Hot Chips: IBM's Next Generation z14 CPU Mainframe Live Blog (5pm PT, 12am UTC)

IBM’s mainframe business is a large element of their business. The z series is part of that business, and a very complex design, citing interesting and different processor design techniques. Here at Hot Chips, IBM is taking us through their latest z14 design, using a 14nm process node, optimized pipelines, pervasive encryption and other features.



Source: AnandTech – Hot Chips: IBM’s Next Generation z14 CPU Mainframe Live Blog (5pm PT, 12am UTC)

HTC Permanently Cuts Price of Vive to $599

On Monday, HTC announced a permanent Vive price reduction to $599, bringing the VR headset down from its original $799 launch price. The now-$599 standard HTC Vive kit includes the headset itself, two wireless controllers, two base stations, link box, earbuds, assorted connectors, and accessories. This move comes roughly a month after Oculus’ ‘Summer of Rift’ announcements that saw the Rift + Touch bundle permanently cut to $499.


Vive purchases come with complimentary copies of Google’s Tilt Brush, EverestVR, and Richie’s Plank Experience. In addition, HTC offers a one-month free trial to Viveport Subscription, where customers pay $6.99 a month for up to five titles to play. HTC also points out upcoming Vive exclusives, such as Fallout 4 VR and Doom VFR. In the background is natural compatibility with SteamVR, as Valve co-developed the Vive with HTC.


Currently, the Rift + Touch bundle is still available at its $399 summer sale price. However, the Rift + Touch bundle does require an additional $59 third sensor to achieve room-scale tracking, whereas the base Vive kit accomplishes this natively. In the same vein, the Vive price drop has not affected the separate $99 Deluxe Audio Strap. As noted last October, the Rift Touch controllers are more akin to “halves of gamepads”, as opposed to the Vive wands. Beyond our first looks with both the Vive and the Rift, both setups still emphasize different aspects of the VR experience despite offering similar capabilities.



While HTC has lowered the Vive’s price to $599, the Vive remains in pole position with respect to high-end VR market share. A few months earlier, research firm SuperData outlined its expectation that the Vive would outsell the Rift by 200,000 units. Now, despite the recent Rift price cuts, SuperData observes that HTC is still shipping more Vive units, although the ‘Summer of Rift’ sale did make up some ground. In the near future, HTC has the Daydream standalone Vive and Vive Knuckles in the pipeline, with the China-only Vive Standalone already shipping.


Nevertheless, price reductions for both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive bring high-end VR a step closer to widespread adoption. And for consumers, these continued price drops are the best news yet.


Related Reading




Source: AnandTech – HTC Permanently Cuts Price of Vive to 9

Hot Chips: Intel EMIB and 14nm Stratix 10 FPGA Live Blog (8:45am PT, 3:45pm UTC)

Today at Hot Chips we have a lot of interesting talks going on. First up is a talk on Intel’s latest 14nm FPGA solution: Stratix 10 implementing HBM using Intel’s latest EMIB (embedded multi-die interconnect bridge) technology that may migrate over to enterprise CPUs over the next few years.



Source: AnandTech – Hot Chips: Intel EMIB and 14nm Stratix 10 FPGA Live Blog (8:45am PT, 3:45pm UTC)

Shuttle Squeezes Desktop Graphics Card into a 3-Liter XH110G SFF PC Barebones

Shuttle has announced a new small form-factor barebones PC aimed at entry-level gamers as well as those who need a SFF multi-monitor setup, such as graphics professionals, traders, digital signage, control room applications, and so on. The XH110G has a volume of only three liters, but can accommodate a variety of graphics cards, assuming that they do not consume excessive amounts of power and use single-slot cooling systems, because the chassis is only 78.5 mm thick.


The Shuttle XH110G is based on Intel’s H110 PCH and supports all contemporary desktop LGA1151 CPUs that Intel has to offer with up to 65 W TDP (no Xeons, no ECC memory, etc.). Therefore, the fastest processor the XH110G supports is the Core i7-7700, but given the form-factor, it is more likely that owners of the system will choose something like the Core i7-7700T with a 35 W thermal envelope. To cool down its CPU, the XH110G uses a notebook-like ICE cooling system featuring two heat pipes that take away thermal energy from the chip and transfer it to a fairly large radiator located on the right side of the chassis. The radiator is cooled down using two 60-mm fans. Typically, small high-pressure fans have very high RPMs and are noisy. Shuttle does not disclose many details about its fans, but says that the XH110G supports five fan modes for one of the fans: a PWM-controlled smart fan mode along with pre-set ultra-low, low, mid and full speed modes. Meanwhile, the second fan either rotates at a constant speed of around 1300 RPM (based on a screenshot from the BIOS manual – see the gallery below for details) or works at the speed of the first one. For extra ventilation, the XH110G chassis has many holes to ensure sufficient cooling for all components.



When it comes to DRAM and storage, everything looks pretty standard for a modern SFF PC: the XH110G has two SO-DIMM slots supporting up to 32 GB of DDR4-2400 memory, a 2.5” bay for an HDD or SSD located under the motherboard in a special bay, as well as one M.2 slot (PCIe and SATA) located on the motherboard near the fans to ensure proper cooling. Those, who would like to expand storage capacity of the XH110G further can install a USB flash drive into an external USB 2.0 port. Shuttle does not set maximum capacities for SSDs and HDDs supported by the new SFF PC, but since the thickness of the internal USB drive cannot exceed 11.5 mm, it looks like only 7-mm 2.5” storage devices are supported, which means up to 2 TB for contemporary HDDs. Keep in mind that the Intel 110 PCH has 6 PCIe 2.0 lanes, and therefore even if a PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD is used, its maximum throughput will be around 2 GB/s. This may not be a problem for entry-level systems that do not use high-end SSDs, but an advanced solid-state drive will not be a good fit for the XH110G.



Discrete graphics support is clearly a key selling point of the Shuttle XH110G. When it comes to integrated graphics outputs, the system itself has a D-Sub and an HDMI connector, which means that those who want to run two modern monitors will have to get a discrete video card. The graphics board should be installed horizontally above the CPU using a special riser card which has all pins needed for x16 operation. The card should use a single-slot cooler and its maximum length should be no longer than 208.5 mm. Shuttle officially lists AMD’s FirePro W600 and W2100, NVIDIA’s Quadro K2000 and M2000 as well as Matrox’s C680 (this one is particularly important as it can drive six displays) graphics adapters as supported, but the system can handle a great variety of graphics cards. Keep in mind though that the XH110G is powered by a 180 W external PSU and therefore maximum power consumption of a video card should not exceed around 100 W, even with a 35 W CPU. At present, the most powerful graphics adapters that can be installed into the XH110G system are the AMD Radeon RX 460 and NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1050 Ti.



