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Is it possible to save on the mother Board when you buy 8-core Intel? Find out on the example of GIGABYTE AORUS PRO Z390

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Not sure that regular readers 3DNews frequently visit websites of a motherboard manufacturer. But I sort of activity have to do it very often. Getting into the hands of Z390 GIGABYTE AORUS PRO, I immediately examined the characteristics of the product on the official website of the Taiwanese company. And what do we see? The first thing to GIGABYTE I draw your attention is the presence of a 13-phase power subsystem. I remember before the manufacturers first advertised chips such as the RGB backlight, cool built-in audio section and the presence of certain modern connectors. Well, comrades-zhelezyachniki, after the release of 8-core processors Coffee Lake Refresh the situation has changed radically. That is why it was decided to test Z390 GIGABYTE AORUS PRO with four from Intel and see how the power Converter can handle overclocking Core i9-9900K up to 5 GHz. But first, let’s take a closer look at the cost.

GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS PRO

Z390 GIGABYTE AORUS PRO

#Specifications and packaging

I note that you will meet two versions of PRO-motherboard GIGABYTE. I consider “simple” modification, devoid of the wireless communication module. Recall that the set of logic Z390 hardware Express supports the standards 802.11 ac and Bluetooth. Model Z390 GIGABYTE AORUS PRO WIFI is an average of 1,000 more. So if you don’t want to mess with a wired Internet connection, you can pay attention to this version of “Proshka”. In the rest of the Board came out of the same. Main technical specifications GIGABYTE AORUS PRO Z390 is given in the table below.

Z390 GIGABYTE AORUS PRO
Supported processors Intel 9-th and 8-th generations (Core, Pentium and Celeron Gold) for LGA1151 platform-v2
Chipset Intel Z390 Express
Memory subsystem 4 × DIMM slots, up to 64 GB of DDR4-2133-4266 (OC)
Expansion slots 3 × PCI Express x16
3 × PCI Express x1
The storage interface 1 × M. 2 (Socket 3, 2242/2260/2280/22110) with support for SATA 6 Gbps and PCI Express x4
1 × M. 2 (Socket 3, 2242/2260/2280), support a SATA 6GB/s and PCI Express x4
6 × SATA 6GB/s
RAID 0, 1, 10
LAN Intel I219-V, 10/100/1000 Mbit/s
Audio ALC1220 Realtek 7.1 HD
Interfaces on the rear panel 1 × HDMI
1 × RJ-45
1 × optical S/PDIF
2 × USB 3.1 Gen2 Type A
1 × USB 3.1 Gen2 Type C
4 × USB 2.0 Type A
3 × USB 3.1 A Gen1Type
5 × 3.5 mm audio
Form factor ATX
Price 14 500 rubles

The motherboard is Packed in a large and colorful cardboard box. In addition to the Board, it was a lot of accessories, both useful and not:

  • user manual, sticker with the logo of AORUS and other labels for wires, and a CD with software and drivers;
  • four SATA cable;
  • extension cable to connect the RGB strip;
  • two thermocouples;
  • additional screws for securing the SSD;
  • set ASUS q-connectors;
  • HB SLI-bridge to connect two graphics cards NVIDIA GeForce.

#Design and capabilities

So, Z390 GIGABYTE AORUS PRO — Board form factor ATX. Because in front of us is not a budget device, it uses the undiminished circuit Board with sides 305 and 244 mm. Regular readers know that I do not like truncated ATX: manufacturer of such devices “cuts” a part of the PCB, and in the end when installing Board in the computer chassis part PCB slack — in this condition, you must carefully connect the memory modules and 24-pin power supply connector not to break the PCB.

The picture above clearly shows that to the layout of components Z390 GIGABYTE AORUS PRO is though not serious, but still claim. But let’s order.

To the layout of expansion slots, no complaints. Closest to the CPU socket is a connector PCI Express x1, and followed by a PCI Express x16 slot — the main PEG port, which in 99% of cases will be installed graphics card. Such a layout I think is perfect as it allows you to set up on the CPU any cooler. For example, GIGABYTE AORUS PRO Z390 on friendly terms with such “monsters” like the Noctua NH-D15 and its Archon X2. If you plan to use the video card, the cooling system which occupies only two slots, you will lose nigersan slot PCI Express x1. At the same time, more importantly, retained access to both M. 2 sockets — manufacturer additionally equipped with aluminum cooling systems. If you plan to use two graphics adapters, you will lose one PCI Express x1. Paired arrays AMD Crossfire and NVIDIA SLI work under the scheme x8+x8. The third PCI Express x16 uses only four lines. All the expansion slots conform to PCI Express 3.0.

I note that both PEG port is reinforced, and all three PCI Express x16 slots are double locking and additional soldering points. In total, according to the manufacturer, these design solutions strengthen connectors 1.7 times when the load on the fracture, and 3.2 times when the load on the pulling.

Reinforced at the Board and the DIMM slots.

The undoubted advantage of Z390 GIGABYTE AORUS PRO is the presence of eight 4-pin connectors for fans connection. It supports even the fans power up to 24 watts. Using the technology Smart Fan 5 can be controlled by impeller with shim and without it (that is, fans with 3-pin connectors). Connectors SYS_FAN5_PUMP and SYS_FAN6_PUMP, soldered next to the DIMM slots intended for connection of the pump liquid cooling system. If the system will be used maintenance-free “dropsy”, then this arrangement can be considered a failure — the cable from the waterblock would have to pull across the memory modules, and it’s ugly. I would place the GIGABYTE one PUMP connector would set as close to the CPU socket. If you build a PC custom DLC, you can connect a pump with reservoir that will be fixed, e.g., on the bottom of the housing towers will be convenient. Only in the case of very large Cabinet form factor Full Tower, make sure that the length of the wires coming from the pump will be enough.

To the SYS_FAN1 connector, located next to the power connector of the CPU, risen is not very easy — especially if you have already installed the cooler on the CPU. On the other hand, it is clear that positioning this connector in a different place would prevent the M. 2 slot.

