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Updated 2023-02-05 09:45
The MSI MPG A1000G PCIE5 PSU Review: Balance of Power
Back in December, we had the opportunity to take a look at MSI's MEG A1300P power supply, the company's latest flagship PSU. Besides offering plenty of power, the MEG Ai1300P was also MSI's first ATX 3.0 power supplies – and one of the first ATX 3.0 PSUs on the market overall. And while it was admittedly not a groundbreaking design overall, it was still a seminal work of sorts, sketching out a rough picture of what we should expect from other ATX 3.0 PSU designs, including MSI's own.The MEG Ai1300P was a true flagship PSU, for all the pros and cons that come with that. As impressive as it was overall, it was also aimed at those willing and able to deal with the hefty price tag. This is all well and good for the small fraction of the market that can afford such a high caliber PSU, but for most PC builders, budgets are a very real thing.So, for today’s review, we are taking a look at something a little more downmarket from MSI: their MPG series. Like their flagship units, the new MPG PSUs are also are ATX 3.0 Ready, but they come at more reasonable prices. Despite that shift, the unit we're testing today, the MPG A1000G, is still one of the most powerful PSUs MSI offers (as well as being the top MPG unit), capable of delivering a kilowatt of PC power.
AMD’s Ryzen 7000X3D Chips Get Release Dates: February 28th and April 6th, For $699/$599/$449
AMD today has announced the launch date and prices for its eagerly anticipated Ryzen 7000X3D series processors. Aimed primarily at gamers, the company’s first L3 V-Cache equipped Ryzen 7000 processors will begin rolling out on February 28, when the Ryzen 9 7950X3D and Ryzen 9 7900X3D go on sale for $699 and $599 respectively. This will be followed up by the Ryzen 7 7800X3D a bit over a month later, when it goes on sale for $449 on April 6.First announced to great fanfare during AMD’s CES 2023 keynote (and teased well before that), the Ryzen 7000X3D chips will be AMD’s second generation of consumer chips employing the company’s novel 3D stacked V-Cache technology. V-Cache allows AMD to stack a 64MB L3 cache die on top of their existing CCDs in order to expand the total L3 capacity of a Zen 3/4 CCD, going from 32MB to 96MB. And in the case of multi-CCD designs such as the Ryzen 9 7950X, bringing the total, chip-wide L3 cache pool to 128MB.AMD Ryzen 7000X/X3D Series Line-UpAnandTechCores
Western Digital Unveils Dual Actuator Ultrastar DC HS760 20TB HDD
Without much fanfare, Western Digital this week introduced its first dual actuator hard drive, a 20TB drive that is designed to offer SATA SSD-like sequential read/write performance. The Ultrastar DC HS760 drive is meant to increase IOPS-per-terabyte performance for hyperscale cloud datacenters and will compete against Seagate's dual actuator Exos 2X family of HDDs. Meanwhile, Western Digital's offering will also mark the latest deployment of the company's OptiNAND technology.The dual actuator Ultrastar DC HS760 HDD builds upon the company's single actuator Ultrastar DC HC560 drive which uses nine 2.2TB ePMR (energy-assisted perpendicular magnetic recording) platters. But in the case of the HS760, WD adds a second actuator to the drive, essentially splitting it up into two quasi-independent drives with each half having domain over 4.5 platters (9 surfaces). By doubling the number of indepent actuators, Western Digital claims that the HS760 is able to double sequential read/write speeds and increase random read/write performance by 1.7 times versus single actuator drives.While the company yet has to upload a datasheet for its dual actuator HDD, we are looking at sequential throughput rates of around 582 MB/s, which interestingly enough is a tad faster than SATA SSDs, which max out the SATA-III at around 550 MB/s. Though it's worth noting that, as is typical for enterprise-focused hard drives, Western Digital is using Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) here, so it won't be possible to hook the drive up to a SATA host.Since the two actuators inside Western Digital's Ultrastar DC HS760 HDD work independently, the unit presents itself as two independent logical unit number (LUN) devices, and both logical hard drives are independently addressable. This means that datacenters will have to introduce certain software tweaks (i.e., these are not drop-in compatible with infrastructure designed for single actuator HDDs). But for the added complexity on the software/configuration side of matters, data center operators are being promised not only the aforementioned higher performance levels, but also a setup that is 37% more energy efficient in terms of IOPS-per-Watt than two 10TB devices. In essence, hyperscalers are getting many of the benefits of having two current-generation 10TB HDDs, but in a product that takes up the space of just a single drive.The key advantage of Western Digital's Ultrastar DC HS760 20TB over hard drives with one actuator of the same capacity is significantly increased performance on an IOPS-per-TB basis. Typical enterprise-grade 3.5-inch HDDs with capacities between 8TB and 16TB offer random performance of 6 – 10 IOPS per terabyte, which is enough to ensure quality-of-service of datacenters. But at 20TB, random performance drops to less than 5 IOPS per terabyte, which requires hyperscalers to introduce various mitigations to ensure that these drives meet their QoS requirements.Such mitigations either include implementing command queuing and latency-bounded I/O (LBIO) in firmware, usage of drives of lower capacity, reducing usable capacity per drive, or even adding sophisticated caching methods. All of these methods either increase upfront costs and/or total-costs-of-ownership. Therefore, hyperscalers need drives that can physically increase their IOPS-per-terabyte performance and dual actuator HDDs are a natural answer. As an added bonus, these hard drives also offer two times higher sequential read/write speeds than single-actuator HDDs.As noted above, Western Digital is not the only company to offer dual actuator HDDs as Seagate has been doing this for years now. But Western Digital's Ultrastar DC HS760 has an advantage over rivals that comes in the form of its OptiNAND technology, which is an integrated iNAND UFS embedded flash drive (EFD) coupled with firmware tweaks. OptiNAND is meant to increase capacity, reliability, and performance of HDDs and while Western Digital yet has to disclose performance numbers of its Ultrastar DC HS760 drives, it is at least evident that its 20TB drive will offer more capacity than Seagate's competing Exos 2X18 18TB drive.Otherwise, given that the HS760 is aimed primarily at hyperscalers, Western Digital is treating the drive as a product for a limited audience. Although the drive is listed on the company's website, for example, there is no public pricing listed, and buyers will have to make a sales inquiry. So the actual unit pricing on the new drive is going to vary some, depending on things like order volumes and agreements between Western Digital and its clients.Western Digital's Ultrastar DC HS760 HDD will be covered with a five-year warranty with each LUN rated for a 500 TB annual workload.
Samsung Portable SSD T7 Shield 4TB Review: IP65 PSSD Gets a Capacity Upgrade
Samsung has been enjoying market success with their lineup of portable SSDs, starting with the T1 back in 2015. The company has been regularly updating their PSSD lineup with the evolution of different high-speed interfaces as well as NAND flash technology.In early 2022, the company launched the Portable SSD T7 Shield, a follow-up to the Portable SSD T7 (Touch) introduced in early 2020. Introduced in models with capacities up to 2TB, the ruggedness / IP65 rating of the T7 Shield was advertised as a selling point over the regular Portable SSD T7 and T7 Touch. The company launched a 4TB version in this lineup in mid-January for the EU market. Samsung is officially bringing over the new capacity SKU to the North American market today. Read on for a comprehensive look at the performance and value proposition of the Portable SSD T7 Shield 4TB.
ASRock Industrial NUCS BOX-1360P/D4 Review: Raptor Lake-P Impresses, plus Surprise ECC
Low-power processors have traditionally been geared towards notebooks and other portable platforms. However, the continued popularity of ultra-compact form-factor desktop systems has resulted in UCFF PCs also serving as lead vehicles for the latest mobile processors. Such is the case with Intel's Raptor Lake-P - the processor SKUs were announced earlier this month at the 2023 CES, and end-products using the processor were slated to appear in a few weeks. Intel is officially allowing its partners to start selling their products into the channel today, and also allowing third-party evaluation results of products based on Raptor Lake-P to be published.ASRock Industrial announced their Raptor Lake-P-based NUC clones as soon as Intel made the parts public. With the new platform, the company decided to trifurcate their offerings - a slim version (sans 2.5" drive support) with DDR4 SODIMM slots in the NUCS BOX-13x0P/D4, a regular height version with 2.5" drive support in the NUC BOX-13x0P/D4, and a slightly tweaked version of the latter with DDR5 SODIMM slots in the NUC BOX-13x0P/D5. The NUCS BOX-1360P is the company's flagship in the first category, and the relative maturity of DDR4-based platforms has allowed them to start pushing the product into the channel early.ASRock Industrial sampled us with a NUCS BOX-1360P/D4 from their first production run. We expected a run of the mill upgrade with improvements in performance and power efficiency. In the course of the review process, we found that the system allowed control over a new / key Raptor Lake-P feature that Intel hadn't even bothered to bring out during their CES announcement - in-band ECC. Read on for a comprehensive look at Raptor Lake-P's feature set for desktop platforms with detailed performance and power efficiency analysis.