As far as connectivity is concerned, the Shuttle XH110G looks rather basic. The system has two USB 3.0 ports on the front, and six USB 2.0 ports in total, a Gigabit Ethernet connector, driven by Intel’s i211 controller, and two 3.5-mm audio jacks. In a bid to get Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, one should buy a separate M.2-2230 WLN-M card from Shuttle (802.11ac, up to 500 Gbps, BT). In addition, the internal USB 2.0 header can be used to plug in a USB accessory, and Shuttle suggests a TV tuner or a 4G/LTE modem.


Rather moderate I/O features of the XH110G are conditioned by the company’s choice of chipset and its intention to keep the price and costs down.




















Shuttle XH110G Specifcations
Model SYS-SH-XH110G
CPU Skylake or Kaby Lake CPU with 35 W or 65 W TDP

Up to Intel Core i7-7700
dGPU Single-slot graphics card up to 208.5 mm in length and a sub-100W TDP

Up to AMD Radeon RX460 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
DRAM Two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots

Up to 32 GB of DDR4-2400 in dual-channel mode
Motherboard Custom
Storage SSD M.2-2280 (PCIe 2.0 x4 or SATA)
HDD 2.5″/7mm/9.5 mm SATA 6 Gbps
Wireless Optional WLN-M 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth module
Ethernet 1 GbE port (Intel i211)
USB 2×USB 3.0 Type-A

6×USB 2.0 Type-A

1×USB 2.0 internal
Display Outputs 1×D-Sub

1×HDMI
Audio 2×3.5mm audio jacks (ALC662 controller)
Card Reader
PSU External 180 W PSU
Warranty Typical, varies by country
Dimensions Length: 250 mm

Width: 200 mm

Height: 78.5 mm
MSRP in Europe €231 ($319)

When it comes to price, the company has succeeded in keeping it low. Shuttle’s XH110G is now available from specialist retailers in Europe for €231 ($319), which is a price of a Mini-ITX case, an Intel B250-based motherboard with integrated 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a circa-400 W PSU. Shuttle’s system looks to be more compact than typical Mini-ITX builds and can be mounted to a display using a VESA mounting mechanism. However, it has a number of peculiarities when it comes to SSD performance, connectivity and support of graphics cards that may not be welcomed by enthusiasts.


Gallery: Shuttle XH110G


Related Reading:


Sources of information and images: TechPowerUp, Shuttle.




Source: AnandTech – Shuttle Squeezes Desktop Graphics Card into a 3-Liter XH110G SFF PC Barebones

ASUS Launches VivoBook W202NA: 11.6”, Apollo Lake, Windows 10 S, $279

In time for back-to-school season, ASUS has announced its new ultra-low-cost PC (ULCPC aka netbook) aimed at students and consumers with a tight budget. The VivoBook W202NA rugged laptop is powered by Intel’s Apollo Lake platform, has an 11.6” display, weighs around 1.2 kilograms (2.65 lb) and has a 38 Wh battery that is quoted for up to 11 hours. The machine will be available with Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 S operating systems, both will cost less than $300.



The ASUS VivoBook W202-series laptop will exist in three different versions based on Microsoft’s Windows 10 S, Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro operating systems, featuring different hardware and aimed at slightly different end-users. The Windows 10 S/10 Home notebooks are based on Intel’s dual-core Celeron N3350 SoC, are equipped with 4 GB of DRAM and are targeted at children, students and consumers. By contrast, the Windows 10 Pro-based ASUS W202 uses Intel’s quad-core Pentium N4200, has up to 8 GB of memory, up to 128 GB of eMMC storage and is designed for more demanding consumers (do not expect this SKU to be available in all regions).



Other specifications of the ASUS VivoBook W202 notebook seem to be comparable to other entry-level contemporary PCs: it features an 11.6” display with a 1366×768 resolution, an anti-glare coating and a 180-degree hinge. As for connectivity, the laptop has a 802.11ac Wi-Fi with Bluetooth 4.1 module, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, an HDMI output, a VGA webcam, a microSDXC card reader, a TRRS audio connector, a microphone array, two 2W speakers and so on.




















ASUS W202NA ULCPC Specifications
  Windows 10 S

W202NA-YS02
Windows 10 Home

W202NA-DH02
Windows 10 Pro

Display 11.6″ panel with 1366×768 resolution and anti-glare coating
CPU Celeron N3350

2C/2T

1.1 – 2.4 GHz

2 MB cache

6 W TDP
Intel Pentium N4200

4C/4T

1.1 – 2.5 GHz

2MB

6 W TDP
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 500 with 12 EUs Intel HD Graphics  505 with 12 EUs
RAM 4 GB 4 or 8 GB
Storage 64 GB eMMC 64 or 128 GB eMMC
Wi-Fi Intel Wireless-AC 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.1
Ethernet
USB 2 × USB 3.0 Type-A
Display Outputs 1 × HDMI
Keyboard Chiclet spill-resistant keyboard
Other I/O Microphone, stereo speakers, TRRS audio jack, 0.3 MP webcam, microSDXC card reader
Dimensions Width: 294 mm/11.57″

Depth: 200 mm/7.87″

Thickness: 22.6 mm/0.89″
Weight 1.2 kilograms / 2. 65 pounds
Battery 2-cell 38 Wh battery, 11 hours battery life
Price $279.99 $299.99 unknown

One of the key selling features of the ASUS VivoBook W202 is its ruggedized design. The laptop has rubber-lined edges and corners to protect internals against bumps and knocks. In addition, the notebook features an anti-spill keyboard. According to ASUS, the VivoBook W202 has survived a drop test from a height of 119 cm (3.9 feet) as well as passed extreme twist force and high-pressure test.



The ASUS VivoBook W202NA-YS02 convertible laptop featuring Windows 10 S is available immediately in North America for $279. The ASUS VivoBook W202NA-DH02 powered by Windows 10 Home will ship next month for $299. The Pentium- and Windows 10 Pro-based VivoBook W202 system will naturally cost slightly more, but such systems may not be available in all regions.


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Source: AnandTech – ASUS Launches VivoBook W202NA: 11.6”, Apollo Lake, Windows 10 S, 9

ASUS Announces B250 Expert Mining Motherboard: 19 Expansions Slots

ASUS has teased their first cryptocurrency mining board, the B250 Expert Mining. It’s full of expansions slots, with 19 to be exact, to pack in the most GPUs on a single system. This large number puts it at the top of the food chain for the quantity of PCIe slots suitable for mining duties. In order to support so many slots and lower the Return on Investment (ROI), ASUS implemented a unique setup for power with a Triple ATX12V (24-Pin), PCIe slot state detection, voltage stabilization capacitors for each slot, as well as using a mining specific BIOS for increased hash rates.



