AMD 64-Core Rome Deployment: HLRS ‘Hawk’ at 2.35 GHz

Last week AMD pre-announced its next-generation EPYC processors, code-named Rome. These new processors are set to be officially announced next year, but will feature up to 64 cores using eight 7nm chiplets surrounding a central 14nm IO die. This week is the annual Supercomputing conference, focusing on high-performance computing, where all the big OEMs with server offerings as well as supercomputing centers get to promote their latest and greatest. One of them is the High Performance Computing Center based in Stuttgart, Germany, who disclosed some information about their new ‘Hawk’ system.



Source: AnandTech – AMD 64-Core Rome Deployment: HLRS ‘Hawk’ at 2.35 GHz

G.Skill Unveils 64 GB DDR4-4266 and 128 GB DDR4-4000 Kits for HEDTs

Coinciding with today’s launch of Intel’s HEDT “Skylake-X/Basin Falls Refresh” family of CPUs, G.Skill today announced its new 64 GB DDR4-4266 and 128 GB DDR4-4000 kits designed for high-end desktops.


G.Skill’s new Trident Z quad-channel memory includes a 64 GB (8×8 GB) kit rated to run at DDR4-4266 CL19 19-19-39 with 1.45 Volts, and a 128 GB (8×16 GB) set designed to operate at DDR4-4000 CL19 19-19-39 with 1.35 Volts. The DIMMs are based on Samsung’s time-proven B-die memory chips that are used for overclocking-grade modules, feature XMP 2.0 SPD profiles for easier set up, and are outfitted with aluminum heat spreaders.






G.Skill’s Trident Z Memory for Intel’s Skylake-X
Speed CL Timing Voltage Kit

Config.
Kit

Capacity
Family DIMM PN
DDR4-4000 CL19 19-19-39 1.35 V 8×16 GB 128 GB Trident Z RGB ?
DDR4-4266 CL19 19-19-39 1.45 V 8×8 GB 64 GB Trident Z ?

Since we are dealing with very high-performance SKUs, G.Skill requires them to run on high-end motherboards capable of delivering a “clean” power supply and keep the amount of interference at minimal levels. So far, G.Skill has validated the kits with the ASUS Prime X299-Deluxe II motherboard, though the list of “officially” compatible platforms may expand over time.


One thing to note about the 64 GB DDR4-4266 1.45 V kit is that it runs at a voltage that is 20% over DDR4 standard’s default voltage of 1.2 V, which means that power consumption of the kit will be noticably higher than standard modules (keep in mind that power consumption increases with the square of the voltage). Therefore, the kit will require good cooling as well. In the meantime, the 128 GB kit will also use a fair bit of power simply because of its capacity.


G.Skill plans to start sales of its new Trident Z 64 GB DDR4-4266 and 128 GB DDR4-4000 quad-channel memory kits sometime in the first quarter of 2019. Along those lines, since they’re still a quarter out from launch, the company has not announced the pricing of the new products, as that will depend on the spot price of DRAM at the time. Meanwhile, given the performance and capacities of the modules, expect the kits to carry a premium price tag.



Related Reading:


Source: G.Skill




Source: AnandTech – G.Skill Unveils 64 GB DDR4-4266 and 128 GB DDR4-4000 Kits for HEDTs

Imagination Launches PowerVR Automotive Initiative, 8XT-A GPU IP

The automotive industry is changing rapidly these days thanks to the influx of computing poweer, and it will continue to consume considerably more CPU and GPU horsepower in the coming years. As a result, it is not surprising that IP and hardware developers are increasingly tailoring offerings for the automotive industry. To that end, Imagination Technologies on Tuesday introduced its PowerVR Automotive package of IP aimed specifically at solutions for various vehicles. In fact, PowerVR Automotive is more like an initiative that will expand over time to include more offerings.



Imagination has been supplying various IP blocks for the automotive semiconductor industry for many years, so the company is clearly not a newbie here. Today, PowerVR IP — including 8XT high-performance GPU cores, energy-efficient 8XT/P GPU IP, and 2NX neural network accelerator IP — are used extensively for chips that power infotainment, digital cockpit, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Meanwhile, as demands from developers of SoCs for auto applications are growing, Imagination is rolling out its new portfolio of IP featuring enhancements specifically aimed at the automotive industry.




Imagination’s 2018 portfolio of PowerVR Automotive hardware IP includes the PowerVR 8XT-A GPU, which supports enhanced recovery and reliability features that are required by SoC designers to get automotive safety certification for processors aimed at digital human-machine interfaces (HMIs) and autonomous vehicles (AVs). In particular, SoCs featuring the 8XT-A GPU achieve ASIL-levels of functional safety, and can meet industry standards such as ISO 26262 as well as IEC 61506. The new GPU also supports hardware virtualization for QoS and security (i.e., all apps can run in isolated containers), ECC, and LBIST (logic built-in self-test). Meanwhile for those who need an ultimate reliability and do not care about the costs, the PowerVR 8XT-A even supports a dual GPU technology that enables to run workloads in lockstep.