Seagate Confirms 30TB+ HAMR HDDs in Q3, Envisions 50TB Drives in a Few Years
Seagate this week confirmed plans to launch the industry's first 30+ TB hard drive that uses its heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) technology, as well as reaffirming its commitment to release HDDs with capacities of 50 TB and higher in a few years. But before this happens, the company will release 22 TB and 24 TB HDDs that will rely on perpendicular magnetic recording (PMR) and shingled magnetic recording (SMR) technologies, respectively.One More Play for PMR and SMRVarious energy assisted magnetic recording methods, such as HAMR, will be used for next generations of hard drives for years to come. But while PMR is running out of steam, it is still evolving. Seagate has managed to increase areal density enabled by its PMR + TDMR platform by around 10%, enabling 2.2 TB 3.5-inch HDD platters and thus 22 TB hard drives featuring 10 of such disks. Furthermore, by using shingled recording, these drives can have their capacity stretched to 24 TB.These 22 TB and 24 TB Seagate Exos drives will likely be drop-in compatible with existing cloud datacenter hardware as well as infrastructure, and should not require extensive validation and certification procedures, unlike brand-new HAMR HDDs. As a result, Seagate's customers will be able to deploy such hard drives fairly quickly and increase storage density and storage capacity of their datacenters.Seagate is now ramping up production of its 22 TB hard drives for datacenters, so expect the company to start their shipments shortly. Seagate is not disclosing when exactly it will officially launch its 22 TB and 24 TB parts, but we would expect them to arrive before the company introduces its HAMR-based HDDs; so think Q1 or Q2.30+ TB HDDs Coming in Q3In fact, Seagate has been shipping HAMR HDDs to select customers for evaluation as well as inside its own Lyve storage systems for a while, but those drives featured capacities akin to those of PMR/CMR HDDs and were not available in huge volumes. With Seagate's 2 generation HAMR platform, the company is going after higher volumes, but it took the company quite some time to get there. The first pre-qualification high-capacity HAMR-based HDDs are only just now getting ready to head out to customers for evaluation."We are meeting or exceeding all product development milestones and reliability metrics, and we will be shipping pre-qualification units to key cloud customers in the coming weeks," said Dave Mosley, chief executive of Seagate.Meanwhile, commercial HAMR hard drives with capacities of 30TB or higher will ship in third quarter of this year, which is in-line with what Seagate promised last year."As a result of this progress, we now expect to launch our 30-plus terabyte platform in the June quarter, slightly ahead of schedule," said Mosley. "The speed of the initial HAMR volume ramp will depend on a number of factors, including product yields and customer qualification timelines."Initially Seagate will only offer its HAMR technology for its highest-capacity offerings for hyperscale datacenters, whom need maximum storage density and are willing to pay premium for the drives and for supporting infrastructure. As yields of HAMR-supporting media and the appropriate read/write heads increase, the technology will be applied for drives with lower capacities in a bid to cut down their production costs (fewer disks and heads, lower the costs). This is not going to happen overnight though, as the company needs to increase yields of HAMR drive components and the HDDs themselves to a comfortable level."I think this year, [the volume of HAMR HDDs] will probably still be relatively low," said the head of Seagate. "Then the faster we can get the yields and scrap and all the costs that we can control down on the heads and media, then the faster we'll be accelerating. I think that will happen in calendar year 2024 and calendar year 2025 will just continue to accelerate. The highest capacity points will be addressed, but also these midrange capacity points."50+ TB HDDs Will Be Here in a Few YearsSeagate's launch of its first mass market 30+ TB HAMR hard drives platform will mark a milestone for the company and the whole industry. But apparently the company has another breakthrough to share at this time. The firm said this week that it had created 5 TB platters for 3.5-inch hard drives, which presumably entails new media, new write heads, and new read heads."It was nearly four years ago to the day that I first shared our lab results demonstrating 3 TB per disk capacities," explained Mosley. "And today, we have demonstrated capacities of 5 TB per disk in our recording physics labs."For now, these platters are used on spinstands for evaluation and testing purposes, but platters like these will allow for 50 TB HDDs a few years down the line. Seagate's roadmap indicates that such hard drives will hit the market sometimes in calendar 2026.It is unclear how thin the new platters are. But following current trends of nearline HDD evolution — increasing areal density and increasing number of platters per hard drive — it's not outside the realm of possibility that Seagate will find ways to integrate even more than 10 platters in future drives. In which case Seagate would be able to hit drive sizes even larger than 50 TB.In any case, with ~3 TB platters in production, samples of ~30 TB HDDs shipping to customers, and 5 TB platters demonstrated in the lab, Seagate's HAMR roadmap seems to look quite solid. Therefore, expect hard drives to gain capacities rapidly in the coming years.
The Intel Core i9-13900KS Review: Taking Intel's Raptor Lake to 6 GHz
Back at Intel's Innovation 2022 event in September, the company let it be known that it had plans to release a '6 GHz' processor based on its Raptor Lake-S series of processors. Though it didn't come with the same degree of fanfare that Intel's more imminently launching 13900K/13700K/13600K received, it put enthusiasts and industry watchers on notice that Intel still had one more, even faster Raptor Lake desktop chip waiting in the wings.Now a few months later, Raptor Lake's shining moment has arrived. Intel has launched the Intel Core i9-13900KS, a 24-core (8x Perf + 16x Efficiency) part with turbo clock speeds of up to 6 GHz. A mark, which until very recently, was unprecedented without the use of exotic cooling methods such as liquid nitrogen (LN2).In what is likely to be one of the last in a wide range of Raptor Lake-S SKUs to be announced, Intel has seemingly saved its best for last. The Intel Core i9-13900KS is the faster and unequivocal bigger brother to the Core i9-13900K, with turbo clock speeds of up to 6 GHz while maintaining its halo presence with a 200 MHz increase on both P-core and E-core base frequencies.Intel's focus and strategy on delivering halo-level processors in limited supply is something that's become a regular part of their product stack over the last few years. We've previously seen the Core i9-9900KS (Coffee Lake) and i9-12900KS (Alder Lake), which were relative successes in showcasing each Core architecture at their finest point. The Core i9-13900KS looks to follow this trend, although it comes as we've reached a time where power efficiency and costs are just a few widely shared concerns globally.Having the best of the best is somewhat advantageous when there's a need for cutting-edge desktop performance, but at what cost? Faster cores require more energy, and more energy generates more heat; 6 GHz for the average consumer is finally here, but is it worth taking the plunge? We aim to find out in our review of the 6 GHz Core i9-13900KS.
Intel Reports Q4 2022 and FY 2022 Earnings: 2022 Goes Out on a Low Note
Kicking off yet another earnings season, we once again start with Intel. The reigning 800lb gorilla of the chipmaking world is reporting its Q4 2022 and full-year 2022 financial results, closing the book on what has turned an increasingly difficult year for the company. As Intel’s primary client and datacenter markets have reached saturation on the back of record sales and spending is slowing for the time being, Intel is seeing significant drops in revenue for both markets. These headwinds, though not unexpected, have broken Intel’s 6-year streak of record yearly revenue – and sent the company back into the red for the most recent quarter.Starting with quarterly results, for the fourth quarter of 2022, Intel reported $14.0B in revenue, which is a major, 32% decline versus the year-ago quarter. With Intel coming off of what was their best Q4 ever just a year ago, as the saying goes: the higher the highs, the lower the lows. As a result, Q4’22 will go down in the books as a money-losing quarter for Intel (on a GAAP basis), with the company losing $661M for the quarter, a 114% decline in net income. Overall, Intel’s revenue for the quarter was low end of their already conservative forecasted range.
Intel NUC 12 Pro Wall Street Canyon Kits Review: Alder Lake in UCFF Avatar
Intel introduced the ultra-compact form-factor in 2012 to reinvigorate the PC market. The incredible success of the product line has now resulted in the brand name propagating to other novel system configurations and form factors. The introduction of the mainstream Alder Lake NUCs last year - the NUC 12 Pro (Wall Street Canyon) - marked a decade-long journey for the original design. As part of bringing out the versatility of the form-factor and its evolution over the last ten years, Intel sampled three top-end Wall Street Canyon NUCs targeting different market segments - the NUC12WSKi7 for traditional business and consumer users, the NUC12WSKv7 in a slightly more eye-catching designer chassis for business and enterprise deployments, and the NUC12WSBi70Z in a rugged fanless case for IoT / Edge applications in industrial environments. Read on for a comprehensive analysis of the mainstream NUC 12 Pro mini-PC platform.
SK hynix Intros LPDDR5T Memory: Low Power RAM at up to 9.6Gbps
In a bit of a surprise move, SK hynix this week has announced a new variation of LPDDR5 memory technology, which they are calling LPDDR5T. Low Power Double Data Rate 5 Turbo (LPDDR5T) further ramps up the clockspeeds for LPDDR5-type memory, with SK hynix stating that their new memory will be able to clock at high as 9.6Gbps/pin, 13% faster than their top-bin 8.5Gbps LPDDR5X. According to the company, the memory is sampling now to partners as a 16GB part, with mass production set to begin in the second half of this year.SK hynix is positioning LPDDR5T as an interim memory technology to cover the gap between LPDDR5X and the future development of LPDDR6, offering what amounts to a half-step up in memory bandwidth for customers who would like something faster than what contemporary LPDDR5X memory is capable of. That standard, as it currently stands, only goes to 8533Mbps, so any LPDDR5-type memory clocked higher than that is technically outside of the official JEDEC specification. Still, SK hynix’s announcement comes a bit unexpectedly, as while it’s not unusual for memory manufacturers to announce new technologies ahead of the industry’s standardization body, there hadn’t been any previous chatter of anyone coming to market with a further evolution of LPDDR5.At this point the technical details on the new memory are limited. SK hynix was able to confirm that LPDDR5T will operate at the same voltages as LPDDR5X, with a VDD voltage range of 1.01v to 1.12v (nominally 1.05v) and a VDDQ of 0.5v. Coupled with that, as previously mentioned the new memory will max out at a data rate of 9.6Gbps/pin, which for a 64-bit part would mean a full data rate of 76.8GB/second. Otherwise, at this point all outward appearances are that LPDDR5T is just higher clocked LPDDR5X, given a new name since its data rate is outside the scope of LPDDR5X.LPDDR GenerationsLPDDR4LPDDR4XLPDDR5LPDDR5XLPDDR5T
ASRock DeskMeet B660 Review: An Affordable NUC Extreme?
ASRock was one of the earliest vendors to cater to the small-form factor (SFF) PC market with a host of custom-sized motherboards based on notebook platforms. Despite missing the NUC bus for the most part, they have been quite committed to the 5x5 mini-STX form-factor introduced in 2015. ASRock's DeskMini lineup is based on mSTX boards and has both Intel and AMD options for the end-user. While allowing for installation of socketed processors, the form-factor could not support a discrete GPU slot. Around 2018, Intel started making a push towards equipping some of their NUC models with user-replaceable discrete GPUs. In order to gain some market share in that segment, ASRock introduced their DeskMeet product line early last year with support for socketed processors and a PCIe x16 slot for installing add-in cards. Read on for a detailed analysis of the features, performance, and value proposition of the DeskMeet B660 - a 8L SFF PC based on the Intel B660 chipset, capable of accommodating Alder Lake or Raptor Lake CPUs.
