Posted on Sunday, October 21 2018 @ 20:57:01 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Computer enthusiasts begged Intel to start using solder again instead of TIM under the heatspreader of its processors, so a lot of folks were celebrating when news hit the web about the 9th Gen Core CPUs using solder. Unfortunately, it looks like despite the use of solder, chips like the Core i9-9900K are still running quite hot.
German overclocker der8auer investigated the matter and found that both the PCB and the CPU die are thicker with the Core i9-9900K versus the previous generation. This removes some of the benefit of the solder, as the thicker die hinders heat dissipation. Giving the die a good old fashioned lapping helps a lot to lower CPU temperatures, but this is not something that's easily achieved as there's significant risk that you damage the CPU.
Furthermore, der8auer illustrates you can also enhance the thermals by swapping the solder for liquid metal:
As it turns out, there are a few things involved here. For one, replacing sTIM with Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut (Der8auer has a financial interest in the company, but he does disclose it publicly) alone improves p95 average load temperatures across all eight cores by ~9 °C. This is to be expected given that the liquid metal has a vastly higher thermal conductivity than the various sTIM compositions used in the industry.
Posted on Friday, October 19 2018 @ 21:32:48 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Word is going around that NVIDIA may have one more Pascal-based video card up its sleeve. VideoCardz heard from a source that Gigabyte is working on a new GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB GDDR5X memory. This card is reportedly based on a cut-down GP104 GPU, the chip that's used for the GeForce GTX 1080.
As the site notes, a GP104-based GTX 1060 has been present in NVIDIA's drivers for months now but so far we have not seen any models based on this SKU.
It is believed that GP104 GTX 1060 variant was made specifically for the Chinese market, where GTX 1060 is the most popular choice for Internet Cafes.
The problem with GeForce GTX 1060 series is that there are far too many variants. It is hard to keep track of what model is being tested or preinstalled in OEM systems. So yet another model is not going to make this any simpler.
Interestingly, the timing for the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5X launch seems to somewhat coincide with the rumored AMD Radeon RX 590.
Posted on Friday, October 19 2018 @ 15:41:56 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Intel's Core i9-9900K is officially out today. Lots of reviews just hit the web and the chip giant proudly announces that overclockers managed to break 16 benchmark records at last week's extreme overclocking demonstration at the Intel Fall Desktop Launch in New York City. Using LN2 cooling, the Core i9-9900K was pushed to 7.1GHz on all cores:
The 9th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-9900K processor set 16 benchmark records, including a world record, as part of last week's extreme overclocking demonstration at the Intel Fall Desktop Launch in New York City.
Professional overclockers Allen "Splave" Golibersuch and Joe "Steponz" Stepongzi used liquid nitrogen to carefully chill the Intel Core i9-9900K to extremely low temperatures – triple digits below zero – to achieve chip frequencies and performance far greater than off-the-shelf specs. The Intel Core i9-9900K has a stock base frequency of 3.6 GHz, but the professional overclockers achieved nearly double that, reaching 7.1 GHz on all cores. Through the demonstration, Golibersuch and Stepongzi drove the processor to achieve 15 global first-place records in the eight-core category, and to a new world record in the PC Mark 10 against all other processor categories.
Benchmarking results will be officially uploaded to record site HWBOT when the 9th Gen Intel Core processors ship today. HWBOT is a leading platform for competitive overclocking. It hosts a global database of overclocked PC hardware benchmarks from an online community of 100,000.
Posted on Friday, October 19 2018 @ 15:27:18 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Microsoft Windows/Azure Kernel Team developer Mehmet Iyigun confirms on Twitter that the next major update to Windows 10 will adopt "Retpoline" to reduce the performance impact of the mitigation for the Spectre v2 CPU vulnerabilities. Retpoline is a mitigation technique that was developed by Google engineers, Linux already got this update in January 2018.
Combined with something Microsoft calls "import optimization", the performance impact should drop to a level that's negligible for most workloads:
Yes, we have enabled retpoline by default in our 19H1 flights along with what we call "import optimization" to further reduce perf impact due to indirect calls in kernel-mode. Combined, these reduce the perf impact of Spectre v2 mitigations to noise-level for most scenarios. https://t.co/CPlYeryV9K
Posted on Friday, October 19 2018 @ 11:38:10 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
At the Adobe MAX 2018 conference, NVIDIA revealed a demonstration of an upcoming NVIDIA RTX-enabled renderer for Adobe Dimension CC. It's not quite there yet, but professionals can look forward to soon being able to use real-time ray tracing.
