cpu http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/291/ en AMD Brings Out the Shears, Cuts Prices on A-Series APUs http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_brings_out_shears_cuts_prices_-series_apus_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amd_building_3.jpg" alt="AMD Building" title="AMD Building" width="228" height="148" style="float: right;" />New build, anyone?</h3> <p><strong>AMD has been putting the word out that it recently slashed prices for select A-Series desktop Accelerated Processor Units (APUs)</strong>. Some of them are fairly significant reductions in price, and they're not just for Kaveri-based APUs, either -- they also include savings for a few Richland and Trinity chips. While Intel's Haswell architecture might have the upper hand in performance, the price cuts combined with superior integrated graphics help AMD stay in the game. Let's have a look.</p> <p>Starting with Kaveri, here's a peek at the price cuts:</p> <ul> <li>A10-7850 (3.7GHz/4GHz, quad-core, 4MB L2 cache, 8 graphics CUs): $143, down from $180</li> <li>A10-7800 (3.5GHz/3.9GHz, quad-core, 4MB L2 cache, 8 graphics CUs): $133, down from $166</li> <li>A10-7700K (3.4GHz/3.8GHz, quad-core, 4MB L2 cache, 6 graphics CUs): $123, down from $160</li> <li>A8-7600 (3.3GHz/3.8GHz, quad-core, 4MB L2 cache, 6 graphics CUs): $92, down from $110</li> <li>A6-7400K (3.5GHz/3.9Ghz, dual-core, 1MB L2 cache, 4 graphics CUs): $58, down from $85</li> </ul> <p>As for Richland and Trinity, AMD slashed prices on another five APUs. They include the A10-6800K ($112, down from $140), A8-6600K ($92, down from $100), A4-6300 ($34, down from $48), A4-5300 ($31, not currently listed as retail boxed chips),and A4-4400 ($27, not currently listed as retail boxed chips), according to <a href="http://techreport.com/news/27246/amd-cuts-a-series-desktop-processor-prices" target="_blank"><em>The Tech Report</em></a>.</p> <p>These aren't temporary price cuts, but permanent ones that should be appear in retail e-tail stores soon, if not already.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_brings_out_shears_cuts_prices_-series_apus_2014#comments a-series amd apu Build a PC cpu Hardware price cut processor News Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:07:10 +0000 Paul Lilly 28779 at http://www.maximumpc.com ARM Aims to Supercharge Smart Devices with Cortex-M7 Processor http://www.maximumpc.com/arm_aims_supercharge_smart_devices_cortex-m7_processor_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/arm_cortex_m7.jpg" alt="ARM Cortex-M7" title="ARM Cortex-M7" width="228" height="191" style="float: right;" />New chip paves the way for more power IoT gadgets</h3> <p><strong>ARM on Wednesday unveiled its Cortex-M7 processor</strong>, a 32-bit part that offers double the compute and digital signal processing (DSP) capability of today's most powerful ARM-based MCUs. The company intends for its Cortex-M7 chip to find a home inside high-end embedded applications in next generation vehicles, connected devices (think: Internet of Things, or IoT), smart appliances, and more.</p> <p>The M7 is the most recent and highest performance member of the energy efficient Cortex-M processor family. It will enable a new generation of faster and smarter devices in a range of categories -- smartwatches, automotive electronics, high-end audio, medical devices, robotics, and the list goes on.</p> <p>ARM's latest chip combines a six-stage, superscalar pipeline with flexible memory interfaces including AXI, AHB, caches, and tightly-coupled memories, and delivers high integer, floating point, and DSP performance in an MCU, <a href="http://www.arm.com/about/newsroom/arm-supercharges-mcu-market-with-high-performance-cortex-m7-processor.php" target="_blank">the company says</a>.</p> <p>The chip operates at up to 400MHz and offers the same performance as multiple M0 or M3 chips (5 CoreMark per MHz). By using an M7 processor instead, device makers can save space.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/arm_aims_supercharge_smart_devices_cortex-m7_processor_2014#comments ARM cortex-m7 cpu Hardware internet of things iot processor News Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:54:22 +0000 Paul Lilly 28597 at http://www.maximumpc.com Haswell-E Review http://www.maximumpc.com/haswell-e_review_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>UPDATE: We've updated our Haswell- E story to include our video on Haswell-E (X99) motheboards</h3> <p>After three long years of going hungry with quad-cores, red meat is finally back on the menu for enthusiasts. And not just any gamey slab full of gristle with shared cores, either. With its new eight-core Haswell-E CPU, Intel may have served up the most mouth-watering, beautifully seared piece of red meat in a long time.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/aNTMIHr9Ha0" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>And it’s a good thing, too, because enthusiast’s stomachs have been growling. Devil’s Canyon? That puny quad-core was just an appetizer. And that dual-core highly overclockable Pentium K CPU? It’s the mint you grab on your way out of the steak house.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/_h9ggGZHFtU" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>No, what enthusiasts have craved and wanted ever since Intel’s original clock-blocking job on the original Sandy Bridge-E was a true, overclockable enthusiast chip with eight cores. So if you’re ready for a belt loosening, belly full of enthusiast-level prime rib, pass the horse radish, get that damned salad off our table, and read on to see if Intel’s Haswell-E is everything we hoped it would be.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Meet the Haswell-E parts</strong></p> <p><span style="color: #ff0000;"><img src="/files/u154082/haswell-e_comparison_chart.png" alt="haswell e comparison chart" title="haswell e comparison chart" width="620" height="241" /></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="/files/u154082/lga2011v3socket.jpg" alt="haswell e socket" title="haswell e socket" width="620" height="626" /></p> <p><strong>Despite its name, the LGA2011-v3 socket is not same as the older LGA2011 socket. Fortunately, the cooling offsets are exactly the same, so almost all older coolers and accessories should work just fine.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/u154082/lga2011socket1.jpg" alt="lga2011" title="lga2011" width="620" height="556" /></p> <p><strong>Though they look the same, LGA2011’s socket has arms that are actually arranged differently than the new LGA2011-v3 that replaces it. And no, you can’t drop a newer Haswell-E into this socket and make it work.</strong></p> <h4>Haswell-E</h4> <p><strong>The first consumer Intel eight-core arrives at last</strong></p> <p>Being a card-carrying member of the PC enthusiast class is not an easy path to follow. Sure, you get the most cores and priciest parts, but it also means you get to wait a hell of a long time in between CPU upgrades. And with Intel’s cadence the last few years, it also means you get the leftovers. It’s been that way ever since Intel went with its two-socket strategy with the original LGA1366/LGA1156. Those who picked the big-boy socket and stuck to their guns on Pure PC performance always got the shaft.&nbsp;</p> <p>The original Ivy Bridge in LGA1156 socket, for example, hit the streets in April of 2012. As a reward for having the more efficient and faster CPU, Intel rewarded the small-socket crowd with its Haswell in June of 2013. It wasn’t until September of 2013 that big-boy socket users finally got Ivy Bridge-E for their LGA2011s. But with Haswell already out and tearing up the benchmarks, who the hell cared?</p> <p>Well, that time has come with Haswell-E, Intel’s first replacement for the aging LGA2011 platform since 2011. This time though, Intel isn’t just shuffling new parts into its old stack. For the first since the original Pentium 4 Extreme Edition, paying the price premium actually nets you more: namely, the company’s first consumer eight-core CPU.</p> <p><strong>Meet the T-Rex of consumer CPUs: The Core i7-5960X</strong></p> <p>We were actually a little leery of Haswell when it first launched last year. It was, after all, a chip seemingly tuned for the increasingly mobile/laptoppy world we were told was our post PC-apocalyptic future. Despite this, we recognized the chip as the CPU to have for new system builders. Clock for clock, its 22nm process, tri-gate transistors put everything else to shame—even the six-core Core i7-3930K chip in many tasks. So it’s no surprise that when Intel took a quad-core Haswell, put it in the Xerox machine, and hit the copy x2 button , we’d be ecstatic. Eight cores are decidedly better than six cores or four cores when you need them.&nbsp;</p> <p>The cores don’t come without a cost though, and we don’t mean the usual painful price Intel asks for its highest-end CPUs. It’s no secret that more cores means more heat, which means lower clock speeds. That’s one of the rationales Intel used with the original six-core Core i7-3960X. Although sold as a six-core, the original Sandy Bridge-E was built using an eight-core die on which Intel had permanently switched off two cores. Intel said it wanted to balance the needs of the many versus the needs of the few—that is, by turning off two of the cores, the part could hit higher clock speeds. Indeed, the Core i7-3960X had a base clock of 3.3GHz and Turbo Boost of 3.9GHz, and most could overclock it to 5GHz. The same chip packaged as a Xeon with all eight cores working—the Xeon E5-2687W—was locked down at 3.1GHz and mostly buzzed along at 3.4GHz.</p> <p>With the new Core i7-5960X—the only eight-core of the bunch—the chip starts at a seemingly pedestrian 3GHz with a Turbo Boost of one core up to 3.5GHz. Those subsonic clock speeds won’t impress against the Core i7-4790K, which starts at 4GHz. You’ll find more on how well Haswell-E performs against Haswell in our performance section, but that’s the price to be paid, apparently, to get a chip with this many cores under the heat spreader. Regarding thermals, in fact, Intel has increased the TDP rating to 140 watts versus 130 watts of Ivy Bridge-E and Sandy Bridge-E.&nbsp;</p> <p>If the low clocks annoy you, the good news is the part is fully unlocked, so the use of overclocking has been approved. For our test units, we had very early hardware and tight deadlines, so we didn’t get very far with our overclocking efforts. Talking with vendors, however, most seem very pleased with the clock speeds they were seeing. One vendor told us overclocks of all cores at 4.5GHz was already obtainable and newer microcode updates were expected to improve that. With even the vaunted Devil’s Canyon Core i7-4790K topping out at 4.7GHz to 4.8GHz, a 4.5GHz is actually a healthy overclock for an eight-core CPU.</p> <p><span style="white-space: pre;"> </span>When you dive down into the actual cores though, much is the same, of course. It’s based on a 22nm process. It has “3D” tri-gate transistors and integrated voltage regulation. Oh, and it’s also the first CPU to feature an integrated DDR4 memory controller.</p> <p><strong>Click the next page to read about DDR4</strong></p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4>DDR4 details</h4> <p>If you think Haswell-E has been a long wait, just think about DDR3, which made its debut as main memory in systems since 2007. Yes, 2007. The only component that has lasted seven years in most enthusiasts systems might be the PSU, but it’s even rare to find anyone kicking a 500-watt PSU from 2007 these days.