The reason for a shorter ROI here is the ability to use fewer parts for a given amount of graphics cards used. In other words, the outgoing cost will be less due to fewer systems needed to be built. Only one Motherboard, CPU, SSD, and set of RAM is required for 19 GPUs, saving money and lowering initial costs. According to ASUS, users are currently only able to utilize up to 16 cards due to a limit in GPU drivers. This is accomplished by using a mix of eight AMD and eight NVIDIA GPUs. Late in 2017, a new driver from AMD is supposed to launch enabling the full complement of 19 GPUs the motherboard can handle. When using more than 13 cards, the NVIDIA GPUs will need to use mining specific (P106 based) GPUs.


Of the 19 expansions slots, 18 are PCIe 3.0 x1, along with one full-length PCIe 3.0 x16 slot. ASUS separates the slots in three groups each with a dedicated 24-pin assigned to it for power. The top 24-pin covers slots 1-7 (includes the full-length slot), the middle header 8-13, with the last covering 14-19. There are also three Molex connectors for additional slot power. Along with separated power sources, each PCIe slot has its own dedicated capacitor to condition the voltage going to GPU. 



Once the system is setup, upon boot miners are able to see a POST UI (power on in-screen image). The image shows a top-down view of the motherboard expansion slots indicating the status of each GPU. There are three states; Working, Error, and None. The slots working properly show up in green, those in error are in red, while unpopulated slots are gray. This seems like a good way for miners to get a quick ‘state of the union’ upon booting the system.  ASUS provided a slide showing costs savings, as well as how to properly setup graphics cards on the Mining Expert (see the gallery at the end). 



Specifications wise, the ASUS B250 Mining Expert is based on the B250 chipset with its LGA1151 socket supporting Intel 6th and 7th generation processors.  Memory capacity is up to 32GB DDR4 in dual-channel mode supporting speeds up to 2400 MHz. Storage needs are handled by the four SATA3 ports while there is a total of six USB3.1 and 4 USB 2.0 ports. The rear panel I/O is pretty anemic as one would expect out of a mining board, but has the basics with two PS/2 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, Intel-based LAN (I219V Gigabit), and 8 channel audio jacks driven by a Realtek ALC887 codec. The CPU gets its power through a 6 phase DIGI+ VRM.  Below is a complete specifications list:

















ASUS B250 Mining Expert
Socket LGA 1151
Chipset Intel B250
Memory DDR4 x2, 2400 MHz
PCIe x16 1
PCIe x1 18
VGA HDMI
LAN Intel I219V Gigabit
Audio Realtek ALC997, 8-ch
SATA 6 Gb/s 4
USB 3.1 Gen 1(Back/Front) 4 / 2
USB 2.0 4
24-pin EATXPWER Headers 3
COM Header Yes
Form Factor ATX, 12 x 9.1 in.

ASUS has not released pricing at the time of publication. Sample allocation and motherboard partner allocation is 8/22. Public availability was not listed but should be expected soon.



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Source: AnandTech – ASUS Announces B250 Expert Mining Motherboard: 19 Expansions Slots

AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.8.1

Today, AMD has released Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.8.1, a unified driver supporting older products as well as RX Vega cards. This update follows last Monday’s RX Vega64 launch and accompanying RX Vega specific beta driver. In addition to unifying the Radeon Software driverset, 17.8.1 brings game support and a slew of bug fixes.


Featuring Driver Version 17.30.1051 (Windows Driver Store Version 22.19.666.1), Radeon Software 17.8.1 brings support for Agents of Mayhem, launched last week, and Bethesda’s Quake Champions Early Access, which starts on August 22nd. On the topic of Bethesda, 17.8.1 also includes a new optional component, unchecked by default: a download link to the Bethesda.net launcher. If selected, a Bethesda.net homepage link will be created in the Radeon Software Gaming tab, under the “Show Partner Programs” button.



Moving on to bug fixes, AMD has addressed a few FreeSync matters: stuttering in FreeSync displays when watching fullscreen video content, and flickering/brightness issues with certain Samsung FreeSync monitors. Similarly, AMD has resolved other playback-related bugs: HDCP error codes in certain protected content applications while playing Blu-ray content, and tearing or choppy playback when Enhanced Sync was enabled for video playback on desktop or YouTube playback in Google Chrome. Lastly, AMD has resolved intermittent HDMI signal loss in certain HDR enabled TVs.


Moving on to game fixes, AMD has resolved intermittent Grand Theft Auto V crashes, as well as extended load times in Forza Horizon 3. RX 380 crashes in Chapter 13 of Tekken 7 were also fixed.


A few known issues for RX Vega remain: WattMan still may not reach applied overclock states, and the Radeon Settings Gaming tab “Reset” option may enable “HBCC Memory Segment” instead of setting it to the default disabled state.


The updated drivers for AMD’s desktop, mobile, and integrated GPUs are available through the Radeon Settings tab or online at the AMD driver download page. More information on this update and further issues can be found in the Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.8.1 release notes.



Source: AnandTech – AMD Releases Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.8.1

NVIDIA Brings Back Destiny 2 Bundle for GeForce GTX 1080 & 1080 Ti Cards

From today to September 5th (or while supplies last), NVIDIA is bringing back June’s Destiny 2 bundle for GTX 1080 and 1080 Ti cards, systems, and laptops, a week ahead of Destiny 2’s PC Beta launch on August 28th. As a reminder, eligible systems include NVIDIA’s own GeForce GTX Battlebox products. The bundle includes Destiny 2 at its October 24th launch date, as well as three in-game items: the Coldheart Exotic Rifle, Kill Tracker Ghost, and Salute emote. These items may also be redeemed by people who purchased the bundle in June.


The upcoming massively multiplayer online sci-fi first-person shooter, a concept Bungie previously described as a “shared world shooter”, will be preceded by an August 24th NVIDIA Game Ready driver. Additionally, Destiny 2 will support High Dynamic Range (HDR) and SLI, a result of NVIDIA’s collaboration with Activision and Bungie. HDR itself will available to test during the PC Beta.



This latest iteration of the bundle does not mention Early Access codes for the PC Beta, although Bungie does state that Destiny 2 preorders through the Blizzard store come with Early Access. In context, Destiny 2 has an exclusive Early Access PC Beta on August 28th, with the general Open Beta running from the 29th to 31st. In any case, NVIDIA is also giving away Early Access codes in celebration of Gamescom, and will announce winners through GeForce Experience on August 25th.