Z390 GIGABYTE AORUS PRO has two M. 2 ports, equipped with aluminum radiators. The manufacturer claims that the cooling system Thermal Guard effectively dissipates heat, helping to eliminate the cause of the throttle with respect to M. 2 devices, but the specific data unfortunately, the product description is not given. There is only an abstract graph. Top connector allows you to install SSD formats 2242/2260/2280/22110, supports SATA 6 Gbps and PCI Express 3.0 x4. The lower M. 2 slot supports installing the SSD 2242/2260/2280 formats, it also summed up the four lines PCI Express 3.0, and it can also operate in SATA mode.

Also on the motherboard has six SATA connectors 6 GB/s.

When assembling the system unit consider the fact that when using the M. 2 port will be disabled some SATA connectors, as they divide throughput PCI-E with each other. All possible combinations when connecting the drive displayed in the table above.

Among the internal connectors note the presence of USB 3.1 Gen2. In my opinion, the port and internal USB 3.1 Gen1 soldered in the wrong places: they are removed from the edge of the circuit Board with a built — in protruding wires again will look not very pretty.

In the bottom of the Board there are pads for connecting the front panel audio connector, 12 – and 5-volt RGB strip, TPM module, S/PDIF and two USB 2.0. In the upper part of PCB, next to the DIMM slots, show up more blocks to connect the 12 – and 5-volt RGB strips. As you can see, no backlight in 2018 — will. All connected to the motherboard of the tape and fans are configured in one application called RGB Fusion.

As for the backlight directly on the Board itself, the LEDs supplied with the inscription and the AORUS logo on the chipset, the audio path and the DIMM slots. Backlight Z390 GIGABYTE AORUS PRO supports 16.8 million colors and 11 modes.

Among the external connectors deduced on panel I / o, note the presence of three ports USB 3.1 Gen1: two A-type and one C-type. From the video outputs on the I/O panel has HDMI only, which, in my opinion, enough for those who will use the built-in Intel graphics. The rest of GIGABYTE AORUS PRO Z390 there is a fairly typical set of interfaces.

It should be noted that the plug on the I/O panel is already built into the motherboard. Personally, I think this design decision the undoubted advantage of the device in question.

A test Board equipped with high-quality Gigabit network controller Intel I219-V and sound chip Realtek ALC1220-VB. The audio codec has a ratio of “signal to noise” of 120 dB and an intelligent amplifier that automatically determines the impedance of the connected headphones. Separately, the manufacturer notes that the new controller enables us to convey to the Network the voice with a microphone connected to the 3.5 mm Jack on the front or on the rear panel. In addition, the tract is equipped with special capacitors WIMA FKP2.

 

So we got to the main element Z390 GIGABYTE AORUS PRO — power processor and other components. Please note that for CPU power, in addition to the existing 8-pin connector, there is provided another 4-pin connector. I note that not all power supplies are equipped with additional wires. At the same time, my experience is that overclocking Core i9-9900K at home is enough one such connector in 8 pins. All the power connectors of the motherboard are strengthened — increased contact area when connecting the cables of the power supply.

So, GIGABYTE claim that the power Converter Z390 AORUS PRO consists of 13 phases, 12 of which are unique to the CPU. Also on the official website of the manufacturer claims that the GIGABYTE AORUS PRO Z390 designed for overclocking all cores 8-core Coffee Lake Refresh to 5GHz and above. We’ll check.

Power management PWM controller ISL69138 from Renesas Electronics which, judging by the official documentation, supports a maximum of seven phases. Therefore, in reality, the power subsystem is working according to the scheme 6+1. Just phase GIGABYTE AORUS PRO Z390 required to operate the CPU, a dual, and this, as you know, a great springboard for marketers. So, each channel includes a pair of inductance coils, two field-effect transistor SiC634 from VRPower and, accordingly, the doubler Renesas Electronics ISL6617A. Well, we are seeing a nice set for the Board in the medium price range. The MOSFETs marked “hold” the current up to 50 A.

About the power Converter Z390 GIGABYTE AORUS PRO, I’ll tell you in detail in the second part of the article.

For the power elements of VRM zones correspond fairly massive aluminum radiators that are connected to each other using copper heat pipes.

SOURCE

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Review and test Gigabyte AORUS Z390 Xtreme: Hi-End as it is

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An unprecedented number of proprietary features and capabilities are assembled in the same Board, but that was not included on its PCB, realized through the individual components included in the package. Everything is decorated with vivid colours and accompanied by obscenely high price, so buy motherboard Gigabyte AORUS Z390 Xtreme units, but they will be envy by many. SOURCE

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Review AMD Ryzen 5 3 2500X and 2300X: Quad dreams

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For 2018, AMD was able to achieve a notable success in the CPU market. As reported by the company itself, the volume of supply of chips for PCs in the fourth quarter of last year exceeded the same indicator a year ago in half, which was due to both a General increase in the popularity of the products under the brand Ryzen, and the increase in the average price of the processor. A significant increase of interest of buyers to Ryzen is evident in everything: in the systematic growth of the share of AMD in the processor market; and the intensification of guerrilla marketing, which lead to network fans Ryzen; and reports of individual stores indicating the outlined changes in the attitudes of customers PCs that are increasingly refuse from the usual Intel platforms.

And there is nothing surprising. AMD is very lucky with market conditions. Intel made major errors in production planning, which ultimately resulted in a protracted shortage and rising prices on cheap Intel Core Pentium. As a result, Ryzen was much more great offers from the point of view of price and performance in the middle and lower price segment purely automatically, only due to the fact that AMD was not in response to problems only competitor to adjust its pricing policy.

Affordable prices has always been one of the trumps AMD. The company tried to make its processors with the same Intel offers cost were superior to them in some important characteristics, e.g., the number of cores and threads. But now the company’s position has been reinforced due to the fact that the products Intel has become simply impossible to buy at a “fair” set producer price.