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="white-space: pre;"> </span>DDR4 has been in gestation seemingly as long, so why the delay? From what we can tell, resistance to yet another new memory standard during a time when people thought the desktop PC and the PC in general were dying has been the root delay. It didn’t help that no one wanted to stick their head out first, either. RAM makers didn’t want to begin producing it DDR4 in volume until AMD or Intel made chipsets for it, and AMD and Intel didn’t want to support it because of the costs it would add to PCs at a time when people were trying to lower costs. The stalemate finally ends with Haswell-E, which integrates a quad-channel memory controller into its die.</p> <p>Initial launch speeds of DDR4 clock in at DDR4/2133. For those already running DDR3 at 3GHz or higher, a 2,133 data rate is a snooze, but you should realize that anything over 2133 is overclocked RAM. With DDR4, the JEDEC speeds (the body that sets RAM standards) already has target data rates of 3200 on the map. RAM vendors we’ve talked to are already shopping DIMMS near that speed.</p> <p>The best part of DDR4 may be its density message, though. For years, consumer DDR3 has topped out at 8GB on a DIMM. With DDR4, we should see 16B DIMMs almost immediately, and stacking of chips is built into the standard, so it’s possible we’ll see 32GB DIMMs over its lifetime. On a quad-channel, eight-DIMM motherboard, you should expect to be able to build systems with 128GB of RAM using non-ECC DIMMs almost immediately. DDR4 also brings power savings and other improvements, but the main highlights enthusiasts should expect are higher densities and higher clocks. Oh, and higher prices. RAM prices haven’t been fun for anyone of late, but DDR4 will definitely be a premium part for some time. In fact, we couldn’t even get exact pricing from memory vendors as we were going to press, so we’re bracing for some really bad news.</p> <h4>PCIe lanes: now a feature to be blocked</h4> <p>Over the years, we’ve come to expect Intel to clock-block core counts, clock speeds, Hyper-Threading, and even cache for “market segmentation” purposes. What that means is Intel has to find ways to differentiate one CPU from another. Sometimes that’s by turning off Hyper-Threading (witness Core i5 and Core i7) and sometimes its locking down clock speeds. With Haswell-E though, Intel has gone to new heights with its clock-blocking by actually turning off PCIe lanes on some Haswell-E parts to make them less desirable. At the top end, you have the 3GHz Core i7-5960X with eight cores. In the midrange you have the six-core 3.5GHz Core i7-5930K. And at the “low-end” you have the six-core 3.3GHz Core i7-5820K. The 5930K and the 5820K are virtually the same in specs except for one key difference: The PCIe lanes get blocked. Yes, while the Core i7-5960X and Core i7-5930K get 40 lanes of PCIe 3.0, the Core i7-5820K gets an odd 28 lanes of PCIe 3.0. That means those who had hoped to build “budget” Haswell-E boxes with multiple GPUs may have to think hard and fast about using the lowest-end Haswell-E chip. The good news is that for most people, it won’t matter. Plenty of people run Haswell systems with SLI or CrossFire, and those CPUs are limited to 16 lanes. Boards with PLX switches even support four-way GPU setups.</p> <p>Still, it’s a brain bender to think that when you populate an X99 board with the lowest-end Haswell-E, the PCIe configuration will change. The good news is at least they’ll work, just more slowly. Intel says it worked with board vendors to make sure all the slots will function with the budget Haswell-E part.&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="/files/u154082/mpc_haswell_front-back_1.jpg" alt="haswell e chip" title="haswell e chip" width="620" height="413" /></p> <p><strong>There have been clock-blocking rumors swirling around about the Haswell being a 12-core Xeon with four cores turned off. That’s not true and Intel says this die-shot proves it.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/u154082/ivbe.jpg" alt="ivy bridge e" title="ivy bridge e" width="620" height="550" /></p> <p><strong>Ivy Bridge-E’s main advantage over Sandy Bridge-E was a native six-core die and greatly reduced power consumption. And, unfortunately, like its Ivy Bridge counterpart, overclocking yields on Ivy Bridge-E were greatly reduced over its predecessor, too, with few chips hitting more than 4.7GHz at best.</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/u154082/snbe.jpg" alt="sandy bridge e" title="sandy bridge e" width="308" height="260" /></p> <p><strong>Sandy Bridge-E and Sandy Bridge will long be remembered for its friendliness to overclocking and having two of its working cores killed Red Wedding–style by Intel.</strong></p> <p><strong>Click the next page to read about X99.</strong></p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4>X99&nbsp;</h4> <p><strong>High-end enthusiasts finally get the chipset they want, sort of</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/u154082/x99blockdiagram.jpg" alt="x99 block diagram" title="x99 block diagram" width="620" height="381" /></p> <p><strong>Intel overcompensated in SATA on X99 but oddly left SATA Express on the cutting-room floor.</strong></p> <p>You know what we won’t miss? The X79 chipset. No offense to X79 owners, while the Core i7-4960X can stick around for a few more months, X79 can take its under-spec’ed butt out of our establishment. Think we’re being too harsh? We don’t.</p> <p>X79 has no native USB 3.0 support. And its SATA 6Gb/s ports? Only two. It almost reads like a feature set from the last decade to us. Fortunately, in a move we wholly endorse, Intel has gone hog wild in over-compensating for the weaknesses of X79.&nbsp;</p> <p>X99 has eight USB 2.0 ports and six USB 3.0 ports baked into the peripheral controller hub in it. For SATA 6Gb/s, Intel adds 10 ports to X99. Yes, 10 ports of SATA 6Gb/s. That gazongo number of SATA ports, however, is balanced out by two glaring omission in X99: no official SATA Express or M.2 support that came with Z97. Intel didn’t say why it left off SATA Express or M.2 in the chipset, but it did say motherboard vendors were free to implement it using techniques they gleaned from doing it on Z97 motherboards. If we had to hazard a guess, we’d say Intel’s conservative nature led it to leave the feature off the chipset, as the company is a stickler for testing new interfaces before adding official support. At this point, SATA Express has been a no-show. After all, motherboards with SATA Express became available in May with Z97, yet we still have not seen any native SATA Express drives. We expect most motherboard vendors to simply add it through discrete controllers; even our early board sample had a SATA Express port.&nbsp;</p> <p>One potential weakness of X99 is Intel’s use of the DMI 2.0. That offers roughly 2.5GB/s of transfer speed between the CPU and the south bridge or PCH, but with the board hanging 10 SATA devices, USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and 8 PCIe Gen 2.0 lanes off that link, there is the potential for massive congestion—but only in a worst-case scenario. You’d really have to a boat load of hardware lit up and sending and receiving data at once to cause the DMI 2.0 to bottleneck. Besides, Intel says, you can just hang the device off the plentiful PCIe Gen 3.0 from the CPU.</p> <p>That does bring up our last point on X99: the PCIe lanes. As we mentioned earlier, there will be some confusion over the PCIe lane configuration on systems with Core i7-5820K parts. With only 28 lanes of PCIe lanes available from that one chip, there’s concern that whole slots on the motherboard will be turned off. That won’t happen, Intel says. Instead, if you go with the low-rent ride, you simply lose bandwidth. Take an X99 mobo and plug in the Core i7-5930K and you get two slots at x16 PCIe, and one x8 slot. Remove that CPU and install the Core i7-5820K, and the slots will now be configured as one x16, one x8 and one x4. It’s still more bandwidth than you can get from a normal LGA1150-based Core i7-4770K but it will be confusing nonetheless. We expect motherboard vendors to sort it out for their customers, though.</p> <p>Haswell-E does bring one more interesting PCIe configuration though: the ability to run five graphics cards in the PCIe slots at x8 speeds. Intel didn’t comment on the reasons for the option but there only a few apparent reasons. The first is mining configurations where miners are already running six GPUs. Mining, however, doesn’t seem to need the bandwidth a x8 slot would provide. The other possibility is a five-way graphics card configuration being planned by Nvidia or AMD. At this point it’s just conjecture, but one thing we know is that X99 is a welcome upgrade. Good riddance X79.&nbsp;</p> <h4>Top Procs Compared</h4> <p><span style="color: #ff0000;"><span style="white-space: pre;"><img src="/files/u154082/top_processors.png" alt="top processors compared" title="top processors compared" width="620" height="344" /></span></span></p> <h4>Core Competency&nbsp;</h4> <p><strong>How many cores do you really need?</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/u154082/haswelletaskamanger.png" alt="haswell task manager" title="haswell task manager" width="620" height="564" /></p> <p><strong>It is indeed a glorious thing to see a task manager with this many threads, but not everyone needs them.</strong></p> <p>Like the great technology philosopher Sir Mix-A-Lot said, we like big cores and we cannot lie. We want as many cores as legally available. But we recognize that not everyone rolls as hard as we do with a posse of threads. With Intel’s first eight-core CPU, consumers can now pick from two cores all the way to eight on the Intel side of the aisle—and then there’s Hyper-Threading to confuse you even more. So, how many cores do you need? We’ll give you the quick-and-dirty lowdown.</p> <p><strong>Two cores</strong></p> <p>Normally, we’d completely skip dual-cores without Hyper-Threading because the parts tend to be the very bottom end of the pool Celerons. Our asterisk is the new Intel Pentium G3258 Anniversary Edition, or “Pentium K,” which is a real hoot of a chip. It easily overclocks and is dead cheap. It’s not the fastest in content creation by a long shot, but if we were building an ultra-budget gaming rig and needed to steal from the CPU budget for a faster GPU, we’d recommend this one. Otherwise, we see dual-cores as purely ultra-budget parts today.</p> <p><strong>Two cores with Hyper-Threading</strong></p> <p>For your parents who need a reliable, solid PC without overclocking (you really don’t want to explain how to back down the core voltage in the BIOS to grandma, do you?), the dual-core Core i3 parts fulfill the needs of most people who only do content creation on occasion. Hyper-Threading adds value in multi-threaded and multi-tasking tasks. You can almost think of these chips with Hyper-Threading as three-core CPUs.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Four cores</strong></p> <p>For anyone who does content creation such as video editing, encoding, or even photo editing with newer applications, a quad-core is usually our recommended part. Newer game consoles are also expected to push min specs for newer games to quad-cores or more as well, so for most people who carry an Enthusiast badge, a quad-core part is the place to start.