As of August 2017, this is the only active NVIDIA promotional bundle. As before, Destiny 2 game codes may only be redeemed until 30 days after PC launch date.


Codes must be redeemed through GeForce Experience (3.2.2 or higher). After redeeming through GeForce Experience, Destiny 2 must be subsequently redeemed with a Blizzard account. Be sure to verify the participation of any vendors purchased from as NVIDIA likely will not give codes for purchases made from sellers that are not participating.



Source: AnandTech – NVIDIA Brings Back Destiny 2 Bundle for GeForce GTX 1080 & 1080 Ti Cards

Silverstone Launches TOB03 ODD: 9.5-mm CD/DVD/BD/BDXL Burner

SilverStone has introduced its first ultra-slim ODD that can read and record CD, DVD, Blu-ray and BDXL media. The drive is not a technological breakthrough, but it is going to be one of a few 9.5-mm BD/BDXL-supporting ODDs on the market. Of course, SilverStone is primarily known for its cases, PSUs and coolers, so the launch of the TOB03 ODD demonstrates that the company sees demand for such products from those who buy its SFF chassis.


Optical discs have been losing popularity for years. Nowadays the vast majority of audio-visual content (games, music, movies, etc.) is distributed digitally via services like iTunes, Netflix, Origin and Steam. Due to the shrinking market of drives and discs, a number of ODD makers and optical media manufacturers ceased production and focused on other markets. However, a lot of people still own large collections of CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs which need something to access the media. Moreover, Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray formats still offer the highest quality 1080p and 4K movies due to massive bitrates that streaming or digital download services do not offer, due to network restrictions for most. As a result, while demand for ODDs in general is not high, it exists and there are people willing to pay for such drives.



From SilverStone’s point of view, these are people who buy its SFF PC cases, SFX PSUs and coolers for home theater PCs and then go to other suppliers for optical drives. From a business perspective, it makes a lot of sense for SilverStone to offer its customers premium ODDs in addition to what it already sells them. However, there is a problem. While SilverStone makes various products in-house, producing optical drives is not what it does and sourcing lasers, motors and other ODD components is sometimes tricky in a world where only a few companies produce them. Therefore, SilverStone had to find an OEM to manufacture the hardware. Apparently, there are only two companies on the planet that make 9.5-mm Blu-ray/BDXL burners: one is LG and another is Panasonic. The latter is the maker of the TOB03 and this is something that SilverStone does not seem to hide: the official photos of the drive clearly reflect that this is indeed the Panasonic/Matshita UJ272. The drive has been around for a while, but given the relatively slow evolution of ODDs in general, this is hardly a problem. Moreover, when it comes to availability of ultra-slim BD/BDXL burners, the more the merrier as right now their choice and supply are very limited. SilverStone’s offering does not expand the former, but it clearly boosts the supply by making the drive available from the company’s usual channels.



The SilverStone TOB03 (aka Panasonic UJ272) uses the SATA 3.0 interface (with a Slimline SATA connector) and can read and record CD (CD, CD-R, CD-RW, HS-RW, US-RW), DVD (DVD, DVD±R, DVD±R DL, DVD±RW, DVD-RAM) and Blu-ray (BD, BD-R SL/DL/TL/QL, BD-RE SL/DL/TL) discs. The drive has a 2 MB buffer underrun protection (which is lower compared to other high-end ODDs) and supports 6x CAV burning speed for popular BD-R SL/DL (25 GB/50 GB) media as well as 4x PCAV burning speed for BR-R TL/QL (100 GB/128 GB) discs. As for supported Blu-ray formats, both SilverStone and Panasonic declare Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D, but not UHD Blu-ray (at least for now). Since SilverStone’s TOB03 comes in retail packaging only, the ODD always comes with a 12.7 mm bezel to be compatible with cases that support slim drives as well as a slimline SATA adapter featuring a flexible braided cable for easier installation (which contrasts to OEM drives from renowned makers that come without any cables in some regions).



SilverStone’s TOB03 ODD burner will be available from the company’s partners in the coming weeks. The company does not disclose anything about pricing, but since Panasonic’s UJ272 is available for $70 to $90 depending on the retailer, expect the TOB03 to be priced in the same ballpark.


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Source: AnandTech – Silverstone Launches TOB03 ODD: 9.5-mm CD/DVD/BD/BDXL Burner

Hot Chips: Intel Knights Mill Live Blog (4:45pm PT, 11:45pm UTC)

Another talk from Hot Chips, this time on Intel’s Knights Mill (KNM). The Intel Knights family stems from their Xeon Phi product line, although KNM is a bit different, with machine learning specific changes. It’s not a completely new Xeon Phi design, but Intel wants to go after the machine learning market. Today’s talk will go into some of those changes. (We’re battling some wifi here, so pictures may come later).



Source: AnandTech – Hot Chips: Intel Knights Mill Live Blog (4:45pm PT, 11:45pm UTC)

Hot Chips: Microsoft Xbox One X Scorpio Engine Live Blog (9:30am PT, 4:30pm UTC)

This week it’s the Hot Chips conference in Cupertino. We’re sat nice and early, with the first talk today from Microsoft. John Sell, a Microsoft hardware veteran, is set to talk about the Scorpio Engine, found in the Xbox One X. It’s practically the only talk this week where the slides were not given out early, so I wonder what will be discussed, especially given the large amount of interest in what the Scorpio Engine is. So never mind the eclipse, let’s talk consoles.



Source: AnandTech – Hot Chips: Microsoft Xbox One X Scorpio Engine Live Blog (9:30am PT, 4:30pm UTC)

Intel Launches 8th Generation CPUs, Starting with Kaby Lake Refresh for 15W Mobile

This year has been enjoyably eventful for processor releases. Intel launched their 7th Generation processors, Kaby Lake, in January. Then we had AMD release their new high-performance microarchitecture in Ryzen, EPYC and Threadripper. Intel then launched their Skylake-SP Xeon Scalable Platform, based on an upgraded 6th Generation core design, and we’re expecting new AMD APUs for mobile later this year.


And adding to that list this morning is once again is Intel. Today the company is launching its new 8th Generation family of processors, starting with four CPUs for the 15W mobile family. The launch of these processors was perhaps spoiled by Intel jumping the gun a few days ago and listing the processors on its own public price list, but also we have started to see laptop and mobile designs being listed at various retailers before the official announcement.


