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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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PC / Laptop

The review and testing of the motherboard ASUS Prime Z390-A

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In the range of ASUS, there are 19 motherboard on the chipset Intel Z390. Potential buyer can choose from models like the elite series ROG or TUF ultra-reliable and Prime, has a more democratic prices. Received by us on the testing Board just refers to the last series, and even in Russia is slightly more than 12 thousand rubles, for solutions Intel Z390 relatively inexpensive. We will focus on models of the ASUS Prime Z390-A.

Having on Board all necessary to create a game system or a productive workstation, fee slightly simplified developers touched on almost everything from the CPU power circuit and ending ports. Thus all the possibilities for overclocking the CPU and RAM in the ASUS Prime Z390-A is. More about all this we will tell you in this article.

#

The technical characteristics and cost

Supported processors Intel Core i9 / Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron
performed by LGA1151 eighth and ninth generation microarchitecture Core
Chipset Intel Z390 Express
Memory subsystem 4 × DDR4 DIMM UN-buffered memory up to 64 GB;
dual channel mode memory;
support modules with frequency of 4266(O. C.)/4133(O. C.)/4000(O. C.)/3866(O. C.)/3733(O. C.)/
3600(O. C.)/3466(O. C.)/3400(O. C.)/3333(O. C.)/3300(O. C.)/3200(O. C.)/3100(O. C.)/
3066(O. C.)/3000(O. C.)/2800(O. C.)/2666/2400/2133 MHz;
support Intel XMP (Extreme Memory Profile)
GUI The integrated graphics core processor allows you to use the ports HDMI and DisplayPort;
supports resolutions up to 4K inclusive (4096 × 2160 at 30 Hz);
maximum shared memory of 1 GB;
support Intel InTru 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology, Insider
Connectors for expansion boards 2 PCI Express x16 3.0, modes of x16, x8/x8, x8/x4+x4 and x8+x4+x4/x0;
1 slot PCI Express x16 (mode x4), Gen 3;
3 PCI Express x1 slots, Gen 3
The scalability of the video NVIDIA 2-way SLI Technology;
AMD 2-way/3-way CrossFireX Technology
The storage interface Intel Z390 Express:
– 6 × SATA 3 bandwidth of up to 6GB/s;
– support RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10, Intel Rapid Storage, Intel Smart Connect Technology and Intel Smart Response, NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug;
– 2 × M. 2, bandwidth of each up to 32 GB/s (M. 2_1 supports only PCI Express memory length from 42 to 110 mm, M. 2_2 supports SATA and PCI Express storage devices ranging in length from 42 to 80 mm);
– support Intel Optane Memory
Network
interfaces
Gigabit Ethernet controller Intel Gigabit LAN I219V (10/100/1000 Mbit);
with the support of technology ASUS Turbo LAN Utility;
technology support ASUS LAN Guard
Audio 7.1 CH HD audio codec Realtek ALC S1220A;
the ratio of signal to noise ratio (SNR) – 120 dB;
the level of SNR on the linear input 113 dB;
audio Nichicon fine gold audio caps (7 pieces);
preregulator power;
built-in headphone amplifier;
the different layers of the PCB for the left and right channels;
isolated from PCB sound card
USB interface Intel Z390 Express:
– 6 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (2 on back panel, 4 connected to the connectors on the system Board);
– 4 port USB 3.1 Gen1 (2 on back panel, 2 are connected to the connectors on the system Board);
– 4 port USB 3.1 Gen2 (back panel Board, 3 Type-A and Type 1-C);
– 1 port USB 3.1 Gen1 (connects to the connector on the system Board)
Connectors and buttons on the rear panel Combo PS/2 port and two USB ports 2.0/1.1;
ports USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C and USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A;
HDMI and DysplayPort;
two port USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A;
two port USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A and network LAN-socket RJ-45;
1 optical S/PDIF output interface;
5 3.5 mm gold-plated audio connectors
Internal connectors on the PCB 24-pin ATX power connector;
8-pin ATX 12V power;
6 SATA 3;
2 M. 2;
4-pin connector CPU fan with PWM support;
4-pin connector for the CPU_OPT fan with PWM support;
2 4-pin connector for fan Chassis Fan with PWM support
4-pin connector for the pump AIO_PUMP;
4-pin connector for the pump W_PUMP;
connector EXT_Fan;
M. 2 socket Fan;
connector temperature sensor;
2 4-pin Aura addressable RGB Strip connector;
USB 3.1 Gen 1 to connect 1 port Type-C;
USB 3.1 Gen 1 to connect 2 ports;
2 USB 2.0/1.1 for connecting 4 ports;
connector TPM (Trusted Platform Module);
COM port connector;
connector S/PDIF;
the Thunderbolt connector;
a group of connectors for the front panel (Q-Connector);
audio connector for the front panel;
switch MemOK!;
connector CPU OV;
the power button;
connector Clear CMOS;
connector Node
BIOS 128 Mbit AMI UEFI BIOS with multilingual interface and the graphical user interface;
ACPI 6.1;
support PnP 1.0 a;
support SM BIOS 3.1;
technology support ASUS EZ Flash 3
Controller I/O Nuvoton NCT6798D
Corporate functions, technologies and features 5-Way Optimization by Dual Intelligent Processors 5:
– 5-Way Optimization tuning key perfectly consolidates TPU, EPU, DIGI+ VRM, Fan Xpert, 4, and Turbo Core App.
– Procool Power connector design;
TPU:
– Auto Tuning, TPU, GPU Boost;
Fan Xpert4:
– Fan Xpert 4 featuring Fan Auto Tuning function and multiple thermistors selection for optimized system cooling control;
ASUS 5X Protection III:
– ASUS SafeSlot Core: Fortified PCIe Slot prevents damage;
– ASUS LANGuard: LAN Protects against surges, lightning strikes and static-electricity discharges!;
– ASUS Overvoltage Protection: World-class circuit-protecting power design;
– ASUS Stainless Steel Back I/O: 3X corrosion-resistance for greater durability!;
– ASUS DIGI+ VRM: Digital 9 phase power design with Dr. MOS;
ASUS Optimem II:
– Improved DDR4 Stability;
ASUS EPU:
EPU;
ASUS Exclusive Features:
– MemOK! II;
– AI Suite 3;
– Ai Charger;
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution:
– Stylish Fanless Design Heat-sink solution & MOS Heatsink;
– ASUS Fan Xpert 4;
ASUS EZ DIY:
– ASUS O. C. Tuner;
– ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3;
– ASUS EZ Flash 3;
– ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode;
ASUS Q-Design:
– ASUS Q-Shield;
– ASUS Q-LED (CPU, DRAM, VGA, Boot Device LED);
– ASUS Q-Slot;
– ASUS Q-DIMM;
– ASUS Q-Connector;
AURA: RGB Lighting Control;
Turbo APP:
– featuring tuning system performance for selected applications;
M. 2 Onboard
Form factor, dimensions (mm) ATX, 305 × 244
Operating system support Windows 10 x64
The warranty of the manufacturer, years 3
Minimum retail value for you! 12 460