And here on the arm AMD played another factor. An important component of the marketing policy of this company is to offer the widest model range. AMD simply floods the market a variety of processors with slight differences in features and slightly different price. Previously, it allowed buyers to find a suitable option for themselves without having to make any financial compromises. But now that the Intel processors due to the shortage often unavailable, AMD simply occupied the price lists, giving the potential buyer the slightest opportunity to at least think about choosing the alternative option. A simple example: in the shop of our partner company “regard”, in the range from 6 to 12 thousand rubles to 17 various modifications Ryzen is only 6 current Intel platform LGA 1151v2.

But the most interesting that AMD made no stops, and a variety of processors Ryzen continues to multiply further. Today we will look at two chips that went on sale recently – 2500X Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 3 2300X. This pair of processors extends the family of Pinnacle Ridge and down, adding to the existing eight-core and six-core representatives of cheaper offers with four cores. Means that most modern Ryzen microarchitecture Zen+, released in technological process of 12 nm are available now at a price of 12 thousand rubles.

Formally Ryzen Ryzen 2500X 5 and 3 2300X was released AMD as solutions for OEM-collectors and retail must not be delivered. However, the Russian market is, as usual, does not apply. We have a feature of “OEM-ness” Quad core Pinnacle Ridge is just what you can buy them exclusively in the version without the box and cooler. That, however, it is unlikely someone will stop, especially Ryzen Ryzen 2500X 5 and 3 2300X look very attractive because the characteristics they outperform any other Quad AMD.

#Specifications

In April of last year AMD updated its desktop processors – that’s when the second generation Ryzen translated into the 12-nm process technology and has received improved microarchitecture Zen+. However, the changes affected only the eight-core and six-core members of the family Ryzen, while the range of Quad spring upgrade is not touched. As a result, the benefits of a Zen+ was available only to buyers rather expensive processors on the average price segment users were forced to continue to rely either on the old Ryzen sample 2017 or on released a year ago processor family, Raven Ridge has a built-in graphics core.

This situation lasted long enough, but last fall AMD has announced a Quad-core CPU model two thousandth of a series a class of Zen+. The assortment has replenished with two novelties, Ryzen Ryzen 2500X 5 and 3 2300X that was obviously conceived as a more modern replacement Ryzen Ryzen 5 and 3 1500X 1300X. However, AMD for some reason didn’t want to completely abandon the models of the previous generation in favor of new ones. The old Quad continue to be supplied until today, and for innovations yet plays a rather limited niche: they are positioned as solutions for OEMs and not sold in retail bundling in boxes with a proprietary cooling system.

In the result, the range desktop Quad core Ryzen has grown to eight members with quite widely differing characteristics. For clarity, we have reduced their specifications together.

Design Cores/ Threads Base frequency, GHz Turbo frequency, GHz L3 cache MB Memory Graph. the core Lines PCIe TDP, watts
Ryzen 5 2500X Pinnacle Ridge 4/8 3,6 4,0 8 DDR4-2933 No 24 65
Ryzen 5 2400G Raven Ridge 4/8 3,6 3,9 4 DDR4-2933 Vega 11 16 65
Ryzen 5 1500X Summit Ridge 4/8 3,5 3.7 V 16 DDR4-2666 No 24 65
Ryzen 5 1400 Summit Ridge 4/8 3,2 3,4 8 DDR4-2666 No 24 65
Ryzen 3 2300X Pinnacle Ridge 4/4 3,5 4,0 8 DDR4-2933 No 24 65
Ryzen 3 2200G Raven Ridge 4/4 3,5 3.7 V 4 DDR4-2933 Vega 8 16 65
Ryzen 3 1300X Summit Ridge 4/4 3,5 3.7 V 8 DDR4-2666 No 24 65
Ryzen 3 1200 Summit Ridge 4/4 3,1 3,4 8 DDR4-2666 No 24 65

It is clearly seen that Ryzen Ryzen 2500X 5 and 3 2300X on the background of the fellows highlighted a number of significant advantages that make them very interesting proposals.

First, Ryzen Ryzen 2500X 5 and 3 2300X – do media more new 12-nm microarchitecture Zen+. This means that they are based on the design of Pinnacle Ridge, which has a better frequency potential and offers slightly increased the specific productivity by reducing latency of the cache memory of the second and third levels. In addition, these processors have a memory controller, formally compatible with DDR4-2933 SDRAM.

Second, although the basis of Ryzen Ryzen 2500X 5 and 3 2300X and are exactly the same OCTA core semiconductor crystals, the elder of the two thousandth series processors, active only one of the two CCX-modules. And this is a huge advantage of new products on a Quad-core predecessors, with the design of the Summit Ridge, where he remained working both the CCX and the cores in them were blocked symmetrically. Now, thanks to changes in the structure of all active nuclei are collected in a single domain, and shipments of data or accesses to the cache memory of the third level they do without the involvement of tires Infinity Fabric, which in the existing processor microarchitecture Zen/Zen+ often becomes a bottleneck. As a result, the performance of new product has improved also for this reason.

Thirdly, Ryzen Ryzen 2500X 5 and 3 2300X became the most high-frequency current AMD processors with four cores. The frequencies higher than the Quad-core Ryzen thousandth of a series by up to 300 MHz, and the frequency in turbo mode reaches the 4-gigahertz mark, which is a Quad Socket AM4 still did not take. However, in fairness it should be noted that the six – and eight-processor Pinnacle Ridge use even higher frequencies, and in this respect Ryzen Ryzen 2500X 5 and 3 2300X cannot be called Champions.

However, Quad core 5 and 2500X Ryzen Ryzen 3 2300X still look very good. When compared to the processors of the same class, that AMD offered earlier, they win almost everything. The only thing you can see the deterioration of the characteristics is the amount of L3-cache. Consisting of two CCX-modules Ryzen 5 1500X offered the cache of the third level capacity of 16 MB, while the new Ryzen 5 2500X L3 cache in half. However, the critical difference may be only in tasks that intensively interact with large volumes of data. Besides do not forget that a monolithic L3 cache Ryzen in 5 2500X works clearly faster than consisting of two parts cache Ryzen 5 1500X.