Posted on Friday, October 19 2018 @ 11:34:14 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) came up with a new method to offer protection against both current and future Spectre and Meltdown attacks. Playfully named Dynamically Allocated Way Guard (DAWG), the new method relies on hardware and operating system modifications to provide a method to completely isolate each program thread from others.
DAWG isn't fully developed yet, the current technique doesn't offer protection against the full spectrum of currently-known attacks, but MIT is confident it will be able to do so with further work. Interestingly, DAWG promises minimal performance impact.
The team's work builds on Intel's Cache Allocation Technology (CAT), introduced in 2016 to improve security but which failed to go far enough to prevent Spectre and Meltdown. Playfully dubbed DAWG, somewhat awkwardly backronymed as 'Dynamically Allocated Way Guard', the system provides a method to completely isolate each program thread from others - and, crucially, has a minimal performance impact above that of CAT while requiring only minor modifications to the underlying operating system to implement.
'We think this is an important step forward in giving computer architects, cloud providers and other IT professionals a better way to efficiently and dynamically allocate resources,' claims lead author Vladimir Kiriansky. 'It establishes clear boundaries for where sharing should and should not happen, so that programs with sensitive information can keep that data reasonably secure.'
Posted on Friday, October 19 2018 @ 10:52:10 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
At a recent event in China, MSI teased its upcoming GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Lightning Z video card.
Unfortunately, the company didn't reveal a whole lot of details. Presumably, this will be the fastest RTX 2080 Ti card from MSI. It will likely have a very beefy cooler, strong VRM, and voltage measurement points.
MSI says it's coming "soon", but did not specify a date.
Posted on Friday, October 19 2018 @ 10:46:00 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
The same source that told VideoCardz about ASUS' plans for the AREZ brand now claims the company is bringing back the ROG STRIX brand for a Radeon RX 590 ROG STRIX Gaming video card. This seems to imply that AREZ, the "GPP brand", will be phased out soon.
Not a whole lot of details, but it seems the Radeon RX 590 card is based on a new 12nm-based refresh of AMD's Polaris GPU. Recent rumors indicate AMD is planning to launch third-generation Polaris chips sometime in November.
These cards are expected to feature higher clockspeeds, and may offer up to 15 percent higher performance than current parts. The product code of this ROG STRIX Gaming card reveals it has 8GB GDDR5 memory, the same as its predecessors.
Posted on Friday, October 19 2018 @ 10:35:17 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
The ramp of TSMC's 7nm node is off to a big start as the foundry expects the new process will account for over 20 percent of its total wafer revenue in Q4 2018, and almost 10 percent of full-year 2018 revenue. The Taiwanese foundry is on track to tape out over 50 chip designs on its 7nm node by the end of this year, with over 100 chip designs for 7nm and enhanced 7nm with EUV expected by the end of 2019.
TSMC says its 7nm process is running at full utilization, and added that it expects to offer EUV-based 7nm mass production in 2020:
TSMC expects 7nm chip sales to account for more than 20% of its total wafer revenues in the fourth quarter of 2018, and nearly 10% in all of the year. The proportion will likely exceed 20% in 2019, when the foundry expands its 7nm process portfolio to include an enhanced version with EUV, said company CEO CC Wei at an October 18 investors meeting.
TSMC is scheduled to move EUV-based 7nm process node to mass production in 2020, Wei indicated. The majority of TSMC's 7nm chip output for 2019 will still be built using its first-generation 7nm process, Wei added.
Posted on Friday, October 19 2018 @ 10:30:29 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts Apple could roll out its first ARM-based Mac computers in 2020 or 2021. This is a move that's been rumored for several years now, Apple switched to Intel's x86 processors in 2006 and now the company wants to lock down its ecosystem by switching to its own, in-house ARM-based processors.
This will free Apple from Intel's processor roadmap but performance remains a concern. It's believed that Apple's laptops will be the first to go ARM. Kuo also notes that TSMC will benefit greatly from Apple's plans, not just for the computer market but also Apple's car efforts:
Kuo says that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Apple’s chip manufacturer, stands to benefit enormously from Apple’s plans. TSMC has the exclusive supplier of A-series chips since 2016 and will maintain that arrangement going forward. Kuo also anticipates that TSMC will manufacture chips intended for Apple’s car efforts, saying “we believe that Apple Car’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) will support either Level 4 (high automation) or Level 5 (full automation).”
It will be interesting to see if Apple really switches to ARM. For basic consumer products it seems feasible, but at least at this moment, it's hard to imagine doing demanding workloads like video editing on ARM-based Macs.