There are two elements that make the launch of these 8th Gen processors different. First is that the 8th Gen is at a high enough level, running basically the same microarchitecture as the 7th Gen – more on this below. But the key element is that, at the same price and power where a user would get a dual core i5-U or i7-U in their laptop, Intel will now be bumping those product lines up to quad-cores with hyperthreading. This gives a 100% gain in cores and 100% gain in threads.



Obviously nothing is for free, so despite Intel stating that they’ve made minor tweaks to the microarchitecture and manufacturing to get better performing silicon, the base frequencies are down slightly. Turbo modes are still high, ensuring a similar user experience in most computing tasks. Memory support is similar – DDR4 and LPDDR3 are supported, but not LPDDR4 – although DDR4 moves up to DDR4-2400 from DDR4-2133.









Specifications of Intel Core i5/i7 U-series CPUs
7th Generation 8th Generation
  Cores Freq +

Turbo
L3 Price   Cores Freq +

Turbo
L3 Price
i7-7660U 2/4 2.5/4.0 GHz 4 MB $415 i7-8650U 4/8 1.9/4.2 GHz 8 MB $409
i7-7560U 2.4/3.8 GHz $415 i7-8550U 1.8/4.0 GHz $409
i5-7360U 2/4 2.3/3.6 GHz 3 MB $304 i5-8350U 4/8 1.7/3.6 GHz 6 MB $297
i5-7260U 2.2/3.4 GHz $304 i5-8250U 1.6/3.4 GHz $297

Another change from 7th Gen to 8th Gen will be in the graphics. Intel is upgrading the nomenclature of the integrated graphics from HD 620 to UHD 620, indicating that the silicon is suited for 4K playback and processing. During our pre-briefing it was categorically stated several times that there was no change between the two, however we have since confirmed that the new chips will come with HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 support as standard, removing the need for an external LSPCON for this feature. Other than this display controller change however, it appears that these new UHD iGPUs are architecturally the same as their HD predecessors.


Fundamentally these are what Intel calls a ‘4+2’ silicon design, featuring four cores and GT2 integrated graphics, whereas the last generation used 2+2 designs. The 4+2 design was also used in the mainstream desktop processors, suggesting that Intel is using those dies now for their 15W products rather than their 45W+ products. That being said, Intel is likely to have created new masks and revisions for this silicon to account for the lower power window as well as implementing HDCP 2.2 support and other minor fixes.



Now by having quad-core parts in the 15W form factor, performance on the new chips is expected to excel beyond what has been available from the previous generation of Core i5-U and Core i7-U processors. However Intel and its OEMs have a tight balancing act to walk here, as 15W is not a lot of thermal headroom for a two core CPU, let alone a four core one. At the same time we have started to see the 15W U-series parts find their way into smaller and even fanless notebook designs, which are more prone to throttling under sustained workloads, and quad core CPUs in this segment could exacerbate the issue. However, for the larger 13-15-inch designs with active cooling, moving down from a 35W-45W quad core processor down to 15W will likely offer substantially better battery life during intense loading, should OEMs swap out H-series chips for the new U-series chips in their designs.


Intel’s big aim with the new processors is, as always, to tackle the growing market of 3-5+ year old devices still being used today, quoting better performance, a better user experience, longer battery life, and fundamentally new experiences when using newer hardware. Two years ago Intel quoted 300 million units fit into this 3-5+ year window; now that number is 450 million.



Intel provided this shot of a wafer containing these new refresh dies, which by my math gives 22 x 32.7 dies per wafer. Giving some margin for die spacing, this correlates to a 13.6 x 9.1 mm die, at 124 mm2 and 478 full dies per wafer. At a tray cost of $409 per Core i7, and running at ~124mm2 per die, that makes an interesting metric of $3.30 per square millimeter. Intel no longer officially provides die sizes or transistor counts, though a list of $/mm2 would be interesting to compile – for reference some of the high-end Xeons push north of $19/mm2.


Kaby Lake Refresh? 14+? Where’s my Coffee (Lake)?


So despite Intel launching its 7th Generation family in January, today Intel is formally launching the 8th Generation only eight months later. To explain why Intel is breaking the usual 12-18 month cadence for the generation product, it comes down to product positioning.


In the past we are used to a new numbered generation to come with a new core microarchitecture design. But this time Intel is improving a core design, calling it a refresh, and only releasing a few processors for the mobile family. We expect that Intel’s 8th Generation will eventually contain three core designs of product on three different process design nodes: the launch today is Kaby Lake Refresh on 14+, and in the future we will see Coffee Lake on 14++ become part of the 8th Gen, as well as Cannon Lake on 10nm.













Intel’s Core Architecture Cadence (8/20)
Core Generation Microarchitecture Process Node Release Year
2nd Sandy Bridge 32nm 2011
3rd Ivy Bridge 22nm 2012
4th Haswell 22nm 2013
5th Broadwell 14nm 2014
6th Skylake 14nm 2015
7th Kaby Lake 14nm+ 2016
8th Kaby Lake Refresh

Coffee Lake

Cannon Lake
14nm+

14nm++

10nm
2017

2017?

2018?
9th Ice Lake?

10nm+ 2018?
Unknown Cascade Lake (Server) ? ?

Now the Generation name is no longer in direct correlation with underlying core microarchitecture or lithography process. This is going to confuse some users and anger others, although Intel’s official line is along the lines of the fact that lithography process nodes are harder to optimize, smaller nodes benefit in yield from smaller cores and as such their product portfolio has to expand beyond traditional naming in order to provide the appropriate product and the appropriate price point.


In our pre-briefings, Intel only mentioned Coffee Lake in the context of the fact that today’s launch is not Coffee Lake. Because media were expecting this to be Coffee Lake (and expecting it to be a desktop processor launch), the question ‘is this Coffee Lake’ was actually asked several times, and the answer had to be repeated. These four new CPUs are still Kaby Lake CPUs built on the same 14+ technology, with minor updates, and bringing quad cores to 15W.



So when is Coffee Lake on 14++ (or Cannon Lake) coming? Intel only stated that other members of the 8th Generation family (which contains Kaby Lake Refresh, Coffee Lake and Cannon Lake) are coming later this year. Desktop will come in the autumn, and additional products for enterprise, workstation and enthusiast notebooks will also happen. As for today’s 8th Generation U-series announcement, Intel tells us that we should start seeing laptops using the new CPUs hit the market in September.



Related Reading




Source: AnandTech – Intel Launches 8th Generation CPUs, Starting with Kaby Lake Refresh for 15W Mobile

Analyzing Falkor’s Microarchitecture: A Deep Dive into Qualcomm’s Centriq 2400 for Windows Server and Linux

Developing a custom microarchitecture is difficult. Even with all the standards in place and licensing an instruction set such as ARM, the actual development takes time and the right people to put together, then the infrastructure to deploy at scale.