#5 and 2500X Ryzen Ryzen 3 2300X in the real work

For a pair of considered novelties of a lineup of Quad AMD additionally ballooned, and potential buyers cheap Socket AM4 processors up to quite a controversial choice. New Ryzen 5 2500X is not very common in the sale and costs around 10.5 thousand rubles, that is, it is roughly equal in price Ryzen 5 2400G, but more expensive than Ryzen 5 1500X, somewhere in the fifteen hundred rubles. A little bit different situation with the price of the second innovation, Ryzen 3 2300X. This CPU is already widely sold in the retail channel, and is estimated at 6.5 thousand rubles, while alternative 3 and 2200G Ryzen Ryzen 3 1300X sold somewhere for 500 rubles more expensive.

In these circumstances, Ryzen Ryzen 2500X 5 and 3 2300X seem a reasonable choice in cases when the CPU does not have integrated GPU, which the members of the family Pinnacle Ridge no. Arguments in favor of new products is quite obvious, just look how they work in real conditions.

For example, if a single-threaded load Ryzen 5 2500X holds the frequency of 3.95 GHz, while Ryzen 5 2400G in a similar situation will work for a 3.85 GHz, and Ryzen 5 1500X – 3,875 GHz.

Ryzen 5 1500X

Ryzen 5 1500X

 
Ryzen 5 2400G

Ryzen 5 2400G

 
Ryzen 5 2500X

Ryzen 5 2500X

Variation in frequency at full load on all cores becomes noticeable. In this case Ryzen 5 2500X offers a 50-megahertz advantage over Ryzen 5 2400G, but the 200-megahertz – over Ryzen 5 1500X.

Ryzen 5 1500X

Ryzen 5 1500X

 
Ryzen 5 2400G

Ryzen 5 2400G

 
Ryzen 5 2500X

Ryzen 5 2500X

Naturally, this is reflected in performance. Even according to the built-in diagnostic CPU-Z utility built-in benchmark Ryzen 2500X new 5 offers at 3-6 % higher performance compared to older brothers in a single-threaded and multi-threaded test. It should be understood that this benchmark is a purely synthetic nature and does not use L3-cache and memory subsystem. That is, in fact, the difference in performance here is due only to the difference in operating frequency.

Ryzen 5 1500X

Ryzen 5 1500X

 
Ryzen 5 2400G

Ryzen 5 2400G

 
Ryzen 5 2500X

Ryzen 5 2500X

But noticeable advantages in power consumption and temperature Ryzen 5 2500X offers. For example, in stress test CPU-Z maximum temperature Ryzen 5 2500X does not exceed 60 degrees (cooler Noctua NH-U14S), and the dissipation of the processor is in the range of 67 watts. But it is made for 14-nm technology chips Ryzen Ryzen 2400G 5 and 5 1500X with the same load warm up to 62 and 53 degrees, respectively, consuming 63 and 64 watts.

The situation is similar to Ryzen 3 2300X. In particular, when a single-threaded load a new Quad-core without SMT can operate at 4.0 GHz, and its predecessors in the face of Ryzen Ryzen 2200G 3 and 3 1300X – at a frequency of 3.7 and 3.9 GHz, respectively.

Ryzen 3 1300X

Ryzen 3 1300X

 
Ryzen 3 2200G

Ryzen 3 2200G

 
Ryzen 3 2300X

Ryzen 3 2300X

Load increases Ryzen 3 2300X significantly increasing its frequency advantage. When simultaneous operation of all cores frequency reaches 3,925 GHz, while Ryzen Ryzen 2200G 3 and 3 1300X settle for 3.6 GHz.

Ryzen 3 1300X

Ryzen 3 1300X

 
Ryzen 3 2200G

Ryzen 3 2200G

 
Ryzen 3 2300X

Ryzen 3 2300X

This is reflected in the benchmark is CPU-Z. single-threaded result Ryzen 3 2300X exceeds the indicators issued by Ryzen 3 past generations, 8-9 %, and in the multithreaded test new processor faster 14-nanometer predecessors 9-11 %.

Ryzen 3 1300X

Ryzen 3 1300X

 
Ryzen 3 2200G

Ryzen 3 2200G

 
Ryzen 3 2300X

Ryzen 3 2300X

As for power consumption and heat, under load the temperature Ryzen 3 2300X reached 57 degrees, and the power consumption measured by the built-in CPU sensor, up to 52 watts. This is slightly higher values when compared with the behavior Ryzen Ryzen 2200G 3 and 3 1300X in the same conditions, the processors of past generations under load warmed up to 50-54 degrees, and power consumption was between 45 and 50 watts.

In addition, it is necessary to mention an important fact concerning support Ryzen Ryzen 2500X 5 and 3 2300X existing Park AM4 Socket-motherboards. The fact is that manufacturers do not consider it necessary to include these processors in their compatibility lists. But in fact no problems exist. Ryzen Ryzen 2500X 5 and 3 2300X – a typical media design Pinnacle Ridge, so those motherboards are equipped with BIOS that supports six-core and eight-core Ryzen second generation, absolutely fine work with the new Quad. In other words, Ryzen Ryzen 2500X 5 and 3 2300X will fit the vast majority of boards, including and inexpensive motherboard for the younger sets of logic.

#Acceleration

There is another advantage that should have processors Ryzen Ryzen 2500X 5 and 3 2300X “by definition”. Thanks to the 12-nm process technology they should have a higher than past Quad, the frequency capacity available for overclocking. All AMD CPUs still have a free multiplier, and considering today’s new, not the exception. They overclock exactly the same way as other Ryzen – increase multiplication factor. Fortunately, this does not require any special equipment, overclocking in the platform Socket AM4 is available even to owners of inexpensive motherboards based on chipsets B350 and B450.