#Packaging equipment

ASUS Prime Z390-sealed in A small cardboard box on the front side which shows the Board itself is marked with the model name and series and lists the technologies supported. Not forgotten and a mention of the support system backlight ASUS Aura Sync.

 

According to the information on the reverse side of the Board you can find almost everything, including characteristics and key features. Very briefly the characteristics of the product mentioned on the sticker from the end of the box.

Inside the box for more protect to pay no — she’s just laying on a cardboard tray and sealed in anti-static bag.

The contents are pretty standard: two SATA cable, plug on the rear panel, CD with drivers and utilities connection bridge for 2-way SLI, manual and screws to secure the drives in the M. 2 ports.

The bonus is a coupon for a twenty percent discount when buying brand cables in the store CableMod.

Board is produced in China, and provides a three year warranty. We will add that in Russian stores it is already being sold at a price of 12,5 thousand rubles.

#Design and features

Design ASUS Prime Z390-A modest and concise. On the PCB there is no bright inserts or the attention-grabbing detail, and all the colors consists of a combination of white and black color and silvery color of the radiators. This fee can hardly be called boring, even though it’s the last thing you can pay attention to when choosing the basis for the system average performance.

 

From the individual design elements highlight the plastic covers on the ports I / o and the chipset.

 

They have semi-transparent Windows, through which is visible light. We will add that the fee is equal to 305 × 244 mm, that is, it refers to the ATX format.

Among the main advantages of the ASUS Prime Z390-A manufacturer allocates power circuit elements DrMOS, eight-channel sound Crystal Sound, as well as support for all modern ports and interfaces.

Before a detailed analysis of the components of the motherboard will give their location on the diagram provided in the instruction manual.

 

On the rear panel of the Board displayed eight USB ports, three types, combo PS/2 port, two video outputs, mains socket, optical output and five audio connectors.

As you can see, all modestly and without frills, but it is unlikely the developers here can be accused of compromise, because the base set of ports, is implemented here.

All the radiators and shrouds are attached to the PCB with screws. Their removal took less than a couple of minutes, then ASUS Prime Z390-A appeared in its natural form.

