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.
The big news in processors today is the official launch of AMD's Kaveri APUs with Radeon R7 graphics, but if you'd rather wait to see what Intel has up its sleeve, you'll have to get cozy for a few months. Word on the web is that Intel is preparing to refresh its Haswell processor line with nearly two dozen new CPUs sometime in the second quarter of 2014, likely starting in May.
The boys and girls at AMD officially launched the company's 2014 A-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) with integrated Radeon R7 graphics. You know the parts by their codename "Kaveri," which AMD says is representative of a major architecture improvement. Kaveri sports completely redesigned cores, new Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) features, new accelerators, and enhanced power management on a new 28nm manufacturing process.
Nvidia's new 64-bit CPU to be based around Kepler and feature 192 CUDA cores
We had the chance to attend Nvidia’s CES 2014 press conference and the company touched upon a number of topics such as GeForce Experience, G-Sync Monitors, and GameStream, but it was Nvidia’s announcement of its new “super chip” K1 that was the talk of the show.
Intel doesn't yet offer an 8-core processor for consumer desktop applications, but by the end of the year, that's going to change. The world's largest semiconductor company, despite being motivated to aggressively compete in the mobile market, is said to be readying the launch of 8-core Haswell-E chips in third quarter of 2014. If you're hoping to pick one as you send your Ivy Bridge-E setup into retirement, you'll want to start saving up now.
If you’ve been following the CPU-cooling market over the past year or so, you’ve probably noticed some stagnation. Multiple vendors license a design from a few manufacturers, resulting in a roughly identical product. Sometimes the fan control software is the same program with a different skin. Wouldn’t it be nice to shake things up a bit? Silverstone seems to think so, and it seems to understand that it’s not just about looking fancy.
Note: This review was originally featured in the November 2013 issue of the magazine.