The FSP Hydro G Pro 1000W ATX 3.0 PSU Review: Solid and Affordable ATX 3.0
With the ATX 3.0 era now well underway, we've been taking a look at the first generation of ATX 3.0 power supplies to hit the market. Introducing the 16-pin 12VHPWR connector, which can supply up to 600 Watts of power to PCIe cards, ATX 3.0 marks the start of what will be a slow shift in the market. As high-end video cards continue to grow in power consumption, power supply manufacturers are working to catch up with these trends with a new generation of PSUs – not only updating power supplies to meet the peak energy demands of the latest cards, but also to better handle the large swings in power consumption that these cards incur.For our second ATX 3.0 power supply, we're looking at a unit from FSP Group, the Hydro G Pro ATX 3.0. Unlike some of the other ATX 3.0 PSUs we've looked at (and will be looking at), FSP has taken a slightly different approach with their first ATX 3.0 unit: rather than modifying its best platform or releasing a new top-tier platform, FSP went with an upgrade of its most popular platform, the original Hydro G Pro. As such, the new Hydro G Pro ATX 3.0 1000W PSU doesn't have especially impressive specifications on paper, but it boasts good all-around performance for an affordable price tag ($199 MSRP). That makes FSP's platform notable at a time when most ATX 3.0 come with an early adopter tax, with FSP clearly aiming to entice mainstream users who may not currently need an ATX 3.0 PSU but would like to own one in case of future upgrades.
TSMC's 3nm Journey: Slow Ramp, Huge Investments, Big Future
Last week, TSMC issued their Q4 and full-year 2022 earnings reports for the company. Besides confirming that TSMC was closing out a very busy, very profitable year for the world's top chip fab – booking almost $34 billion in net income for the year – the end-of-year report from the company has also given us a fresh update on the state of TSMC's various fab projects.The big news coming out of TSMC for Q4'22 is that TSMC has initiated high volume manufacturing of chips on its N3 (3nm-class) fabrication technology. The ramp of this node will be rather slow initially due to high design costs and the complexities of the first N3B implementation of the node, so the world's largest foundry does not expect it to be a significant contributor to its revenue in 2023. Yet, the firm will invest tens of billions of dollars in expanding its N3-capable manufacturing capacity as eventually N3 is expected to become a popular long-lasting family of production nodes for TSMC.Slow Ramp Initially"Our N3 has successfully entered volume production in late fourth quarter last year as planned, with good yield," said C. C. Wei, chief executive of TSMC. "We expect a smooth ramp in 2023 driven by both HPC and smartphone applications. As our customers' demand for N3 exceeds our ability to supply, we expect the N3 to be fully utilized in 2023."Keeping in mind that TSMC's capital expenditures in 2021 and 2022 were focused mostly on expanding its N5 (5nm-class) manufacturing capacities, it is not surprising that the company's N3-capable capacity is modest. Meanwhile, TSMC does not expect N3 to account for any sizable share of its revenue before Q3.In fact, the No. 1 foundry expects N3 nodes (which include both baseline N3 and relaxed N3E that is set to enter HVM in the second half of 2023) to account for maybe 4% - 6% of the company's wafer revenue in 2023. And yet this would exceed the contribution of N5 in its first two quarters of HVM in 2020 (which was about $3.5 billion)."We expect [sizable N3 revenue contribution] to start in third quarter 2023 and N3 will contribute mid-single-digit percentage of our total wafer revenue in 2023," said Wei. "We expect the N3 revenue in 2023 to be higher than N5 revenue in its first year in 2020."Many analysts believe that the baseline N3 (also known as N3B) will be used by Apple either exclusively or almost exclusively, which is TSMC's largest customer that is willing to adopt leading-edge nodes ahead of all other companies, despite high initial costs. If this assumption is correct and Apple is indeed the primary customer to use baseline N3, then it is noteworthy that TSMC mentions both smartphone and HPC (a vague term that TSMC uses to describe virtually all ASICs, CPUs, GPUs, SoCs, and FPGAs not aimed at automotive, communications, and smartphones) applications in conjunction with N3 in 2023.N3E Coming in the Second HalfOne of the reasons why many companies are waiting for TSMC's relaxed N3E technology (which is entering HVM in the second half of 2023, according to TSMC) is the higher performance and power improvements, as well as even more aggressive logic scaling. Another is that the process will offer lower costs, albeit at the cost of a lack of SRAM scaling compared to N5, according to analysts from China Renaissance."N3E, with six fewer EUV layers than the baseline N3, promises simpler process complexity, intrinsic cost and manufacturing cycle time, albeit with less density gain," Szeho Ng, an analyst with China Renaissance, wrote in a note to clients this week.Advertised PPA Improvements of New Process Technologies
Intel Unveils Core i9-13900KS: Raptor Lake Spreads Its Wings to 6.0 GHz
Initially teased by Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger during their Innovation 2022 opening keynote, Intel has unveiled its highly anticipated 6 GHz out-of-the-box processor, the Core i9-13900KS. The Core i9-13900KS is a special, highly clocked bin of the regular i9-13900K, offering the same 24-core (8P+16E) hybrid architecture, but with an impressive P-core maximum turbo clockspeed of up to 6 GHz.Based on Intel's existing Raptor Lake-S desktop silicon, Intel claims that the Core i9-13900KS is the first desktop processor to reach 6 GHz out of the box without overclocking. With normal chips hitting up to 5.8GHz, the i9-13900KS is an even more extreme bin of that silicon, with Intel identifying chips that can run even harder to make it to 6 GHz. The trade-off for this extra burst of performance is that the power consumption of the chip is even higher than Intel's usual high-end desktop parts, with an official TDP of 150 Watts, and an "extreme" power profile that goes as high as 320 Watts under load.Meanwhile, unlike most Intel CPU launches, the company is wasting no time on bringing their new special edition chip to market: the $699 CPU is available immediately.
Micron Launches 9400 NVMe Series: U.3 SSDs for Data Center Workloads
Micron is taking the wraps off their latest data center SSD offering today. The 9400 NVMe Series builds upon Micron's success with their third-generation 9300 series introduced back in Q2 2019. The 9300 series had adopted the U.2 form-factor with a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface, and utilized their 64L 3D TLC NAND. With a maximum capacity of 15.36 TB, the drive matched the highest-capacity HDDs on the storage amount front at that time (obviously with much higher performance numbers). In the past couple of years, the data center has moved towards PCIe 4.0 and U.3 in a bid to keep up with performance requirements and unify NVMe, SAS, and SATA support. Keeping these in mind, Micron is releasing the 9400 NVMe series of U.3 SSDs with a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface using their now-mature 176L 3D TLC NAND. Increased capacity per die is also now enabling Micron to present 2.5" U.3 drives with capacities up to 30.72 TB, effectively doubling capacity per rack over the previous generation.Similar to the 9300 NVMe series, the 9400 NVMe series is also optimized for data-intensive workloads and comes in two versions - the 9400 PRO and 9400 MAX. The Micron 9400 PRO is optimized for read-intensive workloads (1 DWPD), while the Micron 9400 MAX is meant for mixed use (3 DWPD). The maximum capacity points are 30.72 TB and 25.60 TB respectively. The specifications of the two drive families are summarized in the table below.Micron 9400 NVMe Enterprise SSDs9400 PRO9400 MAXForm FactorU.3 2.5" 15mmInterfacePCIe 4.0 NVMe 1.4Capacities7.68TB
The AMD Ryzen 9 7900, Ryzen 7 7700, and Ryzen 5 7600 Review: Zen 4 Efficiency at 65 Watts
In Q3 of last year, AMD released the first CPUs based on its highly anticipated Zen 4 architecture. Not only did their Ryzen 7000 parts raise the bar in terms of performance compared with the previous Ryzen 5000 series, but it also gave birth to AMD's latest platform, AM5. Some of the most significant benefits of Zen 4 and the AM5 platform include support for PCIe 5.0, DDR5 memory, and access to the latest and greatest of what's available in controller sets.While the competition at the higher end of the x86 processor market is a metaphorical firefight with heavy weaponry, AMD has struggled to offer users on tighter budgets anything to sink their teeth into. It's clear Zen 4 is a powerful and highly efficient architecture, but with the added cost of DDR5, finding all of the components to fit under tighter budget constraints with AM5 isn't as easy as it once was on AM4.AMD has launched three new processors designed to offer users on a budget something to get their money's worth, with performance that make them favorable for users looking for Zen 4 hardware but without the hefty financial outlay. The AMD Ryzen 9 7900, Ryzen 7 7700, and Ryzen 5 7600 processors all feature the Zen 4 microarchitecture and come with a TDP of just 65 W, which makes them viable for all kinds of users, such as enthusiasts looking for a more affordable entry-point onto the AM5 platform.Of particular interest is AMD's new budget offering for the Ryzen 7000 series: the Ryzen 5 7600, which offers six cores/twelve threads for entry-level builders looking to build a system with all of the features of AM5 and the Ryzen 7000 family, but at a much more affordable price point. We are looking at all three of AMD's new Ryzen 7000 65 W TDP processors to see how they stack up against the competition, to see if AMD's lower-powered, lower-priced non-X variants can offer anything in the way of value for consumers. We also aim to see if AMD's 65 W TDP implementation can shine on TSMC's 5 nm node process with performance per watt efficiency that AMD claims is the best on the market.