Besides enhancing the GPU on the logical level, Imagination claims that it also ensures that the IP is implemented using a process technology that is tailored for automotive applications too (so, think extended temperature ranges and other perks).



In addition to the PowerVR 8XT-A GPU, the 2018 automotive hardware IP portfolio from Imagination also includes the PowerVR 9XE/XM energy-efficient GPU, as well as the 3NX neural network accelerator. What is more important is that Imagination intends to continue to expand its PowerVR automotive hardware IP portfolio with tailored solutions. In addition to another automotive-grade GPU IP due next year, the company will offer an ASIL-capable NNA. Which in turn can be mixed and matched with the PowerVR 8XT-A GPU and other processing blocks.


All of Imagination’s PowerVR Automotive IP is supported by appropriate APIs, hypervisors, operating systems, and so on. Therefore, a broad lineup of SoC developers as well as auto makers can take advantage of the new IP designed by Imagination.


Related Reading:


Source: Imagination Technologies



Source: AnandTech – Imagination Launches PowerVR Automotive Initiative, 8XT-A GPU IP

Western Digital Announces Ultrastar DC ME200 Memory Extension Drive

Western Digital on Monday introduced its new special-purpose SSD designed to speed up in-memory processing applications. The new Ultrastar DC ME200 Memory Extension Drive uses proven hardware and comes with special software that creates virtualized memory pools.


From hardware standpoint, the Ultrastar DC ME200 belongs to the Ultrastar SN200 family launched about two years ago. The drive is based on a proprietary controller and paired with Western Digital’s 128 Gb planar MLC NAND memory. The drive comes in U.2 and PCIe 3.0 x8 HHHL card form-factors, making it drop-in compatible with most existing x86 servers. WD is offering 1 TB, 2 TB, and 4 TB versions of its Ultrastar DC ME200 drives, all rated for up to 17 drive writes per day over a three-year period.


Meanwhile when it comes to speed, the special-purpose SSD should perform in line with the SN200-series. But the key thing about performance of the Ultrastar DC ME200 are not sequential reads or writes, but ability to speed up select applications that use in-memory processing.



As noted above, the Ultrastar DC ME200 comes with software that allows the NAND flash to be “seen” as system memory by the operating system. The software supports advanced prefetch algorithms that the company claims enables near-DRAM performance in applications that use in-memory processing (e.g., Redis, Memcached, SGEMM, MySQL, etc.). Western Digital recommends to install one Ultrastar DC ME200 per socket, essentially extending system memory capacity upwards of eight-fold.



By using the Ultrastar DC ME200 owners of datacenters can potentially reduce their spending on DRAM while still ensuring high performance for their large databases that require a lot of system memory. For example, a server featuring 256 GB of DDR4 and a 2 TB memory extension drive costs 25% less than a system with 1.5TB of DDR4.



Western Digital’s Ultrastar DC ME200 memory extension drive are sampling with select customers. Pricing has not been announced because it depends on volumes and other factors.


















Western Digital Ultrastar DC ME200 Specifications
  Ultrastar DC ME200
Capacities 1 TB

2 TB

4 TB
1 TB

2 TB

4 TB
Form Factors HHHL add-in card 2.5-inch U.2
Interface PCIe 3.0 x8 (NVMe 1.2) PCIe 3.0 x4 (NVMe 1.2)
Controller Proprietary
NAND 128 Gb MLC made using 15 nm process technology (?)
Write Latency 512 B 20 ms
Power Idle 9 W
Operating 25 W
Endurance 17 DWPD
Supported Processors Intel Xeon E5-x6xx v3 or later, E7-x8xx v3 or later Intel Xeon Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum
Supported Operating Systems Linux 64-bit OS

RHEL 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4 SLES 11-SP4, 12, 12-SP1, 12-SP2

Fedora Core ver. 4 to 27; Open SuSe ver. 10 to 11 Ubuntu Server ver. 16.04 to 17.10; Debian 9.5.0
MTBF ?
Warranty Three years

Related Reading:




Source: AnandTech – Western Digital Announces Ultrastar DC ME200 Memory Extension Drive

First AMD EPYC Rome Motherboard Spotted

Part of AMD’s recent pre-announcement of its next generation Rome server processors, using 7nm chiplets and running up to 64 cores, is that the new processors will be compatible with current motherboards on the market. However, one of the new features of Rome is the use of PCIe 4.0. PCIe 4.0 has different standards for on-board signalling in order to get the required speed, so even though the processors are backwards compatible with PCIe 3.0, we expect new motherboards and new systems to be developed with PCIe 4.0 specifications in mind. Today, we saw the first early revision of such a motherboard.



Source: AnandTech – First AMD EPYC Rome Motherboard Spotted

AMD Launches High-Frequency EPYC 7371 Processor

AMD has announced its new high-frequency EPYC 7371 processor designed for applications that benefit from high clocks. The CPU has 16 cores and is aimed at tasks like electronic design automation, high-frequency trading, and other. The EPYC 7371 can work in dual-socket configuration, thus offering up to 32 cores and 64 threads per box.