However, we should not impose on a Quad-core Pinnacle Ridge high expectations. Yes, these processors are really built to 12-nm crystals which are used, for example, Ryzen 7 2700X. But not all so simple: Ryzen Ryzen 2500X 5 and 3 2300X manufacturer applies production culling, that is, those of the semiconductor workpiece, which, for various reasons, are not suited for the older processor family. And that means that the overclocking potential of the new Quad could be worse than the older processors Ryzen two thousand series.

Practice has shown that about the way it is. While Pinnacle Ridge processors with eight cores when overclocking often yields frequencies of about 4.2 GHz or 5 2500X Ryzen, Ryzen no 3 2300X to be dispersed so I couldn’t. Maximum achievable for both the CPU was frequency of 4.1 GHz, which, however, still a couple of hundred megahertz higher than what is available when overclocking Quad core Summit Ridge.

Performance Ryzen 5 2500X at a frequency of 4.1 GHz was achieved with an increase in voltage to 1.375 V and the associated enabling Load-Line Calibration.

A more simple Ryzen 3 2300X without the support of SMT frequency 4.1 V was able to take at slightly lower voltage of 1.35 V.

It’s funny that when stress-testing both processors when the described acceleration they showed approximately the same practical power consumption at the level of 75-80 W and similar temperature in the range of 75-78 degrees. Moreover, similar performance level 114-116 GFlop were given a stress test Linpack.

We should also mention that when determining the boundaries of overclocking we used quite efficient and expensive air cooler Noctua NH-U14S. In real systems, where you have a chance to get Ryzen Quad-core, likely to be used in the coolers easier. This means that regular users can expect a somewhat weaker acceleration Ryzen Ryzen 2500X 5 and 3 2300X, for example, to frequencies of the order of 4.0 GHz. But this frequency is close to the nominal mode of these processors, therefore, forced to overclocking Ryzen Ryzen 2500X 5 and 3 2300X sense not so much – the resulting increase in speed will be noticeable not much.

SOURCE

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The 2018: PC processors

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If we talk about processors, then 2018 will be remembered first and foremost not because of some new and impressive products, but for the opposite reason. Of course, we cannot deny that AMD and Intel doing a good job of that last year left at least boring, but the thing that dominated the CPU market for the entire year is a never – ending problem. Various difficulties arose here and there, they raised both the manufacturer of the CPU, and left a significant imprint on everything that happened. Moreover, many of these problems was not resolved last year and in varying degrees, be relevant in 2019.

#Security issues

The main trouble with which the CPU market had to face in 2018, of course, became the vulnerability of families Spectre and Meltdown. And if it’s not a disaster, it is very deep and difficult problem, because attacks with their use exploit basic principles of modern micro-processors, which are widely used to increase performance: branch predictions, and speculative (anticipatory) execution of commands. Very indicative of the fact that since about the Spectre, and Meltdown was notified manufacturers of processors, until the beginning of 2018, when the information about these vulnerabilities was posted in public access, passed for six months. However, there is no clear response during this time was not followed and, moreover, certain types of attacks through third-party channel using the principles of Spectre and Meltdown remains possible to this day!

In varying degrees, were prone to Meltdown and the Spectre of the topical products not only Intel and AMD, and ARM, and even Power. However, more than any other from among the manufacturers of x86 processors have suffered all the same Intel. Microarchitecture Core was open for a solid number of varieties of attacks, which completely neutralize one only microcode fixes and patches the operating system has failed to this day. Intel have to make changes in the design of their chips at the hardware level, but it takes time, and the first CPU microprocessor giant, where the vulnerability will be eliminated in the best case will be a 10-nm Ice Lake, which is expected to be available by the end of 2019.

In the meantime users have to be satisfied with the OS patches and service packs installed firmware, installing of which, however, is not without a trace. The speed of those processors, in some scenarios, when you enable protection against Spectre and Meltdown drops by up to 30% and significantly reduces the performance of operations of input-output, in particular for calls to the disk subsystem. And this has to be tolerated, because even the processors of the Whiskey Lake and the Coffee Lake Refresh, where the developer already made some changes that make it difficult to attack, installing required patches, still leads to performance degradation.

Against this background, AMD was in a more advantageous situation: attack Meltdown for them not scary at all, and the practical operation of the Spectre requires much more effort. Therefore, we can say that AMD got off lightly: although close the vulnerability patches and service packs installed firmware is also needed, in case Ryzen this does not lead to obvious deterioration of consumer qualities of the processors.

Later, however, security systems with AMD processors, there were several other specific claims that have been announced under the name MasterKey, Chimera, Ryzenfall and Fallout. However, these vulnerabilities belonged to the security coprocessor and the chipset, that is does not directly affect the architecture of the CPU. And in addition, their operation required elevated privileges. In other words, vulnerability was secondary, and AMD also promised to eliminate them quickly via a BIOS update, so in the end, and then for the company all came together extremely well.

#Problems process

Intel, meanwhile, managed to fall into another loud scandal – the company suffered a fiasco with the introduction of 10-nm process technology. Initially, a 10-nm process technology was announced by microprocessor giant in 2017, with mass production of semiconductor devices with its use was to begin in the second half of 2017. However, in reality this did not happen. By the beginning of last year, Intel launched only a pilot delivery of limited volumes of 10-nm chips Cannon Lake only one client, and these processors were obviously a test product with limited capabilities: they had only a few cores and have been deprived of whatever graphics core.

Further development of this story was even more sad. In April, Intel reported that supplies of 10-nm chips continue to wear the trial the nature and the mass production of 10-nm products will be postponed until 2019. And still later, in the summer, it was announced that further delay the introduction of advanced technology, this time to the end of 2019. At this point, was beginning to seem like Intel is ready to completely cancel its 10-nm process, which the company has encountered numerous difficulties. And the biggest of them was the fact that Intel has traditionally been tied to the development of process technology new microarchitecture, so the delay in the implementation of the 10-nm technology automatically led to impossibility of implementation of any innovation in processor design. For this reason, all processors, which Intel brought to market in 2018, not only made for 14-nm process, but relied on the old microarchitecture Skylake, developed in 2015.