CES 2023: QNAP Brings Hybrid Processors and E1.S SSD Support to the NAS Market
Over the last few years, the developments in the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) network-attached storage (NAS) market have mostly been on the software front - bringing in more business-oriented value additions and better support for containers and virtual machines. We have had hardware updates in terms of processor choices and inclusion of M.2 SSD slots (primarily for SSD caching), but they have not been revolutionary changes.At CES 2023, QNAP revealed plans for two different NAS units - the all-flash TBS-574X (based on the Intel Alder Lake-P platform), and the ML-focused TS-AI642 (based on the Rockchip RK3588 app processor). While QNAP only provided a teaser of the capabilities, there are a couple of points worth talking about to get an idea of where the COTS NAS market is headed towards in the near future.Hybrid ProcessorsNetwork-Attached storage units have typically been based on either server platforms in the SMB / SME space or single-board computer (SBC) platforms in the home consumer / SOHO space. Traditionally, both platforms have eschewed big.LITTLE / hybrid processors for a variety of reasons. In the x86 space, we saw hybrid processors entering the mainstream market recently with Intel's Alder Lake family. In the ARM world, big.LITTLE has been around for a relatively longer time. However, server workloads are typically unsuitable for that type of architecture. Without a credible use-case for such processors, it is also unlikely that servers will go that route. However, SBCs are a different case, and we have seen a number of application processors adopting the big.LITTLE strategy getting used in that market segment.Both the all-flash TBS-574X and the AI NAS TS-AI642 are based on hybrid processors. The TBS-574X uses the Intel Core i3-1220P (Alder Lake-P) in a 2P + 8E configuration. The TS-AI642 is based on the Rockchip RK3588 [ PDF ], with 4x Cortex-A76 and 4x Cortex-A55 fabricated in Samsung's 8LPP process.QNAP is no stranger to marketing Atom-based NAS units with 2.5 GbE support - their recent Jasper Lake-based tower NAS line-up has proved extremely popular for SOHO / SMB use-cases. The Gracemont cores in the Core i3-1220P are going to be a step-up in performance, and the addition of two performance cores can easily help with user experience related to features more amenable for use in their Core-based units.NAS units have become powerful enough to move above and beyond their basic file serving / backup target functionality. The QTS applications curated by QNAP help in providing well-integrated value additions. Some of the most popular ones enable container support as well as the ability to run virtual machines. As the range of workloads run on the NAS simultaneously start to vary, hybrid processors can pitch in to improve performance while maintaining power efficiency.On the AI NAS front, the Rockchip RK3588 has processor cores powerful enough for a multi-bay NAS. However, QNAP is putting more focus on the neural network accelerator blocks (the SoC has 6 TOPS of NN inference performance), allowing the NAS to be marketed to heavy users of their surveillance and 'AI' apps such as QVR Face (for face recognition in surveillance videos), QVR Smart Search (for event searching in surveillance videos), and QuMagie (for easily indexed photo albums with 'AI' functionality).E1.S Hot-Swappable SSDsQNAP's first NASbook - an all-flash NAS using M.2 SSDs - was introduced into the market last year. The TBS-464 remains a unique product in the market, but goes against the NAS concept of hot-swappable drives.
A Lighter Touch: Exploring CPU Power Scaling On Core i9-13900K and Ryzen 9 7950X
One of the biggest running gags on social media and Reddit is how hot and power hungry CPUs have become over the years. Whereas at one time flagship x86 CPUs didn't even require a heatsink, they can now saturate whole radiators. Thankfully, it's not quite to the levels of a nuclear reactor, as the memes go – but as the kids say these days, it's also not a nothingburger. Designing for higher TDPs and greater power consumption has allowed chipmakers to keep pushing the envelope in terms of performance – something that's no easy feat in a post-Dennard world – but it's certainly created some new headaches regarding power consumption and heat in the process. Something that, for better or worse, the latest flagship chips from both AMD and Intel exemplify.But despite these general trends, this doesn't mean that a high performance desktop CPU also needs to be a power hog. In our review of AMD's Ryzen 9 7950X, our testing showed that even capped at a these days pedestrian 65 Watts, the 7950X could deliver a significant amount of performance at less than half its normal power consumption.If you'll pardon the pun, power efficiency has become a hot talking point these days, as enthusiasts look to save on their energy bills (especially in Europe) while still enjoying fast CPU performance, looking for other ways to take advantage of the full silicon capabilities of AMD's Raphael and Intel's Raptor Lake-S platforms besides stuffing the chips with as many joules as possible. All the while, the small form factor market remains a steadfast outpost for high efficiency chips, where cooler chips are critical for building smaller and more compact systems that can forego the need for large cooling systems.All of this is to say that while it's great to see the envelope pushed in terms of peak performance, the typical focus on how an unlocked chip scales when overclocking (pushing CPU frequency and CPU VCore voltages) is just one way to look at overall CPU performance. So today we are going to go the other way, and to take a look at overall energy efficiency for users – to see what happens when we aim for the sweet spot on the voltage/frequency curve. To that end, today we're investigating how the Intel Core i9-13900K and AMD Ryzen 9 7950X perform at different power levels, and to see what kind of benefits power scaling can provide compared to stock settings.
CES 2023: Akasa Introduces Fanless Cases for Wall Street Canyon NUCs
Akasa is one of the very few vendors to carry a portfolio of passively-cooled chassis solutions for the Intel NUCs. We had reviewed their Turing solution with the Bean Cayon NUC and the Newton TN with the Tiger Canyon NUC, and come away impressed with the performance of both cases. At CES 2023, the company is upgrading their portfolio of fanless NUC cases to support the mainstream NUC Pro using the 12-Gen Core processors - the Wall Street Canyon.Turing WSThe Turing WS builds upon the original Turing chassis to accommodate the updated I/Os of the Wall Street Canyon NUC.The 2.7L chassis can be oriented either horizontally or vertically, and retains the ability to install a 2.5" SATA drive. Improvements over the previous generations include the inclusion of an updated thermal solution for the M.2 SSD.The Turing WS retains all the I/Os of the regular Wall Street Canyon kits and also includes antenna holes for those requiring Wi-Fi connection in the system. The company does offer suggested complementary additions to the build for that purpose - a tri-band Wi-Fi antenna and corresponding pigtails. We would like to see these getting included by default for the DIY versions of the Turing WS that get sold in retail.Newton WSThe Newton WS is a minor update to the Newton TN that we reviewed last year.The key change is the removal of the serial cable and corresponding rear I/O cut-out. In fact, Akasa indicates that the Newton TN can also be used with the Wall Street Canyon for consumers requiring the serial I/O support.The 1.9L volume, additional USB ports in the front I/O (that are not available in the regular Wall Street Canyon kits), and VESA mounting support are all retained in the Newton WS.Plato WSThe Plato WS is a slim chassis (39mm in height) that builds upon user feedback for the previous Plato cases. The key update over the Plato TN is the integration of support for the front panel audio jack.The Plato WS carries over all the other attractive aspects of the product family - VESA and rack mounting support, 2.5" drive installation support, serial port in the rear I/O, and additional USB 2.0 ports in the front panel.In addition to the above three SKUs, Akasa also recently launched the Pascal TN, a passively-cooled IP65-rated case for the Tiger Canyon and Wall Street Canyon NUCs, making it suitable for outdoor installations.Akasa's main competition comes from fanless system vendors like OnLogic and Cirrus7 who prefer to sell pre-built systems with higher margins. In the DIY space, we have offerings like the HDPLEX H1 V3 and HDPLEX H1 TODD which unfortunately do not have wide distribution channels like Akasa's products - as a result of lower volumes, the pricing is also a bit on the higher end. For Wall Street Canyon, Tranquil is also offering a DIY case in addition to their usual pre-built offerings. It remains to be seen whether the company remains committed to the DIY space.Passively-cooled cases usually have a significant price premium that regular consumers usually don't want to pay. Vendors like Akasa are bringing about a change in this category by offering reasonably-priced, yet compelling products via e-tailers. Simultaneous focus on industrial deployments and OEM contracts as well as consumer retail has proved successful for Akasa, as evidenced by their continued commitment to thermal solutions for different NUC generations.Gallery: CES 2023: Akasa Introduces Fanless Cases for Wall Street Canyon NUCsSource: Akasa, FanlessTech
CES 2023: IOGEAR Introduces USB-C Docking Solutions and Matrix KVM
IOGEAR has been servicing the computer accessories market with docks and KVMs for more than a couple of decades now. In addition to the generic use-cases, the company creates products that target niche segments with feature sets that are not available in products from other vendors. At CES 2023, IOGEAR is taking the wraps off a number of USB-C docks slated to get introduced over the next couple of quarters.Docking SolutionsThe three new products in this category fall under two categories - the first two utilize Display Link chips along with traditional USB-C Alt Mode support, while the third one uses the Intel Goshen Ridge Thunderbolt controller for 8K support in addition to the usual array of ports found in regular Thunderbolt 4 / USB4 docks. The following table summarizes the essential aspects of the three new products.IOGEAR USB-C Docking Solutions @ CES 2023 (Dock Pro Series)Universal Dual View Docking StationDuo USB-C Docking StationUSB4 8K Triple ViewModel NameGUD3C4K2TAAGUD3CDHTAAGUD4C8K3Upstream PortUSB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (Dual Host Support)USB4 Type-C (40 Gbps)Audio1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack1x Mic In
CES 2023: AMD Instinct MI300 Data Center APU Silicon In Hand - 146B Transistors, Shipping H2’23
Alongside AMD’s widely expected client product announcements this evening for desktop CPUs, mobile CPUs, and mobile GPUs, AMD’s CEO Dr. Lisa Su also had a surprise up her sleeve for the large crowd gathered for her prime CES keynote: a sneak peak at MI300, AMD’s next-generation data center APU that is currently under development. With silicon literally in hand, the quick teaser laid out the basic specifications of the part, along with reiterating AMD’s intentions of taking leadership in the HPC market.First unveiled by AMD during their 2022 Financial Analyst Day back in June of 2022, MI300 is AMD’s first shot at building a true data center/HPC-class APU, combining the best of AMD’s CPU and GPU technologies. As was laid out at the time, MI300 would be a disaggregated design, using multiple chiplets built on TSMC’s 5nm process, and using 3D die stacking to place them over a base die, all of which in turn will be paired with on-package HBM memory to maximize AMD’s available memory bandwidth.AMD for its part is no stranger to combining the abilities of its CPUs and GPUs – one only needs to look at their laptop CPUs/APUs – but to date they’ve never done so on a large scale. AMD’s current best-in-class HPC hardware is to combine the discrete AMD Instinct MI250X (a GPU-only product) with AMD’s EPYC CPUs, which is exactly what’s been done for the Frontier supercomputer and other HPC projects. MI300, in turn, is the next step in the process, bringing the two processor types together on to a single package, and not just wiring them up in an MCM fashion, but going the full chiplet route with TSV stacked dies to enable extremely high bandwidth connections between the various parts.The key point of tonight’s reveal was to show off the MI300 silicon, which has reached initial production and is now in AMD’s labs for bring-up. AMD had previously promised a 2023 launch for the MI300, and having the silicon back from the fabs and assembled is a strong sign that AMD is on track to make that delivery date.