The AMD EPYC 7371 processor features 16 cores with SMT (spread across four eight-core Zen dies), 64 MB of L3 cache, an eight-channel DDR4 memory subsystem, and 128 PCIe lanes. The CPU features a 3.1 GHz default frequency, yet can run all cores at 3.6 GHz, or just eight cores at 3.8 GHz.


Being aimed at workloads that need a high single-thread performance, the EPYC 7371 takes advantage of its massive L3 cache along with its rather high frequencies. Meanwhile, its ability to work in dual-socket configuration is a major advantage that the EPYC 7371 has over other high-clock CPUs because the processor still enables 32 physical cores and 64 threads per system.















AMD EPYC Processors (2P)
  Cores

Threads
Frequency (GHz) L3 DRAM PCIe TDP Price
Base All Max
EPYC 7601 32 / 64 2.20 2.70 3.2 64 MB 8-Ch

DDR4

2666

MT/s
8 x16

128

PCIe
180W $4200
EPYC 7551 32 / 64 2.00 2.55 3.0 180W >$3400
EPYC 7501 32 / 64 2.00 2.60 3.0 155W/170W $3400
EPYC 7451 24 / 48 2.30 2.90 3.2 180W >$2400
EPYC 7401 24 / 48 2.00 2.80 3.0 155W/170W $1850
EPYC7 7371 16 / 32 3.10 3.60 3.8 ? ?
EPYC 7351 16 / 32 2.40 2.9 155W/170W >$1100
EPYC 7301 16 / 32 2.20 2.7 155W/170W >$800
EPYC 7281 16 / 32 2.10 2.7 32 MB 155W/170W $650
EPYC 7251 8 / 16 2.10 2.9 120W $475

What is particularly noteworthy about the EPYC 7371 processor is that it is not officially listed over at AMD’s website. Perhaps, this part was initially offered to select customers only as an “off-roadmap” SKU, but demand from HPC vendors and traders encouraged AMD to expand availability of the chip to a broader range of its customers.


AMD plans to start selling its EPYC 7371 chip in Q1 2019, so before its next-generation EPYC ‘Rome’ chips will become available. The manufacturer did not touch upon pricing of its chip as it will naturally depend on volumes and other factors.


Related Reading:


Source: AMD



Source: AnandTech – AMD Launches High-Frequency EPYC 7371 Processor

Buffalo Unveils New 10GBase-T Network Card with 2.5G+5G

One of the interesting elements in NBase-T networking is how and when companies are releasing new multi-gig 2.5G+5G+10G controllers to the market. This week Buffalo lifted the lid their newest card, which is using a unique controller implementation we’ve not seen in the wild before.


The LGY-PCIE-MG expansion card is a PCIe 2.0 x4 card designed for commercial systems with a standard RJ-45 port but capable of 1G, 2.5G, 5G and 10G networking connectivity. The key part of the card, the MAC and PHY, comes from a combination of a Tahuti Networks TN4010 multi-speed MAC and Marvell’s Alaska M 88E2180 PHY. Up until this point, any multi-gig Base-T working implementation has been using Aquantia solutions, or we’ve recently seen Realtek controllers for 2.5G, but now we have a true second player in the multi-gig space. The Marvell controller was actually announced back in May 2017, so it seems there has been a long lead time before coming to market. The obvious players missing from this set are Broadcom, Qualcomm, and Intel.


The Buffalo LGY-PCIE-MG card is designed to work with operating systems from Windows 7 and up, as well as Windows Server 2012 and up. Power consumption is listed in the specification sheet at 6.1W, and has an operating temperature window of 0-55C (which seems low?). The RRP of the card is £155 (UK), which is substantially higher than current Aquantia solutions on the market, which are around £100.


Related Reading




Source: AnandTech – Buffalo Unveils New 10GBase-T Network Card with 2.5G+5G

The Intel Core i9-9980XE CPU Review: Refresh Until it Hertz

It has been over a year since Intel launched its Skylake-X processors and Basin Falls platform, with a handful of processors from six-core up to eighteen-core. In that time, Intel’s competition has gone through the roof in core count, PCIe lanes, and power consumption. In order to compete, Intel has gone down a different route, with its refresh product stack focusing on frequency, cache updates, and an updated thermal interface. Today we are testing the top processor on that list, the Core i9-9980XE.



Source: AnandTech – The Intel Core i9-9980XE CPU Review: Refresh Until it Hertz

Microsoft Releases Surface Go LTE

Earlier this year, Microsoft launched their lower cost, smaller Surface Go. With a display size of 10 inches, and weighing 1.15 lbs, or 515 grams, it’s a more portable version of the popular Surface Pro.


Today Microsoft is announcing a new LTE variant for those that want to use the convertible PC even more on the go. The Surface Go has been paired with the Qualcomm X16 modem, which is the same modem they used in the Surface Pro LTE.
















