Power users needn't worry, the desktop is alive and thriving!
These days you can't flip on the Internet without being bombarded by tablet and smartphone announcements. Hey, we love mobile just as much as the next geek, but we're also stoked when major players take time to shower some love on the desktop, which is what Intel did at the Game Developer Conference (GDC) today. One thing Intel unveiled today is an 8-core Haswell-E CPU.
Intel's Haswell refresh for the desktop is presumably only weeks away at this point -- rumor has it the new parts will show up in retail in the second quarter of 2014 -- and while we'll have to wait until then for the full scoop, an online store is already posting pre-order prices and specs of 10 upcoming Haswell CPUs. Most of them boast minor speed bumps of 100MHz over their predecessors.
New SoCs give Intel a greater presence in the mobile sector
The mobile device category is dominated by ARM-based processors, and that's something that doesn't sit well with Intel. The Santa Clara chip maker is used to being on top of the semiconductor world, and in the mobile space, Intel will attempt to wrestle some share away from ARM with its new 64-bit Atom Z3480 processor, otherwise known as Merrifield, which is a quad-core part intended for Android devices.
Intel today announced its Xeon E7 v2 line of processors featuring the industry's largest memory support (1.5TB per socket versus 1TB per socket delivered by alternative architectures), which enables the chips to rapidly analyze large data sets and deliver real-time insights based on a vast amount of diverse data. The processors are intended for mission critical computing chores.
New Haswell processors may arrive a month ahead of schedule
It seems like we hear something new everyday by hanging around the CPU rumor mill. Once again, Intel is at the center of speculation, though instead of talking about delays, rumor has it the Santa Clara chip maker is planning to launch its refreshed Haswell line a month early. That means new Haswell processors could appear just a few weeks from now, in April, rather than May as originally planned.
A Broadwell delay isn't what the PC industry needs
It was last October when Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said a "defect density issue" was negatively affecting yields, prompting the Santa Clara chip maker to delay its 14nm Broadwell launch by a quarter. Production was to begin in the first quarter of 2014, though there's a rumor going around that Intel might postpone Broadwell's big debut to the fourth quarter of this year. Is that really the case?
Ivytown will slip into Intel's Xeon E7 chip family
Intel's codenames for processors sound like directions someone might give you if you get lost in the country. Take a wrong turn off of I64 in West Virginia, for example, and you might be told that Ivytown is on the other side of Ivy Bridge, not to be confused with Sandy Bridge. In reality, Ivytown is Intel's codename for an upcoming 15-core Xeon processor based on Ivy Bridge and designed for high-end servers.
With our lab coats donned, our test benches primed, and our benchmarks at the ready, we look for answers to nine of the most burning performance-related questions
If there’s one thing that defines the Maximum PC ethos, it’s an obsession with Lab-testing. What better way to discern a product’s performance capabilities, or judge the value of an upgrade, or simply settle a heated office debate? This month, we focus our obsession on several of the major questions on the minds of enthusiasts. Is liquid cooling always more effective than air? Should serious gamers demand PCIe 3.0? When it comes to RAM, are higher clocks better? On the surface, the answers might seem obvious. But, as far as we’re concerned, nothing is for certain until it’s put to the test. We’re talking tests that isolate a subsystem and measure results using real-world workloads. Indeed, we not only want to know if a particular technology or piece of hardware is truly superior, but also by how much. After all, we’re spending our hard-earned skrilla on this gear, so we want our purchases to make real-world sense. Over the next several pages, we put some of the most pressing PC-related questions to the test. If you’re ready for the answers, read on.
Note: This article was originally featured in the October 2013 issue of the magazine
AMD's foray into ARM-based server SoCs begins with the Opteron A Series
A milestone has been reached in Sunnyvale less than a month into 2014. Chip designer AMD formally introduced its first 64-bit ARM-based server system-on-chip (SoC) previously codenamed "Seattle" and now called Opteron A1100. The chip is fabricated using a 28-nanometer process technology and is the first of its kind from an established server vendor. Along with the new SoC, AMD also unveiled a new development platform intended to make software design on the Opteron A1100 Series quick and easy.
AMD just fleshed out its Opteron 6300 Series of server processors with a pair of new chips, one of which is a 12-core part and the other a 16-core offering. These additions to what AMD calls "Warshaw" are intended for enterprise applications and feature AMD's "Piledriver" core architecture. They're also fully socket and software compatible with the existing Opteron 6300 Series.