AMD Unveils Ryzen 9 7950X3D, 7900X3D, and Ryzen 7 7800X3D, Up to 128 MB of L3 Cache And 5.7 GHz Boost
During Computex 22, AMD showcased its updated CPU roadmap going through 2024, which yielded some exciting propositions to the desktop processor market. One of those products highlighted was a new 3D V-Cache SKU based on Zen 4 cores, and with the success of its previous Ryzen 7 5800X3D with 96 MB of 3D stacked V-Cache, gamers have been chomping at the bit for more ever since. Using their primetime keynote slot during CES 2023, AMD has unveiled its next 3D V Cache-based processors to the market using its Zen 4 core architecture.AMD hasn't unveiled just one new Zen 4-based X3D SKU; it's announcing three across the Ryzen 7000 series, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D, the Ryzen 9 7900X3D, and the Ryzen 7 7800X3D. Aside from 64 MB of additional L3 cache through AMD's 3D V-Cache stacking technology, which is a 3D chiplet stacking technology in conjunction with TSMC, all three Zen 4 X3D SKUs feature a 120 W TDP. They also have higher boost core frequencies than previous X3D chips, with the Ryzen 9 7950X3D boosting up to an impressive of 5.7 GHz on the core.
AMD Announces Ryzen 9 7900, Ryzen 7 7700, and Ryzen 5 7600 Processors: Zen 4 at 65 W
During its keynote at CES 2023, Dr. Lisa Su, AMD's CEO, announced three new desktop processors based on its Zen 4 microarchitecture, the Ryzen 9 7900, Ryzen 7 7700, and Ryzen 5 7600. Each of these new processors includes a base TDP of 65 W with a reduction of all-core base frequency compared to the X-series SKUs. Designed to be a more affordable and cost-effective option for its latest AM5 platform, the new 65 W-based Ryzen 7000 SKUs come bundled with one of AMD's Wraith coolers, with prices starting at $229 for the Ryzen 5 7600.With the ever-pressing desire for high-performance levels in the desktop space, but with even higher levels of performance per watt, AMD's unleashed three new derivatives of its existing Ryzen 7000 desktop CPUs. Still, with a base TDP of just 65 W, there is more to the story than bare TDP figures. AMD also uses Package Power Tracking (PPT) as a metric which typically sits higher; this is effectively the power levels given from the AM5 socket itself, coupled with Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO), which can yield increased levels of performance for at the cost of heat and power.
AMD Announces Ryzen Mobile 7045 HX-Series CPUs, Up to 16-Cores and 5.4 GHz for Laptops
While many companies such as Razer offer 'desktop' replacements in the form of very high-end and powerful gaming laptops, the silicon that goes into them not only needs to deliver similar levels of performance but it's got to be efficient too. With high-end mobile processors coming out at least once a year, during their opening keynote at CES 2023, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su unveiled the latest in AMD's Ryzen mobile products for the high-end laptop space, the Ryzen 7045HX-series.Leading the charge is the AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX with 16-cores and 32-threads and an incredible boost frequency of 5.7 GHz, all under a configurable TDP of 55-75 W+. AMD has three other Ryzen 7045HX-series processors, including the Ryzen 9 7845HX, a 12-core/24-thread part, the Ryzen 7 7745HX, and the AMD Ryzen 5 7645HX. With a loaded four-SKU stack ranging from 16-cores down to 6-cores, AMD has high-performance mobile parts for all manors of gaming notebooks and high-performance laptops.
AMD Lays Out 2023 Ryzen Mobile 7000 CPUs: Top-to-Bottom Updates, New Zen 4 'Phoenix' CPU Takes Point
This year’s CES has turned out to be a laptop-centric event in the PC space, and no farther do you have to look for proof of that than AMD’s CES keynote. The densely packed keynote immediately kicked things off with the announcement of AMD’s 2023 mobile product stack, which will see the CPU vendor mixing and matching silicon across multiple generations of designs to put together a fresh product stack for the new year. This includes the return of some old favorites, including bringing desktop Zen 4 silicon to mobile, as well as the introduction of AMD’s brand-new Phoenix CPU silicon, their first mobile-focused Zen 4 CPU design.
The AMD CES 2023 Keynote Live Blog (6:30pm PT/02:30 UTC)
CES keynote season continues this week with the second major PC-centric keynote of the event, being held by AMD. Helmed as always by CEO Dr. Lisa Su, AMD is taking the center stage this evening to share their plans and products for consumer electronics for 2023. AMD is in the midst of rolling out their Zen 4 CPU architecture and RDNA 3 GPU architecture across their product lines, so there's ample space in both AMD's desktop and mobile product lineups to introduce some new parts – and we don't expect to come away empty-handed.Come join us at 6:30pm PT / 9:30pm ET / 02:30 UTC to get all the details.
ASRock Industrial's NUC(S) 1300 BOX Series Brings Raptor Lake to UCFF Systems
Intel recently updated their low-power processors lineup with the Raptor Lake U- and P- Series 13 Gen Core mobile SKUs. Supporting a range of TDPs up to 28W, these SKUs allow ultra-compact form-factor (UCFF) PC manufacturers to update their traditional NUC clones. Starting with Tiger Lake, ASRock Industrial took over ASRock's Beebox chassis design and equipped it with a 4"x4" industrial PC motherboard internally. The company has typically announced these NUC clones within a few days of Intel's platform announcement, and things are no different with Raptor Lake this time around.One of the key updates this time around is the bifurcation of the NUC BOX lineup into slim and high-rise versions - the traditional NUC 1300 BOX series retains the previous industrial design with support for a 2.5" SATA drive. The new NUCS 1300 BOX series forsakes the 2.5" drive support and cuts down the height of the system from 47.85mm to 38mm. The company is also currently restricting the processor choice to either the Core i7-1360P or Core i5-1340P. In total, there are six different models being launched, and the key differences are summarized in the table below. Dual LAN capabilities are available only in the high-rise versions.ASRock Industrial NUC(S) 1300 BOX (Raptor Lake-P) LineupModelNUCS BOX-13xxP/D4NUC BOX-13xxP/D4NUC BOX-13xxP/D5CPUxx:60Intel Core i7-1360P
CES 2023: HP Unveils Dragonfly G4 Notebook for Business
During CES 2023 in Las Vegas, HP announced the latest entry to its Dragonfly notebook series, the Dragonfly G4. Catering to SMIBs and business use in general, HP states it's the world's first business notebook to support the simultaneous use of dual cameras. It also comes equipped with Intel's latest 13th Gen Mobile processor and HP Fast Charge support that can charge the G4 up to 50% battery in just 30 minutes.With numerous features on offer, HP's latest Dragonfly entrant, the G4, has been updated for 2023 with the inclusion of Intel's latest 13th Generation mobile processors. The HP Dragonfly G4 has various configurations, including a svelte 90% recycled magnesium alloy chassis, starting with a weight of just 2.2 lbs. However, depending on the configuration, it could weigh slightly more.
CES 2023: Plugable Introduces New Flagship Thunderbolt 4 Dock and USB-C Hub
The Thunderbolt and USB ecosystems have seen rapid updates over the last couple of years. In 2022, we saw the announcement of the USB4 v2 standard and some details of Next Generation Thunderbolt with total bidirectional speeds of up to 160 Gbps (80 Gbps TX / RX with symmetric links, and 120 Gbps TX / 40 Gbps RX using asymmetric links from the host perspective). Product introductions have typically lagged behind the announcement of the standards by 18 - 24 months, and we are currently in the midst of the introduction of the second wave of Thunderbolt 4 and USB4 products.At CES 2023, Plugable is introducing its first Thunderbolt 4 dock - the TBT4-UDZ. One of the key updates in Thunderbolt 4 was the bridging of features common in the USB world. Consequently, the first-generation products were focused on delivering the newly introduced hub functionality to users. Plugable had launched the highly appreciated TBT4-HUB3C back in September 2021 to cover that aspect. The TBT4-UDZ being announced today is a flagship dock equipped with the Intel Goshen Ridge controller. It provides 16 additional ports and host charging up to 100W. There are four additional display outputs (2x HDMI 2.0 + 2x Display Port 1.4), though the number of actual displays that can be driven depends on the host's capabilities.The 2.5 Gbps NBASE-T port is a welcome addition to the feature set of Thunderbolt docks. It is something that we are seeing in most of the newly-launched Thunderbolt 4 docks from different vendors. Despite the presence of a large number of useful ports, a downstream Thunderbolt port is conspicuous by its absence. Though this dock can be connected to one of the Thunderbolt 4 ports in the TBT4-HUB3C, it might be interesting from a technical perspective to combine both hub and dock functionality into a single device.Plugable is planning to start shipping the TBT4-UDZ on January 17th, with pre-orders for $299 already active on Amazon.The USBC-11IN1E is Plugable's flagship USB-C hub, and a follow-up to the USBC-7IN1E introduced in 2020 and updated in 2021 with newer internals and I/Os. The additional ports do add to the price - the 11-port version is priced at $79, compared to the $40 of the 7-port version.The hub requires the host's USB-C port to support MST on the DP Alt Mode output to enable both HDMI ports. Without MST, usage of the DP Alt Mode results in the mirroring of the display outputs. The hub retains the USB-C power input (to which the notebook's original charger can be connected for passthrough charging).Plugable is also adding 1m (3.3ft) Thunderbolt 4 and USB4 passive cables to its product portfolio. The new cables support 40 Gbps speeds and 240W charging (Extended Power Range). The Thunderbolt-certified TBT4-240W-1M is priced at $29.25, while the USB-IF-certified USB4-240W-1M is priced at $25.95. The price difference seems solely due to the difference in certification costs - it is likely that the USB-IF certified cable will work just as well with Thunderbolt 4 setups.