The textolite is not overloaded with elements, a lot of free of chip areas, but it is quite typical for motherboards of a mainstream segment.

CPU socket LGA1151-v2 is not characterized by some signature features — it is completely standard.

In the specifications of the motherboard claimed to support all modern Intel processors this socket, including the recently released Intel Core i9-9900KFfor which you need to flash BIOS 0702 or later.

The system processor power on ASUS Prime Z390-A is organized according to the scheme 4 × 2 + 1. In the power circuit uses assemblies DrMOS integrated drivers NCP302045 production ON Semiconductor is able to withstand peak loads up to 75 A (the average current is 45 A).

Power management on-Board digital controller Digi+ АЅР1400СТВ.

The power Board is provided by two connectors — 24 – and 8-pin.

 

The connectors are made of ProCool technology to which the stated more secure connection to cables with lower resistance and improved heat distribution. This visual differences from the normal connectors on the other boards was revealed.

No differences in Intel Z390, crystal which is in contact with a small heat sink through thermal pads.

However, here they could not be.

Board is equipped with four DIMM slots for RAM standard DDR4, which in pairs are painted in different colors. Priority to install one pair of modules are light gray slots that are marked directly on the PCB.

The total amount of memory can reach 64 GB, and the maximum frequency stated in the specs – 4266 MHz. However, to achieve this frequency will have to try to pick up as a good processor and the memory, but proprietary technology OptiMem II should be possible to facilitate rest. By the way, the list of officially tested modules on the Board today contains 17 pages of fine print, but even if your memory it will not, then with a probability of 99.9 % for Prime Z390 Is A will to work with her, because motherboards are extremely omnivorous to the memory modules and, as a rule, well, they dispersed. We would add that the power system memory single channel.

ASUS Prime Z390-A is equipped with six PCI Express slots. Three of them are made in a design of x16, and two slots have a metallic shell. First x16 slot is connected to the processor and the processor uses 16 lines PCI-E.

The second slot of the same form factor can only work in mode PCI-Express x8, so the fee is, of course, supports NVIDIA SLI and AMD CorssFireX, but only in combination x8/x8. The third long PCI-Express slot only works at x4 speed using chipset line. In addition, the Board has three PCI-Express 3.0 x1, also implemented by the chipset Intel.

The operation mode of the PCI-Express implemented circuits-switches ASM1480 production ASMedia.

As for the video output Board with built-in graphics core, they are implemented by the controller ASM1442K.

The Board has the standard six SATA III ports with a throughput of up to 6GB/s implemented by the possibilities of the same set of system logic Intel Z390. In their placement on the PCB of the developers do not have anything wise and arranged all the connectors of one group in a horizontal orientation.

There are on-Board ports and M. 2 in the amount of two pieces. Top, M. 2_1, supports PCI-E and SATA devices up to a length of 8 cm and when you install a SATA drive-type disables the port SATA_2.

At the bottom you can only install PCI-E drives up to 11 cm, additionally it is equipped with a plate heat sink with thermal pad.

A total of 17 on-Board USB ports. Eight of them are displayed on the rear panel, where you can find two USB 2.0, two USB 3.1 Gen1, and four USB 3.1 Gen2 (one of the format Type-C). Six USB 2.0 can be connected to two pads on the Board (use an additional hub), in the same way you can display and dual USB 3.1 Gen1. In addition to them, to the Board connects a single USB 3.1 Gen1 for the front panel of the system unit. A very comprehensive set of ports.

As the network controller on ASUS Prime Z390-A widely used common chip Intel I219-V .

 

Hardware protection against static electricity and surge will provide a block of LANGuard and software optimization of traffic it is possible to spend utility Turbo LAN.

The basis of the audio section of the Board is a processor Realtek S1220A with the stated ratio of signal to noise ratio (SNR) on the linear audio output of 120 dB and SNR level on line input – 113 dB.

Such values are achieved including through the use of Japanese capacitors with premium, the breeding left and right channels in different layers of the PCB, insulation audiosony on the PCB from the rest of the elements of the conductive strip.

At the software level supported surround sound technology DTS Headphone:X.

For monitoring and fan control on the Board is provided Nuvoton NCT6798D.

In total, facilities include seven fans, each of which can be configured individually by PWM signal or voltage. There is a separate socket for connection of pump cooling system, outstanding current 3 A.

Connector EXT_FAN is possible to connect an expansion Board with extra connectors for fans and thermal sensors, which then can also be controlled from BIOS.

Setting the automatic overclocking on ASUS Prime Z390-A is implemented by the microcontroller TPU KB3724Q.

To connect to the external tapes of led backlighting, the Board provides two connectors for Aura RGB.