In the mobile space, we’ve seen custom cores – most notably from Apple – deviating from the regular ARM design, but also Samsung and Qualcomm are playing in that space. Qualcomm however is going one further by developing a custom core for the server and enterprise market, focusing purely on typical enterprise workloads. The current commercial ARM success in the data center comes from companies such as Cavium, who use ARM core licenses in a custom SoC. By developing its own high-performance core, Qualcomm is hoping to offer something different in the data center, and they’ve lifted the lid on a good chunk of the core.



Source: AnandTech – Analyzing Falkor’s Microarchitecture: A Deep Dive into Qualcomm’s Centriq 2400 for Windows Server and Linux

SilverStone Shrinks Depth of Strider Titanium PSUs: 180 mm, Up to 1.5 kW, 80 Plus Titanium

SilverStone has announced its new high-wattage 80 Plus Titanium PSUs for high-performance desktop computers. The new Strider Titanium power supplies are rated for up to 1500 W output. The main selling point of the new power supplies is their depth, which has been shrunk to 180 mm, making them compatible with smaller chassis and builds.


There is an ongoing trend towards miniaturization of all kinds of computers, whether they are mobile or stationary. Nowadays there are enthusiast-class Mini-ITX components (mainboards, PSUs, etc.) and therefore MSI’s recently launched X299M Gaming Pro Carbon AC high-end Micro-ATX motherboard supporting three graphics cards and 10 storage devices does not come as a surprise. Meanwhile, Micro-ATX cases sometimes cannot accommodate large high-wattage PSUs that are usually 220 mm long. As a result, as performance of Micro-ATX is growing, so is demand for smaller high-efficiency ~1 kW power supplies.


SilverStone is responding to this demand with its new ATX12V V2.4-compliant high-wattage Strider Titanium PSUs that comply with the 80 Plus Titanium requirements, are rated for 1100 W, 1300 W and 1500 W output and are 180-mm deep (or long, however you put it). To get the 80 Plus Titanium badge, a PSU is mandated to be at least 94% efficient under a 20%, 50% and 100% load as well as at least 90% efficient under a 10% load. The latter is particularly important for high-wattage PSUs because it helps to take advantage of energy efficiency of modern PC hardware even with a very powerful PSU.











SilverStone Strider Titanium 1kW Series Output Specifications
  SST1100-TI SST1300-TI SST1500-TI
Rated Combined Rated Combined Rated Combined
+3.3V 25 A 82.5 W 25 A 82.5 W 25 A 82.5 W
+5V 22 A 110 W 22 A 110 W 22 A 110 W
+12V 92 A 1104 W 108 A 1296 W 125 A 1500 W
-12V 0.3 A 3.6 W 0.3 A 3.6 W 0.3 A 3.6 W
+5Vsb 3 A 15 W 3 A 15 W 3 A 15 W
Total Power 1100 W 1300 W 1500 W

Like the many advanced PSUs these days, the SilverStone Strider Titanium 1 kW power supplies feature a modular design and come with two EPS12V connectors to enable compatibility with 2P server/workstations platforms, as well as with contemporary high-end desktop motherboards such as those based on AMD’s X399 ‘Threadripper’ and Intel’s X299 ‘Skylake-X’ platforms. As for other types of connectors, the new Strider Titanium PSUs have eight 6-2-pin (8-pin) PCIe auxiliary power connectors for graphics cards (just in case you run four AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 boards), 16 SATA power plugs, six Molex power outputs, and one FDD connector. All cables are flat to ensure greater flexibility.



SilverStone claims that the new Strider Titanium 1 kW PSUs can work 24/7 with 50℃ operating temperature and will be absolutely quiet under light loads when their 135-mm fan is off. Meanwhile, even under high loads, the noise levels of the PSUs will not exceed 36 dBA. As for reliability ratings, the new Strider Titaniums are speced for 100,000 hours MTBF. To ensure safety, the power supplies are equipped with over current, over power, over/under voltage, over temperature, and short circuit protection mechanisms.










SilverStone Strider Titanium 1kW Series Connectivity Specifications
Connector type SST1100-TI SST1300-TI SST1500-TI
ATX 24 Pin 1
EPS 4+4 Pin 2
PCIe 6+2 Pin 8
SATA 16
4P Molex 6
Floppy 1

The Strider Titanium SST-1100-TI, SST-1300-TI and SST-1500-TI are already listed by major retailers, including Newegg and others The most affordable model of the new Strider Titanium PSU has MSRP of $299.99/€269.90, whereas the highest-performing 1.5 kW model has suggested retail price of $399.99/€345.50. Meanwhile, the mid-range SST1300-TI is priced at €288.90 in Europe. All new PSUs are covered by a five-year warranty.




Related Reading:



Source: AnandTech – SilverStone Shrinks Depth of Strider Titanium PSUs: 180 mm, Up to 1.5 kW, 80 Plus Titanium

ADATA Launches XPG SX9000: 2.8 GB/s Seq. Read, Marvell Controller, Up to 1 TB of MLC

ADATA has announced its new SSD aimed at the very high end of the market. The new flagship XPG SX9000 drives are based on the Marvell 88SS1093 BTB2 controller and are paired with Toshiba’s 2D MLC NAND flash memory. Later on, the company plans to switch to Toshiba’s 3D MLC NAND for a product that will succeed the SX9000 SSD series.


The ADATA XPG SX9000 SSDs use the Marvell 88SS1093 BTB2 controller, which sports three processor cores and 8 NAND channels, with 4 banks per channel for 32 targets in total. The IC is an improved version of the 88SS1093 with higher frequencies and performance to boost speeds of higher-end SSDs. The 88SS1093 BTB2 supports a Marvell’s third-generation ECC technology based on the LDPC algorithm and uses PCIe 3.0 x4 interface.



The new XPG SX9000 drives are to be available in 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB configurations in the M.2-2280 form-factor. The SSDs use DRAM buffers for additional performance, and come with a very basic heat spreader to further prop up performance in systems that provide adequate cooling. Speaking of performance, ADATA promises up to 2.8 GB/s sequential read speed as well as up to 1.45 GB/s sequential write speed for the top-of-the-range 1 TB model. As for random read/write performance, ADATA lists 310K/240K IOPS for the most advanced model.


Reliability is another thing that ADATA is taking serious when it comes to the XPG SX9000. The drives are rated for up to 1 TBW (terabytes to be written) and two million hours MTBF, which in turn is coupled with a five-year warranty.



