NVIDIA CES 2023 Special Address Live Blog (8am PT/16:00 UTC)
Kicking off CES 2023, the first presentation of the week comes from NVIDIA. The prolific GPU vendor is at the show to talk about new consumer hardware for desktops and laptops, as well as software updates for its Studio ecosystem, robotics, and Drive platforms.
Intel Announces Gracemont-based N-Series Processors For Entry-Level Mobile and Desktop Systems
Although Intel's 13th Gen Core mobile announcement tends to steal the limelight away from many of its other product announcements, Intel has also announced four new SKUs from its N-series of processors. Representing the entry-level, Intel's latest N-series processor for mobile and desktop (codenamed Alder Lake-N), replacing Intel's Tremont architecture-based Jasper Lake platform. Alongside up to 8 CPU cores, these new low-end SoCs include Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, GNA 3.0 background noise suppression, and integrates IPU and MIPI camera support rolled into one solution. This makes it a suitable series of products designed for video conferencing and high-end wireless connectivity for entry-level notebooks, Chromebooks, and low-power users.Based around the same Gracemont CPU microarchitecture Intel uses for efficiency (E) cores in its 12th and 13th Gen Core processors, Intel's N-Series processors are designed for low-powered and affordable slimline notebooks and desktops, where efficiency is vital. Intel is also claiming double-digit performance gains with the latest quad-core Intel Inside N200 processor compared to the previous series, with 28% better overall application performance and up to 28% gains in web browsing performance.Stepping up to the Core i3 N-series processors, Intel is claiming gains of up to 42% in overall application performance, which is advantageous from an efficiency and performance per watt perspective. Not only is the N-series the entry-level processors designed for budget Windows notebooks and Chromebooks, but Intel's claims look to surpass its previous Jasper Lake models, such as the N6000, out of the water. With either eight or four Gracemont cores, the same efficiency (E) core is used in Intel's 13/12th Gen Core series families.Regarding features, Intel has plenty up its sleeve as it promises advantageous video conferencing capabilities due to its integral Image Processing Unit (IPU) and MIPI camera interface, along with dynamic noise suppression for microphones. With noise suppression handy for video conference calls and eliminating background noise, it uses a low-powered Gaussian and Neural Accelerator (GNA 3.0) technology to achieve this.Focusing on connectivity, the N-series can accommodate up to four USB 3 and eight USB 2 and has nine PCIe 3.0 lanes available for devices and controllers. By proxy, the Intel N-series now also benefits from Intel's WI-Fi 6E CNVi with BT 5.2 device connectivity, along with USB 3.2 Gen 2 and DisplayPort 1.4 support.Intel N300/200-Series (Gracemont Core on Intel 7)AnandTechCores
Intel Unveils 13th Gen Core Mobile Processors: Raptor Lake-HX, H, P, and U Series, Up To 24 Cores
Not just focused on their new 13th gen Core desktop chips, Intel this morning is also kicking off 2023 for its mobile customers in a big way with the announcement of the 13th generation Core mobile family. Based on the same Raptor Lake architecture as Intel's 13th gen Core desktop chips, Intel is launching (or at least, announcing) the full 13th gen mobile stack all in one go. This means everything from the ultra-portable U-series chips up to the desktop replacement-class HX-series. All of them gaining Raptor Lake's CPU architectural enhancements, along with a smattering of new features that are coming to the overall platform.Leading the lineup – and first SKUs out the door – are the 13th generation Core HX-series processors for high-performance notebooks. With SKUs featuring up to 24 CPU cores (8P+16E), Intel is looking to deliver desktop-level performance in the mobile space, with turbo clock speeds of up to 5.6 GHz, a turbo TDP of 157 W, and a base TDP of 55 W. Like previous iterations of the HX series, these parts are based on Intel's desktop silicon (Raptor Lake-S), so they are designed to be placed in DTR-class laptops and are almost always paired with a discrete GPU.Also being announced today are the enthusiast-level H-series processors, Intel's more traditional mobile-optimized processors for high performance laptops. These offer fewer cores and slightly lower clockspeeds than the HX processors, but are better suited for mobile operation with a more powerful integrated GPU and support for technologies like LPDDR5 memory. Finally, joining the H-series will be Intel's thin and light performance-based P-series chips, and their U-series (ultrathin) chips use in the most portable of laptops, making the usual power/performance tradeoffs to get Raptor Lake in increasingly light laptops.As was the case with Intel's Raptor Lake desktop parts, their 13th gen Core mobile parts are largely a drop-in replacement for their previous-generation Alder Lake processors. This means that Intel's army of OEM partners are going to be hitting the ground running with laptops incorporating the new chips – and CES will be awash in new laptop announcements. All told, Intel has an exntesive lineup of SKUs on offer, benefiting from its Intel 7 node and hybrid architecture of performance (P) and efficiency (E) cores. There's a whole stack of Raptor Lake mobile processors for every price point and requirement, from high-end gaming to portable workstation levels, as well as run-of-the-mill entry-level notebooks for users on a budget.Finally, Intel has once again updated its Evo program for the latest generation of processors, partnering with several OEMs to certify a select class of notebooks that integrate the latest and greatest of Intel's mobile technology and best design practices.
Intel Announces Non-K 13th Gen Core For Desktop: New 65 W and 35 W Processors
When Intel launches a new family of desktop processors, it typically unleashes its high-end unlocked SKUs first, including the K and KF models. Not only does this give users a glimpse of its performance enhancements throughout its product development cycle and roadmap in the best possible light, but it also allows enthusiasts and high-end performance junkies to get their hands on the latest and most potent processors from the very beginning of the product cycle.For the rest of the consumer market, Intel has finally pulled the proverbial trigger on its non-K series SKUs, with sixteen new Raptor Lake-S series processors for desktops. Varied across a mixture of bare multiplier locked SKUs such as the Core i9-13900 and Core i7-13700 with a TDP of 65 W, Intel has also announced its T series models with a TDP of just 35 W for lower powered computing, including the Core i9-13900T. Furthermore, Intel has launched its Core i3 series family, offering decent performance levels, albeit with just performance (P) cores and no efficiency (E) cores, at a more affordable price starting from $109.
The Ubiquiti Diaries: A Site-to-Site VPN Story
Ubiquiti Networks is a popular vendor of networking-related equipment in the SMB / SME space. Their gear is immensely popular among prosumers too, thanks to the combination of ease of use and the ability to customize for specific requirements. I have been running an Ubiquiti UniFi installation at home for the last five years or so, and recently had the opportunity to create a new deployment in another country. There were two main reasons to go with Ubiquiti for the new location - a single management plane for both sites, and the ability to easily create a site-to-site VPN. More than three months into the deployment, I ended up encountering a host of issues worthy of documentation to help folks who might encounter them in their own installations. This article gives an overview of the various site-to-site VPN options available with Ubiquiti's gear, and things to keep in mind while adopting them.
Intel NUC13 Extreme Raptor Canyon Review: Sizzling SFF Performance Powerhouse
Intel officially unveiled the details of their Raptor Lake-based NUC13 Extreme last month. Based on the desktop Raptor Lake processors, the 13.7L NUC13 Extreme is Intel's biggest NUC yet. The model retains the Compute Element / baseboard combination seen in previous Extreme NUCs. However, the extra volume has enabled the company to incorporate a 150W TDP processor and support large discrete GPUs. Given the power-packed components, it is obvious that Intel is taking the NUC family to performance levels that have hitherto remained out of reach of small form-factor (SFF) machines. Does the NUC13 Extreme deliver on its vision?Read on for our detailed performance review, including a look at the industrial design and other innovations that the system brings to the table.
Best Intel Motherboards: Holiday 2022
Since we posted our previous motherboard guides, there has been a couple of notable processor launches. Perhaps one of the most impressive of the aforementioned launches is Intel's 13th Gen Core series, codenamed Raptor Lake. Not only is Intel's 13th Gen Core series powerful as we highlighted in our launch day review, but it offers multiple levels of affordability due to its support for both DDR5 and DDR4 memory. This means users can pair up the flagship Core i9-13900K with a premium Z790/Z690 motherboard and fast DDR5 memory for ultimate performance, or even go for the more affordable Core i5-13600K with DDR4 and a more modest motherboard model.We're focusing on Intel here and there are many chipsets that feature support for Intel's 13th Gen Core series processors including the latest Z790 motherboards that feature PCIe 5.0, as well as the previous Z690, H670, and B660 chipsets. With Intel's 700 and 600 series chipsets allowing support for both the previous 12th Gen Core series and the latest 13th Gen Core series, there is much to sink your teeth into. Whether your focus is on obtaining ultimate performance, building a system for high-end gaming, as well as one offering good performance at a good cost, it's time to go through our best picks in our Intel motherboard buyers guide for the 2022 holiday period.