Supported tape length up to three meters. On the PCB Board highlighted area casing exits and a small portion of the radiator of the chipset, and adjusting the illumination color and choice of modes available through the app ASUS Aura.

Other connectors on the bottom edge of the PCB, select the new connector NODE, which can connect the power supply units ASUS for the monitoring of energy consumption and fan speed.

But the lack of an indicator POST-codes on the Board are not happy, even though her mainstream class.

Cooling the VRM circuits Board involved two separate aluminum radiator with pads. In turn, the chipset consumes less than 6 watts, cool small 2-3 mm plate.

The same thickness and the plate to drive in the lower M. 2 port. Moreover, the manufacturer promises a 20-degree decrease in temperature storage in comparison with the indicators at all without the radiator.

SOURCE

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Overview of ASRock B365M Phantom Gaming 4: tell me no overclocking

At the end of last year, Intel is trying to cope with a sudden shortage of production capacity process technology 14 nm++, has released a set of system logic Intel B365 according to the norms of 22-nm process technology. His task is to close the gap in the segment of inexpensive motherboards, the lack of which, according to some analysts, Intel is not allowed to actively promote their new processors-the ninth generation. The chipset, like its 14-nm counterparts, remained within the thermal pack, 6W, received 20 lines PCI Express 3.0 and support for Windows 7, but was stripped of the USB 3.1 Gen2 and built-in Wireless AC module. Overclocking with the new chipset is also not friendly.

Simultaneously with the announcement of Intel B365 motherboard manufacturers introduced their new models, which are based on, and formed the chipset. Do not stay aside and the company ASRock, has released five motherboard Intel B365. Overall, these announcements have gone quietly and without fanfare, as is often the case in products of this class. However, demand such fees definitely will use. One of the new – ASRock B365M Phantom Gaming 4 – we will study and test in today’s article.

#Specifications and cost

ASROck B365M Phantom Gaming4
Supported processors Intel Core i9 / Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron
performed by LGA1151 eighth and ninth generation microarchitecture Core
Chipset Intel B365
Memory subsystem 4 × DDR4 DIMM UN-buffered memory up to 64 GB;
dual channel mode memory;
support modules with frequency 2666/2400/2133 MHz;
support Intel XMP (Extreme Memory Profile)
GUI The integrated graphics core processor allows you to use HDMI version 1.4 and DisplayPort version 1.2;
supports resolutions up to 4K inclusive (4096 × 2160 at 30 Hz);
maximum shared memory of 1 GB
Connectors for expansion boards 2 PCI Express 3.0 x16 modes x16 or x16/x4;
1 slot PCI Express x1 Gen 3
The scalability of the video AMD 2-way CrossFireX Technology
The storage interface Intel B365:
– 6 × SATA 3 bandwidth of up to 6 Gbps (supports RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10, Intel Rapid Storage, Intel Smart Connect Technology and Intel Smart Response, NCQ, AHCI and Hot Plug);
– 2 × M. 2 (M. 2_1 supports only PCI Express flash drives, ranging in length from 42 to 80 mm, M. 2_2 supports SATA and PCI Express storage devices ranging in length from 42 to 110 mm);
– support Intel Optane Memory
Network
interfaces
Gigabit Ethernet controller Intel Gigabit LAN I219V (10/100/1000 Mbit);
technology supports Wake-On-LAN, Lightning/ESD Protection, PXE
Audio 7.1 CH HD audio codec Realtek ALC1200;
audiophile grade audio capacitors (5 PCs.);
gold plated audio connectors;
isolated from the PCB of the sound card;
support technology Surge Protection, DTS Connect, Premium Blu-ray Audio
USB interface Intel B365:
– 6 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (2 on back panel, 4 connected to the connectors on the system Board);
– 6 ports USB 3.1 Gen 1 (4 on back panel, 2 are connected to the connector on the system Board);
– 1 port USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-C rear panel)
Connectors and buttons on the rear panel Combo PS/2 port and two USB 2.0 ports;
the HDMI and DisplayPort;
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C;
two port USB 3.1 Gen 1;
two port USB 3.1 Gen 1 and network plug RJ-45;
1 optical S/PDIF output interface;
5 3.5 mm gold-plated audio connectors
Internal connectors on the PCB 24-pin ATX power connector;
8-pin ATX 12V power;
6 SATA 3;
2 M. 2;
1 M. 2 Key E;
4-pin connector CPU fan with PWM support;
4-pin connector for the pump DLC (supports Smart Fan Speed Control);
3 4-pin connectors for case fans with PWM support (Smart Fan Speed Control);
1 4-pin addressable RGB LED connector;
2 4-pin RGB LED connector;
a group of connectors for the front panel;
audio connector for the front panel;
connector TPM (Trusted Platform Module);
2 USB 2.0 ports for connecting 4 ports;
USB 3.1 Gen 1 to connect 2 ports;
connector COM Port;
jumper Chassis Intrusion Header and Speaker;
indicators, POST Status Checker (PSC)
BIOS 128-Mbit AMI UEFI BIOS with multilingual interface and the graphical user interface;
ACPI 6.0;
support SM BIOS 2.7
Controller I/O Nuvoton NCT6791D
Corporate functions, technologies and features ASRock Super Alloy:
– Premium 50A Power Choke;
– Nichicon 12K Black Caps (100% Japan made high quality conductive polymer capacitors);
– I/O Armor;
– Shaped PCB Design;
– Matte Black PCB;
– High Density Glass Fabric PCB;
ASRock Intel 4-Layer Memory POOL (Planes on Outer Layers) Technology;
ASRock Steel Slot;
ASRock M. 2 Full Coverage Heat Sink;
ASRock Ultra M. 2 (PCIe Gen3 x4 & SATA3);
ASRock POST Status Checker (PSC);
ASRock Full Spike Protection (for all USB, Audio, LAN Ports);
ASRock Live Update & APP Shop
Form factor, dimensions (mm) Micro ATX 244 × 242
Operating system support Windows 10 x64
The warranty of the manufacturer, years 3
Minimum retail value for you! n/a