However, at the end of last year, Intel still has confirmed that recalcitrant 10-nm technology will still be implemented for mass production of chips and processors first mass produced with the application, will become chips of Ice Lake, built on a new microarchitecture Sunny Cove. Intel has promised that by the end of this year the market will be ready-made systems based on them, and explained why it could not cope with the “thin” standards.

It turns out that the problem was that the microprocessor giant has set himself too ambitious in terms of scaling the size of transistors. The transition from 14 – to 10-nm technology, as originally envisaged in the project was to increase the density of semiconductor crystals was 2.7 times and less aggressive goals, the company informed in front of him never put. For example, 14-nm process technology has increased the density of the crystal is only 2.5 times, and before that the typical ratio was a value of 2.1 and 2.3. However, the priorities originally set Intel still leaves in place. In other words, the two-year delay in the commissioning of the 10-nm technology still gave the company the necessary time to debug the equipment, and semiconductor crystals for future processors Ice Lake will be exactly the targets that I initially thought.

With the problems concerning the technological processes, in 2018 he faced, and AMD, although they were quite different in nature. The fact that long-standing manufacturing partner AMD, GlobalFoundries, suddenly changed the strategy and changed their plans. In August, the semiconductor forge announced a complete waiver of the development and implementation of 7-nm process and the desire to focus on the production of chips solely on the technical processes with the standards 12 and 14 nm and the improvement of its technology FDX (FD-SOI). Along with that GlobalFoundries has suspended all of its work on the implementation of EUV-lithography and even began to seek buyers for already acquired the lithographic equipment. This solution is one of the leading contract manufacturers of semiconductors was due to purely economic reasons: GlobalFoundries felt that received the required long-term pool of customers on old technical processes and the introduction of new technology sucking out her finances and does not promise profit in either the short or in the medium term.

Therefore, although AMD has traditionally used the power of this contract manufacturer to place orders for the release of all its CPUs, and now was forced to build relationships with new contractors. AMD plans included the transfer of all advanced products for 7-nm process technology for 2019, so looking for a new partner had very quickly. And it was the company TSMC, which will now be responsible not only for the GPU release, but also for the production of future processors Ryzen and EPYC, built on microarchitecture Zen 2. This change raises some concerns whether the new contractor to provide the proper amount of supplies. And the unequivocal answer to this question yet. But by the end of 2018 download 7-nm TSMC production lines for the first half amounted to only 80-90 %. Therefore, it is hoped that a short supply of promising chips with the architecture Zen 2 still will not occur.

#Of problems with backorders

Story short supply in 2018 is very painful for Intel. Despite the fact that ahead of the microprocessor giant has finally led to successful resolution of the situation with the introduction of another semiconductor technology, the whole story still “came out sideways”, so much so that Intel now it is time to worry about loss of market share. The fact that, starting to convert production lines for the production of advanced 10-nanometer chips, Intel was forced to restrict the output of 14-nm products, and as a result, by the middle of 2018 faced with the fact that it fails to fully meet the demand on the processors current model range.

Provoked such situation events in the server market, which demonstrated an unexpected rapid growth and was in need of a larger number of chips for data centers, but it is reflected primarily in consumer decisions. Still, the interests of major customers Intel puts above all. So when we are talking about the fact that the company is unable to produce the required number of processors, the decision was made primarily to limit the supply of low-cost solutions for laptops and desktops. As a result, in the middle of the year began a significant underdelivery of massive models the CPU, which resulted in shortages and rising prices, eventually affecting the entire range of Intel’s consumer platforms.

At the peak of the deficit, which peaked in September-October, prices on popular desktop processors like the Core i5-and Core i3 8400-8100 has risen by 30-40 percent, and never returned to normal even today. However, nothing surprising in this. Although Intel and directs a huge effort to expand production of processors for 14-nm process and even invest in the expansion of aging the production of an additional billion dollars, install and configure equipment, as well as the start of the production process – it is not one month. Therefore, even the most optimistic projections the shortage of Intel processors we will have to live until at least the end of the first quarter of this year, and many analysts suggest that the repercussions of the production problems will be felt throughout the first half.

Изменение цены Core i5-8400 на Amazon.com

Change the Core i5-8400 in Amazon.com

All this gave a great chance for AMD to increase market share in consumer processors, which is what she may fail to take advantage. While Intel offers took new price levels, AMD has consistently met the demand, we do not supply and kept prices at a constant level. This led to the fact that Ryzen become much more favourable purchase terms of the combination of price and consumer qualities, and it was appreciated by the buyers. As a result, in the last months of last year, retail sales of AMD processors in some regions (e.g. Germany and Russia) managed in unit sales to exceed the sales of Intel processors, which eventually led to some reduction in the market share of Intel in the segment of desktop systems with 88% in the second quarter to 85-87 % in the third-fourth quarter (exact estimates Mercury Research will appear a little later).

#Problems with the heads

Amid such serious security issues, new technological process and backorders processors a real trifle may seem to be another significant incident with Intel: in 2018, the company lost its Executive Director. Brian Krzanich (Brian Krzanich), who has worked at Intel for 36 years, started his career with the post of mechanical engineer and has come down in 2013 to directorship was in the middle of 2018 sacked and expelled from the membership of the Board of Directors due to the violation of internal rules regarding fraternization between employees.

There is a theory that under this pretext, Intel got rid of the Manager who committed a series of strategic miscalculations, for example, with the development of 10-nm process technology, but whatever it was, from June and to this day, the chief Executive officer of Intel remains vacant. Temporary management of the company assigned to financial officer Robert Swan (Robert Swann), and how many will continue the search for a permanent person to the vacant position, is completely unclear.

