This week in hardware news, it seems Intel has delayed its Arc Alchemist GPUs once again, postponing the launch until later this summer. In other news, AMD has a new preview driver for its Radeon RX 6000 and 6x50 series of GPUs that could offer a significant performance boost, and the company is also rumored to be working on a new Smart Access Storage technology.
Elsewhere, we have Nvidia finally taking some of its GPU driver code open-source, Gigabyte addressing the well-documented issues with one of its Z690 motherboards, Asus commenting on GPU demand normalizing, and more.
As usual, find the news article and video embed below.
In a recent story circulating the web, rumors of AMD's (confirmed) deference to AS Media for its Zen chipset design have pointed toward USB3.1 transmission speed degradation issues. The reports indicated a slow-down of USB3.1 speeds as ports are distanced from the chipset, resolvable by motherboard manufacturers with a separate controller for USB3.1. The reports have not presented numbers for the alleged speed degradation; we do not have a clear picture of how heavily – if at all – this rumor impacts USB device speed.
Should USB3.1 transfer speeds truly be impacted this greatly by circuit distance, motherboard manufacturers can opt for inclusion of aftermarket ICs that resolve the issue at increased BOM. There is also still some time prior to mass production and shipping – motherboard manufacturers and AS Media may find a remedy to this reported choke-point by then.
This isn't news to anyone who's followed the site through our Pascal and GDDR5X posts, but new leaks by “benchlife.info” indicate nVidia's dedication to use both HBM and GDDR5X. The Chinese language site has previously proven to be reliable in its leaks.
GPU architecture has come to a head with memory. Pascal will host HBM2 on its high-end devices, but the cost makes low-end and mid-range cards (the equivalent of a current GTX 960) impossibly expensive. NVidia plans to deploy Micron's new GDDR5X high-bit-rate memory for a cheaper alternative to HBM2; GDDR5X is more expensive than GDDR5, landing it between the oldest (current) and newest (current) technology in product cost.
Builders of yore may remember the frequency races, back before a focus on core count and architecture surpassed the importance of raw speed. Intel is rumored to be back at the frequency game, reportedly pushing for a 5.1GHz stock clock on its next Xeon Series Broadwell-EP CPU. Xeon has historically served as a server or workstation chip, but regularly gets adopted into gaming builds for its high-performance, often sans overclocking abilities.
The follow-up to Haswell-E introduces four Core i7 SKUs on the Broadwell-E architecture, according to an alleged leak posted by Asian site BenchLife.info. Intel is already known as targeting 2Q16 for its Broadwell-E launch, but reportedly intends to break its history of a three-SKU lineup by shipping an i7-6950X at the high-end, followed by an i7-6900K, i7-6850K, and i7-6800K; all four SKUs are unlocked.
A recent post by Digitimes, known for reporting on leaked or unofficial information, claims that AMD's anticipated Zen architecture is slated for a late 2016 arrival “at the earliest.” This news follows AMD's nearly endless financial spiral, something we reported on earlier this week. The company is now substantially less than the price it paid for ATi in 2006, a purchase that exceeded $5 billion in acquisition cost to AMD.
In a recent update to the site for AMD-exclusive manufacturer XFX, leaked images of the company's impending R9 390X card were posted for public review. The images were likely posted in error and have since been removed.
The product render shows XFX's R9 390X marketing, resembling Hawaii rebranding from the R9 290X as an 8GB device. The R9 390X will lack HBM and other architectural updates to Hawaii – items that will only be found on the company's Fury and Fury X GPUs.
Neowin has rooted-up what its sources allege is an early build screenshot of the Windows 9 desktop, containing evidence pointing toward the return and metro-izing of the start menu. The screenshot is of Windows build 9788 (still branded internally as Windows 8.1 Pro), an alleged new iteration of the Windows desktop OS.
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