#Packaging equipment

The Board comes in a relatively compact cardboard box, decorated in typical ASRock style products. Its front side is nothing remarkable stands out, and the reverse will briefly tell you about all the features of the Board and its technical characteristics.

 

On a small sticker on the end of the box to find your serial Board number and the batch number, the size and weight and country of manufacture — Vietnam.

Inside of the carton Board is on a soft substrate made of polyethylene foam to which it is pressed against the plastic ties, and further Packed in anti-static bag.

The complete set modest, as the majority of Vietnamese. Together with the cost of the box showed only two SATA-cable, three screws for drives installed in the M. 2 ports, the cover on the rear panel, installation instructions and CD with drivers.

On ASRock B365M Phantom Gaming 4 three-year warranty, and its recommended price is not yet announced. It is hoped that it is so low that it even hesitate to call. However, on the basis of retail prices for boards with close characteristics chipset H370, it can be assumed that this model in Russia will cost about 6 thousand rubles.

#Design and features

ASRock B365M Phantom Gaming 4 is made in the form factor micro ATX and has dimensions of 244 × 242 mm. Board looks pretty interesting: almost black PCB is painted scarlet and white strokes on the cover of the interface panel shows the name of the series, and on the chipset – logo.

 

The layout of the major components on the PCB can be studied according to the scheme of the instruction manual.

 

The modest capabilities of the chipset Intel B365 and no additional controllers on the Board directly affect the view of the rear, showing a minimal set of ports: seven USB (without 3.1 Gen 2), combo PS/2 port, video outputs HDMI and DisplayPort, socket, optical output and five audio connectors.

It would seem that there was a large window for outflow of heated air from the heatsink VRM, but, alas, from the inside it almost completely blocked the radiator.

Despite the fact that ASRock B365M Phantom Gaming 4 refers to the lower-price segment, all add-on components on its PCB, attached with screws and not irritating plastic “studs”. Radiators and the housing fee as follows.

As you can see, the layout of the classic and the usual plat form factor ATX, the model distinguishes only a smaller length. Here, as in the more expensive ASRock boards use the PCB of high density, more resistant to powerful electric load and humidity.

Any brand features CPU socket LGA1151-v2 stands out, is the hole for the temperature sensor to the PCB no.

Above and to the left of the CPU socket houses the power circuit elements. In total there are nine groups/phases, each of which includes 50-amp power chokes and capacitors Nichicon 12K.

Stated, that the power of the CPU allotted eight phases (or rather four, but with doublers uPI uP1961S) is probably still one left on the integrated graphics core and the power circuit. Note that the group power supply components of the four phases does not cooled.

For power management of the processor on-Board soldered controller uPI uP9521P.

The power Board is provided by two standard connectors with 24 and 8 pins.

 

Both connectors are oriented the latches outwards, that is, in our opinion, it is more convenient when you have to disconnect the cables.

Crystal chipset Intel B365 significantly larger than the crystal Z390 Intel, which is not surprising, given the difference in the fabrication process.

It is in contact with a small heat sink through thermal pads.

ASRock B365M Phantom Gaming 4 is equipped with four DIMM slots for latch on one side only.