</p> <p><strong>Four cores with Hyper-Threading</strong></p> <p>Hyper-Threading got a bad name early on from the Pentium 4 and existing software that actually saw it reduce performance when turned on. Those days are long behind us though, and Hyper-Threading offers a nice performance boost with its virtual cores. How much? &nbsp;A 3.5GHz Core i7 quad-core with Hyper-Threading generally offers the same performance on multi-threaded tasks as a Core i5 running at 4.5GHz. The Hyper-Threading helps with content creation and we’d say, if content creation is 30 percent or less of your time, this is the place to be and really the best fit for 90 percent of enthusiasts.</p> <p><strong>Six cores with Hyper-Threading</strong></p> <p>Once you pass the quad-core mark, you are moving pixels professionally in video editing, 3D modeling, or other tasks that necessitate the costs of a six-core chip or more. We still think that for 90 percent of folks, a four-core CPU is plenty, but if losing time rendering a video costs you money (or you’re just ADD), pay for a six-core or more CPU. How do you decide if you need six or eight cores? Read on.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Eight cores with Hyper-Threading</strong></p> <p>We recognize that not everyone needs an eight-core processor. In fact, one way to save cash is to buy the midrange six-core chip instead, but if time is money, an eight-core chip will pay for itself. For example, the eight-core Haswell-E is about 45 percent faster than the four-core Core i7-4790K chip. If your render job is three hours, that’s more time working on other paying projects. The gap gets smaller between the six-core and the eight-core of course, so it’s very much about how much your time is worth or how short your attention span is. But just to give you an idea, the 3.3GHz Core i7-5960X is about 20 percent faster than the Core i7-4960X running at 4GHz.</p> <p><strong>Click the next page to see how Haswell-E stacks up against Intel's other top CPUs.</strong></p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h4 style="font-size: 10px;">Intel’s Top Guns Compared</h4> <p><img src="/files/u154082/cpus17918.jpg" alt="haswell" title="haswell" width="620" height="413" /></p> <p><strong><strong>The LGA2011-based Core i7-4960X (left) and the LGA2011-v3-based Core i7-5960X (middle) dwarf the Core i7-4790K chip (right). Note the change in the heat spreader between the older 4960X and 5960X, which now has larger “wings” that make it easier to remove the CPU by hand. The breather hole, which allows for curing of the thermal interface material (solder in this case), has also been moved. Finally, while the chips are the same size, they are keyed differently to prevent you from installing a newer Haswell-E into an older Ivy Bridge-E board.</strong></strong></p> <h4>Benchmarks</h4> <p><strong>Performance junkies, rejoice! Haswell-E hits it out of the ballpark</strong></p> <p><img src="/files/u154082/x99-gaming_5-rev10.jpg" alt="x99 gigabyte" title="x99 gigabyte" width="620" height="734" /></p> <p><strong>We used a Gigabyte X99 motherboard (without the final heatsinks for the voltage-regulation modules) for our testing.</strong></p> <p>For our testing, we set up three identical systems with the fastest available CPUs for each platform. Each system used an Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 with the same 340.52 drivers, Corsair 240GB Neutron GTX SSDs, and 64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise. Since we’ve had issues with clock speeds varying on cards that physically look the same, we also verified the clock speeds of each GPU manually and also recorded the multiplier, bclock, and speeds the parts run at under single-threaded and multi-threaded loads. So you know, the 3GHz Core i7-5960X’s would run at 3.5GHz on single-threaded tasks but usually sat at 3.33GHz on multi-threaded tasks. The 3.6GHz Core i7-4960X ran everything at 4GHz, including multi-threading tasks. The 4GHz Core i7-4790K part sat at 4.4GHz on both single- and multi-threaded loads.</p> <p>For Z97, we used a Gigabyte Z97M-D3H mobo with a Core i7-4790K “Devil’s Canyon” chip aboard. &nbsp;An Asus Sabertooth X79 did the duty for our Core i7-4960X “Ivy Bridge-E” chip. Finally, for our Core i7-5960X chip, we obtained an early Gigabyte X99-Gaming 5 motherboard. The board was pretty early but we feel comfortable with our performance numbers as Intel has claimed the Core i7-5960X was “45 percent” faster than a quad-core chip, and that’s what we saw in some of our tests.&nbsp;</p> <p>One thing to note: The RAM capacities were different but in the grand scheme of things and the tests we run, it has no impact. The Sabertooth X79 &nbsp;had 16GB of DDR3/2133 in quad-channel mode, the Z97M-D3H had 16GB of DDR3/2133 in dual-channel mode. Finally, the X99-Gaming 5 board had 32GB of Corsair DDR4/2133. All three CPUs will overclock, but we tested at stock speeds to get a good baseline feel.&nbsp;</p> <p>For our benchmarks, we selected from a pile of real-world games, synthetic tests, as well as real-world applications across a wide gamut of disciplines. Our gaming tests were also run at very low resolutions and low-quality settings to take the graphics card out of the equation. We also acknowledge that people want to know what they can expect from the different CPUs at realistic settings and resolutions, so we also ran all of the games at their highest settings at 1920x1080 resolution, which is still the norm in PC gaming.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The results</strong></p> <p>We could get into a multi-sentence analysis of how it did and slowly break out with our verdict but in a society where people get impatient at the microwave, we’ll give you the goods up front: Holy Frakking Smokes, this chip is fast! The Core i7-5960X is simply everything high-end enthusiasts have been dreaming about.&nbsp;</p> <p>Just to give you an idea, we’ve been recording scores from $7,000 and $13,000 PCs in our custom Premiere Pro CS6 benchmark for a couple of years now. The fastest we’ve ever seen is the Digital Storm Aventum II that we reviewed in our January 2014 issue. The 3.3GHz Core i7-5960X was faster than the Aventum II’s Core i7-4960X running at 4.7GHz. Again, at stock speeds, the Haswell-E was faster than the fastest Ivy Bridge-E machine we’ve ever seen.</p> <p>It wasn’t just Premiere Pro CS6 we saw that spread in either. In most of our tests that stress multi-threading, we saw roughly a 45 percent to 50 percent improvement going from the Haswell to the Haswell-E part. The scaling gets tighter when you’re comparing the six-core Core i7-4960X but it’s still a nice, big number. We generally saw a 20 percent to 25 percent improvement in multi-threaded tasks.&nbsp;</p> <p>That’s not even factoring in the clock differences between the parts. The Core i7-4790K buzzes along at 4.4GHz—1.1GHz faster than the Core i7-5960X in multi-threaded tasks—yet it still got stomped by 45 to 50 percent. The Core i7-4960X had a nearly 700MHz clock advantage as well over the eight-core chip.</p> <p>The whole world isn’t multi-threaded, though. Once we get to workloads that don’t push all eight cores, the higher clock speeds of the other parts predictably take over. ProShow Producer 5.0, for example, has never pushed more than four threads and we saw the Core i7-5960X lose by 17 percent. The same happened in our custom Stitch.Efx 2.0 benchmark, too. In fact, in general, the Core i7-4790K will be faster thanks to its clock speed advantage. If you overclocked the Core i7-5960X to 4GHz or 4.4GHz on just four cores, the two should be on par in pure performance on light-duty workloads.</p> <p>In gaming, we saw some results from our tests that are a little bewildering to us. At low-resolution and low-quality settings, where the graphics card was not the bottleneck, the Core i7-4790K had the same 10 percent to 20 percent advantage. When we ran the same tests at ultra and 1080p resolution, the Core i7-5960X actually had a slight advantage in some of the runs against the Core i7-4790K chip. We think that may be from the bandwidth advantage the 5960X has. Remember, we ran all of the RAM at 2,133, so it’s not DDR4 vs. DDR3. It’s really quad-channel vs. dual-channel.</p> <p>We actually put a full breakdown of each of the benchmarks and detailed analysis on MaximumPC.com if you really want to nerd out on the performance.</p> <p><strong>What you should buy</strong></p> <p>Let’s say it again: The Core i7-5960X stands as the single fastest CPU we’ve seen to date. It’s simply a monster in performance in multi-threaded tasks and we think once you’ve overclocked it, it’ll be as fast as all the others in tasks that aren’t thread-heavy workloads.</p> <p>That, however, doesn’t mean everyone should start saving to buy a $1,000 CPU. No, for most people, the dynamic doesn’t change. For the 80 percent of you who fall into the average Joe or Jane nerd category, a four-core with Hyper-Threading still offers the best bang for the buck. It won’t be as fast as the eight-core, but unless you’re really working your rig for a living, made of money, or hate for your Handbrake encodes to take that extra 25 minutes, you can slum it with the Core i7-4790K chip. You don’t even have to heavily overclock it for the performance to be extremely peppy.</p> <p>For the remaining 20 percent who actually do a lot of encoding, rendering, professional photo editing, or heavy multi-tasking, the Core i7-5960X stands as the must-have CPU. It’s the chip you’ve been waiting for Intel to release. Just know that at purely stock speeds, you do give up performance to the Core i7-4790K part. But again, the good news is that with minor overclocking tweaks, it’ll be the equal or better of the quad-core chip.</p> <p>What’s really nice here is that for the first time, Intel is giving its “Extreme” SKU something truly extra for the $999 they spend. Previous Core i7 Extreme parts have always been good overclockers, but a lot of people bypassed them for the midrange chips such as the Core i7-4930K, which gave you the same core counts and overclocking to boot. The only true differentiation Extreme CPU buyers got was bragging rights. With Haswell-E, the Extreme buyers are the only ones with eight-core parts.</p> <p>Bang-for-the-buck buyers also get a treat from the six-core Core i7-5820K chip. At $389, it’s slightly more expensive than the chip it replaces—the $323 Core i7-4820K—but the extra price nets you two more cores. Yes, you lose PCIe bandwidth but most people probably won’t notice the difference. We didn’t have a Core i7-5820K part to test, but we &nbsp;believe on our testing with the Core i7-5960X that minor overclocking on the cheap Haswell-E would easily make it the equal of Intel’s previous six-core chips that could never be had for less than $580.</p> <p>And that, of course, brings us to the last point of discussion: Should you upgrade from your Core i7-4960X part? The easy answer is no. In pure CPU-on-CPU &nbsp;showdowns, the Core i7-4960X is about 20 percent slower in multi-threaded tasks, and in light-duty threads it’s about the same, thanks to the clock-speed advantage the Core i7-4960X has. There are two reasons we might want to toss aside the older chip, though. The first is the pathetic SATA 6Gb/s ports, which, frankly, you actually need on a heavy-duty work machine. The second reason would be the folks for whom a 20 percent reduction in rendering time would actually be worth paying for.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Click the next page to check out our Haswell-E benchmarks.