Microsoft Surface Go
  Surface Go Specifications
CPU Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y (Kaby Lake-Y)

2 core, 4 thread, 1.6 GHz base frequency
GPU Intel HD 615

24 EUs 850 MHz boost frequency
Display 10-inch PixelSense

1800×1200 3:2 aspect

216 Pixels Per Inch

10-point Multitouch

Surface Pen support
Dimensions 245 x 175 x 8.3 mm

9.6 x 6.9 x 0.33 inches
Weight 515 grams (WiFi)

1.15 lbs (WiFi)
RAM 4 or 8 GB LPDDR3-1866
Storage 64 GB eMMC

128 / 256 GB NVMe SSD optional
Wireless 802.11ac with Bluetooth 4.1
Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE Optional

Cat 9 modem, 22 bands, 450 Mbps download speed
Battery Up to 9 hours of video playback

24W Charger
Cameras Windows Hello IR camera

5 MP Front Camera with 1080p video

8 MP Rear Camera with 1080p video
Ports USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 1 with power delivery

Surface Connect

MicroSD

Headset
Price 4GB/64GB $399

8GB/128GB $549
8GB/128 GB LTE $679

Windows 10 Pro $50 extra

The new Surface Go LTE is available for pre-order now, starting at $679, which is a $130 increase over the same 8 GB / 128 GB Wi-Fi model, or $729 for commercial customers which will probably mean a bump up to Windows 10 Pro.


The new model will be available in 23 markets by November 22, and more are coming after that.


Source: Microsoft



Source: AnandTech – Microsoft Releases Surface Go LTE

Naples, Rome, Milan, Zen 4: An Interview with AMD CTO, Mark Papermaster

At AMD’s Next Horizon event this week, the company disclosed for the first time the layout of its next generation EPYC processor, the new Vega Radeon Instinct datacenter compute accelerators, as well as a strong confidence that its execution on 7nm will be a big win. If there’s anyone at AMD prepared to talk about execution, it’s the Chief Technology Officer, Mark Papermaster.



Source: AnandTech – Naples, Rome, Milan, Zen 4: An Interview with AMD CTO, Mark Papermaster

TACC Frontera: Targeting 210W Next-Gen Xeons and Extreme Performance

The Frontera supercomputer is the next generation high performance machine set to debut at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). As part of Intel’s HPC Forum, being held just before the annual Supercomputing conference, a number of disclosures about the design of Frontera (Spanish for ‘Frontier’) were made. One of which is certainly worth highlighting: this is not a supercomputer that is going to worry about performance per watt – this is all about the peak performance.



Source: AnandTech – TACC Frontera: Targeting 210W Next-Gen Xeons and Extreme Performance

Intel Offers More Cascade Lake-AP Performance Numbers

One of the announcements from last week involved Intel and its new Cascade Lake Advanced Performance category of processors to launch next year. These new processors will be based on combining two 24-core Cascade Lake-SP processors on a single package substrate to offer a single socket 48-core option with a total of twelve memory channels. The Cascade Lake-AP parts are going to be launched next year, and until then Intel is putting out some internal benchmark numbers.


Vendor Benchmark Results


When we are this far away from a product launch, all benchmark numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. This goes doubly so for vendor supplied benchmarks.  However, Intel is on the warpath to promote what it sees as a new product family within its portfolio, even if it is only set to come out next year.


At the announcement last week, Intel offered Linpack and Stream Triad as two main high-performance metrics as comparison. Today Intel is also offering more ‘real world’ metrics. These metrics are, to quote Intel, ‘estimates based on pre-production hardware’. This means that the hardware is not ready yet, and these are values based on the engineering samples running but extrapolated to an expected benchmark value. Add another dump truck of salt on these numbers.


Intel’s official list of results are as follows:












Intel’s Benchmark Numbers

for 2S 48 Core Cascade Lake-AP
  Benchmark Type Score vs 2S EPYC 7601
*These numbers were created by Intel
Linpack Numerical Linear Algebra 3.4x
Stream Triad Memory Bandwidth 1.3x
MILC Quantum Chromodynamics 1.5x
WRF Weather Forcasting 1.6x
OpenFOAM Computational Fluid Dynamics 1.6x
NAMD (APOA1) Molecular Dynamics 2.1x
YASK (ISO 3DFD) HPC Kernel Tuning 3.1x

The slide with this data is in the gallery below.


In each case, Intel is comparing a dual-socket Cascade Lake-AP system with a dual socket EPYC 7601 system. Intel’s information slides go through how it set up all of its AMD systems in detail, however it does not disclose how the Cascade Lake-AP systems are set up by comparison, presumably as to not disclose any additional set-up numbers.



For the most part, we don’t put much stock into vendor supplied benchmark numbers. It’s easy for a vendor to claim a multiple when doubling particular compute resources, but when it comes to real world tests, companies like Intel have to try and promote its future products to potential customers. This is what this is. However, no matter how many numbers come out, these are impossible to verify independently. Wait until the AnandTech review, of course.