The maximum amount of memory installed on your card, up to 64 GB, but its frequency may not exceed 2,667 GHz and get around this limitation, no one has yet succeeded. Supports dual-channel mode working memory profiles XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) and a large list of certified for this memory kits. We will add that system memory power single-phase using the same components as in the CPU power circuit.

On the Board, only three PCI-Express, but only the first, connected to the processor lines, has an aluminum shell ASRock Steel Slot.

Formally, the Board supports the merger of the two AMD graphics cards in CrossFireX mode, but they will work under the scheme x16/x4. “Shorty” PCI Express x1 has an open end, that is, it is possible to install long expansion cards.

Board is equipped with six SATA III ports with a throughput up to 6 Gbps, four of which are oriented horizontally and two vertically.

 

Also have ASRock B365M Phantom Gaming 4 there are two M. 2 port, and the top got a plate cooler with a thermal pad.

The top port, M. 2_1, only supports PCI Express flash drives, ranging in length from 42 to 80 mm, and lower, M. 2_2, ready to take SATA, and PCI Express flash drives, ranging in length from 42 to 110 mm. if in the port of M. 2_2 will be installed the SATA drive, the SATA3_0 port will not be available for devices of the appropriate type. Also add that just below the photo shows the connector M. 2 Key E for expansion cards Wi-Fi;

All USB ports on ASRock B365M Phantom Gaming 4 are implemented by the chipset. Their total number is equal to 13: 6 internal and 7 external. On the rear panel two USB 2.0/1.1, four USB 3.1 Gen 1 and one Gen 1 SB 3.1 Type-C.

In turn, the internal USB ports is represented by four USB 2.0/1.1 and a pair of USB 3.1 Gen 1. No high speed USB 3.1 Gen 2 on the Board, unfortunately.

The network interface is implemented here Gigabit controller Intel I219-V.

Declared support technology Wake-On-LAN, Lightning/ESD Protection and PXE.

The basis of the sound path formed Board 7.1 CH HD audio codec Realtek ALC1200.

In its composition there are five “adipisci” capacitors, and the area of the elements of the sound channel is separated from the rest of the Board non-conductive strips.

In addition, the audio connectors on the rear panel and internal audio connector on the PCB Board covered with gold leaf.

The functions of the Multi I/O and monitoring implemented by the controller Nuvoton NCT6791D.

All facilities include five fans with PWM-control, including the CPU fan (1 A, 12 watts) and pump liquid cooling system (2 A, 24 watts).

The fee is endowed with a proprietary lighting system ASRock Polychrome RGB. On the PCB of the LEDs is illuminated in the rear portion of the right side with the name of the series, as well as a narrow strip on the plastic housing.

In addition, the Board has three connectors for connecting the led strips, backlights, one of which allows the use of individually addressable strips.

On the bottom edge of the PCB Board there is no convenient indicator POST-codes, but it is partially replaced by four LEDs POST Status Checker (PSC), indicating a problem of CPU, memory, graphics card or boot stage.

As for the cooling Board, it is extremely simple: a small fan on the power supply circuit of the processor, the chipset and the drive in the first M. 2.

No heat-pipe here. Moreover, as we mentioned above, four phase CPU power circuit and is left without a radiator.

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Review of the AMD Athlon 240GE, 220GE and 200GE in the right place at the right time

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Recent familiarity with processors Ryzen 5 2500X and Ryzen 3 2300X showed that AMD considers it necessary to strengthen their own lineup of strong budget proposals that could attract buyers in the era of scarcity of available processors competitor. Such innovations do well to solve their problem, proving a more than worthy alternatives for processors the Core i3 series. But only two new products AMD is not going to be limited. Along the way, the company has taken the offensive and in the lower price segment, releasing even more cheap chips capable of inflicting a blow to the popular “hyperpnea” (Pentium Hyper-Threading). So on the market appeared Athlon two hundredth series – new dual-core processors for the platform Socket AM4 with a price of less than $100.

It is worth Recalling that in the model number of AMD’s budget Athlon Socket AM4-performance existed before. For example, a fairly widespread Quad-core Athlon X4 950. However, this CPU is based on outdated design Bristol Ridge microarchitecture Excavator. Because of this he is not able to compete with the members of the family of Pentium in performance and is only of interest because it can be “plug connector”, which allows to exploit the AM4 Socket-a system till the moment it will be installed full processor family Ryzen.

New Athlon for that matter much more modern and therefore more interesting. And although they again are greatly reduced versions of the chips in this time to create used current-based Raven Ridge. For this reason, such proposals can be considered as an alternative to the current Pentium Gold. Having a price from $55 to $75, fresh budget processors from AMD can, as budget Intel chips, to offer two computing cores capable to execute four threads, and a relatively decent graphics core.

