, and AMD all had big announcements -- for once, all official and not rumors -- and that includes a big focus on upcoming GPUs. AMD reconfirmed its commitment to RDNA2 in 2020, despite global economic and manufacturing challenges. NVIDIA, meanwhile, invites everyone to "get amped" for its upcoming GTC Online event, a clear indicator of Ampere GPUs. Intel teased its Xe GPUs in an interesting packaging, something worth covering to the extent we currently can.

Intel today announced its 10-series desktop CPUs, which it’s calling “10th Gen,” and that includes the 10-core / 20-thread Intel i9-10900K. Intel confirmed several of the specs we’ve exclusively published in the past couple of HW News episodes, but we can now talk about it in a more official capacity. A bigger focus on thermals was one of the key points, but we were also interested to see expanded overclocking support as a heavily promised feature for the 10-series Intel CPUs. Intel’s press announcement left a lot to be desired from an informational standpoint and the company ended the call before getting through all of the press questions, but we still have information we can work through today. Unfortunately, the press call was not without its usual stuffing of marketing that bordered on territory of “probably literally made up,” but Intel later retracted those claims after questioning. More on that later.

News is busy this week and features a story that we'd love to know more about: The Cedar Supercomputer accidentally running cryptomining software for 6 hours a day under the nose of researchers. We're also talking about DDR5 and AMD's future roadmap (all tentative), the Ryzen 3 1200 AF & 1300 AF CPUs coming to market, Unigine Community 2 SDK, TSMC earnings, and more.

Show notes continue after the video embed.

This week saw the leak-not-a-leak unveil of Crysis: Remastered, a launch for Minecraft RTX Beta and NVIDIA's DLSS 2.0, and AMD's 2nd Gen Epyc 7Fx2 CPUs. Additional stories include rumors about AMD's alleged Ryzen 3 3100 and 3100X CPUs (not to be confused with Ryzen 3000 or Zen 3), rumors about Sony Playstation 5 manufacturing concerns regarding price, Zoom account vulnerabilities, Folding at Home hitting 2.4 exaFLOPS, and coverage of the SMR hard drive issues.

Hardware news returns with a lot to talk about, including our newest charity auction of a unique, rare item: A KINGPIN 2080 Ti PCB (no parts on it -- just the board!) has been listed to benefit Cat Angels Pet Adoptions, a no-kill shelter we work with locally. You can only get these if you visit KINGPIN's lab, so they're special items that we reserve for charity events. This is the second of two we've listed, with the first benefitting wildlife following Australian bushfires. In hardware news proper, we're talking about Intel Z490 10-core CPU overclocking expectations (not stock), ASUS finding a way to automate application of Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut liquid metal, Samsung 3nm process delays, and more.

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