Intel also disclosed a number of ecosystem partners who are getting ready to deploy Cascade Lake-AP, as well as an offical declaration of the Cascade Lake-AP deployment at HLRN.



Cascade Lake-AP is set to be launched alongside the Cascade Lake-SP in the first part of 2019, although Intel states that Cascade Lake-SP will ship for revenue in 2018. This week we are at the Supercomputing trade show – hopefully there will be a demo somewhere that we’ll be able to see and talk about.




Source: AnandTech – Intel Offers More Cascade Lake-AP Performance Numbers

In The Lab: Double Capacity 2x32GB DDR4 from G.Skill and ZADAK

One of the interesting things to come out of the news in recent weeks is the march to double capacity memory. In today’s market, memory modules for consumer grade computers have a maximum of 16GB per module. This is unbuffered memory, and the standard for home computers and laptops. However recently there have been two major announcements causing that number to double from 16GB to 32GB: Samsung has developed double capacity ICs to drive up to 32GB per module with the same number of chips, but also a couple of DRAM vendors have found a way to put two times as many ICs on a 16GB module to make it up to 32GB. Both G.Skill and ZADAK fall into that latter category, and now we have both of these kits in the lab for review.



Source: AnandTech – In The Lab: Double Capacity 2x32GB DDR4 from G.Skill and ZADAK

Eurocom Launches Tornado F7W DTR Laptop: Desktop Core i9-9900K with 128 GB of RAM

Eurocom this week introduced its newest high-end desktop replacement mobile workstation, the Tornado F7W. Aimed at those who need desktop-class performance in a clamshell form-factor – with little heed to weight or power consumption – the new DTR packs in Intel’s latest eight-core desktop processors, 128 GB of memory, as well as NVIDIA’s flagship professional-grade GPU for notebooks.



Eurocom’s Tornado is the company’s flagship mobile workstation. The luggable computer comes in an aluminum + plastic chassis and is equipped with a 17.3-inch display panel (4Kp60 or 2Kp120). Under the hood, the machine is powered by Intel’s desktop-class (socketed) CPUs, as well as NVIDIA’s Quadro Mobile GPUs. In its top configuration, the Tornado F7W comes with Intel’s eight-core Core i9-9900K processor paired NVIDIA’s Quadro P5200 MXM module featuring 16 GB of GDDR5X memory. To cool down its two key components, the mobile workstation uses two cooling systems, each featuring a high-speed blower and five thick heat pipes.




The Tornado F7W can be equipped with up to 128 GB of DDR4-2667 memory, three M.2 PCIe SSDs, as well as two 2.5-inch storage devices for a total of 22 TB of storage space. Meanwhile, those machines powered by Xeon processors can also take advantage of ECC memory. Since the machine uses socketed CPUs, discrete MXM GPUs, SO-DIMMs, and M.2 SSDs, it can be easily upgraded after the purchase, just like a desktop PC.



Moving on to connectivity. the Tornado F7W can be equipped with Intel’s Wireless-AC 8265 supporting 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.2, Rivet’s Killer Wireless-AC 1535 featuring 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.1, or Intel’s Wireless-AC 9260 supporting 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.



On the physical side of things, the system has one GbE port (controlled by the Intel I219-LM to enable vPro and remoted management for Xeon-powered machines), five USB 3.0 Type-A connectors, one Thunderbolt 3/USB Type-C port, two display outputs (HDMI 2.0, mDP), an SD card slot, a SmartCard reader, and 5.1-channel audio connectors. Obviously, the laptop also has a keyboard with a keypad, a 2MP webcam, integrated speakers, and so on.



Since the Eurocom Tornado F7W is a mobile workstation, it has to support workstation-class security. Therefore, the machine comes with a pre-installed TPM 2.0 module, optional BIOS-enabled disk encryption, a fingerprint scanner, a SmartCard reader, and a security lock. For those who want an ultimate security/privacy, Eurocom offers machines without a webcam, microphone, and WLAN/BT.



Time to talk about portability and battery life. The Tornado F7W comes equipped with a 90 Wh battery that the manufacturer affectionately calls “a built-in UPS”. Eurocom does not assign an actual battery life rating to the device, but then this isn’t a machine that’s intended to be away from a power outlet for long. The machine is 51 mm thick and weighs 4.14 kilograms, so it is portable but not especially easy to carry around. For mainstream configurations Eurocom offers a 330 W PSU that weighs 1.24 kilograms (making the effective weight of the PC about 5.4 kilograms), but for ultra-high-end configs the company also has a 780 W PSU that weighs 1.7 kilograms.



Eurocom’s Tornado F7W is already available for order at the company’s website. The cheapest configuration with a Full-HD 120 Hz LCD, Intel’s Xeon E2176G, NVIDIA’s Quadro P3000, 16 GB of RAM, and a 1 TB HDD retails for $3,499. Once the system is beefed up for maximum performance and storage redundancy, the price of the Tornado F7W skyrockets to $14,000 and can actually go all the way to $20,500.



