SK hynix Reveals DDR5 MCR DIMM, Up to DDR5-8000 Speeds for HPC
One of the world's biggest semiconductors and manufacturers of DRAM, SK hynix, has unveiled it has working samples of a new generation of memory modules designed for HPC and servers. Dubbed Multiplexer Combined Ranks (MCR) DIMMs, the technology allows high-end server DIMMs to operate at a minimum data rate of 8 Gbps, which is an 80% uptick in bandwidth compared to existing DDR5 memory products (4.8 Gbps).Typically, the most common way to ensure higher throughput performance on DIMMs is through ever increasing memory bus (and chip) clockspeeds. This strategy is not without its drawbacks, however, and aiming to find a more comprehensive way of doing this, SK hynix, in collaboration with both Intel and Renesas, has created the Multiplexer Combined Rank DDR5 DIMM.Combining Intel's previously-unannounced MCR technology for its server chips and Renesas's expertise in buffer technology, SK hynix claims that their DDR5 MCR DIMM has 66% more bandwidth than conventional DDR5 DIMMs, with an impressive 8 Gbps/pin (DDR5-8000) of bandwidth. SK hynix themselves claim that the MCR DIMM will be 'at least' 80% faster than what's currently out there DDR5-wise, but it doesn't quantitate how it reaches this figure.The technology behind the MCR DIMM is interesting, as it enables simultaneous usage of two ranks instead of one, in essence ganging up two sets/ranks of memory chips in order to double the effective bandwidth. Unfortunately, the details beyond this are slim and unclear – in particular, SK hynix claims that MCR "allows transmission of 128 bytes of data to CPU at once", but looking at the supplied DIMM photo, there doesn't seem to be nearly enough pins to support a physically wider memory bus.More likely, SK hynix and Intel are serializing the memory operations for both ranks of memory inside a single DDR5 channel, allowing the two ranks to achieve a cumulative effective bandwidth of 8Gbps. This is supported by the use of the Renesas data buffer chip, which is shown to be on the DIMM in SK hynix's photos. Conceptually, this isn't too far removed from Load Reduced DIMMs (LRDIMMs), which employs a data buffer between the CPU and memory chips as well, though just how far is difficult to determine.More curious, perhaps, is that this design puts a great deal of faith into the ability of the physical memory bus and host controller (CPU) to be able to operate at DDR5-8000 (and higher) speeds. Normally the bottleneck in getting more memory bandwidth in server-grade systems is the memory bus to begin with – having to operate at slower speeds to accommodate more memory – so going a route that requires such a fast memory bus is definitely a different approach. In either case, the ability to run DIMMs at DDR5-8000 speeds in a server would be a significant boon to memory bandwidth and throughput, as that's often in short supply with today's many-core chips.As SK Hynix has partnered up with Intel via its MCR technology and using buffer technology from Renesas, MCR would seem to be an Intel-exclusive technology, at least to start with. As part of SK hynix's press release, Intel for its part stated that they "look forward to bringing this technology to future Intel Xeon processors and supporting standardization and multigenerational development efforts across the industry.” In the interim, this appears to be a technology still under active development, and SK hynix is not publishing anything about availability, compatibility, or pricing.While SK Hynix hasn't gone too much into how MCR DIMM is twice as fast as conventional DDR5 memory, this product is designed for the high-performance computing (HPC) and server industries, and it's unlikely we'll see MCR DIMMs in any form on consumer-based systems. We expect to learn more in the not-too-distant future.Source: SK Hynix
The MSI MEG Ai1300P PCIE5 1300W PSU Review: The ATX 3.0 Era Has Begun
Just under a year since the specification was first announced, the ATX 3.0 era for power supplies is now underway. The updated version of the Intel-maintained specification introduced several notable changes to PC power supply designs, most notably the introduction of the 600 Watt-capable 12VHPWR connector and associated cabling. Altogether, ATX 3.0 is designed to lay the groundwork for future video cards (and other high-powered accelerators) by providing for a single-cable power connection that can better accommodate the high total and rapid shifts in power consumption a video card can undergo.The biggest change since the addition of the 12V 6-pin “PCIe” power connector in the late 00s, the ATX 3.0 era has come with some new opportunities, both for computing products and for computing problems. The use of adapters has, in short, not gone well for front-runner NVIDIA, with a small but serious number of incidents of 12VHPWR adapters melting down. Meanwhile on the power supply side of matters, this has been a not-unwelcome boon; not only are native ATX 3.0 power supplies the preferred way to go from a design standpoint, but the adapter problems have helped to underscore this advantage. So for the power supply vendors who are among the first to get their ATX 3.0 designs out the door, there’s no shortage of demand for their latest and greatest wares, as well as a fresh opportunity to innovate and set themselves apart from the competition.In today’s review, we are taking a look at our first ATX 3.0 power supply – and indeed, among the world’s first: the MSI MEG Ai1300P PCIE5. A beefy, 1300W PSU that is designed to be fully compliant with the ATX 3.0 specification, the Ai1300P is a look at what’s to come for the future of high-end PC PSUs, as the market slowly-but-inevitably incorporates ATX 3.0 compliance in order to feed ever more power-hungry video cards and other PCIe devices.
TSMC Unveils Major U.S. Fab Expansion Plans: 3nm and $40 Billion by 2026
TSMC this week held its Arizona fab 'first tool-in' ceremony, where alongside celebrating its first US fab, the company also announced major expansion plans for the production facility. The world's largest foundry is set to invest tens of billions of dollars in the next phase of its Fab 21 near Phoenix, Arizona, to significantly expand its capacity and start production of chips on its N3 process technologies there by 2026.Construction of TSMC's Fab 21 phase 1 in Arizona was completed earlier this year, and this week the company began installation of production tools into the facility. The fab will be equipped with tools from companies like ASML, Applied Materials, KLA, Lam Research, and Tokyo Electroni in the next few quarters, and it is scheduled to come online in early 2024. The fab will be producing chips using various process technologies that belong to TSMC's N5 family, which now includes N5, N5P, N4, N4P, and N4X nodes. Production capacity of this phase of the fab will be around 30,000 wafer starts per month (WSPM), though the precise number will depend on actual technologies and designs.Companies like AMD, Apple, and NVIDIA are set to run orders through Fab 21 phase 1 to produce their advanced chips in the U.S. for the first time in years.But that isn't all that TSMC has in store for Fab 21. The company has announced that they now intend to build a second fab on the site, further expanding their US production capacity and setting up an even newer production line.The new Arizona fab will expand TSMC's capacity at the site to around 50,000 WSPM and will bring TSMC's total investments in the site to $40 billion. Notably, that's a $28B jump over the initial $12B investment TSMC made in their first Arizona fab, underscoring how costs continue to rise for newer fabs, but also that TSMC is becoming more comfortable with making larger infrastructure investments within the US. TSMC expects annual revenue from Arizona fabs to be in $10 billion per year ballpark, according to a Reuters report. Meanwhile, TSMC's clients using the fabs will generate about $40 billion in revenue selling products made by the foundry in the U.S.Set to come online in 2026, the second Arizona fab will be starting life a generation ahead of its initial counterpart, producing chips on TSMC's N3 family of production nodes, which includes N3, N3E, N3P, N3S, and N3X. TSMC is expected to deliver its first N3 chips to a client in early 2023, so while the fab still represents cutting-edge technology as of the time of its inception, by the time it comes online it will technically be a trailing-edge fab. TSMC has previously indicated that they would be keeping leading-edge production within Taiwan – in large part because that's where their actual R&D takes place – so the company's updated Arizona fab plans are consistent with that stance.With regards to capacity, the new Arizona fab, like its existing sibling, will be another "MegaFab" in TSMC parlance. That is to say a mid-range fab producing around 25,000 wafer starts per month. TSMC hasn't disclosed a specific output figure for just the new fab, but with Fab 21 slated to offer 20,000 WSPM, it looks like this fab will be a bit bigger, at closer to 30,000 WSPM. Still, with a combined capacity of 50,000 wafers per month, TSMC's Arizona facility is still among one of TSMC's smaller operations – 50,000 wafers is only half the production capacity a single one of TSMC's class-leading GigaFabs. So even with a second fab line, TSMC's US operations will only represent a relatively small fraction of the company's overall chip fab capacity.Looking forward, TSMC has already begun construction of the second Arizona fab, and given the usual fab construction timelines, we can expect the shell to be complete by early 2024. After which it will take TSMC around another two years to equip it.Gallery: TSMC Supplier Tool PhotosMeanwhile, TSMC is set to start producing chips using its N2 node in Taiwan in the second half of 2025. That node will use will be TSMC's first node to use their nanosheet-based gate-all-around field-effect transistors (GAAFETs), and over time will gain backside power delivery. Still, since not all products need a leading-edge node, TSMC won't have any trouble lining up customers for their N3 US domestic capacity."A strong, geographically diverse, and resilient supply chain is essential to the global semiconductor industry," said Lisa Su, chief executive and chairman of AMD. "TSMC's investment and expansion in Arizona is extremely important and mission critical for both the semiconductor industry and our extended ecosystem of partners and customers. AMD expects to be a significant user of the TSMC Arizona fabs and we look forward to building our highest performance chips in the United States."Source: TSMC
Site News: December 1st Outage
As many of you noticed, AnandTech has spent several hours offline today. We are still in recovery mode at the moment (as I write this, the site has been restored to a copy from November 25), but now that our major restoration efforts are completed, I wanted to offer you guys a brief update on the status of AnandTech.At around 13:00 UTC (5am PT) today, the on-site cloud storage for AnandTech’s hosting provider became corrupted. As a result, AnandTech (and some other sites) were brought offline. Due to the nature of the corruption and the need to begin restoration efforts ASAP, we opted to restore the site from an off-site cold storage backup, rather than trusting the questionable on-site storage.This is the first time we’ve ever had to execute our off-site data recovery plan before. And while it meant AT took a bit longer to restore than would be ideal, ultimately everything worked out and proved the necessity for off-site backups.We’re still working to restore content from the last few days. Articles will be back, but we’ve likely lost any comments and user account registrations/updates made since midday Friday. Sorry about that! And thank you for bearing with us during today's outage.
Best PC Power Supplies: Holiday 2022
Now that you've picked out your CPU, it's time to start picking out the rest of your system components. And perhaps the most humble but overlooked of these components is the power supply unit (PSU). Available in a wide range of sizes and power capacities, there are a number of great PSUs out there, but choosing between them can be a challenge. So today we're bringing you our annual PC power supply guide, to help you sort figure out what the best options are, be it a low-wattage unit for a small form factor PC, or a hulking kilowatt unit for the most powerful PC.
Best Mechanical Keyboards: Holiday 2022
Continuing our run of holiday buyers' guides, today we're taking a look at peripherals. Considering that a PC’s peripherals can easily outlive the main system’s components and usually stay the same even after several main system upgrades, they are often not given the attention they deserve. Keyboards are just such a component; it is the main interface with the PC, yet most casual users hardly stop to consider what would be the most practical/comfortable choice for them.