By the way, personnel problems are not bypassed in 2018 and AMD. Last year she lost many specialists from the field of marketing, and engineers. The majority of employees who left the company after Coduri Raja (Raja Koduri) has weakened the graphic direction of the company. But among them was valuable processor engineer – Jim Anderson (Jim Anderson), who headed the Department of computing and graphics solutions and led the improvement of the microarchitecture Zen after leaving AMD, Jim Keller (Jim Keller).

How this loss will affect future activities of AMD, time will tell.

#An overview of the main announcements

Problems, and how they had to fight the producers for a very interesting story. However, to circumvent the final article is a story about the new products that appeared on the market, it would be unfair. While it is true breakthrough technology, we showed neither Intel nor AMD. All appeared in last year new items were, by and large, secondary. Companies are preparing for a fundamental breakthrough in the next year and in 2018, they produced chips that are built on older technologies and architectures.

For this reason, the most innovative product in 2018, was submitted 12 months ago processor the most productive on the market of integrated graphics, which is the result of cooperation between Intel and AMD – Core graphics Radeon RX Vega. This Quad-core mobile processor crystal Kaby Lake merged with a graphics core Polaris and HBM2-memory, which were assembled on the CPU Board with the use of implanted in a semiconductor substrate of a bridge EMIB (Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge). As a result, the output will get processors with a TDP of 65 to 100 watts, which could offer very good graphics performance without having to install an additional discrete graphics card. These processors were adopted by HP and Dell, which came to put them in some of their gaming notebooks, and Intel, who offered the compact NUC system. But now, after a year, it becomes clear that it was rather a bold experiment, and not a mass product with a great future. Further development of the project, unfortunately, has not received, and computers, which can be detected with Core graphics Radeon RX Vega are gradually moving away from sale.

But a month later, in February, AMD already without the help of Intel has announced its own desktop processors with integrated graphics, which have taken a worthy place in the lineup of the company. Combining in a single semiconductor crystal core computing Zen and Vega graphics core, AMD has released a couple of chips for desktop – Ryzen Ryzen 5 2400G, and 3 2200G, immediately became bestsellers among the audience of buyers focused on the Assembly budget systems. The success of such processors was due to the fact that they were able to offer acceptable gaming performance in 720p resolution and four processing cores at a price in the range of $100-$170. However, to consider Ryzen Ryzen 5 2400G, and 3 2200G novelty of 2018 is still not quite correct. A similar Raven Ridge chips for mobile computers AMD announced back in the fall of 2017, so in this case it is logical to talk about the expansion of their habitat, and not about presenting a fundamentally new product.

But do something interesting, AMD could be releasing in April: this month saw the light of older processors Ryzen bimillenary series: Ryzen 2700X 7, 7 2700 Ryzen, Ryzen Ryzen 2600X 5 and 5 2600. And it is really legitimate to classify the second generation Ryzen, since they switched to the newer microarchitecture Zen+ and were produced by a more perfect process technology with the norms of 12 nm. However, for many of these chips was a disappointment. AMD did not perform any “mistakes”, did not improve the memory controller and did not reduce the latency of inter-core connections. All that could offer new Ryzen is only a 3% improvement in IPC (the number of executable per clock instructions), reached by the reduction of delays in the subsystem cache memory, and a slight increase in clock frequencies. In the end, the benefits Ryzen second-generation over predecessors lie within 10% performance increase, which at first glance was not enough to change the landscape of the processor market. But in fairness it should be noted that, despite the rather restrained progress in the technical specifications, the new processors Ryzen were still able to obtain considerable popularity. Fueled it as favorable price that AMD has set for their new and emerging shortage of competing offers Intel successfully for Ryzen second generation from the end of summer began to rise in price.

Were held in April and another announcement: I added a lineup of desktop processors and Intel. To the already existing overclocking six-core processors, Coffee Lake, the company added 35 – and 65-watt new the acceleration, which turned out to be six-core Core i7 and Core i5, Quad-core Core i3 and dual core Pentium. And I must say that some of these processors managed to attract considerable attention, at least until until all their appeal did not spoil the shortage and increased prices. Users willingly chose for their systems Junior Junior six-core and Quad-Core Core i5-8400 and Core i3-8100, which at some time could even become the best choice for not too expensive gaming systems. In addition, Intel has updated and sets of system logic, suggesting that for these processors cheap chipsets with innate support for USB 3.1 Gen2 and CNVi interface, providing a simple implementation of a WiFi controller on the motherboard.

At the same time with desktop processors, the microprocessor giant has introduced a large group of chips Coffee Lake for mobile systems, made shestiyaderny available including and laptops. Other models were also options vPro, productive integrated graphics Iris Plus, for the first time a mobile processor, class Core i9. However, in this case it is about eight computing cores is not. The first bearer of a new brand in the mobile segment has become the Core i9-8950HK – 45-watt six-core mobile processor with high clock speeds and an unlocked multiplier.

First, in 2018, the strengthening of the lineup of desktop processors Intel occurred in June, when the company introduced the Core i7-8086K – anniversary chip, the output of which is formally dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the Intel 8086, the first incarnations of the x86 architecture in silicon. However, despite all expectations, Core i7-8086K was not so interesting on the background already available on the market flagship six-core Core i7-8700K. The anniversary processor was only able to boast the achievement of a frequency of 5.0 GHz in turbo mode, but have not received any additional cores or improved internal thermal interface.

But this does not mean that the summer has not been any really noteworthy announcements. Just assumed they are not from Intel, and from AMD, which in August introduced the second generation Ryzen Threadripper. After the usual Ryzen they moved on microarchitecture Zen+, but more importantly, AMD decided to increase in your family HEDT offers the maximum number of cores from 16 to 32. Thanks to this AMD was able to seize the leadership of Intel in the maximum number of cores processors HEDT systems. And this time this advantage was completely overwhelming, and wait for the Intel processors of this class with a comparable number of cores now I don’t have to.