General Specifications of Eurocom Tornado F7W
  m452
Display Diagonal 17.3″
General Specifications 1920×1080, 120 Hz, TN, 3 ms, 94% NTSC

3840×2160, 60 Hz, IPS, 400 nits, 100% Adobe RGB
CPU Core i7-8700

Core i7-8700K

Core i7-8086K

Core i7-9700K

Core i9-9900K

Xeon E2176G

Xeon E2186G
PCH Intel C246
Graphics NVIDIA Quadro P3000

NVIDIA Quadro P3200

NVIDIA Quadro P4000

NVIDIA Quadro P4200

NVIDIA Quadro P5000

NVIDIA Quadro P5200
RAM 16 GB DDR4-2133 ECC (single channel)

32 GB DDR4-2133 ECC (dual channel)

64 GB DDR4-2133 ECC (dual channel)

64 GB DDR4-2667 (dual channel)

128 GB DDR4-2667 (dual channel)
Storage 2.5″ 2 × 2.5″/9.5mm
M.2 3 × M2 PCIe 3.0 x4
Total Capacity 22 TB
Wireless Intels Wireless-AC 8265 – 802.11ac Wi-Fi (867 Gbps) + Bluetooth 4.2

Rivet Killer 1535 – 802.11ac Wi-Fi (867 Gbps) + Bluetooth 4.1

Intel Wireless-AC 9260 – 802.11ac Wi-Fi (up to 1.73 Gbps) + Bluetooth 5
Ethernet Intel I219-LM
WWAN none
USB 5 × USB 3.0 Type-A

1 × USB 3.1 Type-C (via TB3)
Thunderbolt 1 × Thunderbolt 3
Display Outputs 1 × Mini DisplayPort 1.3

1 × HDMI 2.0

TB3 port
Keyboard Backlit keyboard
Other I/O Microphone, stereo speakers, audio jacks, webcam, fingerprint reader, SD card reader, SmartCard reader, etc.
Battery 90 Wh
PSU 330 W – 780 W (1.24 – 1.7 kilograms)
Dimensions Width 428 mm | 17.12″
Depth 314 mm | 12.56″
Thickness 51 mm | 2.04″
Weight 4.14 kg | 9.1 lbs

Related Reading:




Source: AnandTech – Eurocom Launches Tornado F7W DTR Laptop: Desktop Core i9-9900K with 128 GB of RAM

Sony Releases Quad-Layer 128 GB BD-R XL Media

Sony is about to start selling the industry’s first 128 GB write-once BD-R XL optical media. The discs will also be the first quad-layer BDXL media formally aimed at consumers, but bringing benefits to professionals that use BDXL today.


Although the general BDXL specifications were announced back in 2010 for multi-layered write-once discs with 25 GB and 33.4 GB layers, only triple-layer BDXL discs with a 100 GB capacity (generally aimed at broadcasting, medical, and document imaging industries) have been made available so far. By contrast, quad-layer 128 GB media has never seen the light of day until now.


As it turns out, increasing the per-layer capacity of Blu-ray discs (BDs) to 33.4 GB via a technology called MLSE (Maximum Likelihood Sequence Estimation) was not a big problem, and most of today’s BD players and optical drives support the BDXL standard. However, increasing the layer count to four while ensuring a broad compatibility, signal quality across four layers, yields, and some other factors slow downed release of 128 GB BDXL essentially by eight years.


In a bid to build a viable quad-layer 128 GB write-once BDXL disc, Sony had to design three new materials. First, the company had to create a new recording alloy that would provide the right combination of reflectance and transmittance to ensure that the layers can “reflect” data bits when needed while allowing the 405nm laser to pass through them when another layer is accessed. Then, Sony had to develop a new inter-layer material (called dielectric) that would also be able to transmit light waves. Finally, because with four layers the first one has to be located closer to the disc’s surface, Sony had to design a new protective coating for the media.


Sony will start shipments of its BD-R XL 128 GB media on the 10th of November. Single-disc packages (BNR4VAPJ4) will retail for ¥1,500 ($13), a pack of three (3BNR4VAPS4) will cost ¥3,900 ($34), whereas a pack of five (5BNR4VAPS4) will be priced at ¥6,000 ($53). The discs should be compatible with drives supporting the BDXL spec, though a firmware update may be needed regardless.


Related Reading:


Sources: Sony, PC Watch,




Source: AnandTech – Sony Releases Quad-Layer 128 GB BD-R XL Media

ZOTAC Unveils VR GO 2.0 Wearable PC: Core i7-8700T Meets GeForce GTX 1070

ZOTAC this week officially launched its second-generation VR GO wearable backpack PC for VR gaming. The new VR GO 2.0 system is somewhat smaller and marginally lighter than the one ZOTAC introduced back in 2016, though the only tangible performance upgrade versus the previous-gen backpack PC is Intel’s six-core processor.