</strong></p> <hr /> <h4><span style="font-size: 1.17em;">Haswell-E Benchmarks</span></h4> <p><strong>Haswell-E benchmarks overview</strong></p> <p><span style="font-size: 1.17em;">&nbsp;</span><img src="/files/u154082/haswell_e_benchmarks.png" alt="haswell e benchmarks" title="haswell e benchmarks" width="541" height="968" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Benchmark Breakdown</strong></p> <p>We like to give you the goods on a nice table but not everyone is familiar with what we use to test and what exactly the numbers means so let’s break down some of the more significant results for you.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="/files/u154082/cinebenchsinglethreaded.png" alt="cinebench 15 single" title="cinebench 15 single" width="620" height="472" /></p> <p><strong>Cinebench 15 single-threaded performance</strong></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">We used Maxon’s Cinebench 15 benchmark to see just how fast the trio of chips would run this 3D rendering test. Cinebench 15 allows you to restrict it from using all of the cores or just one core. For this test, we wanted to see how the Core i7-5960X “Haswell-E” would do against the others by measuring a single core. The winner here is the Core i7-4790K “Devil’s Canyon” chip. That’s no surprise—it uses the same microarchitecture as the big boy Haswell-E but it has a ton more clock speed on default. The Haswell-E is about 21 percent slower running at 3.5GHz. The Devil’s Canyon part is running about 900MHz faster at 4.4GHz. Remember, on default, the Haswell-E only hits 3.5GHz on single-core loads. The Haswell-E better microarchitecture also loses to the Core i7-4960X “Ivy Bridge-E,” but not by much and that’s with the Ivy Bridge-E’s clock speed advantage of 500MHz. Still, the clear winner in single-threaded performance is the higher-clocked Devil’s Canyon chip.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Core i7-4790K</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/cinebenchmulti.png" alt="cinebench 15 multi" title="cinebench 15 multi" width="620" height="428" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Cinebench 15 multi-threaded performance</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">You don’t buy an eight-core CPU and then throw only single-thread workloads at it, so we took the handcuffs off of Cinebench 15 and let it render with all available threads. On the Haswell-E part, that’s 16 threads of fun, on Ivy Bridge-E it’s 12-threads, and on Devil’s Canyon we’re looking at eight-threads. The winner by a clear margin is the Haswell-E part. Its performance is an astounding 49 percent faster than the Devil’s Canyon and about 22 percent faster than Ivy Bridge-E. We’ll just have to continue to remind you, too: this is with a severe clock penalty. That 49-percent-faster score is with all eight cores running at 3.3GHz vs all four of the Devil’s Canyon cores buzzing along at 4.4GHz. That’s an 1,100MHz clock speed advantage. Ivy Bridge-E also has a nice 700MHz clock advantage than Haswell-E. Chalk this up as a big, huge win for Haswell-E.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Core i7-5960X</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/povray.png" alt="pov-ray" title="pov-ray" width="620" height="491" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>POV-Ray performance</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">We wanted a second opinion on rendering performance, so we ran POV-Ray, a freeware ray tracer that has roots that reach back to the Amiga. Again, Haswell-E wins big-time with a 47 percent performance advantage over Devil’s Canyon and a 25 percent advantage over Ivy Bridge-E. Yeah, and all that stuff we said about the clock speed advantage the quad-core and six-core had, that applies here, too. Blah, blah, blah.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Core i7-5960X</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/premierepro.png" alt="premiere pro" title="premiere pro" width="620" height="474" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Premiere Pro CS6 performance</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">One sanity check (benchmark results Intel produces to let you know what kind of performance to expect) said Haswell-E would outperform quad-core Intel parts by 45 percent in Premiere Pro Creative Cloud when working with 4K content. Our benchmark, however, doesn’t use 4K content yet, so we wondered if our results would be similar. For our test, we render out a 1080p-resolution file using source material shot by us on a Canon EOS 5D Mk II using multiple timelines and transitions. We restrict it to the CPU rather than using the GPU as well. Our result? The 3.3GHz Haswell-E was about 45 percent faster than the 4.4GHz Devil’s Canyon chip. Bada-bing! The two extra cores also spit out the render about 19 percent faster than the six-core Ivy Bridge-E. That’s fairly consistent performance we’re seeing between the different workload disciplines of 3D rendering and video encoding so far, and again, big, big wins for the Haswell-E part.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Core i7-5960X</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/handbrake.png" alt="handbrake" title="handbrake" width="620" height="407" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Handbrake Encoding performance</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">For our encoding test, we took a 1080p-resolution video file and used Handbrake 0.9.9 to transcode it into a file using the Android tablet profile. Handbrake is very multi-threaded and leverages the CPU for its encoding and transcoding. Our results were still fairly stellar, with Haswell-E CPU performing about 38 percent faster than the Devil’s Canyon part. Things were uncomfortably close with the Ivy Bridge-E part though, with the eight-core chip coming in only about 13 percent faster than the six-core chip. Since the Ivy Bridge-E cores are slower than Haswell cores clock-for-clock, we were a bit surprised at how close they were. In the past, we have seen memory bandwidth play a role in encoding, but not necessarily Handbrake. Interestingly, despite locking all three parts down at 2,133MHz, the Ivy Bridge-E does provide more bandwidth than the Haswell-E part. One other thing we should mention: Intel’s “sanity check” numbers to let the media know what to expect for Handbrake performance showed a tremendous advantage for the Haswell-E. Against a Devil’s Canyon chip, Haswell-E was 69 percent faster and 34 percent faster than the Ivy Bridge-E chip. Why the difference? The workload. Intel uses a 4K-resolution file and transcodes it down to 1080p. We haven’t tried it at 4K, but we may, as Intel has provided the 4K-resolution sample files to the media. If true, and we have no reason to doubt it, it’s a good message for those who actually work at Ultra HD resolutions that the eight-cores can pay off. Overall, we’re declaring Haswell-E the winner here.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Core i7-5960X</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/x264pass1.png" alt="x264 pass 1" title="x264 pass 1" width="620" height="496" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>X264 HD 5.01 Pass 1 performance</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">We’ve been using TechArp.com’s X264 HD 5.0.1 benchmark to measure performance on new PCs. The test does two passes using the freeware x264 encoding library. The first pass is seemingly a little more sensitive to clock speeds and memory bandwidth rather than just pure core count. A higher frame rate is better. The first pass isn’t as core-sensitive, and memory bandwidth clock speed have more dividends here. Haswell still gives you a nice 36 percent boost over the Devil’s Canyon but that Ivy Bridge-E chip, despite its older core microarchitecture, comes is only beaten by 12 percent—too close for comfort. Of course, we’d throw in the usual caveat about the very large clock differences between the chips, but we’ve already said that three times. Oh, and yes, we did actually plagiarize by lifting two sentences from a previous CPU review for our description. That’s OK, we gave ourselves permission.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Core i7-5960X but not by much</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/x264pass2.png" alt="x264 pass 2" title="x264 pass 2" width="620" height="499" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>X264 HD 5.01 Pass 2 performance</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Pass two of the X264 HD 5.01 benchmark is more sensitive to core and thread counts, and we see the Haswell-E come in with a nice 46 percent performance advantage against the Devil’s Canyon chip. The Ivy Bridge-E, though, still represents well. The Haswell-E chip is “only” 22 percent faster than it. Still, this is a solid win for the Haswell-E chip. We also like how we’re seeing very similar scaling in multiple encoding tests of roughly 45 percent. With Intel saying it’s seeing 69 percent in 4K resolution content in Handbrake, we’re wondering if the Haswell-E would offer similar scaling if we just moved all of our tests up to 4K.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Core i7-5960X</span></p> <p><strong>Click the next page for even more Haswell-E benchmarks.</strong></p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/stitch.png" alt="stitch" title="stitch" width="620" height="473" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Stitch.EFx 2.0 Performance&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Again, we like to mix up our workloads to stress different tasks that aren’t always multi-threaded to take advantage of a 12-core Xeon chip. For this test, we shot about 200 images with a Canon EOS 7D using a GigaPan motorized head. That’s roughly 1.9GB in images to make our gigapixel image using Stitch.EFx 2.0. The first third of the render is single-threaded as it stitches together the images. The final third is multi-threaded as it does the blending, perspective correction, and other intensive image processing. It’s a good blend of single-threaded performance and multi-threaded, but we expected the higher clocked parts to take the lead. No surprise, the Devil’s Canyon 4.4GHz advantage puts it in front, and the Haswell-E comes in about 14 percent slower with its 1.1GHz clock disadvantage. The clock speed advantage of the 4GHz Ivy Bridge-E also pays dividends, and we see the Haswell-E losing by about 10 percent. The good news? A dual-core Pentium K running at 4.7GHz coughed up a score of 1,029 seconds (not represented on the chart) and is roughly 22 percent slower than the CPU that costs about 11 times more.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Core i7-4790K</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/7zip.png" alt="7-zip" title="7-zip" width="620" height="477" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>7-Zip Performance</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">The popular and free zip utility, 7-Zip, has a nifty built-in benchmark that tells you the theoretical file-compression performance a CPU. You can pick the workload size and the number of threads. For our test, we maxed it out at 16-threads using an 8MB workload. That gives the Haswell-E familiar advantage in performance—about 45 percent—over the Devil’s Canyon part. Against that Ivy Bridge-E part though, it’s another uncomfortably close one at 8 percent. Still, a win is a win even if we have to say that if you have a shiny Core i7-4960X CPU in your system, you’re still doing fine.