However, seniors Ryzen Threadripper second generation with 24 and 32 cores were very unique processors. Due to the fact that they are built on four crystals Zeppelin, the access to the RAM of which have only two crystals, these processors turned out to be strong only in the render tasks that do not require large amounts of information. In addition, such heterogeneous structure of the processor was not ready and the Windows operating system, the dispatcher which distributes threads across the cores Ryzen Threadripper not the most optimal way. As a result, being very interesting and attractive product on paper, senior Ryzen Threadripper turned out to be niche products with a very narrow sphere of applicability. What can be said about the 16-core Ryzen Threadripper 2950X – this product is really liked many professionals who appreciated offer them the best combination of cores and cost.

Similarly, offering a great combination of price and performance, AMD has made in the segment of budget solutions, budget releasing Socket AM4-APU processor Athlon 200GE. Presenting a somewhat abridged version of Raven Ridge, Athlon 200GE could boast of two cores Zen with the multithreading support in the graphics subsystem Radeon Vega 3, attractive price of $55. Opened later the same overclocking Athlon 200GE made a very interesting choice for budget builds.

At the end of summer came the announcement and new mobile processors from Intel, Whiskey Lake and Amber Lake U-Y. However, despite the use for naming their new code names, in this case we are talking only about the new Quad-core and dual-core versions of the mobile Kaby Lake with the target heat dissipation of 15 watts and 5 to 7 watts.

Real big announcements Intel we waited until October, when the market came processors Coffee Lake Refresh. Although Intel once again is not suggested for micro-improvements, continuing to exploit the design Skylake, the new processors got up to 8 computing cores and improved thermal interface between the chip and the heat-spreading lid, based on Bashlykova solder. Most surprising in this announcement, of course, was the fact that Intel doubled the number of computational cores in their senior mass offerings for literally two years.

Together with the OCTA core and shestnadcatiletnim processor Core i9-9900K was also presented and the Intel Core i7-9700K and Core i5-9600K, who redefined the basic characteristics of the representatives of the processor Intel average. As a result, Core i7 –now eight-core processors without Hyper-Threading, while Core i5 – shestiyaderny without Hyper-Threading. And this means that the technology of Hyper-threading from Intel are now gone from the main mass consumer proposals, remaining only in the flagship product for the ecosystem LGA 1151v2 and class HEDT processors.

Incidentally, simultaneously with the submission of the Coffee Lake Refresh Intel has updated and processors for high-performance workstations. But the new Skylake-X, in contrast to Coffee Lake Refresh of the increasing number of compute cores has been proposed, and senior LGA 2066-Intel Core i9-9980XE remained 18-nuclear. But according to the solder instead of thermal paste under the heat-spreading lid, the younger members of the family grew the capacity of the cache memory of the third level, and additionally, Intel no longer limit the number of lines available PCI Express processor value below $1000. In addition, by the amount of approximately from 5 to 15 % increased and the clock frequency.

At the same time held another preview: microprocessor giant has prepared aimed at workstations Xeon processor status W-3175X with 28 cores. Nominal characteristics of such a monster promise clock speed at 3.1 GHz, the peak frequency in turbo mode to 4.3 GHz and beyond reasonable dissipation typical 255 watts. Of course, in the framework of existing platforms, the performance of this processor is provided, it could not be, for he was offered a special socket LGA 3647, the appearance of which means the need for new motherboards. Currently, it is known that supported the initiative of Intel ASUS and Gigabyte, but as of today no circuit boards or processors Xeon W-3175X on sale. So we can’t even guess how many will have to pay for the possession of such a miracle of engineering.

#Conclusion: what to expect now

Apparently, no breakthroughs and high-profile announcements in the first half of this year on the processor market is expected. And AMD and Intel are already described in sufficient detail its plans and according to available data, processors with new designs start coming out closer to fall, when will start a new round of competition.

In the first half of the year can only be expected the advent of the AMD Picasso desktop – improved variants Ryzen with integrated graphics, transferred to 12-nm process technology. However, judging by what the data processor design has been presented for the mobile market, much innovation should not wait. It will be exactly the same Ryzen Quad-core graphics Vega, which is available now, just with increased clock frequencies.

Real innovation from AMD will have to wait until the third quarter, when the company plans to introduce its processors Ryzen third generation, built on microarchitecture Zen 2 and produced by a totally new CPU for 7-nm process. They can wait for a really large-scale improvements. Future microarchitecture involves the increase in IPC due to the optimizations of design and, most importantly, the extension to 256-bit block floating-point operations. The new technological process will allow to increase clock frequency. And besides, Ryzen third-generation AMD is going to resort to a modular design, in which the processor will be composed of several semiconductor crystals – chipsetov, which gives the manufacturer the possibility of a relatively simple to increase the number of cores. Therefore, it is possible that the efforts of AMD in 2019 we will be able to witness another breakthrough in the further development of multithreading when the mass processors for desktop systems will be able to offer consumers more than eight cores.

Answer whether it is a symmetrical step, Intel is not yet clear. But it is known that microprocessor giant is working on a seriously advanced microarchitecture Sunny Cove, which would become the basis of a mass processor company by the end of this year. Processors Ice Lake, which will be used for Sunny Cove, are expected to be produced at 10-nanometer process technology, which will allow you to place in the processor chip increased the number of cores. But while Intel focuses on micro-improvements, which should give an increase in IPC of up to 20 %. The promised extension of the cache memory and increasing the capacity of all the Executive pipeline, which should provide an impetus to accelerate the work of individual cores. If Intel adds desktop Ice Lake more cores, the result can be very interesting.

In other words, to be bored in 2019, we clearly don’t have. The competition between AMD and Intel will only be exacerbated, and both companies will probably continue to take a somewhat different approaches. While AMD is betting on the number of cores, Intel is struggling to increase the specific performance of individual cores. Some of the ways to increase productivity will be a more advantageous strategy for the desktop market, we will see in the relatively near future.

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