The manufacturer announced plans to release its second-gen VR GO back at Computex, but did not disclose its exact specs. This week ZOTAC finally revealed that the new VR GO 2.0 system is outfitted with Intel’s six-core Core i7-8700T processor and paired with NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1070 GPU with 8 GB of GDDR5, 16 GB of DDR4 memory, and a 240 GB M.2 SSD with a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface. The system also has a 2.5-inch bay for another storage device so to provide plenty of capacity to install more games. Technically, the system can accommodate other CPUs and GPUs, but due to thermal concerns ZOTAC will offer its new backpack PC with the aforementioned hardware only (at least initially).



Just like its predecessor, the second-generation ZOTAC VR GO has a rich set of I/O capabilities that includes an HDMI 2.0 output as well as three USB Type-A ports on top to connect a VR headset as well as three additional USB 3.0 Type-A ports, a USB 3.0 Type-C header, two display outputs (one HDMI 2.0, one DP 1.3), an 802.11ac Wi-Fi + BT 5 module, one GbE port, an SD card reader, as well as two 3.5-mm audio jacks.



ZOTAC’s VR GO 2.0 is equipped with two hot-swappable batteries that can enable about 1.5 hours of gameplay (according to the manufacturer), which is a tad lower than in case of the the original VR GO. Just like before, the batteries can be hot-swapped and charged separately. In the meantime, the form-factor of the system allows it to be used like a desktop computer as it can be placed on a desk either vertically or horizontally and all the ports will remain accessible.



To make the system a bit more attractive to gamers and enthusiasts, the VR-GO 2.0 also has addressable RGB lighting on the back that can be used for customization.




ZOTAC has not officially disclosed pricing of the VR GO 2.0 wearable backpack PC so far, yet it is likely that it will cost around $2000, similar to the previous one. As for availability, the new system should hit the market sometime in late November or so, in time for holiday season in the U.S.





















ZOTAC VR GO Comparison
  VR GO

ZBOX-VR7N70-W2B/W4B-BE/J/U/K
VR GO 2.0

ZBOX-VR7N72-BE/J/U/K/AUS-W2C/W3C
CPU Intel Core i7-6700T

4 cores/8 threads

2.8 – 3.6 GHz

8 MB cache

35 W
Intel Core i7-8700T

6 cores/12 threads

2.4 – 4 GHz

12 MB cache

35 W
PCH unknown 100-series unknown 300-series
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070

2048 stream processors

128 texture units

64 ROPs

256-bit memory interface

8 GB of GDDR5 8 GT/s memory
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070

2048 stream processors

128 texture units

64 ROPs

256-bit memory interface

8 GB of GDDR5 8 GT/s memory
Memory Two SO-DIMM slots
16 GB DDR4-2133 installed

compatible with 
up to 32 GB of DDR4-2133
Two SO-DIMM slots

16 GB DDR4 installed

compatible with up to 32 GB of DDR4
Storage 240 GB M.2/PCIe SSD

+ one extra 2.5″/SATA bay

+ SD card reader
Wi-Fi 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.2 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 5
Ethernet 2 × GbE ports (Realtek) 1 × GbE ports
Display Outputs 3 × HDMI 2.0

2 × DP 1.3
2 × HDMI 2.0

1 × DP
Audio 3.5 mm audio in and 3.5 mm audio out
USB 6 × USB 3.0 Type-A (5 Gbps) 6 × USB 3.0 Type-A (5 Gbps)

1 × USB 3.0 Type-C (5 Gbps)
Other I/O DC12V-out for HTC Vive
Dimensions 410 mm × 270 mm × 76 mm

16.14 × 10.63 × 2.99 inches
347.5 mm × 280.4 mm × 87.1 mm

13.68 × 11.04 × 3.43 inches
Weight 4.95 kilograms 4.7 kilograms
PSU External
Batteries 2 batteries, rated at 95Wh, 6600mAh two batteries
OS Windows 10 Home Windows 10 Pro
Price $1999.99 unknown

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Source: AnandTech – ZOTAC Unveils VR GO 2.0 Wearable PC: Core i7-8700T Meets GeForce GTX 1070

Why Intel Processors Draw More Power Than Expected: TDP and Turbo Explained

One of the recent topics permeating through the custom PC space recently has been about power draw. Intel’s latest eight-core processors are still rated at a TDP of 95W, and yet users are seeing power consumption north of 150W, which doesn’t make much sense. In this guide, we want to give you a proper understanding why this is the case, and why it gives us reviewers such a headache.



Source: AnandTech – Why Intel Processors Draw More Power Than Expected: TDP and Turbo Explained

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.11.1

Today, AMD released Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.11.1, bringing zero-day game support and performance improvements ahead of Hitman 2 (11/13/18), Fallout 76 (11/14/18), and Battlefield V Early Access (11/15/18). As a low-key game-oriented driver, 18.11.1 also includes a few bugfixes for issues affecting Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Wolfenstein II, and Strange Brigade. As the year comes to a close though, we should expect to hear about more wide-ranging driver developments with the annual Radeon Software major feature update.