ADATA XPG SX9000 Specifications
Capacity 256 GB 512 GB 1 TB
Model Number ASX9000NP-256GM-C ASX9000NP-512GM-C ASX9000NP-1TM-C
Controller Marvell 88SS1093 BTB2
NAND Flash 2D MLC NAND
Form-Factor, Interface M.2-2280, PCIe 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.2
Sequential Read 2700 MB/s 2800 MB/s
Sequential Write 990 MB/s 1450 MB/s
Random Read IOPS 200K IOPS 300K IOPS 310K IOPS
Random Write IOPS 220K IOPS 220K IOPS 240K IOPS
Pseudo-SLC Caching Supported
DRAM Buffer Yes, capacity unknown
TCG Opal Encryption No
Power Management DevSleep, Slumber
Warranty 5 years
MTBF 2,000,000 hours
TBW 250 TB 500 TB 1000 TB

ADATA has not set recommended prices of the XPG SX9000 series just yet. What we do know is that the drives are hitting the shelves in the coming weeks and expect their prices to be competitive against the obvious rivals — the Samsung 960 Pro and the Samsung 960 Evo families of SSDs.


Otherwise, as previously stated, ADATA is also looking at releasing 3D NAND versions of the drive farther down the line. 3D NAND has a number of advantages over 2D NAND, but it’s not ideal for all possible applications at the moment, particularly due to its high density, which conflicts with the need for multiple NAND packages to maximize parallelism and performance on high-end SSDs. All things considered, this is why ADATA decided to go with a new Marvell controller as well as Toshiba’s 2D MLC NAND for the XPG SX9000 SSD. Eventually, the company promises to use the same controller for a high-end 3D NAND-powered drive, but that is something that is going to happen towards the end of the year at best.


Related Reading:




Source: AnandTech – ADATA Launches XPG SX9000: 2.8 GB/s Seq. Read, Marvell Controller, Up to 1 TB of MLC

AnandTech Parent Company Employee Killed in Terrorist Attack

We lost a friend and a colleague to terrorism yesterday (Aug. 17).


Bruno Gulotta, 35, an employee of Tom’s Hardware Italy — a brand owned by AnandTech parent company Purch — was on holiday in Barcelona, Spain, strolling along Las Ramblas with his partner and two young children, when he was struck and killed by a van that also took the lives of 13 others and injured more than 100.


When he was hit by the van, Bruno was holding his 5-year-old son Alessandro’s hand. His son was yanked away to safety by his mother, who had their 7-month-old daughter, Aria, strapped to her chest when the van struck.


The terrorist group ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, and authorities have arrested at least four suspects as the investigation continues, according to the Associated Press.


“It is with great sadness that I must report that one of our team members was killed in the attack in Barcelona yesterday,” Purch CEO Greg Mason announced in an email to the company.


“While many of our offices are no stranger to the realities of terrorism, it is particularly sobering when tragedy takes one of our own. Please keep Bruno and his family in your thoughts and prayers as well as our EU team members who are dealing with the very real existence of danger and loss in their daily lives,” Mason said.


Bruno was mourned and remembered by his friend and colleague Roberto Buonanno, the country manager for Tom’s Hardware Italy, in a story we have translated and reposted below. If you would like to donate to Bruno’s family, contributions are being collected through a PayPal account Buonanno set up for this purpose: paypal.me/famigliabrunogulotta.



From Tom’s Hardware Italy, translated:


Today is a day of mourning for us. We all come together with affection for his companion, Martina, and his two small children. Here are our memories of Bruno, as written by the country manager of Tom’s Hardware for Italy, Roberto Buonanno.


The news came to us suddenly yesterday evening during the laid-back week of Ferragosto [a holiday celebrated in Italy]. Our colleague and friend Bruno Gulotta was run over and killed by a terrorist in the heart of Barcelona. Here was there on vacation with his companion and his two kids. He was posting on Facebook, and everything seemed like a typical vacation: a photo from Cannes, one from Las Ramblas in Barcelona. And then something that no one expects: the death of a young man, father and partner of the mother of his two children.


We spent the evening and night trying to stay lucid, and communicate the news to our colleagues and close friends; many wondered if this was a macabre joke or reality. And then we started to read online publications, competing to collect as much news, photos and videos of this young Italian, dead in a terrorist attack in Barcelona.


It is a tragedy that strikes us in so many ways, one more dramatic than the other. We are thinking of his companion, Martina, who, with the strength of a young mother, must now face something nobody should have to. We put ourselves in the shoes of little Alessandro, who is preparing to start elementary school, knowing that his life and family will no longer be the same. And then we think of little Aria, who will not remember the horrible scene, but will never know her dad.


Bruno was a point of reference, a central figure for all those who knew him. For us at Tom’s Hardware, he was an important pillar who helped hold us up.


Anyone who worked with him — whether it was customers, suppliers or web stars — was impressed by his kindness and professionalism. He had an insatiable hunger for knowledge, and he was a real enthusiast — one of us — even though he later decided to move full time to marketing and sales. And in that role, I have never known a more capable person. He loved to study every aspect of his profession. He was an insatiable reader and avidly searched for perfection.


We talked for hours and hours about our productivity and our personnel development systems, and exchanged many letters seeking guidance. Anyone who had a problem with a computer, software or web platform could ask and find a solution by coming to Bruno, even if they didn’t work with him. That’s because Bruno was a truly generous and heartfelt person. He was able to lead a rich family life and a brilliant professional career with a balance that I will always admire.


Personally, Bruno helped keep my feet on the ground. Every time we had a problem or a question that required my approval, I talked with him. And this went beyond just business. We talked about the education of children, vaccines, alternative medicine, diet and physical fitness. I don’t know how I will be able to endure, seeing his empty desk in our office across from where I work, and I think about how much I will miss his company. And then I realized that it is a selfish thought, because everything that counts now, and that’s important, is giving maximum support to his family, to whom we will always be available.


Rest in peace, Bruno. We will always remember you. Considering that you have always been a life force, I swear to you, even through your last act on Earth, you have taught me a profound lesson. You will always be in my thoughts every time that I feel the need for a voice of a friend, as if you would always be there, as you have always been, at every hour of the day and in any moment.



Source: AnandTech – AnandTech Parent Company Employee Killed in Terrorist Attack

Dell Now Offers Aquantia AQtion AQN-108-Based 5 GbE Cards with Select PCs

Aquantia and Dell this week began to offer Aquantia’s AQtion AQN-108 5 GbE network controller as a build-to-order option for the OptiPlex 7050 workstations. Dell is the first major PC brand to offer an Aquantia AQtion card with its systems, and since Dell is one of the world’s largest suppliers of computers, the collaboration is a good news for Aquantia. This is also equally good news for the adoption of higher bandwidth Ethernet standards in PCs, marking one of the first times a faster NIC has been available in a commodity-grade workstation.