Best CPUs for Gaming: Holiday 2022
As we head into the Black Friday period, there's an abundance of new desktop CPUs from both AMD and Intel to select from. The two big launches for 2022 in the world of CPUs – AMD's Ryzen 7000 series and Intel's 13th generation Core – have ended up also being two of the most performance-competitive CPU launches from a that we've ever seen.First out of the gate in late September was AMD, who launched its eagerly-anticipated Ryzen 7000 series. Based on its new Zen 4 core and built on TSMC's 5 nm node, the flagship Ryzen 9 7950X 16C/32T made big waves at launch. Less than two weeks later, Intel launched its 13th Generation Core parts – codenamed Raptor Lake – bringing to bear higher clockspeeds and doubling the number of efficiency cores per SKU across Intel's lineup. Coupled with this, both AMD and Intel have tweaked their pricing strategies versus their previous pandemic-constrained practices; on average AMD CPU prices have ticked up, while Intel CPU prices have ticked down. Meaning the competition calculus has changed at multiple points (and that's before getting into platform costs).Consequently, as we approach the end of 2022, both AMD and Intel have very strong hands with their current generation parts.
Sponsored Post: Trying to Pick Out Your New RTX 40 Series GPU? ASUS Has Two Mighty Options For You
ASUS is introducing two versions of the GeForce RTX 4090 and 4080 in its Republic of Gamers and TUF Gaming lines, giving gamers stylish and robust options for the latest graphics cards.
WD_BLACK P40 Game Drive USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 Portable SSD Review: Balanced Storage
Western Digital had announced new products in the WD_BLACK lineup back in May 2022 to augment their offerings in the gaming market. The WD_BLACK P40 Game Drive SSD was part of the set, and became widely available last quarter. Western Digital has positioned the portable drive (PSSD) as a mid-range alternative to the premium WD_BLACK P50 Game Drive SSD. Sporting a USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20 Gbps) interface, the drive launched at a much lower price point compared to the P50 despite the addition of RGB lighting to the case. What corners has Western Digital cut in this mid-range offering, and what do gamers have to lose in going with the P40 over competing PSSDs? This review provides some answers.
Intel Launches Raptor Canyon: Desktop Raptor Lake Sizzles in NUC13 Extreme
Intel is officially taking the wraps off the first member of their Raptor Lake-based NUC13 family today. The NUC13 Extreme (like the three previous Extreme NUCs) caters to the gamers and content creators requiring leading edge performance and high-end discrete GPU support. Unlike the mainstream NUCs which have been consistently maintaining an ultra-compact form-factor profile, the Extreme family has slowly grown in size to accommodate flagship CPUs and discrete GPUs. These systems integrate a motherboard in a PCIe add-in card form factor (the Compute Element) and a baseboard that provides additional functionality with PCIe slots and other I/O features. As a refresher, Intel created the NUC Extreme category with the introduction of the Ghost Canyon NUC family in 2019. This was followed by the Tiger Lake-based Beast Canyon NUC in 2021 and the Alder Lake-based Dragon Canyon NUC earlier this year. The latest member of this family is today's introduction - the Raptor Canyon NUC based on the Shrike Bay Compute Element.The NUC Extreme family has grown in physical footprint with each generation, and the NUC13 Extreme is Intel's biggest one yet. Coming in at 317mm x 129mm x 337mm (13.7L), this is more of a traditional tower desktop than the NUCs that the market has grown accustomed to. However, this size has allowed Intel to integrate flagship components. The Shrike Bay Compute Element supports socketed LGA 1700 processors with a PL1 of 150W and PL2 of 250W (tau of 28s). The vertical centering of the baseboard within the case enables plenty of isolation between the Compute Element on the top and the discrete GPU on the bottom. Triple-slot dGPUs up to 12.5" in length are supported.The NUC13 Extreme Kit comes in three flavors, while the Shrike Bay Compute Element itself has six variations. These allow system integrators and OEMs to offer a wide variety of systems targeting different market segments. The table below summarizes the key differences between the three NUC13 Extreme kits.Intel NUC13 Extreme Kits (Raptor Canyon)ModelNUC13RNGi9NUC13RNGi7NUC13RNGi5CPUIntel Core i9-13900K
Best Internal Hard Drives: Holiday 2022
Data storage requirements have kept increasing over the last several years. While SSDs have taken over the role of the primary drive in most computing systems, hard drives continue to be the storage media of choice in areas dealing with large amount of relatively cold data. Hard drives are also suitable for workloads that are largely sequential and not performance sensitive. The $/GB metric for SSDs (particularly with QLC in the picture) is showing a downward trend, but it is still not low enough to match HDDs in that market segment.Since the release of the last HDD guide, the availability of Western Digital's OptiNAND-equipped 22TB drives has improved, and Toshiba's new Pro lines for their X300 and N300 lineups have started coming down in price. The high-capacity last-generation (20TB) models have become a lot more affordable - selling prices are running around 15 - 20% lower than launch MSRPs. These make for an interesting update to our list of recommended hard drives for NAS and desktop usage.
AMD Reveals Radeon RX 7900 XTX and 7900 XT: First RDNA 3 Parts To Hit Shelves in December
With AMD’s first-wave of Zen 4 CPUs now in the books with the Ryzen 7000 series, the consumer arm of AMD is now shifting its attention over to its graphics business. In a presentation that ended moments ago dubbed “together we advance_gaming”, Dr. Lisa Su and other AMD leaders laid out the future of AMD’s graphics products. And that future is the RDNA 3 architecture, which will be the basis of the new Radeon RX 7900 XTX and Radeon RX 7900 XT video cards.The two cards, set to be released on December 13, will be the first products released using the RDNA 3 architecture. According to AMD, the new flagship 7900 XTX will deliver up to 70% more performance at 4K than their previous flagship, the 6950 XT. This performance boost comes curtesy of several architectural improvements in RDNA that cumulatively offer 54% higher performance per watt than RDNA 2, as well as higher clockspeeds courtesy of TSMC’s 5nm (and 6nm) processes, and higher overall power consumption.The full-fledged RX 7900 XTX will be hitting the streets at $999. Meanwhile the second-tier RX 7900 XT will run for $899.
AMD RDNA 3 GPU Unveil "together we advance_gaming” Live Blog (1pm PT/20:00 UTC)
Following hot on the heels of AMD’s major CPU launch of the year – the Zen 4 architecture and Ryzen 7000 family – today AMD will be giving their GPU architecture its moment in the sun with their gaming-centric “together we advance_gaming” event. Today’s event will be all about AMD’s next-generation Radeon GPU architecture, RDNA 3, which among other things, promises a 50% improvement in performance-per-watt over the previous-generation RDNA 2 (Radeon RX 6000 series) parts.Notably, unlike AMD’s CPU event back in August, AMD has held their (video) cards closer to their proverbial chest for this event. We know that it’s all about the RDNA 3 architecture, but AMD is being quieter about product information and details. For example, any “Radeon RX 7000 series” branding is completely absent from all of AMD’s official communiques. So while the Radeon RX 7000 series is still the branding we’re expecting to see, AMD is leaving themselves a noticeable amount of room to throw some curveballs here.In any case, AMD has offered a few high-level details on the RDNA 3 architecture throughout the year. The biggest items disclosed thus far are that AMD is targeting another 50% increase in performance-per-watt, and that these new GPUs (Navi 3x) will be made on a 5nm process (undoubtedly TSMC’s). Past that, AMD hasn’t given any guidance on what to expect for performance.One interesting aspect, however, is that AMD has confirmed that they will be employing chiplets with this generation of products. To what extent, and whether that’s on all parts or just some, remains to be seen. But chiplets are in some respects the holy grail of GPU construction, because they give GPU designers options for scaling up GPUs past today’s die size (reticle) and yield limits. That said, it’s also a holy grail because the immense amount of data that must be passed between different parts of a GPU (on the order of terabytes per second) is very hard to do – and very necessary to do if you want a multi-chip GPU to be able to present itself as a single device.We’re also apparently in store for some more significant upgrades to AMD’s overall GPU architecture. Though what exactly a “rearchitected compute unit” and “optimized graphics pipeline” fully entail remains to be seen.The answers to all that, and more, are coming up here in a few hours. So be sure to join us today, November 3, at 1pm Pacific (20:00 UTC) for our full live blog coverage of AMD’s latest GPU announcements. We can’t wait!
Best AMD Motherboards: Holiday 2022
It has been a busy couple of months for both Intel and AMD, as well as their partner motherboard manufacturers. The release of AMD's latest Ryzen 7000 series processors back in September marked the start of a new era for AMD and its AM5 platform – although AM4 isn't quite dead yet.With the launch of Ryzen 7000 and AM5 comes support for DDR5 memory, which provides benefits to performance and gets AMD setup to use what is becoming the current generation of memory for the industry. But unlike Intel's 13th and 12th Gen Core series processors, AMD dropped any support for DDR4 memory, opting to fully focus on next-generation memory and the long-term prospects of the platform. This has meant that users looking to build a Ryzen 7000 system will not be able to recycle any DDR4 memory they already have, and instead will need to buy DDR5 to work with AM5.Regardless of whether you're looking to build a new system or upgrade an older one, AMD has a wide range of processors to cover all use cases. Its AM4 platform has been a highly successful one for AMD, giving us the likes of Ryzen 1000 (Zen), Ryzen 2000 (Zen+), and even Ryzen 3000 (Zen 2) and Ryzen 5000 (Zen 3). With the launch of Ryzen 7000 processors to the market, it has delivered better performance in applications, content creation, rendering, and gaming than it ever has before. So while no longer the new and shiny thing from AMD, AM4 is still a viable platform and will remain so for well into 2023.Given that AMD is in the midst of this transition, for our latest buyers guide we have opted to split our selections between AM4 and AM5. Despite Ryzen 7000 dominating performance charts, there is still quality and value to be found from AM4, especially at the lower end. So without further adu, here are our picks for AMD motherboards for the 2022 holiday period.