It should be understood that the main advantage of the new Athlon is not so much in their characteristics, but in the fact that they are really can be bought at a reasonable price. The fact that the issue with the backorders of their Intel decides to “top-down”. This means that firstly, the orders for expensive chips series Core i7 and Core i9 and also of the application server market. Core i3, Pentium, and Celeron are thus at a disadvantage: they are produced and delivered by a residual principle, and the cheaper the processor, the less of a chance to meet him in the sale. Eventually this led to the fact that the members of the series Pentium Gold or disappeared entirely from store shelves or sold at prices significantly higher than normal. In such circumstances, the new Athlon to be almost the only variant of the processor on which it is advisable to pay attention to the price category “below $100”.

In fact, thanks to the new Athlon, AMD has already managed to win several large OEM contracts: low-cost model of office personal computers, it is highly marketable. Cheap processors for such systems are needed in large quantities, and Athlon has offered an easy way out in a situation when Pentium Gold to buy almost impossible. However, we are interested in a slightly different question: can we rely on the Athlon series of two hundred individual users looking for an affordable option for the home system? On the one hand, Athlon — almost the same as Pentium and Gold. However, on the other – those CPUs higher clock rate and better is the case with single-threaded performance. So to say that terms of speed Athlon 200GE, 220GE or 240GE is almost the same as “hyperpen”, need any confirmation. We’ll try to get testing of the new AMD business and gaming applications.

#New Athlon in detail

The overall strategy of AMD is that the company tries to offer processors with more developed multithreading than similar price models from Intel. This is true for almost all market segments, but not for the lower. All three models Athlon two hundred series have only two active nuclei Zen technology-enabled SMT. This means that from the point of view of the number of executable threads, they are no different from the current modifications of Pentium Gold.

Besides, the Athlon has no support turboradial. No technology Core Performance Boost or even more of the XFR/XFR2 are not available, and hence, at any load they operate at a constant clock frequency. By the way, this frequency is relatively low: the Junior model, Athlon 200GE, operates at 3.2 GHz and older, Athlon 240GE – on 3.5 GHz. There is another significant loss: AMD in their Junior processors cut the cache and memory controller. Volume cache of the third level reduced to 4 MB and a maximum supported memory DDR4-2666. And in this case we are talking not about the formal, but the actual limit: required to traktowania memory at a higher frequency multipliers are simply not available, and to overclock the DDR4 SDRAM will not work.

Athlon 200GE

Athlon 200GE

 
Athlon 220GE

Athlon 220GE

 
Athlon 240GE

Athlon 240GE

But the new Athlon can boast of a very moderate power consumption and heat dissipation. Their thermal Suite is defined by the value of the 35 watts that’s one of the most economical AMD processors for desktops. Such a characterization of TDP can boast except Ryzen E-series, which the company officially supplying only to OEMs. Here AMD was able to outperform even Pentium Gold: heat pack budget Intel is 58 watts. It is therefore not surprising that in the boxed versions of Athlon two hundred versions come with a simple aluminum cooler c 65-mm fan, which causes persistent Association with cooling systems under the classical era Athlon XP Socket A.

An important distinction of modern processors Athlon two hundredth series from those Athlon X4, AMD has offered to date, is that now they have a graphics core. The basis of Athlon 200GE, 220GE and 240GE are design Raven Ridge and the same 14-nm semiconductor core, as in processors Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G. However, the performance of the integrated GPU is significantly undervalued. The manufacturer says about the graphics level GeForce Vega 3, which is converted in three computing module with 192 unified shaders, 12 texture units and 4 ROP units. By the way, this configuration provides the GPU and the youngest mobile Ryzen 3 2200U.

The characteristics of the new Athlon fit into the existing range of cheap AMD processors in the following way.

Design Cores/ Threads Base frequency, GHz Turbocheetah, GHz L3 cache MB Memory Graph. the core Lines PCIe TDP, watts
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
Athlon 240GE Raven Ridge 2/4 3,5 4 DDR4‑2666 Vega 3 12 35
Athlon 220GE Raven Ridge 2/4 3,4 4 DDR4‑2666 Vega 3 12 35
Athlon 200GE Raven Ridge 2/4 3,2 4 DDR4‑2666 Vega 3 12 35

In their marketing materials AMD Athlon contrasts the two hundredth series intelliskin Pentium Gold. However, the fact that they can offer comparable performance to something other than graphics, there is quite reasonable doubt. Where they come from, it should be clear from the following table, where the mapped features of the budget AMD and Intel processors.