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Core i7-5960X</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/sandra.png" alt="sisoft sandra" title="sisoft sandra" width="620" height="421" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Sisoft Sandra Memory Bandwidth (GB/s)</strong></span></p> <p>Since this is the first time we’re seeing DDR4 in a desktop part, we wanted to see how it stacked up in benchmarks. But, before you get too excited, remember that we set all three systems to 2133 data rates. The Devil’s Canyon part is dual-channel and the Ivy Bridge-E and Haswell-E are both quad-channel. With the memory set at 2133, we expected Haswell-E to be on par with the Ivy Bridge-E chip, but oddly, it was slower, putting out about 40GB/s of bandwidth. It’s still more than the 27GB/s the Devil’s Canyon could hit, but we expected it to be closer to double of what the Ivy Bridge-E was producing. For what it’s worth, we did double-check that we were operating in quad-channel mode and the clock speeds of our DIMMs. It’s possible this may change as the hardware we see becomes more final. We’ll also note that even at the same clock, DDR4 does suffer a latency penalty over DDR3. That would also be missing the point of DDR4, though. The new memory should give us larger modules and hit higher frequencies far easier, too, which will nullify that latency issue. Still, the winner is Ivy Bridge-E.</p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Core i7-4960X</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/3dmarkgpu.png" alt="3d mark" title="3d mark" width="620" height="457" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>3DMark Firestrike Overall Performance</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Even though 3DMark Firestrike is primarily a graphics benchmark, not having a 3DMark Firestrike score is like not having coffee in the morning. Basically, it’s a tie between all three chips, and 3DMark Firestrike is working exactly as you expect it to: as a GPU benchmark.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Tie</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/3dmarkphysics.png" alt="3d mark physics" title="3d mark physics" width="620" height="477" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>3DMark Firestrike Physics Performance</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">3DMark does factor in the CPU performance for its physics tests. It’s certainly not weighted for multi-core counts as other tests are, but we see the Haswell-E with a decent 29 percent bump over the Devil’s Canyon chip. But, breathing down the neck of the Haswell-E is the Ivy Bridge-E chip. To us, that’s damned near a tie. Overall, the Haswell-E wins, but in gaming tasks—at stock clocks—paying for an 8-core monster is unnecessary except for those running multi-GPU setups.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Core i7-5960X</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/valveparticle.png" alt="valve particle" title="valve particle" width="620" height="451" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Valve Particle Benchmark Performance</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Valve’s Particle test was originally developed to show off quad-core performance to the world. It uses the company’s own physics magic, so it should give some indication of how well a chip will run. We’ve long suspected the test is cache and RAM latency happy. That seems to be backed by the numbers because despite the 1.1GHz advantage the Devil’s Canyon chip has, the Haswell-E is in front to the tune of 15 percent. The Ivy Bridge-E chip though, with its large cache, lower latency DDR3, and assloads of memory bandwidth actually comes out on top by about 3 percent. We’ll again note the Ivy Bridge-E part has a 700MHz advantage, so this is a very nice showing for the Haswell-E part.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Core i7-4960X</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/dirtlow.png" alt="dirt showdown low" title="dirt showdown low" width="620" height="438" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Dirt Showdown low-resolution performance</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">For our gaming tests, we decided to run the games at 1366x768 resolution and at very low settings to take the graphics card out of the equation. In one way, you imagine this as what it would look like if you had infinitely powerful graphics cards in your system. As most games are not multi-threaded and are perfectly fine with a quad-core with Hyper-Threading, we fully expected the parts with the highest clock speeds to win all of our low-resolution, low-quality tests. No surprise, the Devil’s Canyon part at 4.4GHz private schools the 3.3GHz Haswell-E chip. And, no surprise, the 4GHz Ivy Bridge-E also eats the Haswell-E’s lunch and drinks its milk, too.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Core i7-4790K</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/dirtultra.png" alt="dirt showdown ultra performance" title="dirt showdown ultra performance" width="620" height="475" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Dirt Showdown 1080p, ultra performance</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">To make sure we put everything in the right context, we also ran the Dirt Showdown at 1920x1080 resolution at Ultra settings. This puts most of the load on the single GeForce GTX 780 we used for our tests. Interestingly, we saw the Haswell-E with a slight edge over the Devil’s Canyon and Ivy Bridge-E parts. We’re not sure, but we don’t think it’s a very significant difference, but it’s still technically a win for Haswell-E.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Core i7-5960X</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/hitmanlow.png" alt="hitman low" title="hitman low" width="620" height="502" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Hitman: Absolution, low quality, low performance&nbsp;</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">We did the same with Hitman: Absolution, running it at low resolution and its lowest settings. The Haswell-E came in about 12 percent slower the Devil’s Canyon part and 13 percent slower than the Ivy Bridge-E.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Core i7-4960X</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/hitmanultra.png" alt="hitman ultra" title="hitman ultra" width="620" height="479" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Hitman: Absolution, 1080p, ultra quality</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Again, we tick the settings to an actual resolution and quality at which people actually play. Once we do that, the gap closes slightly, with the Haswell-E trailing the Devil’s Canyon by about 8 percent and the Ivy Bridge-E by 9 percent. Still, these are all very playable frame rates and few could tell the difference.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Core i7-4960X</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/tombraider.png" alt="tomb raider low" title="tomb raider low" width="620" height="465" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Tomb Raider, low quality, low resolution.</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">We did the same low quality, low resolution trick with Tomb Raider and while need to see 500 frames per second, it’s pretty much a wash here.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Tie</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/tomraiderulti.png" alt="tomb raider ultra" title="tomb raider ultra" width="620" height="472" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Tomb Raider, 1080p, Ultimate</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">At normal resolutions and settings we were a little surprised, as the Haswell-E actually had a 15 percent advantage over the Devil’s Canyon CPU. We’re not exactly sure why, as the only real advantage we can see is memory bandwidth and large caches on the Haswell-E part. We seriously doubt it’s due to the number of CPU cores. The Haswell-E also has a very, very slight lead against the Ivy Bridge-E part, too. That’s not bad considering the clock penalty it’s running at.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Core i7-5960X</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/metrolastlight.png" alt="metro last light low" title="metro last light low" width="620" height="503" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Metro Last Light, low resolution, low quality</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">In Metro Last light, at low settings it’s a wash between all of them.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Tie</span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><img src="/files/u154082/metroveryhigh.png" alt="metro last light high" title="metro last light high" width="620" height="502" /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;"><strong>Metro Last Light, 1080p, Very High quality</strong></span></p> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Metro at high-quality settings mirrors that of Hitman: Absolution, and we think favors the parts with higher clock speeds. We should also note that none of the chips with the $500 graphics card could run Metro at 1080p at high-quality settings. That is, of course, you consider 30 to 40 fps to be “smooth.” We don’t. Interestingly, the Core i7-4690X was the overall winner.</span></p> <p><span style="color: #333399;">Winner: Core i7-4960X</span></p> <p><strong>Conclusion:</strong> If you skipped to the very last page to read the conclusion, you’re in the wrong place. You need to go back to page 4 to read our conclusions and what you should buy. And no, we didn’t do this to generate just one more click either though that would be very clever of us wouldn’t it?</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/haswell-e_review_2014#comments benchmarks cpu haswell e intel ivy bridge e maximum pc processor Review Specs News Reviews Features Tue, 09 Sep 2014 23:03:30 +0000 Gordon Mah Ung 28431 at http://www.maximumpc.com Intel's Xeon E5-2600/1600 v3 CPUs Bring Haswell to the Server Space http://www.maximumpc.com/intels_xeon_e5-26001600_v3_cpus_bring_haswell_server_space <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/intel_xeon_e5-2600_v3.jpg" alt="Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3" title="Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3" width="228" height="200" style="float: right;" />A big boost for Xeon</h3> <p><strong>Intel today announced its new Xeon processor E5-2600/1600 v3 product families</strong> designed to crunch through diverse workloads and the growing needs of data centers. These new processors sport several enhancements that Intel claims will result in up to a three-fold increase in performance compared to the previous generation (Xeon E5 v2 family). Among those enhancements are more processing cores and an upgrade from Ivy Bridge to Intel's Haswell architecture.</p> <p>While the core count ceiling for Intel's previous generation Xeon X5 v2 CPUs was set at 12, the new Xeon E5-2600 v3 product family tops out at up to 18 cores per socket and 45MB of last-level cache. On top of this, an extension to Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 2 (Intel AVX2) doubles the width of vector integer instructions to 256 bits per clock cycle for integer sensitive workloads and delivers up to 1.9x higher performance gains, Intel says.