Category Archives: Intel

Leaked benchmarks show Intel is dropping hyperthreading from i7 chips

Enlarge / An 8th generation Coffee Lake processor. (credit: Mark Walton)

While Intel’s naming scheme for its processors is often best described as “obtuse,” there have been some patterns that the company seemed to follow. For desktop processors, the i7 branding denotes chips with hyperthreading enabled, running two threads on each core. i5-branded parts had the same number of cores but with hyperthreading disabled. i3 parts in turn had fewer cores than i5 parts, but once again with hyperthreading enabled. The 8th generation chips changed this pattern a little—the desktop i3s don’t have hyperthreading, just fewer cores—but the relationship between the i5s and i7s remained.

It looks like the next batch of Intel processors, probably branded 9th generation, is going to shake this situation up further. Benchmarks found in the SiSoft Sandra database list a Core i7-9700K processor. This increases the core count from the current six cores in the 8th generation Coffee Lake parts to eight cores, but, even though it’s an i7 chip, it doesn’t appear to have hyperthreading available. Its base clock speed is 3.6GHz, peak turbo is 4.9GHz, and it has 12MB cache. The price is expected to be around the same $350 level as the current top-end i7s.

For the chip that will sit above the i7-9700K in the product lineup, Intel is extending the use of its i9 branding, initially reserved for the X-series High-End Desktop Platform. The i9-9900K will be an eight-core, 16-thread processor. This bumps the cache up to 16MB and the peak turbo up to 5GHz—and the price up to an expected $450.

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Intel plans to release its first discrete GPU in 2020

After Intel nabbed Raja Koduri last year from AMD, where he led Radeon development, it was only a matter of time until it entered the high-end GPU arena. That confirmation came in a short tweet today: Intel plans to release its first discrete GPU –…

Intel isn’t going to be launching a 28-core 5GHz processor this year after all

Enlarge / This is a 10-core Skylake-X processor. It uses the low core count (LCC) version of the Skylake-SP die. (credit: Fritzchens Fritz)

Earlier this week, Intel showed off a product coming in the fourth quarter of this year: an enthusiast-oriented 28-core processor running all cores at 5GHz. This combination of clock speed and core count would put it head and shoulders above any other processor on the market, so the demonstration was more than a little surprising.

It now turns out that Intel forgot to mention an important detail: the 5GHz processors were overclocked, a lot, using chilled water coolers capable of handling thermal loads of up to 1.77kW. The real chips that ship won’t be coming from the factory at 5GHz, and it’s going to take a lot more than a big heatsink and a couple of fans to get them running that fast.

Aside from the core count and release window, Intel has confirmed one other fact about these 28-core chips: they’re built on some variant of its 14nm process. They also use the enormous LGA3647 socket (that’s 3,647 pins) used by some Xeon processors, and they have six memory channels. We don’t know what platform/chipset this will use (though it’s likely to be a close relative to the comparable server platform). And we don’t know what its regular clock speed will be.

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PCs are actually exciting again

Last year's Computex showed us how the PC would evolve. This year, that evolution began to feel concrete. Hardware is getting better across the board, as you'd expect. But there's also a renewed focus on productivity — doing work that can't be done…

I wish I could buy Intel’s cute little E Ink dual-screen PC


Computex 2018 has been full of surprises. In addition to the usual array of processor news, updated laptops and fresh gaming hardware, we saw companies like ASUS and Lenovo show off intriguing dual-screen devices as well. Both those companies worked…

Watch Intel’s Computex keynote in under nine minutes

Intel had a surprising amount of news in store for Computex. The chip giant announced the special edition 8086K processor, which is its first desktop chip to reach 5GHz boost speed. It also formed a new partnership with Sprint to sell 5G PCs next y…

Intel will launch a 28-core 5GHz CPU by the end of the year

Intel's 18-core i9 CPU is still impressive, but that's last year's news. Today at Computex, Intel SVP Gregory Bryant demoed a 28-core processor running at 5GHz. It's the first time we've seen a single socket desktop CPU cram in that many cores, and i…

Lenovo’s new Yoga Book actually has dual screens

ASUS may be turning heads with its concept dual-screen laptop here at Computex 2018, but let's not forget that other companies have tried similar things before. (ZTE's Axon M, anyone?) Lenovo, for one, isn't going to let ASUS hog the spotlight, and u…

ARM promises laptop-level performance in 2019

Enlarge / Cortex-A76. (credit: ARM)

Chip design company ARM has unveiled its latest high performance processor design, the Cortex-A76. The company claims that the new design is 35 percent faster than the current Cortex-A75, making for performance that’s comparable with Intel’s Skylake i5 processors.

ARM licenses both chip designs and the instruction set that the chips use. Apple’s smartphones and tablets use the ARM instruction set with custom, in-house designs from Cupertino. Most other smartphones and tablets, however, use processors that are either unmodified ARM designs (for example, Mediatek does this), or lightly customized ARM designs (such as Qualcomm’s latest processors). Chips using the new design should hit the market in 2019.

The extra performance of the new design should help close the gap both with Apple’s custom designs—in most situations, they’re the fastest ARM chips on the market—and Intel’s x86 processors. Speaking to CNET, ARM’s lead processor architect Mike Filippo said that the new design would “do well” against Apple and roughly match the Intel Core i5-7300. That processor is a two-core, four-thread chip running at between 2.6 and 3.5 GHz using Intel’s Kaby Lake architecture. With more cache, Filippo says that even i7 parts should be within reach.

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The latest cover of ‘Time’ is composed of 958 Intel drones

Intel's latest drone trick is on the cover of Time. Err, it is the cover of Time. Allow me to explain. The magazine's most recent issue features special reports on UAVs, and rather than, say, featuring a photo of Intel's drone team on the cover, as P…