AMD Athlon Intel Pentium Gold
Cores/threads 2/4 2/4
Microarchitecture Zen Coffee Lake
Platform Socket AM4 LGA1151v2
Frequency A 3.2-3.5 GHz The 3.7-3.9 GHz
L2-cache 512 KB per core 256 KB per core
L3-cache 4 MB 4 MB
SIMD instructions AVX/AVX2 SSE 4.1/4.2
Integrated graphics Vega 3 (192 SP) UHD 630/610 (23/12 EU)
GPU frequency 1000 MHz 1050-1100 MHz
Memory DDR4-2666 DDR4-2400
TDP 35 W 58 W
The official price $55-$75 $64-$86

The new Athlon is a relatively low clock frequency. However, but they offer lower heat dissipation and, apparently, more powerful graphics, which outperforms Intel UHD 610 Graphics (GT1) and certainly no worse than the UHD 630 Graphics (GT2).

However, here you need to make three significant reservations. The first relates to prices. The fact that due to problems with the supply of the Pentium Gold it is impossible to buy at the “right” price, which is indicated in the table above. While Junior Athlon 200GE actually buy for 3 thousand rubles, Pentium Gold g5400 is cheaper than 5 thousand in sales now is not to find, not to mention the fact that the Pentium Gold G5500 model with a production-level integrated GPU GT2 will cost from 6 thousand and above.

The second point is about acceleration. Unexpectedly turned out, the Athlon generation Raven Ridge can be configured to work at higher than declared by the manufacturer, clock frequency. AMD itself of that opportunity does not advertise and sometimes even denied, but the fact is that the new BIOS for the vast majority AM4 Socket-a motherboards, which are based on AGESA version 1.0.0.6, I suggest really working the function to change the multiplier frequency. We cannot guarantee that this opportunity will not be blocked in the future, but at the moment the situation is such that the working frequency of Athlon 200GE, 220GE and 240GE can be increased by 10-20% rather simple manipulations.

Have Athlon 200GE, 220GE and 240GE third feature. The AMD approach to the formation of inexpensive processors is somewhat different from interesnogo. In Athlon, the company reduced the number of cores and compute units of the GPU, but did not turn off any of the properties of the microarchitecture. So, for example, budget Socket AM4 processors continue to support AVX instructions, while the Pentium Gold in their execution impossible.

In conclusion, we should say that support Athlon 200GE, 220GE and 240GE have all motherboards for Socket AM4, which can operate with Raven Ridge. In other words, the problem to find a platform for these processors will not occur. And here it is appropriate to recall the existence of a set of logic A320, which AMD was designed for the most budget configurations. Thanks to him, the prices of motherboards with Socket AM4 start with a mark of 3.5 thousand rubles, which allows you to create highly available platform with modern components AMD. And we are talking about is really relevant boards that can offer support for NVMe drives, USB 3.1 ports and versions of video outputs with support for 4K resolution.

#Acceleration

Given the fact that the Athlon two hundred series are constructed on the same semiconductor crystal as their older brothers Ryzen Ryzen 2200G 3 and 5 2400G, some unexpectedly high overclocking results is not expected. We checked all three arrived in our lab processor — Athlon 200GE, 220GE and 240GE, and the maximum acceleration for them was achieving a frequency of 4.0 GHz. To work stably in this condition are two processors of the three – 200GE and 220GE. Senior representative in the series could only please steady performance at 3.9 GHz.

Therefore, in practical tests we concentrated on those instances that were able to conquer the symbolic threshold. However, the increase in frequency in any case, did not require any substantial effort: to achieve the stability needed just a little (to 1.35-1,375) increase in processor supply voltage.

The tests we carried out with our usual cooler Noctua NH-U14S, but it is clear that the restriction in the dispersal here is not the heat of the processor, and the capabilities of the silicon. Therefore, similar results can be obtained those users who prefer air cooling easier. However, with the standard aluminum cooler 4-gigagertsevogo frequency, obviously, will not succeed. In this case, you will have to limit ourselves to a weaker market.

Also it is worth mentioning that cheap motherboards on base of chipset A320 do not support overclocking at all. To increase the frequency of the desired charge on the chipset B350, and they are a bit more expensive.

Unfortunately, the acceleration allows to eliminate just one of the shortcomings of the new Athlon – their low clock frequency. But two other negative factors remain in force. First, the Athlon memory will still run at maximum frequency DDR4-2666 – around this border have a budget AMD is impossible. Second, Athlon allocated for maintenance of the primary PCIe slot is only 4 lanes of PCI Express 3.0. And this means that the discrete graphics card installed in a system with an Athlon 200GE, 220GE and 240GE, will run through heavily cut-down on bandwidth bus. However, some motherboard this birth defect still able to fix it by translating the graphics slot in the higher speed mode of PCI Express 3.0 x8.

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