</p> <p>These new chips will find homes in servers, workstations, storage, and networking infrastructure for a broad range of tasks such as data analytics, high performance computing (HPC), telecommunications, and cloud-based services. They'll also be used for back-end processing for the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) category.</p> <p>"The digital services economy imposes new requirements on the data center, requirements for automated, dynamic and scalable service delivery," <a href="http://newsroom.intel.com/community/intel_newsroom/blog/2014/09/08/latest-intel-xeon-processors-accelerate-data-center-transformation-for-the-digital-services-era" target="_blank">said Diane Bryant</a>, senior vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group at Intel. "Our new Intel processors deliver unmatched performance, energy efficiency and security, as well as provide visibility into the hardware resources required to enable software defined infrastructure. By enabling the re-architecture of the data center, Intel is helping companies fully exploit the benefits of cloud-based services."</p> <p>On the high end, the Xeon E5-2600 v3 family increases virtualization density with support for up to 70 percent more VMs per server compared to the previous generation. They'll also deliver a boost in memory bandwidth constrained workloads with the support of DDR4 memory.</p> <p>Intel plans to offer its E5-2600 v3 product family with 26 different parts ranging in price from $213 to $2,702. It's E5-1600 workstations will be offered in six different parts in prices ranging from $295 to $1,723.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/intels_xeon_e5-26001600_v3_cpus_bring_haswell_server_space#comments Build a PC cpu Hardware haswell intel processor server xeon e5 v3 News Mon, 08 Sep 2014 17:33:27 +0000 Paul Lilly 28494 at http://www.maximumpc.com Intel's Low Power Core M Processor (Broadwell-Y) Arrives, Will Power Fanless 2-in-1 PCs http://www.maximumpc.com/intels_low_power_core_m_processor_broadwell-y_arrives_will_power_fanless_2--1_pcs_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/core_m.jpg" alt="Intel Core M" title="Intel Core M" width="228" height="156" style="float: right;" />Intel's Core M will pave the way for even thinner hybrids</h3> <p>Get ready for a barrage of razor thin 2-in-1 systems this holiday season. They'll be powered by <strong>Intel's new Core M processor</strong> (codenamed Broadwell-Y), a low power part that became official today at the IFA trade show in Berlin. Intel purpose built the Core M processor to deliver high performance in ultra thin and fanless form factors, and the chip maker already has a number of hardware partners ready to bite.</p> <p>They include Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Toshiba, all of which are planning to release 2-in-1 hybrids with Core M inside. The major draw for OEMs is that the 14nm Core M package is 50 percent smaller and, at just 4.5 watts, sips 60 percent less power than the previous generation. As to performance, Intel says Core M delivers twice the compute performance and up to seven times better graphics compared to a 4-year-old PC.</p> <p>"We've been on a multi-year mission to address end-user requirements and transform mobile computing," <a href="http://newsroom.intel.com/community/intel_newsroom/blog/2014/09/05/intel-launches-the-intel-core-m-processor" target="_blank">said Kirk Skaugen</a>, senior vice president and general manager of personal computing at Intel Corporation. "The introduction of Core M marks a significant milestone in that journey. Core M is the first of a new product family designed to deliver the promise of one of the world's thinnest laptops and highest performance tablets in a single 2 in 1 device."</p> <p>Using Intel's Core M part, OEM partners will be able to design and build sleek, fanless systems less than 9mm thin. At present, there are already more than 20 Intel Core M processor-based OEM products in the development pipeline, the Santa Clara chip maker said.</p> <p>There are three Core M processors available to OEMs. They include the Core M 5Y10 (dual-core, four threads, 0.8GHz to 2GHz, 4MB L3 cache, Intel HD Graphics 5300 clocked at 100MHz to 800MHz), Core M 5Y10a (same specs with possibly a different voltage), and Core M 5Y70 (dual-core, four threads, 1.1GHz to 2.6GHz, 4MB L3 cache, Intel HD Graphics 5300 clocked at 100MHz to 850MHz).</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/intels_low_power_core_m_processor_broadwell-y_arrives_will_power_fanless_2--1_pcs_2014#comments core m cpu Hardware intel processor News Fri, 05 Sep 2014 16:03:15 +0000 Paul Lilly 28485 at http://www.maximumpc.com Corsair Hydro H105 Review http://www.maximumpc.com/corsair_hydro_h105_review <!--paging_filter--><h3>The H75’s big brother is not too shabby</h3> <p>Over the past couple of years or so, we gearheads have transitioned from membrane keyboards to mechanical ones; from mechanical hard drives to SSDs; and from air-cooling our CPUs to using closed liquid loops. All favorable moves, though the latter group suffers from a lack of variety. You can get radiators in 120mm, 240mm, and 280mm sizes, but they’re almost all painted plain black with black tubing, although some include the small style concession of a glowing logo on the pump housing. Part of this has to do with just a handful of companies designing coolers for a large number of brands. This plainness may be a drag in a tricked-out rig, but in the case of the Corsair H105, we’ve discovered that a lack of fanciness can be an advantage.</p> <p>Corsair’s H105 radiator is thicker than usual (38mm instead of 27mm), and there’s a silver ring on the top of the pump that can be switched out for a red or blue one. But it’s not reinventing any wheels. Its tubing isn’t thick, and its pump isn’t very large. But you’ll notice how easily it installs in your system. There’s just one basic fan cable for the pump, which you can plug into any header on the motherboard, or directly into the power supply with a Molex adapter. The pump has two speeds: on and off. The fans use PWM control, so they’ll spin up and down smoothly, according to temperature readings. Just attach them to the bundled standard splitter cable, then connect that to the motherboard’s CPU fan header. And there’s no software this time; you just use your motherboard’s fan controls instead.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/corsair_hydro_h105_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/corsair_hydro_h105_small.jpg" alt="Since this pump does not offer variable speeds, it can be plugged directly into the power supply for maximum effectiveness." title="Corsair Hydro H105" width="620" height="505" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Since this pump does not offer variable speeds, it can be plugged directly into the power supply for maximum effectiveness.</strong></p> <p>Our test bed’s Rampage IV Extreme motherboard has Windows-based software called “Fan Xpert” that intelligently controls fan speeds. We ran our torture test with the H105’s fans set to “Quiet” in Fan Xpert, and got a pretty respectable 70 Celsius. When pushed to “Turbo” mode, the fans spun up to about 2,000rpm and lowered CPU temps to 65C. These aren’t the lowest temperatures we’ve seen, but they’re still pretty respectable, and the H105’s noise levels were surprisingly good. However, we couldn’t get a clear picture of how much the thickness of the radiator compensated for the modest diameter of the tubing and size of the pump. Those two properties seem to give the Cooler Master Glacer 240L and Nepton 280L an edge. But at press time, the H105 cost less at most stores than the Glacer (we suspect partly because the Glacer is an expandable system), and the Nepton has a 280mm cooler that doesn’t fit in a lot of cases.</p> <p>If you want a liquid-cooling system with a 240mm radiator, and you don’t care about expandability, then the ease of installation, ease of use, and manageable noise levels of the H105 make it hard to beat for the price. And like all Corsair liquid coolers, it gets a five-year warranty, whereas the competition usually gives you two or three years of coverage. On the other hand, the radiator’s extra 11mm of thickness makes it too large for certain cases. Corsair says that the cooler is compatible with “the vast majority” of chassis, but its list leaves off a number of seemingly workable cases of its own, such as the Carbide 500R and the Graphite 600T. If you can spend more money, there are slightly better coolers out there, but the H105 is a well-rounded package.</p> <p><strong>$120,</strong> <a href="http://www.corsair.com/en">www.corsair.com</a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/corsair_hydro_h105_review#comments Air Cooling Corsair Hydro H105 cpu Hardware maximum pc May issues 2014 Review water cooler Reviews Wed, 03 Sep 2014 18:39:38 +0000 Tom McNamara 28444 at http://www.maximumpc.com AMD Cuts Prices of 8-Core FX Series Processors http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_cuts_prices_8-core_fx_series_processors_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amd_fx_box_1.jpg" alt="AMD FX Box" title="AMD FX Box" width="228" height="204" style="float: right;" />Watch out for falling prices</h3> <p>How do you steal some thunder from Intel's Haswell-E launch? There are several options, and the one <strong>AMD</strong> went with was to <strong>slash prices on several 8-core FX-8000 and FX-9000 Series processors</strong>. In addition to rolling out some significant price cuts to half a dozen CPUs, AMD also introduced three new AM3+ FX chips -- they include the FX-8370, FX-8370E, and FX-8320E, all of which are also 8-core parts.</p> <p>The FX-8370 is the only 125W chip out of the trio of new CPUs. It has a clockspeed of 4GHz (4.3GHz via Turbo), DDR3-1866 support, and costs $199. That's the same price as the FX-8370E, a 95W part with a 3.3GHz clockspeed (4.3GHz via Turbo) and DDR3-1866 memory support.</p> <p>AMD's new FX-8320E is the least expensive of the bunch at $147. It's rated at 95W and has a 3.2GHz clockspeed (4GHz via Turbo) and DDR3-1866 memory support.</p> <p>As for the price cuts, from top to bottom they include:</p> <ul> <li>FX-9590 (FD9590FHHKWOX): 220W, 8-core, 4.7GHz/5GHz, DDR3-2133, $290 (down $86)</li> <li>FX-9590 (FD9590FHHKBOF): 220W, 8-core, 4.7GHz/5GHz, DDR3-2133, $226 (down $86)</li> <li>FX-9370 (FD9370FHHKWOX): 220W, 8-core, 4.3GHz/4.7GHz, DDR3-2133, $273 (down $21)</li> <li>FX-9370 (FD9370FHHKBOF): 220W, 8-core, 4.3GHz/4.7GHz, DDR3-2133, $210 (down $20)</li> <li>FX-8350 (FD8350FRW8KHK): 125W, 8-core, 4GHz/4.2GHz, DDR3-1866, $178, (down $19)</li> <li>FX-8320 (FD8320FRW8KHK): 125W, 8-core, 3.5GHz/4GHz, DDR3-1866, $147 (down $11)</li> </ul> <p>Prices are SEP (Suggested Etail Price), meaning they should be about the same at retail. Models ending in WOX are the new liquid cooled bundled processors.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_cuts_prices_8-core_fx_series_processors_2014#comments amd Build a PC cpu fx series Hardware price cut processor News Tue, 02 Sep 2014 18:23:44 +0000 Paul Lilly 28465 at http://www.maximumpc.com No BS Podcast #231: AMD and Origin PC Settle Past Dispute on the Show http://www.maximumpc.com/no_bs_podcast_231_amd_and_origin_pc_settle_past_dispute_show <!--paging_filter--><h3>Plus: AMD's commitment to high-end CPUs, DDR4, 5-way GPU support, 20nm GPUs, and more!