The Aquantia AQtion AQN-108 card is a 2.5/5 GbE network controller that uses a PCIe 3.0 x4 slot and supports 5 Gbps, 2.5 Gbps, 1 Gbps and 100 Mbps networking standards over RJ45 connectors using Cat5e/Cat6a cabling over distances up to 100 meters. The card is aimed at individuals and small businesses willing to invest in 2.5G/5G infrastructure. In fact, the Dell OptiPlex 7050 machines are meant for this kind of organizations: the workstations are based on Intel’s Core processors (the Core i3-7300 is the cheapest option) and start at $769 per box.



Dell charges $277.13 for the addition of a full height AQtion AQN-108 card into a tower OptiPlex 7050, which is quite a lot because Aquantia charges around $100 per card. Unfortunately, this is a usual practice for large PC makers to sell optional hardware with a huge markup. For example, even Intel’s 10 GbE X540 card can be bought for considerably less than $277 at Amazon.


Despite the price, it is important that Dell is offering an AQuantia-based NIC designed for 2.5G and 5 G infrastructure because it means that the large PC supplier sees promise in 2.5G/5G networks.


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Source: AnandTech – Dell Now Offers Aquantia AQtion AQN-108-Based 5 GbE Cards with Select PCs

Lian-Li releases PC-Q39 Tempered Glass Mini-ITX Tower

On Tuesday, Lian-Li announced a new Mini-ITX Tower chassis with its PC-Q39. A progression from the PC-Q37 case, the PC-Q39 is a bit larger and can now house an ATX form factor PSU, up to 2x120mm radiator, and a triple slot graphics card. The outside of the chassis uses tempered glass on the side with an updated aluminum front panel giving it a high-end look many are after.


Lian-Li PC-Q39


Like its predecessor, the PC-Q39 maintains a dual chamber design separating the motherboard, video card, and heatsink/radiator from the HDD/SSD and power supply. Lian-Li strategically placed dedicated grommets for liquid cooling tubes at the top and bottom of the motherboard tray. Along with five other holes, there are plenty of places to route tubing for the reservoir and pumps, as well as other wiring in the wider second chamber. This setup can make for a much cleaner look and allows for less obstructed airflow in the main chamber. The front panel, located on top of the Q39 (was on the front of the Q37), has been modernized to include a single USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C connector, as well as two USB3.0 ports.


 


The PC-Q39’s additional size, 15mm wider, allows it to use the more familiar ATX form factor for PSUs, up to 160mm in length. The second compartment also contains a tool-less drive rack holding two 3.5” and one 2.5” drive. Two additional spaces for 2.5” drives are found in the back and on the motherboard tray, for a total of three 2.5” drives.


At the top of the chassis, there is room for two 120mm fans or a 240mm radiator. Additionally, there is space on the bottom of the case for two 120mm fans or a single 140 mm fan for increased airflow in the main chamber. All fan mount points come with a magnetically attached dust filter to slow the buildup of dust inside the case. There are three expansion slots for PCIe devices allowing owners to use video cards with a triple slot cooler and up to 300mm in length. Working in the small case shouldn’t be an issue due to the front, top, and side panels all being removable. 


 


Below is a complete specifications table: 




















Lian-Li PC-Q39 Mini-ITX Chassis
Model PC-Q39G WX
Case Type Mini Tower Chassis
Dimensions (W)252mm x(H)348mm x(D)346mm
Color Black
Front/Side Panel Aluminum / (L) Tempered Glass, (R) Aluminum
Body Material Aluminum
Net Weight 5.3kg
External Drive Bays None
HDD/SSD Bays 2x 3.5″, 3x 2.5″
Expansion Slots 3
Motherboard Type Mini-ITX
System Fan (Optional) 2x 120mm(top), 2x 120mm or 1x 140mm(bottom)
I/O Ports 2x USB3.0, 1x USB3.1 Type-C, HD Audio
VGA Card Support (L)300mm x (D)60mm
CPU Cooling Support (H)120mm
PSU Support ATX PSU,(L)160mm
Radiator Support Top: 240mm x 80mm x 120mm

The PC-Q39 is available now at newegg.com for $209.99



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Source: AnandTech – Lian-Li releases PC-Q39 Tempered Glass Mini-ITX Tower

Unannounced 8th Generation Core 15W U-Series CPUs Appear on Intel’s Public Price List

More news from Intel this morning, this time published directly on their website. With the upcoming announcement of the 8th Generation Core next week to which Intel has already posted teasers to the media, it would seem that someone at Intel decided to add processor details and pricing into Intel’s official Price List today.


New to the document are four CPUs, all in the U-series range, which usually indicates TDPs of 15W for non-Iris products. However, the big jump to note will be in the core counts. U-series processors, including the Core i7 parts, have historically been only dual-core with Hyper-Threading, similar to the Core i5 parts (with the Core i7 being better for voltage/frequency curves and overall performance). The Price List shows that both the new Core i7-8000 and Core i5-8000 parts will move up to four cores, and both will feature Hyper-Threading, giving a total of eight threads.









Specifications of Intel Core i5/i7 U-series CPUs
7th Generation 8th Generation
  Cores Freq.

(Base)
L3 Price   Cores Freq.

(Base)
L3 Price
i7-7660U 2/4 2.5 GHz 4 MB $415 i7-8650U 4/8 1.9 GHz 8 MB $409
i7-7560U 2.4 GHz $415 i7-8550U 1.8 GHz $409
i5-7360U 2/4 2.3 GHz 3 MB $304 i5-8350U 4/8 1.7 GHz 6 MB $297
i5-7260U 2.2 GHz $304 i5-8250U 1.6 GHz $297

The Price List also states their L3 cache sizes, which is consistent with previous Core i7/i5 positioning. The base frequencies are to note, which are lower than previous generations. Other information shows the pricing is about the same, and the that these are on 14nm. It doesn’t state which 14nm process these parts are on, but it confirms that 10nm isn’t ready as of today to go into the list. The list also doesn’t state the CPUs’ turbo frequencies.



Click to Zoom


One thing that might have users disappointed is that there is no update on any desktop parts in the price list. The list has the new U-series CPUs as having an official price from August 21st, which would also follow some of the laptop designs that have been leaked by retailers featuring these new parts. The image at the top is of the Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-55XD, which is one of those devices.


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Source: AnandTech – Unannounced 8th Generation Core 15W U-Series CPUs Appear on Intel’s Public Price List