In terms of 18.11.1 improvements for Hitman 2, AMD cited up to 3% more 1080p performance on the Radeon RX 580 than 18.10.2. Meanwhile, for Battlefield V Early Access at 1080p AMD is touting up to an 8% uplift on the Radeon RX Vega 64 and 9% uplift on the RX 580, compared to 18.10.2. To be clear, while the latter title is releasing in full on the 20th, those who pre-ordered Battlefield V Deluxe Edition receive early access starting on the 15th.



In any case, Battlefield V is not just the latest entry of the popular and high-profile FPS series, but is arguably the flagship game for upcoming real-time raytracing effects via DirectX Raytracing (DXR), something which NVIDIA is strongly pushing with their new GeForce RTX cards. Though with EA refering to an “early release of DXR will be available in an upcoming patch, near the Battlefield V Deluxe Edition release window,” it’s not clear when DXR support will arrive. For now, only NVIDIA RTX cards support hardware accelerated DXR, but AMD is working on drivers to support hardware acceleration on their own cards. Either way, EA’s recommended system specs for DXR are pushing much beefier CPUs.


Moving on to the bugfixes, 18.11.1 resolves the following issues:


  • When using Radeon Overlay on system configurations with the latest Windows 10 October 2018 Update (1809) some users may experience intermittent instability or game crashes.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Origins may experience an application crash while launching or playing the game in Windows 7.
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus may experience corruption when viewing lava or water.
  • Strange Brigade may experience intermittent application crashes when using DX12.

In terms of documented open issues, 18.11.1 lists the following:


  • Minor corruption may be observed when launching Strange Brigade with Vulkan enabled on Windows 7 system configurations.
  • An application hang may occur in Strange Brigade on multi GPU enabled systems with both V-Sync enabled in game and Radeon FreeSync enabled on Windows 7 operating system.
  • Radeon Overlay may not show up when toggled in multi GPU system configurations in Strange Brigade with Vulkan enabled.

18.11.1 does not apply to APUs. The updated drivers for AMD’s desktop, mobile, and integrated GPUs are available through the Radeon Settings tab or online at the AMD driver download page. More information on these updates and further issues can be found in the Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.11.1 release notes.



Source: AnandTech – AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.11.1

SK Hynix Launches 96-Layer 3D NAND and Discloses QLC Plans

SK Hynix this week officially launched its new 96-layer 3D NAND flash memory chips, which feature a new architecture and a faster interface. The NAND has already been qualified for SSDs, with first 1 TB consumer models launching shortly and enterprise-grade solutions following on later. What is noteworthy is that these drives are going to be based on SK Hynix’s own controllers. In addition, SK Hynix will eventually offer UFS 3.0-based mobile storage devices featuring the same memory.


SK Hynix’s 3D-V5 NAND Memory About to Hit Mass Production


Initially available in a 512 Gb capacity, SK Hynix’s new 96-layer 3D TLC NAND memory devices are based on a charge trap flash (CTF) design with a peripheral circuits under cells (PUC) architecture. Officially the company has started referring to these devices as “4D NAND” (as announced back at Flash Memory Summit in August), though the technology is not fundamentally different from current 3D NAND architectures.


The new 3D-V5 devices use a 1.2 Gbps Toggle 3.0 I/O interface, which is faster than SK Hynix’s 72L 3D-V4 generation products. Meanwhile the chip also features a 64 KB page size (the smallest area of the flash memory that can be written in a single operation) and an 18 MB block size (the smallest area of the flash memory that can be erased in a single operation), which will further speed up performance of the new 3D-V5 devices compared to its predecessors.



SK Hynix says that the increased number of layers and its PUC architecture makes its 96-layer 512 Gb 3D NAND devices around 30% smaller versus their similar 72-layer 512 Gb 3D NAND devices. Furthermore, it can now produce wafers containing 49% more bits than before (assuming the same yield), albeit at the cost of extra process steps. Speaking of production, the company hopes to kick off “the early stage of mass production” this year. At least some of the new chips will be made at the company’s recently built M15 fab.


1 Tb 96L 3D TLC and 3D QLC NAND Chips Incoming


After SK Hynix refines the mass production of its 96L 3D TLC NAND chips, the company will move on to the next stage. Sometime next year the company plans to roll out 96L 3D NAND chips with a 1 Tb (128 GB) capacity, with both TLC and QLC variants planned.


Consumer, Enterprise SSDs Incoming, UFS 3.0 Storage Planned


SK Hynix has already validated its 96L 512 Gb 3D TLC NAND for SSDs. The company plans to release 1 TB client SSDs featuring the memory and its own controllers/firmware “within this year”. Meanwhile, enterprise-grade drives based on the same memory are due in the second half of 2019.



In addition to SSDs, SK Hynix intends to release UFS 3.0-based 96L 512 Gb 3D TLC NAND chips in the first half of next year. These will be the company’s first UFS 3.0-supporting devices and will enable it to address various high-end smartphones.


Related Reading:


Source: SK Hynix



Source: AnandTech – SK Hynix Launches 96-Layer 3D NAND and Discloses QLC Plans