</h3> <p>In a bit of a surprise to us, <a title="amd" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/tags/amd" target="_blank">AMD</a> and <a title="origin pc" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/tags/Origin_PC" target="_blank">Origin PC</a> wanted to come into the podcast room together for <a title="No BS podcast 231" href="http://dl.maximumpc.com/maxpc_231_20140828.mp3" target="_blank"><strong>episode 231 of the No BS Podcast</strong></a>. As you may recall, this pairing is kind of surprising considering that last October, Origin PC’s co-founder and CEO Kevin Wasielewski announced that the company would be <a title="origin pc drops amd gpus" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/origin_pc_now_dealing_exclusively_nvidia_graphics_claims_amd_gpus_are_problematic2013" target="_blank">dropping AMD graphics cards from its systems</a>, stating, “This decision was based on a combination of many factors including customer experiences, GPU performance/drivers/stability, and requests from our support staff.” He then later added, “Based on our 15+ years of experience building and selling award winning high-performance PCs, we strongly feel the best PC gaming experience is on Nvidia GPUs.”</p> <p>Well, not only did we get Wasielewski in the room, but we also got AMD’s VP of Global Channel Sales Roy Taylor and AMD’s Director of Public Relations Chris Hook to come on. In the show, the two parties settle their past dispute with Taylor suggesting that AMD is now committed to giving hardware partners like Origin PC more support and communication. In the podcast, he outlines some of the strategies to do so. Wasielewski also confirmed that you can now get AMD video cards in Origin PCs again and shot down any <a href="http://semiaccurate.com/2013/10/07/nvidias-program-get-oems-like-origin-pc-dump-amd-called-tier-0/" target="_blank">rumors</a> that Nvidia was compensating Origin PC to slander AMD late last year when the announcement came about.</p> <p>Taylor also asserts that AMD’s graphics drivers have gotten a lot better over the past year, but admits this wasn’t always the case and that the company is still getting burned by that bad reputation.&nbsp;</p> <p>While Gordon was away on vacation, he did submit several questions for the rest of the crew to ask on the air, and in the show we cover a ton of ground from topics that range from:</p> <ul> <li>The possibility of 5-way GPU support</li> <li>AMD’s renewed commitment to battling Intel at the high-end CPU market</li> <li>AMD’s plans to start using DDR4</li> <li>Origin PC and AMD’s thoughts on Valve’s upcoming <a title="maximum pc steam machine" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/everything_you_need_know_about_steam_machines_2014" target="_blank">Steam Machine</a> initiative</li> <li>AMD’s take on the&nbsp;<a title="oculus rift" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/tags/oculus_rift" target="_blank">Oculus Rift</a>/VR</li> <li>Freesync monitor availability</li> <li>Why <a title="AMD ssd" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_reportedly_gearing_sell_radeon-branded_line_ssds_2014" target="_blank">AMD is getting into the SSD market</a></li> <li>AMD’s presence (or lack thereof) in the laptop/gaming notebook segment</li> <li>20nm GPUs</li> <li>And then we of course top it off with your fan questions!&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/dTB2Uk43LKU" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>The old format isn’t going away, and Gordon’s rants will return, but in the meantime, give this episode a listen, and let us know what you think!</p> <p><a title="Download Maximum PC Podcast #231 MP3" href="http://dl.maximumpc.com/maxpc_231_20140828.mp3" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u160416/rss-audiomp3.png" width="80" height="15" /></a>&nbsp;<a title="Maximum PC Podcast RSS Feed" href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/maximumpc/1337" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u160416/chicklet_rss-2_0.png" width="80" height="15" /></a>&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/maximum-pc-no-bs-podcast/id213247824"><img src="/files/u160416/chicklet_itunes.gif" alt="Subscribe to Maximum PC Podcast on iTunes" title="Subscribe to Maximum PC Podcast on iTunes" width="80" height="15" /></a></p> <h4 style="margin: 0px 0px 5px; 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With room for just a single mSATA drive, NUC storage was limited to about 1TB. That’s no longer the case, though, thanks to the NUC D54250WYKH, which accepts 2.5-inch drives in addition to mSATA devices.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/intel_nuc_d54250wykh_small_0.png"><img src="/files/u152332/intel_nuc_d54250wykh_small.png" alt="We were sorely tempted to ding the D54250WYKH a point for its boring, annoying name." title="Intel NUC D54250WYKH" width="620" height="612" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>We were sorely tempted to ding the D54250WYKH a point for its boring, annoying name.</strong></p> <p>Yup, if you enjoy memorizing Intel SKU numbers to impress people at cocktail parties, you’ll recognize that the NUC D54250WYKH is just one letter different from sibling, the NUC D54250WYK, which we reviewed in our March Ultra Compact SFF roundup. Besides the extra H, the obvious difference is the increased height of this NUC. The unit is about half an inch taller but retains the standard 4.5-inch by 4.5-inch width and depth of all NUCs. The increased depth is to accommodate the installation of a 2.5-inch SATA drive. You may scoff at the notion of a 2.5-inch tray having an impact on a system’s storage, but the alternative is the single mSATA slot, which is far more limited. There’s enough room inside to stuff a standard 9.5mm SSD or HDD, and while you won’t get a 4TB hard drive inside, you can get Seagate’s 2TB 9mm Spinpoint M9T to fit. Even better, you can use the M9T for bulk storage and still run your OS from an mSATA drive. The 2.5-inch tray also gives budget-minded builders the option to run much cheaper 2.5-inch SSDs instead of pricey mSATA drives.</p> <p>Inside, you’ll find an mSATA slot, a mini PCIe slot for wireless, and a pair of low-voltage DDR3 SO-DIMM slots. The NUC supports RAM speeds up to DDR3/1600, and Intel means it. We tried to push it further with a pair of low-voltage 8GB G.Skill DDR3/1866, but got occasional bluescreens, so it looks like this NUC is stuck at DDR3/1600. That’s unfortunate, because a little more memory bandwidth would certainly help the graphics performance.</p> <p>Speaking of performance, we feel pretty good scoring the performance of this NUC, now that we’ve had half a dozen of these pint-sized PCs through the lab. Our zero-point is the older Ivy Bridge–based NUC. That unit runs a 1.8GHz Core i3-3217U with HD4000 graphics, so it’s a dual-core part with Hyper-Threading but no Turbo Boost. The new “fat NUC,” as we call it, easily slams the older Ivy Bridge unit by a significant margin, thanks to its Turbo Boost and newer Haswell cores. Interestingly, we expected the performance of this NUC to be the same as the NUC D54250WYK we reviewed last month since both units use the same motherboard and CPU. All Intel really did was add the 2.5-inch drive tray and increase the size of the unit, but otherwise they are the same. While both perform about the same in most of the benchmarks, the taller NUC had the edge in gaming. Why? We suspect driver updates after we originally ran our tests. In practical gaming, you shouldn’t have high expectations. The 10-year-old Counter Strike: Source is very playable at greater than 60 fps at 1080p, and Counter Strike: GO ran well, too. We also ran Minecraft at about 40–50 fps (although the game can scale up with high-res textures). In CPU-intensive chores, though, the Fat NUC fares well. It’s certainly not in the same league as Gigabyte’s Kick Ass Brix Pro, but for most things people will do with a NUC, it’s more than enough and actually quieter than the Brix Pro, too. At the end of the day, it is still just a dual-core part.</p> <p>We like this new NUC as much as we liked the Intel NUC D54250WYK, being as they’re, well, almost the same. There is a cost premium for the thicker unit, but for someone who intends to store a lot of files or use it as an HTPC box, it’s well worth it.</p> <p><strong>$460;</strong> <a href="http://www.intel.sg/content/www/xa/en/homepage.html">www.intel.com</a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/intel_nuc_d54250wykh_review#comments cpu d54250wykh Hardware Intel NUC review May issues 2014 pocket portable pc raspberry pi small tiny Reviews Systems Thu, 28 Aug 2014 14:50:22 +0000 Gordon Mah Ung 28434 at http://www.maximumpc.com Intel Notes Rise in Proportion of Pentium and Celeron Notebook CPUs http://www.maximumpc.com/intel_notes_rise_proportion_pentium_and_celeron_notebook_cpus_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/intel_celeron.jpg" alt="Intel Celeron Logo" title="Intel Celeron Logo" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Low cost laptops are on the rise</h3> <p>One thing Intel won't have any trouble doing in the coming months is moving low-cost laptop CPUs. That's because Microsoft and Intel are making concerted efforts with vendors to sell entry-level notebooks priced from around $200 to $250 in order to fend off the Chromebook push. As a result of this new focus, <strong>Intel is seeing a rise in the proportion of entry-level notebook CPUs</strong>, particularly its Pentium and Celeron chips.</p> <p>Citing information obtained from supply chain makers in Taiwan, <a href="http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20140827PD205.html" target="_blank"><em>Digitimes</em> says</a> that Intel's shipment proportion of entry-level CPUs has increased from around 50-60 percent in the first half of 2014 to as high as 70 percent currently. In other words, as many as 7 out of every 10 notebook CPUs Intel ships these days is a low-cost Pentium or Celeron part.</p> <p>In particular, Intel is seeing strong sales of its Celeron 2970M, N2930, and N2940 chips, along with Pentium 3558U, N3530, and N3540 parts. It's not just about the push for $200 to $250 laptops -- another reason is that demand for Ultrabooks, 2-in-1 devices, and touchscreen laptops has fallen below expectations.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/intel_notes_rise_proportion_pentium_and_celeron_notebook_cpus_2014#comments celeron cpu Hardware intel laptop notebook pentium processor News Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:01:25 +0000 Paul Lilly 28427 at http://www.maximumpc.com Dutch Online Merchant Purportedly Leaks Haswell-E Process Pricing http://www.maximumpc.com/dutch_online_merchant_purportedly_leaks_haswell-e_process_pricing_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/intel_0.jpg" alt="Intel" title="Intel" width="228" height="153" style="float: right;" />Start saving your skrilla</h3> <p>We keep saying it, but Intel is very close to releasing its initial batch of <strong>Haswell-E</strong> processors. There's been talk of a launch taking place on August 29, while other rumors have the debut pegged for early September. Whatever the case may be, it's worth waiting to see how Haswell-E shakes out before building a new system, and you won't have to wait long. As for <strong>pricing, there have been several rumors already, along with another online leak, this time by a Dutch e-tailer</strong>.</p> <p>We spotted news of the leaked pricing at<em> <a href="http://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-haswell-e-preorder-prices-maxict,27525.html" target="_blank">TomsHardware</a></em>, which noticed that <em>MaxICT</em>, a Dutch webshop<em>, </em>was listing all three rumored Haswell-E processors for pre-order.</p> <p>First up is the Intel Core i7 5820K. This is a six-core processor with a dozen threads, 3.3GHz clockspeed, 15MB of L3 cache, 28 PCI-E lanes, and 140W TDP. According to the listing, it will sell for €358.56 (around $473).</p> <p>Second to bat is the Core i7-5930K. It also has six cores, 12 threads, and 15MB of L3 cache, but 40 PCI-E lanes and a 3.5GHz clockspeed, along with the same 140TDP. This one is listed at €533.15 (around $704).</p> <p>Finally, there's the Core i7 5960X with eight cores, 16 threads, 3GHz clockspeed, 20MB of L3 cache, 40 PCI-E lanes, and a 140W TDP. It's listed at €945.20 (around $1,248).</p> <p>According to <em>TomsHardware</em>, prices come down considerably if applying the exchange rate after removing taxes. In that case, the Core i7 5820K would hover around $400 ($392.43), the Core i7 5930K around $600 ($583.51), and the Core i7 5960X around $1,000 ($1,034.50).</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/dutch_online_merchant_purportedly_leaks_haswell-e_process_pricing_2014#comments Build a PC cpu Hardware haswell-e processor News Mon, 25 Aug 2014 15:37:17 +0000 Paul Lilly 28410 at http://www.maximumpc.com AMD Rumored to Cut FX Processor Pricing on September 1, 2014 http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_rumored_cut_fx_processor_pricing_september_1_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amd_fx_8-core.jpg" alt="AMD FX 8-Core" title="AMD FX 8-Core" width="228" height="178" style="float: right;" />Big savings might be just around the corner</h3> <p>Save for a stint during the socket 939 era when Athlon 64 X2 chips carried premium price tags, AMD has mostly been about delivering competitive pricing compared to Intel. In keeping with that trend, <strong>AMD is reportedly getting ready to slash prices of its FX-9000 "Centurion" processors</strong>, as well as trim prices less aggressively on select FX Series parts and discontinue certain older models.</p> <p><a href="http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/cpu/display/20140820105340_AMD_to_Cut_Prices_on_FX_9000_Other_FX_Processors_New_Prices_Revealed.html" target="_blank">According to <em>Xbit Labs</em></a> and a few other sources on the web, AMD will roll out its new prices on September 1, 2014. One of the biggest cuts is purportedly coming to the FX-9590, which will go down to $215 when purchased in mass quantities supplied in trays -- you can expect retail pricing to be a bit higher. At present, the chip sells for $299, though <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/newegg_daily_deals_ocz_vector_150_series_120gb_ssd_amd_fx-9590_vishera_8-core_and_more">Newegg has a coupon code</a> that cuts the cost to $260.</p> <p>Other price reductions include the following:</p> <ul> <li>FX-9370: $199 (down from $219)</li> <li>FX-8350: $169 (down from $189)</li> <li>FX-8320: $139 (down from $149)</li> <li>FX-6350: $119 (down from $129)</li> <li>FX-6300: $99 (down from $109)</li> <li>FX-4350: $95 (down from $119)</li> <li>FX-4300: $95 (down from $99)</li> </ul> <p>On top of the above, AMD is reportedly planning to either discontinue or keep the present pricing on its FX-8150, FX-8120, FX-6200, FX-6100, FX-4170, FX-4130, and FX-4100 processors.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_rumored_cut_fx_processor_pricing_september_1_2014#comments amd Build a PC cpu fx-9000 Hardware processor rumor News Fri, 22 Aug 2014 15:56:57 +0000 Paul Lilly 28398 at http://www.maximumpc.com Nvidia Tegra K1 Claims Fame as First 64-Bit ARM Chip for Android http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_tegra_k1_claims_fame_first_64-bit_arm_chip_android_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/tegra_k1.jpg" alt="Nvidia Tegra K1" title="Nvidia Tegra K1" width="228" height="163" style="float: right;" />Android enters the 64-bit ARM era</h3> <p>Say hello to <strong>"Denver," the codename for Nvidia's 64-bit Tegra K1 System-on-Chip (SoC), which also happens to be the first 64-bit ARM processor for Android</strong>. The new version of Nvidia's Tegra K1 SoC pairs the company's Kepler architecture-based GPU with its own custom-designed, 64-bit, dual-core "Project Denver" CPU, which Nvidia says is fully ARMv8 architecture compatible.</p> <p>So, what's special about this chip besides a 64-bit instruction set? Nvidia designed Denver to offer the highest single-core CPU throughput and industry-leading dual-core performance. Each Denver core (and there are two) sports a 7-way superscaler microarchitecture and includes a 128KB 4-way L1 instruction cache, a 64KB 4-way L1 data cache, and a 2MB 16-way L2 cache that services both cores.</p> <p>Using a process called Dynamic Code Optimization, Denver optimizes frequently used software routines at runtime into dense, highly tuned microcode-equivalent routines stored in a dedicated 128MB main-memory based optimization cache. This allows for faster access and execution, which translates into faster performance, in part because it lessens the need to re-optimize the software routine.</p> <p>Denver will also benefit Android platforms with new low latency power-state transitions. This is in addition to extensive power-gating and dynamic voltage and clock scaling routines based on workloads. The end result is more efficient power usage, which allows Denver's performance to rival even some mainstream PC-class CPUs at significantly reduced power consumption, <a href="http://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2014/08/11/tegra-k1-denver-64-bit-for-android/" target="_blank">Nvidia says</a>.</p> <p>If you want to dig even further into the architecture, you can get more details <a href="http://www.tiriasresearch.com/downloads/nvidia-charts-its-own-path-to-armv8/" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_tegra_k1_claims_fame_first_64-bit_arm_chip_android_2014#comments 64-bit android ARM cpu denver Hardware nvidia processor tegra k1 News Tue, 12 Aug 2014 17:32:21 +0000 Paul Lilly 28334 at http://www.maximumpc.com Intel Previews 14nm Core M Broadwell Architecture for Thin Form Factors http://www.maximumpc.com/intel_previews_14nm_core_m_broadwell_architecture_thin_form_factors_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/broadwell.jpg" alt="Broadwell" title="Broadwell" width="228" height="188" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>A look at Intel's newest microarchitecture</h3> <p>After seeing Broadwell appear on a number of leaked roadmaps, <strong>Intel today finally provided some technical details about its 14nm manufacturing process </strong>and what the future holds. The first Broadwell chip to be based on the new microarchitecture will be Intel's Core M chip, which the company expects to power a broad range of products, everything from the infrastructure of cloud computing and devices that fall within the Internet of Things (IoT), to personal and mobile computing products.</p> <p>This represents a "tick" in Intel's tick-tock cycle, the last "tock" being Haswell. Broadwell essentially represents a die shrink of Haswell to 14nm, along with various optimizations, though Intel also baked in a few new goodies.</p> <p>Broadwell-based Core M chips use Intel's second generation Tri-gate (FinFET) transistors, which lead the way in performance, power, density, and cost per transistor. Intel said it was able to achieve a greater than two times reduction in the thermal design when compared to a previous generation of processor while providing similar performance and better battery life.</p> <p>"Intel's integrated model – the combination of our design expertise with the best manufacturing process – makes it possible to deliver better performance and lower power to our customers and to consumers," <a href="http://newsroom.intel.com/community/intel_newsroom/blog/2014/08/11/intel-discloses-newest-microarchitecture-and-14-nanometer-manufacturing-process-technical-details" target="_blank">said Rani Borkar</a>, Intel vice president and general manager of product development. "This new microarchitecture is more than a remarkable technical achievement. It is a demonstration of the importance of our outside-in design philosophy that matches our design to customer requirements."</p> <p>On the consumer side, you can expect to see Core M show up in tablets and new form factors, including thinner systems that run silent and cool. Part of that is made possible by the fact that the Broadwell-Y platform sports a 25 percent smaller board area compared to Haswell. Broadwell also features a 50 percent smaller package size and 30 percent thinner Z-height compared to its predecessor.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/intel_previews_14nm_core_m_broadwell_architecture_thin_form_factors_2014#comments 14nm architecture broadwell core m cpu Hardware intel processor News Mon, 11 Aug 2014 19:35:20 +0000 Paul Lilly 28328 at http://www.maximumpc.com IBM Develops Neurosynaptic Chip, Functions Like the Human Brain http://www.maximumpc.com/ibm_develops_neurosynaptic_chip_functions_human_brain_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ibm_brain_chip.jpg" alt="IBM Brain Chip" title="IBM Brain Chip" width="228" height="189" style="float: right;" />New chips boasts 1 million neurons and 256 million synapses</h3> <p>The human brain is a complex thing. So are computer chips, though we have a much better understanding of the latter than the former. By somewhat combining the two, <strong>scientists from IBM have developed the first neurosynaptic computer chip</strong> to achieve an unprecedented scale of 1 million programmable neurons, 256 million programmable synapses, and 46 billion synaptic operations per second.</p> <p>IBM's SyNAPSE chip has 5.4 billion transistors, is a fully functional and production sclae part, and currently one of the largest CMOS chips ever built, though it only only consumes a scant 70mW, which is orders of magnitudes less than a modern processor, the company said.</p> <p>SyNAPSE was built around a cognitive chip architecture with an on-chip-two-dimensional mesh network of 4,096 digital, distributed neurosynaptic cores, where each core module integrates memory, computation, and communication. It operates in an event-driven, parallel, and fault-tolerant fashion.</p> <p>"IBM has broken new ground in the field of brain-inspired computers, in terms of a radically new architecture, unprecedented scale, unparalleled power/area/speed efficiency, boundless scalability, and innovative design techniques. We foresee new generations of information technology systems – that complement today’s von Neumann machines – powered by an evolving ecosystem of systems, software, and services,"<a href="http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/44529.wss" target="_blank"> said Dr. Dharmendra S. Modha</a>, IBM Fellow and IBM Chief Scientist, Brain-Inspired Computing, IBM Research. "These brain-inspired chips could transform mobility, via sensory and intelligent applications that can fit in the palm of your hand but without the need for Wi-Fi."</p> <p>The chip was fabricated using Samsung's 28nm process technology with dense on-chip memory and low-leakage transistors. Looking ahead, IBM hopes to integrate multi-sensory neurosynaptic processing into mobile devices constrained by power, volume, and speed.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/ibm_develops_neurosynaptic_chip_functions_human_brain_2014#comments cpu ibm neurosynaptic processor synapse technology News Fri, 08 Aug 2014 16:42:04 +0000 Paul Lilly 28315 at http://www.maximumpc.com